Teaching plan for the course unit



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General information


Course unit name: World Economic Environment

Course unit code: 363975

Academic year: 2020-2021

Coordinator: Gemma Cairķ Céspedes

Department: Department of Economic History, Institutions and Policy and World Economy

Credits: 3

Single program: S



Estimated learning time

Total number of hours 75


Face-to-face and/or online activities



-  Lecture with practical component

Face-to-face and online




-  Group tutorial

Face-to-face and online



Supervised project


Independent learning






Students are recommended to acquire the handbook Economia Mundial. Desconstruint el capitalisme global



Competences to be gained during study



Concern for sustainability (capacity to assess the social and environmental impact of actions taken in a particular setting/capacity to adopt integrated and systemic approaches).


To be able to interpret the development and changes in an environment.


To analyse business organizations and their environment to identify key aspects.

Learning objectives


Referring to knowledge

  • Understand the laws of operation of the capitalist market economy.
  • Acquire an understanding of the characteristics of national and regional economies (economic blocks), and the historical and structural factors that place them in the core or at the periphery of the global economic system.
  • Learn to identify factors of unsustainability and inequality in the current global economy and analyse the factors and obstacles relating to normal and subnormal socio-economic development.
  • Acquire an understanding of the productive infrastructure of the global economy, using the relevant indicators and empirical variables to analyse economic sectors and international relations (commercial and financial).


Referring to abilities, skills

  • Acquire the capacity to conduct basic research and organise and use information from international statistical sources.
  • Capacity to interpret and draw conclusions from events that currently characterise the global economy, and the ability to explain these events, both orally and in writing.


Referring to attitudes, values and norms

  • Acquire the capacity for critical thinking with regard to the global economic reality and issues of poverty, inequality, unsustainability and polarisation.



Teaching blocks


1 Capitalism: concepts and dynamics

1.1 Economic analysis: methodology and concepts

1.2 Operation of capitalist economy: capitalist structure and dynamics

2 Global capitalist system

2.1 The historical formation of the global capitalist system

2.2 Transformations in the centre-periphery system; The semi-periphery

2.3 Globalisation, neoliberalism and crisis

3 System resources: population, energy and agriculture

3.1 World population: structure and dynamics

3.2 Natural and energy resources

3.3 Agriculture and world food

4 The global factory and productive globalisation

4.1 World factory and industrialisation models in the periphery

4.2 Productive globalisation and global value chains

5 Globalisation of trade

5.1 Structure of international trade and theoretical contributions to international trade

5.2 Regulation of international trade: from the GATT to the WTO and new regional treaties

6 Globalisation of finance

6.1 Financial globalisation and transformations in the international financial system

6.2 Financialisation and the impact of financial globalisation

6.3 International financial regulation: international financial institutions and new financial architecture

7 Challenges within globalisation; Social and economic development and inequality

7.1 Global inequality

7.2 Social and economic development; Theories and measure



Teaching methods and general organization


The subject combines two types of activities:

a) Lectures on the theoretical aspects of each each topic.

b) Practical sessions during which students complete directed activities (reading, videos, etc.) explained by the lecturer.

The contents of the subject will be developed in the subject handbook created by the teaching staff of the Global Economics group and will have the following compulsory reading: Economia Mundial. Deconstruint el capitalisme global, editat per Publicacions UB.

To carry out certain practical classes, the group may be divided at certain times. The same lecturer will teach the two sub-groups in the same timetable that is established for the subject.

The practical sessions are used for continuous assessment activities, which makes attendance to class and submission of all practical exercises compulsory to be eligible for continuous assessment.

As a result of the project to promote teaching quality that is being implemented in the Faculty of Economics and Business (promoted by the Research, Innovation and Teaching and Learning Improvement [RIMDA] unit and the Office of the Vice-Rector for Teaching and Academic Planning), during academic years 2018-2019 and 2019-2020, the teaching methodology for some subject groups may differ slightly from that described above. The details of this methodology will be published in the Virtual Campus at the start of the academic year.



Official assessment of learning outcomes


Continuous assessment consists of:

a) The completion of exercises and assignments set by teachers in practical classes (40% of the final grade). Class attendance and submission of all activities are compulsory for continuous assessment.

b) A final examination on the theory content (60% of the final grade). The exact characteristics of the examination are explained by the teaching staff.

In order to be eligible to have the mark for continuous assessment activities weighted with the mark for the final examination, a minimum grade of 3.5 out of 10 must be obtained in the final examination.

Repeat assessment

The repeat assessment examination follows the same structure and criteria as the standard single assessment examination.


Examination-based assessment

Students who do not participate in the first assessed practical session of the continuous assessment are automatically entered for single assessment.

The single assessment option consists of a final examination worth 100% of the final grade.

Repeat assessment

The repeat assessment examination follows the same structure and criteria as the standard single assessment examination.



Reading and study resources

Consulteu la disponibilitat a CERCABIB


CAIRÓ G., FRANQUESA R., MAESTRO I., MARTÍ X., PALACIOS, J.C. (2018) Economia Mundial. Desconstruint el capitalisme global, Edicions UB.

Catāleg UB  Enllaç
Catāleg UB. Versiķ en castellā (2020)  Enllaç

MARTÍNEZ PEINADO, J. i SÁNCHEZ TABARÉS, R. (2007) El futuro imposible del capitalismo. Ensayos en memoria de J.M Vidal Villa, Icaria

Catāleg UB  Enllaç

ARRIZABALO, X. (2014) Capitalismo y Economía Mundial, IME 

Catāleg UB  Enllaç

HUSSON, M. (2013) El capitalismo en 10 lecciones, Viento Sur y La oveja roja. 

Catāleg UB  Enllaç

TUGORES, J. (2010) Crisis, lecciones aprendidas... o no, Marcial Pons

Catāleg UB  Enllaç

MARTÍNEZ PEINADO, J. (1999) El capitalismo global, Icaria editorial.

Catāleg UB  Enllaç

Electronic text

Articles i altre material que el professor o professora faciliti al llarg del curs.