USP 225/225Z World Cities: Geographies of Globalization

This course takes a critical look at globalization and its impacts on cities around the world. Globalization includes an array of economic, cultural, and political forces that are effectively shrinking our world. The first part of the course focuses on the ways transnational movements or 'flows' of trade, finance, people and culture operate in and through a network of linked `global' cities, the top tier of which function as the `command and control' centers at the `core' of the global economy. The second part of the course shifts attention to the global `periphery' and to some of the lower tier cities of the world's urban hierarchy: in Latin America, Africa, and Asia. The concern here will be to examine the local consequences of globalization in two overlapping realms. The first will involve looking for and at evidence of the less salutary effects of globalization forces in these cities: for example, higher levels of social and spatial inequality, deteriorating environmental and health conditions, diminished per-capita share of local resources and infrastructures, and cultural homogenization. The other realm will be an investigation of local activities that occur in response and as resistance to the pervasive forces of globalization. The goal here will be to document and evaluate the effectiveness of some of the local movements and organizations that have struggled for social justice in the face of what they perceive to be oppressive (global) economic and cultural forces. After taking A GOG/GLO/USP 225 students will be able to compare cities on the global 'periphery' with each other, as well as with those in the global 'core' to learn about and understand how some aspects of economic and cultural globalization play out and are adapted to `on the ground' and to think critically about how people might effectively organize their thoughts and exercise their rights to the city in the era of globalization. A GOG/A GLO/A USP 225Z are the writing intensive versions of A GOG/A GLO/A USP 225; only one version of A USP 225 may be taken for credit.