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Global Connections 1


Admission requirements

Only students who are admitted to the master’s programme Cultural Anthropology and Development Sociology can take part in this course.
This course forms the basis of the MA specialisation Global Connections.


This MA specialization examines global connections through the flows and boundaries of things, people and ideas as economic and also political and cultural processes which are affected by international, regional or national institutions. We will draw on debates regarding concepts such as globalization, capitalism, markets, governance and citizenship and use various examples to highlight different aspects of these debates. Instead of looking at ‘the global’ and ‘local’ as fixed divides, we will examine how the movement of capital and ideas, people and commodities, operate at multi-scalar levels and strengthen or weaken global inequalities; the sovereignty of states and markets; and the boundaries of cultural identities and nationhood.

In the first course (5 ECTS) we will give an introduction on the main approaches and concepts regarding economic and political ideas. The emphasis will be on ideas that are seen as having global effects but have diverse forms of reinterpretation and contestation at different scales e.g. neoliberal ideologies vs protectionism, decentralization, human rights, Corporate Social Responsibility and Fair Trade movement. Special attention will be given to multilateral organizations such as international financial institutions (World Bank, IMF), ILO, UNESCO promoting global agenda’s. The focus will be on anthropological studies analysing these global agenda’s, how they influence the conditions of global connections, how they travel and get translated in specific social situations and arenas.

(In the second course (5 ECTS) we will follow the movement of people and goods. We will pay attention firstly, on particular groups of people as they migrate from one country to another or from one area to another. We will examine the social networks, ideas of nationhood and the politics of belonging associated with economies of migration. Secondly, we will examine commodities such as coffee, tobacco, money, and gold, and analyse the process of value-making and the boundaries of markets. Geographically, this specialization focuses on the links between the countries in ‘the North’ and those in ‘the South’ and the links within these regions, in both the present and in the colonial past.)

Keywords: globalization and capitalism; governance and sovereignty; migration and citizenship; commodity values and circulation; cultural meanings.

Course objectives

Students who follow this course will develop:

  • a firm foundation in political and economic anthropological theory,

  • academic skills necessary to analyze processes that affect different groups of people in society,

  • knowledge to connect issues that are politically relevant and urgent in the current world situation with local day-to-day events,

  • research skills and methodologies within the framework of global ethnographies,

  • skills which are relevant in policy making; NGO consultancy; social activism; or journalism.

Time table

Time: October 11-November 2, each Thursday and Friday 10-13 h
Location: Thursdays – room 1A37, Fridays – room 1A22

Mode of instruction

Total 5 ECTS = 190 study hours (sbu):

  • Lectures 12 hrs = 18 sbu

  • Group discussions 6 hrs = 12 sbu *

  • Study of literature 335 pp = 56 sbu

Assesment method

  • Weekly assignments = 16 sbu *

  • Final paper 5 pp = 40 sbu


Blackboard will be used to spread course-relevant information and assignments.

Reading list

To be announced. Students themselves will also be given room to select literature dicussed in assignments. The literature should connect the issues discussed in class to their own field of study.


Registration for the MA electives will be possible in September 2012 at the Secretariate of the Institute CA-DS (room 3A19, Pieter de la Court building) as well as on Blackboard.


Dr. Sabine Luning
Rm 3A35

Dr. Ratna Saptari
Rm 3A33