What is globalization and how does it work? How can we understand the process as a whole? How are the parts of the world linked? What are the risks of living in a world where “no one is in charge”? This course introduces students to systems thinking, network theory, and risk analysis and uses these tools to better understand the process of globalization. Focusing on trade, finance, and epidemiology, it analyzes potential challenges to the current global order.
Global Systemic Risk will be of interest to those studying global affairs, system dynamics, and world governance. It offers a set of heuristics that students can use to analyze contemporary global challenges. Linking the recording of Abbey Road to the COVID-19 pandemic provides new insights into the apparently chaotic world around us.
Complex systems form the backbone of our increasingly interconnected and interdependent society. What were once more localized economies, supply chains, and social-ecological systems are now rapidly globalizing, and interacting with one another across countless spatial and temporal scales as technologies expand at ever greater velocities. These tightly coupled systems deliver greater efficiency and prosperity, but at the cost of greater fragility and the threat of catastrophic failure. This “global systemic risk” has implications in all functional domains affecting our daily lives—from the global financial system to healthcare, to critical infrastructure networks.
Organized with 7-10 minute classes grouped together into longer modules, the course will have a linear “core” curriculum presented at the introductory level, with the potential for optional offshoots that give learners a more in-depth look into certain areas with more technical content.