Course Structure

Core courses – all 10 ECTS

  • The Globalised Economy
    This course examines the nature and development of the globalised economy, and explores the concept of globalisation and the economic theories used to explain its development. Issues investigated include the process of globalisation in comparative perspective, the participation of various institutions at both micro-economic and macro-economic levels, the variety and diversity inherent in globalisation, and the impact on economic performance of various economies in the global system.
  • Global Varieties of Capitalism in Historical Perspective (taught by Georg-August-Universität Göttingen)
    A survey of research in the varieties of capitalism. The course provides theoretical approaches, emphasising the role of actors and institutions in economic development. Comparing European, Asian, Latin and North American economies, the course explores differences and similarities between liberal and coordinated market economies. Special emphasis will be given to questions of innovation and relative stagnation of “Rhenish Capitalism” in various branches of industry within a comparative framework.

Optional courses – all 10 ECTS

Please note that optional courses are subject to change and will be confirmed ahead of arrival at each institution.

  • Globalisation and Labour
    This course examines the core human dimension of the growth of the globalised economy: its impact on labour, meaning both employment for money wages, and the collective organisation of workers in trade unions. It relates the organisation, rewards and problems of labour – including class, gender and racial inequalities – to the competitive pressures of the integrated, globalised economy. It examines changes in the organisation of work arising from globalisation, including migration of labour as well as capital; analyses the impact of globalisation on the conditions of labour, including monetary rewards and social benefits; and explores the changing collective identities and institutions of workers in the globalised economy.
  • Latin American Development from Independence to the Present
    The course will consider some of the main trends and themes in the economic development of Latin America. The issues to be explored are the role of geography, the environment, factor endowments, institutions, policies and international factors, in the long run development path of Latin America. We will consider the protracted character of Latin America’s inequality and political instability, the macroeconomics of industrialisation, the political economic nature of Latin American populism, the recurrent financial crises and persistent macroeconomic instability. The course will critically evaluate the concept that Latin America ‘fell behind’ the US in terms of economic growth and political stability, applying broader theories of (under)development to Latin America throughout the 19th and 20th centuries.
  • Technology Transfer in the Global Economy
    This course examines the notion of technology transfer, how it has taken place over the past two centuries, and how it has been shaped by the emergence of big business.
  • Innovation in the Middle East and North Africa
    This course will analyse how religions, cultures, and innovation interact in the modern and contemporary Middle East and North Africa (MENA). It will look at the development of innovation and entrepreneurship in the region, the transmission of Western sciences and technologies to MENA, women in STEM, and recent developments in fields such as bioethics and the politics of energy in light of their potential for promoting economic development.

Core courses

  • Companies in Emerging Sectors
    2.5 ECTS
    The main objective of the course is to understand the process of creation of new enterprises in emerging sectors through real cases. Students will be able to learn from the experience of founders or managers of new organisations, individuals who have gone through the process of creation or growth of new businesses.
  • Creative Cities: Intervention Models and Entrepreneurial Dynamics
    5 ECTS
    The most up-to-date traits of dynamic cities are presented in the context of economic globalisation. In the 21st century, interdependence on a country and city scales, flexible work and networking, delocalisation, the new comparative advantages become new topics. Particularly, the new formulations presented by the processes of clusterisation are studied, in their search for new synergies between creative and innovative businesses. In this context, talent and innovation flows (open innovation) acquire new dimensions. The territory has not lost relevance in the new competitiveness specific to globalisation. However, public authorities use new mechanisms together with traditional ones, to become a node in the reception of business talent. In this block, we study traditional and innovative ways to generate entrepreneurial dynamics in the territory.  Case studies of Barcelona, Helsinki, and Milan are presented prior to student presentations on cities and their policies and programmes in Europe.
  • Family Business: Innovation and Globalisation
    2.5 ECTS
    The overall objective of the course is to provide conceptual and empirical tools that allow us to highlight the importance of family businesses in developing long-term innovation, both in developed economies and in the so-called emerging economies of the world.
  • Port Cities in Historical Perspective (taught by Erasmus University Rotterdam)
    10 ECTS
    This course offers an overview of the role of port cities as central nodes in international social, economic and cultural networks since 1500. Through their extensive maritime trade network, port cities provide a window on a wider world. As gateways they generate opportunities for the establishment of widespread international communities. Port cities are places of transhipment of goods, but the extensive maritime networks resulting from such trade connections also generated innovations, as international operating merchants used these networks to transfer technological knowledge and information. Already in pre-modern times, proto-global networks influenced local innovations. For instance, seventeenth century Rotterdam shows how an international merchant and refugee network, comprising of French and British scholars, created an early centre of Enlightenment. The nineteenth century has been called the age of port cities, and indeed in this period such cities more then ever became international centres of trade and cultural contacts. In the twentieth century, however, port cities faced enormous economic, social and infrastructural challenges. Despite, or due to, these challenges, post-industrial port societies are still recognised as important hub cities not just of goods, but also (and maybe even primarily) of knowledge. Students will learn how these creative urban communities adapted to different historical contexts and reacted to long-term developments.

Optional courses

Please note that optional courses are subject to change and will be confirmed ahead of arrival at each institution.

  • Global Health
    5 ECTS
    The course deals with the main health problems and challenges in today’s world. The topics studied are: the main actors and architecture of global health; health regulation and financial mechanisms to fight pandemics; the social determinants of health; the economic dimension of health; access to medication; and climate change and health.
  • Topics in International Economics
    5 ECTS
    New realities and new rules: internationalisation and globalisation. International trade: classical analysis and new realities. Trade in tasks and global value chains. Competitiveness. Distributive effects of globalisation. International trade system: Protectionism and regionalism in the world economy. Macroeconomics and international finance. Exchange rates’ role. International financial system and its possible reforms. External imbalances in the global economy. International financial crisis and post-crisis. Monetary integration: the experience of the euro.
  • Topics in International Politics
    5 ECTS
    The course will analyse the contemporary international system in a process of globalisation, the players involved in this system, their typologies and relational processes, the structural trends of change, and continuity in the system. Empirical case studies will be examined, with special attention to the Europeist process, its nature, and its functions in the global system.
  • Conflict Management in Negotiation
    2.5 ECTS
    The aim of this course is to analyse the different aspects to consider in the negotiation conflict management. During the semester, the following topics will be studied: understanding the organisational conflict process and its resolution as well as to identify and value the cultural differences, to learn how to build trust within organisations and to solve conflicts in an international context. A focus on the people involved will be posed mainly on being able to plan negotiation processes within companies both as manager and as an employee and to learn the managers’ negotiation strategies in intercultural contexts.
  • Quantitative Analysis in International Business
    2.5 ECTS
    The objective of this subject is to provide quantitative analysis techniques for decision-making. For instance, the course will analyse different types of quantitative data and the information they provide, the characteristics of the population based on the samples, the key characteristics of the statistical tests, and the realization of statistical tests on data. It will also pay attention to the process of generating and interpreting the results obtained from the analysis, to discuss and recommend solutions to problems detected in the analysis of a specific phenomenon and to make recommendations based on the results of the analysis.
  • Practicum (Consultancy Project)
    Instead of studying optional courses during the semester, you may have the option to undertake a Consultancy Project in the month of January, before classes begin, or in June, after classes finish. There are also some opportunities to undertake a credit-bearing internship during the semester. Check out our Internships, Placements and Consultancies page for more information.
  • Institution or Company Placement
    10 ECTS

Core courses – all 7.5 ECTS

  • Sustainability of Welfare Policies in the Modern Era
    Sweden is a small country in Europe’s northern periphery. For many social scientists, however, the country is well known for two interrelated phenomena: a comprehensive and universalistic welfare state and industrial relations with a high level of organisation and well-coordinated collective bargaining. For policy practitioners  Sweden is quite often used as a shining example or a cautionary tale, depending on their policy preferences and ideological slant. Many a researcher doing comparative studies refers to Sweden or the Nordic countries as a contrasting example. For any student in the social sciences, a deeper understanding of the roots and complexities of the so-called Swedish model(s) in a broader context can therefore often be valuable. Through the juxtaposition of in-depth studies of the historical development in one country with comparisons with trajectories in other countries,  the course aims at developing the students’ ability to understand and analyse complex processes of economic and institutional change. Is an economy with a comprehensive welfare system and high wages competitive and sustainable in the modern, globalised world? The course combines a historical development of the Swedish Model (the reasons behind its rise and the causes behind its supposed decline) with comparisons with other welfare states within three different tracks. The first of these tracks is the development of the Swedish welfare state in comparison with other countries, the second concerns industrial relations and the labour market. The course will show how these developments are intertwined, from the nascent of the Swedish Model(s) for economic and social sustainability from the mid 20th century to the models’ adaption, and some would say, its decline in the new Millennium. It will also deal with how these developments are related to the third track for which Sweden is also quite famous for in an international context: gender equality. In modern-day Sweden, dual-income family households are the norm, a normative order that is arguably both sustained and necessary for the economic sustainability of the welfare state. Assessment: The course is assessed through active participation in compulsory seminars and through written assignments.
  • Sustainability of  Financial Markets in the Modern Era
    Financial markets have been of great importance in the making of the modern economy. Ever since the world transitioned from agrarian to industrialised economies, most countries have depended on business cycles and the performance of financial markets for their growth and progress. From this perspective, sustainable financial markets have been fundamental for economic growth. On the other hand, these markets has also shown turbulent behaviour, even crashes. When financial disturbances have emerged at various times, the whole economy was affected. Such turbulences have been observed in the slowing of economic growth, rising unemployment and, occasionally, even political unrest. The central theme of this master course is to understand both sustainable patterns as well as why and how business cycle slumps and financial market crashes have tended to occur and reoccur, and in what ways such downturns have been managed throughout history. So, if business slumps and financial market turbulence have caused such big problems in terms of sustainability, why do they tend to re-emerge? During the course, we present examples of infamous downturns, which had a major impact when they occurred. Although the downturns differed with regards to origin, impact, and persistence, some argues that they also displayed certain common patterns and features. Such regularities, as well as the way the downturns have been managed, are highlighted in the course’s historical examples. Assessment: The course is assessed through active participation in compulsory seminars and though written assignments.
  • Modern Natures: Conflicts and Transformation
    This course introduces the students to global environmental history from the perspective of the dynamic and historically transformative relationship between nature and social forces. The course has as a main focus the modern period to the present (ca. 1700 – today). Three themes of the study of human–nature relations are highlighted: 1. ‘Nature as a resource and nature under stress’; 2. ‘Governing Nature: Political and technical solutions to societal transformation and social conflict’; 3. ‘Nature conservation, policy and politics of nature’. The course has an interdisciplinary perspective, specifically representing research in economic history, agrarian history, urban studies, environmental policy and political science. On the macro-level, the course relates to long term economic historical research on how nature has been used under successive technological-economical and political-economical regimes, related to concepts like the ‘organic’ and ‘fossil’ societies, denoting foremost the principal ways societies gathered and used energy and the consequences of these ways to concentrated energy (deforestation, emissions and later nuclear risks). The impact of the formation of nation states and globally relevant concepts as colonialization and modern globalization are discussed. There is a focus on the first, the second and the third industrial revolutions, the general purpose technologies (coal/steam engine; internal combustion engine/electricity; itc-technology), as well as the work and resource management systems developing during these transformations and the changing interplay with environment which the transformations involved. Demographic development and settlement structures related to the transformations are also considered. On micro level the course considers how firms and local communities has managed local natural resources and what long term consequences this had in terms of overexploitation and creation of ‘external effects’. Discussions on the problems of collective action, public goods, common pool resources and their management form an integral part of the course. Finally, nature conservation policy and policy of nature is considered. Assessment: The course is assessed through active participation in compulsory seminars and though written assignments.
  • Sustainability of Economic Thought
    This course focuses on the diverse challenges of mainstream economics in the modern era, with the aim of finding what is common to them as well as what is context-specific. The so-called “neoclassical revolution” within economics 1870-1920 immediately sparked critical debate and alternative attempts to explain how economy works. It has continued to do so ever since, from the “metodenstreit” over old and new institutionalism, the Schumpeterian theory of entrepreneurship and up to present challenges to mainstream economics, such as feminist economics,  post-autistic economics or real world economics. A number of central themes make up the core of the course, constituting a lens through which it is possible to discuss different solutions to perennial questions: economic rationality and the economic actor, the role of technology in change, the role of institutions in the world economic order and the embeddedness or disembeddedness of markets in social settings. Assessment: The course is assessed through active participation in compulsory seminars and though written assignments.

Optional courses

The listed courses are elective campus courses in English that should be of particular interest for GLOCAL students and with entry requirements that should suit you. Availability and admittance to these courses cannot be guaranteed. The course structure at Uppsala is revised each academic year and the final structure for spring term 2023 is available at the Uppsala University webpage in February 2022.

Admittance is always dependent on the student having the correct entry requirements and the selection process for each course. Some of these courses might run in the same period as core courses. Please contact the Department of Economic History for more information:

Social and Economic Geography
Environment and Development Studies
Gender studies
Media and Communication Studies
Peace and Conflict Studies

Core courses

  • Rise of the Global City
    10 ECTS
    Globalisation and urbanisation are interconnected processes. The maritime expansion of the sixteenth century enforced the growth of a new global urban system. Early-modern European expansion undermined the Asian-centred world economy and laid the foundations of a global system controlled by European urban elites and western state structures. This global order was turned upside down in the second half of the twentieth century due to the rise of the Asian Tigers, and BRICS countries a few decades later.
    This course discusses the results of these recent global transformations on urban life. The rise of global cities since the 1970s was – for instance – accompanied by a major increase in the urban population. Since the year 2000, more than half the world’s population now lives in cities, but the majority of these people no longer live in the rich centres, but in the slums of the urban periphery. The classical Weberian picture of the city as a place of freedom and development has been turned upside-down by these developments. Cities are still centres of economic growth, but they face problems such as growing inequality, poverty, violence and pollution. Students learn how a combination of socio-scientific and historical methods can help to analyse these challenges.
  • Heritage and Fashion
    5 ECTS
    The fashion industry is a paradigmatic sector of post-industrial economies, whose products increasingly rely on symbolic and aesthetic considerations as well as on local heritage and specificities. The fashion industry revolves around a myriad of key locations around the world, yet this has been the case for an extended period of time. A polycentric geography of fashion emerged, integrating traditional supply chains with digital technologies. Some luxury brands, such as Louis Vuitton, are even engaging with blockchain to prove the authenticity of their products. Topics covered in the course, among others: place, space and heritage in the fashion industry, storytelling, craftsmanship, temporary fashion clusters, and policies for fashion. In particular, storytelling appears to be an important tool for the fashion industry due to the necessity to differentiate the various products or brands and to add emotional value to them. Heritage and tradition are at the core of storytelling. Even new fashion products and brands are imbued with a historical flavor and sense of legendary quality, with the help of storytelling and revived craftsmanship. Given the rise of sustainability concerns, storytelling and craftsmanship, and in general heritage, are gaining momentum for the fashion industry and other creative industries too.
  • Creative Industries in the Global Economy (taught by University of Glasgow)
    5 ECTS
    Cultural and creative industries are increasingly recognised as important generators of revenues and jobs, as well as powerful drivers of cultural globalisation, especially as the world moves into the digital age. One 2015 survey estimated that they created $2.2 trillion in revenue and around 30 million jobs. The high profile of multinational media companies distinguishes the diversity and multipolar nature of the creative industries.  This course examines the growth of the global creative industry, their relationships to cities or creative clusters, and the debates surrounding its increasing prominence in development, cultural branding, its monetisation, and the idea of “creative class.”

Research Workshops – all 10 ECTS

Research methods workshops will be provided at Rotterdam in order to prepare students for their master level dissertation. They are mandatory and are worth 10 ECTS. Choose one from the following:

  • Histories of Local Creativities
    The term Creative Industries is a relatively recent concept coined in the late 1990s by new labour in Britain. Ever since this contested concept has evolved into an important policy instrument of national and local governments, the European Union, and United Nations, as well as a lively academic discourse. In this workshop we will critically assess the impact and the implementation on a local, national and supranational level of this policy instrument. Academic texts will be compared with policy and consultancy texts, and the concept will be discussed in a historical, social and economic context. Finally, the workshop aims to historicize the concept and explore the historical roots of the creative industries and aims to analyse different sectors of the industry, including fashion, art markets, film, radio, television, music, design, theatre, tourism and video games.
  • Rise and Fall of the American Empire
    Both in military and economic terms the United States of America grew into the most powerful empire of the world during the twentieth century. Just like the British Empire a century ago, the United States endeavoured to bring free markets, the rule of law, and democracy to the rest of the world. However, at the beginning of the twentieth first century, America’s military, political and economic power is seriously challenged. Rising economies like China and India threaten its economic position. Simultaneously, the American empire shows signs of military overstretch. This research workshop will explore the rise and possible fall of the American colossus in a historical context.
  • Maritime History and Port Cities
    In the 19th century, the introduction of steam power and the electronic telegraph changed the world dramatically. The transfer of goods, passengers and information accelerated, connecting people worldwide who had never been linked before. These changes had a massive impact, economically, socially and culturally. In the late 20th century similar developments occurred, inciting the next stage of globalisation. The impressive developments of both periods as well as their dramatic consequences are the central theme of the course. The focus will be on port cities, their maritime connections with the wider world overseas and their international relation with the hinterland. The port of Rotterdam will serve as the Dutch example. Singapore, New York, Shanghai, London, Hamburg, Antwerp or any other maritime hub may act as its international parallel.
  • History of Cultural Difference
    This course deals with constructs of culture and of cultural difference in early modern and modern history within the context of European expansion and colonial order as well of in the context of diaspora and migration. Principal concepts such as “culture” and “identity” will be critically reviewed, tracing its uses in the various contexts. The following twin notions will be dealt with: culture-identity, difference-equality, majority-minority, native-migrant, insiders-outsiders, orientalism-occidentalism.

Optional courses – all 5 ECTS

  • International Relations Theory
    The Oxford Handbook of International Relations (2008) offers a comprehensive overview of the field of international relations. It debates the nature of the field, critically engages with the major theories, and examines the field’s relation with other disciplines. This course studies and discusses selected articles of the Oxford Handbook to introduce the subject of international relations studies. The selection of chapters is complemented by a series of articles on Non-Western International Relations, focusing on East-Asia. During class we will apply theories of international relations to historical and contemporary issues, like the ‘The Opium Wars in China in the 19th century’, ‘The Nuclear Threat of North Korea’, ‘Somalia: a failed state’ and ‘The Rise of China’.
  • Text and Context: From Source to Science
    In this methodological course we will focus on analyzing primary sources. As the experiences and ideas of ordinary people are sporadically documented, historians use ego-documents, such as letters, diaries and oral sources as one, and sometimes even the only, way to capture this ‘view from below’. In the first part of the course students read and discuss literature on important debates concerning the use of primary sources such as biographies, letters, travel literature, songs, and visuals etc. in historical research; debates on the problematic notion of identity; and debates on notions such as discourse, focalization and argumentation as tools of narrative analysis, as well as on self-reflexivity. These notions are crucial to the application of narrative analysis as used in the course and are based on recent theoretical developments within history, anthropology, and cultural, minority, and subaltern studies. The emphasis in the second part of the course is on practicing con/text analysis on primary sources related to the master thesis of the participants in the course. This serves to understand better the relation between primary sources, the methodological and theoretical framework used, and the analytical findings in historical research.
    In the first part of the course the literature is read individually and the assignments are discussed in sub-groups in class. In these first weeks participants will also record an oral source or access an ego-document or another primary source related to the subject of their master’s thesis. In the second part of the course the participants will discuss and practice the methodology of con/text analysis with respect to their own primary sources. At the end of the course each student writes a final essay in which they report on the theoretical as well as practical aspects of analysing their own primary source ‘against the grain’
  • Research Internship
    During the Master’s program, students have the opportunity to explore a professional field of interest by means of a Research Internship. Arrangements have been made with around 15-20 national and international archives, museums, research institutes, educational organisations and business companies for research projects which students may select as the subject for their Master’s dissertation. Please note that this is not a policy-related internship; it involves an academic research project. The final product may be a publication, an international workshop, website, object analysis or exhibition storyline. This research activity covers 18 working days (5 ECTS).
    Each student formulates a working plan after consultation with the faculty supervisor and the supervisor of the internship institution. Based on that working plan, an official Agreement Research Internship Master History of Society will be signed by: the student, the supervisor of the institution and the faculty supervisor. The research internship will be completed with a report, written by the student according to the guidelines of the master. The report contains also appendixes with important outcomes and products (written or images of the products). The whole report and internship will be assessed during a final interview with the supervisors. Based on this interview the supervisor of the institution will write a general assessment.
    The faculty supervisor will assess whether the student has reached the aims of this internship; there is no grade.
  • Globalisation and the Making of Europe, 1850-present
    In the second half of the 19th century, monetary stability and free trade created a truly global economy, but political interests caused that national economies were created with relatively limited international contacts. In post-1945 Europe this was a problem. Not only had the 1930s shown that economic nationalism was fatal for growth and development, but Germany also was a problem. For these reasons European economic integration seemed a solution. Until the collapse of the Soviet Union, this proved very successful. In the 1990s liberalisation of international markets, but also, just as in the late 19th century, an enormous decline of transport costs, caused a second period of globalisation. Now multinational companies cut apart their production chains,  and each step was done wherever in the world is cheapest. Europe was no longer the centre and its process of integration, that after the Cold War got a boost, is now even crumbling.
  • Travelling Things: The Making of Heritage in Different Educational Contexts 
    This class looks at the making of heritage in both informal and formal educational settings. The focus will be on processes of heritagization of everyday material culture. Both in the academic field as in the wider heritage domain, there has been a growing interest in the culture of everyday life and ordinary things. Historians and ethnologists study the generational transmission and appropriation of repertoires of everyday material culture, and many museums develop exhibitions on everyday practices, displaying ordinary objects. Also in educational programmes for primary and secondary schools, a growing interest in the topic can be discerned. In the lectures and seminars the findings of historical and ethnological research, exhibition projects and educational programmes will be confronted with each other and discussed in a broader cultural context, with the aim of coming to a better understanding of different forms of heritage making and the role of education in processes of heritagization.

Core courses – all 6 ECTS

  • Global History of Marketing and Mass Consumption
    The course will familiarise students with basic aspects of the development of mass marketing structures in the 19th and 20th century. Special emphasis will be on rise of the advertising and consulting industries as creative centres of modern consumer capitalism. Texts and discussion will focus particularly on transnational exchanges, the global role of the American consumer society and regional differences and variations in consumer culture. In many industries, marketing long had to pursue global strategies with strong regional and local accents.
  • Immigrant Entrepreneurship
    The seminar will introduce students to theories of entrepreneurship, migration and immigrant entrepreneurship. In what ways and why are business people with a migration background different from native entrepreneurs? The seminar will then move on to empirical cases studies from the early modern period to the present time. The examples are taken from different continents and economic sectors. They cover early modern trade diasporas and the transnational banking systems of the 19th century, the role of Japanese immigrants in the interwar USA and the experience of Cuban refugees in the postwar era. The last third of the seminar will cover contemporary developments and look at immigrant entrepreneurship in Silicon Valley and the Turkish business community in Germany among other cases.
  • Topics in Globalisation (taught Universitat de Barcelona)
    The course offers insights into the global entanglements of markets and business sectors such as, the energy industry. The course analyses the interplay of economic and governmental actors as well as non-governmental organisations in changing global markets. Special attention will be paid to global differences between industrialised countries and resource rich countries, between centres and peripheries of the global economy.

Optional courses – all 6 ECTS

  • Development Economics 1 – Macro Issues*
    Expose students to macroeconomic issues in economic development, including how economic growth, trade, inequality, aid, capital flows, and population issues affect economic development.
  • Development Economics 3 – Regional Perspectives*
    Allow students to apply theoretical and empirical concepts in development economics to understand differences in regional economic development (East Asia, South Asia, Latin America, and Africa).
  • International Human Resource Management
    Students get insights into major topics of Human Resource Management (HRM) in an international context. The course will introduce the context international managers need to consider, e.g. cultural differences, and major HRM functions, e.g. global staffing.
  • Sustainable Development, Trade and Environment
    The seminar focuses on environmental issues in globalised context, emphasising the concept of sustainable development and the role of international trade as well as global enforcement mechanisms.
  • Political Construction of Europe
    Introduction into the historical dimensions of the European integration process into current debates about Europe.

* Some prior knowledge of econometrics or statistical mathematics is recommended.

Core courses – all 10 ECTS

  • Course A: Entrepreneurship and Capitalism in Latin America

    Latin America has experienced a dramatic transformation during the last 150 years. The course discusses the Latin American development through the entrepreneurs who shaped it. It offers students an opportunity to explore the historical development of as well as the future of entrepreneurship in Latin America, one of the world’s largest emerging markets. For that, the course looks at the dynamic relationship between states and markets and between the developed and developing areas of the world economy or global economy. Through a wide-ranging framework it offers students an opportunity to understand the changing role of entrepreneurs and how they created business organizations in different contexts and institutional settings. Latin America offers rich, and often traumatic historical conditions, especially concerning the impact of globalization and economic cycles. By placing business in a broad political, economic and cultural context, the course covers the changes in the structure of Latin America businesses over the last 150 years, the winners and losers from capitalist expansion. The course uses a variety of case studies, academic articles and book chapters, as well as newspaper articles, company cases from different countries of Latin America. It is organized in three modules, providing a dynamic framework for exploring the challenging decisions Latin American entrepreneurs and firms have faced in the different eras of the last century and a half in Latin America, until current conditions. By reviewing the historical evidence on Latin American entrepreneurship, the course is relevant to all future leaders operating in today’s global context, since students will learn to understand how the modern business environment came about, and to think about how value can be derived in volatile circumstances with unpredictable political contexts as well as micro and macroeconomic shifts.

  • Course B: Sustainability Issues in Latin America

    Latin America is an exceptional case to analyse the challenges of sustainable development. On one hand, poverty rates throughout the region have declined steadily during the last decades. Endowed with one of the largest stocks of available land for agricultural expansion, the region is also one of the most urbanised in the developing world. On the other, the region hosts many of the global ‘biodiversity hotspots’ where critical biomes (e.g. tropical rainforest, grass savanna, alpine tundra) are severely threatened by deforestation, habitat loss, and pollution from extractive industries. Moreover, most countries in Latin America still rank high as some of the most unequal in terms of income and land distribution. Understanding these contrasting and often contradictory realities admits no simplistic approaches.

    This course introduces some of the main environmental and social justice issues that define nature society interactions in the region and invites students to explore some provoking questions: what is distinctive —if anything— about the main issues and challenges of sustainability in Latin America? Is it possible for the region to turn those challenges into a source of widespread prosperity? If so, how? From an initial historical analysis about how space and territory were configured right after Spanish conquest, the course moves on to address the political economy of contemporary sustainability challenges in the region. It concludes with a critical reflection on future possibilities.

    Founded on participant-centred methods whereby the pedagogical focus shifts to students as active contributors to knowledge generation, the course expects all participants to engage thoroughly with reading materials, cases and discussions as a necessary condition for individual and collective learning. At the end, participants will develop a deeper and more acute understanding of the nature, complexity and opportunities underlying sustainable development in the region in the hope that this will inspire them to help bring about profound, scalable change.

Optional courses – all 5 ECTS

  • Management for Circular Economy

Societal changes as part of the pandemic crisis, require innovative models for production and consumption that generate employment, spur economic development, attend new societal paradigms, and keep within a safe boundary of ecosystem functions and services. The circular economy proposes such model by redefining growth through decoupling economic activity from the consumption of finite resources, designing waste out of the system and motivating the transition to renewable energy sources.

In a circular economy, economic activity builds and rebuilds overall system health. The concept recognizes the importance of the economy needing to work effectively at all scales – for large and small businesses, for organizations and individuals, globally and locally–. Transitioning to a circular economy does not only amount to adjustments aimed at reducing the negative impacts of the linear economy. Rather, it represents a systemic shift that builds long-term resilience, generates business and economic opportunities, and provides environmental and societal benefits.

The circular economy implies a transformative change in operation, and strategy of organizations and systems in order to consider dynamic interactions between social activities and biophysical environment. Therefore, the scope of circular economy is highly complex decision making, involving many variables and their interactions, and interdisciplinary, drawing knowledge from various disciplines across science, management, and policy.

The purpose of this course is to provide students with an understanding of social-environment intersections of circular economy and introduce examples of circularity strategies and practices from various scales and perspectives. Through the course, students are expected to enhance their understanding about complexity, cause – effect relationships, and dilemma in circular economy issues, particularly in the context of Colombia, and hone their capacities to develop innovative approaches to address these issues.

The key questions that the course will examine are:
• Why the circular economy?
• What are the core principles of management for circular economy?
• What are the examples of circular economy strategies at an organization, a group of organizations, regions, and nations?
• How to translate the circular economy into actions? How to mobilize various stakeholders?

  • Consultandes – Consultancy in Environment ManagementCONSULTANDES is a consultancy project in which students lead the design of an innovative solution to an environmental corporate challenge. Students strengthen their leadership skills and managerial environmental knowledge by solving real life corporate challenges. The process is carried out in groups of 3 to 4 students from diverse disciplines. The agenda of this course seeks to help students to acquire practical and research experience in topics that are relevant for environmental corporate strategy and practices.In the consulting project, the student is expected to acquire practical experience in the development of a consulting methodology on environmental management issues, such as: i) environmental strategies; ii) environmentally sustainable business models; iii) innovations that lead to environmental improvements; and iv) organizational change processes towards environmental sustainability.

    The dynamics of Consultandes follows the practice of project management. Through planning meetings student groups are organized and use different work methodologies that include project management as well as specialized consultancies on particular topics in environmental management. In addition, steering committees monitor the development of each project. These committees are formal advisory spaces where the client, the group of students and the professors participate. The course methodology includes tools to measure learning and knowledge integration.

  • Brand Management

The course aims to provide a holistic approach to building and managing brands that will integrate the creative and analytical aspects relevant to the task. Hence, the student will integrate previously acquired knowledge in marketing classes and synthesize knowledge gained in other previous MBA courses when appropriate. There will be an emphasis on branding practices given the digital context and data-driven approaches. Each week, we will discuss a specific branding issue and follow-up in the next class with a case study dedicated to that issue. The theory lectures will provide conceptual frameworks for addressing a particular branding problem. The case lectures will allow the student to apply these conceptual frameworks and become aware of the complexities relevant to that branding issue.

  • Strategic Management of Family Business
    A majority of companies worldwide are family-owned. In Western Europe, South and Eastern Asia as well as in the Middle East, Africa and Latin America the most companies on stock exchanges are family-owned. Colombia is not the exception: the Superintendencia de Sociedades states that 70% enterprises are family-owned (a figure that many believe is underestimated).International studies show that very few family businesses survive after the first generation (approximately 30%), and only 10% are passed from second to third generation. This course is designed to develop managerial skills for family businesses –for both, family members and non-family members-, in order to contribute to their competitive advantage over time. It has a practical approach based on a rigorous research and the analysis of cases (Colombian, Latin American and global).

    A minimal proportion of family businesses last more than two generations under the ownership of one same family (Ward, 2004, p. 3). However, upon considering the entrepreneurial family as a unit of analysis, instead of the family company, it may be observed that families maintain a positive influence across both the different enterprises developed by various generations and the activities performed in other fields (political, social, among others), thus illustrating their role as historical agents of economic development.

    Through an exploratory study of Colombian and Latin-American business families, analyzed as part of the STEP project, the course addresses the following question: How does a family’s entrepreneurial orientation explain the continuity of the business family? Scholars call this process transgenerational entrepreneurship, or “the processes through which a family uses and develops entrepreneurial mindsets and family influenced capabilities to create new streams of entrepreneurial, financial and social value across generations” (Habbershon, Nordqvist, & Zellweger, 2010; T. M. Zellweger, R. S. Nason, & M. Nordqvist, 2012, p. 137).  This means that family businesses may follow a path over time in which they create a system of entrepreneurial initiatives gravitating around the family instead of a group of family members gravitating around a business. This approach led us to focus on the entrepreneurial family instead of the family business.

    By focusing on the family and its prevalence over time, we analyse how the family as a system becomes an entrepreneurial learning organization. This allows for entrepreneurship to emerge not only at the core of the nuclear family, but beyond it. As the firm and family life cycles may not overlap, it is important to focus on the family as a dynamic system with a long term perspective that goes beyond the traditional approach on family business continuity (Habbershon et al., 2010; T. Zellweger, 2010; Thomas Zellweger & Sieger, 2012).

Core courses

  • On-site Research Training
    The goal of the course is to help students understand better the current economic and social situation in Japan by participating in 2 to 3 study trips to Japanese companies, government agencies and other institutions. Each study trip will include a pre-trip study session and a post-trip discussion session, after which the students should submit essays to the respective instructors in charge. By participating in this course students are able to develop their understanding of the economy and management in practice, and develop their practical and academic skills in conducting field surveys. Each year there is some variation in the exact scheduling and sites visited. Examples of sites visited include: The Shimadzu Foundation; Lake Biwa Canal Museum; Keihanna Open Innovation Center; Kyoto City Central Wholesale Market; Panasonic Eco Technology Center; Toyota Commemorative Museum of Industry and Technology; and a Toyota car manufacturing plant.

Optional Courses

Please note that these are subject to change. Please follow this link for individual course syllabi.

  • Economic Development and Policy in the Asia-Pacific
  • Industries and Global Competition
  • International Development Assistance Policy
  • On-site Research Training A
  • On-site Research Training B
  • Economic History Readings A
  • Critical Consumption Studies
  • International Political Economy of Agriculture
  • International Agribusiness Studies
  • Historical Approaches to Business and Economics B
  • Advanced Academic Writing & Presentation (syllabus will be posted in March 2022)
  • Qualitative Research Methods
  • Master Thesis Design
  • Master Thesis Research


The date on which you enter your final semester of the programme, and where your supervisors are based, will depend on which pathway you are on.

Study track Primary supervisor Secondary supervisor Third supervisor
A Erasmus University Rotterdam Universitat de Barcelona University of Glasgow
B Georg-August-Universität Göttingen University of Glasgow Universitat de Barcelona
C University of Glasgow Universidad de Los Andes Universitat de Barcelona
D Kyoto University University of Glasgow Universitat de Barcelona
E Erasmus University Rotterdam Uppsala Universitet University of Glasgow
F Georg-August-Universität Göttingen University of Glasgow Uppsala Universitet
G University of Glasgow Universidad de Los Andes Uppsala Universitet