Module 6—Economic IntegrationTOPICS

Module 6 covers the following topics:

  • the future of the interconnected economy
  • new players
  • debt
  • information integrity


At the completion of module 6 on economics, students will be able to:

  1. recognize basic characteristics of economic integration and globalization;
  2. demonstrate an understanding of the projected shifts in economic power, as evidenced by the emergence of “new players” on the world’s economic stage;
  3. explain the difference between extreme poverty and relative poverty and discuss some of the efforts to decrease the major economic inequalities that we see both between and within countries today;
  4. understand how economic problems can develop among developed countries, as economic integration leads to sometimes tenuous trade (and currency) unions;
  5. compare how they and their region may be affected by economic trends, as contrasted with how the person and country they represent in the global village may be affected.


Read the Economic Integration chapter in the Global Challenges e-book, completing all learning activities.




Module 6 has three activities. Please consult the Course Calendar for the due dates.

Global Village Activity 6

Use the Internet to find out how the person you represent in the global village might be affected by the global challenges associated with economic integration. In your post, describe how economic integration trends are related to the person you represent in the global village and to her/his country. For guidance, see the “Global Villager Activity Tips” document;Review the blogs of two classmates who represent different countries than you in the global village. Compare how these two global villagers experience economic integration issues as contrasted with your global villager and with you as a college student. Present your conclusions by adding comments to the blogs of two of your classmates.Discussion Forum 6;Post a well-reasoned and thoughtful response to the following discussion topic. Reply to at least two classmates’ responses by the date indicated in the Course Calendar.

One of the sections of this lesson included the following passage:

According to the Center for Strategic and International Studies:

Despite the tremendous economic strides made during our current era of globalization, our world is split largely between those who have benefited greatly from globalization and those who have not (many of whom have actually been hurt by it). This challenge will hover over the globalization debate in the years to come, and thus will require a serious re-examination of the global economic system in order to spread its benefits more broadly.

This passage indicates that this challenge will “hover… for years”. However we may not have time to wait on this. Therefore, you, the leading global policy expert in this area, have just been asked to give an interview on the national network news show, “Solutions to Challenges,” where you will be asked to address this issue and formulate concrete solutions for the global community.

The host of the program has been kind enough to give you a few questions that she has identified to be crucial in this area. So perhaps it would be prudent for you to critically assess this issue by addressing these questions:

  1. What are some of the gains from economic integration and globalization which serve to justify the continuance of these trends?
  2. What are some of the key problems that are generated from the widening gap between the “haves” and the “have-nots” of the world?
  3. How should a “serious examination of the global economic system” address these problems?

One more thing. Immediately after your interview, the network will air its weekly installment of the program, “Questions, but no Answers,” on which four extremely grumpy analysts on a panel will attempt to tear apart every point that you just made. Therefore, in order to preempt them, in your answer (especially #3) you should:

  • Clearly lay out a step-by-step explanation of your position.
  • Not only give your position but note how you reached this position. (Being able to support one’s position is very important in this setting.)
  • Clearly understand the arguments on the “other side” of your chosen point of view. Needless to say, if you understand the other side, you will be better able to point out why your view is better. You may even want to include such statements as: “Even if “X” is true, I believe that we should still do ”Y” because…”

Written Assignment 6

Answer each of the following questions on the promise and peril of economic integration. Your answer to each item should be an essay of  350 to 800 words in length. (With a typical font and spacing, this comes to between 1½ and 3 pages.) It is recommended that you refer to outside sources as you consider these issues. Be sure to document your sources correctly.

  1. What will a potential shift of the economic center of gravity from the traditional G-8 countries—Canada, United States, Japan, Germany, UK, France, Italy, and Russia (currently suspended over its annexation of the Crimea)—to the BRICS countries mean? Does it signal hope for a new wave of economic growth and new engines of regional prosperity to drive the global economy, or does it signal the fading importance of Europe and the United States? Will the rise of the BRICS countries signal the rise of middle classes within those countries or a further expansion of inequity in income distribution? How can governance challenges in each of the BRICS countries derail their economic growth? Resource challenges? Demography and population? The threat of conflict?

Please note:  Originally, in 2001, this group of emerging economies was known as BRIC when it consisted of only four nations: Brazil, Russia, India, and China. In 2010 South Africa was inducted, changing the acronym to BRICS.

  1. In recent years the EU has experienced both growth and turmoil, especially with the exit of Great Britain (expected to be completed before 2020). What pressures do you think the EU is facing and will be facing in the next few years? What sort of competition will the EU face with other trading blocs like the Eurasian Economic Community (EurAsEC) and the Southem African Development Community (SADC)?

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