Elective: Global Digital Economy

Course description Elective: Global Digital Economy
Year: 2017-2018
Catalog number: 5182KEL41
Teacher(s):
  • To be decided.
Language: English
Blackboard: Yes
EC: 10
Level: 300
Period: Semester 2, Block III, IV
  • No Elective choice
  • No Contractonderwijs
  • No Exchange
  • No Study Abroad
  • No Evening course
  • No A la Carte
  • No Honours Class

Admission requirements

This course is only available for second year students in the BA International Studies.
The number of participants is limited to 25.

Description

The growth of advanced technology has attracted growing attention in the last decade, due in part to the accelerating development of Big Data, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence (AI), and the so-called Internet of Things (IoT). We are increasingly surrounded by frequent news on the development of robotics, ‘the fourth industrial revolution’, ‘new new technology’, ‘the digital economy’, and ‘shareing economy’. Each of these have the potential to fundamentally change production, consumption, and industrial relations, as well as extending to an impact at the level of ‘everyday life’ (Schwab 2016, Brynjolfsson 2014, Elder-Vass 2016). The development of new technology is considered to improve our work and life. However, there are many concerns associated with this development, including job losses, blurring work-life balance, creation of more precarious employment patterns, and an increase in managers’ surveillance of workers.
Students will explore the impact of the digital economy upon production, global value-chain, labour, consumption, and society, considering both the positive and negative impacts of new technology, and especially in terms of the impacts upon the labour market.

Additionally, the students will work through:

  • W.C. Booth, G.G. Colomb, J.W. Williams, The Craft of Research, third edition, Chicago/London: University of Chicago Press, 2008.
Tentative Seminar Schedule:
  1. Introduction: The Fourth Industrial Revolution
  2. Political economies
  3. Impact of the Fourth Industrial Revolution
  4. The Automation Wave: Is This Time Different?
  5. White-Collar Jobs at Risk and the Healthcare Challenge
  6. The Sharing Economy, Market Economies, and Gift Economies
  7. Digital Monopoly Capitalism and Cooperative Peer Production
  8. The Impacts of Crowd-Based Capitalism and the Shifting Landscape of Regulation and Consumer
  9. Quantified Self
  10. The Future of Work: Challenges and Controversies, and What Needs to Be Done
  11. Limits to Growth and Towards a New Economic Paradigm
  12. Conclusion

Course objectives

The elective courses for International Studies are designed to teach students how to deal with state-of-the-art literature and research questions. They are chosen to enhance the students’ learning experience by building on the interdisciplinary perspectives they have developed so far, and to introduce them to the art of academic research. They are characterised by an international or comparative approach.

Academic skills that are trained include:
Oral presentation skills:

1. to explain clear and substantiated research results;
2. to provide an answer to questions concerning (a subject) in the field covered by the course
a. in the form of a clear and well-structured oral presentation;
b. in agreement with the appropriate disciplinary criteria;
c. using up-to-date presentation techniques;
d. aimed at a specific audience;
3. to actively participate in a discussion following the presentation.

Collaboration skills:

1. to be socio-communicative in collaborative situations;
2. to provide and receive constructive criticism, and incorporate justified criticism by revising one’s own position;
3. adhere to agreed schedules and priorities.

Basic research skills, including heuristic skills:

1. to collect and select academic literature using traditional and digital methods and techniques;
2. to analyze and assess this literature with regard to quality and reliability;
3. to formulate on this basis a sound research question;
4. to design under supervision a research plan of limited scope, and implement it using the methods and techniques that are appropriate within the discipline involved;
5. to formulate a substantiated conclusion.

Written presentation skills:

1. to explain clear and substantiated research results;
2. to provide an answer to questions concerning (a subject) in the field covered by the course
a. in the form of a clear and well-structured oral presentation;
b. in agreement with the appropriate disciplinary criteria;
c. using relevant illustration or multimedia techniques;
d. aimed at a specific audience.

Timetable

The timetable is available on the BA International Studies website.

Mode of instruction

Seminars are held every week, with the exception of the midterm exam week. This course includes supervised research.

Course Load

Total course load for this course is 10 EC (1 EC = 28 hours), this equals 280 hours, broken down by:

  • Attending lectures: 2 hours per week x 12 weeks = 24 hours
  • Time for studying the compulsory literature (4 hours per week): 48
  • Preparation for in-class (group) presentations: 38 hours
  • Writing the final research essay (including reading / research): 170 hours

Assessment method

Assessment & Weighing

Partial grade Weighing
Attendance and participation 20%
In-class presentation 30%
Final research essay (5,000 words) 50%

End grade

To successfully complete the course, please take note that the end grade of the course is established by determining the weighted average.

Resit

Students who have been active participants in class and submitted the final paper on time, but scored an overall insufficient mark, are entitled to a resit. For the resit, students are given a chance to hand in a new version of the final paper.
In case of resubmission of the final essay (insufficient grade only) the maximum possible final grade for the essay will be a 6.0. The deadline for resubmission is 10 working days after receiving the grade for the final essay.

Retaking a passing grade

Please consult the Course and Examination Regulations 2017 – 2018.

Exam review

How and when an exam review takes place will be determined by the examiner. This review will be within 30 days after official publication of exam results.

Blackboard

Blackboard will be used for tutorial groups. Students are requested to enroll on Blackboard for this course, but only after correct enrolment in uSis.

Reading list

Tentative reading list

  • Elder-Vass, D. (2016) Profit and Gift in the Digital Economy (London: Cambridge University Press).
  • Ford, M. (2015) The Rise of the Robots: Technology and the Threat of Mass Unemployment (London: Oneworld Publications).
  • Sundararajan, A. (2016) The Shareing Economy: The end of employment and the rise of crowd-based capitalism (London: The MIT Press).
  • Schwab, K. (2016) The Fourth Industrial Revolution (World Economic Forum 2016).
  • Supprelementary readings will be notified in the course handbook later.

  • W.C. Booth, G.G. Colomb, J.W. Williams, The Craft of Research, third edition, Chicago/London: University of Chicago Press, 2008.

Registration

Enrolment through uSis is mandatory.

General information about uSis can be found here.

Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs

Not applicable.

Contact

To be decided.

When contacting the lecturer, please include your full name, student number and tutorial group number.

Remarks

The deadline for submission of the final essay is 15 June 2018.
Passing this course is an entry requirement for the thesis and thesis seminar.

Languages