EH481      Half Unit
Economic Change in Global History: Approaches and Analysis

This information is for the 2017/18 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Debin Ma SAR 612


This course is compulsory on the MA Global Studies: A European Perspective and MSc in Global History. This course is available on the CEMS Exchange and MBA Exchange. This course is available with permission as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit.

Course content

The 'project' of global history; comparison and connection; tools for global economic history: ideas from economic history, rational-choice economics and political economy, and from Marxism and 'world systems' theory; the industrial revolution as a conjuncture in global history; empires and globalization; meaning and evolution of the 'world economy'; states and state systems; culture and economic change; the natural environment and global history; the post-modern challenge to metanarrative; strategies for writing global history. The course will introduce central themes and analytical tools in global history, focussing on the history of material progress and stasis, and considering the comparisons and connections between the histories of different regions of the world.


20 hours of lectures and 9 hours of seminars in the MT. 2 hours of lectures in the ST.

Students on this course will have a reading week in Week 6, in line with departmental policy.

Formative coursework

Students will be expected to produce two written papers during the course.

Indicative reading

K Pomeranz, The Great Divergence (2000); J Diamond, Guns, Germs and Steel (1998); E Jones, Growth Recurring: Economic Change in World History (1988, 2000); D Landes, The Wealth and Poverty of Nations (1998); A Frank, Re-Orient: Global economy in the Asian Age (1998); D North, Institutions, Institutional Change and Economic Performance (1990); C Bayly, The Birth of the Modern World 1780-1914: Global Connections and Comparisons (2004); A G Hopkins (ed), Globalization in World History (2002); D Smith, D Solinger & S Topik (eds), States and Sovereignty in the Global Economy (1999); J Osterhammel and N Petersson (eds), Globalization: A Short History (2005); B Gills and W. Thompson (eds), Globalization and Global History (2006).


Exam (100%, duration: 2 hours) in the LT week 0.

Teachers' comment

Survey questions on feedback to students may be non-informative because assessed work comes later in the term than the survey.

Key facts

Department: Economic History

Total students 2016/17: 14

Average class size 2016/17: 13

Controlled access 2016/17: Yes

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

  • Self-management
  • Team working
  • Problem solving
  • Application of information skills
  • Communication
  • Application of numeracy skills
  • Specialist skills

Course survey results

(2013/14 - 2015/16 combined)

1 = "best" score, 5 = "worst" score

The scores below are average responses.

Response rate: 100%



Reading list (Q2.1)


Materials (Q2.3)


Course satisfied (Q2.4)


Lectures (Q2.5)


Integration (Q2.6)


Contact (Q2.7)


Feedback (Q2.8)


Recommend (Q2.9)