Ireland, the European Union and Global Development

Lecturer - Dr Gerard McCann

This module examines the processes of globalisation and macro-economic development with reference to EU trade and development policy. It explores the socio-economic interaction which exists between core Member States of the European Union, 'Third Countries' including the USA, eastern Europe and ex-colonial Southern Hemisphere regions. It aims to look at the patterns of change associated with a globalising economy; the role of transnational corporations in EU development; power blocs within the EU; the role of financial capitals in European integration; the relationship with former colonial states; and the shifts in international finance with the onset of the process of globalisation. The module entails two units, one unit covering the relevant macro-economic drivers within the European Union's economy and the second unit assessing the inter-relations that exist on a global basis.

Unit one examines the structural, economic and governmental systems that operate within the main actors in the European integration process - Germany, France and Britain. It will also compare the role of other regions of Europe - including Ireland, north and south - and will address the issues surrounding regional disparity, policy cohesion and the implications of enlargement as a developmental process. This unit gives an insight into the relationship which the smaller regions have with the major states of Europe and will show how this has evolved in terms of an integrated economic bloc. This unit finishes with a look at the role of European based transnational corporations in the process of European integration.

Unit two examines the role of the European Union on a global stage, and explores the impact that macro-economics have had on various economic and political systems. Four aspects of EU development will be investigated: the enlargement process to Eastern Europe; trade, aid and development policies with countries in the developing world; the relationship with the USA; and the evolution and complications of neo-liberal economic theory. The module utilises international research, organisational networks, contacts, resources and initiatives to present a comprehensive picture of EU economic development within the context of globalisation. It will look at the ways in which the other Member States of the European Union have reacted to the challenges of a globalized economy and will assess the impact on EU linked developing countries.