How do digital technologies transform capitalism, state-market relations, international companies, trade, and finance? How do they shape social interactions, the working of institutions, the production of social practices and beliefs, and the pursuit of profit? What are the theoretical, methodological and normative implications of technological change for the practice of social scientific knowledge of the economy? In this course, we will first make a few observations about the nature of sorting and surveillance so that equipped with these insights we turn to study the transformation of capitalism broadly understood. Next, we will have a more sectoral review of the effect of digitalization on the labor market, international trade, consumer tastes, and the financial sector. With regards to finance, we will look at the effect of fintech, the changing dynamics of development finance and the assetization of financial capitalism. The course ends with a set of topics on the social and political consequences of the digital economy as well a look at gendered data classifications and the relation between digital economy and democracy.
This course is designed to hone MA students’ skills in three areas: analysis, research design, and oral and written communication. It is believed that these are some of the most important skills that IR MA graduates will need to pursue a successful career.