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Charles R. Hale, Director SRH 1.310, 2300 Red River Street D0800, Austin, TX 78712 • 512.471.5551

Fall 2003


Unique Days Time Location Instructor
37553 TH
4:00 PM-8:00 PM
UTC 1.118

Course Description

The McCombs School of Business at the University of Texas at Austin will offer a multi-disciplinary graduate-level seminar in the Fall 2003 semester to discuss events and forces affecting and shaping the world. Students from all graduate programs at the University of Texas at Austin are invited. The Seminar will include lectures, readings and discussions on: (i) international economics, finance, and business; (ii) international political and military affairs; and (iii) cultural, historical, and religious factors making up and dividing peoples and civilizations around the world. Integral to this study will be pursuit of the potential impact of demographic trends, disease and pandemics, energy needs, environmental concerns, financial crises and international financial architecture(s), human rights in an era of global politics and international business, military and security issues in response to terrorism and other threats, political alliances, resource allocation, and other issues intertwined with “globalization” and forces of change. Students will meet in weekly seminars with speakers from both within and outside the University to pursue these discussions. The purposes of the Seminar are: (i) to help further students’ understanding of the major cultures, political systems, and economic structures that exist throughout the world, and of the social forces bringing change to those structures and systems, (ii) to assess how the interaction of such cultures and systems and forces will shape the world in which our individual, corporate and national aspirations must be pursued, and (iii) to begin the process of grappling with such issues in a cross-disciplinary context. In exploring these issues, the seminar will pursue such questions as: 1. Are we entering into a new era where there will be a clash of civilizations, the erection of regional economic and trade barriers, and/or the pursuit of a new political and military balance of power among not only former rivals but also former allies, which bring to an end the recent expansion of global activity between and among countries; or will recent episodes of terrorism, war, and potential fractures in old alliances be a catalyst for a renewed commitment to international cooperation among nations politically, economically, and militarily? 2. What are the consequences of such possibilities on: relations between the United States and other countries; international economic and financial structures; democracy and capitalism; corporations, NGOs and other international entities; and individuals, whether in their capacity as corporate executives, members of faith groups, or families? 3. What about other trends, other issues, other crises? What other forces of change are in the offing? Michael Howard, in his book The Lessons of History, wrote that the real lessons of history are not so much about “pride and folly,” as about “people, often of masterful intelligence, trained usually in law or economics or perhaps political science, who have led their governments into disastrous miscalculations because they have no awareness whatever of the historical background, the cultural universe of the foreign societies with which they have to deal. It is an awareness for which no amount of strategic or economic analysis, no techniques of crisis management or conflict resolution...can provide a substitute.” Such lessons may be applied to the business world and other walks of life. The seminar will bring into our discussions such historical and cultural factors, in addition to the disciplines of business, economics, law, and political science. Resources will include portions of textbooks, periodicals, and other publications and pieces on area studies, business, economics, ethics, finance, history, international affairs, philosophy, politics, and religion. More information may be obtained from the Center for International Business Education and Resea


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