• Class Number 8536
  • Term Code 2960
  • Class Info
  • Unit Value 6 units
  • Mode of Delivery In Person
    • Dr Cameron Gordon
  • Class Dates
  • Class Start Date 22/07/2019
  • Class End Date 25/10/2019
  • Census Date 31/08/2019
  • Last Date to Enrol 29/07/2019
SELT Survey Results

This course analyzes major historical economic, political, and social changes in the world economy. These include factors contributing to increases in economics performance, changes in the form of government, technological change (including industrialization), and episodes of integration and disintegration of the global economy. Emphasis is on institutional changes in how societies organize economic and political activities as well as on variation in development among geographic regions.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

  1. demonstrate an understanding of the various mechanisms by which economies develop
  2. apply economic theory and analysis to historical and contemporary episodes of economic growth
  3. critically assess academic articles in economic journals and reports, and those from other disciplines
  4. write well-structured, coherent, and concise essays that synthesise and critically analyse economic ideas
  5. work in teams to analyse and present key findings of academic research and their strengths, limitations and context in the wider fields of relevant inquiry
  6. demonstrate an understanding of and analyse cross-cutting themes and ideas

Research-Led Teaching

This course incorporates seminal and contemporary research published in academic journals and working paper series, from which students will be

exposed to economic data, statistical methodology, and research practices that can be applied to their own work throughout the semester and in

their academic career.

Additional Course Costs

There are no additional class costs.

Required Resources

Required resources for this class, mainly academic articles and other readings, will be posted on Wattle.

Two textbooks may be consulted if desired. Neither is required for the course.

Graff, M., Kenwood, A., Lougheed, L. (2014), The Growth of the International Economy 1820-2015, 5th edition. Routledge.

O'Rourke, K., Williamson, J. eds. (2017), The Spread of Modern Industry to the Periphery since 1871. Oxford University Press.

*Both of these texts are available on-line through the ANU library.

Additional materials can be found online or at the ANU library's course reserve/electronic book depository. Except for the first lecture, students are to

complete readings prior to the given week's lecture; subsets of these materials will also form the basis for the essay and the problem set. Students

will be asked about reading material in class meetings as part of their participation assessment. All required materials or accessible web links to

materials will be posted on Wattle.

This class is organized around a large number of academic articles, with a broad but obviously far from comprehensive focus given the potential

breadth of the material at hand. The key to approaching this calls is to know what to focus on, both over all the articles and the key points within a

particular article. There will be some guidance offered on how to do both early on in this class. The following links might also be helpful:




Staff Feedback

Students will be given feedback in the following forms in this course:
  • Written comments
  • Verbal comments
  • Feedback to the whole class, to groups, to individuals, focus groups

Student Feedback

ANU is committed to the demonstration of educational excellence and regularly seeks feedback from students. Students are encouraged to offer feedback directly to their Course Convener or through their College and Course representatives (if applicable). The feedback given in these surveys is anonymous and provides the Colleges, University Education Committee and Academic Board with opportunities to recognise excellent teaching, and opportunities for improvement. The Surveys and Evaluation website provides more information on student surveys at ANU and reports on the feedback provided on ANU courses.

Class Schedule

Week/Session Summary of Activities Assessment
1 The 'real economy' and the 'human animal' This topic examines the growth model of the real economy (especially the long-run unified growth model) which looks at economic growth and development as a whole. However the process of economic change arguably also affects the human agents that participate in it, molding the individual in subtle ways that, in turn, affect the process of systemic change. Here the concepts of 'sociogenesis' (societal change) and 'psychogenesis' (individual psychological change) (developed by sociologist Norbert Elias) will be introduced, to provide a template of economic transformation that incorporates both social and individual dimensions. This template will provide an analytical thread underlying the entire course.
2 "1800": the Anthropocene and the Industrial Revolution The beginning of the 19th century ("1800") marks a relatively sharp break between economic, social, political and environmental change that had been relatively gradual for millennia, and an epoch, still ongoing, of robust economic growth and transformation (the Industrial Revolution) and hyperbolic human-induced changes in the natural environment (the Anthropocene). Controversies over the sharpness, geographical location and sources of these changes will be critically reviewed.
3 "Political Economy": the emergence of classical economics The rise of industrial capitalism drove the creation of a new field -- 'Political Economy' -- which has since morphed into the field we now know as economics. This topic looks at the key ideas of this way of thinking and some of the historical context that drove it.
4 Human agency: the power of sociality, ideas, and culture The ability of human beings to act according to their own individual will -- 'agency' -- is a topic of much debate in economic and traditional history. Do larger social and economic forces constrain individuals into narrowly limited ways of behaving or can human will override these forces much of the time? Human sociality -- the drive to relate to other human beings – is a key aspect of this debate and its role in the process of economic development is considered in depth in this topic.
5 Technology and economic growth Technology is arguably one of the core drivers of modern economic growth. This topic covers the way in which innovation, invention and diffusion have helped transform societies and economies, for better and for worse.
6 Demographic factors -- mortality, fertility, disease and migration Economic change is also driven heavily by population change, i.e. demography. This topic covers the role that birth rates (fertility), death rates (mortality), disease and movements of people (migration) have played in affecting the course and magnitude of economic growth and social change in various parts of the modern world since 1800.
7 War, imperialism and economic extraction Violent change to the social and political order has been a constant throughout human history, and arguably a defining feature of world history since 1800. The way in which war, imperialism and forcible exploitation of economic resources of one country (or set of countries) by others is driven by and drives economic development is considered in this topic.
8 "1914": Modernity and its discontents In 1914, World War 1 began. This war was unprecedented in its scale, scope and mechanization, and by its end in 1918, the optimistic precept that social and economic progress always moved forward was shattered. This topic covers discussions of the idea of 'modernity', what that looked like in the economy of the early 20th century, and how the 'Great War' or 'War to End All Wars' (as World War 1 was called at the time, before World War 2 broke out in 1939) altered the course of economic history.
9 "1929": Great Depression 1929 marked the beginning of a ten year period of deep economic slump. In this topic the following questions will be explored: what caused the Great Depression? How and why did it end? What changes occurred in the global economic and financial system as a result of it? How was economic policy changed as a result?
10 "1945": the postwar order and Cold War World War 2 is, so far, the bloodiest war in human history. At its end in 1945, much of the world lay in ruins, to be replaced with a bipolar world of "Capitalism" in the west, led by the US, and "Communism" in the East, led by the Soviet Union. In this topic the discussion turns to the way in which this developed into a 'Cold War'; the differences between the economic systems of the two Superpowers; and the way in which the Capitalist system was reordered, led by the US, to avoid another Great Depression or World War.
11 "1989": the end of the Cold War - and of history? In 1989 the Berlin Wall fell, followed quickly by the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. Suddenly the Cold War was over and the global economy disrupted and further transformed. This topic covers these changes and the controversial notion of Francis Fukuyama that this marked the complete triumph of capitalism and democracy and fulfillment of human evolution that can be considered the 'End of History'.
12 Human being and machine: the technocratic age The current period is one of mechanization, high technology, Big Data, information systems, computerization, digitalization: in other words, a societal-technological complex that is often labeled 'technocracy.' This topic covers the various ways this came about and some possible implications for the future of the economy over the next several generations.

Tutorial Registration

You are expected to attend one tutorial each week from Week 2 onwards. You must enrol in a tutorial using the Wattle site for this course, and attend the tutorial in which you are enrolled. A selection of tutorials will be open for enrolment prior to the beginning of the semester - the remaining tutorials will be open in week 1 of Semester. When tutorials are available for enrolment, follow these steps:


1.   Log on to Wattle, and go to the course site

2.   Click on the link “Tutorial enrolment”

3.   On the right of the screen, click on the tab “Become Member of…..” for the tutorial class you wish to enter

4.   Confirm your choice


If you need to change your enrolment, you will be able to do so by clicking on the tab “Leave group….” and then re-enrol in another group. You will not be able to enrol in groups that have reached their maximum number. Please note that enrolment in ISIS must be finalised for you to have access to Wattle.

When tutorials are available for enrolment, follow these steps:


1.   Log on to Wattle, and go to the course site

2.   Click on the link “Tutorial enrolment”

3.   On the right of the screen, click on the tab “Become Member of…..” for the tutorial class you wish to enter

4.   Confirm your choice

Assessment Summary

Assessment task Value Due Date Return of assessment Learning Outcomes
Essay (20% of total marks) 20 % 31/10/2019 25/11/2019 1,2,3,5
Group presentation (30% of total marks) 30 % 12/08/2019 25/10/2019 1,2,3
Group feedback (10% of total marks) 10 % 12/08/2019 25/08/2019 1,2,3
Online problem set (20% of total marks) 20 % 21/04/2019 29/04/2019 1,2,3,4
Synthesis report (20% of total marks) 20 % 10/11/2019 25/11/2019 1,2,3,4,6

* If the Due Date and Return of Assessment date are blank, see the Assessment Tab for specific Assessment Task details


ANU has educational policies, procedures and guidelines, which are designed to ensure that staff and students are aware of the University’s academic standards, and implement them. Students are expected to have read the Academic Misconduct Rule before the commencement of their course. Other key policies and guidelines include:

Assessment Requirements

The ANU is using Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website Students may choose not to submit assessment items through Turnitin. In this instance you will be required to submit, alongside the assessment item itself, hard copies of all references included in the assessment item.

Moderation of Assessment

Marks that are allocated during Semester are to be considered provisional until formalised by the College examiners meeting at the end of each Semester. If appropriate, some moderation of marks might be applied prior to final results being released.


This is an on-campus course. Attendance at all teaching events, while not compulsory, is expected in line with “Code of Practice for Teaching and Learning”, clause 2 paragraph (b).

 In addition, tutorials are a discussion-based class. Providing worked solutions would not effectively compensate for missing a tutorial. Students who, through unavoidable and unplanned occurrences, are unable to attend a tutorial class one week are encouraged to work through the problems and attend a consultation session for discussion and solutions.

Assessment Task 1

Value: 20 %
Due Date: 31/10/2019
Return of Assessment: 25/11/2019
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,5

Essay (20% of total marks)

Essay (20% of total marks)

There is one major essay to be turned in over the course of the semester which will require consideration of the major themes covered in

the class. Essay marking will reflect the student’s understanding of the material, effort, exposition, and creativity. Further details on the

essay topic and assessment criteria will be posted on Wattle.

Essays are to be no longer than 1500 words (including footnotes, excluding reference list). For legibility, please follow these guidelines:

black ink, double-spaced, no less than 2 -cm margins, and 12 point font (Arial, Helvetica, and Times New Roman only). The first page should

include the weekly topic question and word count as a header/title.

References are to be listed on a separate page and should follow standard academic style (e.g. Harvard, Chicago, MLA, APA) and are to be

consistent throughout the list, which is to be located at the end of the essay. Essays are to be saved as a Word document (DOC/DOCX),

another text -editable format (RTF, TXT), or PDF and uploaded onto the Wattle course webpage as a TurnItIn assignment. Students are

responsible for ensuring that the appropriate essay is correctly uploaded. This is not a collaborative activity—students may discuss

material in groups, but each student must individually write his/her own essays, which will be checked for originality.

Assessment Task 2

Value: 30 %
Due Date: 12/08/2019
Return of Assessment: 25/10/2019
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3

Group presentation (30% of total marks)

Students will be required to present as small group (3 or 4 people on average) on a particular topic during set tutorial periods to which they

are assigned. Topics, membership of groups and timing will be assigned by the instructor, with further details posed on Wattle.

Assessment Task 3

Value: 10 %
Due Date: 12/08/2019
Return of Assessment: 25/08/2019
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3

Group feedback (10% of total marks)

Students assigned to a particular tutorial group will be required to fill in feedback sheets of other student’s group presentations (excepting,

of course, when they themselves are presenting). Feedback sheets and further details will be posted on Wattle.

Assessment Task 4

Value: 20 %
Due Date: 21/04/2019
Return of Assessment: 29/04/2019
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4

Online problem set (20% of total marks)

There will be one online problem during the course of the semester. This will be open-book but must be completed within an hour once

started and must be taken within a set period, to be determined. Further details will be posted on Wattle. The assignment will be available between 17 August 2019 and the close of the due date of 21 August 2019.

Assessment Task 5

Value: 20 %
Due Date: 10/11/2019
Return of Assessment: 25/11/2019
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4,6

Synthesis report (20% of total marks)

A final report pulling together all of the major ideas and historical events and putting them into a conceptual framework will be required. The overall length will be 1500 words (excluding references). More details will be provided on Wattle.

Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is a core part of our culture as a community of scholars. At its heart, academic integrity is about behaving ethically. This means that all members of the community commit to honest and responsible scholarly practice and to upholding these values with respect and fairness. The Australian National University commits to embedding the values of academic integrity in our teaching and learning. We ensure that all members of our community understand how to engage in academic work in ways that are consistent with, and actively support academic integrity. The ANU expects staff and students to uphold high standards of academic integrity and act ethically and honestly, to ensure the quality and value of the qualification that you will graduate with. The University has policies and procedures in place to promote academic integrity and manage academic misconduct. Visit the following Academic honesty & plagiarism website for more information about academic integrity and what the ANU considers academic misconduct. The ANU offers a number of services to assist students with their assignments, examinations, and other learning activities. The Academic Skills and Learning Centre offers a number of workshops and seminars that you may find useful for your studies.

Online Submission

The ANU uses Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. While the use of Turnitin is not mandatory, the ANU highly recommends Turnitin is used by both teaching staff and students. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website.

Hardcopy Submission

For some forms of assessment (hand written assignments, art works, laboratory notes, etc.) hard copy submission is appropriate when approved by the Associate Dean (Education). Hard copy submissions must utilise the Assignment Cover Sheet. Please keep a copy of tasks completed for your records.

Late Submission

No submission of assessment tasks without an extension after the due date will be permitted. If an assessment task is not submitted by the due date, a mark of 0 will be awarded.

Referencing Requirements

Accepted academic practice for referencing sources that you use in presentations can be found via the links on the Wattle site, under the file named “ANU and College Policies, Program Information, Student Support Services and Assessment”. Alternatively, you can seek help through the Students Learning Development website.

Returning Assignments

Please see relevant assessment task details above.

Extensions and Penalties

Extensions and late submission of assessment pieces are covered by the Student Assessment (Coursework) Policy and Procedure The Course Convener may grant extensions for assessment pieces that are not examinations or take-home examinations. If you need an extension, you must request an extension in writing on or before the due date. If you have documented and appropriate medical evidence that demonstrates you were not able to request an extension on or before the due date, you may be able to request it after the due date.

Resubmission of Assignments

Unless specified otherwise in the assignment requirements, resubmissions are permitted up until the due date and time, but not allowed afterwards.

Privacy Notice

The ANU has made a number of third party, online, databases available for students to use. Use of each online database is conditional on student end users first agreeing to the database licensor’s terms of service and/or privacy policy. Students should read these carefully. In some cases student end users will be required to register an account with the database licensor and submit personal information, including their: first name; last name; ANU email address; and other information. In cases where student end users are asked to submit ‘content’ to a database, such as an assignment or short answers, the database licensor may only use the student’s ‘content’ in accordance with the terms of service — including any (copyright) licence the student grants to the database licensor. Any personal information or content a student submits may be stored by the licensor, potentially offshore, and will be used to process the database service in accordance with the licensors terms of service and/or privacy policy. If any student chooses not to agree to the database licensor’s terms of service or privacy policy, the student will not be able to access and use the database. In these circumstances students should contact their lecturer to enquire about alternative arrangements that are available.

Distribution of grades policy

Academic Quality Assurance Committee monitors the performance of students, including attrition, further study and employment rates and grade distribution, and College reports on quality assurance processes for assessment activities, including alignment with national and international disciplinary and interdisciplinary standards, as well as qualification type learning outcomes. Since first semester 1994, ANU uses a grading scale for all courses. This grading scale is used by all academic areas of the University.

Support for students

The University offers students support through several different services. You may contact the services listed below directly or seek advice from your Course Convener, Student Administrators, or your College and Course representatives (if applicable).
Dr Cameron Gordon

Research Interests

For details, see https://researchers.anu.edu.au/researchers/gordon-ce

Dr Cameron Gordon

Monday 13:00 14:00

Responsible Officer: Registrar, Student Administration / Page Contact: Website Administrator / Frequently Asked Questions