Globalisation in the Era of Trumpians and Brexiteers

The future of globalisation seems uncertain as protectionist sentiments gain traction across the West in the face of rising inequality.


Course outline

This seminar series will focus on international trade and immigration, two phenomena that form an integral part of globalisation today. The series will then delve into the impact of international trade and immigration on inequality. The first seminar will trace the evolution of international trade over time and ask why countries trade, if trade is beneficial and if yes, to whom. The second seminar will delve into immigration, challenges with immigrant assimilation, and the impacts of immigration on the host country.  The final seminar will study the relationship between globalisation and inequality and explore how nations could fashion policies to ensure that globalisation works for everyone.

Session 1:

  • History of international trade, new patterns in trade and New Zealand trade.
  • Why do countries trade?
  • Is trade good?  Who gains and who loses from international trade?

Session 2:

  • History of immigration, new patterns in immigration and immigration into New Zealand.
  • What can immigrants bring to their host economy?
  • What are the challenges associated with assimilating immigrants into the host economy?
  • How do immigrants impact the host economy?  Examining the theory and evidence.

Session 3:

  • The impact of globalisation on inequality in advanced and developing countries – theory and evidence.
  • The arrival of the robots: where does automation fit in?
  • Fashioning policies that make globalisation work for everyone and challenges in implementing these policies.

Learning outcomes

On completion of this course participants will be able to:

  • Understand the patterns of international trade and immigration historically and in the current context.
  • Think through the impacts of international trade and immigration on New Zealand’s economy – their benefits and associated challenges.
  • Understand the relationship between globalisation and inequality in countries around the world.
  • Critically examine policies that seek to maximize gains to New Zealand from trade, immigration and globalization more broadly.

Who should attend?

Anyone interested in understanding globalisation, its benefits and challenges and the current public backlash against it in many parts of the western world.


  • 3 x Mondays 5:30-7:30pm, 12 – 26 March
  • $65.00 incl. GST
  • The University of Auckland, City Campus
  • Presented by Asha Sundaram

Seminar presenter

Asha Sundaram

Asha Sundaram

Senior Lecturer

Asha Sundaram is a senior lecturer at the Department of Economics at the University of Auckland. Prior to joining UoA, she held a faculty position at the University of Cape Town, South Africa. She grew up in Mumbai, India and has an M.Phil from the University of Oxford and a PhD from Syracuse University, New York. She has consulted with international organizations like the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank. Her research focuses on international trade, immigration and economic development.

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