Spring 2021 - IS 220 D100

Wealth and Poverty of Nations (3)

Class Number: 5857

Delivery Method: Remote


  • Course Times + Location:

    We 2:30 PM – 4:20 PM



Analyzes some of the historical reasons for the great divergence in world economic development, and undertakes a cross-country, cross-regional perspective of world economic development using a historical approach to long-run economic growth. Breadth-Social Sciences.


Why are some countries richer and some poorer? Has inequality gotten better or worse over time? Is there a way to fix this? This course explores the historical origins of global social inequality, examines some of the mechanisms that produce and reproduce inequalities over time and space, and begins to contemplate solutions for a better future. The class will be organized around the discussion of four commonly evoked keywords (the meanings of which few seem to be very sure!): Capitalism, Development, Neoliberalism, Futures.


Upon successful completion of this course, students should be able to:
- Develop a firmer understanding of the historical origins and evolution of global social inequality
- Broaden their understanding and awareness of mechanisms which produce and reproduce global social inequality
- Apply theoretical concepts to the analysis of everyday events
- Improve skills in writing


  • Participation 20%
  • Weekly short reading responses 20%
  • Keyword Papers (4 x 15%) 60%


Students will be required to submit their written assignments to Turnitin.com in order to receive credit for the assignments and for the course.

The School for International Studies strictly enforces the University's policies regarding plagiarism and other forms of academic dishonesty. Information about these policies can be found at: http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/teaching.html.



Students are required to prepare for class by doing all of the assigned readings before class meetings. They do not need to purchase any books or a course kit. All readings for this course are available through the SFU library or on Canvas.

Registrar Notes:


SFU’s Academic Integrity web site http://www.sfu.ca/students/academicintegrity.html is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating.  Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the University community.  Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the University. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the University. http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/student/s10-01.html


Teaching at SFU in spring 2021 will be conducted primarily through remote methods. There will be in-person course components in a few exceptional cases where this is fundamental to the educational goals of the course. Such course components will be clearly identified at registration, as will course components that will be “live” (synchronous) vs. at your own pace (asynchronous). Enrollment acknowledges that remote study may entail different modes of learning, interaction with your instructor, and ways of getting feedback on your work than may be the case for in-person classes. To ensure you can access all course materials, we recommend you have access to a computer with a microphone and camera, and the internet. In some cases your instructor may use Zoom or other means requiring a camera and microphone to invigilate exams. If proctoring software will be used, this will be confirmed in the first week of class.

Students with hidden or visible disabilities who believe they may need class or exam accommodations, including in the current context of remote learning, are encouraged to register with the SFU Centre for Accessible Learning (caladmin@sfu.ca or 778-782-3112).