Business, Government & Society (2205.YR.000834.1)

General information






S semester

ECTS Credits:


Teaching Staff:





Year 1

David Murillo Bonvehí

Ciencias Sociales



This course should be of value to:

- Participants who want to pursue a career in an international environment
- Participants who are good at quantitative analysis but find themselves confused or less prepared when confronted with intercultural, interpersonal issues
- Students who would like to understand geopolitical thinking and how it has helped to shape the world,
- Participants who are aware of the issues that this course examines, but need to deepen or broaden their understanding of these issues


Still navegating the global impacts of a pandemic that is going to alter the way we live and work; the mode companies compete and particularly the interrelations between governments and corporations and between countries, this course moves away from the reality of day-to-day managerial practice to zoom out and explore socio-political change at a global scale.

In our given hectic environment, it is desirable for MBA participants to understand the ramifications of current geopolitical events; to learn to analyze the socio-political constraints that sorround coroprate practice and the specific global hotspots that condition international relations. Specifically, this course will endeavor to help participants to understand prevailing trends in the geopolitical arena, to think more in a global context and to anticipate future developments in these highly turbulent times. The following themes and questions will work as guidelines for the discussions we are going to have in class

The course has two main axes. The first one will concentrate on constructing a solid framework for understanding the role of geopolitics when looking at global affairs. At this point we will face and try to answer these questions: What is geopolitics? What is power and legitimacy and what role do they play in international relations? We will then think and reflect upon the work of geopolitical scholars and analysts: Is there anything like a grand strategy for international relations? How are identity, ideology, resources, geography or geoeconomics shaping current geopolitical events? Which are the predominant powers in today's world? What is history telling us about the rise and fall of global geopolitical leaders? What is the impact of the Brexit vote or the Trump Administration in global affairs and particularly in the role of the USA in global geopolitical leadership? Most fundamentally: what world we will see once we leave the pandemic behind?

The course's second axis revolves around the geopolitics of global governance. Do we really need gobal governance at all? Can we think of global solutions to systemic problems without embracing some form of collective or collaborative effort? Without more robust global institutions? Main areas going to be discussed here will be: current multilateral structures, the present and future of the EU and the eurozone, and finally the geopolitics of trade and energy.

Course Learning Objectives

The objectives of this course are to give business aspirants a solid perspective on the prevailing international situation and so to be able to:
- Present a general vision of the new arrangement of the international system and its actors, particularly from 1989 onwards
- Evaluate some of the techno-economical, sociopolitical and cultural consequences that stem from the above mentioned changes
- Introduce the main attempts to construct new paradigms to understand the driving forces in the international environment
- Identify key trends in the geopolitical arena, mainly from a European perspective
- Explore the geopolitical transformations due to the COVID-19 crisis
- Think strategically in the light of these developments


1. How to see the World. An Introduction to Geopolitics

Faculty: David Murillo
¿ Studying geopolitics in uncertain times
¿ How to read a Map: The cartographic illusion
¿ Geopolitics. Definitions, theories and political use

2. Geography and Geopolitics: From Imperialist Geopolitics to the collapse of the Berlin Wall (1900-1989)

Faculty: David Murillo
¿ A globalization framework
¿ List of Geopolitical paradigms
¿ A brief history of classical geopolitical thinking

3. Ideology and Geopolitics: From the Unipolar moment to the War on Terror (1989-2001)

Faculty: David Murillo
¿ Fukuyama and the power of ideologies
¿ The Neoconservative push and the Bush Doctrine.

4. Identities and Geopolitics: Nations, Culture and Civilizations (2001-2008)

Faculty: David Murillo

¿ Huntington and the clash of civilizations
¿ Nationalism and the clash of identities
¿ A broken Middle East

5. Back to geoeconomics? From rising Asia to US fatigue (2009-2016)

Faculty: David Murillo
¿ Redefining power in the XXIst Century
¿ US foreign policy and the Obama Doctrine
¿ Understanding Trump


Sessions will combine an introductory lecture, a group presentation and a debate on the readings.
A certain amount of reading will be compulsory for each class. All readings for the course will be available on the website of the course. Accordingly, some questions (called "threads?) or multiple-choice activities will appear on the website of the course to help guide the reading and check your level of understanding of the materials provided.


Please read and familiarize yourself with the statement on plagiarism available on ESADE's website. If you are still uncertain as to what constitutes plagiarism please do not hesitate to contact the professor. Plagiarism is a serious academic offense and may lead to failure of the course.

Assessment criteria

The grading for this course will be based on different types of assignments. Each part must be passed separately:

10% Group presentation

20% Class participation and attendance

30% Exam (open book)

40% Online threads on readings or cases

Timetable and sections




Year 1

David Murillo Bonvehí

Ciencias Sociales

Timetable Year 1

From 2020/12/1 to 2020/12/14:
Each Tuesday from 12:30 to 14:00. (Except: 2020/12/8)
Each Monday from 10:00 to 11:30. (Except: 2020/12/14)
Each Friday from 12:15 to 13:45. (Except: 2020/12/11)
Each Monday from 13:15 to 14:45. (Except: 2020/12/7)

Friday 2020/12/18 from 12:30 to 14:00.