Course Unit Page

  • Teacher Paolo Zagaglia

  • Credits 6

  • SSD SECS-P/02

  • Teaching Mode Traditional lectures

  • Language Italian

  • Campus of Ravenna

  • Degree Programme First cycle degree programme (L) in Mediterranean Societies and Cultures: Institutions, Security, Environment (cod. 5696)


This teaching activity contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN 2030 Agenda.

Reduced inequalities

Academic Year 2021/2022

Learning outcomes

The course aims to provide the essential basis for a knowledge of the economies of the Mediterranean Sea area. Topics and methodologies of macroeconomic analysis applied to understand the phenomena of income convergence, the dynamics of demographic structure and labor markets, as well as income inequalities and poverty will be discussed. At the end of the course, the student will master the theoretical and methodological tools for the understanding of macroeconomic changes in the economies and societies of the Mediterranean countries. The student will also be able to apply the knowledge gained for the understanding and interpretation of macroeconomic phenomena that have an impact on economic development in the long term.

Course contents

The course will begin with a discussion about the economic distance between the east-west and north-south shores of the Mediterranean sea. The role of Italy in intra-Mediterranean relations will be mentioned. We will then refer to the ideas of economic growth of mature economies and economies in transition that belong to the region. The exchange of goods between countries will be discussed in relation to the availability of infrastructure. Examples of Italian interests in North African economies will then be presented: the cases of Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Morocco and Tunisia. The final part of the course will be devoted to a presentation about the role of demographic imbalances across the Mediterranean region, with an discussion on the migratory flows from Africa to Europe.


The course will focus on all the chapters of the book 'Geoeconomia delle relazioni euro-mediterranee: lo spazio dell'Italia' written by Graziella Ferrara, CNR Edizioni, 2017.

This textbook will represent the reference point for studying for both attending and non-attending students.

Teaching methods

There will be a series of lectures organized over a short period of time. Student participation will be strongly encouraged as there will be a focus on interaction between the students and the teacher.

Assessment methods

Type of exam:

The book resents concepts and analysis tools that can be applied - in a general way - in the economic analysis of specific cases. Therefore, during the exam you will be asked to solve a 'case study' in an 'open book' mode. This will be the case both for the students who attend the lectures, and for those who do not.

What does all this mean?

The teacher will present a hypothetical situation that has economic implications and that can occur in the cultural field. General questions will also be formulated.

Based on the conceptual tools presented in the book and on all the other relevant information sources, the student will discuss the possible answers to the questions.

In short, this is about combining your creativity with an understanding of the topics covered in the book. The knowledge acquired from studying the book will be used in the discussion and analysis of a general case.

Question 1: does this imply that you can avoid studying the book for the exam? No. While formulating the solution to the case study, the student should refer to the ideas, concepts, theories and other elements presented in the book.

Question 2: during the exam, can we also make reference to elements - concepts, theories, pictures, tables etc - not contained in the textbook? Yes: this an 'open book' exam. Obviously the teacher will build the case study starting from what is discussed in the book. Therefore, the use of additional elements present in other sources makes sense only if it is adequately motivated and explained.

An example of the text for the written exam:

The exchange of goods between the northern and southern parts of the Mediterranean Sea is the main vehicle for economic integration in the region.

* Does the student agree with this statement? Why? How?

* Is the availability of infrastructure important for understanding the economic effects of international trade in the region? Why? How?

* Does political uncertainty have an impact on the possibility of generating the benefits that would be expected from closer trade ties over time? Why? In which way? Under what conditions? We discuss one or more examples related to the economies of the Mediterranean.

Note from the teacher in addition to the sample exam text: it can be noticed how different answers may be equally acceptable and rational. This means that it becomes important to explain the rationale on which the answers are built. For example, in formulating the answers, a student is free to introduce hypotheses of a different nature. In this sense, it becomes imperative to specify and clearly explain which hypotheses are introduced.


Practical arrangements related to exam sessions:

Students will have 3 hours to complete the exam paper, starting from the moment the exam text is received.

Additional considerations:

The students are allowed to use any source of information in carrying out the open-book exam.

Students will be able to use computers and create files that will be delivered to the teacher. Graphs or tables from any source that are relevant for the formulation of the answers can be reported provided that reference is made to the source itself, and the sources are cited as clearly and as possible by indicatingç

- author,

- title of publication,

- table or graph number if needed,

- number of papage of the publication containing the original text that is cited

There are no page limits for the exam paper. However, all the students should keep in mind that it is important to communicate one's ideas in an efficient way

For any other information, please do not hesitate to get in touch.

Evaluation criteria:

An exhaustive discussion of the case study together with a clear understanding of the topics of study, clearcut evidence of critical jdugement and logically-coherent thinking, along with the use of language appropriate to the disciplinary context will be evaluated with marks in the range of 27-30 with honors.

An exam paper that denotes an adequate ability to identify the relevant theoretical analysis tools, the use of language expressions appropriate to the disciplinary context and evidence of partially satisfactory logical skills will be assessed with a score within the range 21-26.

Evidence of a limited understanding of the analysis tools presented during the course, use of inadequate written expressions and logical skills will be assessed with a score in the range 18-20.

Lack of evidence of understanding of the study material combined with the use of inadequate expressions and logical skills will be assessed with insufficient marks.

Teaching tools

The teacher will make available to the students a set of slides. These will be tailored-made to the ongoing discussion and interaction developed during the lectures.

Office hours

See the website of Paolo Zagaglia