The Global & International Studies Program was established in 1999 and was one of the first interdisciplinary departments of its kind. Today, the Program has a highly successful Masters Program in Global Studies, a PhD emphasis in Global Studies, and anticipates implementing a PhD in Global Studies in 2014-2015.
Our Global and International Studies Newsletter Fall Quarter 2003.
Our Global and International Studies Go Global Newsletter, Spring Quarter 2002.
This essay advances an original sociological perspective for understanding U.S. foreign policy, historically and in the present, as a product of economic, political, cultural, and social psychological factors, shaped by race and gender as well as class. It offers an interpretation of the real reasons for both the first U.S.-Iraq war in 1991 and the recent conflict in 2003, assessing the first in terms of a project of international hegemony through roll-back of the negative impact of the Iranian Revolution of 1979, and arguing that the 2002-3 Gulf War followed the same lines in a more extreme direction: a project of imperial hegemony through unilateral pre-emptive war abroad and manipulation of public opinion coupled with a climate designed to demonize dissent at home. It closes with suggestions for what roles progressive sociologists might play in the global justice movement and Green Party in light of the analysis offered in the essay.
After nearly a century of dominance of the international monetary system, has the U.S. dollar finally met its match in the euro? When Europe’s Economic and Monetary Union (EMU) came into existence in 1999, many observers predicted that the euro would soon join America’s greenback at the peak of global finance. Achievements, however, have fallen short of aspiration. After an initial spurt of enthusiasm, international use of the euro actually appears now to be leveling off, even stalling, and so far seems confined largely to a limited range of market sectors and regions. The euro has successfully attained a place second only to the greenback – but it remains, and is likely to remain, a quite distant second without a determined effort by EMU authorities to promote their money’s global role. The temptation will surely be great. In practical terms, it is difficult to imagine that EMU authorities will refrain entirely from trying to promote a greater role for the euro. But that, in turn, could turn out to be a recipe for discord with the United States, which has never made any secret of its commitment to preserving the greenback’s worldwide dominance. A struggle for monetary leadership could become a source of sustained tensions in U.S.-European relations. Fortunately, however, there seems relatively little risk of a destabilizing escalation into outright geopolitical conflict.
There is a popular belief that Western history constitutes a progressive move from more to less torture. Iron maidens and racks are now museum exhibits, crucifixions are sectarian iconography and scientific experimentation on twins is History Channel infotainment. This narrative of progress deftly blends ideas about "time," "place" and "culture." In the popular imagination, "civilized societies" (a.k.a. "us") do not rely on torture, whereas those societies where torture is still common remain "uncivilized," torture being both a proof and a problem of their enduring "backwardness."