GLOBAL STUDIES & GOVERNANCE PROGRAM

Establishing a Global Studies and Governance (GSG) Department responds to what is unfolding as a century of change. Panoramically the 21st Century already shows tectonic global shifts in a shorter time-span than the entire Cold War inflicted in four decades: 9/11 redefined security policies and paradigms; the 2007-10 Great Recession reshaped banking, investment, and economics on an unprecedented scale for the first time since the 1930s depression; world leadership is being challenged more frequently and unpredictably than since World War II; and, of course, enormous new movements keep emerging, for example, to rebalance a withering environment, grapple with endless refugees and migrants, combat narco-trafficking and other illegal flows, correct human rights violations, promote democracy, and tame border-corroding technological innovations.

Those are simply 21st Century events and developments. There were, in addition, inheritances from the 20th Century: dictators, neo-liberalism, the “clash of civilization” atmosphere, and the “end of history” mind-set, to name just a few. As the end of the Cold War removed the lid of accumulating crises, it also spawned various demands and types of governance: some were managed by governments, others by a spate of non-state actors, and just about all of them constructed prescriptions that continue to defy enforcement to this day.

Enormous changes have also taken place within the classroom. Course contents have had to be modified, sometimes drastically, begetting curricular change: the job market needs more inter-disciplinary training than established disciplines can supply. Complicating the “classroom revolution,” students no longer wish to devote as much time to formal education: as before: how social media have hijacked the human being’s agenda threatens to replace the components of formal education (discipline-based majors; library-based learning) with such informal and untested counterparts as Amazon, Google, and Wikipedia.

Our proposed department hopes to cultivate students interested in the interstices between business, diplomacy, economics, environmental protection, gender studies, journalism, law, politics, or sociology. Beginning with a Bachelor’s level degree, explained below, we eventually have to build a Master’s-level degree.

“Global Studies and Governance” (GSG) is both inter-disciplinary and trans-disciplinary: it retains extant theories and methods, but explores the spaces between those them for its own theories and methods. Both concepts “global studies” and “governance” (a) increasingly influence the dominant developments today, be they local, domestic, regional, or global; (b) boast pedagogical pedigrees of their own; and (c) stridently characterize the job-requirements of a growing number of employers. Since both serve as the analytical subject (or dependent variable), our interest lies in assessing the multiple existing interpretive streams (the independent variables).