The Global Studies & Governance (GSG) program responds to what is unfolding as a century of change and problems. Panoramically the 21st Century already shows tectonic global shifts in a shorter span of time than the entire Cold War inflicted in 4 decades: 9/11 redefined security policies and paradigms; the 2007-10 Great Recession reshaped banking, investment, and economics on an unprecedented scale since the 1930s depression; challenges of world leadership have become more frequent and unpredictable than since World War II, scarring actual and potential world leaders without a battle-cry; and, of course, there were enormous movements 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.
Behind those 21st Century events and developments were 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.
They are there everywhere: in our backyard garden under the green imperative; across our neighbourhoods, where either infrastructures have collapsed or do not exist, or drug-peddlers have moved in; inside any given country, where policies have begun to invariably fall short, or money no longer exists to meet spiraling needs, or the hey-days of corporations continue to defy trickling down; and across the world, where, if not wars or natural calamities, the arms-race, too many countries competing for limited markets neglect the rules, and collaboration against the climate-change types of global peril continues in slow-motion, if at all. Governance cries are everywhere!
Also recognizing the enormous changes taking place within the classroom, course contents have, accordingly, been modified, sometimes drastically to meet new job market needs of greater inter-disciplinary training. “Global Studies and Governance” (GSG) is inter-disciplinary, trans-disciplinary, and multi-disciplinary: it retains extant theories and methods, but explores the spaces between those them for its own theories and methods. Our two key 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).
The program hopes to cultivate students interested in the interstices between business, diplomacy, economics, environmental protection, gender studies, journalism, law, politics, or sociology.