IHP International Relations

Global Governance, Human Security, and Civil Society

Examine the current global political trends and the challenges confronting the post-World War II liberal world order in the U.S., Brazil, France and Senegal.

At a Glance

Credits

16

Prerequisites

None

Courses taught in

English

Dates

Aug 23 ‎– Dec 11

Program Excursion Countries

Belgium

Critical Global Issue of Study

Geopolitics & Power

Geopolitics & Power Icon

Peace & Justice

Peace & Justice Icon

Overview

Why Study Global Governance?

As the international world order established after World War II is increasingly challenged, travel to four key countries to explore the evolution of global governance, impacts of neoliberal policies, and rising political and social resistance. Understand international financial institutions such as the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund in Washington, DC. Then head to emerging global power Brazil to see the policies of its new far-right government. Live in Paris, a hotbed of protest and resistance, and take an excursion to Brussels, the capital of the European Union, to learn about NATO and the EU. Finally, in Senegal, a major regional peacekeeper, examine migration, neocolonialism, and youth activism. Through fieldwork exercises, learn to critically and ethically analyze relations between “macro” and “micro” levels of human experience across continents. Along the way, you will become attuned to the complexities of studying phenomena at the intersections of the local and the global, the social and the political, power and resistance.

Explore a Day in the Life of an IHP student!

Highlights

  • Examine international financial institutions and U.S. policies in Washington.
  • Travel to France to study EU structures, integration, and disintegration.
  • Explore Brazil’s right-wing policies, impacts, and rise in the world order.
  • Meet with NGOs and other organizations in Senegal, a regional peacekeeper.

Prerequisites

None

Program Sites

United States: Washington, DC

(2 weeks)

From the U.S. capital, get an overview of the issues you’ll be exploring throughout the semester. Understand a system of global governance in place since the end of World War II and how it is designed to maintain U.S. hegemony and institutionalize neoliberal economic policy. Study the concept of civil society and civilian political action, and discover how globalization affects human security, with a focus on U.S. policies for immigrants, refugees, and other vulnerable groups inside and outside the country.

Brazil: São Paulo, with excursion to Brasilia

(4 weeks)

Your next stop is Brazil, where you’ll explore regional and global power and the nation’s attempt to hold greater sway in international bodies through increasing regionalization in Latin America, such as MERCOSUR, the OAS, and as a member of the BRICS. Analyze rising nationalism, and the election of Jair Bolsonaro and his right-wing populist policies. Travel to Brasilia, the country’s capital since 1960, to learn about the rationale for its creation and to meet with government officials and interest groups.

France: Paris, with excursion to Brussels

(5 weeks)

With a long history of colonialism and popular protest, France is your base to observe dominant global power structures. In Paris, study the consequences of neoliberal policies and rising European nationalism; analyze how national sovereignty and neoliberalism impact global trade; and witness anti-immigration policies amid the global refugee crisis. Take an excursion to Brussels, the capital of the European Union, to learn about the history of the EU and challenges like Brexit that threaten to undermine its unity.

Senegal: Dakar

(5 weeks)

Gain a deep understanding of postcolonial power relations and economic and cultural transformations in Senegal as it adapts to an increasingly globalized world. Study the institutionalization of Pan-Africanism; West Africa’s attempt to achieve greater “collective self-sufficiency”; and Senegal’s leading role in economic and security cooperation in the region. Witness the changing relationships between citizens and the state, and the role youth—especially rap artists—have played in shaping recent political change.

Please note that in order to take advantage of dynamic learning opportunities, program excursions may occasionally vary.

Academics

Coursework

Access virtual library guide.

The following syllabi are representative of this program. Because courses develop and change over time to take advantage of dynamic learning opportunities, actual course content will vary from term to term. The syllabi can be useful for students, faculty, and study abroad offices in assessing credit transfer. Read more about credit transfer.

Please expand the sections below to see detailed course information, including course codes, credits, overviews, and syllabi.

Key Topics

  • A history of global governance, including the UN and Bretton Woods
  • How colonialism impacted the Global South and its place in the world
  • Global governance’s benefits and challenges to human security
  • Rising nationalism and alternative governing structures
  • Key consequences of neoliberal policies and identity politics
  • Researching the impact of policies locally, regionally, and globally

Whose Global Governance? Power and Inequality in the International System since 1945

Whose Global Governance? Power and Inequality in the International System since 1945 – syllabus
(POLI 3005 / 4 credits)

This course will provide an analysis of the system of global governance that has been constructed since the end of World War II, providing the context for understanding current trends toward nationalism and the fragmentation of multilateral institutions. Beginning with an introduction to Wilsonian liberalism, the course will allow students to explore the principles and power structures that led to the formation of the United Nations; the International Financial Institutions (IFIs) including the World Bank, IMF, and WTO; and regional arrangements that emerged (Mercosur, OAS, EU, NATO, ECOWAS, African Union) alongside and in reaction to these global structures. With this historical background, students will be able to better understand contemporary challenges to the system of global governance. The course will explore how the power structures and economic policies of international institutions have contributed to the resurgence of nationalism and identity movements, the rise of new economic powers (BRICS), and the role that regional organizations play in supplementing or subverting global governance. In addition to the study of formal institutions, this course will investigate how the legacy of colonialism has affected the development trajectories of former colonies and their representation in the global architecture. Students who complete the course successfully will develop a nuanced understanding of the successes and failures of the global governance system, the ways in which it perpetuates neocolonialism, and a deeper awareness of the contemporary social, political, and economic challenges that existing institutions have thus far struggled to address.

Globalization and its Consequences: Human Security Challenges in the 21 st Century

Globalization and its Consequences: Human Security Challenges in the 21 st Century – syllabus
(POLI 3015 / 4 credits)

This course will explore the impacts of and responses to globalization through the lens of human security. The human security paradigm, articulated in the UNDP’s Human Development Report (1994), relocates the referent for understanding security from the nation-state to the individual, from security of territory to security of people, emphasizing that development and security can be most effectively achieved by ensuring “freedom from want” and “freedom from fear.” Applying this conceptual framework, students will analyze contemporary challenges to these objectives arising from globalization, colonial legacies and neocolonialism, and the neoliberal economic system. The focus on human security will allow students to better understand the tensions between contemporary political movements that are, in part, a response to globalization, maintaining a sustained commitment to this paradigm and the roles of actors at the global, state, and local levels. Examples of such tensions that are explored in this course include the rights of political and economic refugees and the rise of anti-immigration movements; addressing growing inequality and youth unemployment in the context of neoliberalism; the rights of indigenous people and other vulnerable groups who have been marginalized by their own governments; the resurgence of right-wing politics and authoritarianism alongside the subversion of international institutions; and the challenge of addressing transnational issues such as climate change, global health, and human rights violations as cooperation is increasingly strained at the international level.

Mobilizations, Civil Society, and Global Politics

Mobilizations, Civil Society, and Global Politics – syllabus
(SOCI 3025 / 4 credits)

This course explores global politics from the bottom up and top down. Drawing on sociology, political anthropology, and political science, including recent scholarship on populism and digital activism, this course examines citizens’ and non-citizens’ responses to (neo)colonialism, global governance, and the neoliberal world order. It examines how “civil society” has and continues to be constituted and how it operates in contemporary United States, Brazil, France, Belgium, and Senegal. This course takes a critical approach to citizenship and civil society, exploring how these notions are defined and contested by different parties. Attention will be given to a range of mobilizations, as they intersect with various forms of human interconnectedness, illustrate different degrees of social capital, and emerge out of contexts holding different possibilities and constraints. Understandings of political action will be expanded to include actions people carry out in public space and/or in the “public sphere,” but also forms of agency that are less public or visible, “weapons of the weak” (Scott). Different kinds of mobilizations, from “imagined communities” uniting over social media to protesters taking the streets, will serve as examples to understand the intersections of mobilizations, civil society, and national and global politics in the US, Brazil, France, Belgium, and Senegal.

 

Fieldwork Ethics and Comparative Research Methods

Fieldwork Ethics and Comparative Research Methods – syllabus
(ANTH 3500 / 4 credits)

How can fieldwork—which has traditionally been focused on face-to-face interactions—be used and adapted to critically analyze the relations between “macro” and “micro” levels of human experience? How might one study global phenomena, especially global power, from a localized and “bottom-up” perspective? How might comparative case studies highlight the workings of global governance and international relations? This ethics and methods class is a hybrid seminar/practicum in which students engage in critical conversations while performing fieldwork exercises aimed at instilling an ethical approach that is attuned to the complexities of studying phenomena at the intersections of the local and the global, the social and the political, power and resistance. The central fieldwork component of this course is a comparative case study project: a semester-long, small-scale research exercise focused on investigating a theme across all four country sites.

Homestays

Homestays / Housing

Live with a host family for between two and five weeks at each program site, with the exception of the first location. Homestays are your primary form of accommodation on the program; other accommodations can include guest houses, hostels, dormitories, and/or small hotels.

Family structures will vary. For example, a host family may include a single mother of two small children, or a large extended family with many people coming and going. Please bear in mind that the idea of what constitutes a “home” (i.e., the physical nature of the house) may be different from what you would expect. You will need to be prepared to adapt to a new life with a new diet, a new schedule, new people, and possibly new priorities and expectations.

In most cases, students will be placed in homestays in pairs, with placements made to best accommodate health concerns, including allergies or dietary needs. Information about homestay families will only be available upon arriving in each country.

Career Paths

Possible career paths include:

  • international Development

  • Government

  • Political Analysis

  • Conflict Resolution

  • Research

  • Communications

Faculty & Staff

IHP International Relations: Global Governance, Human Security, and Civil Society

The faculty/staff team shown on this page is a sample of the individuals who may lead your specific program. Faculty and coordinators are subject to change to accommodate each program’s unique schedule and locations.

Anna Gail Caunca, MA
Program Manager
Gabriel Lima
Country Coordinator, Brazil
Laura Steil, PhD
Country Coordinator, France
Waly Faye, MA
Country Coordinator, Senegal

Discover the Possibilities

  • COST & SCHOLARSHIPS

    SIT Study Abroad is committed to making international education accessible to all students. Scholarship awards generally range from $500 to $5,000 for semester programs and $500 to $3,000 for summer programs. This year, SIT will award more than $1.5 million in scholarships and grants to SIT Study Abroad students.

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