Global trade, communication, travel, and governmental coalitions are reinventing the concept of "the nation," leaving national borders increasingly unstable and amorphous.
In keeping with Hampshire's interdisciplinary structure and focus on contemporary questions, our faculty encourages students of international relations and globalization studies to look beyond the study of nation states to the broader context of cross-national and cross-cultural influence and power.
Students explore the relations of economic change to cultural adaptation and political movements both within specific countries of their choosing and as part of a global reorganization after the Cold War.
Students may pursue interests such as immigration, economics, population policy, agriculture, or global music within a study of international relations and globalization studies.
Political Economy of Fair Trade
This course will provide an introduction to a dynamic and important part of the international economy: Fair Trade. Fair Trade is a strategy for transforming international markets to support small-producer livelihoods, build cooperative-based rural economies, and ensure ecological sustainability in endangered agricultural regions. Fair Trade links socially conscious consumers to democratically organized small producers through third-party certifications and social enterprises. In this course, we will understand Fair Trade as an attempt to correct the inequities of the post-colonial, neo-liberal economy. We will examine the historical roots of Fair Trade, compare and contrast Fair Trade with conventional supply chains, and place Fair Trade in a broader context of rural development. We will then critically examine the system's virtues and limitations as a non-governmental, consumer-driven intervention in the global commodity market. Students will have the opportunity to communicate with movement participants and develop hands-on projects.
Five College Certificate Programs
Through the Five College consortium, Hampshire students can take a range of certificate programs (similar to a minor) in areas relevant to globalization and third world studies. These include International Relations, Buddhist Studies, and African Studies.
The Global Education Office
The Global Education Office (GEO) at Hampshire presents a variety of opportunities for students to incorporate a study-abroad experience into their Hampshire education. GEO also assists with locating and planning study abroad through other programs, fellowships, colleges, or individually designed field study programs.
Eqbal Ahmad Lecture Series
The annual Eqbal Ahmad Lecture series focuses on issues of the developing world and honors the teaching, scholarship, and activism of the late Eqbal Ahmad, a long-time professor of world politics at Hampshire College. The event has attracted many notable speakers. Secretary-General Kofi Annan inaugurated the series in academic year 1998-1999. Other speakers have included renowned professor and author of Orientalism, Edward Said; Palestinian doctor and recent candidate for the presidency of the Palestinian National Authority, Mustafa Barghouthi; as well as New Yorker journalist Seymour Hersh, who broke the Abu Ghraib prison scandal.