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Globalization and Third World Studies

Globalization has become the focus of extensive debate and scholarship regarding the "Third World" that emerged in the context of half a millennium of European expansion. 

Although the Third World is increasingly differentiated internally, it has suffered the multiple impacts of colonialism and comparative poverty.

A recent intensification of global processes has been marked by technological advances in communication, rapid movement of financial capital, growth of supranational legal and political institutions and advocacy networks; and sometimes extreme destabilization of families, historical identities, and communities.

Students are encouraged to engage these issues through a variety of disciplines: history, economics, the arts, legal studies, and politics, among others. Students are also encouraged to learn new languages and visit disadvantaged regions.

Affiliated Faculty

Student Project Titles

  • Mine Div III: The World's Largest Goldmine and the Free Papua Movement
  • Facilitating Development for Rural Women: Theory and Analysis of ICT use in Gender Development Practices in Rural India
  • Kayamandi: A Township's Struggle to Educate its Children in Post-Apartheid South Africa
  • Strange Tongues: Language and the Politics of Assimilation
  • Building Dutiful Daughters: Cultural Violence in Thai Prostitution
  • Nari Jibon Microcredit Project
  • Nigeria's Lost Generation: Deconstructing the Area Boy Phenomenon
  • State-Society Relations: The Politics of Agency and the Quest for Women's Empowerment in Kenya's Post-Independence Era

Sample First-Year Course

South-South Economic Relations

The last fifteen years have witnessed a resurgence in political and economic cooperation among the developing nations of the South. This course examines recent changes in the international economy, with a special focus on South-South relations. Some questions we will consider are: What will be the impact of the rise of Third World Capitalism on the global economy? What will the global economy look like when we emerge from the current financial crises? Does South-South cooperation hold the promise of an alternative model to neo-liberal globalization or is it best thought of as unity against Northern hegemony? How has colonialism previously and economic liberalization more recently changed the structure and pattern of trade among developing countries? In the course we will trace the historical patterns of trade among developing nations since the colonial era and then look closely at South-South cooperation in the post-WWII period.

Sample Courses at Hampshire
  • African Development
  • Border Matters: Mexico and the U.S.
  • Comparative Orientalisms: Afro/Arab/Asian Connections
  • The Cuban Revolution: Visions, Reality, Crisis, and Collapse
  • Culture, Religion, and Environmentalism
  • Ethnography of South Asia
  • Empires and Citizenship: Postcoloniality and Puerto Rican Communities
  • Global Ethnography
  • Globalization and Africa
  • Interrogating Fear: Bioterror, the Environment and the Construction of Threats
  • Introduction to African Politics: Contemporary State-Society Relations
  • Locating Resistance in a Globalizing World
  • Making of Modern South Asia
  • North-South or South-South? International Economic Relations in the Age of Globalization
  • Reproductive Rights: Domestic and International Perspectives
  • Rethinking the Population Problem
  • Rethinking Security in an Age of Climate Change
  • The Modern Middle East: Imperial Dreams /Developmental Visions
  • The State and Politics in Africa
  • Social Movements and Social Change: Zapatismo
  • Third World, Second Sex
  • World Trade and the WTO
Through the Consortium
  • Africa: Problems and Prospects (SC)
  • Documenting Change: Southeast Asia (AC)
  • Gender and Economic Development (UMass)
  • The Press and the Third World (UMass)
  • Seminar in Third World Development (MHC)
  • World Politics (AC)

Facilities and Resources

Global Migrations Program
The Global Migrations Program is a college-wide initiative funded by the Christian A. Johnson Endeavor Foundation to rethink cold war paradigms of knowledge and citizenship in light of the unprecedented movements of persons across national and cultural borders that characterize our globalizing world. The program seeks to develop new curricular initiatives that are responsive to these transnational, multicultural movements and the local conflicts over identity, belonging, and citizenship to which they give rise, asking: What happens when we make migration/movement the focus of our teaching and learning rather than discrete nations/cultures, when we emphasize "routes" over "roots"?

Population and Development Program
The Population and Development Program was established in 1986 to bring a global perspective to the study and investigation of population and environmental issues and to challenge traditional views of over-population and immigration as primary causes of environmental degradation, political instability, and poverty. The program now serves as a documentation and monitoring resource for educators, students, journalists, activists, leaders, and policy makers in the U.S. and abroad. The program offers courses and forums, sponsors visiting scholars and activists to speak on campus, and publishes and curricula advancing alternative analysis and investigation on reproductive rights, population, development, environmentalism, and women's health.

Five College Peace and World Security Studies Program
The Five College Peace and World Security Studies Program was established in 1982 by faculty from the Five College consortium to enhance undergraduate education in the field of peace and international security studies. The program has since grown into a major educational effort which offers publications, workshops, course offerings at the Five Colleges, public lectures and conferences, and a student leadership program.

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.

Eqbal Ahmad Lecture Series
The annual Eqbal Ahmad Lecture series focuses on issues of the Third 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.

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