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International Relations

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.

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Associated Faculty

Hampshire College Professor Kimberly Chang
Associate Professor of Cultural Psychology
Hampshire College Professor Kay Johnson
Professor of Asian Studies
PAWSS Professor
Professor of Communications

Student Project Titles

Sample First-Year Course

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.

Sample Courses at Hampshire

Through the Consortium

Facilities and Resources

Five College International Relations Certificate Program
Students pursuing an interest in international relations and globalization can be certified through the Five College International Relations Certificate Program. To do so, students must complete courses on introductory world politics, global institutions or problems, the international financial/commercial system, the historical development of the international system since 1789, contemporary American foreign policy, and the Third World. Students must also become proficient in a foreign language through the completion of two years of study at the college level or the equivalent.

Peace and World Security Studies (PAWSS)
The Hampshire-based Five College Program in Peace and World Security Studies (PAWSS) is a multidisciplinary educational program designed to stimulate student and faculty interest in the study of critical international issues, especially those connecting issues of conflict and the environment. PAWSS is a highly diversified program entailing the development of new courses, the sponsorship of public lectures and symposia, and the publication of specialized resource materials.

Global Migrations Program
The Global Migrations Program at Hampshire seeks to rethink old 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. Students are able to study more traditional subjects within international relations, as well as courses designed to focus on migration and movement over discrete nations and cultures; courses that "emphasize 'routes' over 'roots'."

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.

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