Our curriculum, speaker series, academic workshops, and faculty research draw from the following themes and questions:
Governance and Rights. What are the different forms of government (regimes) around the world? Why and how do changes in regimes occur? How do regime types affect relations among states? Are democracies less likely to go to war with each other? Are authoritarian regimes more likely to achieve economic development? What is the scope and substance of human rights?
International Organizations, Regimes and Law. How do international organizations such as the United Nations or International Monetary impact world affairs? How influential is international law? Are international regimes such as those around trade or climate change effective? Are states accountable to international institutions for their actions at home?
National and Human Security. What are the military threats to peace? What do contemporary global crisis points such as Afghanistan, Iraq, or Iran teach us about the sources of violent conflict? Can we re-think security in a holistic manner that sees an intersection among issues such as war, poverty, human rights, public health, the environment, and terrorism?
Identities, Nationalism and Regionalism. What can theories about identities tell us about conflict and cooperation in world affairs? How does culture matter in global politics? What are the sources and consequences of nationalism and regionalism?
Global Political Economy and Development. How does the global economy function and how is it governed? Do global economic forces drive world affairs more generally? What is development? Can economic development be conceptualized and applied in a way that moves beyond centralized economic growth to human and/or sustainable development?
Environment and Sustainability. What are the effects of environmental changes on world affairs? Is the environment a global common good? How can human practices be changed to mitigate or even prevent looming environmental disasters that affect us all?
About the image: Occidental students have a long history of interaction with global politics, and the DWA major has been a particular focus for this engagement. This is reflected in the poster which hangs in the DWA office. This poster comes from the on-campus movement to have the college divest from South Africa (a movement that is now famous for having given Barack Obama his start in politics). For more information, click here.
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