At the intersections of the international, transnational, domestic, and local, the John Parke Young Initiative on the Global Political Economy promotes economic, social, and political policies and actions of public and social benefit.

The Initiative’s approach to political economy is distinctive in many ways, including our emphasis on the transnational dimensions of issues such as the environment or migration; how global integration and international trade may impact political-economic inclusion/exclusion at local levels; the potential importance of both developing regimes for governmental and corporate accountability as well as empowering rights’ claims in such realms as health, education, and housing; and a desire to advance alternative approaches to economic development that are more equitable and sustainable than dominant practice and that highlight the political economy of vulnerability to disease, poverty, and marginalization.

John Parke Young (Class of 1917) was a distinguished international economist, former chair of the College’s Economics Department, and the son of the Rev. William Stewart Young, one of Occidental’s founders and a 50-year member of the board of trustees. Through the Youngs' contribution, students are able to undertake independent global research and internships, faculty are able to engage in impactful global research, and renowned experts visit campus for events and conferences. The Young Initiative also engages with the Los Angeles through work with both its city government and its diverse communities on how international norms can help in the realization of the demands and needs of Los Angeles’ diverse, transnational populations.

About the Young Initiative

U.N. Sustainable Development Goals

Since February 2019, the John Parke Young Initiative at Occidental College has partnered with the Los Angeles Mayor’s Office to localize and adopt the 2015 United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to better reflect and address the needs and priorities of the L.A. community. Learn more: