Confronting the Contemporary

Pressing Contemporary Global Issues

 GLOA 450-002 / 599-002: Korea in Global Context

 Professor Byunghwan Son  - Interview with Dr. Son

 In this course, we will talk about how the post-war South Korean economy has evolved in conjunction with globalization. We will explore various topics including, but not limited to, 1) how the groundwork for the ‘miracle of Han river’ was prepared in the eve of globalization, 2) why the miracle turned into mirage with the financial crisis in 1997, 3) how the crisis reshaped the way the Korean government deals with globalization, and 4) what the current status of the Korean economy is in the context of globalization. We will also extensively compare South Korea with other similar, yet different, East Asian economies.

For GLOA majors, the course touches upon GLOA concentrations such as Global Economy and Management, Global Governance, and International Development as well as Asia. For Asia-Pacific and Northeast Asia Studies minors, this special topic course can count as one of the four electives. For GLOA MA students, this course speaks to “Economics and Development” and “Governance and Public Management” specializations.


GLOA 450-004 / 599-004: Conflict & Secur Develop Wrld

Professor Niklas Hultin - Interview with Dr. Hultin

 This course examines different theories of, and approaches to, conflict and security. We will examine different explanations for civil wars, theories of why some wars appear more gruesome than others, and the role of ethnicity and poverty in driving conflict. We will also examine how scholars, military planners, and policymakers are increasingly broadening security considerations to include matters such as health risks, poverty, and environmental threats. Finally, we will also address the role of the international community, including regional organizations such as the African Union, in peacekeeping, conflict resolution, and post-conflict human rights and reconciliation. Our approach to these issues will be a case study one and during the semester you will gain an in-depth understanding of conflict and (in)security (past or present) in specific countries, including Rwanda, Nigeria, Somalia, Sierra Leone, Myanmar, and Chechnya.

For GLOA BA majors, this course counts toward the Africa, Global Inequalities & Responses, Global Governance Human Security, and International Development concentrations. For GLOA MA students, the course will speak to the specializations in Global Conflict & Security, Global Population & Geography, and Global Governance & Public Management.


GLOA 450-003: Model UN

Professor Sonja Taylor - Interview with Dr. Taylor

Model United Nations class is a unique class with active in-class and conferences simulations where students role-play being a diplomat and research pressing international or regional issues. The class participates in a Model Arab League conference and meets with an ambassador at an embassy. Through practical application, students learn how to resolve conflicts diplomatically, speak in small groups, and achieve consensus on complex matters. The class works with the Model UN club, which is ranked among the top 75 schools. Those familiar with Model UN will of course love the class, and to those that don't know what Model UN is also find the class enjoyable and beneficial to life after Mason. 

 FRLN 331 - 002: North African Film

 Professor Abdelliah Bouasria - Interview with Professor Bouasria