Global Affairs Special Topic Courses for Summer and Fall 2016

Summer 2016:
Social Movements and Human Rights: GLOA 450-C01

Fall 2016:
Global Issues with UN Ambassadors: GLOA 450-001
Globalization and Development in Africa: GLOA 450-002
Middle East Realities: GLOA 450-003


Social Movements and Human Rights
GLOA 450-C01
Professor Jennifer Ashley
Summer MWF 1:20-4:20PM
Robinson A349

This course considers the role of social movements in questioning structures of power and promoting the protection of human rights. We begin with a discussion of some of the theoretical frameworks commonly used to analyze social movements. We will then work through a series of case studies to think through the emergence, the development, and decline of social movements in particular spaces and historical moments. Through a discussion of cases such as LGBTQ activism in Nicaragua, the student movement in Chile, and the DREAMers, we will consider the reasons that drive individuals to participate in social movements, the resources and opportunities upon which these organizations draw in order to further their causes, and the role of leadership in the role of successful social change.

Throughout the course we will pay special attention to media as contested terrain for political struggle.

*Concentration: Global Inequalities & Responses, Human Security, International Development, Latin America, Media, Communication, and Culture



Global Issues with UN Ambassadors
GLOA 450-001
Professor Sonja Taylor
Fall Thursday 4:30-7:10PM
Innovation Hall 131

This class is a LIVE VIDEO CONFERENCE WITH AMBASSADORS AND HIGH-LEVEL UN OFFICIALS. Each week we have new guests experts in the topic we are exploring and discussing possible solutions. Following a brief overview by the panelists, students interface directly for over an hour to ask questions and dialogue with the diplomats.

The course introduces students to the application and the study of the role and influence of international organizations and global issues and the forming and implementation of international policy. The course discussed the history of the United Nations, the rise of influence and responsibilities of international and non-governmental organizations. We explore specific global issues, such as protection of human rights, living in a world with the threat of biological or nuclear attacks, climate change, and international law.  Students also examine the importance of international organizations in humanitarian assistance, multilateral trade and financial transactions and much more.

The class visits the UN near the end of the semester to learn more about the institution they have been studying and to attend briefings from senior UN officials setting and implementing the daily work of the organization. A photo session with the diplomats and other speakers we meet virtually, by a tour of the UN, and a briefing at the US mission complete the busy day. 

*Concentration:Global Governance



Globalization and Development in Africa
GLOA 450-002
Professor Néjib Ayachi
Fall Wednesday 4:30-7:10PM
Robinson Hall B122
CRN 78966

This seminar course provides an overview of North and Sub-Saharan Africa's main development challenges and accomplishments since independence from European colonial rule in the 1950s and 1960s to nowadays, while examining how the various waves of globalization have affected the continent and influenced its development. 

We will start by analyzing the reasons and the processes of European colonization of Africa within the context of the world system from the 15th to the 20thcenturies, while briefly examining pre-colonial modes of governance and economic systems. Following a review of development theories, we will examine the various attempts at building viable nation states and economies in post-independence Africa, and analyze the development models and strategies adopted to that effect and their impact. We will take account of the role of international organizations and the various development goals set by them in areas such as poverty reduction, human development, gender equality, health (including HIV-AIDS), food security and improved nutrition, climate change, and others.

We will then determine and evaluate the impacts of modern globalization since the early 1980s in terms of social and economic changes, gains, and adverse consequences, including African conflicts, and social unrest in the case of the Arab Spring in North Africa. Finally, as Africa’s population is expected to double in the next 35 years, we will examine the reasons for such a demographic explosion and its consequences. We will briefly introduce and discuss mainstream and alternative development strategies and policies to achieve inclusive development, in a sustainable manner, while managing the costs and benefits of globalization.

*Concentration: International Development, Middle East & North Africa, and Africa



Middle East Realities
GLOA 450-003
Professor David Ramadan
Fall Tuesday 7:20-10:00PM
Robinson Hall B120
CRN 78968

This course will examine countries and events in the Middle East. The past and present of Middle East realities will be analyzed by considering the four factors that affect most issues in the region, namely: Religion, Economy, Culture, and Politics.

Professor David Ramadan was born and raised in Beirut, Lebanon during the devastating 15+ yrs Lebanese civil war; he immigrated to Virginia seeking the American Dream. David is a successful international expert who just completed two terms in the Virginia House of Delegates.

*Concentration: Middle East & North Africa