International studies @ UCI
2009 was a year of consolidation and growth for RIGS and International Studies at UCI. We saw our new curriculum go into effect, welcomed additional visiting scholars, hosted a full schedule of research seminars and International Studies Public Forums, and instituted a "Meet the Diplomat Series."
We were happy to provide support for two major conferences at UCI in tandem with our affiliated centers: "Critical Approaches to Humanitarianism in Africa," organized by Cecelia Lynch and the Center for Global Peace and Conflict Studies and "1989: Twenty Years After" organized by Nina Bandelj and Dorothy Solinger, as well as many other smaller events.
As 2010 gets underway, we have just awarded grants for two collaborative research projects: "Altruistic Generosity: An International Study of its Origins and Political Importance" by Kristin Monroe (political science), David Easton (political science) and Mahtab Jafari (pharmacology) and "Global City Formation in China" by David Smith (sociology) and Jeffrey Wasserstrom (history).
Finally, our team has expanded. Graduate student assistants Heidi Haddad, Mark Berlin and Amy Grubb and undergraduate interns Evonne Liew, Nancy Ruiz and Sasha Sabherwal are now working with our program manager, Mike Roesler. We look forward to a productive year with our 809 undergraduate majors, 50 affiliated graduate students and more than 150 interested faculty members. Read on for more on their research and accomplishments during 2009.
News from affiliated research centers and institutes
RIGS acts as a hub for international and global issues at UCI and as such cooperates with 17 affiliated centers whose work touches on global concerns. Highlights from these centers include:
The Center for Global Peace and Conflict Studies (CGPACS) established the blog Critical Investigations of Humanitarianism in Africa, which contains recent posts on helping women in Africa, toxic wastes, piracy off the coast of Somalia, and the politics of donor requirements, among others. CGPACS' annual Margolis lecture this year will feature Ambassador Jack Matlock. See more at www.cgpacs.uci.edu.
The Center for Unconventional Security gave its annual Human Security Award to Mark Johnson and Whitney Burditt, the Founders of Playing for Change. It also released Global Environmental Change and Human Security, the second edited volume in its series on Human Security.
The Center for Asian Studies hosted several lectures including Professor Chen Mingrou, (Providence University, Taiwan) and for its annual Wan-Lin Kiang Lecture, Distinguished Professor Carl Riskin (Queens College, City University of New York). It also collaborated with the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office (TECO) in inviting Professor Shelley Rigger (Davidson College) and Mr. Alan Romberg (U.S. State Department) for a panel on Recent Taiwan Politics and Cross-Strait Relations.
Human rights best practices
Political scientist Alison Brysk examines international human rights success stories in new book, Global Good Samaritans
President Obama's signing of executive orders to close the Guantanamo Bay detention facility and limit interrogation techniques in U.S. facilities worldwide is a big step forward for what has been a lagging overall national policy on international human rights, says Alison Brysk. A UCI political science professor who specializes in human rights research, she is the author of Global Good Samaritans, a new book in which she provides a comparative look at human rights foreign policy best practices abroad.
New book by Sandholtz examines patterns in development of international law
Case studies include international rules that have outlawed piracy, terrorism, slavery and genocide
Recent episodes in which modern pirates have seized ships on the high seas have caused the international community to reexamine options for enforcing centuries-old laws that prohibit piracy. In his new book, International Norms and Cycles of Change, UCI political scientist Wayne Sandholtz and co-author Kendall Stiles examine how such rules against piracy and other international norms from the 1500s to the present emerge and change over time.
Fox talks democracy, Mexico
Former Mexican president discusses the political future of Latin America amid drug wars and economic crises
"Democracy is not for granted in Latin America," former Mexican President Vicente Fox told a capacity crowd Wednesday, April 8, at the Irvine Barclay Theatre. "It has to be nourished, defended and promoted."
Delivering the Peltason Lecture on Democracy, he cited the global financial crisis and the rise of authoritarian leaders as the most serious threats to economic development and human rights in Latin America.
Study argues for transparency and standards in private security industry
Findings appear in May issue of American Interest
Amidst news of U.S. troop shifts from Iraq to Afghanistan, little has been said about the fate of the large number of private security contractors still in country. The lack of news appears to be par for the course, says Deborah Avant, UCI international studies and political science professor, who in a recent study found that for every one New York Times story that mentions private security forces, there are 47 that mention U.S. soldiers or troops.
"Just because we don't hear about them doesn't mean they aren't there," she says, adding that the number of contractors performing duties once provided by the U.S. military is greater than the total number of U.S. troops in Iraq. "Private contractors from a global security industry play a significant role in Afghanistan and Iraq carrying out U.S. policy. Most are not U.S. citizens and some carry guns."
Solingen is named a UCI Chancellor's Professor
Distinction recognizes her scholarly contributions in the areas of international politics, economics and security
Etel Solingen, political science professor, has been named a UCI Chancellor's Professor.
Granted for a five-year renewable term, the title recognizes scholars who demonstrate unusual academic merit and exceptional achievement.
UCI INTERNATIONAL STUDIES IN THE NEWS
Return of jobless strains China
Xe returns to training roots after 'implosion in the swamp'
Anti-illegal immigrant groups launch Mexico tourism boycott
We're not clean
When non- U.S. citizens vote
Keep in mind needs of older immigrants
Struggling to rise in suburbs where failing means fitting in
Debate over illegal immigration is still raging
Obama pushes rights with Chinese students
Struggles of the second generation
Most young Latinos U.S.-born, feel labeled as immigrants, study finds
Sociologist David Meyer tells CNN why protests matter
Marta Tienda, Princeton sociologist, incorporates her past in effort to aid immi