Bard Globalization And International Affairs Program (BGIA)

Bard In New York City

The BGIA program is a one or two semester residential program in New York City that offers undergraduates a unique opportunity to undertake specialized study with leading practitioners and scholars in international affairs and to gain internship experience with international affairs organizations. Topics in the curriculum include human rights, international economics, global environmental issues, international justice, managing international risk, and writing on international affairs, among others. Internship/tutorials are tailored to students' particular fields of study.

Joel Rosenthal, President of the Carnegie Council on Ethics and International Affairs

Thucydides punctuates his history of the Peloponnesian war with the quote of the Athenian generals, 'The strong do what they will, the weak do what they must.' In the twentieth century, this sentiment is echoed by the great realists, Hans Morganthau and Henry Kissinger, who argued that power and interest were the guideposts for foreign policy. What values guide us as we make choices about the use of force, resolving conflict, promoting human rights, encouraging democracy and participating in international organizations. This course will examine competing claims of morality, reason, and power in contemporary international relations

Thomas Keenan, Director of the Bard College Human Rights Project

This seminar explores the diverse uses of culture as a concept in contemporary human rights discourse and practice.

We will examine the universalizing methods and aspirations of traditional -- and some not-so-traditional -- human rights discourses and measure them against another style of argument and analysis whose genealogy is said to be more specifically "cultural." The goal throughout is to identify and question the logical frameworks which sustain the opposition between human rights and culture, and to understand the strategies of representation which construct the relationship between rights and culture as a real or imagined problem, in narrative, analysis, and legal and political action. A general project of the seminar is to undermine the security of the distinction between universal and particular, human and cultural, and to undertake a critical investigation of the meanings of culture today. Discussion will focus on close readings of a broad range of materials, from literature, film and video to legal proceedings, international treaties and declarations, commission reports, theoretical and philosophical arguments, scholarly writings, and journalistic accounts. We will examine recent events from the fall of the Berlin Wall to the war in Kosovo, the Latin American dictatorships and their aftermath, the South African transition and the catastrophes of AIDS and genocide in Central Africa, and the rise of American hegemony; we will also ask about representations of identity, rape, torture, hate speech, and humanitarianism.

Barbara Crossette, United Nations Bureau Chief, New York Times

An approach to writing on foreign affairs that involves reporting, researching, and thinking about current issues and presenting them in a variety of ways: the magazine article, the op-ed, the editorial, the news story. This seminar, meeting weekly as a roundtable,will allow students to present their own work to the roundtable as well as to the instructor; students will be expected to achieve proficiency and, if qualified, to submit their work for professional publication.

Francesca T. Grifo, Adjunct Associate Professor, Center for Environmental Research and Conservation, Columbia University, former director, Center for Biodiversity and Conservation

Expansion of the scale of human activity in recent years has put strain on the natural environment of the planet. In some cases we have exceeded the limits of nature's ability to recuperate and the damage or harmful effects in one part of the world do not stop in the that area, but go beyond national borders and become environmental problems on a global scale. Global environmental issues are not independent and separate from each other, but are mutually linked together in complex ways. Human beings are the victims of global environmental problems, and also the culprits. This course will analyze the mechanisms of a healthy planet, benefits derived from functioning ecosystems, threats to the environment, and alleviation of these global environmental problems. The barriers to mitigation caused by the international politics of the environment will be analyzed through close examination of United States policies, the roles played by the World Bank, United Nations, and non-governmental and other institutions and the processes of negotiating international environmental agreements. Global climate change, pollution and contamination, biodiversity loss, habitat loss and degradation, population and consumption, and other transboundary environmental issues are among the threats considered in this context. Mitigation, biodiversity, management of ecosystems, education and outreach, reducing resource demand, and regulatory frameworks. Emphasis will be placed on addressing each of these from a variety of disciplinary perspectives and institutional settings with examples drawn from both developed and developing countries.

James Chace, Paul W. Williams Professor of Government and Public Affairs at Bard College

Jamie Miller, Assistant Director Globalization and International Affairs Program/Visiting Assistant Professor, Bard College Students in the program have the opportunity to participate in a tutorial based on an internship at a leading international governmental or nongovernmental organization or media enterprise. Interns are expected to work on site for twenty to thirty hours per week and are supervised by a staff member at the sponsoring organization. Tutorials based on the internship experience are conducted by program faculty. To receive academic credit for the internship, students are required, at the end of the semester, to submit to their tutor a paper and an annotated bibliography pertaining to their internship. Internships are arranged by the program that attempts to respond to student interests.