GCP Program for Undergraduate Students
Sample Lecture Topics
The topics and foci of specific lectures during the GCP change from session to session depending on the expertise of the Faculty.
The core themes of each GCP session, however, remain the same. Each session pays close attention to the following topics:
What is Global Citizenship
This section will focus on traditional and emerging notions of citizenship. It will also consider different understandings of the meaning and impact of globalization from economic, political, cultural, and social perspectives. How do modern understandings of citizenship apply to the emerging concept of "global citizenship"? and what does it mean to live responsibly in the world as a "global citizen"?
America and the World: Views From Abroad
This section will discuss various reactions to American culture and to American foreign policy around the world. Subjects will include: Globalization vs. "Americanization"; anti-americanism and cultural stereotyping; cultural values and cultural "imperialism"; and multilateralism and unilateralism. The goal of this section is to give students a sense of the complex, even contradictory, ways America is viewed in different parts of the world. (Effort will be made to ensure that a non-American always deliver this lecture).
The Legacy of the Holocaust in Europe: An Introduction to the Visit to the Former Concentration Camp in Dachau
In preparation for the trip to the former concentration camp in Dachau, this lecture will examine the social, economic, and political factors that contributed to the rise of the Nazi party in Germany, which ultimately culminated in the Holocaust. Questions related to living with collective memories and how nations, societies, and individuals acknowledge past transgressions will also be discussed.
Constructing a World Order: 1945 to the Present
Building on the discussions about the Holocaust, his section will describe the historical foundations of the contemporary world. We will discuss the creation of contemporary international institutions in the wake of the Second World War, and how they have developed over the last half century. Discussion will focus on the history of the United Nations, NATO, the foundations of the European Union and its recent expansion.
How the World Works (Or Doesn't): Global Governance Systems
This section will examine the current state of global governance systems. Discussions will focus on how individual nations act within an international system and how a multilateral institution acts in relation to its member states, their governments, its own subsidiaries, and complementary multilateral and international institutions (WTO; World Bank; IMF). Special emphasis will be placed on the increasing role that global issues like human rights, economic development, the environment, and healthcare play in the approaches of both national and international institutions.
Living in the World: A Citizenship Agenda for the Future
This section will discuss how we as citizens of the developed world are affected by, and can relate to, pressing issues of global concern (human rights and governance; poverty reduction and economic development; environmental protection and sustainable development; AIDS and infectious diseases; immigration; organized crime and terrorism). Special attention will be paid to what makes these global, as opposed to local, problems; to why they demand an international approach; and to why and how national governments must work in multinational and multilateral frameworks to address them.
Thinking Global, Acting Local
During the week, students will have been asked to define for themselves their beliefs about the social order and their political priorities by submitting their thoughts to reasoned analysis. Accordingly, the session summary will recapitulate the week's central questions: what might it mean (to you) to be a global citizen in local circumstances? What does it mean to think globally and act locally? Why do we have a responsibility to inform ourselves about the wider world and what are the implications for our daily lives, our common interactions, and our political judgments?