Manfred B. Steger, an internationally acclaimed scholar in global studies, discussed the challenges of global climate change, transnational terrorism, financial crises and world pandemics, and possible ways to meet them, at a presentation at Cal State San Bernardino on Wednesday, Feb. 11.
"What Is Global Studies: Theory, Practice, Challenges" was presented at 6 p.m. The free event was open to the public and co-sponsored by the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences, the department of geography and environmental studies and the Global Citizens Project - a student club at CSUSB.
"The pressing global issues of our time such as global climate change, global financial crises, transnational terrorism and worldwide pandemics require new ideas and policy initiatives that go beyond the traditional academic framework of the 20th century," a summary of Steger's presentation says. "In particular, we need to gain a better understanding of how the local entangles with the global in myriad ways that profoundly shape the 21st century."
The presentation included how global studies - an interdisciplinary approach that includes political science, economics and cultural relations and processes as its lens - can be organized into four connected "pillars" that might be one way of addressing the complex issues of the day.
"With the growing interconnectedness the world is experiencing, it is vital to gain a multidisciplinary perspective," said Norman Meek, chair of the geography and environmental studies department. "This insight is what global studies allows one to gain. From climate change to immigration to the spread of extremist ideology, global studies provides some answers to the world's pressing problems. It is allowing our students to be engaged both locally and globally."
Steger is a professor of political science at the University of Hawai'i-Manoa and a research professor of global studies at the Globalism Research Center at RMIT University, Australia. He has served as an academic consultant on globalization for the U.S. State Department and is currently a member of the editorial board of the American Political Science Review.
He is the author or editor of more than 20 books on globalization, global politics and the history of political ideas, including: "The Rise of the Global Imaginary: Political Ideologies from the French Revolution to the Global War on Terror (Oxford UP, 2008);" "Globalisms: The Great Ideological Struggle of the 21st Century (Rowman & Littlefield, 2009);" "Globalization: A Very Short Introduction (Oxford UP, 2013);" and "Justice Globalism: Ideology, Crises, Policy (Sage, 2013)."
Prior to his presentation, Steger will met with faculty from CSUSB's geography and environmental studies department to talk about the global studies option offered by the department. He also met with faculty who teach in the Social Science and Globalization graduate program, and with students of the CSUSB Model United Nations program and graduate students from the Social Science and Globalization graduate program.