Courses

I teach the following courses at the New School Graduate Program in International Affairs:

Global Health Crises and Human Rights

Course Description: This course examines the political economy of global health and seeks to understand the causes of health inequities among people and countries around the world. To this end, it undertakes a consideration of powerful global institutions and rules that shape health outcomes. Crucially, it has a capacious understanding of global governance of health that considers the role of actors and policies that extend well outside the health sector. Case studies on international regimes of trade, intellectual property, food and agriculture, and environment are used to examine the complex ways in which globalization affects health. The course also examines international actors, strategies and rules that have emerged in response to the challenge of health inequities. It discusses the human right to health and other frameworks that provide different kinds of conceptual tools, technical interventions, and political strategies to address health crises. This course is co-taught by Professors Manjari Mahajan and Sakiko Fukuda-Parr.

Human Rights in Global Fashion

Course Description: This course is being co-taught by Sakiko Fukuda-Parr and Mary Watson. Linking consumers and workers in distant places, fashion has long been home to some of the most glaring inequalities and injustices on an increasingly globalized scale, linking consumers and workers in distant places. Since the 19th century, the clothing sector has also been a site of social contestation that has been marked by struggles for worker rights, the rise of social movements, the exercise of corporate power, and the fallibility of national governments. It has also been a source of innovation in public policy, corporate accountability, monitoring –processes that have led to new 21st century designs of the industry itself. This course provides an introductory overview of the key obstacles, actors, rules, and methods for crafting innovative solutions in social mobilization, legal intervention, and design with the aim of creating a more socially sustainable and economically inclusive fashion – a fashion that fulfills the human rights of workers in the supply chain. The course achieves this aim by analyzing (i) actors, power, and finance in the global value chain in the fashion industry; (ii) international and local standards and institutions – including workers’ human rights, corporate obligations and accountability; (iii) social movements and international networks mobilizing worker power; (iv) monitoring and labeling schemes mobilizing consumer power; (v) and finding design solutions and technological systems that fulfill worker rights amidst new conceptions of industry design. The course will include lectures by faculty from SPE/GPIA, Parsons Fashion, and NSSR as well as invited speakers.

Political Economics of Development

Course Description: The defining challenges of our times – extreme inequality within and between countries, environmental destruction, pervasive poverty, threats to democracy – do not fall from the sky. They result from public policies and social institutions that in turn are shaped by theories about the process of development. This course offers a critical introduction to the central ideas and theories that have shaped these policy choices. The course addresses questions such as: is inequality necessary for economic growth? Should the understanding of the economy limited to market interactions? How can developing countries grow with environmental sustainability? Is spending in health and education a luxury or an investment? Do international trade agreements create a level playing field for countries? Is a flexible labor market the most effective way to promote employment and wage growth? What is the role of the state in transforming economies? How should the governance of global international economic institutions be reformed to give more voice to the Global South? The course emphasizes the importance of ethical foundations, and the historical inequities of North-South relations. It introduces theories from mainstream and heterodox approaches including structuralism, feminism, capabilities and human rights, and sustainability. The aim is to prepare students to engage critically and creatively in contemporary debates about what works and does not work to promote sustainable and equitable development.