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Globalization and Human Rights

Sarita Cargas, cargas@unm.edu

Core: Social & Behavioral Sciences

Course Description

This course will examine the relationship between globalization and human rights. After gaining an understanding of where globalization came from and how it helps or hurts human rights we will use the case study of global food security to analyze how the two interact. This particular class is unique in that we are going to work on a project that UNM applied for and won the right to develop. It is called a Diplomacy Lab project and it’s to do policy research on behalf of the US State Department. The assignment from the State Department is to research the various implications of US food policy on agricultural practices and develop an educational “game” app. We will be examining the costs and benefits of growing conventional, organic, or biotech crops for US farmers and for third world exports. This class will be studying the research at some of the largest food oriented organizations in the world including the UN’s Food and Agricultural Organization and the US Department of Agriculture. Another class from the Computer Science Department will use our data to create the app.

Readings and Texts

The main text is a reader with readings on globalization by Thomas Friedman and others, introductory readings on human rights, as well as readings from multiple perspectives on global food insecurity and ways of addressing it.  The latter will include readings about the pros and cons of genetically modified organisms.

Films and Other Course Materials

Globalization is Good
Battle in Seattle
Food Inc.
The Future of Food

Student Requirements

Assignments will include writing about the reading assignments and two 5-8 page papers.

About the Instructor

Sarita Cargas earned her doctorate at Oxford University in the UK. She is a graduate of St. John's College and Georgetown University. Her research interest has been in psychology, the study of war, theology, and currently in human rights. Dr. Cargas is writing a book about the nature and content of human rights. Her teaching philosophy is student centered which means she uses various classroom activities to engage students with the material and develop life long habits for critical thinking.