Thursday, September 25, 2008

Financial Crisis Brown Bag on October 1

IPE Professor Mike Veseth will discuss the current global financial crisis and (try to) answer questions at the IPE Brown Bag on Wednesday, October 1 at 1pm in the WSC Murray Boardroom. Everyone is invited to attend.

Risk DC: A Puget Sound - Georgetown Competition

Kasia Podbielski (IPE '04) is currently working on her masters at Georgetown. She writes (see below) inviting Puget Sound students and faculty to take part in a web-based game of Risk set in Washington DC. Sounds interesting! You should try it. Note: Kasia is a member of the RED team! Here's her email request for your help.

Grad school is in full swing and so far, so good. Hope the start of your semester finds you well.

I wanted to inquire about a potential collaboration between UPS and Georgetown.

Here is the deal: I need help with my first grad school study by playing an online version of Risk (that takes place in DC). Anyone can sign up for the RED team to join my squad! (Not the WWII game, but the Georgetown one.)

My graduate class at Georgetown University is currently studying how people organize and communicate while playing online games. To illustrate this, we have divided the class into sections and are currently battling each other by recruiting new people to join the fight!

The game, titled GoCrossCampus, is a simple multiplayer on-line game with rules similar to Risk, and anyone can participate.

The time required to play is minimal -- just check in twice a day to see how your army is doing and see what portions of DC your team has conquered OR just log in one time, move your player and you are done.


Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Library Tips for IPE Students

Happy Fall, IPE students!

You’re probably starting to write some papers for class about now. Here are a few tips on how you might best use the library resources.

  • Use a reference book to find the historical context of your topic and to choose search terms. (Search your topic by keyword in Simon and limit to reference.) You might also search your topic in CQ Researcher or CQ Global. Reference books and the CQ databases contain a wealth of background information and will provide relevant citations to quality sources for further reading.

  • Check to see if there is a course web page for your class (listed on the right side of the subject gateway page). Library course pages give you helpful search strategies and relevant resources for course assignments.

  • Don’t just stick with the full text you find in Academic Search Premier and Research Library. These are great databases, but be sure to click the limit for ‘academic journals’ to find scholarly materials. PAIS International (my personal favorite for IPE), EconLit and LexisNexis Academic are other great resources. Specialized subject databases may not have the fulltext, but clicking the Journal Locator link within the records will either take you to the article, the journal, or provide a link to interlibrary loan.

  • Take advantage of Summit and Interlibrary Loan. We have a great library, but we can’t collect everything. Summit books and ILL articles generally take only 3 days to arrive.

If you need help researching your senior thesis topic or locating that critical article, don’t waste your valuable time. Talk to your liaison librarian (for IPE, its Donna Bachmann). She can help you narrow your topic, choose the most relevant databases and improve your search strategy. If you’re having trouble locating the elusive statistic, can’t figure out how to navigate RefWorks, or you need materials for a complex research topic, librarians can help. Stop by the library and ask for Donna for help with IPE research, or email with your question or information need.

I hope to hear from you!

Donna Bachmann

Liaison Librarian for International Political Economy

Monday, September 22, 2008

IPE Alumni meet in DC

Svetlana Matt (IPE '06) hosted a meeting of DC-area Puget Sound alumni that included (l to r) Marc Johnson (UPS '92 -- an IPE student from the DYI IPE era), Daniil Davydoff (IPE '07), Svetlana Matt and Dave Chebuske (IPE '06). We love to hear from our alumni!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Professor Cohen to speak on IPE Intellectual History

Professor Benjamin J. Cohen, Lancaster Professor of International Political Economy at the University of California at Santa Barbara will be our visiting IPE Scholar on Wednesday, Sept 24, 2008.

Professor Cohen will be available to meet casually with interested students and faculty at 3pm in the WSC Diversions Cafe (Professor Pierre Ly will host this meeting).

He will give a major public presentation on the intellectual history of IPE at 5pm in the WSC Murray Boardroom. Everyone is invited to this event.

Professor Cohen is a major figure in the development of the discipline of IPE. His books and articles, starting with The Question of Imperialism (1973) through The Geography of Money (1998) and The Future of Money (2004) have probed fundamental issues in IPE, including especially the political economy of international finance.

His most recent book is titled International Political Economy: An Intellectual History (Princeton University Press, 2008).

The IPE Program is excited to welcome Professor Cohen back to the Puget Sound campus and we encourage everyone to take advantage of this opportunity to meet him and hear his ideas about the past, present and future of IPE.

U.S. Senate Internship Opportunities

Thanks to Erika Whinihan (IPE '02) for passing along this opportunity.

U.S. Senator Patty Murray is looking for interns who want to learn more about the federal government and want to be part of a hardworking team, dedicated to serving the citizens of Washington state.

Qualifications Applicants must be graduate or undergraduate college students who have completed at least one year of college and whose permanent residence is the state of Washington or are attending a Washington state college or university.

Program Outline Internship sessions are scheduled on the academic quarter: fall, winter, spring, summer. Internships are unpaid and are available for school credit if approved by your college or university. D.C. interns typically work full time (40 hours per week), however part-time schedules can be accommodated. All state internships are part-time. Senator Murray’s D.C. office offers legislative and press internships. Outreach and constituent casework internships are available in the state offices.

Job Description Interns work in all areas of the office. Responsibilities include: research, written and verbal communication with constituents and federal agencies, assisting at press conferences, attending briefings, and performing a variety of administrative tasks including fielding calls from constituents and greeting visitors.

Contact D.C. internships: Washington state internships:

Office of Senator Patty Murray Office of Senator Patty Murray

Attn: Ms. Amaia Kirtland Attn: Ms. Beth Ann S. Hoover

173 Russell Senate Office Building or Erika Whinihan

Washington, D.C. 20510 2988 Jackson Federal Building

(202) 224-2621 Seattle, WA 98174-1003 (206) 553-5545

Information and Application:

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Jess Martin '07: Moldova Report

Jess Martin (IPE '07) has just finished her first year as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Moldova. You can read about her experiences in her blog.

Be sure to check out the list of IPE student and alumni blogs in the column at right.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Fair Trade Coffee, Beijing Oympics & Watson Fellowship

Everyone is invited to two upcoming IPE programs:

Leigh Barrick (IPE '09) will discuss her summer research findings on Wednesday 9/17 at 1pm in the WSC Murray Boardroom as part of the continuing IPE Brown Bag series. Leigh received a $4000 grant from the IPE program to investigate the effect of fair trade coffee programs on poverty in Chiapas, Mexico.

Greg Groggel (IPE ' 06) has just returned from covering the Olympic Games for NBC Sports. He will discuss the long run significance of the games in a talk he has titled "And the Show Goes On: Stories of Olympic Legacy from Beijing and Beyond." Greg will speak at 5pm on Thursday 9/18 in the Trimble Forum.

Greg was a Watson Fellow during 2006-2007 who traveled around the world to study the effect of the Olympic games on the host cities. He will talk about his Watson experience and give advice for potential Watson applicants at 6pm in Trimble Forum.

Friday, September 05, 2008

What is IPE? Brown Bag at 1pm on 9/10

The first Brown Bag talk of the year is set for 1pm on Wednesday 9/10 in the WSC Murray Boardroom. The topic will be "What is IPE?" or what does IPE mean to me? IPE faculty and several seniors who are working on their senior theses will talk about their interest in IPE, what they are working on now and their plans for the future. We will also provide details about upcoming programs and events.

The IPE Brown Bag talks are a series of lectures and discussion that take place almost every Wednesday at 1pm in the Murray Boardroom. Watch this space and the IPE calendar for details of upcoming programs. Refreshments will be provided.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

APSIA Grad Forum and Peace Corps Program

The IPE faculty are frequently asked to recommend graduate schools. We always say that the right graduate school for you depends on what you want to study and where you want your graduate education to take you. So you need to think deeply about your interests and career aspirations and do a lot of research on grad schools.

Know thyself -- that's tough advice. But what's the best way to get starting trying to "know" about the options for graduate school? One approach is to visit the website for the Association of Professional Schools of International Affairs (APSIA for short). This is an organization of the best grad programs in international affairs in the U.S. and around the world. This site won't tell you where you should study, but it gives you a useful starting menu of programs with an interdisciplinary approach and the expected links and contact information.

APSIA is sponsoring a graduate school forum in Seattle on October 21. Read all about the forum and regester online here (scroll down to the Seattle event link):

Some of you may be trying to decide between grad school and the Peace Corps. Well, the Peace Corps has partnered with a number of grad schools to offer the Master's International program , which integrates the Peace Corps Volunteer experience into a program of graduate studies and provides financial resources, too. Here is some information from the Peace Corps website:

Master's International (MI) has made the truly unique opportunity of complementing a master's degree with overseas service available in a variety of fields at over 50 academic institutions nationwide. Established in 1987, Master's International addresses the first goal of the Peace Corps: to help the people of interested countries in meeting their need for trained men and women. Master's International students serve in over 70 different countries and participate in every aspect of life overseas.

As a prospective student, you will apply simultaneously to both the Peace Corps and the participating graduate school(s) of your choice. After being accepted by both, you will complete a year to two years of graduate course work at your respective university while continuing to prepare for work overseas. Each MI Program is autonomous. Your academic institution will have its own requirements and will award credit for Peace Corps service accordingly.

After completing your initial course work and receiving your Peace Corps placement, you will travel to your respective site and begin training. Once overseas, you are given an assignment according to the needs and requests of your host country. Participating faculty recognize that while overseas, your primary responsibility is the project and community to which you have been assigned. Rather than determining a research topic in advance, you will allow your volunteer assignment to shape your academic requirement.

Depending on the institution, that assignment may be a thesis, professional paper, or other culminating project, under the direction of your faculty and with the approval of Peace Corps overseas staff. You must be flexible and, in some cases, creative when transforming your volunteer service into your graduate work. Other possibilities offered are graduate credits for Peace Corps service and tuition or fee waivers.

After completing your Peace Corps service, you will return to either finish your graduate course work or begin your career. Now, you have the advantage of actually having implemented some of your ideas and applied theory to practice, while living overseas. You will have returned with a world view and the skills and education to change that world.

Click here to view a list of participating graduate program.

A couple of years ago we asked Matt Ferchen, an IPE graduate before there was an IPE program, to write down some of his thoughts about the best way to choose a graduate program. Click on the link to read his Guide to Choosing a Graduate Program. (Note: Matt did development fieldwork in Latin America after UPS, then a Masters degree at Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies a.k.a. SAIS in Washington DC. He is now in China working on research for his PhD from Cornell.)

Beijing 2008 Report

Greg Groggel (IPE '06 and former Watson Fellow) is back from covering the Beijing Olympics for NBC. We asked Greg to reflect on his experiences there. Here is his report. Watch this space for an announcement of a talk that Greg will give on campus later this month.

For nearly three and a half weeks in August, Beijing welcomed the world, but only partly, and through the lens of tightly scripted television. Impromptu Olympic Games these were not. They seemed to lack the internationally roisterous flair that I so enjoyed in Athens. And while the general news media routinely used the occasion to proclaim China's "arrival" and the Olympics their "coming out party," I'll spare you the general boilerplate as even the dead horse has cried uncle.

When I visited Beijing a year ago as part of my Watson Fellowship project, I predicted that China would implode. I thought that there was no way they would be able to cover all their bases by the time the wily foreign press rolled into town. The international airport was a joke, public transportation was near non-existent, one couldn't find English language assistance and there was an army of migrant laborers that would surely be an issue. It didn't look good, and I wanted to be there to see it burn.

This past spring, however, Beijing started to tie together the city's loose ends. Construction wrapped on the stadiums, subway lines and massive airport terminal. Similarly, visas were not renewed for many of the foreign businessmen, freelancers, students and artists (or, as fellow logger Nicole Shanahan told me, all the "cool people"). I should have known that China's leaders and general public were going to let nothing get in the way of the long-awaited spectacle.

Looking back, a telling sign came when I was visiting the Three Gorges Damn. While waiting for a bus I was chatting with a young Chinese lady about the one-year countdown. In perfect English, she told me that she applied to be an Olympic volunteer, but was rejected. Admittedly crushed, she now was focused on another task, getting in to University of Wisconsin to study Marketing. And this is someone they turned down.

But China's Olympic honchos made a crucial mistake in thinking the rest of the world held the Beijing Games with the same reverence. When the riots in Tibet happened, the glaring spotlight that comes with hosting the spectacle illuminated not just China's brute force there, but in other spheres as well. And suddenly, frustrations over China's role in the world manifested into a single object, the Olympic flame. Those with concerns over the growing power then found that the flame was passing through their very city. It was all too perfect, really.

Back to the Games themselves, as I know that's what Professor Veseth wanted to hear about in the first place. In my opinion, the 2008 Olympics proved to be intended much more for China than for the rest of the world. In other words, it was a domestic demonstration that while surely meant to impress foreigners, was designed to change how the Chinese thought about themselves. I knew this could play a large role in their Olympic experience after what I learned from my two months in Seoul, South Korea.

While reading in a park, I started talking with an elderly man about the 1988 Games. Their meaning, he explained, was that they proved to the world that they belonged. But even more important was that it proved to the people that they belonged to the world. At the Olympic Green and throughout Beijing, the scene was one of proud Chinese families. People that had traveled for days to witness the visual power of the Bird's Nest in person and soak in the aura of accomplishment. Michael Phelps? Phelps who? I've never seen such an apathetic response to such an historic performance. Yes, the top story in Beijing was of the sheer dominance of Chinese athletes. If Liu Xiang had done much to alter the perception of China as the "Sick man of Asia" with his win in the 110m hurdles in Athens, then the 51 gold medals obliterated that fallacy in Beijing.

Unrelated, I think the foreign press generally let the rest of us down, lobbing up softballs when there was much to be covered (I know, I threw out some particular juicy ones). The journalists seemed less likely to venture out into the masses than they had in Athens or Torino. In particular, the fate of the migrant workers is one that pains me to see go undocumented. Tough to be fair the general Chinese population wasn't eager to air grievances they saw as a sacrifice for the whole (or could get them in trouble with the ever-watching eye). But perhaps more important, I believe foreign diplomats and heads of state proved their cowardice by hiding behind the "Olympics is about sport" excuse.

President Bush, decked in cargo shorts and a visor, looking ever the fraternity chum playing beach volleyball with Misty and Kerri, did little to advance the political concerns of the world over. And yet we criticize IOC President Jacques Rogge for not bringing full-scale change? Please.

I think in the end the 2008 Olympic Games will have a rather remarkable legacy. In what form exactly, it's too early to tell. While it's true the Olympics didn't bring the type of massive social and political change many had hoped, I think you'll ultimately find it in smaller ways. Things like copyright protection, cultural and artistic respect, and even things like the introduction of seeing-eye dogs to the world's largest nation. Still, much work has yet to be done, particularly in the post-Olympic utility of their many venues, to ensure a positive legacy. But something tells me not to bet against them. Career & Grad School Fairs in Seattle is a great online resource for students looking for jobs and internships in NGO land. You can search by type of position and geographic region and there are thousands of listings. If you are interested in working in the .org world (as opposed to the .com or .gov realms), then you should check out is sponsoring two Seattle events that you might want to check out:

A Grad School Fair on October 7, 2008 and
A Career Fair on October 22, 2008

Follow the links to learn all about these opportunities.