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Graduate Program in International Affairs



By blending theory, practice, and commitment to social responsibility, the Julien J. Studley Graduate Program in International Affairs (GPIA) leads students to analyze urgent international questions through a critical lens. Click here to find out more.

A Tribunal on Failed Governance: Climate Change, Inequality, and Jobless Growth

Back in February 2015 The Milano School hosted a Tribunal on global governance failures regarding increasing levels of social and economic inequality, unequal and jobless economic growth, and climate change. The Tribunal also launched an alliance between the Ford Foundation and the Milano School. The Tribunal shed light on the way that conferences such as Habitat III or International Climate Change Conferences can serve as global intermediaries to increase a city’s capacity and governance structures to operate in their particular urban situation. The Tribunal presented testimonies from affected peoples around the globe, indicting cities and governance for inaction regarding climate change, inequity, and jobless growth. A distinguished cross-cultural panel of judges heard the cases presented by a diverse collection of experts and witnesses. 

Prof. Constantine Michalopoulos: “China has brought its policies closer to the norm”

On April 22, Development Thought & Policy at The New School was pleased to host its fourth and penultimate event of the Spring 2015 semester: “China and the WTO: Pursuing Political and Economic Interests?” This event, which took place in the iconic Orozco Room at Alvin Johnson / J.M. Kaplan Hall, featured an initial lecture from Professor Constantine Michalopoulos, former economist at the World Bank and WTO, as well as a current professor of international affairs at Johns Hopkins. A lively discussion followed his remarks, with Khalid Malik (former UN Resident Coordinator in China) and our own Dean William Milberg (of NSSR) weighing in. The event was chaired by GPIA Professor Sakiko Fukuda-Parr.

Professor Constantine Michalopoulos speaks while former UN official Khalid Malik looks onProfessor Michalopoulos’ lecture focused on China’s role within the WTO, and echoed the results of a paper which he wrote for the 13th Annual Conference on China and the WTO, in Beijing, entitled China and Developing Countries in the WTO. The paper seeks to clarify whether or not there is a bias against China in the WTO, using the number of anti-dumping initiated against China as a proxy. Surprisingly, the study found that while such investigations have been on the rise of late, they have not kept pace with the growth of China’s exports. In other words, we would expect more investigations against China than there actually are, given the amount of trade which they conduct. Professor Michalopoulos concluded, “China, in my view, has brought its policies closer to the norm of its international trading partners… China is not misbehaving, and when it has, it has been brought to court and it has changed its policies.”



Prof. Jacobs Writes on Xenophobic Attacks in South Africa for Aljazeera

Jacobs_SeanThe depressing media images coming from South Africa may appear at odds with the dominant view of South Africa as a “rainbow nation” or with the ruling African National Congress’ long history of Pan-Africanism. However, since the end of apartheid, groups of South Africans have exacted xenophobic violence against economic migrants or refugees to the north of South Africa. But as International Affairs faculty member Sean Jacobs argues in a recent opinion piece for Al Jazeera America, this violence are not exceptional and is instead rooted in postcolonial political problems.

GPIA Alumnus Mitchell Cook, Researches the Influence of Information Systems on Municipal Finance in India, as Fulbright Scholar

cook_mitchellMitchell Cook is a graduate of the International Affairs program where he focused on cities and urbanization taking one semester to conduct independent research on land use policies in Chongqing, China. His graduate thesis focused on regional development in India and led to consulting work with the Asian Development Bank after finishing. Mitchell is currently a Fulbright Scholar in India where he is conducting dissertation research as part of a PhD program in Urban Studies and Planning at MIT. His ongoing research is centered on how rapidly growing cities in the developing world implement municipal finance reforms and how those reforms affect urban governance and accountability.




Prof. McCandless in Experts Workshop on Assessing Resilience

IMG_0481Dr. McCandless participated in a Global Methodology Workshop Session of Experts on Frameworks for Assessing Resilience (FAR) on April 16 and 17.


The Framework for Assessing Resilience (FAR) is a two year program created by Interpeace and funded by the Swedish Cooperation – SIDA. By way of a mixed methods approach that includes dialogue, surveys and participatory action research implemented at the country level, supplemented by a literature and practice review, this project aims to develop locally-owned and context-specific tools (frameworks, indicators, methodologies and guidance) that can be used to assess resilience in conflict-affected societies. This workshop aims to provide intellectual stimulus and strategic orientation to the implementation of the FAR project and also to serve as a forum for sharing and testing the emerging reflections from the FAR project with expert scholars and practitioners working on resilience in the peacebuilding field. Professor McCandless is spearheading discussions on “Assessment methods” and “Policy Implications.” She worked with Interpeace for two years to design and build the foundations of this program, in particular around surveying the academic and policy field on resilience, and in methodology development.