International studies examines the origins, processes and contestations of globalisation in the contemporary world. Ordinary people's experiences and responses to global integration are at the centre of our inquiry. We examine how local communities around the world embrace but also challenge aspects of globalisation, in four interlocking spheres of the human condition:
- Global health and disease
- Environment, cities and sustainability
- Crisis conflict and disaster
- Commerce, technology and consumption
Global health and disease
The ways in which people experience good health or disease are increasingly influenced by global factors, such as the growing movement of people and animals, the spread of pollution and pathogens, the development of new medical technologies and treatments, and international institutions that coordinate health and security responses to disease outbreaks. Where and how people live and die - local matters - determines their access to primary healthcare, so an understanding of culture, global wealth distribution, and development is an essential component to studying global health and disease in this stream.
Environment, cities and sustainability
By the end of this century, the majority of the world's population will live in cities. Meanwhile, climate change is in progress, and the way we live within our natural and built ecosystems, among people and with animals, is inherently interconnected and subject to new pressures. This stream focuses on the impacts of a changing environment in an increasingly urbanised world. It provides students with the means to critically examine ways in which a more sustainable mode of living on the planet are being devised by researchers in a range of disciplines, and why the humanities and social sciences bring an important set of analytical skills to understanding the challenges of sustaining a just, prosperous life for all on the planet.
Crisis, conflict and disaster
Crises in our contemporary world take many forms - in the movement and displacement of people, discrimination, poverty and injustice, violence and suffering. War and political conflict, pollution and exploitation, natural and industrial disasters, and biological catastrophes like pandemic disease outbreaks, are among the many topics examined here. This stream brings these realms of human experience, as well as the increasingly internationalised responses to them, together in one stream to examine the causes and consequences of global crises.
Commerce, technology and consumption
Global trade, the production and consumption of commodities and culture, and the uptake of new technologies are among the primary ways that ordinary people experience and are drawn into globalisation. Flows of trade, money, ideas, entertainments and people are fundamental to an integrated world, and yet are basic to how questions of justice, development and difference are negotiated and disputed. The tensions between the agency of individuals and the power of commercial and corporate entities - and between the local and the global - are core queries we pursue in this stream.
While there are individual units throughout the arts faculty that enable students to study aspects of globalisation, international studies is the only program to collate these units and provide a thematically coherent, interdisciplinary platform for students to study globalisation in depth.
All our units are inherently global and comparative in the case studies they select, so that students are trained to think critically across cultural and geographical boundaries. Students are taught interpretive methods and theories by leading economists, historians, anthropologists, philosophers, bioethicists, sociologists and political scientists, giving them a unique blend of analytical skills that study in one discipline alone cannot offer.
International studies is listed in the Bachelor of Arts at Caulfield and Clayton as a major and a minor, and in A0502 Diploma of Liberal Arts at Caulfield and Clayton as a major.
In addition to achieving the broad outcomes of their course, students successfully completing this major will be able to:
- demonstrate a deep understanding of a range of major issues and concepts associated with contemporary globalisation and how these are understood differently in a variety of national and cultural contexts
- identify a range of theoretical tools used by scholars in order to understand and describe these issues and concepts, and have a demonstrated capacity to apply these across national and cultural boundaries
- demonstrate a capacity to think reflectively about the relationship and interactions between issues, events and concepts in different places and cultures across the world, and to recognise the inter-relatedness of these issues and concepts
- demonstrate a capacity, through the successful completion of a range of assignments and other assessment tasks, to identify and select appropriate information, and appropriate procedures, to interpret and report on contemporary economic, social, cultural and political change using a variety of methods, sources and data in both English and, where appropriate, other languages.
- demonstrate a capacity to communicate clearly using written, oral and other media to present a sophisticated argument about an issue or concept that is of contemporary global importance.