Contemporary Worlds 1 and 2 are required for the International Studies Major at Monash and are recommended for all students interested in global problems and solutions.
Contemporary Worlds 1
The world today is in flux. The United States, the sole superpower since the collapse of the Soviet Union, appears to be in decline. In Asia, China has broken from its Communist past to emerge as an economic powerhouse and seems set to challenge U.S. dominance in the region. The Middle East remains locked in conflict with no sign of a peaceful settlement in sight. In Europe, the optimism that followed the creation of the European Union has been significantly undermined by years of economic turmoil. All of these developments have deep roots in past events and crises. Contemporary Worlds 1 aims to look at the events that shaped the world we live in today and to explore the long trajectories of the most pressing crises facing humanity.
Contemporary Worlds 2
What we see when we examine the state of the world today are two seemingly contradictory impulses: the world seems to be both coming together and falling apart. Transnational corporations (TNCs), beholden to no particular country, breach and erode the significance of the nation-state’s border. The forces of economic and political integration have never been greater, but simultaneously there is a growing fragmentation. Non-state actors, like Al Qaeda, challenge the authority of state actors on the international stage. Sub-national groups—be they Chechens or Uighurs or Welsh—chafe under the nation-state’s authority as they strive for greater autonomy or even independence. In the realm of economics, the premium placed (by those who can afford it) on artisanal and bespoke commodities serves as a means of resistance against the Multi-National Corporation. In Contemporary Worlds 2, we explore these conflicting forces, and how local circumstances play into global trends.