B.A., Grinnell College; M.A., Ph.D., University of North Carolina (Chapel Hill)
Betty Freyhof Johnson ’44 Professor of Political Science
The politics of globalization and inequality absorb me. I study them using archives, interviews, and direct observation of international development agencies.
I have published relatively widely on US policy toward the developing world, the economic debates within the UN, the UN Development Programme, the ISO (the International Organization for Standardization), and the co-evolution of industrial capitalism and international institutions. My current project (with JoAnne Yates of MIT’s Sloan School of Management) focuses on private international regulatory standard setting – the production of things like ISO’s environmental (ISO14000) and social responsibility (ISO 26000) standards – which have become increasingly important during the current era of economic globalization in which intergovernmental agreement to limit the negative consequences of the new world economy has proved impossible.
On most projects, I have had the assistance of Wellesley students and recent alums who have conducted interviews or done archival work in about a dozen countries for me and my co-authors.
I teach introductory courses on world politics, international political economy, and Africa's role in the world as well as advanced courses on global governance and the relations between rich and poor nations. I particularly enjoy working with students on independent projects or senior theses on related topics, even relatively thinly related topics, that they deeply care about. I am also a strong advocate of team teaching as a way to let students understand the multiple perspectives and often radical disagreements that are typical in the social sciences. I have welcomed the opportunity to teach with colleagues in the introductory courses in comparative politics and peace and justice studies and in various first-year programs that Wellesley has offered.
I have served as president of the International Studies Association, as chair of the Academic Council on the UN System, and as co-founding editor of the Council’s award-winning journal, Global Governance.
I have worked on the UN staff, held visiting appointments at Brown, Harvard, Johns Hopkins, and Wesleyan, and have been a fellow of the Radcliffe Institute of Advanced Study, and a visiting scholar at Stanford’s Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences. Since 2010, I have been helping create an innovative new doctoral program in Global Governance and Human Security at the University of Massachusetts Boston.
I collect old maps of Africa and furniture, pottery, and other objects from the early 20th century Arts and Crafts movement. Both collections are somewhat ironic -- European maps of Africa contain less and less information from the 16th through the 19th centuries. The Arts and Crafts movement was an international movement celebrating national styles. I also enjoy running (but not the pain) and fantasize about retiring and writing/drawing graphic novels. I live in Watertown and Salsbury Cove, Maine with my wife (and current co-author) JoAnne Yates and two cats, Max and Minnie-the-Who.