Political Economy, Global Studies, and Environmental Justice

Through a broad interdisciplinary lens and close case studies you will investigate the vital political, economic, ecological, and social issues of the early 21st century. Learn about their history and development, their present manifestation, and possible alternatives.
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A circle of students sit in the grass outside with their professor, Savvina Chowdhury

Who has what, who does what kinds of work, how did it become that way, and how could it be different? Investigate answers through the combined study of economics, politics, ecology, geography, cultural studies, history, sociology, and philosophy. Learn the role of power in determining how the economy and society work, for whom they work, and with what ecological consequences. Your programs will examine imperialism, colonialism, ecological transformation, climate change, revolution, race, gender, economic and environmental inequality, neoliberal globalization, migration, and the rise of social classes and movements.

  • Investigate the causes of economic, social, and environmental inequality
  • Learn micro- and macroeconomics in historical context, along with alternative approaches
  • Explore capitalism and its relationship to colonial conquest
  • Study the historical development of the Anthropocene Era
  • Understand the theories, history and practices of social movements for change
  • Critically examine liberalism, Marxism, anarchism, populism, and fascism
  • Develop a historically-grounded global perspective
  • Envision alternative economic systems and a healthy planetary ecology

You will learn how social change has occurred in the past so you can join with others as more effective agents of change. Explore alternative visions for economies, ecologies, and societies that promote justice and environmental sustainability. Apply your learning through community-based internships, study abroad, and intensive research.

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Professor Shangrila Joshi stands in a windowed classroom while students listen from their desks

Completion of this path of study will prepare you to succeed in graduate work in environmental studies, political economy, law, education, international studies, and other fields, as well as careers and community-based work in local and international non-profits, social work, and governmental agencies.

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Thomas Herndon is interviewed by Professor Alan Nasser in the CCAM studio
Evergreen alumnus Thomas Herndon is interviewed by Professor Emeritus of Political Economy Alan Nasser in the CCAM studio. Herndon made headlines when he found errors in the data set used by pro-austerity Harvard economists Carmen Reinhart and Kenneth Rogoff.

    This Path can prepare you for careers in

    • Teaching K–12
    • Non-Profit organizations
    • Local and regional politics
    • Diplomacy and foreign policy
    • Journalism
    • Social work
    • Education

    Graduate school opportunities beyond this Path

    • Environmental studies
    • Social work
    • Law
    • Education
    • Political economy
    • Labor studies
    • Political science
    • Feminist studies
    • Sociology
    • Economics
    • International studies
    • Public policy
    • History
    Faculty on this Path
    Title Expertise
    Beck, Stephen philosophy
    Blewett, Lori communication
    Bowcutt, Frederica botany, ecology, environmental history
    Buxbaum, Stephen political economy, community development and planning
    Chowdhury, Savvina feminist economics
    Crowley, Lin media and Chinese studies
    Eloheimo, Marja Ethnobotany, Indigenous Studies, Climate Justice
    Grossman, Zoltan geography, Native American studies
    Joshi, Shangrila climate justice, climate policy and politics, political ecology, environment and development
    Kennedy, Cynthia leadership
    Lal, Prita food justice, social movements, race/gender/class inequality, Black studies
    McMillin, Paul historical sociology, information studies
    Morales, Maria Isabel latinx studies, cultural studies, education
    Niva, Steven international politics, political science, Middle East studies
    Prouty, Carolyn health science, public health, bioethics
    Rognas, Liza American history, information resources and library science
    Steinhoff, Eirik English
    Vavrus, Michael education, history, political economy
    Womeldorff, Thomas (Tom) economics
    Catalog Offerings for 2021-22
    Title Paths Class Standing Credits
    American Frontiers: Homelands and Borderlands
    • Sophomore
    • Junior
    • Senior
    8, 16
    Carrying Home: Latinx Worlds, Culture, and Public Health
    • Freshman
    • Sophomore
    • Junior
    • Senior
    16
    Climate Foundations: Political Ecology and Political Economy
    • Freshman
    • Sophomore
    • Junior
    • Senior
    16
    Community-Based Learning: Working in Community
    • Sophomore
    • Junior
    • Senior
    12, 16
    Democracy or Empire in U.S. Foreign Policy: Contending Visions
    • Freshman
    • Sophomore
    • Junior
    • Senior
    16
    Fisheries in the Pacific Northwest: Biology and Political Ecology
    • Junior
    • Senior
    16
    Introduction and History of Cooperatives
    • Freshman
    • Sophomore
    • Junior
    • Senior
    4
    Introduction to Environmental Studies: River Resources
    • Freshman
    • Sophomore
    16
    Microeconomics and Markets
    • Sophomore
    • Junior
    • Senior
    16
    Political Economy of Fascist Politics: Consequences and Resistance
    • Sophomore
    • Junior
    • Senior
    16

    Programs planned 2021-25

    Foundational

    • Introduction to Environmental Studies
    • Political Economy and Social Movements
    • Political Economy and Climate Justice
    • Environmental Justice

    Advanced

    • Advanced Political Economy
    • Botany: Plants and People
    • Intermediate Macroeconomics
    • Political Ecology: Politics of Nature

    Fields of Study related to this Path