The GEP program will again sponsor a practicum in partnership with the “International Financial Flows and the Environment” program at the World Resources Institute. The project is intended to encourage China to adopt stronger environmental and social policies in its overseas investments. Students will research and write case studies of best and worst examples of overseas investments. This spring, the focus will be on the mining industry in Latin America--possibly Peru-- because the issue is highly controversial there and it has already generated substantial secondary research on which students may build. The team will pay special attention to Chinese investment as well as best and worst examples of international investment from other parts of the world. Some students may work remotely with Chinese students at Zhongnan University in Changsha in Central South China, a center of Chinese research on the mining industry. Some team members will have the opportunity to travel to Latin America during Spring Break to conduct interviews and make field visits. A few might travel to China to conduct interviews with Chinese mining officials there. Others may participate in the practicum through non-travel research options. WRI plans to use these studies to make recommendations to the Chinese government and to provide curriculum content for Chinese companies. The Partner organization for this practicum is the World Resources Institute.
Selection criteria: Students applying for this practicum should have some background, demonstrated through coursework or applied experience, in one or more of the following areas: global resources extraction and extractive industries; social and environmental standards and assessments; global environmental politics; international financial flows. Prior travel/residence in Latin America studying environmental issues is a plus. Students traveling to Latin America to conduct field work must have fluency or strong proficiency in Spanish.
Professor: Judith Shapiro teaches in the Global Environmental Politics program and directs the Dual Degree in Natural Resources and Sustainable Development (NRSD) with University for Peace in Costa Rica. She is the author of China's Environmental Challenges (Polity 2012), Mao's War against Nature (Cambridge 2001) and the co-author of Son of the Revolution (Knopf 1983) and other books on China. Her courses include Environment and Politics, the Washington Environmental Workshop, and Environmental Politics of Asia.