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INTL 4/540

University of Oregon

Spring 2001



Instructor: Greg Ringer, University of Oregon

email: gringer@oregon.uoregon.edu



Objectives: The objectives of this seminar are to expose graduate and undergraduate students to major trends and changes (social, environmental & economic) in the broader East Asia-Pacific region, and to direct attention to the emerging cultural and physiographic geographies of the area. The Pacific Basin presents an area of great cultural heritage and contains some of the most biologically diverse sites in the world, yet countries within the region must confront the stresses of an increasing population and limited resources, an antiquated land tenure system, health epidemics, conflicting gender roles, ethnic warfare, and a history of genocide.


Consequently, this course blends readings, lectures, and selected case studies to critically examine some of the emerging challenges and possibilities that shape the Pacific today. Among the core themes are the role played by intraregional partnerships in addressing the consequences of increased urbanization, environmental degradation, and transboundary conflicts, and the commodification and marketing of regional identities through international trade and travel.


Texts & Readings: Additional readings are on electronic reserve.


            McGrew, A. & C. Brook (eds)(1998) ASIA-PACIFIC IN THE NEW WORLD ORDER, London & NY: Routledge.


            Overton, J. & R. Scheyvens (eds)(1999) STRATEGIES FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT: EXPERIENCES FROM THE PACIFIC, London & NY: Zed Books.



Grades: As a seminar, all students are expected to attend and actively participate in class discussion. Grades will be based on participation (30%), a series of exercises (30%), and individual presentations (40%).




Class Schedule:




McGrew & Brook, Chapter 4 & 11 “The Asia-Pacific: what sort of region in what sort of world?” pp. 68-87; and “Regionalism and globalism,” pp. 229-246.





Overton & Scheyvens, Chapters 1 & 8 “Sustainable development and the Pacific Islands,”pp. 1-15, and “Vanua: land, people and culture in Fiji,” pp. 100-106.



Gender & Ethnic Heritage


*gender & women's issues; feminism, nationalism, environmentalism & other cultural ideologies that inform and/or transcend traditional left-right dichotomy


Overton & Scheyvens, Chapter 4 “Culture and society,” pp. 48-63.


Ruether, R.R. (1998) “Ecofeminism, religion, /gender, hierarchy, and environment,” in Traditional and Modern Approaches to the Environment on the Pacific Rim: Tensions and Values, (ed.) H. Coward, Albany: State University of New York Press, pp. 89-104.


Perceptions & Cultural Icons


Ringer, G. (in press) “Constructions of tourism and place in Micronesia: the ‘Sleeping Lady’ awakes,” Journal of Pacific Studies.



Sustainable Economies & Environments


*agrarian reform & natural resource conservation


Overton & Scheyvens, Chapter 2 “Resources and the environment,” pp. 19-32.


Ringer, G. (1999) Con Dao National Park Ecotourism Management and Environmental Education Proposal, Hanoi & Ho Chi Minh City: Ministry of Agriculture & Rural Development, and WWF-Indochina Programme.



Terrorism to Tourism


*ecotourism & ethnic conflicts; cultural assimilation & homogenization


Hall, C.M. & G. Ringer (2000) “Tourism in Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar,” in Tourism in South and South East Asia: Issues and Cases, (eds) C.M. Hall & S.J. Page, New York: Butterworth Heinemann.


Overton & Scheyvens, Chapter 16 “Ecotourism,” pp. 212-226.


Ringer, G. (in press) “Convicts & Conservation: Con Dao National Park, Vietnam,” in Sustainable Tourism (ed.) R Harris, New York: Butterworth-Heinemann.



Empowerment & Imperialism


*human rights and “Asian values;” trafficking in humans, sex, drugs, and arms; political control of local, national & regional spaces; questions of political instability, autonomy & leadership


McGrew & Brook, Chapter 2 “From imperialism to the end of the Cold War,” pp. 35-56.


Overton & Scheyvens, Chapter 5 “Pacific islands livelihoods,” pp. 64-79.



Emerging Trends & Technologies


*Internet & virtual tourism; urbanization & urban-rural linkages; bio-technology & genetic engineering; intellectual property rights & piracy


McGrew & Brook, Chapter 5 “The Asia-Pacific security order,” pp. 88-120.


Overton & Scheyvens, Chapter 18 “Sustainable urban footprints,” pp. 241-253.



Globalization & Regional Cooperation


*security concerns, human rights & other social policy reforms; role of regional & supranational institutions, e.g. ASEAN, AFTA, WTO-GATT, IMF-WB, ADB, etc;.


McGrew & Brook, Chapters 12-13 “The growth of intergovernmental collaboration in the Asia-Pacific region,” pp. 247-270; and “Regional co-operation: the transnational dimension,” pp. 271-288.



Pro-active Approaches & Institutions


*social capital and civil society forces, including NGOs, CBOs & people's organizations; micro-development projects for poverty alleviation & rural industrialization


McGrew & Brook, Chapter 15 “The Asia-Pacific: what kind of challenge?” pp. 316-330.


Overton & Scheyvens, Chapter 19 “Conclusions: achieving sustainable development,” pp. 254-267.



Individual Class Presentation Guidelines (40% of grade)


            Select a country in the Pacific Basin and give a presentation in class on a topic of your choice related to the country and its location/role in the Pacific. A sign-up sheet will be posted outside my office.


            You are encouraged to be creative in your choice of topics and presentation format. Among the potential topics you might consider are:


§         Hyundai and conflicts between Korean cultural norms and the corporate management structure in Eugene;


§         the effects of Japan’s faltering economy on local firms such as Sony;


§         Nike and low-wage salaries in Cambodia and Vietnam;


§         nuclear testing by France in Polynesia;


§         Japan-Peru political relations after Fujimori;


§         Australia’s Aboriginals and “Survivor II — The Outback;”


§         China’s pursuit of the next Summer Olympics;


§         the myth of “clean, green New Zealand” in international travel promotions;


§         ethnic violence in Indonesia, Fiji, or the Solomon Islands;


§         community-based ecotourism development and changing gender roles in Guatemala;


§         the impact of international students on higher education in the Pacific NW (selection of school, degree, tuition revenue, choice of disciplines, reputation overseas, etc.)


§         the effects of new technologies, such as email and Iridium, on local populations in the Pacific Basin, including potential changes in communication and education, the empowerment of women and minority ethnic groups through greater access to information, and the advent of virtual reality and cyber-travel.


Upload: 03/27/2002

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