Congress Funds New Center at GWU for Impartial Study of Globalization

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Byline: Vaishali Honawar

A new, congressionally financed research center at George Washington University will try to weigh the pros and cons of globalization for university students and the American public.

The Center for the Study of Globalization is one of the first of its kind in the country and the first in the metropolitan Washington area to devote itself entirely to the relatively new, but controversial issue of globalization.

Globalization is defined by some as the interdependence of the world's nations in terms of financial, economic, trade and social development.

"Some view globalization in a positive way, and others in a negative way," said John Forrer, director of the center. "I would like the center to be in a territory where debate between these two views can be carried out," he added.

In the past few years, the country has seen violent protests against international bodies, such as the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, for their treatment of poor nations.

"Protestors tend to be so broadly critical," said Mr. Forrer, adding that critics of globalization often do not address its complexity.

The center will attempt to do just that, he said, starting with three projects that will examine the effects of globalization on governments, investment and information technology.

The center at GWU has partnerships with the IMF and the World Bank and recently invited speakers from these institutions to address a conference on its campus. In the future, courses in fields ranging from women's studies to international finance will be designed to incorporate globalization.

"There will also be seminars and opportunities to bring in speakers on various issues related to globalization," said Associate Vice President Carol Sigelman, who worked on setting up the university's center. …