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Globalization, Universities and Issues of Sustainable Human Development

Globalization, Universities and Issues of Sustainable Human Development

Edited by Jean L. Pyle and Robert Forrant

This volume raises an important question: Given the fast-changing global economy and the challenges it presents, what is the role for the university as an institution promoting sustainable human development? The editors begin by outlining the changes associated with the recent wave of globalization, particularly transformations in the relative power of institutions internationally. They analyze the constraints universities face in industrialized and developing countries in promoting sustainable human development.

Chapter 8: A University Enters into its Regional Economy: Models for Integrated Action with Refugee and Immigrant Communities

Linda Silka

Subjects: development studies, development economics, economics and finance, development economics, regional economics


Linda Silka I. INTRODUCTION In 1996 the US President’s Council on Sustainable Development (1996) produced its long-awaited report outlining recommendations for sustainable development in a global economy. The international processes of globalization were clearly central to its concerns – it recognized that national and international forces are sweeping through the US economy – but, unlike policy-makers who assert that all solutions must therefore be top-down and nationally driven, the Council saw efforts at the local, community and regional levels as essential. Indeed much of the report stresses the degree to which local efforts must take place if democracies are to prosper in a global economy. The Council pointed to the need for developing models for sustainable economic development that are built around local efforts and grassroots organizations. Of particular interest is its call for the involvement of universities in sustainable economic development, especially in partnership efforts at the local, community and regional level. The Council assumed that land grant universities and other universities have key roles to play. But what would these roles look like? The call for university leadership poses challenges, particularly for partnerships that involve a variety of different projects which must be sustained over time. In such cases how do diverse faculty members integrate their scattered efforts and not undo each other’s interventions? How does the work become truly interdisciplinary? These questions are not idle ones; they go very much to the heart of what roles universities will take in the globalizing economy....

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