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Mission and Purpose

So, what’s International Area/Global Studies about, anyway?
The next time you buy something, anything, look where it was made. USA? Mexico? China? Korea? Indonesia? Vietnam? Bangladesh? Jordan? Turkey? Brazil?
Look at the news; what countries show up all the time (in 2014: China, Ukraine, Russia, Syria, Iraq, Egypt, North Korea, Mexico) and what do you really know about them?

The World is Connecting in New Ways

Today, people are increasingly on the move, yet there have never been so many people confined to prisons.
Non-governmental organizations have become important political players, yet the power of the nation-state has never been more apparent.
The intensification of world trade is said by some to lead to democracy, while others see it as a source poverty and repression.
Development often leads to resource depletion that directly impacts local lives and contributes to climate change.
Workers go where labor scarcity and demand enable them to work—Nepalis and North Koreans build the 2022 World Cup stadiums and cities in Qatar, Filipino nannies work for wealthy locals and expats in Hong Kong, North Africans brave the Mediterranean to get to Italy and Southern France.
Rising standard of living creates great wealth disparities: OxFam in 2014 estimates that the “lower half of the global population possesses barely 1% of global wealth, while the richest 10% of adults own 86% of all wealth, and the top 1% account for 46% of the total. "  (

Achieving Goals and Preparing for Careers

The International Area/Global Studies program is part of an interdisciplinary effort by West’s faculty so you can develop the knowledge and skills you need to study and understand how our world is changing and how we can address the challenges of the future. You will learn to approach global challenges—current and emerging—from a comparative and transnational approach to research.  We seek to prepare you to transfer for baccalaureate programs at UCLA, other UCs, and CSUs and to prepare you for whatever profession you choose.
Come. Explore the world. Join fellow students who want both curricular and metacurricular opportunities to develop a critical understanding of global issues to become engaged "citizens of the world."

IA/GS People and Contact Information

Core faculty include of members of anthropology, history, political science, art, English, and modern languages disciplines who are working together to help students make sense of complex interactions among global processes, regional and local cultures, and societal structures.  
Jack Ruebensaal....Professor of Political Science and lead faculty member for IA/GS
Olga Shewfelt........Professor of Political Science, Latin America
Meric Keskinel......Professor of Economics, economic globalization
For program information, please contact:

Prof. Meric Keskinel (310) 287-4227,

Prof. Jack Ruebensaal (310) 287-4222,