Angelina Snodgrass Godoy
Small-group seminars address current problems in international affairs, each focusing on one specific policy question and producing a joint task force report. Restricted to senior majors in International Studies. Prerequisite: SIS 200; SIS 201; SIS 202; SIS 401.
The University of Washington is committed to social responsibility in its apparel purchasing practices. Nevertheless, there is reason to believe that apparel for the UW is still being produced under conditions in violation of the Workers’ Rights Consortium standards. What are our responsibilities to those who produce for our consumption? What practical considerations limit options for ethical consumerism in this global industry? What opportunities exist for change; how desirable and realistic are they? How might the Designated Supplier Program be designed to best address these issues? This case study has global implications: the challenges faced by this university are also faced by all its peers; and the pitfalls of labor protections in Guatemala are far from unique. This task force’s challenge will be to develop policy recommendations for the UW administration, and others involved in the construction of the DSP, to ensure that our communities' principles are upheld in practice. Students in this task force will: study the history of the anti-sweatshop movement at US universities; examine current initiatives by groups dedicated to improving labor rights in factories producing collegiate apparel; study the ethical, political, and economic debates about sweatshop labor; speak to corporate executives of a US brand with an existing UW contract and production in Guatemalan factories; participate in a weeklong fact-finding mission to Guatemala (during the week of Feb. 18th); visit a Guatemalan factory that produces UW apparel; write a report summarizing the results of this fact-finding mission, with concrete recommendations for the DSP program's design.
Student learning goals
General method of instruction
combined lectures/readings/discussions, with emphasis on the latter, and much collaborative student effort in small groups
Class assignments and grading
collaborative writing assignments, to be carried out in close consultation with fellow students and with instructor
participation in discussions and writing assignments