Dear Friends of the Mortara Center,
Over the past year, the Mortara Center has continued to promote and energize faculty and student research at the School of Foreign Service. Focusing on pressing global problems from climate change to protests in Hong Kong to digital technology and the future of international affairs, the Center has hosted dozens of events, convened working groups, and supported deep student mentorship experiences through the Mortara Undergraduate Research Fellowship (MURFs) program and the Walsh Exchange.
For the 2019-2020 annual report, I would like to draw your attention to an exceptional program, which exemplifies the extraordinary work happening at Mortara and the School.
The Center received a major grant from the Open Society Foundation’s Program on Economic Justice to spearhead a new effort to rethink our understanding of international political economy and the purpose of global market integration. The Global Political Economy Project (GPEP) seeks to prioritize outcomes over process; human values and prosperity over market liberalization. As part of this effort, the Center held a high-level academic conference devoted to the meaning of social protection in an age of digital technology. Over the next several years the Center will push forward the GPEP agenda, as it helps to start a national conversation on how best to guarantee that globalization delivers for all Americans.
As we moved into an all virtual environment during Spring 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we continued to support student and faculty research. We advanced our work through the Mortara Faculty Fellows. The program builds an interdisciplinary group of eight faculty to conduct research on two clusters: globalization and disorder and social stratification. In this multiyear effort, SFS faculty and students are working daily to help our country and the world grapple with these complex problems. The Walsh Exchange convened an amazing seminar, bringing together student researchers from across the globe. Our MURFs helped their faculty mentors to push forward their research programs. More than anything, the Mortara Community worked to stay connected and safe during this extremely trying time.
In the coming year, we are planning a number of virtual events around the issue of race and international political economy. While we might not be able to connect physically in the building, we hope that you will check out one of the lectures and see all of the amazing work that is happening at Mortara.
Director, Mortara Center for International Studies
Professor, Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service