More Student Responses from Debating Globalization

Framing the Global Fellow Sean Metzger is teaching at Fudan University as part of a University of California-Fudan exchange this fall.

In his class ‘Debating Globalization‘ Metzger is asking his students to think about globalization, what it may or may not be, and how it intersects with their lives. The Framing the Global volume is one of the core texts Metzger’s students are working with.

Early in their semester, Metzger asked his students: What would you like your entry point into global research to be and why?

We’ve already shared three responses to that question — here now are two more.

International Law and International Markets — Jennie Christensen

There are two primary entry points for global research that I am interested in: international law and international markets.

My interest in the first is founded in both my curricular and extracurricular pursuits. One of my majors is political science because I am interested in law and going to law school, hence I am most inclined towards a legal entry point for global research.

This entry point is, of course, just a beginning point and I can see larger questions emerging from here – questions on how the international community does/does not work together to enforce human rights norms, the effectiveness or lack thereof of international laws, and how organizations like the UN and the inter-American system shape the global. These are questions that I would be interested in pursuing from a legal entry point.

My other entry point, largely influenced by my experience as a communication major and my market research internship here in China, would be focused on international markets/business. I am genuinely interested in the trade, business, and communication that occurs amongst countries. Though I realize this entry point is broad, it is a subject that I wish to further explore in this class.

A potential topic for my group project (if others are interested) may be on Intellectual Property Laws and the circulation/market for counterfeit products. This subject would serve as a way to explore how these two interests (law and markets) intersect within the global.

Jennie Christensen is a Junior at the University of California, Santa Barbara. She is majoring in Political Science and Communication, with a minor in Global Peace & Security. She is interested in issues pertaining to international law and human rights. To further pursue these interests, she works as a Research Assistant for Stanford’s Human Rights Center. 

Global Wine — Jared Earles


Great Wall Wine’s vineyards lie mostly in Shandong province. In 2010 Great Wall produced 50-thousand tons, making it China’s largest producer. Image via Kentaro IEMOTO. (Flickr Creative Commons.)

One entry point to the global is wine. As perhaps the world’s most consumed alcoholic beverage, wine is produced on every inhabited continent and all wine markets are typified by a mix of both domestic and imported wines (even in cases in which nations produce a sufficient supply to satisfy domestic demand).

As such, consumption of wine is by nature a global interaction as even most nations’ domestic wines contain elements that were either previously or currently imported (clones of grapes from nation A grafted onto root stock from nation B grown in the unique home climate of nation C); else the wine can be directly imported as every nation except France, Spain, and Italy often have an equally (if not more) robust import market for wine as their domestic production.

Similarly, there is a French anecdote that vines younger than 75 years do not produce wine fit to drink, so wine both crosses spatial and temporal boundaries. Much of the prestige of Bordeaux comes from the same vines being grown in the same soil in the same way for centuries so that the process of wine making has been“perfected.”

In the last 15 years, China has entered into the scene and in 2014, for the first time, China was the world’s largest consumer of red wine. Despite being a relative newcomer to wine production, China now is the world’s fifth largest producer and after a decade of exponential growth is on pace to be the world’s largest wine producer before 2020.

Despite this rapid increase in production, the growth of wine imports in China has been even more pronounced. And the particular selection of imports that Chinese prefer to buy can be seen as a cultural marker both of “Chineseness” (red wines because of their fortuitous color, Bordeaux wines because of their prestige) and westernizing influences (wine consumption correlated with wealth, as in western nations, the choice of wine over traditional Chinese liquors as an entree to global acculturation).

However after France, Australia, South Africa, and Chile are the most important wine importers in China, placing Chinese wine exposure firmly at the crossroads between “old world” and “new world” wines. As alcohol consumption is a highly important aspect of culture and business (certainly a more important aspect of business than in the US and other western nations), the rise of wine (and its accompanying decline in “old world” nations where less production at higher prices has been the recent trend) both mirrors and drives a reshaping of culture and the global marketplace.

Jared Earles enjoys skipping stones, meeting strangers, and watching his dog chase things. He’s a fourth year student in Global Economics with a Chinese emphasis at the University of California-Santa Cruz and a citizen of the world.

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