SMC Global Citizenship

Santa Monica College promotes global citizenship—developing, sharing, and using inter-cultural understanding to foster a more livable, sustainable world. Visit for more details.
Contributing Authors

Stanford University linguist, Asya Pereltsvaig, provides an overview of the many possible seams along which central Eurasia could rip apart in the aftermath of Russia’s annexation of Crimea. Whether we see this as a new wave of post-Soviet partition, or as an aggressive move of Russian irredentism, or as a return to old-school Mackinderian geopolitics, the prospects for lasting peace on the margins of Europe and Russia have become quite a bit bleaker.

Teenagers, and Twenty-Somethings, too!


Today’s teenagers are the next generation of leaders and innovators; they will be called upon to find solutions to global problems and challenges. They will need to be confident problem-solvers and know how to work effectively across cultures and borders.  Study abroad provides these essential skills and so much more. 

Spotted by SMC geographer Pete Morris during his summer travels in Italy. Does music (and/or children’s art) provide the key to world peace?


The guitar is mightier than the sword.

That’s the rough translation of the caption in this piece, which was included in a children’s art exhibit this summer inside the landmark seaside castle of Rapallo, Italy. Amidst the usual collection of works romanticizing the life of piracy and the brave but violent resistance against invading corsairs, this work stood out as a small but loud appeal to peace. It also echoes a quote I shared earlier this year about the remarkable political force that Bruce Springsteen’s music—and rock and roll more generally—can provide.

I think that human-rights abuse is the same no matter where you are. … Unfortunately, to be truthful, we don’t care until it happens to us.

- Global Hip Hop star K’naan, of Somalia via Toronto, discussing some of the inspiration behind his music and poetry in this short video for Amnesty International and Link TV.

via utnereader.

Subway lines as transects, revealing the urban geography of economic inequality in New York City.


Inequality and New York’s Subway [article]

(via theatlantic)

After the Tiananmen protests, China’s reform seemed to have been aborted. Yet if one asks today which political leader did most to transform the world through a shift towards markets the answer would be Deng Xiaoping, not Reagan or Thatcher. The transformation of China is the great economic and political event of our era.

Martin Wolf, of the Financial Times, reflects on the mixed but transformative legacy of Margaret Thatcher, and reminds us that a global perspective on Thatcherism/Reaganism/neoliberalism necessarily includes the point of view of China and other emerging regions, as well as the trans-Atlantic and trans-Channel worlds to which Britain belongs. Another veteran European journalist, Wolfgang Kaden of Der Spiegel, provides a similarly mixed review of the neoliberal world that Thatcher ushered into place.

As for the view from China, it is of perhaps little surprise that one of angles most emphasized is Thatcher’s role in facilitating the peaceful transfer of the former British colony of Hong Kong to Chinese rule. Meanwhile, as news of Thatcher’s death broke worldwide on Monday, the new Chinese premier, Xi Jinping, was meeting with Bill Gates and other global business dignitaries offering assurances of China’s commitment to an “open and fair market” of international trade.


Earth Week - April 22-26
Kicking off a great week with the Honeybee Festival and Film on Monday April 22.
Mark your calendars and plan to help out!