2008 Grantees

Lisa Breglia – “From the Ground Up: Living with Oil on Mexico’s Gulf Coast”

Lisa Pawloski & Jean Moore – “Assessment of the Nutritional Status of Chilean Children and Their Mothers Using A Validated Self-Care Nutrition Practice Instrument”

David Hart – “Governance of the Global Knowledge Economy”

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Project Descriptions

 
Lisa Breglia

Assistant Professor of Global Affairs
College of Humanities & Social Sciences

“From the Ground Up: Living with Oil on Mexico’s Gulf Coast ”

Just as economies are hinged to the global cartography of oil–its presence, price, and prognostications thereof–so are the lives of people living in petroleum’s midst.  Sometimes by necessity yet often unwittingly, communities in oil exporting nations from Azerbaijan to Venezuela negotiate pasts and the futures on the peaks and in the troughs of energy production cycles more attuned to abstractions of the market than the visceral effects of how cultural and environmental landscapes are profoundly changed by extractive industries.  Based on research conducted in Campeche, Mexico the proposed project closely examines a local site of global energy production through an ethnographic and historical study of how local fisherfolk and farmers have experienced three decades of intensive oil and gas production carried out under the direction of PEMEX, Mexico’s state-owned oil company.  This research promises a unique contribution to a growing body of literature on the politics of oil in the global political economy as I examine how “Maya crude,” as the local product is called, represents the ambiguities and contradictions of oil-led development to populations around the world.  A close examination of the local effects of oil production will not only nuance understandings of the politics of resource control under neoliberalism, but also how the presence–and impending absence–of natural and cultural resources informs strategies of governance and responses of civil society.

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Lisa Pawloski & Jean Moore

Pawloski: Associate Professor & Chair of the Dept. Global and Community Health

Moore: Associate Dean for Nursing Research Development
College of Health & Human Services; School of Nursing

“Assessment of the Nutritional Status of Chilean Children and Their Mothers Using A Validated Self-Care Nutrition Practice Instrument”

The demographic change over nutrition, marked by a rapid increase in obesity and obesity-related illnesses, has been coined by global epidemiologists as the “nutrition transition.”  Chile was one of the first countries in the world in which the nutrition transition was first recognized.  Obesity has become a growing problem in Chile among all age groups, yet has been more of an issue in lower socioeconomic groups, children, and women.  To better understand the impact of the nutrition transition in Chile among children, this study proposes to examine the nutritional status and dietary behaviors among a group of Chilean children and their mothers.  The findings will assist in providing clues to developing interventions to help reduce this emerging health crisis.  This project represents a collaborative research effort including two GMU faculty from different departments–the School of Nursing and the Department of Global and Community Health–and two faculty members from the Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile School of Nursing in Santiago, Chile.  The methods used in the project will be based on earlier projects conducted by the GMU researchers in Nicaragua and in the United States, which included the development of a culturally appropriate nutrition behavior instrument.

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David Hart

Associate Professor of Public Policy
School of Public Policy

“Governance of the Global Knowledge Economy ”

Over the past decade, globalization in many knowlege-intensive industries has begun to move beyond production and into research, design, and development.  New boundary-spanning organizational forms have been created to appropriate value from these activities, while global markets are emerging for highly-skilled labor, codified knowledge, and innovation finance.  Firms are driving this globalization process; governments facilitate it, even as they strive for national and regional advantage.

In this project, we propose to explore whether the asymmetry between corporate strategy and government response is producing a governance gap that could in time threaten the emerging global knowledge economy.  The gap may encompass:

  • coordination problems that stem from the pursuit of the “first mover” advantage, leading to wasteful subsidies and perhaps “techno-nationalist” trade wars,
  • public goods shortfalls that reflect short time horizons and fear of free-riding in such areas as basic scientific research and human capital development, and
  • externalities that impose costs on groups least able to bear them.

These developments open up a large new agenda for interdisciplinary research and outreach to policy-makers and publics on a global basis.

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