Prior to the 18th century, most South Pacific islands had subsistence economies that provided material standards of living higher than what was observed in western Europe. Over the next two centuries, these islands would transition to cash-based economies notable both for highly unequal income distribution and relatively low incomes; American Samoa only falls into the World Bank's 'upper middle income' category while neighboring Independent Samoa is a ‘lower middle income’ economy. This transition from subsistence affluence to cash poverty and the economic development programs currently being used in both American and Independent Samoa to improve the islands' economies will be the focus of this class. Specific attention will be paid on the Samoas' integration into the global economy in the 19th century, the transformative effects of the World Wars (especially World War 2) on the region's economy and especially food systems, and the rise of an extraction-based economy centered on the tuna industry (American Samoa) and tourism (Independent Samoa). Particular attention will be paid to modern fisheries economics and the influence of international trade on global fisheries while additional focus will be on the development of a non-consumptive natural resource-based economy: tourism.
Prerequisite: Fall semester prior to JT'15 departure, students will be required to enroll and participate in the IDST 098 Orientation to International Study (1 credit).
Faculty: Professor Eric Schuck
Fees: Program Fee: $5000 Estimated Air: $2000
LC: QR or GP