David Christensen has been an adjunct instructor in the history and the international business departments at Boise State University for the past nine years. He has also taught several international business and economics courses at Northwest Nazarene University. He holds a Bachelors Degree in Geology, an M.A. in History from the University of Nevada and postgraduate work in African Studies at Stanford. He was in the U.S. Foreign Service for 25 years with assignments at American embassies in Europe, West and Central Africa, Iceland, Australia and Indonesia. He subsequently served as Administrator for International Business for the Idaho Department of Commerce and accompanied Idaho business missions to Eastern Asia, Latin America and Europe.
Although over 12 percent of the population of the United States traces its ancestry to West Africa, the history of that intriguing part of the globe is often little known or appreciated by many Americans. Several of the great empires rose in West Africa during the Middle Ages. They dominated areas as large as that of the Roman Empire at its height and made their influence felt throughout North Africa, the Middle East and Europe. An overview of the Empire of Mali, one of the more prominent of these unique civilizations, demonstrates a degree of political and economic sophistication on par with any of its contemporaries in other parts of the world.
The globalization of the world’s national economies is a phenomenon of the late 20th and early 21st centuries. A highly controversial topic that arouses the emotions of both its supporters and detractors. This presentation will examine some of the higher profile ramifications of globalization, such as NAFTA, the World Trade Organization, and the European Union and assess their impacts, both good and bad, on Idaho’s economic well being.
To understand better the bitterness that currently embroils the Middle East, a person needs to appreciate the background of the current struggle in the lands we know as Israel and Palestine from the Balfour Declaration of 1917 to the Powell mission of 2002. The presentation discusses the formation of the state of Israel, the roots of the clashes between the Jewish people and their Arabic neighbors, and the impasse at which the parties currently find themselves, a special emphasis on the implications of this struggle for U.S. foreign policy.
The Canadian West had its own counterparts to Lewis and Clark and the American mountain men who braved mountains, rivers and the frozen Arctic tundra in the quest for furs and a passage to the Pacific. In the process they paved the way for settlers and the extension of Canadian sovereignty, often just a step ahead of American expansionists who coveted the same territories. Canadian settlement patterns and relations with the American Indian “First Nations” are often in stark contrast to the approaches taken south of the 49th Parallel.