Virginia Haufler is Associate Professor in the Department of Government and Politics at the University of Maryland, College Park and is affiliated with the Center for International Development and Conflict Management. Her research focuses on the changing nature of governance in the global political economy, especially the role of transnational corporations and corporate social responsibility. Her current research examines how transnational regulation of the private sector addresses issues of conflict and corruption.
She is also Director of the Global Communities Living-Learning Program, which introduces freshmen to scholarship and experiences that explore globalization, global issues and intercultural understanding. She has been a visiting scholar at University College London, University of California-Irvine, the University of Southern California, and the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. She has pressented her work at conferences, workshops and talks in more than a dozen countries. She has served on the boards of non-profit organizations, including Women in International Security, the Peace Research Institute Frankfurt, and the OEF Foundation, and has advised the Principles for Responsible Investment and the Business4Peace Platform of the UN Global Compact. She has a M.A./Ph.D from Cornell University and dual B.A. from Pennsylvania State University.
Recent Public Activities:
Roundtable: "Towards a Third Generation of Global Governance Scholarship" ISA 2018 San Francisco; summary at https://www.ucl.ac.uk/global-governance/ggi-comments-pub/isa-roundtable
Workshop: "Private Authority and Public Policy in Global Context: Competition, Collaboration or Coexistence" Copenhagen Business School March 2018
Public Lecture: "Producing Global Governance in the Global Factory" University College London March 2018
Areas of Interest
- International Political Economy
- Global Governance
- Corporate Social Responsibility
Degree TypePhDDegree DetailsCornell University Department of Government 1991
Degree TypeMADegree DetailsCornell University Department of Government 1985
Degree TypeBADegree DetailsPennsylvania State University Foreign Service and International Affairs 1979
Degree TypeBADegree DetailsPennsylvania State University Russian Language and Literature 1979
At the undergradate level, I primarily teach: BSGC102 Globalization BSGC102 Global Issus GVPT289A Appetite for Change: The Politics of Global Food GVPT409 The Politics of Global Corporations. The BSGC courses are limited to students in the Global Communities Living-Learning program, which I direct. Global Food is an I-series course, and Global Corporations is an upper division course. I have supervised over a dozen undergraduate teaching assistants and a number of undergraduate research assistants. In addition, I have mentored students undertaking Independent Majors (IVSP); pursuing an Honors thesis in GVPT; participating in the McNair Scholars program; and freshmen in the SURE undergraduate research program. At the graduate level, I regularly teach graduate seminars on International Political Economy, and International Political Organization/ Global Governance. In the past, I have co-taught the core International Relations seminar. I have mentored many students on their dissertation, both as chair and as committee member. I held the position of Graduate Placement Director for a number of years, and in that position mentored graduate students seeking academic and non-academic positions. I also taught a course on teaching in political science.
How does the world get governed, and what role does the private sector play in this? This is the central question of my research. My early projects focused primarily on the conditions under which the private sector establishes global standards, using the international risks insurance industry as a case study. Later work explored the arena of "corporate social responsibility" as a form of voluntary self-regulation by international business, comparing environment, labor, and information privacy standards. My current research looks at global governance more broadly, including the multi-stakeholder institutions that have become increasingly common. I am currently working on a project that examines the interaction between transantional activism and the creation of multi-stakeholder insitutions designed to regulate trade relations and corporate behavior as a mechanism to reduce civil conflict in resource-rich areas of the world (e.g., the Kimberley Process for the Certification of rough diamonds, the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative, and others).
I am the Director of the Global Communities Living-Learning program. This is an invitation-only program for freshment undergraduates, who live together in Dorchester Hall, take classes together and participate in field trips and activities. The program encourages students to learn about globalization and global issues, and to develop intercultural communication skills. It combines the experience of living with students from a variety of diverse backgrounds, bringing together American and international students. The academic program consists of ten credits, including a three-credit "global experience" requirement (study abroad, service-learning, internship, etc). In addition, the program sponsors relevant events and field trips in the Washington, DC region.
I have served on numerous committees in the department, college and university. I am the advisor to the Model UN club and UNA-UMd club on campus.
Professionally, I regularly provide my expertise to review articles and books, and evaluate research project proposals. I have consulted for numerous non-profits, international organizations, and think tanks.
Director, Global Communities Living-Learning Program