The Towson University Journal of International Affairs is honored to host Dr. James Roberts in the 8th presentation of the Eric A. Belgrad Speaker Series on Monday, April 25 from 6:00-8:00 pm in LA 4310.

Constructivist Approaches to Global Public Goods, a Multimedia Presentation

What are Global Public Goods? As the name implies, global public goods are much like their national counterparts, as they are a beneficial policy, good, or service that have no cost attached to them. They include, but are not limited to, collective security, global economic management, the environment, and the global response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Past analysis of the topic has mostly been used in an economic sense, where costs and benefits matter. However, a more useful approach would be to examine the socially constructed interests and preferences of the countries and other international agents. This lecture will use music and its many genres in a multimedia approach to facilitate a deeper understanding of the constructions of global public goods.


Dr. James C. Roberts Biography 

James Roberts is a professor of political science at Towson University. He has a Ph.D. in international relations and an M.A. in development studies from the School of International Service at American University. He has taught at Towson University for 33 years. He also worked for many years for the federal government evaluating social and economic development programs in the U.S. and abroad. Dr. Roberts has published two books. The most recent is entitled, Constructing Global Public Goods. His scholarship focuses on the nexus between constructivist approaches to identity formation in international relations and rational choice decision processes. This research examines how socially constructed preferences for international policies determine how nation-states provide global public goods such as collective security, management of the global economy, and human rights. He is currently working on an edited volume that examines the provision of global public goods in the areas of migration and refugee policy.

Dr. Roberts served for nine years as the chairperson of the Department of Political Science and for nine years as the director of the International Studies Program at Towson University. He teaches courses on international relations theory, political economy, rational choice politics, game theory, and research methods.

Offered under the auspices of the Towson University Journal of International Affairs, the goal of this speaker series is to shed light on a timely issue in the general field of international relations, broadly construed. In keeping with the spirit of the man in whose honor it was created, the speakers will seek to guide the audience to think more clearly about the topic of their talk rather than present predetermined conclusions meant for the sterile kinds of ideological “debate” that is unfortunately so prevalent today. We are particularly interested in inviting a broad spectrum of students to attend the talks in hopes of generating conversations and independent analysis. The opening remarks of the speakers will be published in that semester’s issue of the journal and will be featured prominently on the journal’s website.

Dr. Jim Roberts