James (Jim) Mutch

I graduated with a double major in IR, and Global Islamic Studies. In addition, I attended a language institute for Arabic over summer 2011 in California. Currently, I was selected to take part in a focus group that will be traveling to Doha, Qatar this upcoming March 24th. I will be traveling with a professor and students from Portland State University to take part in a regional forum on Religion, Economics, and Sustainability in Qatar and the Middle East respectively. The program is designed to give us a better understanding of how the economic transformation in Qatar has affected the overall economic boom that has emerged in the Gulf Region. Qatar has one of the fastest growing education systems, increased levels of women's participation in education and the workplace, and more open media and communications systems. Therefore, Qatar uniquely represents a new trend in the Middle East. In this study abroad course, we will explore and try to understand these changes based on our interactions with Qatari organizations, politicians, citizens, and educators.  While I'm there, I will also be attending the "Doha Debates," the premier forum for citizens around the Arab world to voice their grievances and aspirations for future of the Arab world. It is truly democracy in action. In addition, I will come away with a better overall understanding of the recent events and turmoil in the Middle East, and how they affect the International System at large.

International Relations