(What is From the Field?  Read our welcome and prior posts.)

This post kicks off our second segment of From the Field, a student blog series that shares the work and experiences of students in Messiah University’s Department of Politics and International Relations.  Last spring, students participating in the US-Latin American Relations delved into the history of relations between these regions, as well as contemporary issues. Although the course originally was intended to run as the university’s first embedded travel course – in which students have intensive travel-based learning for a section of the course – the World Health Organization’s declaration of a global health pandemic just three days before our departure to Quito, Ecuador limited our options.  We were able to capture some of the intended in-country learning with a 4 part global lecture series focused on applied issues of dollarization, human rights, indigenous populations, and intra-regional organizations.

This segment of From the Field will feature posts based on policy evaluation research conducted by the students. Our goal is to introduce you to some important policies, their history and effects, as well as their relevance for our contemporary times. As with the prior segment, the student posts are supported by some of the academic sources that they used for information by which to evaluate the policies, as well as some general access sites that give context to the issue.  All sources are credible and reflect knowledge within the field.  We hope you find these posts to be helpful in building or extending your perspective of American foreign policy.



About the From the Field blog editor (Dr. Robin Lauermann):  I currently serve as a Professor of Politics in the Department of Politics and International Relations, which hosts this blog site. I have specific expertise in two sub-fields.  Within American politics, I teach and research on topics related to political institutions, public policy, and political behavior, with special consideration as to how they impact the functioning of our political system.  Within Comparative Politics, I look at many of the same themes, but within the regional areas of Latin America and Europe.  Above all, my passion and work focus on empowering people – students, colleagues, and citizens – to be able to better understand our political system in order to navigate it and evaluate it constructively.  With this series, I hope to provide such a forum, which can serve as a resource for citizens in evaluating policy, candidates and our system.


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