Professor pursues globalization research in China


Oswego’s Dr. Said Atri, professor of economics and an expert on globalization, recently began a nearly three-month visiting professorship with Shanghai Normal University, one of six Chinese partner institutions of SUNY Oswego.

“I’m very excited and to some degree anxious,” Atri said recently. “I’ve never been to China. I did look forward to an opportunity like this for a number of years. I hope I can be productive in both teaching and research.”

Atri, an Oswego faculty member for 30 years, will teach “Issues in the Global Economy” and “International Trade Theory” in Shanghai Normal’s School of Finance.

He also plans to travel and to complete a dataset for research on globalization, including a particular scholarly interest of his, “the Dutch disease effect.”

Essentially, researchers on “Dutch disease” study what happens when a nation comes into a sudden large volume of revenue from a particular set of exports, as with oil-rich nations or, in China’s case, manufactured goods.

Atri’s research includes looking closely at the valuation of China’s currency and the country’s strategies for not allowing currency to flood their marketplace. The communist People’s Republic of China has invested heavily in the United States, Africa, South America and elsewhere around the globe.

“I’m hoping to get some (research) help from my colleagues at Shanghai Normal University,” he said.

International partnership

Atri credited Joshua McKeown, director of International Education and Programs, as instrumental in obtaining the visiting professorship.

“We have a very warm and productive exchange relationship with Shanghai Normal University,” McKeown said.

Several students and at least one Shanghai scholar have been in residence here since Oswego and Shanghai agreed to the partnership in 2007, he said. Jin Jin, one of the current exchange students at SUNY Oswego, recently was one of 180 students from colleges in 40 countries chosen to participate in the prestigious Harvard Project for Asian and International Relations Conference in Boston.

“Ideally, we like to have our exchanges balanced,” McKeown said. “When Said discussed with me last year his interest in teaching abroad, we talked about possibilities, and he expressed his specific interest in this opportunity. He showed a lot of pluck and resolve, because with endeavors this big, there are always bumps in the road.”

Saying Atri’s scholarship in economics is well known, McKeown was “gratified with how eager SNU was to receive him.”

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(Posted: Mar 03, 2011)

Tags: economics