NSF Sociology Grant

October 9, 2003
Black and gold graphic bar
 October 9, 2003

Margie Yu
Public Affairs Specialist 
(323) 343-3047



Cal State L.A. 
Office of Public Affairs 
(323) 343-3050 
Fax: (323) 343-6405

For immediate release:
Cal State L.A. Gets NSF Support
for Global Trade Research

Los Angeles, CA – California State University, Los Angeles’ Sociology Department has recently received a $122,713 grant from the National Science Foundation to conduct a research project entitled “Cycles of Global Trade Structures.”

An award letter from NSF to the project’s principal investigator Tieting Su (Alhambra) writes: “Congratulations on receiving the panel and program recommendation. This is a very competitive process, and it is an affirmation and an honor to have your work so positively evaluated by your colleagues.”

Su explains, “In this project, I will combine two approaches in analyzing global political economy in the 20th century: the network and world-system approaches. Both approaches were originated in sociology and have had increasing impact in various disciplines in social sciences and humanities.”

According to Su, this project also has two striking characteristics. First, it deals with real trade flows and, secondly, it covers a long historical span. While most academic studies on trade focus on policies, agreements and formal institutions on trade such as NAFTA (North American Free Trade Area), Andean Community, WTO (World Trade Organization), Southern African Development Community, Arab Common Market, etc., this study focuses on real trade flows among countries in the world and is design to detect network patterns or structures stemming from the flows. This project covers the historical period from 1920’s to the present, which will reveal a general contour of world trade structure. The general contour may guide our vision of the world economy in the future.

Additionally, a book related to this project—Globalization and Trade: Networks of World Trade from 1920’s to 1990’s—authored by Tieting Su, is expected to be published soon by Routledge, a major academic publisher based in London.

Su elaborates, “The grant will help to strengthen the research infrastructure at CSULA’s Sociology Department and expose students to first-rate research, as the research results will be incorporated in courses related to globalization and research methods.”

The National Science Foundation (NSF) is an independent federal agency that supports fundamental research and education across all fields of science and engineering, with an annual budget of nearly $5.3 billion. NSF funds reach all 50 states through grants to nearly 2,000 universities and institutions. Each year, NSF receives about 30,000 competitive requests for funding, and makes about 10,000 new funding awards. The NSF also awards over $200 million in professional and service contracts yearly.

For more information on the research project, call Tieting Su, assistant professor of sociology at Cal State L.A., (323) 343-2211.

California State University, Los Angeles, is a comprehensive university at the heart of a major metropolitan city. The 175-acre hilltop campus is located five miles east of Los Angeles’ civic and cultural center. Since 1947, Cal State L.A. has been a leader in providing quality higher education. Today, the campus comprises a faculty of internationally recognized scholars and artists, and more than 21,000 students with a wide variety of interests, ages and backgrounds that reflect the city’s dynamic mix of populations. The CSU: A leader in high-quality, accessible, student-focused higher education.

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