Professor; Program Coordinator, French Language Studies

Michel Gueldry
McCone Building M225
(831) 647-3508

Prof. Michel Gueldry's background is in political science and international relations. He has taught at the University of Memphis, Rhodes College (Memphis, TN), Middlebury College (VT), Mills College (CA), University of Oregon, Bryn Mawr College (Avignon, France), the Institut d'Etudes Politiques of Grenoble, the Institut des Hautes Etudes Européennes et Internationales in Nice (France), Leipzig University, and the Wuppertal Institute.

Courses Taught

Courses offered in the past two years.

  • Current term
  • Upcoming term(s)

Democracy is always a work in progress; the very meaning of the word is disputed, and it is indeed a site of contestation, innovation, reaction and renewal. We will first examine competing definitions, views, and practices of “democracy” and its twin, “the law.” Then we will structure our class as a series of five key questions. 1) If democracy is understood as the rule of the majority, what is the status of women, minorities and other groups that have traditionally been marginalized? And what constitutes a minority? What are their specific contributions to pluralist democracy? 2) What is the relationship between majority and minorities, between individual rights and duties, and between community rights and duties? 3) Is this concept and practice limited to the political sphere or does it also apply to other social spheres, like the family, the work place, the media, international relations, etc.? 4) How can societies enlarge the private sphere and individual rights without causing social bonds to fray? What are some key variations of the democratic experience to devise the best social compact? And 5) how do the United States, France and other countries fare against ideal models or ideal definitions of democracy?

Class sessions will be predominately discussion- and activity-based. Assessments and deliverables will include short written reflections on the topics du jour (1/2 to 1 page home and in class), 2 vocabulary and grammar quizzes (based on weekly compilations of vocabulary prepared by weekly secrétaires), one home essay (3 drafts and only the last one is graded) and one professional presentation. You choose your essay and presentation topics based on your specializations and personal interest. There is no required textbook; materials will be distributed in class or posted on Canvas. The course will be conducted in French with occasional use of English sources, and is destined for students with an Intermediate High level of proficiency.

Spring 2020 - MIIS

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During weeks 1-2, this class examines the concepts of conflict, violence, and security as they apply to our age. During weeks 3-10, we study the role of unequal distribution of and access to water, land (international land acquisitions), agriculture and food in fostering insecurity and conflict. Students choose the topics / types of resources and conflicts that they want to cover during weeks 11-15. In addition to linguistic development and knowledge of topic, we also seek to develop key professional skills such as technical reading, social presentation of self, public speaking, debating skills and group management. This is an excellent introductory or bridge class at an intermediate level for 1st semester students who wish to progressively hone their language and analytical skills.

Emphasis is on aural, oral and reading proficiency development, and to a lesser extent, writing skills in French. The level of French proficiency recommended is Advanced Low to Advanced Mid on the ACFTL language proficiency scale. Students at the Intermediate High level may be accepted (after interview with me) if they are very motivated and have a strong work discipline.

Fall 2018 - MIIS, Fall 2019 - MIIS

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It will be hard, and not satisfying, for you to be a productive and happy professional if you neglect your whole-person development. And you won’t be as efficient if you’re unsure of who you are and how to grow (mostly) happily over time and through life’s circumstances… This is why this class allows you to develop your emotional intelligence, your self-management, your social skills and communication skills; and to apply them to social and professional situations. Our class borrows from neuropsychology, cognitive sciences, cognitive psychology, archetypal and transcendental psychology, neurolinguistics, cognitive linguistics, social psychology, positive psychology and intercultural competence (ICC) studies. We spend about 5-6 weeks on “self-as-other,” on self-observation, self-knowledge and self-development, and another 5 weeks on key ICC theories and concepts or tools, tips, and frameworks to help you understand yourself and others. Then we study Americans as “the Other” and look deeply into the culture, psychology and emotional dynamics of the 11 American nations (yes, eleven: E Pluribus Unum, indeed!); and what this means for you as an individual, a professional, and a citizen—or a foreigner residing in this country, or as a hyphenated American, etc.

Our class mixes skids and activities that engage your whole identity (cognitive, affective, behavioral-attitudinal, archetypal, and physical), reading and discussions of texts and theories, reflections and self-observation outside the classroom, and internalizing tricks and tips to develop your emotional intelligence and your social intelligence. Expect to learn (cognitively) a lot in terms of theories and ICC, but expect also to be intrigued and internally transformed—this is what happens when you connect your “self,” your “persona,” with deep psychology and meta-truths. Also expect to be surprised and disconcerted at least occasionally.

Fall 2018 - MIIS, Fall 2019 - MIIS

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The concept of sustainability can seem remote, abstract, and irrelevant for many specializations at MIIS and many professions. Think of it as your best professional practices and how to mobilize and use professional skills, means and resources, and how to define and reach the goals of your professional field. Our class invites you to reflect and study your own professional practices, to identify the standards, objectives, means of action, limits and contraints of your profession, and how to work with other professionals from different horizons and profes-sional sub-cultures. There are also common practices or points of convergence across professions, which we will examine.

Therefore our class is structured in four parts. First, we study the economic, social, and environ-mental core (or ingredients) of sustainability as it is generally understood. These common factors can be articulated as STEEP (social, technological, economic, environmental and political) factors. This introduction will help you widen your views, structure your own criteria, and identi-fy the organizational dynamics for your profession or specialization. Second, you will examine (in groups of professional practice) the standards, best practices and objectives, defined by your professional organizations, and articulate and communicate them in ways that are understandable for stakeholders with other professional sub-cultures and language. Third, we will examine sev-eral case studies of successful and of failed policies, to see how sustainability (as your profession understands it) can be promoted, and what circumstances limit or undermine it. Each group of professional practice (students in IEM, in IEP, in DPP, in NPTS, etc.) will work on the case stud-ies together. And then, we will return to a more general view, a synthesis of sort to identify and articulate the common factors of excellence and sources of constraints across your various profes-sions professions, since no profession operates in isolation, in a silo, but in complex networks of very different stakeholders.

Assignments: 1) general preparedness and participation, 2) one home essay (or any form of writ-ten reflection applicable in your field like a policy memo, a white paper, etc), 3) two class exams, 4) one professional presentation (on the standards and objectives of your profession or on your case studies or a mix) or other profession-specific form of group communication on these topics (e.g., creating a video, a podcast, etc.).

Required language proficiency: ACTFL Advanced Mid.

No textbook is assigned, we create our own reading list from the www and professional sources.

Spring 2019 - MIIS

View in Course Catalog

Areas of Interest

My current teaching and research focuses on:

  1. connections between natural resources, conflicts and security
  2. economic theories and business models for sustainable development
  3. intercultural competence, from utilitarian / managerial approaches to critical theories to integrative / holistic practices
  4. integration of environmental ethics, conservation psychology, intercultural studies and spirituality for social change and especially for sustainability

I am now editing a new book on “new forms of insecurity in a globalized world,” such as climate change, ecosystems resource issues, human gender and community challenges, technological challenges, and sub- and trans-national radical groups.

Academic Degrees

  • PhD in Political Science, University of Toulouse, France, 1991
  • MA in Political Science, University of Toulouse, France
  • MA in History, University of Chambéry, France

Professor Gueldry has been teaching at the Institute since 1994.



  • France and European Integration: Toward a Transnational Polity? (Westport, Praeger, 2001)
  • Les Etats-Unis et l'Europe face à la guerre d'Irak (Paris, L'Harmattan, 2005)
  • Incorporating Professional Terminologies into the World's Languages: The Linguistic Engine of a Global Culture (The Mellen Press, 2010)
  • How Globalizing Professions Deal with National Languages: Studies in Cultural Conflicts and Cooperation (The Mellen Press, 2010)
  • L'Union européenne et les Etats-Unis: processus, politiques et projets (2011)


  • Promoting Sustainability through the Life Cycle Analysis (Québec : Vertigo, 2012)
  • Climate Change, Water-Ag. Issues and Instability in the MENA Region (Politique Etrangère, Fall 2013)
  • The Difficult Dialogue Between Neoclassical Economics and Ecological Economics (France : La Vie des Idées, Winter 2013)
  • “The Double Discipline of Neo-classical Economics” (Real-World Economics Review, 2015)
  • “Culture/s and Sustainability” (The International Journal of Sustainability, 2016)
  • “China’s Global Acquisition of Energy” (Chinese Journal of Political Science, 2016)