Robert Blanton. PSPA Chair; Professor
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(205) 934-2339
Heritage Hall 414A

Research Interests: International political economy, international organization, foreign policy, human rights

Office Hours: M/W 9:00 - 11:00 a.m.

  • BA, North Carolina State University
  • MA, University of South Carolina
  • PhD, University of South Carolina

Dr. Blanton specializes in the area of international political economy, particularly the “human face” of the global economy. Broadly put, much of his current work deals with the intersection of human rights and the global economic system. That is, he examines how different facets of the global economy — including the investment decisions of multinational corporations, global trade, or the actions of international financial institutions such as the IMF and World Bank — either influence or are influenced by different types of human rights, such as personal integrity rights, labor rights, and women’s rights.

He is also active and engaged in various aspects of international studies education; he has directed international studies programs for many years and was recently the section president of the International Education section of the International Studies Association (ISA). This interest extends to his research as well as the classroom, as he has published articles dealing with the challenges of international studies programs as well as ways to effectively incorporate aspects of pop culture — particularly zombies — into the classroom.

Follow the linked course names to see sample syllabi which describe course aims, learning objectives, requirements, and schedules. These are samples only. The instructor may make changes to these syllabi in future courses.
  • Blanton, R. G., & Peksen, D. 2019. Labor Laws and Shadow Economies: A Cross‐National Assessment. Social Science Quarterly.
  • Mills, M. J., Tortez, L. M., & Blanton, R. 2019. Moving beyond employees: Antitrafficking training as facilitating social change. Industrial and Organizational Psychology, 12(1), 34-38.
  • Blanton, R., Blanton, S., & Peksen, D. 2018. The Gendered Consequences of Financial Crises: A Cross-National Analysis. Politics & Gender, 1-30.
  • Robert G. Blanton, Shannon Blanton & Dursun Peksen. 2018. “Confronting Human Trafficking: The Role of State Capacity” Conflict Management and Peace Science
  • Robert G. Blanton & Bryan Early & Dursun Peksen, 2018. "Out of the Shadows or into the Dark? Economic Openness, IMF Programs, and the Growth of Shadow Economies.” The Review of International Organizations, 13(2): 309-333. A blog version of the article can be found in the Harvard Business Review.
  • Robert Blanton, "We Want More Metal! The Political Economy of Heavy Metal," blog entry in (2016).
  • Robert G. Blanton and Dursun Peksen. 2016. "Economic Liberalization, Market Institutions, and Labor Rights," European Journal of Political Research 55 (2):474-91. A blog version of article can be found at Democratic Audit UK as well as Newsweek.
  • Robert Blanton, Shannon Blanton and Dursun Peksen. 2015. "The Impact of IMF and World Bank Programs on Labor Rights," Political Research Quarterly 68 (2):377-91. A short version of the article can be found at International Union Rights; Japanese translation appears in Zenroren.
  • Robert G. Blanton. 2013. "Zombies and International Relations: A Simple Guide for Bringing the Undead into Your Classroom," International Studies Perspectives 14 (1):1-13.
  • Dunavant Research Professorship, University of Memphis, 2009-2011
  • Early Career Research Award (2002) and Distinguished Research Award (2009), University of Memphis
  • Distinguished Advising Award, University of Memphis, 2012
  • “PI Millionaire Award” for being awarded over $2 million in support for the Tennessee Governor’s School of International Studies
  • American Political Science Association
  • International Studies Association
  • Peace Science Society