Global Studies Research Seminar 2023

Frontiers of capital – Extractivism, Commodification and Resistance

Co-organized by the Ghent Centre for Global Studies, Transnational Institute and the International Institute of Social History

A specialist course of the Doctoral Schools of Arts, Humanities & Law, and of Social and Behavioural Sciences of Ghent University

In recent times, there has been a surge of mobilisations worldwide, igniting transformative movements that challenge established power structures. From the Mapuche indigenous resistance in Chile, advocating for land rights and cultural preservation, to the anti-uranium mining protests in Niger, highlighting concerns about the environment and community well-being, these local struggles resonate with wider global issues. Across Latin America, protests against mega-projects and extractive industries have gained momentum. The resistance by Xingu indigenous communities in Brazil against the Belo Monte Dam, and the opposition to the Conga mining project in Peru by local communities, reflect deep concerns regarding environmental impact, displacement, and the violation of indigenous rights.

These diverse mobilisations illustrate the intricate landscape of resistance against extractivism, commodification, and social injustices. By examining the convergences and divergences among these movements, our aim is to comprehend the underlying structures and dynamics that shape their struggles. Moreover, we will critically reflect on the potential for solidarity and alliances across borders and at the intersections of class, gender, and race. Through exploring alternative narratives and transformative practices within these mobilisations, we seek to uncover the potential for systemic change and social reconstruction.

This seminar cordially invites you to join us in exploring the frontiers of capital, extractivism, commodification, and resistance beyond mainstream examples. By examining these impactful topics, we will gain profound insights into the complexities of global social change and the potential to forge a more just and sustainable future.

Global Studies Research Seminar 2022

Global Protest – From Outrage to Hope?

Co-organized by the Ghent Centre for Global Studies, Transnational Institute and the International Institute of Social History

A specialist course of the Doctoral Schools of Arts, Humanities & Law, and of Social and Behavioural Sciences of Ghent University

Over the last 15 years we have witnessed mounting mobilisations worldwide, a global outrage that is only compounded by the devastating and unequal impact of the COVID-19 pandemic – from the Arab Uprisings to the Occupy movement, from Black Lives Matter and Ni Una Menos to the Global Women’s Strike, from the Youth for Climate movement to the Gilet Jaunes, from massive Indian farmer’s protests to urban movements for the right to housing, from the Imider (Morocco) to the Xolobeni (South-Africa) protests against mining projects and extractivist development, as well as different Alt-right movements and recent anti-vax or anti-covid-containment mobilisations. In this seminar, we aim to examine different (local or regional) protest movements and their global connections, in the light of key global studies themes, including capitalist production and social reproduction, post-development and post-extractivism, democracy and citizenship. We explore the divergences and convergences among these various mobilisations, as well as actual or potential solidarities, including urban-rural alliances, and connections across intersections of class, gender and race. Moving from an analysis of resistance to the question of reconstruction, the seminar will also reflect on the transformative counter-power of these different protests, and the place of (academic) research in global social change, including ethical challenges, and co-creative or action-oriented methodologies.

Global Studies Research Seminar 2021

Pandemic politics. Researching the pandemic from the margins: the politics of globalization and global studies under COVID-19

Online sessions – February-April 2021

This seminar series has been accredited as a specialist course of the Doctoral Schools of Arts, Humanities & Law, and of Social and Behavioural Sciences

This year’s edition of the Global Studies Research Seminar will focus on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, namely 1) the way in which Corona and the ensuing government policies have acted as a catalyst for existing global crises and challenges (e.g. economic, environmental, migration crises, and the crisis of care); 2) as well how the pandemic and containment measures affect Global Studies research. We will address the pandemic as both 1) a lens highlighting global structural inequalities and accelerating ongoing local-global processes of marginalization and precarization; 2) an opportunity for system change, including decolonizing and commoning initiatives, put forward by social movements that were already gaining momentum long before 2020 (e.g. indigenous resistance, women’s strikes, Black Lives Matter, etc.).

In keeping with the core research themes of the Ghent Centre for Global Studies, the different thematic sessions will focus on “reshaping the city and public space”; “reshaping human/nature interactions”; “reshaping social reproduction and care” and “reshaping borders and mobilities.” We will also discuss our research and the social impact of our research in these pandemic times. Each session will include 1) a reflection on knowledge production and the positionality of researchers vis-à-vis pandemic politics and its effects, as well as 2) a methodological angle as to how to conduct (online/digital) research in the context of lockdowns and limited mobility.

Global Studies Research Seminar 2020

The making and unmaking of development: de- and reconstructions

The Global Studies Research Seminar of 2020 is co-organised with the Governance in Conflict Network and will focus on ‘post-development’ as a burgeoning academic and societal debate. The development paradigm, rooted in colonial heritages, based on modernist notions of progress, and premised on unsustainable economic growth, has been subject to postcolonial academic and (grassroots) activist critiques almost as early as it was introduced in the 1950s. Presently, however, with the compounded effects of economic and climate crises, and the migration/refugee debate, the notion of ‘post-development’ is gaining wider currency, urging both academics and the development sector to explore alternatives to development. This seminar is part of a PhD research training programme and will introduce researchers to development critiques and the different strands of post-development thought and practice, including the degrowth paradigm proposed in the Global North, as well as decolonial perspectives and indigenous epistemologies from the Global South (e.g. post-extractivism and Buen Vivir in Latin America). Addressing key challenges such as debt, poverty, growing inequality and environmental degradation, the seminar will allow to bridge debates and initiatives in the Global North and South, so as to replace the unidirectional North-South development paradigm with an integrated critical global perspective.

Global Studies Research Seminar – Spring 2019

The Global Turn: key concepts and approaches in Global Studies

This year’s edition of the Global Studies Research Seminar, will zoom in on globalisation as a multiscalar process, that takes place on a global-local continuum, involving global, regional, national and local actors and settings. Unlike top-down approaches and contrary to popular belief, in Global Studies the global is not considered to be separate from the local – like an abstract force from above to which the local can only passively subject. The global is always also locally situated and produced. We “see the global through the local and vice-versa” (McCarthy, 2014) and put local agency at the centre of our analysis.  Starting from this global-local continuum, we will subsequently introduce and discuss three key interdisciplinary conceptual frameworks and corresponding methodologies in Global Studies, that provide entry points or lenses to analyse these global-local processes: 1) assemblage; 2) frontier; 3) rule and resistance.

Global Studies Research Seminar – Spring 2018

Engaging with the World: Global Studies and Social Impact

Global Studies Research Seminar – Spring 2018

The Global Studies Research Seminar provides doctoral students (and advanced Master students as well as postdoctoral researchers) whose research is situated in, or related to, the field of Global Studies in‐depth and advanced training in contemporary critical Global Studies, and theory and methodology in related fields, such as Postcolonial and Subaltern Studies, International Studies, EU Studies, Area Studies, Conflict Studies, etc., next to general scholarly skills such as reading, writing, discussing and presenting.

This year the Ghent Centre for Global Studies aims to build upon the topicality of the last year’s  seminar series on Globalisation and Crisis, by addressing the key issue of the societal valorisation of Global Studies research to address global societal challenges. In keeping with the partial reorientation of the Centre for Global Studies towards a greater emphasis on social impact, we wish to organize knowledge exchange sessions on outreach and interactions with non-academic professionals and stakeholders (policy-makers, civil society, the arts and the general public), to provide our PhD students with insights and tools that can help them increase their social impact.

As such this year’s Global Studies Research Seminar will be on offer as a transferable skills course of the Doctoral School Arts, Humanities and Law of Ghent University. The course is open to PhD students from other faculties and universities as well, and motivated Master students and postdocs interested in global studies and social impact, are also most welcome to join.

Both internationally and at Ghent University impact and valorization of academic research are becoming increasingly important. Moreover, due to the kind of critical and reflexive research they conduct, Global Studies PhD students are often highly committed to reciprocity towards the social groups and communities they study, and strongly motivated to contribute to social change, beyond academia. Yet, systematic training on policy influence, co-creation, (social) media and outreach, geared towards the interdisciplinary field of Global Studies research, is still lacking – a gap we wish to start to fill during this year’s Global Studies Research Seminar.

We will critically discuss the different concepts – impact, valorisation, outreach, public engagement, dissemination, knowledge transfer/exchange, etc. – and their relevance in the political economy of academia. We will debate public engagement of academics and the societal role of universities in general, and of Global Studies researchers in particular. Interdisciplinarity – a core feature of Global Studies – is often put forward as a prerequisite for meaningful social impact. We will discuss the enabling and disabling factors for interdisciplinary collaboration, both within Social Sciences and Humanities, and with natural/STEMM sciences, as well as the arts, in keeping with recent ground-breaking innovative research in Global Studies (e.g. on the Anthropocene cf. Jason Moore, guest speaker in the Global Studies Research Seminar of 2016 and Anna Tsing, keynote lecturer at the Global Studies Research Day in 2016 at Ghent University). In more hands-on training sessions we will subsequently discuss the promises and pitfalls of policy influence, artistic collaborations, (social) media, and co-creation with civil society.


6 sessions – from February to May – Thursdays from 2 to 5 pm (except May 2 – Wednesday)

Introductory session – February 15

Practical arrangements & assignments; introduction to Global Studies and Social Impact

Key words: political economy of academia, interdisciplinarity, global societal challenges, outreach, methods and ethics of global studies research, outreach, participatory research methodology, public engagement and engaged scholarship


  • Julie Carlier (coordinator of the Ghent Centre for Global Studies)
  • ​Sami Zemni (Middle East and North Africa Research Group)

Global Studies in Parliament – the promises and pitfalls of policy influence – March 1

Key words: processes of political agenda-setting and policy-making, politics of knowledge transfer and exchange, short-term and long-term influence, conditions, strategies and capacities for policy-influencing


Global Studies on Stage – artistic expressions and collaborations – March 22

Key words: collaborations in performance and visual arts, cartoons, theatre, (film) festivals etc.


#Global Studies – old and new (social) media – April 19

Key words: visual anthropology / ethnography, documentary film-making, (social) media


Global Studies and civil society – participatory (action) research methods – Wednesday (!) May 2

Key words: collaborations with civil society and (local) communities, cross-sectoral cooperation and research (design), participatory research, action research


  • Andrea Cornwall (School of Global Studies, University of Sussex) – cancelled
  • Pascal Debruyne (Middle East and North Africa Research Group, UGent)

Closing session – May 24

Students present their own proposal for social impact of their research (impact plan / pathway to impact) and develop one of the 4 methods / channels of the thematic seminars:

  • policy brief
  • artistic expression
  • (social) media strategy
  • co-creation plan

Global Studies Research Seminar – Spring 2016

Critical Global Studies – Frontiers of Globalisation: an inter-/transdisciplinary approach

The Research Seminar of the Ghent Centre for Global Studies is on offer as a specialist course of the Doctoral Schools of Ghent University. The Global Studies Research Seminar provides doctoral students whose research is situated in, or related to, the field of Global Studies in‐depth and advanced training in contemporary critical Global Studies, and theory and methodology in related fields, such as Postcolonial and Subaltern Studies, International Studies, EU Studies, Area Studies, Conflict Studies, etc., next to general scholarly skills such as reading, writing, discussing and presenting.


The programme for spring 2016 is developed around the concepts of “frontier” and “frontier zones” in Global Studies. Across disciplinary lines, the “frontier” concept enables Global Studies scholars to link the local and the global, not by starting at the global level, but by departing from the frontier process itself. The programme integrates interdisciplinary approaches and will be taught by professors of the Ghent Centre for Global Studies, in tandem with international guest lecturers from different areas of Global Studies research.


To register, go to and login with CAS (for UGhent students and staff) or as a free user. Select “inschrijven op cursussen”, search for the course “Global Studies Research Seminar” (course code X000363) and register.

This course is equivalent to 3 ECTS credits (for Master students and students from outside Ghent University).

To complete your registration, please send us a short CV (2 pages) and motivation (max. 250 words) to

The deadline for registration is February 5.

Time and location

All sessions are organized on Tuesday afternoon, 14h-17h.

Facultaire Vergaderzaal Decaan John Vincke
Faculty of Political and Social Sciences
Korte Meer 5 (1st floor), 9000 Gent

Format and requirements

Each seminar session will discuss a concrete application of the frontier concept on a specific research topic of common interest in the Ghent Centre of Global Studies. Each session will be composed of two parts: a) introductory lecturers by the GCGS professor and the international guest speaker in which the required reading is introduced, followed by Q&A, and b) group discussions based on the required reading and moderated by a GCGS professor.

All students are expected to participate actively during the discussions in all five seminars. (If motivated, absence in a 2 seminars will be allowed; however papers remain compulsory).

Readings and announcements will be available on Zephyr.


Introductory session. Tuesday 16/2/2016, 14h-17h.

Chris Parker (Middle East and North Africa Research Group) and Eric Vanhaute (Communities Comparisons Connections)

1. Frontiers of Land Control. Tuesday 23/2/2016, 14h-17h.

Michael Eilenberg (Aarhus University)Jeroen Adam (Conflict Research Group); Giselle Corradi (Human Rights Centre)

RESCHEDULED! 2. Flight and Frontier. Wednesday 25/5/2016, 15h-18h. Academieraadzaal Law Faculty (Voldersstraat 3)

Charles Watters (University of Sussex, U.K.); Frank Caestecker (Communities Comparisons Connections); Ilse Derluyn (Centre for Children in Vulnerable Situations).

3. Cities as Frontier Zones. Tuesday 19/4/2016, 14h-17h.

Ahmed Kanna (University of the Pacific, U.S.A.)Ben Derudder (Social and Economic Geography); Koenraad Bogaert (Middle East and North Africa Research Group)

4. Commodity Frontiers. Tuesday 3/5/2016, 14h-17h.

Jason Moore (Binghamton University); Eric Vanhaute (Communities Comparisons Connections); Boris Verbrugge (Conflict Research Group)

5. At the Frontiers of the Market: Global Trade Regimes and Global Governance. Tuesday 17/5/2016, 14h-17h.

Ferdi De Ville (Centre for EU Studies); Glenn Rayp (Study Hive for Economic Research and Public Policy Analysis); Tom Claes (Centre for Ethics and Value Inquiry)