Fourteenth Global Studies Conference

  • 2021 Special Focus—Life after Pandemic: Towards a New Global Biopolitics?
  • 5-6 June 2021
  • Concordia University, Montreal, Canada (Virtual)

2021 Special Focus—Life after Pandemic: Towards a New Global Biopolitics?

COVID-19 has massively destabilized our individual and collective lives both on global and national levels. The pandemic has at the same time been a symptom of globalization – global flows of people being the cause of the fast spread of coronavirus – and a major blow to it. Unprecedented travel bans and a massive disruption of global supply chains and international trade have meant an implosion of economic globalization. Political linkages have suffered too as countries turned inwards while nationalist narratives and protectionist agendas thrived on the back of the crisis. Within societies, the pandemic has had variable impacts. In some places, a shift in values has occurred with precedence given to social well-being over economic growth, higher levels of solidarity in spite of social distancing measures, and a swing of power from the private to the public sector. Elsewhere, the virus has reinforced the structures of injustice and oppression. The elevated sense of insecurity and uncertainty also provided a vast opportunity for enemies of democracy and individual liberties. Surveillance state has been entrenched with autocrats rallying the masses around the flag and exploiting the crisis to tighten their grip on power. Conspiracy theories have lurked beneath all this: in a world saturated with fake news, the pandemic has spawned even more disinformation.

The Fourteenth Global Studies Conference will look back at that extraordinary time to map, in a holistic and multidimensional way, the impact of the pandemic on the processes of globalization. Has the virus sunk globalization as we know it or will it promptly recover from its deep freeze? Will new patterns of global connectivity and biopolitics emerge and if so, will they be fairer, better balanced and more sustainable? Or will the pandemic lead to a more divided and tribal world? While considering the terrible legacy that COVID-19 has left, we will take a glimpse into the future to ponder how to avoid dystopian scenarios and what lessons humankind needs to learn to ensure that it recovers from this adversity and is better prepared to withstand future threats.

Conference Chair

Dr. Rafal Soborski

Dr. Rafal Soborski

Professor, International Politics, Richmond, The American International University in London, United Kingdom

Plenary Speakers

The Fourteenth Global Studies Conference featured plenary sessions by some of the world's leading thinkers and innovators in the field.

Jerry Harris

Jerry Harris

"The Crisis of Globalization and Covid 19"

Secretary of the Global Studies of North America, United States

Todd Wolfson

Todd Wolfson

"From Global Justice to Occupy, Podemos & BLM: Mapping Three Stages of Contemporary Activism"

Associate Professor of Journalism, Media Studies, and Co-Director of the MIC Center, United States

Saskia Sassen

Saskia Sassen

Professor of Sociology, Columbia University, United States

David Chandler

David Chandler

"COVID-19: The Process Ethics of Anthropocene Authoritarianism"

Professor of International Relations, University of Westminster, United Kingdom

Niambi Carter

Niambi Carter

“Reckoning a Reckoning: Race and Pandemic."

Associate Professor, Director of Graduate Studies, Howard University, United States

Emerging Scholar Awardees

For each conference, a small number of Emerging Scholar Awards are given to outstanding graduate students and emerging scholars who have an active research interest in the conference themes. Emerging Scholars perform a critical role in the conference by chairing the parallel sessions, providing technical assistance in the sessions, and presenting their own research papers. The 2021 Emerging Scholar Award Recipients are as follows:

Julien Reiman

Julien Reiman

University of Cambridge, United Kingdom

Gabriel Rached

Gabriel Rached

Universidade Federal Fluminense & Univesità degli Studi di Milano

Victoria Cosby

Victoria Cosby

Queen's University, Canada

Manjari Balu

Manjari Balu

The Peninsula Foundation, India

Christopher Cartright

Christopher Cartright

Georgia Southern University, United States

Angie Heshman Abdo

Angie Heshman Abdo

University of Bradford, United Kingdom

Lana Kostrykina

Lana Kostrykina

University of Auckland, Austrailia