Themes & Tensions

Theme 1: Networks of Economy and Trade

On the economic dimensions of globalization.

Living Tensions:

  • Understanding Global Markets – Singular or Multiple
  • Rules of the Game – Free Trade and Fair Trade
  • Power of Scale –Transnational Corporations, Public Investment, Small Enterprise
  • Patterns of Global Investment – Core and Periphery
  • Leveraging Advantages – Engines of Growth in the Developing World
  • Logics of Accumulation and Inequality – Patterns and Trends
  • Division of Labor – Rethinking Inside and Outside

Theme 2: The Power of Institutions

On the political dimensions of globalization.

Living Tensions:

  • Legacies of the Past – Imperialism and Neo-colonialism
  • Understanding Soft Power – Structures of Hegemony
  • Global Imaginaries – Neoliberalism, Anti, Alt-Globalization (and Beyond)
  • Agents and Structures – Nations and Sovereignty in the ‘New Globalization’
  • From Below – Social Movements, NGOs, Non-State Actors
  • Negotiating Conflict – Intervention, Political Violence, Terrorism
  • Advancing Universal Rules – Democratic Practices and Human Rights in Diverse Contexts

Theme 3: Vectors of Society and Culture

On the socio-cultural dimensions of globalization.

Living Tensions:

  • Globalism as Ideology – From Above and Below
  • Visions of Progress – Development and Underdevelopment
  • Imagining Communities – Nationalism and Post-Nationalism
  • Pathways of Human Movement – Migrations and Diaspora
  • Social Meaning Making – Cosmopolitanism, Multiculturalism, Cultural Hybridization
  • Forced Movements – Refugees, Human Trafficking, Statelessness, Internally Displaced Persons
  • Just Relations – Inequality, Poverty, Racism
  • Digital Societies – Big Data, Internet of Things, Artificial Intelligence

Theme 4: Ecological Foundations

On the eco-systemic dimensions of globalization.

Living Tensions:

  • Growth and Its Limits – Environment over Economy
  • Common Space – Ecological Footprints, Atmospheres, Biospheres, Eco-spheres
  • Biological Diversity – Its Past and Prospects
  • Shared Danger Signs – Rising Sea Levels, Desertification, Soil Degradation
  • Planning Food Systems – Security or Sovereignty
  • The Built Environment – Urbanization and the Sustainability of Human Settlement
  • The Future of Everyday Life – Weather events, Natural Disasters, and Ecological Surprises