2020 Global Scholars Academy

The Graduate Institute Geneva and the Institute for Global Law & Policy at Harvard Law School are pleased to announce a new collaborative initiative: The Global Scholars Academy.

We will launch our collaboration with a three-day intensive scholars Workshop in Geneva, Switzerland from January 5-8, 2020!

The Application

Preference will be given to scholars who are from the Global South, 2-5 years post-PhD and currently hold postdoctoral posts or faculty positions. All accepted participants will be expected to submit an 8000-word piece of academic writing in advance of the Academy to be discussed with colleagues in our intensive Writing Workshops.

The application period for the 2020 Global Scholars Academy is now closed. Applicants can expect to receive decisions in the coming weeks.

About the Academy

Drawing on the interdisciplinary resources and global networks of both institutions, this new venture aims to strengthen the next generation of scholars and university teachers by placing them in conversation with their global peers and strengthening their ability to rethink a global architecture ill-equipped to deal with the world’s most urgent challenges, from global poverty, inequality and injustice to conflict, migration and environmental change.

The Global Scholars Academy is an intensive residential experience designed to enable junior faculty and post- doctoral scholars to engage in sustained, interdisciplinary, peer-to-peer collaboration under the close mentorship of research faculty drawn from the world’s top universities. The Academy is open by application to advanced junior scholars working to understand and map the levers of political, economic, and legal authority in the world today. We particularly welcome applications from scholars from the Global South and those working on policy challenges of concern to communities in the Global South.

Building on the IGLP’s decade of successful workshops and the Graduate Institute’s dedication to high-level interdisciplinary research, the Global Scholars Academy will engage a growing community of scholars developing new thinking about the world’s most pressing policy challenges. While in residence, participants will workshop their ongoing research, review current scholarship developments, reconsider canonical texts, and network with colleagues from across the world.

The Format

The 2020 Academy will offer a unique interdisciplinary curriculum designed for junior scholars with scholarly projects relating to this year’s themes and which focus on issues of significance for scholars and policymakers in the global South. The Academy will include thematic mini-courses or “streams”, plenary lectures, and writing workshops. The Academy program is designed to strengthen academic and professional skills in presenting research, developing curricular materials and participating in Global scholarly dialog.  Writing workshops will offer participants the opportunity to receive detailed, valuable feedback on their research from their peers and senior colleagues in small group settings.


Theme 1: Power and Domination in a Globalized World

The great disparities in global society reflect and confirm differences in power.  Can we improve our maps of power and its effects in the world today?  How is power generated, accumulated, exercised — and experienced by those on the receiving end?

Streams in Theme 1 include:

  • What is Global?: What are the boundaries of the global? This stream considers the ways in which the world has been imagined, visualized, and authorized through time across multiple disciplines, focusing on issues of security, geography and the relationship between the political and the economic in global affairs.
  • Colonial and Postcolonial Structures of Power and Domination in Historical Perspective: This stream will consider the endemic forces of colonial power in contemporary global policymaking. We will investigate the relationships between inequalities of power, race, and wealth, with a focus on issues of human rights and gender inequities
  • Knowledge, Uncertainty and Power: This stream will analyze the relationship between knowledge, uncertainty, and power by mapping the interconnections among science, technology, ethics, development policy and trade in contemporary policy making.

Theme 2: Social Justice: The Challenges of Poverty, Inequality and Development

The economic and humanitarian promises of development, equality and justice remain as illusory as ever. How should we reframe our analyses, rethink our strategies and reassess the structures which impede progress toward social justice? 

Streams in Theme 2 include:

  • Global Political Economy and the Elusive Promise of Development: This stream will trace the ways in which global political economy produces new forms of poverty and inhibits national and global development strategy.
  • Distribution and Inequality in Economic Regulation: This stream will examine the role of the regulation of private economic activity in structuring global political economic life. It focuses on regulation geared towards inducing economic growth and social welfare to with a view to understanding the ways in which wealth is distributed and inequality is generated.
  • Development and Social Movements: This stream will critically consider the theory, politics and practices of social movements as they pursue political projects in the context of development. It will do so by placing both transformative and conservative movements in comparative perspective.

About the Collaboration

This collaboration will encourage scholarship exploring such pressing issues as the structural reproduction of poverty and inequality; the policy challenges and benefits of new technologies; links between local and global security; environmental sustainability and the impact of environmental change on communities across the global South, women’s empowerment; as well as the management of cultural difference, exclusion, and intolerance in a world of ever-increasing movement and communication.

The Graduate Institute’s vibrant and cosmopolitan research community of 70 faculty members and 1000 graduate students, of whom 350 are doctoral candidates, represents by far the most important concentration under a single roof of specialists in international affairs and development issues in Switzerland and one of the most important in the world. The research community covers the principal global, international and transnational challenges of today’s world, including democracy, humanitarian action, trade, environment and natural resources, development, gender, migration, governance, and conflict resolution.

The Institute fosters interdisciplinary dialogue, drawing on the main social science disciplines (anthropology, development economics, international economics, international history, international relations, political science and sociology), as well as international law. Intellectual excellence is at the heart of the Institute’s mission, driven by the conviction that only rigorous enquiry and critical thinking can provide concrete solutions to the world’s challenges. The Institute’s commitment to critical enquiry goes hand-in-hand with its dedication to international cooperation and human solidarity.