2021 Global Scholars Academy

2021-2022 applications are now closed.

In August 2021, Harvard Law School’s Institute for Global Law and Policy will collaborate with The Graduate Institute, Geneva to convene the first annual Global Scholars Academy, made possible with generous support from the Open Society University Network (OSUN).

This intensive scholars workshop will take place in Geneva, Switzerland
from August 16-20, 2021!

Global Scholars Academy Application Deadline Extended to April 9, 2021

Given the disruptions many have experienced as a result of the pandemic, the application deadline for The Global Scholars Academy has been extended to April 9, 2021.  Applicants should not be concerned that health restrictions may affect their ability to travel to Geneva.  Should health and travel restrictions make the residential program in Geneva impractical in August 2021, we anticipate offering part of the Academy experience on the same schedule remotely and convening admitted participants for an in person residential experience at a later date.  We expect to inform all admitted applicants of the exact schedule for this year’s Academy by mid-May when the admission process has been completed.

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.

About the Academy

Drawing on the interdisciplinary resources and global networks of both institutions, this 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, Geneva’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 2021 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.


Please find the themes for the 2021 Global Scholars Academy below. Descriptions will be added shortly.

Authoritarianism, Populism and Constitutional Authority

Colonial and Postcolonial Structures of Power and Domination

Commons from Global to Local

Critical and Social Theory

Development, Distribution and Inequality

Digital and Technological Transformations

Expertise, Knowledge, and Power

Gender, Poverty and Social Inclusion

Global Corporations

Social Movements

The Future of Work

The Urban Environment in a Global World

What is Global?


Faculty for the 2021 Global Scholars Academy will include:

Itty Abraham National University of Singapore
Gadi Algazi Tel Aviv University
Helena Alviar
Universidad de los Andes
Jenn Bair
University of Virginia
Filipe Calvao
The Graduate Institute, Geneva
Yifeng Chen
Peking University
Lynette Chua
National University of Singapore
Dan Danielsen
Northeastern University
Dennis Davis High Court of Cape Town
Deval Desai
The Graduate Institute, Geneva
Karen Engle
University of Texas at Austin
Luis Eslava Kent Law School
Jorge Esquirol
Florida International University College of Law
Gunter Frankenberg
Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main
Christopher Gevers
University of Kwa-Zulu Natal
Bela Greskovits
Central European University
John Haskell
Manchester University
Benjamin Hurlbut
Arizona State University
Sheila Jasanoff
Harvard Kennedy School
Ratna Kapur
Queen Mary University of London
David Kennedy
Harvard Law School
Mushtaq Khan
SOAS University of London
Martti Koskenniemi
University of Helsinki
Andrew Lang
University of Edinburgh
Patrick le Gales
Sciences Po
Anna Leander
The Graduate Institute, Geneva
Gregoire Mallard
The Graduate Institute, Geneva
Vasuki Nesiah
New York University
Scott Newton
SOAS, University of London
Sundyha Pahuja
University of Melbourne
Rose Parfitt
Kent Law School
Charlie Peevers
University of Glasgow
Nik Rajkovic
Tilburg Law School
Shalini Randeria
The Graduate Institute, Geneva
Kerry Rittich University of Toronto Faculty of Law
Ranabir Samaddar
Calcutta Research Group
Judit Sandor Central European University
Hani Sayed The American University in Cairo
Rebecca Tapscott
The Graduate Institute, Geneva
Balázs Trencsényi
Central European University
René Urueña
Universidad de los Andes
Dina Waked
Sciences Po
Lucie White Harvard Law School
…and more! 

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, Geneva’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.

The Open Society University Network (OSUN) is a new model of global higher education. It will integrate learning and knowledge creation–in the social sciences, the humanities, the sciences and the arts, on undergraduate and graduate levels–across geographic and demographic boundaries, promote civic engagement to advance open societies, and expand access of underserved communities to higher education.

OSUN aims to educate students to address tomorrow’s global challenges. It will foster critical thinking and open intellectual inquiry to strengthen the foundations of open society amid the current authoritarian resurgence. OSUN will counteract intellectual monocultures and polarization by uniting institutions around the world in collaborative research projects and by encouraging students to examine issues from different perspectives and through reasoned arguments. In addition, OSUN seeks to address inequality by expanding educational access to neglected and minority populations, such as incarcerated persons, the Roma, and refugees.