Global Studies Positioning Series

Global Studies Positioning Series (GSPS)

The Center for the Study of Global Change created the Global Studies Positioning Series (GSPS) in 2011 as a brownbag lunch series to explore global phenomena. It brings scholars, practitioners, government officials, journalists, business people, and others together with IU faculty, staff, and students in an informal, collegial setting. GSPS is always free and open to the public. Attendees are welcome to bring their lunch and are encouraged to bring their perspectives!

What is global?

GSPS provides an opportunity to discuss this question with professors and practitioners who are currently examining a global phenomenon in their varied contexts and diverse academic disciplines and professions. What are the different disciplinary perspectives on the issue? How do we define, analyze, study, research, and/or describe global phenomena? How does interdisciplinary dialogue further understanding of and action in regard to a pressing global issue?

2017 GSPS

Fall 2017: Non-State Actors Tackling Global Challenges

Rather than relying on the nation-state as the primary frame of reference for understanding global phenomena, grounded and critical global studies recognizes the confluence of non-state actors and entities that respond to and give meaning to transnational issues. From civil society and multinational corporations to armed organizations and the media, non-state actors tackling global issues have become increasingly visible in recent decades, such that it is no longer appropriate or realistic to only conceptualize global challenges as responsibilities of nation-states.

The Paris Agreement brought forth by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change explicitly recognizes the role of non-State actors to implement positive climate action. The World Health Organization has an official framework and criteria for engaging in non-State actors. The International Budget Partnership collaborates with civil society around the world to improve the quality of governance and transparency; the National Endowment for Democracy and the Open Society Foundations aim to strengthen democratic institutions around the world; Medecins Sans Frontieres is provides healthcare to refugees and the International Committee of the Red Cross has been protecting human lives and dignity for over 150 years; and social media is transforming the reach and political possibilities of civil society.

Examples of this global expansion of responsibility beyond the nation-state abound, and the Fall 2017 Global Studies Positioning Series will explore how non-state actors are tackling global challenges, including the benefits and the drawbacks, and the difficulties and the possibilities. Scholars and practitioners will be invited to discuss the topic from a variety of regional, practical, empirical, and disciplinary perspectives. GSPS attendees will participate in an interdisciplinary discussion with the ultimate goal of producing new knowledge and entry points to understanding global issues.

“Think Globally, Park Locally: Strategies in Kazakhstan for Coping with the Global Car Problem”
Gardner Bovingdon, IU Department of Central Eurasian Studies
September 28th
GISB 3067

“The Relationship Between LGBT Inclusion and Economic Development: Micro and Macro-Level Evidence”
Yana van der Meulen Rodgers, Department of Women and Gender Studies, Rutgers University
October 23rd
IMU Dogwood Room

Moderated by Richard Wilk, Distinguished Professor, IU Department of Anthropology

If protecting human rights is not a compelling enough argument, this talk by Rutgers Professor Yana Rodgers gives another reason to promote inclusiveness of LGBT citizens: It is good for the economy.  The talk, based on a recent USAID report co-authored by several feminist economists, examines how the treatment of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people affects economic development. One can make a human rights case and a moral case for LGBT rights, but sometimes policymakers need quantitative evidence that more inclusion matters. This talk presents the numbers that can get LGBT rights to the policy table.

View an interview with Dr. Rodgers.

Co-sponsors: Department of Labor Studies, SE Asian and ASEAN Studies Dept., Dept. of Economics, School of Public and Environmental Affairs, Gender Studies Dept., GLBTQ+ Center, and International Studies Dept.

“Alliance for Freedom, Restoration, and Justice”
Ashleigh Chapman, President/CEO of AFRJ
 November 16th
 GISB 2134

Human trafficking is the commercial exploitation of human beings for labor, sex, and organs.  It is an evil that enslaves millions of souls and profits billions of dollars every year. It is happening all around the world and throughout the United States.  Join us to learn how non-state actors – including businesses, civic groups, community leaders, educators, nonprofits, and more – are uniquely positioned and engaging together in powerful ways to end modern day slavery.

"The Transnational Impact of the Black Panther Party"
Jakobi Williams, IU Department of African American and African Diaspora Studies
November 29th
GISB 3067

Moderated by Dr. Deborah Cohn, IU Department of Spanish and Portuguese

The Transnational Impact of the Black Panther Party is a study of group in Great Britain, New Zealand, India, Australia, Israel, and Palestine that did not have any direct contact with the BPP but chose to create movements in their respective countries modeled after the Panthers grassroots community organizing and racial coalition strategies.  All of these groups emulated the BPP because each group believed that their struggle as poor, underserved and oppressed people was aligned with the struggle of black people throughout the world.  More importantly, the power of the liberation struggle led by the Black Panther Party in the US that impacted the struggles of poor and oppressed people in Europe, the South Pacific, the Middle East, and Asia has been understudied for far too long.

Previous series

Art is both a product of our cultural, economic, and geopolitical environment as well as a sociopolitical agent. As such, art is an entry point to broader global issues and human struggles and accomplishments: it can celebrate and advocate for human rights, and it can be repressed, censored, or involved in the denial or absence of human rights.

  • “What Matters in Making. The challenges of sustaining livelihoods with craft for export” with Mary Embry, Senior Lecturer in the Department of Apparel Merchandising
  • “Punk, Pop, and Revolution in Wartime Peru”, with Shane Greene, Associate Professor in the Department of Anthropology
  • “Urban Guerrilla Tactics: U.S. Performance Art and the Politics of Radical Resourcefulness”, with Faye R. Gleisser, Assistant Professor in the Department of Art History
  • “Take me to Jermany” a personal perspective on the refugee crisis, with Charlotte Schmitz, Professional Photographer
  • Hillary Clinton in Global Perspective with Diana O’Brien, IU Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science
  • The Geopolitics of Your Bathtub: Why who does your housework matters with Cynthia Enloe, Research Professor at Clark University, Massachusetts An Institute for Advanced Study Branigin Lecture, Co-sponsored by the Department of Gender Studies
  • Linking war economies and sexual violence in South Sudan with Clémence Pinaud, IU Assistant Professor in the Department of International Studies, moderated by Aynur Onur-Cifci (Anthropology)
  • The Rise of China and the Changing Nature of Power in the 21st Century with Adam Liff, Assistant Professor in the SGIS East Asian Languages and Cultures Department
  • Globalization and Mass Politics: Retaining the Room to Maneuver with Timothy Hellwig, Associate Professor in the Political Science Department and the Director of the IU Institute for European Studies.
  • States in Flux in the Middle East with Feisal Amin Rasoul Istrabadi, the founding director of the IU Center for the Study of the Middle East, Professor of Practice (International Law and Diplomacy) in the Maurer School of Law and School of Global and International Studies.
  • Cybersecurity and Changing Notions of Power States with Fred Cate, IU Vice President for Research, Director of the Center for Law, Ethics, and Applied Research in Health Information. Moderated by Professor Scott Shackelford, Assistant Professor, Business Law and Ethics, Kelley School of Business
  • Building and Burning Bridges: South Asian Diasporas and Nation States with Ishan Ashutosh, Assistant Professor, IU Department of Geography
  • The Global Refugee Crisis: Teaching the Successes and Perils of International Response with Elizabeth Cullen Dunn, Associate Professor, IU Departments of Geography and International Studies, SGIS
  • Political Communities of Convenience: Migration, Urbanization, and Work in Sub-Saharan Africa with Loren B. Landau, Professor and Founding Director, African Centre for Migration and Society, University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa
  • Personifying the State: The Individual in International Relations with Robert Oprisko, Ph.D., Research Fellow, IU Center for the Study of Global Change, SGIS; Author of Honor: A Phenomenology (Routledge, 2012) and co-editor of Michael A. Weinstein: Action, Contemplation, Vitalism (Routledge, 2014).
  • The Political Ecology of Water: Human-Water Relationships in a Changing Climate with Stephanie Kane, Professor, IU International Studies, School of Global and International Studies. Cultural anthropologist, ecologist, and author
  • Ocean Trade: Window into Global History with Pedro Machado, Associate Professor, Department of History
  • Cybersecurity and the Search for Global ‘Cyber Peace’ with Scott Shackelford, Assistant Professor, Business Law and Ethics, IU Kelley School of Business
  • Madelin Pérez Noa, Lyrical Surrealist Artist, Founder Por La Costa, Illustrator
  • Peter Davis, Internationally-recognized documentary filmmaker (Madiba and Me; Che, Fidel, and Me; Hoagy)
  • Fariba Nawa, Freelance Journalist, Author of Opium Nation: Child Brides, Drug Lords, and One Woman’s Journey through Afghanistan (2011)
  • IU Framing the Global Fellows
  • Linda Woodhead, Professor of Sociology of Religion and Director of Religion and Society Programme, Lancaster University, Great Britain Director
  • Matthew Connelly, Professor of History, Columbia University, New York
  • Kathleen Claussen, Visiting Assistant Professor, Maurer School of Law, IU Bloomington
  • Legal Counsel, Permanent Court of Arbitration, The Hague, The Netherlands
  • Anne Griffiths, Professor, Legal Anthropologist, Law School, University of Edinburgh, Scotland
  • Michael Curtin, Professor of Global Studies, Department of Film and Media Studies, University of California, Santa Barbara
  • Alison Klayman, Director/Producer/Cinematographer of human rights documentary feature film Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry
  • IU Framing the Global Fellows
  • Carolyn Nordstrom, Professor of Anthropology, University of Notre Dame, Indiana
  • Richard Wilk, Professor of Anthropology, IU Bloomington
  • Saskia Sassen, Professor of Sociology, Columbia University, New York