The Center for the Study of Global Issues (Globis) at the University of Georgia fosters educational and research activities focused on economic, political, and sociocultural change and development occurring at the global level.
Globis seeks to provide the future-oriented theories and conceptualizations needed to enable civilized coexistence in the twenty-first century and beyond.
There can be no doubt that the present era of globalization has witnessed the births of numerous democracies; indeed, some theorists have argued that the spread of democratic systems and values is a defining characteristic of the globalization phenomenon itself. Furthermore, interventions into countries such as Afghanistan and Iraq have recently brought democratic development to the center of public debate, with scholars and pundits alike weighing in regarding the propensity for democracy in these cases.
Given the scope and salience of such debates, it is imperative to continue to address basic questions such as how democratic forms of government develop and achieve stability. Much philosophical and scientific work remains to be done to describe the phenomenon itself and to situate it in its proper global context. Moreover, scholars have recently pointed out problems in the world’s most venerable democracies regarding a lack of political knowledge, participation, trust, and perceived efficacy on the part of their citizenries.
In addition to studying the development of democracy in the global context, then, Globis seeks to develop conceptual tools to assess the health of existing democratic systems, and thereby to contribute to their long-term maintenance.
Migration means crossing borders in more than just a physical way. It is fundamentally challenging the very meanings of such concepts as society, community, identity, and citizenship. Migration into the advanced industrial democracies has dramatically increased during the last two decades. The multicultural influx into previously relatively homogeneous societies forces citizens and policy makers to rethink a very basic question: Who belongs?
This research initiative attempts to answer the following questions, among others: Are the ties that bind the members of the host societies growing stronger or weaker in reaction to the newcomers? Are the publics in these countries still willing to fund the modern welfare state even though it is more difficult to recognize “who is my brother”?
This research initiative not only looks at social change in receiving states, but also at the consequences of migration for the sending states, as these are equally challenging.
The impacts of humans on the global ecosystem are widely felt as the population continues to expand. “Sustainable development” has become a catch phrase of the global era as it describes forward-looking, ecologically-sensitive economic growth designed to sustain current and future generations of humans without significantly damaging the world’s ecological balance.
This initiative involves combining scientific and social scientific knowledge and methods to produce policy-relevant research that examines, and seeks to help alleviate, human impacts on the global environment.
Our current global climate is rife with tensions that threaten the stability of the Post-Cold War era. Steps must be taken to actively address the root causes of these tensions and to alleviate conflict before it becomes unavoidable. Increasing strains on international relations have increased the likelihood of protracted, deadly conflict in many areas of the world. Conditions leading to many such scenarios can be diffused by reconceptualizing the problems and seeking alternative outcomes characterized by peaceful, positive-sum relations.