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GTGC lunch seminar series: an international, interdisciplinary scope

Starting February 6, the Leiden interdisciplinary research programme Global Transformations and Governance Challenges (GTGC) will host a lunch seminar series on pressing global governance issues. The series will feature researchers from various disciplines. It promises to be a trove of inspiration and network opportunities for all Leiden researchers.

From drug wars to food solidarity to democracy and citizenship: a broad range of themes transcending national borders are being picked up by the GTGC seminar series this spring (running from February until May). And, in line with the goals of the programme as a whole, these themes are tackled from a wide range of scientific disciplines and views. “What characterizes our seminar series is that, instead of being an internal institute seminar series, it covers a broad range of disciplines and topics by scholars from different Leiden University faculties and beyond” says Valentina Carraro, deputy coordinator of the GTGC programme. “These seminars deal with current global events/transformations, and discuss how we could better govern them. Relatedly, they bring together colleagues from different institutes and faculties who have common research interests, but do not normally have the chance to meet or collaborate, or might even not know each other. The seminar series is open for all Leiden researchers.”

In the past, GTGC events have been instrumental in bringing together colleagues working on related topics, who have then successfully jointly applied for one of GTGC’s seed grants.

Instrumental GTGC events

In the past, GTGC events have been instrumental in bringing together colleagues working on related topics, who have then successfully jointly applied for one of GTGC’s seed grants. These grants help researchers start up a new interdisciplinary project which might lead – and in multiple case has indeed led –  to the acquisition of larger grants or to high-level publications.

Digital advocacy organisations put pressure on politicians

On February 6, the series kicks off with a book presentation by Nina Hall from Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies. She will introduce her latest publication Transnational Advocacy in the Digital Era, which explores the role of digital advocacy organizations. Digital advocacy organisations, such as MoveOn, GetUp and Campact, use digital analytics to identify the most salient issues of the day, and rapidly mobilise large memberships, to put pressure on politicians. They are operating in over 20 countries – from South Africa to Sweden; Poland to New Zealand – and claim over 17 million members worldwide. Digital advocacy organisations are shaping public opinion on refugees, trade and climate politics, however IR scholars have not studied their global spread or influence. Next to this article, please find a leaflet with more information on the book.

Later this spring, the series will amongst others feature Eve Darian-Smith and Phil McCarty from the University of California Irvine, who will give a talk on Global Studies methods. Antonella Maiello from Leiden’s Institute of Public Administration will talk about her work on Democracy, Inclusion, Networks and Sustainability. You can check the full programme of the series in the image on the right.

GTGC wants YOU

Recent global developments have created new challenges for our societies. Think for example of the need for coordinated international approaches to tackle pandemics, global warming and migration. Or of the importance of benefiting from new technologies while also tackling their potential negative effects. The interdisciplinary programme Global Transformations and Governance Challenges explores how we can address such global transformations in democratic, effective, fair, peaceful and sustainable ways.

In order to expand their network and start up new, innovative research collaborations, GTGC is very interested in meeting Leiden researchers from all disciplines who are not (yet) affiliated with the programme. If you’d like to know more, please send a message to gtgc@leidenuniv.nl .

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