Globalisation, Transnationalism and Development
The Globalisation, Transnationalism and Development research programme (GTD) brings together new and existing research conducted within the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences that focuses on the Global South using a transnational perspective. The Global South refers to developing countries as well as recently emerging economic powers such as Brazil, Russia, India and China (BRIC). While its geographic grounding is the Global South, the GTD’s research approach centres on exploring North – South and South – South linkages. Researchers use a transnational perspective to investigate such linkages, giving the GTD its distinctive profile. A commonality is that research is strongly grounded in empirical, primary data collection work using mixed methods ranging from anthropological qualitative fieldwork to sociological quantitative surveys.
Key research topics
Research in the GDT focuses on three specific areas. The first area of concentration is transnational migrant families and networks. Research projects investigate the linkages that are created between people, places, things and events in migrant sending and receiving countries. This research aims to re-frame migration research that is usually conducted within a nation-state framework and does so by focusing on the every-day lived experiences of migrants and the people they are tied to in their countries of origin as well as elsewhere, paying particular attention to transnational families and social networks. Research is based on empirical investigations and multi-sited research designs mainly focused on Africa and Europe.
A second area of focus is on transnational migrant labour in global production networks. Migrant labourers working in firms situated in the Global South are faced with precarious working conditions, increasing the vulnerability of their families back home. This theme investigates transnational networks comprised of workers, households and communities extending beyond nation-state borders and their interactions with employers, states, and institutions to mitigate their precariousness. Research projects are multi-sited and focus on South East Asia.
Civil society organizations and transnational activism is a third area. This research studies the way in which local civil society organizations make use of transnational platforms, networks and discourses to mobilize resources for their local activism. The research focuses on access to health care and medicines for populations in the Global South involving NGOs, state officials and activists in Rio de Janeiro, Washington, Cape Town and Geneva.