21st century

Our research cluster analyzes the specific features of contemporary globalization, emphasizing the social forces, fields, and trajectories that are shaping our world today.

Areas of Research

Gender and Islam research area image
Gender & Islam
human rights protest sign
Human Rights
Media and culture research area image
Media & Culture
Political economy research area image
Political Economy


  • indigenous protestors against Belo Monte Dam in the Brazilian Amazon
    EventsNovember 2018
    Alison Brysk leads a roundtable on emerging frontiers in several areas of human rights scholarship, focusing on developments within global institutions, national-level truth commissions, migrant host societies, and conflicts in Mexico and India.
  • Slavery and Sexual Labor in the Middle East and North Africa conference image
    EventsOctober 2018
    Mellichamp Professor Janet Afary’s 4th Annual Conference of the UCSB Iranian Studies Initiative looks at issues related to slavery, concubinage, prostitution, indentured servitude, as well as the lives of orphans, divorced women, and widows in Iran, the Ottoman Empire, and the Persian Gulf areas.
  • Paris and Hollywood workshop flyer
    EventsSeptember 2018
    Exploring transnationalization processes at the granular level, the workshop examines their forms, effects, conceptual implications, and the ways that professional relationships, policies, and practices help to shape and transform media geographies during an era of intensifying globalization.


a global studies journal

December 13, 2018

It is clear that the discussion on microcredit involves sharp debates on its objectives, principles, and practices, and that diverse lessons from the many forms and contexts of microfinance may be derived. Almost all studies testify that the poorest of the poor do not benefit. This must be taken as an obiter dicta and strong reminder for remedial reform… [Y]et, it is important to underscore the potential of microcredit to be used as a political tool for changing social structures.

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