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


  • Contesting Human Rights book cover
    PublicationsJanuary 2019
    Mellichamp Professor Alison Brysk’s new co-authored volume examines the barriers and changing pathways to the full realization of human rights, presenting a thorough proposal for the reframing of these rights around new opportunities at and below the state level as well as creative pathways for global governance in the face of modern challenges.
  • 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.


a global studies journal

tourists listen to Gabonese guide discuss jungle botany
January 17, 2019

The ecotourism project aims to improve livelihoods in part by training locals as ecoguides with interpretive and administrative skills as well as a broader awareness of the ecotourism economy. The latter helps to empower local residents to ensure that revenues flow into the community—thereby increasing social and economic equality—rather than into the hands outside actors.

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