About the GSA

The GSA Chair is Alison Hulme who is a lecturer in International Development at the University of Northampton.

The Global Studies Association (GSA) is a multi-disciplinary scholarly association set up in order to address the vast social, political and economic transformations of global scope which are impacting upon the world today. The GSA provides a forum for scholars to collaborate and explore shared responses to such phenomenon, particularly in the context of globalisation. The commitment to multidisciplinarity and to the global context make the GSA unique in its aims and scope, thus offering its members invaluable contacts and connections. In addition, the thematic approach of the GSA allows interests which are not easily accommodated in single disciplinary associations to be fully recognised and encouraged. Thus individuals who share a common commitment to enhancing understanding of global life can find an intellectual home by working with others in the GSA.


The aims of the GSA:

To advance the work of scholars, and other interested parties such as INGOs, who are interested in promoting the creation and dissemination of multi and interdisciplinary knowledge in the social and human sciences concerning global affairs, problems and changes.

To provide a forum for encouraging world-wide exchanges between people working in all fields of research and enquiry related to global studies by organising regular conferences, setting up thematic, national and regional study sub-groupings and by operating in close association with new journals specializing in global themes.

To facilitate the emergence of world-wide federation of quasi-independent academic but linked groupings which all share the same interests and scholarly research programmes involving globalization in all its different aspects.



Communities Across Borders, published in 2002 and edited by Paul Kennedy and Victor Roudometof, was one of the two books which resulted from the very first conference run by Paul Kennedy at MMU in 1999. The idea for the GSA came directly out of this conference. With advice and support from academics such as Robin Cohen, Darren O’Byrne, John Eade and Barrie Axford, Paul Kennedy set up all the background procedures for forming a new association. The 2000 conference at MMU was used as an official launch for the new association. By the time the book was published the GSA had been up and running for over a year.

Communities across Borders examines the many ways in which national, ethnic or religious groups, professions, businesses and cultures are becoming increasingly tangled together. This is as a result of the vast flows of people, meanings, good and money which now migrate between countries and world regions. Now the effectiveness and significance of electronic technologies for inter-personal communication (including cyber-communities and the interconnectedness of the global world economy) simultaneously empowers even the poorest people to forge effective cultures stretching national borders, and compels many to do so to escape injustice and deprivation.



Another book which came out of the 1999 conference at MMU was: Globalization and National Idenitites: Crisis or Opportunity?, edited by Paul Kennedy and Catherine Danks, published by Palgrave in 2001. The founding conference was in 1999 from which the book Globalization and National Identities evolved.

Drawing on original research from social scientists working on twelve countries, this book explores the key issues faced by nations and citizens as they struggle to rediscover, reaffirm or reconstruct their sense of national identities in the face of globalizing forces. Some nations and peoples experience the fragmentation of once certain identities as threatening and likely to generate political and social breakdown. Others encounter globalization as a challenge which brings uncertainties but also opportunities for adaptation, the evolution of hybrid identities or new forms of protest.

ESRC Seminar Series award. This was won in 2003 (R451265188). It was led and applied for by Paul Kennedy (then GSA chairperson). It was entitled, ‘Towards a Global Society’ and involved seven conferences which ran between 2003 and 2005. The aim behind the ESRC seminar series was to boost the GSA as a fledgling association and it was successful in drawing in some very important academics. Universities at which these seminars were held included: London School of Economics, Sheffield, Warwick and Oxford Brookes.

One outcome from the seminar series was a journal article published in Globalizations,  Volume 4, 3, September 2007  written by Barrie Axford and was the result of a one of the ESRC seminars held at Oxford Brooks in January 2005. 


Cultures and/of Globalization, edited by Barrie Axford and Richard Huggins, evolved out of the GSA conference of the same name held at Oxford Brookes University in 2008. The conference “aimed to draw attention to what might be called the soft features of globalization and globality” (Axford and Huggins 2011, 1).

This book explores the ways in which study of culture as the realm of meaning and identity can inform current debates about globalization and thus afford greater understanding of emergent globalities. By drawing on a range of disciplinary and sub-disciplinary expertise from across the social sciences and also promoting areas of cross-disciplinary research, the book contributes to the development of theory on globalization and also provides some significant illustrations of (cultural) globalization in practice through attention to novel empirical sites and issues. These include eminently cultural realms such as music, film and architecture and those that are invested with a strong cultural component, such as migration and education. Contributions emphasise the soft features of globalization and globality and most look to marry theoretical abstraction with everyday aspects of global processes, focusing on those routine and sometimes conscious connections and accommodations that make up daily life in a globalized world. In doing so, the book itself can be seen as a contribution to critical and multidimensional studies of globalization and as engaging in a form of global practice.



Global Ethics and Civil Society, edited by Darren O’Byrne and John Eade, was an outcome of one of the three summer GSA conferences that took place at Surrey Roehampton between 2002 and 2004. These were organized by Darren O’Byrne, John Eade and others following the first series of GSA conferences held at MMU. Global Ethics and Civil Society grew out of the 2002 conference of that name at Roehampton.

This detailed and timely volume examines the impact of global transformations on concepts of civil society. Divided into two sections, it evaluates changing notions of ethics and how these transformations are operationalized. The first part deals with the theoretical aspects while the second examines the practical impact of the evolution of global ethics and norms on society. Providing solid case studies, this accessible volume contributes to the theoretical literature in the field and will prove a useful library reference work or graduate reader in the areas of globalization, civil society, ethics, human rights, citizenship and cosmopolitanism.

Trying to Measure globalization. Experiences, Critical Issues and Perspectives, was published by Springer in   2012 . In writing this books, its author, Marco Caselli from the Catholic University of  Milan, drew on several seminar papers he had previously given at various GSA conferences. 


Jerry Harris in Chicago attended the earliest conferences at MMU. Very soon he founded the North American sister to the GSA/UK. This has flourished ever since and holds annual  conferences that draws participants from  both North and South America in addition to other countries. In most years the GSA/NA also produces a book based on conference papers. 

Leslie Sklair and Jill Timms have been longstanding and highly active GSA members. In 2011 they forged links  with the Centre for Global Studies at Prague University, the GSA/NA and the International Sociological Association (the research committee on Economy and Society). What drew these organizations and people together was the Prague conference on theorizing the transnational  capitalist class and  global class formation .  Participants came from 20 countries. The Prague conference also strengthened the links between Leslie and Jill and  Professor Marek Hrubec  from Prague University at the Czech Academy of Science. Marec will be one of our key speakers at the June conference.Rafal Soborski joined the GSA soon after it was established and remains an active member.  He is now also one of the principal organizers of the highly successful Global Studies Research, founded in 2000.  His position in the GSRN provides us with very close links to this organization. Paul Kennedy’s invitation to be one of  the plenary speakers  at  the 12th GSRN conference, held  in Krakow in Poland in June 2019,  constitutes one interesting example of this connection. Hopefully others will follow. .


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