Transversal research themes

The GIIS considers both globalisation and multipolarity as defining conditions for our substantial research fields. Globalisation deeply influences international security, as well as foreign policy and diplomacy. As shown by the world’s energy interdependence, the global financial crisis, or the massive use of tax havens, globalisation also intensifies the vulnerability of states and local communities. From this enhanced complex interdependence follows a demand for more robust multilateral cooperation (or de-globalisation). Today’s acceleration of globalisation goes along with deepening multipolarity. The shift towards a “post-Western world” is visible in the security realm, monetary relations, climate politics, development cooperation, etc., although in unequal ways. The simultaneity of globalisation and increasing multipolarity opens a fascinating research agenda. 

The transversal themes globalisation and multipolarity are addressed from a manifestly historical perspective. This flows from the long-standing interest within the Department as a whole to rehabilitate longitudinal and comparative analysis as a way to grasp the essence of what are often considered to be exclusively contemporary phenomena. This longitudinal perspective is not only inspirational and conceptual, it is also the topic of specific PhD-level research into the possible similarities between the 21st and 19th century world orders.