University of Colorado at Boulder
Globalization and Democracy: An NSF Graduate Training Program

The global economy is undergoing rapid and fundamental change that is reshaping political and social relations in the United States and in other nations around the world. In many respects, these changes have encouraged the spread of democratic values (WebSite for the NSF project on the Spatial and Temporal Diffusion of Democracy) and practices [JPEG map]. In other respects, these changes may have hindered the spread of democracy. The Graduate Training Program in Globalization and Democracy (GAD), funded by the National Science Foundation, is an interdisciplinary training program at the University of Colorado that provides an ideal context for studying the forces of change in the modern world. Centered in the Institute of Behavioral Science Research Program on Political and Economic Change, in collaboration with the Departments of Geography, Political Science, Economics, and Sociology, the program began in the fall semester, 1996.

The Globalization and Democracy Research and Training Program sponsored a conference, Responding to Globalization: Societies, Groups, and Individuals, April 4 - 7, 2002 on the Boulder campus.

GAD training and research are organized around six themes:

  • Globalization of economic processes. The globalized economy is one in which the primary global agents are corporate, and the primary conceptual framework is no longer tied to 19th century concepts of national boundaries. Scholars working on the GAD initiative examine these transnational institutions and processes and ask whether they enrich or undermine democratic practices.

  • The possibilities for democracy in a globalizing economy. The modern world is now undergoing a "third wave" of democratization in which the spread of democratic norms and practices is replacing authoritarian ones in many countries around the globe. The major question that has continued to perplex scholars is how, exactly, do countries make the transition to democracy, or become more democratic?

  • Transformations of the meaning and practice of citizenship. Patterns of citizen participation help define the nature of a democracy. Who participates helps determine who gets represented and who gets left out, but participation is influenced by the society's definition of citizenship, patterns of privilege and access, and the distribution of resources and power.

  • The legitimacy of political and governmental structures. Popular anger at political leaders and government seems to be on the rise in the United States and many other western democracies. There is reason to believe that an important factor in this widespread phenomenon is the disruptive effect of globalization on the core countries and the inability of national governments to adjust to change in ways that inspire confidence among citizens.

  • Accountability in the face of transnational economic forces. Accountability is defined as the degree to which political leaders are responsive and responsible, and the degree to which public policy reflects citizen preferences. Examination of specific cases in a range of societies located at different places in the global economy will help GAD scholars explore the question of how democratic practices and accountability might be enriched and enhanced.

  • Ethno-national conflict and accommodation. How has the existence of permanent "included" and "excluded" groups affected the ability of democratic structures to persist? If groups are defined in terms of ethnicity, not in terms of interests, what implications does this hold for democratic theory? How will newly democratic societies deal with these issues?
  • The development of new thinking on these themes and questions, based on interdisciplinary, collaborative research, forms the heart of the GAD program.

    The Institute of Behavioral Science

    For three and a half decades, the Institute of Behavioral Science (IBS) has provided a setting for interdisciplinary research on problems of societal concern. By engaging faculty from all of the social and behavioral sciences at CU, the Institute has encouraged work that transcends disciplinary boundaries, that illuminates the complexity of social behavior and social life, and that has important implications for social policy. In addition to fostering research, the Institute assumes responsibility for the dissemination of information about research findings and for the training of both pre- and postdoctoral students in behavioral science research. In order to make the best use of its resources, the Institute has deliberately focused its attention on a small number of research programs, each of which is interdisciplinary in its faculty, each of which is led by a senior behavioral scientist, and each of which has its own space, support personnel, and budget. There are four programs: the Research Program on Political and Economic Change (where GAD is based), the Research Program on Population Processes, the Research Program on Environment and Behavior, and the Research Program on Problem Behavior. Faculty are drawn from the Departments of Anthropology, Economics, Geography, Political Science, Psychology, and Sociology.

    In the Research Program on Political and Economic Change (PPEC), cross-fertilization and intellectual exchange take place through daily interactions, regularly scheduled colloquia, joint sessions with visiting scholars, shared mentoring of graduate students, and program-sponsored conferences. Few truly interdisciplinary social science research and training programs exist in the United States, and PPEC is one of the most successful. Graduate students work with faculty in a variety of disciplines, take courses across several disciplines, and most importantly are effectively involved in interdisciplinary research projects that fuel their dissertation research and future teaching. Access to IBS office space, computers, staff support, and library facilities is available to each GAD awardee.

    GAD Support for Graduate Study

    GAD students are enrolled in and pursue their normal course work in their home departments, including meeting all departmental requirements. GAD awardees must be advised by one of the primary GAD faculty. They also enroll in the two semester GAD core seminar (Fall 2000 syllabus in Word or PDF format), participate in ongoing interdisciplinary seminars, and assist in research projects led by GAD faculty. Tuition and fees are paid for GAD trainees, who are supported in addition by a stipend of $14,100 per year. National Science Foundation funds can be used only by U.S. citizens and permanent residents; however, University funds are available to non-U.S. citizens.

    The competition for NSF-supported GAD fellowships is now closed. Applicants interested in the topics of the GAD program are encouraged to apply for assistantships in one of the four departments (Economics, Geography, Political Science and Sociology) and to contact the GAD faculty closest to their subject of interest (email addresses below).

    Debra Javeline, David Brown, Jim Bell, and Paul Kubicek were previous recipients of the Kenneth Boulding Fellowship.

    Kenneth Boulding Fellowship Applications Due April 1st

    The Program on Political and Economic Change in the Institute of Behavioral Science at the University of Colorado is accepting applications for a post-doctoral fellowship in 1999-2000 to work with an interdisciplinary group (economists, geographers, political scientists, and sociologists) on the topic of "Globalization and Democratization" (GAD).

    We are looking for a scholar committed to interdisciplinary research and teaching. The six foci of the GAD program are the following: a) Globalization of economic processes; b) the diffusion of democracy; c) transformations in the meaning and practice of citizenship; d) the legitimacy of political and governmental structures; e) accountability in the face of transnational economic forces; and f) ethno-national conflict and accommodation.

    Collaboration with current faculty in contributing to at least one of these areas will constitute one of the prime responsibilities of the successful candidate, who will also be involved in teaching segments of an graduate interdisciplinary seminar, in the preparation of grant submissions, and the general scholarly activities of the research program.

    The appointment is for a 10-month period to begin on 21 August 1999, and is possibly renewable for an additional year. Salary is $31,000 plus benefits. This position requires a Ph. D. at the time of appointment. Review of applications (a letter of application, curriculum vitae, three letters of reference, writing samples, and an e-mail address for acknowledgment) will begin on April 1st 1999 and will continue until the position is filled.

    Send applications to John O'Loughlin, Institute of Behavioral Science, Campus Box 487, University of Colorado, Boulder, CO,80309-0487, USA (fax: 303.492.3609; email:


    Primary GAD faculty at the Institute of Behavioral Science and their research interests:

    Edward Greenberg (Political Science; (303) 492-2141;

    Global economic change, accountability and legitimacy; theories of the state; workplace and industrial democracy; political economy, with special attention to the role of economic enterprises and actors in politics; and American politics, with special attention to democratic theory and practice.
    [Vita - PDF]
    [Home Page]

    Lynn Staeheli (Geography; (303) 492-8877;

    Political geography, especially citizenship, urban politics, grassroots movements, informal political activities, and cultural politics; social geography, especially gender and "race" relations in cities, and the intersections of economic and political relations in constructing gender and "race."
    [Vita - PDF]

    Thomas Mayer (Sociology; (303) 492-2138;

    Political economy, especially economic conflict; mathematical sociology, including game-theory; Marxian analysis, especially analytical Marxism; class dynamics; statistics, especially time-series analysis.

    John O'Loughlin (Geography; (303) 492-1619; He is the current Director of the GAD Program.

    Political geography, especially the geography of international conflict and cooperation, ethno-nationalism in Eastern Europe, the changing geography of the international political economy, and the electoral geography of European states; social geography, especially immigration to western Europe and the socio-spatial isolation of immigrant groups in West European cities. He is the Principal Investigator with Michael D. Ward, of the Department of Political Science, University of Washington, Seattle, WA, on the NSF project on the Spatial and Temporal Diffusion of Democracy Project.
    [Home Page]

    James Scarritt (Political Science; (303) 492-2140;

    Sociopolitical change and development, including theories and research techniques for the study of change, comparative change in African polities formerly under British rule or influence, change and conflict in Southern Africa, and comparative political change and development in the contemporary world especially in the nations of the Commonwealth focusing on the politics of ethnicity and class, democratization, and policies for the increased protection of human rights.
    [Vita - PDF]

    Keith Maskus (Economics; (303) 492-2142;

    Global economic change; international trade and finance; international economic policy and multilateral economic institutions; U.S. economic relations with countries of the Pacific rim; the role of trade liberalization in economic development.
    [Vita - PDF]

    See the IBS colloquium listing for information about GAD seminars.