European Masters programme: Global Studies – A European Perspective

Date
October 2015 to September 2019
Keywords
globalization
post-disciplinary
global connectedness
postcolonialism
Institutions
Stellenbosch University (South Africa)
Addis Ababa University (Ethiopia)
Université de Yaoundé I (Cameroon)
Research fields
Cultural Sciences
History and Archaeology
Law and Political Science

This international research-based Master is combining perspectives, methods and theories developed in history, the social sciences, cultural as well as area studies and economics to investigate phenomena of global connectedness. We don’t believe that globalisation exists as an objectively given, material reality which can be measured but that we have to understand the phenomena described as globalisation as a bundle of political, economic, social and cultural projects to manage increasing transnational and transcontinental connectedness (the so-called global condition). Therefore, the multi-national class-room of the programme and the cross-over of contributions from various disciplines and universities dealing either with some of these projects or/and with their conflicts and resulting entanglements offer a substantial added value to the study of processes of globalisation.

The learning targets of the programme are:

  • to get familiar with different academic ways to look at processes of globalisation 
  • to learn about how concepts of globalisation worked out in the past and work out today in various world regions
  • to work with concepts from different analytical and theoretical perspectives
  • to systematically compare socio-political concepts and configurations as well as to investigate their mutual interaction (cultural transfers) 
  • to gain insights into the production of social science knowledge and to relate knowledge production to concepts of globalisation
  • to become aware of one’s own rootedness in a specific discipline and academic culture

Since we start from the assumption that there is no single discipline which is able to cover the whole set of phenomena summarised under the term globalisation, the programme favours a post-disciplinary organisation of knowledge production by privileging comparative approaches (both diachronic and geographic), encompassing constructivist approaches and questioning essentialist notions. Taking the postcolonial challenge seriously we would argue that the current disciplinary organisation of universities (with which we have nevertheless to deal with) is often inadequate for the production of knowledge on the current world and that we have to reflect upon this inadequateness to overcome it at least partly.

Currently almost 150 students are enrolled in the programme, representing citizens from 45 different nations from all world regions, which results in a truly global classroom experience.