Annual Research Topics
Current Research Topic
2016-17: International Society - Institutions and Actors in Global Governance
The growth of international organizations and transnational actors has brought about the emergence of a dense international society above the nation-state. Under what circumstances do new international organizations or transnational associations emerge, and when do they expand in their membership and jurisdiction? Does international society function as a constraint on states? How do states and societal actors navigate the complex and overlapping jurisdictions of international organizations? In what ways do international organizations and associations function as distinct cultures or as bureaucracies with their own interests? The 2016-17 cohort of Fung Fellows will examine the emergence, functioning, and effects of international organizations and transnational associations of all types (state and non-state, focused on a single issue or world region, or examined comparatively) from a cultural, historical, political, sociological, or other perspective.
Faculty Director: Christina Davis, Professor of Politics and International Affairs, Woodrow Wilson School
Future Research Topic
2017-18: The Culture and Politics of Resentment
Resentment is a powerful emotion for expressing culture and politics. Experiences and memories of humiliation, oppression, and marginalization have stimulated emotions of resentment, and produced compelling demands for political inclusion and justice around the world. Alternatively, rage against what is seen as the “tyranny of the minority,” inequality, the corruption and aloofness of elites, the “foreign,” and the illegitimate have generated powerful populist upsurges against the perceived enemies of a homogeneous body of “the people.” The goal of the 2017-18 Fung Global Fellows cohort will be to explore the full range of phenomena involved in the culture and politics of resentment, the conditions that produce such sentiments, and the projects they advance. We invite applications from scholars whose work addresses this topic in any historical period or region of the world and from any disciplinary background in the humanities and social sciences.
Faculty Director: Gyan Prakash, Dayton-Stockton Professor of History
Past Research Topics
2015-16: Ethnic Politics and Identities
Recent events around the world have highlighted the role of ethnic politics and identities in shaping domestic and international political arenas. The Fung Global Fellows Program invited scholars whose work explored the causes, narrative modalities, and consequences of the politicization of ethnic, racial, and national divides from a comparative perspective.
Faculty Director: Deborah J. Yashar, Professor of Politics and International Affairs, Woodrow Wilson School
2014-15: Global Diffusion
The objects of diffusion include specific modes of social categorization (such as “race” in census forms), principles of legitimation (such as democracy), government policies (such as minority quota systems), forms of conflict (such as revolutions), or cultural practices (such as Tango dancing or marrying “in white”). The program invited applications from scholars developing new, innovative ways to study global diffusion processes. Analytically oriented approaches that identified recurring patterns and mechanisms through rigorous comparison of multiple cases or quantitative analysis, with broad geographic (preferably transcontinental) coverage, were of particular interest for this program.
Faculty Director: Andreas Wimmer, Hughes-Rogers Professor of Sociology
2013-14: Languages and Authority
In the program’s inaugural year, the fellows and the program's seminar series focused on how languages interact with political, social, economic, and cultural authority. Languages can be powerful tools for expressing and asserting authority, yet they also constitute forms of authority in and of themselves (such as in the standardization and uniformity that they impose). Languages as forms of authority are also contested, and language communities have often formed a basis for resisting authority. Possible topics for this cycle included the ways in which languages and language use interact with globalization, empire, decolonization, nation-state formation, nationalism, language policy, language ideology, social stratification, migration, commerce and trade, social and religious movements, and the sociology of knowledge production.
Faculty Director: Michael D. Gordin, Rosengarten Professor of Modern and Contemporary History