Politics of the Global South

Global South political commentaries blog

The Political Science Department at UVic has a lot to offer graduate students interested in politics in Global South. Our faculty members are engaged in research in Asia, Africa and Latin America.

We are fortunate to have two China specialists: Guoguang Wu and Feng Xu.

Guoguang Wu, who holds a Chair in China and Asia-Pacific Relations, began his career participating in political reform in China in the capacity of policy advisor and speechwriter. His research interests lie in the area of institutional change, political economy, globalization, elite politics, media and politics, and foreign policy and regional security, with empirical references to China, Taiwan, and Hong Kong.

Feng Xu also works on China and her research has been making an important contribution to studies of modes of governance in post-socialist China, rural-urban migration and urbanization, political economy, social reproduction and capitalist economy in China, China’s regional economies, emerging Chinese labor market.  She is also interested in exploring the nature of China’s role in Africa and Latin America.

Marlea Clarke has considerable research and professional experience in South and Southern Africa. Her research interests include African political economy and development; labour and migration; globalization, labour and social movements; and post-colonial transitions to democracy in southern Africa. Her current research interests focus on changing patterns of trade and global production of clothing, especially regional production networks and labour standards in sub-Saharan Africa.

Michelle Bonner has expertise in Latin American politics, concentrating her work on Argentina and Chile. Her research interests include the politics of policing, media and politics, democratic accountability, social protest, democratization, social movements, gender, transitional justice, and human rights.

Reeta Tremblay's major areas of research are identity-based politics and secessionist movements (Kashmir) in South Asia, the politics of subaltern resistance and accommodation in post-colonial societies, democracy and governance, and comparative federalism.

There are other faculty across campus who are political scientists, work on the politics of the Global South, and who are available to graduate students for their thesis committees. Sikata Banerjee and Laura Parisi are in Women Studies but are cross-appointed with the Political Science Department.

Sikata Banerjee’s expertise is in Comparative Politics, Gender and International Relations, and Feminist Political Theory with a specific focus on the politics of India. In the past few years her scholarship has focused on masculinities and nationalism.

Laura Parisi’s work is in feminist international relations in the area of gender and international development, human rights, globalization, global governance, and feminist methodologies.  Her currently funded research projects include a cross-national study of NGOs and their gender mainstreaming practices; and, a comparative study of the impacts of new foreign aid modalities driven by the global recession on the ability of human rights, gender rights, and development NGOs in both the global North and global South on long-term capacity building.

In addition, there are a number of other hubs on campus that draw together students and professors alike who work on the Global South. There is the Centre for Global Studies, the Centre for Asia-Pacific Initiatives (CAPI), and the Latin American Research Group. There are also many other theme-based centres such as the Centre for Co-operative and Community-Based Economy and the Centre for Religion and Society.

Students concentrating in this area will be required to take the candidacy examination in Comparative Politics for which the required seminar is POLI 608. Possible secondary examinations may be taken in International Relations, Political Theory and Cultural, Social and Political Thought (CSPT).