Borders in Globalization (BIG) is an innovative, integrative, and sustainable network of academic partners from Canada, the United States, Europe, Asia, and the Middle East, which is engaged with non-academic organizations that are involved in the management of borders and borderlands in Canada and worldwide. Border studies are global in reach, and so we ground our core partnership in Canada and associate with key research centers worldwide.  This provides support for a global policy-research agenda that serves Canadian interests.

The basic goal is to build excellence in the knowledge and understanding of borders.  To this end, the partners will work together to create new policy and foster knowledge transfer in order to address such globalization forces as security, trade and migration flows, and also to understand the forces of technology, self-determination and regionalization that are affecting borders and borderlands in regions around the world.

Our program of research places Canadian scholars at the core of an international partnership, with the objectives of developing policy and knowledge from an international perspective and thus developing professional and academic training. A central tool to this end is round-tables between policy makers and academics that inform all our work from its inception; Round-tables lead to research, policy forums, summer schools, conferences, policy reports, briefs and books, and inform both theory and practice related to orders. 

Since 2011, border studies knowledge has expanded in ‘leaps and bounds’. Our proposed research develops the field significantly, is interdisciplinary across all social sciences, and is organized around a few critical themes that frame key discussions: self-determination, governance complexity, local culture, political clout, market and migration flows, and borders in motion. Policy makers, policy activists and social scientists need more than the existing partial – narrowly defined or territorially limited - explanations of border issues that are available. They need to go beyond, for example, the study of the internal and external borders of the European Union or the study of the maritime borders of Japan. This proposed research program moves the field forward by developing a global scholarship to theoretical conceptual thinking on borders, while privileging the practical issues that policy-makers face daily.

BIG is directed by Dr. Emmanuel Brunet-Jailly from the Centre for Global Studies at the University of Victoria, in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada; Victor Konrad at Carleton University (Ottawa, Canada) co-directs the project. There are ten university partners in Canada: Carleton, école Nationale d’Administration Publique, Lethbridge, Ottawa, Regina, RMCC, Sherbrooke, Trent, Université du Québec à Montréal, and Wilfrid Laurier; and eleven from around the world: Autonomous University of Ciudad Juárez (Mexico), Ben-Gurion University (Israel), Radboud University (The Netherlands), Queen’s University Belfast, University of Eastern Finland, Université de Grenoble (France), University of Luxembourg, University of Southern Denmark, The University at Buffalo (SUNY), and Western Washington University.

This project is made possible from the generous funding of the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council. In addition to funding from SSHRC, our academic partners contribute matching funding, and our non-academic partners provide cash and in-kind support.