Borders in Globalization Partnership Grant (2013-2020)

Hadrian’s Wall – Photo Credit: Dr. Emmanuel Brunet-Jailly

About the program:

The Borders in Globalization program began in 2013 thanks to a seven-year Social Science and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) Partnership Grant. In addition to funding from SSHRC, our academic partners contributed matching funding and our non-academic partners provided cash and in-kind support. This project was directed by Dr. Emmanuel Brunet-Jailly at the University of Victoria (Victoria, Canada) and was co-directed by Dr. Victor Konrad from Carleton University (Ottawa, Canada). The academic partnership consisted of ten university partners: 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.

The Borders in Globalization (BIG) Research Partnership sought to understand the changing nature of borders through six thematic areas (culture, flows, governance, history, sustainability, security). Our outstanding colleagues, located across Canada and around the world, documented how state-centered and territorially-fixated research limits our understanding of borders. We worked with policy makers through summer institutes, conferences, policy forums, and participated in their own activities to present our comparative and policy relevant research. Over its lifespan, BIG trained and mentored about 100 senior undergraduate, graduate and postdoctoral fellows; organized 11 summer institutes and three major international conferences; and produced over 100 scholarly publications and policy briefs, dozens of videos, and an ongoing open online course. These activities resulted in a strong partnership and relationships between our academic and non-academic teams who have now been working together constructively for several years. For example, a direct result of BIG is an ongoing partnership between the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) and the University of Victoria. This partnership features the inclusion of CBSA policy questions into coursework, the development of policy-relevant research questions for student research, and a UVic-CBSA co-hosted summer school bringing together policy-makers, public/private sector actors, academics, and students.  With the funding from SSHRC, we were able to leverage over $1.8 million other funds from partners around the world, including several grants from the European Commission’s Jean Monnet Programme. Partnerships and collaborations established across our network during BIG continue into the future, including an innovative online open-source journal, The BIG_Review. BIG_Review provides a forum for academic and creative explorations of borders in the 21st century. BIG_Review publishes scholarship (academic articles, essays, research notes, book reviews, and film reviews) as well as artwork (photography, painting, poetry, short stories, and more). The journal is committed to academic peer review, public access, policy relevance, and cultural significance.

Research Agenda:

The original Borders in Globalization (BIG) partnership was an innovative, integrative, and sustainable network of academic partners from Canada, the United States, Europe, Asia, and the Middle East, which was 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 provided support for a global policy-research agenda that serves Canadian interests.

The goal was to build excellence in the knowledge and understanding of borders.  To this end, the partners worked 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 placed 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 was 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. 

Our research was interdisciplinary across all social sciences, and was 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 needed more than the existing partial – narrowly defined or territorially limited – explanations of border issues that are available. They needed 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 research program moved the field forward by developing a global scholarship to theoretical conceptual thinking on borders, while privileging the practical issues that policy-makers face daily.

You can view all events and outputs from this project on the events and outputs page. You can find more information on each research themes including research questions and background information at the links below. The regional studies covered each of the six themes and the goal of each regional study was to be comparable across regions and remain policy relevant within each region.

Project Reports


Final Report

We are currently drafting our final report. Expected publication date: Winter 2022.


Program Report


Program Report

Research Affiliates

The Borders in Globalization research partnership included over 100 scholars from around the world working with us on our research agenda. We would like to thank them all for their contributions to the Borders in Globalization grant and to helping further the field of border studies.

Akihiro Iwashita (Hokkaido University, Japan); Amael Cattaruzza (Centre de recherches des Ecoles de Coëtquidan, France); Barry Prentice (University of Manitoba); Ben Muller (King’s College, University of Western Ontario); Bernard Reitel (Institut des Frontières et des Discontinuités (IFD), Université d’Artois, France); Beverly Diamond (Memorial University); Bidisha Biswas (Western Washington University, USA); Brennan Gillis (Mitacs, Atlantic); Bruno Dupeyron (University of Regina); Cathal McCall (Queen’s University, Belfast, Northern Ireland); Cedric Parizot (Aix-Marseille University, France); Charles-Philippe David (L’Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM)); Christopher Kukucha (University of Lethbridge); Colin Howell (Saint Mary’s University); Dan Lynch (Dalhousie University); Danny Blair (University of Winnipeg); David Atkinson (Purdue University, USA); David Black (Dalhousie University); David Davidson (Western Washington University, USA); David Good (University of Victoria); David Grondin (University of Ottawa); David Long (Carleton University); David Miller (University of Regina); Donna Townley (University of Lethbridge); Doug Ramsey (Brandon University); Edward Boyle (Kyushu University, Japan); Emily Gilbert (University of Toronto); Evelyn Mayer (Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz, Germany);  Heather Exner-Pirot (University of Saskatchewan); Francois Moullé (Institut des Frontières et des Discontinuités (IFD), Université d’Artois, France); Frédéric Giraut (Université de Genève, Switzerland); Frédéric Lasserre (Université Laval); Greg Anderson (University of Alberta); Grégory Hamez (Université de Lorraine, France); Guy Saez (Sciences Po Grenoble, France); Hastings Donnan (Queen’s University, Belfast, Northern Ireland); Heidi Weigand (Saint Mary’s University); Himanshu Grover (State University New York, Buffalo, USA); James Scott (University of Eastern Finland, Finland); JC Boucher (Dalhousie University); Jeff Corntassel (University of Victoria); Jennifer Andrews (University of New Brunswick); Jessica Shadian (University of Lapland, Finland); Jill Hobbs (University of Saskatchewan); Jill Kerr (University of Saskatchewan); Jiyoung Park (SUNY Buffalo); Joël Plouffe (L’Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM)); John Lehr (University of Winnipeg); John Reid (Saint Mary’s University); John Schoales (Ontario Ministry of Tourism, Culture, and Sport); Joseph Nyemah (Nova Scotia Economic, Rural, Tourism Development); Cedric Juillet (Trent University); Kathryn Friedman (SUNY Buffalo); Katy Hayward (Queen’s University, Belfast, Northern Ireland); Kevin Quigley (Dalhousie University); Laetitia Rouviere (Carleton University); Lassi Heininen (University of Lapland, Finland); Laura MacDonald (Carleton University); Lee Rodney (University of Windsor); Marie-Christine Fourny (Université Joseph Fourier (Grenoble 1), France); Martin Geiger (Carleton University); Martin Pratt (Bordermap Consulting); Matthew Schnurr (Dalhousie University); Melissa Kelly (Carleton University -former BIG Post-Doc); Michael Darroch (University of Windsor); Michael Ircha (Carleton University); Oliver Schmidtke (University of Victoria); Paul Storer (Western Washington University); Peter Nyers (McMaster University); Peter Stoett (Concordia University); Richard Mueller (University of Lethbridge); Rob Huebert (University of Calgary); Rob McInnes (Port of Halifax); Robert Lecker (McGill University); Robert Young (University of Western Ontario); Rod Dobell (University of Victoria); Ron Williamson (ASI); Ross Burkhart (Boise State University); Ruben Zaiotti (Dalhousie University); Sarah Mekdjian (Universite Pierre-Mendes France, France); Sarah Zell (University of British Columbia); Stephane Paquin (ENAP); Steven Schwinghammer (Pier 21 Immigration Museum); Susan Gray (Arizona State); Suzanne Lalonde (Université de Montréal); Thomas Cantens (World Customs Organization); Tim Porter (Council of Atlantic Premiers); Todd Hately (Royal Military College); Whitney Lackenbauer (University of Waterloo); William Anderson (University of Windsor); William Kerr (University of Saskatchewan); William Straw (McGill University); William Walters (Carleton University); Yale Belanger (University of Lethbridge); Yukari Takai (York University).

Funders & Academic Partners