Graduate Student Fellow (PhD)

Jules Soupault

Borders in Globalization | 21st Century Borders

Jules Soupault (he/him) left his hometown of Toulouse (France) to pursue his doctorate at the University of Victoria, on W̱SÁNEĆ & Lək̓ʷəŋən territories. He is inspired and influenced by movements of solidarity without borders, anarchist companions, and beloved friends. In his doctoral research, he aims to contribute to abolitionist practices and ideas by “studying up” the (re)production of (b)orders. His dissertation project focuses on state-sponsored violence and the integration of policing across borders in North America and Europe. He joined the BIG team in 2021 and has developed indicators for the Dyad Database to grasp the politics and management of “security” at a global scale. 

Jules Soupault

Student Spotlight – Roberto Vila-Lage

Visiting Graduate Student (PhD) – University of Victoria

About Roberto:

Roberto Vila-Lage (he/him) is a PhD candidate in Geography at the University of Santiago de Compostela (Galicia, Spain). His research focuses on the study of cooperation across external and internal Spanish borders, with special emphasis on natural protected areas. His thesis discusses the impact of governance and management of biosphere reserves and national parks on internal borderlands (specifically, between autonomous communities in Spain).

Prior to pursuing his doctoral studies, he received a MA in Spatial Planning, Management & Development and a BA in Geography and Spatial Planning from the University of Santiago de Compostela, and a BA in Economics from the University of A Coruña. Roberto is member of Territorial Analysis (ANTE) Research Group and participates in the project HIGHLANDS.3. He joined the BIG team as a visiting graduate student in the fall of 2022.

What is your current research project, and how does it address borders in the 21st century?

I am currently working on my PhD thesis. My research focuses on analyzing the socio-spatial effects produced by the presence of intra-state borders in relation to protected natural areas. Specifically, I am studying biosphere reserves and national parks located just along the boundaries between autonomous communities (i.e. devolved “regions”) in Spain. The objective is to apply the theoretical framework of transboundary conservation, usually conceived around international borders, to internal boundaries and administrative limits. From the methodological point of view, I mainly use qualitative research techniques, such as semi-structured interviews with key stakeholders to grasp their perceptions in regard to boundaries, protected areas and cross-border cooperation.

What motivated you to pursue this project?

The main motivation has been my supervisors: Valerià Paül and Juan M. Trillo-Santamaría. After many years researching on the Galician-Portuguese border, they identified the need to study internal borders between autonomous communities in Spain. Thanks to their strong support, and the funding from the Ministry of Universities, I was able to initiate this project.

Where do you see your project having the most impact?

In general terms, I would like it to help to reflect on the importance of and effects produced by intra-state borders in decentralized countries, as is the case in Spain. More specifically, although I am not very optimistic about it, I would like it to promote effective cooperation and coordination mechanisms to facilitate the management of cross-border protected natural areas in Spain.

What has your fellowship with BIG allowed you to do that you might not have done otherwise?

There is no doubt that the highlight has been meeting the excellent team of the BiG and the CFGS of the University of Victoria. It is an exceptional environment for carrying out research. My stay also allowed me to do field work on the border between British Columbia and Alberta and to enjoy of the stunning landscapes of the Rocky Mountains.

What are your plans for after your PhD?

I do not really know how many times a day I ask myself this question… Honestly, after my PhD, I would like to have the opportunity to develop a postdoctoral project linked to borders studies that allows me to continue developing my research career.

What is one non-academic book that you think everybody should read and why?

Recently I read an interesting book that I have recommended to a few friends. Its title, taken from a painting by Paul Klee, is The Twittering Machine. I especially like this book because its author, Richard Seymour, analyzes and reflects in an excellent way on the toxic relationship we have with social networks and the social industry.

Student Spotlight - Roberto Vila-Lage

Graduate Student Fellow (MACD)

Nadine Graham

BIG | Jean Monnet Human-to-Military Security Database Project – University of Victoria

Nadine Graham joined the BIG team in June 2022 as a Graduate Student Fellow.  She is currently completing a Master of Arts in Community Development in the Public Administration Department at UVic and focuses on the analysis of Immigration and Settlement related policy, non-profit settlement services as well as migration and border studies. She previously completed a Master’s in Immigration Management (Now called Migration Studies) at Universitat Pompeu Fabra in Barcelona, Spain. She has 5 years of experience working with newcomers in the settlement field, in both language and employment. Nadine has had two book reviews published about gender inequality in China and cyber crimes against women in India in the Asian Journal of Women’s Studies.

Nadine Graham

Graduate Student Fellow (PhD)

Shoukia van Beek

Borders in Globalization | Jean Monnet Human-to-Military Security Database Project

Shoukia van Beek (she/her) is a settler-scholar and graduate student at the University of Victoria, on W̱SÁNEĆ & Lək̓ʷəŋən territories. Shoukia was named after her late grandmother, a Frisian-Dutch immigrant, whose ferocity, compassion, and caring ways shaped Shoukia’s sense of self and community. Her lessons and love continue to inform Shoukia’s interests, worldview, and ultimately, her work. Shoukia’s research examines how borders, and their associated practices, function as a mechanism of settler-colonialism. Her work is rooted in, and takes place at the intersection of, literatures and theories of political ecology, border studies, and Indigenous sovereignty¾actively centring an anti-colonial, anti-capitalist, and abolitionist legal-geographic analysis and epistemological commitment.

Shoukia joins the BIG team as a PhD Fellow and will be working with Jeff and Emmanuel on questions of Indigenous nationhood as well as with the BIG and JMN database teams!

Shoukia van Beek

Database Coordinator | Senior Research Assistant

Maria Finnsdottir

Jean Monnet Human-to-Military Security Database Project – University of Victoria

Maria Finnsdottir is a Senior Research Assistant and she leads our team of research assistants collecting indicators for both the BIG and Jean Monnet database projects.

Maria is PhD Candidate in Sociology at the University of Toronto. Prior to pursuing her doctoral studies, she received her BA in Sociology from UVic in 2016, and her MA in Sociology from U of T in 2018. Her research focuses broadly on gender and radical right politics. For her doctoral research, she is examining how gendered inequality operates within radical right political parties, both at the level of supporters and of politicians. This work aims to understand the particular gendered drivers of radical right support, and the place of women in racist and exclusionary politics.

Maria Finnsdottir

Call for Proposals: XV International Congress on Regional Integration, Borders and Globalization in the American Continent

Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua, Mexico

Monday, June 15, 2015 (All day)

Proposals to participate in the XV International Congress on Regional Integration, Borders and Globalization in the American Continent are currently being accepted.

The congress will be held jointly with the IV International Congress of Border Cities On 28, 29 and 30 October 2015 At the Institute of Social Sciences and Management Autonomous University of Ciudad Juárez (UACJ) In Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua, México

DESCRIPTION: The International Congress on Regional Integration, Borders and Globalization in the American Continent has been since 1996 a space that encourages critical reflection in order to contribute to a greater understanding of our reality. It has also fostered action research and the construction of a critical stands vis-à-vis the most pressing problems of the American continent. To continue this reflection, its 15th Congress is jointly held with the 4th International Conference on Border Cities, held since 2009 at the Autonomous University of Ciudad Juárez (UACJ). This joint conference seeks to integrate various discussions and debates which have taken place for nearly twenty years through our project and research program on Regional Integration, Borders and Globalization in the Americas. This conference’s purpose is primarily to establish new mechanisms for interdisciplinary teamwork and comparative work. On this occasion, we seek to emphasize a critical view of the concept of borders and their economic, political, social, psychological, cultural, legal and territorial manifestations. Further, we seek to question the very existence of borders in a globalized world. This conference will include a visit to the border town of El Paso, Texas. The call for proposals includes papers, roundtable discussions, full panels, book presentations, video conferences, documentaries and academic exchanges with open discussions on the following


    • Regional integration, free trade and globalization
    • Productive and service sectors in globalization
    • Neoliberalism, globalization and limits of national sovereignty
    • Political and geopolitical thinking of globalization and integration
    • Regionalization and extraction of strategic natural resources
    • Regional integration, megaprojects and environmental impacts
    • The emergence of new integration processes in the region 
    • Militarization, armaments and repression
    • Regional security and multidimensional security
    • “War on Terror and the “War on Drugs”
    • Insecurity and organized crime
    •  New migration flows
    • Forced migration and human trafficking
    • Displacement of peoples and exile
    • Refugee Policies
    • Ethnicities in the face of globalization
    • Emerging social networks
    • Social conflict and resistance
    •  Borders as global and transnational spaces
    • Regional integration, cooperation and border development
    •  Economic transactions and cross-border labor markets
    • The construction of cross-border social networks
    • Borders and bio-politics
    • Border Crossing Controls
    • Material expressions of border security (walls, canals, fences, prisons and detention centers, etc.)
    • Dehumanization of borders and democratic responses to terrorism and insecurity
    • Culture, history and border narratives
    • New identities and cross-border subjects
    • Border, inter-ethnic territories and ethno-development
    • Universal citizenship, cosmopolitanism and cross-border mobility
    • Cultural heritage and border landscape
    • Political processes and public policy
    • Violence and Public Safety
    • Environment, public health and welfare
    • Social vulnerability on the borders
    • Construction, de-construction and reconstruction of the concept of borders
    • Internal and external Borders (borders within borders)
    • Boundaries within the nation-state


  • Examine the impact of the global economic crises on the political and social landscape in the Western Hemisphere
  • Develop networks to analyze ways of working jointly on globalization and borders
  • Provide methodological tools to articulate resistance processes and reflection on regional integration alternatives
  • Strengthen the link social movements—academia
  • Encourage and promote comparative approaches between countries in the region to discuss common issues
  • Promote the study and critical reflection of the concepts of borders and boundaries as well as knowledge of the social reality of the border cities

PARTICIPANTS Researchers, teachers, students, activists and members of civil society organizations

PRACTICAL INFORMATION Transportation, accommodations and food costs will be paid by the participants. Because the campus of the Autonomous University of Ciudad Juárez is located in an area where food services (restaurants) are not close by, the Local Organizing Committee agreed to retain the services of a restaurant which will provide meals at a cost of $ 30.00 (thirty US dollars) or $ 400.00 (four hundred pesos) for the three days. A participant wishing to utilize this service must pay all $400 pesos upon registration. At the end of the congress, there will be a visit to the border town of El Paso, Texas. The costs shall also be paid for by the participants. Please send a note next to the abstract of the paper if you are interested in this activity. All participants are responsible for having a valid visa issued by the United States to cross the border.

DEADLINE FOR ABSTRACTS Please, turn in your proposals by June 15, 2015, with an extension of one page maximum, double spacing, Times New Roman 12 font. The deadline to receive submissions for those interested in publishing their paper in a Memory CD version of the conference is September 30, 2015. The length of the paper is 20-25 pages, double spacing, Times New Roman 12 front, in Word format. The deadline for submission of papers to the Organizing Committee for its review and possible publication in a book is December 5, 2015. Please send abstracts and papers to the following three addresses:

Publication of papers in the book: The papers will be submitted to a review committee and those that are selected will be published. The Committee will provide the editorial guidelines for all papers to be published. Depending on the amount of selected materials and resources available will be publishing one or more thematic books.

BIG Fellowships

Mentorship and training are core parts of our research program. Undergraduate students, graduate students, and post-doctoral scholars are engaged in all aspects of our research activities and will be individually mentored by an academic partner within our network. BIG Fellows will participate monthly student seminars designed to foster team building and provide training in collaborative research. Additionally, Fellows will have access to an annual open-access introductory course that will develop a common theoretical and transdisciplinary methodological foundation on borders and border studies. Finally, Fellows will have the opportunity to engage in a number of knowledge mobilization activities ranging from traditional publications to podcast participation to writing blogs and using social media. Each Fellow will have their own project that fits within the overall BIG research agenda and will be required to submit a final report at the end of their fellowship.

Types of Fellowships

Undergraduate Fellows

Undergraduate students will work directly with their supervisors, as well as within the larger fellowship cohort. Typically, undergraduate fellows will be asked to work on data collection and data entry, assist with data analysis and literature reviews, participate in outreach activities, and collaborate on the preparation of publications.

Masters Fellows

Masters students will work directly with their supervisors, as well as within the larger fellowship cohort. They may be asked to work independently on data collection, data collection, data analysis, and literature reviews. In addition to what is asked of undergrad fellows, masters fellows may participate in presentations, networking activities, and partner collaborations.

Doctoral Fellows

Doctoral students will work directly with their supervisors and will take a mentorship role within the larger fellowship cohort. They will be asked to participate in all aspects of the research program and may be asked to lead a team of student researcher. In addition to their involvement in the knowledge mobilization aspects of the research agenda, doctoral fellows will also participate in aspects of project design and report writing/edited.

Post-Doc Fellows

Post-Doc Fellows will work directly with their supervisors and will take a mentorship role within the larger fellowship cohort. They will be asked to take ownership of a core project within the BIG network and/or be required to produce a major publication. All post-doc fellowships are specifically designed to the current needs of the project and our capacities to mentor. Please see the opportunities page for current postings.

Jean Monnet Network Launch Workshop

Zoom | June 17, 2022

This workshop’s prime activity was launching the Network. This workshop allowed us to (1) virtually host our partners and invite them to propose specific indicators or variables for the database based on their own work and specializations, and (2) connect with a wide range of local, regional and national partners, including non-academic organizations, with an interest in developing this research and training.

Our Network hypothesizes that EU responses to crisis are shaping policies with implications for human and state security, and that these responses are often exemplary as international models though not implemented with consistency across the EU.

To assess this situation, our Jean Monnet Network Team Human-to-Military Security Data Base discussed ideas/proposals for the development of database indicators at our first workshop.

Our core research focus is to challenge the well-established conception that borders are primarily territorial boundaries that emerge out of international treaties and thus that security issues should naturally be dealt with at the boundary line. Our contention is that contemporary borders in our era of globalization are processes that are in many instances ‘a-territorial’ (de-territorialized) because the border is ultimately carried out on individuals, goods and/or information on the move. Bordering processes have moved away from the boundary line and are individualized to persons and goods, occurring at sites in countries of origin, across transit countries, and within their country of destination.

Our methodology relies on the construction of datasets concerning the interplay between border policy and human/state security, with emphasis on instances of cooperation and collaboration straddling border internal and external to the European Union. We include maritime borders as well as borders within the EU and along its periphery.

Jean Monnet Network Launch Workshop

Jean Monnet Chair 2016-2019

Innovative Governance


The Jean Monnet Chair in Innovative Governance grant was led by Emmanuel Brunet-Jailly and UVic’s School of Public Administration with Tara Ney and advised by Oliver Schmidtke and Amy Verdun. The aim of the Jean Monnet Chair in Innovative Governance was to internationalize, and to Europeanize three graduate programs at UVic’s School of Public Administration, in order to better introduce students to policy processes of European integration in comparative perspectives. 

Our the course of the three year Chair, Dr. Brunet-Jailly and his team at UVic created two new courses; introduced three new, Europeanized units of course work to an existing course; supervised a number of MA, MPA, and PhD students; launched a public student lecture series on policy making in comparative perspectives; and hosted a workshop and conference with the Government of British Columbia and the office of the Ombudsman of British Columbia in 2018. The Jean Monnet Chair in Innovative Governance, in collaboration with the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, the European Union, and the University of Victoria School of Public Administration also hosted a research and practice forum on “Complaint System Design for the Public Sector: Trends and Innovations from International Jurisdictions”, as part of the “Co-Construction Justice: Citizen-centred Designed for Public Service Complaint Systems”.

New Courses

As part of the Jean Monnet Chair in Innovative Governance, two new courses were created.

ADMN 470

Intergovernmental Relations Comparing the EU & Canada

Dr. Brunet-Jailly speaks about the new course ‘Intergovernmental Relations: Comparing the European Union and Canada’.

This course explores the coexistence of governments, and the complexities of policy making and governance arising from these relationships.

ADMN 525

Leadership and Community Development

Dr. Brunet-Jailly talks about ADMN 578, a course he developed as a Jean Monnet Chair.

This course explores leadership in civil society, community development, and social identity, as well as the various tools for developing strategic priorities and planning frameworks for organization and communities.

New Course Material

This chair also introduced new, Europeanized content to an existing course.

DR 509

Dispute Resolution

In Europeanizing the content, three specialized units were added to the course:
-Out of Court Settlement of Consumer Disputes in the European Union
-Widening Consumer Access: the Alternative Dispute Resolution Mechanisms
-Resolving Disputes on the European Online Dispute Resolution Form (ODR)

Teaching and Supervision

The following list includes the successful graduates whose thesis defenses were held as public lectures from 2016-2020 (Dr. Brunet-Jailly was either the supervisor, co-supervisor, or external examiner for each student).

  1. Tatiana Shaban (PhD Political Science) – “EU Regional Cooperation and Governance of Its Eastern Neighbourhood” – August 23, 2019
  2. Katharina Herman (MPA – Thesis) – “Governing Cross-Border Sharing of Genetic Data: A New Border Frontier (European Union, China, and Global Alliance) – Fall 2019 with public talk on January 10, 2020
  3. Joel Holdaway (MADR – Report) – “Beyond LGN Bunkering (Comparing Vancouver, Singapore, Rotterdam, Long Beach) – December 4, 2019
  4. Sarah Li Chu (MPA – Report) – “Smart Cities Approach: The Opportunity and Possibility of Data Driven Communities (Comparing EU’s Estonia, Somerville, US) – June 14, 2019
  5. William Monkhouse (MPA – Report) – “Analysis of the State of Immunity Act (Comparing Argentina, Belgium, Italy, Spain, UK, and US)” – Fall 2019 with public talk on January 15, 2020
  6. Lauranne Jacobs (PhD Political Geography) – “Gouverner la Frontière. Innovation dans la coopération transfrontalière des territoires alpins” – September 14, 2017
  7. Graeme Crouch (PhD Political Science) – “Rethinking Europeanization: Twinning and NGO Cooperation in Eastern Europe” – Fall 2019

Project Funders

Jean Monnet Chair 2020-2023

EU Policy and Governance


This Jean Monnet Chair brings together the School of Public Administration (SPA) and the faculty of Human and Social Development at the University of Victoria (UVic). Our plan delivers on the university’s internationalization agenda (Making a World of Difference: International Plan 2017-2022), which aims to sharpen UVic’s edge in an increasingly global world. Our organization will better prepare students, scholars, and policy makers for the changing politics and economics of the EU and EU-Canada relations, including complex challenges posed the implementation of the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreements (CETA) and also unprecedented numbers of people moving across borders of Canada and the EU.

Through the creation of two new courses, the Europeanizing of two existing courses, a public lecture series, and graduate student supervision, this Jean Monnet Chair (JMC) in European Union Policy and Governance (Functional and Territorial) builds and expands on the foundations of European Union studies already existing in the curriculum of our Graduate Programs in Public Administration (residential and online) and in Community Development at the University of Victoria, and create an area of Specialisation in EU Border Studies. The Jean Monnet Chair fosters local, provincial and federal public civil expertise on the European Union policy making and governance, especially in the areas of borders, customs, migration, and security (human and state).


The chair will create two NEW graduate courses, Europeanize two existing courses, develop a lecture series, and supervise two-four master’s thesis/reports, which will be presented publicly. Both of the new graduate courses will focus on aspects of territorial and functional governance in EU Border programs (Interreg and IBM) in comparative perspectives with Canada. Both of the existing courses are required courses for all Master’s students across all three programs. All four courses and supervisions will be taught by Dr. Brunet-Jailly; Summer Schools will have doctoral and post-doctoral students as well as professional and expert guest speakers.


This network is housed at the University of Victoria and led by Dr. Emmanuel Brunet-Jailly.

The Canadian team includes Dr. Helga Kristin Hallgrimsdottir, Nicole Bates-Eamer, Michael Carpenter, Helga Kristin Hallgrimsdottir, Edwin Hodge, and Benjamin Perrier.

Project Funders