School of Global Studies

About the School

The School of Global Studies is a global hub at the heart of Sussex University. Our engaged research and critical pedagogy addresses the most pressing global issues of our times – global inequalities and global justice, climate and environmental change, war and peace, global health and finance crises, intolerance and discrimination. Our mission is to generate knowledge and understanding that can make a difference, for a fairer, safer, more sustainable and more inclusive world.

Welcome to the School of Global Studies

Global Studies at Sussex is unique

We are home to the departments of Anthropology, Geography, International Development and International Relations.

Our research and teaching tackles some of the most pressing global issues of our times including:

  • global inequalities and global justice, climate and environmental change, war and peace, global health and finance crises, intolerance and discrimination.

Recognising that complex problems calls for imaginative, interdisciplinary approaches, we bring together experts from across the natural and social sciences.

Our interests are global, extending from local studies in country contexts ranging from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe, to global governance institutions like the World Trade Organisation and the United Nations.

We work with national governments, peacekeeping forces, transnational corporations, NGOs and social movements. Through this work, we tackle issues such as environmental sustainability, fair trade, sexual rights and gender equality.

Through our research and teaching, we are making the world a fairer, safer, more sustainable and more inclusive place for all.

We focus on three main themes:

  • Understanding global flows around people, knowledge, ideas, cultural practices, pollutants, diseases, goods and services, and how to govern them in ways that benefit the majority of the global population.
  • Learning from global transformations in the global South and North, in urban and rural settings and in relation to climate change, tackling geohazards, global finance, green transformations, ethical trade, intimacies, philanthropy, violence and insecurity.
  • Contesting global inequalities and exclusions wherever they occur and whatever form they take. We document the manifestations and consequences of discrimination and exclusion – whether on the basis of race, sexuality, gender, ethnicity, age, caste or class. We also contest their effects and imagine alternative notions of rights, citizenship and belonging.

It is not just what we work on that makes Global Studies unique at Sussex, but how we work. 

Challenging orthodoxies, we work together with other departments and fuse insights from different academic traditions.

We draw on methodologies from survey data collection and modeling to actor network analysis, film, photography, theatre and creative writing, participatory and action research, historical archive work and life histories, to the genealogy and historical sociology of key ideas and concepts.

Our commitment to scholarship that is engaged, critical and oriented to making a difference inspires the way we teach as well as what we research.

Our students are unique. We prize the fact that so many of those who study with us go on to use the critical knowledge and skills gained at Sussex to bring about change in the world. Reflecting our global perspective, our students come from diverse backgrounds.

We have a variety of student-led initiatives like the Student Media Team and “I Too Am Sussex” which bring our students together.

Our global network of alumni span a broad and diverse range of professions, connected by the belief that knowledge can contribute to changing the world we live in.

The School of Global Studies has excelled in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework

International Relations sits amongst the top IR departments in the country, with 78% of its research judged 'world leading' or internationally excellent', doubling its 4* research outputs since the 2008 RAE. Sussex Anthropology ranks 6th amongst Anthropology departments and an impressive 4th for impact, with 100% of its case studies of real-world effects of anthropological research judged 'world-leading' or 'internationally excellent'. Sussex Geography is at 14th place nationally, with an outstanding performance of first in the country for 4* impact. Brought together in one of Sussex's most interdisciplinary Schools, these results affirm the value of our critical, engaged approach and our commitment to research of the highest quality that makes a difference in the world.

Global Studies has never been more relevant and valuable than it is today. To find out more about joining our School, browse our site, follow us on Twitter  and if you can,  visit us, participate and discover for yourself!