We launched in September 2015 in partnership with the Middle East Institute at the National University of Singapore. Since then we have held numerous public lectures, seminars, youth-oriented activities on topics such as politics, economics, culture, and social issues. In addition, we regularly host international scholars for networking and research opportunities. For more information about our past achievements, you can download our annual report here.
Global Citizenship in Kuwait: Perspectives and Obstacles
Global citizenship is the umbrella term for social, political, environmental, and economic actions of globally minded individuals and communities on a worldwide scale. It has gained popularity as one of the United Nation’s goals for human dignity, empowerment, and for positive change in societies. Global citizenship attempts to cross over between different groups of people, surpassing separatist categories that continue to exclude people within societies. Global citizenship aims to create more ethical, tolerant, and anti-racist youth cultures, gender equity, and disability inclusion.
Given the necessity of global citizenship today, this GSC research project aims to answer the question:
- What does it mean to be a global citizen today in Kuwait and in the Gulf and how can it be achieved?
- What are the roots of exclusion and how are these phenomena manifest in Gulf societies?
- How can policy-makers, educators, and researchers contribute to the creation and empowerment of global citizens in Kuwait?
The research project involves specialists in politics, education, culture, and media. Furthermore, researchers, administrators, activists, and non-profit organizations collaborate.
What We Work On
We work on the following topics:
- Identity politics and belonging
- Racial politics in Kuwait and the GCC
- The situation of migrant and domestic workers
- Gender inequalities, barriers to women’s inclusion at the workplace, women’s empowerment
- ‘Wokeism’ in Middle Eastern Cultures. This topic is covered by some contributors to the “Woke Conference,” especially Nesma Elsakaan and Jibril Latif
- Inclusion in schools, anti-bullying, and tolerance
- Disability and Education
- Slavery in the Gulf, research covered by GSC members in cooperation with Dr. Nesma Elsakaan and her research group from the University of Palermo
- Attitudes towards minorities in the Gulf covered by Lisa Blaydes (Stanford University)
The research is in keeping with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) developed by UNESCO. Within the framework of “SDG4 on Global Citizenship Education” and “UNESCO for the Gulf States and Yemen” the goal is to empower Students through Global Citizenship Education.
- The project might reveal some problematic issues concerning Global Citizenship in Kuwait
- It might help in creating and developing strategies to reduce or eliminate issues related to racism that can be dealt with in a white paper to be submitted by GUST to the supreme council of planning
- Thorsten Botz-Bornstein (Professor)
- Fatimah Al Hashem (Assistant Professor)
- Shahd AlShammari (Assistant Professor)
- Hala AlMutawa (Postdoc)
- Prof. Lisa Blaydes, Stanford University
- Dr Nesma Elsakaan, Palermo University
- UNSECO regional Office
- UNDP – Kuwait
- Ministry of Education
- Ministry of Communication
- Supreme Council of Planning
- Guest speakers from Kuwait University
- NGOs such as Human Right Association in Kuwait
- KFAS and other funders such as KFH
Future Plans and Engagement Goals
Going forward, we plan to build on our strengths. We intend to foster research output by local and international scholars conducting research on topics relevant to our mission. We will also continue to reach out to the Kuwaiti public and civil society through various activities.
Globalization and the Gulf
Shahd Alshammari’s research revolves around the representation of illness in society, literature, and narratives. She works on Disability Studies, women’s narratives, and women’s representation in Gulf media. She is also a published author with the first book on illness in the Gulf (Notes on the Flesh, 2017). She is currently researching Kuwaiti Television Series in the 1980’s. She is also looking at bookstore and readership culture in Kuwait.
Ildiko Kaposi’s current research is an ethnographic exploration of independent bookstores and their role in facilitating the emergence of reading micro-cultures in Kuwait. She is also looking at Media ownership and the law in the GCC: a legal anthropological reading of the presence and absence of restrictions on media ownership in media laws of GCC countries.
Nineteenth Century Literature East-West
Manal El-Kady’s research focuses on the intersection of history, politics and literature in 19th Century France. I am studying the shaping of identities (national, social and gender) through school textbooks and children's literature, the revolutionary movements in the 19th Century, the French nationalism in 19th and 20th Centuries and the colonial novels. I am also interested in the French cultural influence in Egypt during the 19th and 20th Centuries and the narratives of exile of the Egyptian diaspora. The annual meeting of the Society for Global Nineteenth-Century Studies will be held at GUST in 2025, co-organized by the Global Studies Center.
Martin Rosenstock My research focuses on how the German colonial period (1884-1918) is portrayed in fiction and non-fiction narratives. I am particularly interested in how the contemporary political, cultural, and social context (e.g., Weimar Germany) shapes the portrayal of the colonial period. Another question that interests me is how genre conventions, e.g., of the historical novel, are adapted and modified when addressing subject matter from the colonial period.
Culture and Media
Jibril Latif’s current research interests are in digital usage and access, specifically regarding religious communities and their negotiations with modernity on digital platforms.
Mauricio Duarte “Japanese Visions: A Model for Kuwait Modernity?”. This projects examines the proximity between the representations of Japanese development model in global media and the Kuwaiti search of modernity during the mid-twentieth Century. [with Dr.Thorsten Botz and Dr. Gonzalez Echeverry]
Thorsten Botz-Bornstein works on relations between Kuwait and Japan. East-Asian culture is a subculture in Kuwait. He concentrates on themes like resistance, marginalization, and globalization.