Coordinator: Clara Carvalho

This Research Group develops its activities across several geographic topics that already exist in the structure of the Centre for International Studies. It is organised in three research programs:

1. Urbanisation and the challenges for the creation of more inclusive societies. Recently, urbanisation has been an important focus of interest in the international research community. Indeed, population estimates show that from 2000 to 2030 urban population in Asia and Africa will double its figures and by 2030 the towns and cities of the developing world will constitute 80% of all urban humanity. This trend is creating new challenges and opportunities to social inclusion. While cities concentrate poverty, they also are better equipped to take advantage of globalisation’s opportunities and to generate employment and income for a larger number of people. Cities are in a favourable position to provide education and health-care, social protection and safety. Also, urban settings have benefited from the increasing involvement of new agents in the processes of social intervention such as civil society organisations, as well as the private sector, which has offered marketing and programmes of corporate social responsibility that compete with NGOs, philanthropic foundations, and government programs.

2. Impact of globalisation as expressed in: the emergence of the middle-class and new forms of cultural and economic consumerism; the emerging popular culture; populations movement, diasporas and their influence in local societies; cultural consumption; information circulation including IT; Youth movements; new epistemologies and cultural contestation.

3. Development and cooperation programmes are two main features of the globalisation process. Today, the main efforts are turned towards a more effective and integrated ODA, particularly on non-DAC activities. These questions have been fully addressed in the High Level Fora (Rome 2003, Paris 2005 and Busan 2011) where the debate was centred on the main challenges for affirmation of the Global South. These challenges include the negative impact of recent finantial crises, global issues such as climate change, trade, foreign investment, and reform of the architecture of international development cooperation.