Research at the Institute for Advanced Study in the Global South is organized around four key themes.  These themes reflect our inclusive vision of globality recognizing the diversities and inequalities that shape the societies we inhabit and study. Together and in conversation with one another, these four orienting themes are designed to stimulate critical conversations about enduring questions and emerging challenges that confront the Global South and its enmeshments in global structures and flows of people, goods, images, and ideas.


Genealogies and Epistemologies of the Global South

This theme cuts across much of our research. It reflects our core commitment to the Global South as a space of epistemological and theoretical engagement, broadly shaped by the concept’s geopolitical underpinnings but not fully determined by them. As part of this research strand, we highlight and engage with thought traditions, literatures, and theorists from and about the Global South, in addition to those that reflect the Global South’s resonances and articulations in the West—indigenous peoples, minorities, migrant communities, etc. We draw on the diversity of indigenous and local knowledge to expand our understanding of media systems, communication practices, and the world more generally. Central to this theme is our commitment to examining globalization from below and exploring the categories of identity and difference including in Qatar and the Arab region. Furthermore, this theme contains an invitation to rethink how we learn and theorize, and to experiment with forms, formats, languages, and content, as reflected in our approach to evidence-based storytelling and multilingual and multimodal scholarship.


Arab Media, Culture, and Politics

This research theme focuses on the intersection of media, culture, and politics in the Arab region, both transregionally and in specific national contexts. Taking advantage of our location at the confluence of several continents – Asia, Europe, Africa – we study Arab media in comparative perspective. Work under this theme foregrounds issues of sovereignties, international relations, geopolitics and how they intersect with media systems, flows, infrastructures, as well as nation branding, misinformation, propaganda, and cultural expression. This theme reflects our inclusive vision of regionality which recognizes the diversities and inequalities that shape the societies we inhabit and study. Central to this theme is the Arab Information and Media Studies (AIMS) project, funded by Carnegie Corporation of New York, to expand the field of critical media and information studies in the Arab region, transforming it into a more interdisciplinary, multilingual, collaborative, research-oriented, and policy-relevant field.


Southern Digitalities

At the heart of this theme is the recognition that a decisive shift in the global digital center of gravity compels us to reconsider how we understand digital life, its tools, experiences, and articulations. Through deep engagements with digital practices, technologies, and infrastructures outside “the West,” we examine “the digital” in the so-called Global South and beyond. Under this research stream, we grapple with issues of datafication, surveillance, activism, labor, identity, belonging, or solidarity, recognizing that digital technologies, practices, and infrastructures have often reproduced or enhanced colonial legacies and reinforced geopolitical, racial, gender, class, caste, or religious hierarchies. Our endeavor is driven by a desire to grapple with how digitalization recasts ideas and ideals of justice and account for, theorize, and render distinctive experiences of digitality in the Global South.


Critical Security Studies

 The Critical Security Studies Hub at the #IAS_NUQ is a partnership between the Institute and the Arab Council for Social Sciences (ACSS). It emerges as an initiative of the ACSS Critical Security Studies working group to create hubs of activity around the region to promote scholarship on critical security that is embedded in the experiences of the region. The Critical Security Studies Qatar hub brings together a multidisciplinary group of Doha-based researchers from NU-Q, and partners institutions in Education City, and beyond, who collaborate on issues related to critical security, and its connections to critical migration studies, border studies, psychology, philosophy, and the humanities. Work under this theme aims to promote critical scholarship that values solidarity across the Global South and intervenes in key debates and struggles impacting the Arab region. To that end, participants publish in a range of formats to reach a wide audience and create an impact in the way people and policymakers think of (in)security in the region, and beyond.

Research Groups

Critical Security Studies

The Critical Security Studies Hub at the #IAS_NUQ is a partnership between the Institute and the Arab Council for Social Sciences (ACSS).

More Information