Global Shifts: Urbanization, Migration, and Demography
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Whether through migration or culture, choice or necessity, the adaptation of populations to changing environmental, social, political, and security contexts has always been critical to human existence.
Today’s global reality calls for no less. Political unrest, protracted conflict, climate change, population ageing, and economic hardship are just some of the complex issues contributing to dramatic population shifts.
These issues demand sophisticated and coordinated global attention that acknowledges how “global shifts” can have tremendous consequences for social order, human rights, governance, and cultural practices, among others. At a moment when the world is seeing the greatest level of displacement since World War II, unprecedented rates and patterns of urbanization, and new demographic trends, better understanding these complex and intersecting global phenomena is critical to identifying more salient policy responses.
This research theme identifies and advances evidence-based policies that - to borrow from the late Executive Director of the U.N. Population Fund, Babatunde Osotimehin - promote “people-centered, sensitive, humane, dignified, gender-responsive, and prompt” attention to people experiencing these global shifts.
Held on June 24, 2021, this gathering aimed to foster greater dialogue between scholars of international relations, security, and geopolitics, and scholars of climate change and the environment, both within their respective communities and with each other.
This workshop, held from April 15 to 16, 2021, convened academics, policymakers, and women refugee activists from around the world to generate new understandings of how urban refugee women have experienced the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and how to improve women refugees’ access to dignified life.
On March 23 to 24 and 26, 2021, Perry World House's Global Shifts Colloquium, "Locked Down: COVID-19 and Global Mobility", brought together academics and policymakers from across the globe to analyze how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected global mobility and how to mitigate its negative consequences.
On September 14-16 and 23, 2020, Perry World House convened our Global Shifts Colloquium, "Seeking Refuge in the Climate Emergency." Experts from around the world met over four days to examine the underlying challenges, debates, and global policy solutions to prepare for and respond to climate-induced human displacement.
Climate change threatens to displace millions of people around the world as sea levels rise and extreme weather events become increasingly common. How can the international community respond to this immense challenge? Our new report, "Seeking Refuge in the Climate Emergency" explores key debates, challenges, and issues around how climate change will impact human migration.
The scholars and policy practitioners who attended the Colloquium have also produced a series of thought pieces exploring critical issues surrounding the issue of climate-induced human displacement.
Do international political borders matter in the modern world, and, if so, in what ways? The Borders and Boundaries Project at Perry World House is researching how political life both affects and is affected by international borders and border security policies. This interdisciplinary, multi-method effort is directed by Professor Beth Simmons and is composed of research teams studying border politics across a variety of different research areas.
Over the course of the early twenty-first century, cities have increasingly moved into the international arena, taking on a growing role in global issues. Great power politics and urbanization are not separate phenomena. Peace, power, and prosperity in the twenty-first century will require urban expertise, as will solving global problems around climate change, migration, and equitable development. The Great Powers and Urbanization Project, or GPUP, is a collaboration of global leaders in international and urban affairs: the University of Pennsylvania’s Perry World House, the University of Melbourne’s Connected Cities Lab, the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, and the Argentine Council for International Relations (Consejo Argentino para las Relaciones Internacionales).