The UCLA Globalization Research Center-Africa (GRCA) conducts research on the dynamics and effects of globalization, with particular emphasis on impacts within Africa. The overall aim of the Center is to engage in research on ways global forces impact upon African societies; the ways in which African societies have an impact upon the globalization process; and the comparative, cross-national and cross cultural comparison of global processes as they relate to Africa.
In January 2000, then Director of the James S. Coleman African Studies Center (JSCASC) at UCLA: , Edmond Keller was approached by the Executive Director of the Globalization Research Center at the University of Hawaii, Manoa, Deane Neubauer, and asked if he would like to be a part of the formation of the Globalization Research Network (GRN). The GRN is a consortium of a consortium of four research centers, each with its own special area of interest (UCLA – Africa; University of Hawaii-Manoa – Asia and the Pacific; Univesity of South Florida - the Caribbean and Latin America; George Washington University - Europe and the Middle East). UCLA was selected because of its international reputation as a center for cutting-edge African Studies research, teaching and outreach. (The JSCASC was designated as a national resource center for Africa more than 40 years ago.) A funding proposal for the Fund for the Improvement of Post-secondary Education of the U.S. Department of Education was developed. The project was funded in the Spring of 2001, and it became operational in April of that year.
The UCLA Globalization Research Center-Africa (GRCA) conducts research on the dynamics and effects of globalization, with particular emphasis on impacts within Africa. The overall aim of the Center is to engage in research on ways global forces impact upon African societies; the ways in which African societies have an impact upon the globalization process; and the comparative, cross national and cross cultural comparison of global processes as they relate to Africa. This work is policy relevant, and its results are to be widely distributed to educators, educational institutions, policy makers and the public at large. Our intention is to develop an institution open to collaboration with and input from different disciplines in academia, and to partnership with other research endeavors in both the public and private sectors.
What will the GRCA look like five years from now?
We envision that in five years the GRCA will be recognized as one of the premier resources for cutting-edge, well-presented information, research and educational resources on globalization as it affects Africa. This information will be linked to the Global Research Network in such a way as to facilitate cross culturally comparative research, curriculum and outreach projects. The research done by GRCA will be recognized for its originality and its interdisciplinary character. This research will be carried out not only by UCLA faculty and graduate students, but also with other collaborators worldwide.
The values we bring to that mission are in the highest tradition of academic and policy research, research that is rigorous and of high quality. We will do this in the context of collaboration through the Globalization Research Network, involving the University of Hawaii, the George Washington University, the University of South Florida, and UCLA. We envision the GRCA as a sharer of resources, within the entire University of California, but particularly the UCLA campus, among academic and non-academic circles.
- To help build a multinational community of Africanists concerned with this issue
- To contribute to worldwide understanding of the phenomenon of globalization, by developing a broad and open-ended notion of African globalization that will allow the research mission to expand along with the phenomenon it seeks to study.
- To develop data on African globalization that will assist others in assessing from a broadly comparative perspective its reach and impacts.
- To foster interdisciplinary research on globalization in Africa throughout the University of California system.
- To establish working relationships with other globalization research centers both on and off campus, throughout the United States, Africa and the world at large.
- To promote scholarly research and curriculum development on Africa and the globalization process.
- To produce policy relevant research and disseminate findings widely.
The GRCA is pursuing a multi-pronged strategy involving research, publication and dissemination, and fund development that will enable us to accomplish our objectives. GRCA has developed specific "signature" research projects grounded in our organizational mission and linked with the research interests of selected project coordinators. We will disseminate the results of our research widely, by making optimal use of modern technology. We will foster globalization research scholars, inside and outside academia. The aim is to develop a cadre of research scholars through graduate student recruitment, doctoral support, post-doctorate awards, and open fellowships. We will cooperate with universities and other research organizations, including partners in the Globalization Research Network mentioned above. We will develop curricular materials on Globalization and Africa for incorporation into middle school and high school programs. These will employ the latest electronic technology in order to make these materials widely available. We will become self-sustaining, by seeking ongoing supplemental private and public fundingto support the core research projects and core staff for years to come.
Published: Thursday, April 16, 2009