Undergraduate Research

Joint Area Centers Symposium on Governing Globalization -Undergraduate Research Presentation and Poster Proposals

LAS Global Studies invited proposals from students to present their work at the Joint Area Centers Symposium (JACS) on Governing Globalization. 

Undergraduate Student Research Oral Presentations
Friday, March 31 – Presentations begin at 3 pm
Knight Auditorium, Spurlock Museum 600 S Gregory St, Urbana

Andrea Winn (Bradley University): Transitioning to Globalization: Hezbollah’s Use of Social Media
There is general agreement that advances in telecommunications technology, particularly the internet, has facilitated globalization. The internet, including social media, has created a new space for the instantaneous interaction of a wide variety of actors, including individuals, transnational groups, and governments. Much of the research carried out on terrorist organizations’ entrance into cyberspace focuses on groups such as ISIS, that have arisen in the era of globalization. The current study focuses instead on a long-standing Islamist terrorist organization, Hezbollah, and asks the following questions:  How did this established terrorist organization enter the space created by globalized communications? How did it carry out its goals prior to the internet age? How has its transition to utilizing the internet and social media changed these strategies? Has this transition also changed the group’s goals?

Kelsey Burge (Bradley University): 
The Price of Globalization: Combating Human Trafficking
There is a growing body of literature that considers globalization to be a contributing factor to the increase in human trafficking. The assumed mechanisms through which globalization impacts trafficking are primarily economic. Another strand of the globalization literature considers the social or cultural aspects of globalization as potentially having a positive impact on human and women’s rights. This paper focuses on sex trafficking, with special regard to women and children. In a brief review of the literature it first sets forth the economic mechanisms of globalization that appear to have increased sex trafficking. It then explores the work on cultural/social globalization and the mechanisms hypothesized4 to positively impact human rights generally and women’s rights more specifically, and seeks to answer the following questions: In the case of sex trafficking of women and children, in what ways might the mechanisms of social/cultural globalization be utilized to decrease incidents of human trafficking? Is it possible for the social/cultural mechanisms of globalization to counter the economic mechanisms that facilitate trafficking?

Benjamin Bear Bissen (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign):
Globalization: Gateway to a Better Developed Future
In the last few years we have seen a global movement towards more radical protectionist policies. This is not the first time this has occurred; in actuality, Earth experiences a variety of economic, social, and political cycles that have historically caused a constant fluctuation between globalist and protectionist sentiments.  While protectionism and globalization can both have positive and negative impacts on developing nations depending on their implementation, this paper intends to prove that globalization better fosters development. This pattern will be examined through the analysis of Rwanda, Mozambique, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. All of these nations find their strength in their connection with the outside world, and protectionist policies have only hindered their growth. This should be taken into consideration when developing modern day policy and an outlook towards the future.

Olivia Foster (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign):
The Future of Postnationalism in Respect to Emerging Toxic and Exclusionary National Agendas
Since the post-war era, post-nationalist thought has lead the discussion of human rights and membership within the context of international migration. Postnationalism is accredited for granting international rights to education, religious practice, and a life free from slavery and, the right to nationality and state membership; postnationalism is the embodiment of the universal assertion that, in fact, “all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.” In light of current events, I not only think it appropriate to consider these implications, I think it would be irresponsible to avoid the discussion of exclusionary and nationalist agendas in so much as their predisposition to overlook human rights. As such, I would be prepared to offer (1) a historical account of post-war conditions that facilitated the mobility of post-nationalist agendas, (2) an analysis of postnationalism as understood within its hegemonic framework, (3) historical accounts of toxic, exclusionist nationalism that can function as a mirror to more clearly view the political climate of today, and its ramifications, and (4) facilitate a discussion of current events in hopes of arriving at possible conclusions, if any, that could provide some semblance of reassurance and promise for the future.


Undergraduate Student Research Poster Presentations
Saturday, April 1 -Presentations go from 11:45 am –  12:45 pm
The Illini Union, 1401 West Green Street in Urbana – Room 104

  • Diana Lee (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign) – The Impact of the Syrian Refugee Crisis on Far-Right European Political Parties: The Rise in Power of the Sweden Democrats Party and the Implications for Migration Policy Changes in Sweden

  • Vinh Quach (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign) – Facebook Usage among Chinese International Students

  • Elaine Sine (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign) – Exploring the Legal Acquittal of Special Economic Zones

  • Nick Thompson (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign) – Terrorism in Turkey: Turkish-Kurdish Relations

  • Madison Johnston (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign) – U.S. Defense Policy in Yemen


  • Owura Kwabena Kuffuor (Eastern Illinois University) – Arab Spring in Sub Saharan Africa: A Close Shave or Beckoning Crisis

  • Moses Allor Awinsong (Eastern Illinois University) – Cooperating against Evil: Nigeria’s Regional Neighbours’ Responses to Boko Haram


  • Priya Vaikuntapathi (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign) – Sustainable Development through NGOs


  • Grace Newton and Jake Stone (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign) – Participatory Slum Upgrading through GIS Mapping


  • Kalina Gajda (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign) – Meanings of Abroad Volunteer Tourism: From the Perspective of College Students

  • Sonam Kotadia (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign) – Right-Wing Populism in Austria and Germany