Global Justice

The Kirwan Institute Global Justice Program focuses on issues of racialized structures that hinder marginalized communities and groups from having equitable access to jobs, education, health care, food security, housing and other basic services.

We assess mechanisms that can empower marginalized groups to influence political action. We also explore strategies to manage and mitigate conflicts over language, religion, culture, ethnicity, and race.

The Global Justice program also hosts Brownbag Presentations discussing race, ethnicity and social justice issues in the global context; and leads the institute’s journal, Race/Ethnicity.

For more information regarding the Institute’s international program, or if you have suggestions, further questions, or an interest in collaboration, please contact: Jason Reece, Director of Research, at


Global Justice Projects

The Global Justice Program examines how racialized structures have created and contributed to enormous political, social and economic disparities that continue to marginalize the majority of populations in our global society, and explores how these inequities can be alleviated.


The BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa) project attempts to analyze the inclusion/exclusion of minority groups in the developmental process, describing the barriers that constrain their involvement/inclusion; identifying the factors that could promote their involvement/inclusion; and identifying the best national practices that address disparity, opportunity impediments and discrimination in the BRICS countries.


Research Reports:

Globalism and Racism by S.P. Udayakumar, Research Fellow for the Kirwan Institute (Sept 2009)

The elusive interplay of globalism and racism manifests in many inscrutable ways. On the one hand, as William Greider point

s out, “the process of globalization is visibly dismantling enduring stereotypes of race and culture, ancient assumptions of supremacy.” Read entire report.

Reading Development and Disaster by S.P. Udayakumar, Research Fellow for the Kirwan Institute (Jan 2009)

Our present‐day world revolves around something known as the ‘development’ sun. This particular sun rises in the North and sets in the South. The industrialized, Christian, white North becomes ‘bright and beautiful,’ while the agricultural, mostly non‐Christian, colored South stays dark and dreary. The North is the home of the “industrial civilization,” the South is the jungle of “traditional backwardness”. View entire report.


In the face of the ongoing food crisis that continues to harm countries in the global South and presents threats to global peace and security, the Kirwan Institute is working on a comprehensive report and has proposed the production of a documentary film that engages in the issue of food security and crisis in the African continent.  Please see our Working Policy Paper on Beyond Global Hunger: Structural Racialization and the Global Food System Crisis.


Working with the Somali Documentary Project (SDP), the Kirwan institute will study the routes taken by Somali refugees and forced migrants as they flee the violence and famine in their homeland. The project will document the successes and failures of the international ‘immigration regime’ in both theory and practice.


Kirwan Institute recognizes that every person is endowed with universal entitlements, which are rested in the globally recognized human rights covenants, merely by reason of being human. Therefore, in order to realize greater national and global social inclusion and equitable policies we, at the global justice program, aspire to employ the human rights framework, that consists of social, economic, and cultural rights, to strengthen the civil rights agenda.


Research Reports:

Darfur: The Violence of Geopolitics by Elsadig Elshiekh, Senior Research Associate (Aug 2008)

In recent years, the Darfur conflict experienced unprecedented global media coverage that focused on the dramatization of the conflict instead of a serious analysis of its root causes, which are underdevelopment, unequal distribution of wealth, and undemocratic policies. In that context, Darfur’s conflict illustrates another proof of the violent ideology of the state and its elite’s approach in regard to issues of political participation and equal development. In particular, the Sudanese people in the peripheries have witnessed policies of marginalization and exclusion for the last five decades. Read entire report.

Sri Lankan Conflict, A Detailed Background Following IPKF by S.P. Udayakumar, Research Fellow for the Kirwan Institute

As per the Agreement, India ceased assisting the Tamil insurgents and took control of the law and order situation in the Northeast. However, there were several issues which were not properly addressed and complications developed quite soon. The pro‐LTTE, Tamil Information Centre (TIC) in London complained that several thousand Sinhalese had been moved into the Tamil areas since the Agreement was signed. Although the Agreement had a provision for general amnesty for all political prisoners (2.11), only a minority of the prisoners was released and the Government tended to relate the release of prisoners to the amount of arms being handed over by the Tamil groups. Read entire report.

Sri Lankan Conflict, A Detailed Background Prior to IPKF by S.P. Udayakumar, Research Fellow for the Kirwan Institute

Ilangai/Sri Lanka is a multi‐ethnic, multi‐religious and multi‐linguistic society of about 19 million people1. The Sinhalese, who comprise 74 percent of the population, are concentrated in the densely populated Southwest and the Sri Lankan Tamils, whose South Indian ancestors have lived on the island for centuries, live mostly in the Northeast of the country. A distinct ethnic group, the Indian Tamils, whose forebears were brought to Sri Lanka in the 19th century as tea and rubber plantation workers by the British, is clustered on the plantations of the central massif of the country. Other minorities include Muslims (both Moors and Malays), at about seven percent of the population, Burghers, who are descendants of European colonists, and aboriginal Veddahs. Read entire report.