Thematic Axes

The Minor in Global Challenges is organized into three thematic axes, as described below.

This arrangement in axes allows students to plan their studies within one or more key topics, in an integrated way. It allows teachers to find objectives, syllabuses, and methodological aspects common to their respective subjects, stimulating dialogue and intellectual partnership


Space and Political Ecology

Resume: Comparative and interdisciplinary analysis of global material processes that consolidate, increase, or reduce inequalities through the management of socio-ecological space and urban geography.
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In recent decades, accelerated changes in the dynamics of the functioning of the global economy have positioned cities as privileged poles in charge of information, technology, and capital flows, which articulate territories at different spatial scales. However, at the same time, there is a significant but destructive expansion of extractive frontiers, both monocultures, and minerals.

In Brazil, the processes of urbanization and reprimarization of the economy are concomitant and complementary. Although the link between urbanization and economic growth has long been recognized and theorized, cities have gained a reinvigorated role in an economy in which competitive advantages increasingly rest on the ability to transform knowledge into innovation. However, paradoxically, at the same time the agro-export and mining sectors, as old as the country itself, have been consolidated as one of the most dynamic and vibrant, not only in Brazil but in Latin America as a whole. As privileged spaces for wealth generation, both cities and territories for the expansion of commodity production are places that contain some of the main socio-environmental contradictions of today’s dominant growth model, such as socio-territorial inequalities, violence against vulnerable groups, and environmental degradation.

As relevant points of operation of conflicts, cities, and spaces for the extraction of natural resources constitute, nowadays, the core par excellence from which we can apprehend the contradictions of global capitalism, in particular through the processes of generating inequalities, socio-environmental conflicts, and other socio-spatial dynamics of simultaneous generation and accumulation of wealth and exclusion. These tensions, derived from conflicting interests between social groups, the allocation of ineffective rights, inadequate governance frameworks, and the very motto of socioeconomic processes at different scales, configure a list of complex phenomena that demand integrative approaches.


Geopolitics, Laws, and Rights

Resume: It addresses the problem of the formation and reproduction of inequalities with a focus on the organization of political power both within national jurisdictions (Constitution, citizenship, sovereignty) and in geopolitical conflicts and multilateral bodies in the world arena (UN, ILO, Unesco).
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Over the past two hundred years, democracy has triumphed as the world’s leading political regime. Today, it influences manifestations as diverse as forms of government, individual rights, legal procedures, and social mobilization repertoires. Inseparable from social power relations in States and in the world arena, the practice of democracy has been expanding the field of expectations of individual and collective rights and has even altered conceptions of property. Contradictory, despite its promises and potential, the triumph of democracy coexists with an increasingly unequal world order in social, economic, and racial terms.

With professors from the fields of Law, Anthropology, History, and International Relations, the Axis “Geopolitics, Laws, and Rights” offers an interdisciplinary approach to understand the past, present, and future of the contradictory relations between the expansion of universal rights and the deepening of inequalities in the contemporary world. Traversing an extensive chronological arc from the Age of Revolutions to the Neoliberalism of the 21st century, the axis explores the development of inequality, addressing topics such as constitutional repertoires, human rights, citizenship, slavery, appropriation of multiple normative regimes, social mobilization, and international multilateral bodies.

To address the legal foundations of inequality, this axis explores concepts from the fields of historical sociology, constitutional law and international law, international relations, and social history.


Cultures, Identities, and Languages

Resume: It presents multidisciplinary approaches on aspects related to the world of culture, education, history, and languages, welcoming reflections on historical processes and memories around identities in transit in the contemporary world.
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Aspects related to the construction of identities and the feeling of belonging have long permeated researchers’ analyses. Within this field, there is a lot to be appreciated. From historical panoramas focused on the production of scientific knowledge in its various areas to issues focused on educational policies that involve active learning, with experimentation of technological pedagogical activities, the courses that make up this Axis propose new reflections on established social relations and the role of communication and its media, covering both individuals at the center and on the margins of society, exposing the dynamics of globalization and inequalities in spaces.

Thus, in this axis, multiple transdisciplinary readings are proposed with regard to culture, languages, and the history of the world, evidencing analyzes of unequal and asymmetrical processes in scientific language and knowledge production. Involving sociocultural and technological aspects that express diversity and citizen participation, the Axis “Cultures, Identities, and Languages” raises reflections and presents different perspectives regarding processes and memories around identities in transit in the contemporary world

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