The Department of Global Studies' Colloquium Series is a lecture series, which has been made possible by the generosity of the Orfalea Endowment for the Master's Program in Global Studies.  The Colloquium Series strives to open and explore a wide range of interdisciplinary debates and their interaction and engagement with the global, hosting new guest speakers each quarter from UCSB and beyond.  The upcoming event will be hosted via Zoom on Wednesday, March 3rd at 12:30pm. Zoom link is (Meeting ID: 842 4656 4996). Please see below for the featured talk:


Zaynab El Bernoussi, Dignity, Democracy and Development: Toward a new Index

Measurable themes in global South contexts include poverty, governance, human rights and security, but non-material demands such as dignity and recognition have also increased in the global South. Dignity as a theme is often studied in bioethics and philosophy, and though it has increasingly caught attention in political studies (Fraser, 2000; Honneth, 2001; Benhabib, 2011; Kateb, 2014; Nasrallah, 2018; Fukuyama, 2018) there is still need for more discussion of dignity as a powerful social and personal dimension, particularly in relation to the political economy of communities. Also in economics we see increasing attention to non-material dimensions of development. What are examples of non-material dimensions of development? What are the different ways that dignity, democracy, and development are conceptualized and how are they interconnected? Martha Nussbaum’s work on capacity building and non-material dimensions of wellbeing and Pheng Cheah’s notion of incompatibility between global capitalist contexts and genuine expansion of human rights are helpful conversation starters. This research is based on an online survey in which participants from all over the world were invited to reply to questions about their understanding of dignity and their suggestions for measuring human dignity. There were 104 respondents from 35 different countries. Based on the data collected and preliminary analysis (done in 2017), there are notable differences and similarities in understanding dignity in a global context that present patterns about gender, age groups and political contexts.



Zaynab El Bernoussi is professor of international politics at Sciences Po Rabat of the International University of Rabat (UIR). Prior to teaching at UIR, she taught at Al Akhawayn University of Ifrane and coordinated the MA in International Studies & Diplomacy and the Human & Economic Development Research Unit. She holds a MA in Finance from Instituto de Empresa, an MPA in economic development from Columbia University, and a PhD in political and social sciences from the Catholic University of Louvain. She was a doctoral fellow at University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill and visiting scholar at Smith College and Harvard University. She is part of the executive committee of the Global South Caucus of the International Studies Association. Her work focuses on the politicization of dignity in South- South cooperation, bioethical issues, and human and economic development programs. One of her articles, ‘Postcolonial Politics of Dignity’, won the 2015 Arab Prize of the Arab Center for Research and Policy Studies. She is the author of Dignity in the Egyptian Revolution, Demands and Protests, Cambridge University Press, 2021. Her website is





For more information about the Colloquium Series, please contact Professor Jan Nederveen Pieterse, Global Studies Colloquium Director:


Event Details

  • Matthew Rochat

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