I am a Professor in International Relations at the Department of Politics, University of Amsterdam. My main research interests are in politics of taxation, authoritarianism, global civil society, and international criminal justice. My monograph Authoritarian Practices in a Global Age is out now with Oxford University Press. I am also the author of The International Criminal Court: A Global Civil Society Achievement (2006, open access), and lead author of the methods book Research, Ethics and Risk in the Authoritarian Field (2018, open access).
From 2019-2022, I served as Department Chair of UvA's Politics Department. Before that, I was the principal investigator of the ERC-funded project Authoritarianism in a Global Age (2013-2018), which investigated changes in the nature and sustainability of authoritarianism induced by globalization. I hold a PhD cum laude from the Netherlands School of Human Rights Research. From 2000 to 2008, I worked at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), where I was one of the founding editors of the Global Civil Society Yearbook.
I currently teach the core course on Law & Politics in the first year of the Bachelor’s in Political Science, the International Relations core course in the Master's and various elective courses on taxation and on authoritarianism. I have previously taught and/or coordinated courses on transnational politics, international relations, transitional justice, social theory, global civil society, humanitarian intervention and human security, empire, global politics, management of non-governmental organisations, human rights, foreign policy, the United Nations, and qualitative methodology at the University of Amsterdam, the Free University Amsterdam, London School of Economics, Université Catholique de Louvain, University of Sarajevo and University of Utrecht.
My recent monograph Authoritarian Practices in a Global Age focuses on authoritarian practices, rather than authoritarian regimes, as the unit of analysis. It demonstrates how authoritarian practices unfold and evolve within democracies and in transnational settings, in what circumstances they thrive, and how they are best countered. The empirical chapters cast a wide net. They comprise a study of transnational repression by authoritarian states; two chapters on informal and formal multilateral collaboration in anti-terrorist policies; a chapter on corporate and public-private authoritarian practices in the mining sector; and a chapter on cover-ups of child sexual abuse in the Catholic Church. The concluding chapter draws out commonalities and unique features from the case studies, thereby setting out a research agenda for future work.
Publications on authoritarianism
Marlies Glasius (2023), 'One hundred years of authoritarian practices: United Fruit and its banana plantation workers', Journal of International Relations and Development 1-27. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1057/s41268-023-00294-2
Marlies Glasius, Jelmer Schalk, Meta De Lange (2020). 'Illiberal Norm Diffusion: How Do Governments Learn to Restrict NGOs?', International Studies Quarterly, 64(2), 453-468 https://doi.org/10.1093/isq/sqaa019
Marlies Glasius (2018). What authoritarianism is … and is not: a practice perspective. International Affairs, 94(3), 515-533. https://doi.org/10.1093/ia/iiy060
Marlies Glasius and Marcus Michaelsen (2018). Illiberal and Authoritarian Practices in the Digital Sphere: Prologue. International Journal of Communication : IJoC, 12, 3795–3813
Marlies Glasius (2018). Extraterritorial authoritarian practices: A framework. Globalizations, 15(2), 179-197. https://doi.org/10.1080/14747731.2017.1403781
Marlies Glasius (2018). The extraterritorial gap. Political Geography, 64, 95-97. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.polgeo.2017.07.003
Marlies Glasius and Adele Del Sordi, eds. (2018). Authoritarian rule of populations abroad. Globalizations, 15(2).
Marlies Glasius and Marcus Michaelsen (2018). Authoritarian Practices in the Digital Age. International Journal of Communication : IJoC, 12.
Methods book (Open Access)
Marlies Glasius, Meta De Lange, Jos Bartman, Emanuela Dalmasso, Aofei Lv, Adele Del Sordi, Marcus Michaelsen, Kris Ruijgrok (2018). Research, Ethics and Risk in the Authoritarian Field. Cham: Palgrave Macmillan. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-68966-1
ERC project Authoritarianism in a Global Age
The ERC-funded project Authoritarianism in a Global Age, which ran from 2013-2018, investigated changes in the sustainability and nature of authoritarian rule induced by globalisation. Thematically, the project researched how authoritarianism is affected by and responding to global information and communication technology, to movement of people, and to NGOs. Spatially, it studied extraterritorial authoritarianism, subnational authoritarianism, and multilateral authoritarianism. Conceptually, it focused on authoritarian practices, defined as sabotage of accountability.
Prominent studies in economics have identified a continuous trend, since the 1970s, of rising inequality and concentration of personal material wealth. At the same time, taxes affecting the super-rich (or Ultra-High Net Worth Individuals, UHNWIs, who have €50 million in assets or more) have declined in all developed countries, and tax avoidance was facilitated by globalisation.
Raising taxes on the super-rich, or improving compliance, would benefit the vast majority of citizens. In recent years, the issue of taxing the super-rich has gained political salience, yet the obstacles still appear to be such that most democratic governments do not attempt it.
My long-term plan is to systematically investigate the super-rich themselves as political actors shaping the taxation landscape. For now I am working on two smaller projects:
Rich Lists and Tax Avoidance
Forbes Magazine has been publishing ‘rich lists’ of the wealthiest Americans as well as the World’s Billionaires since the 1980s; the Business Review Weekly in Australia, and the Sunday Times in the UK soon followed suit. The traditionally rich-friendly coverage surrounding these lists also reports on instances of tax evasion and avoidance by the super-rich and their use of tax shelters and tax havens. This project traces the evolution of these discourses from the 1980s to the 2020s, as well as making country comparisons. It seeks to better understand under what conditions tax evasion and avoidance is celebrated, justified or condemned.
Globalised Oligarchs: Russia’s black mirror
It is doubtful to what extent ‘the Russian oligarchs’ are responsible for the war in Ukraine, or able to stop it. However, understanding the phenomenon of the oligarchs is important for the West in other ways. Russia’s history in the 1990s holds up a ‘black mirror’ to democracies, demonstrating how oligarchs can capture electoral politics and erode accountability to the public. At the same time, globalisation has given oligarchs the opportunity to put their assets beyond the reach of national taxation authorities. Rising inequality has created ‘globalised oligarchs’, i.e. super-rich individuals with unequal influence on politics and unequal exit options, all over the world. In this essay I argue that globalised oligarchs are a threat to democracy. What is needed, instead of sanctions against Russian oligarchs, is national and global initiatives to make all oligarchs more taxable and subject to democratic controls.
I have a longstanding interest in global civil society, i.e. local and transnational activism, social movements and NGOs. My theoretical work has focused on the 'globality' of civil society, its relation to the market, to 'incivility', to democracy and authoritarianism. While eschewing a precise definition, my theoretical conception of global civil society is of a dialectical sphere where ideational struggles are fought.
Empirically, this sphere is populated with social movements, NGOs, transnational networks, religious actors, foundations and individuals. Investigation of their thoughts and actions is crucial to understanding contemporary politics. My work with Armine Ishkanian has looked at what we term 'square movements', considering differences and commonalities between the square occupations by the Occupy movement, the anti-austerity protests in Southern Europe, and the Arab Spring.
Armine Ishkanian and Marlies Glasius (2018). 'Resisting neoliberalism? Movements against austerity and for democracy in Cairo, Athens and London'. Critical Social Policy 38(3) 527–546.
Armine Ishkanian and Marlies Glasius (2017). What does democracy mean? Activist views and practices in Athens, Cairo, London and Moscow. Democratization 24(6), 1006-1024.
Marlies Glasius and Armine Ishkanian (2015). Surreptitious symbiosis: engagement between activists and NGOs. Voluntas, 26(6), 2620-2644.
Geoffrey Pleyers and Marlies Glasius (2013). La résonance des «mouvements des places»: connexions, émotions, valeurs. Socio, 2, 59-79.
Marlies Glasius and Geoffrey Pleyers (2013), 'The Global Moment of 2011: Democracy, Social Justice, and Dignity', in Kees Biekart and Alan Fowler, eds. 'New Movements: Old Politics', Development and Change, 547-567.
Marlies Glasius (2012). Dissident writings as political theory on civil society and democracy. Review of International Studies, 38(2), 343-364.
International Studies Review , 14 (4), 670-673.
Jude Howell, Armine Ishkanian, Ebenezer Obadare, Hakan Seckinelgin, and Marlies Glasius (2008). 'The backlash against civil society in the wake of the Long War on Terror'. Development in Practice, 18(1), 82-93.
Marlies Glasius (2007), 'Global Civil Society and the Prospects for a Global Public Sphere'. Polylog: Journal for Intercultural Philosophy , No.18, November.
Marlies Glasius (2005). 'Seven Countertheses on Markets and Civil Society: Response to John Keane'. Journal of Civil Society . 1(1), 39-42.
Marlies Glasius (2005). 'Social Forums and Civil Society Theory: Debate or Struggle?' Ephemera , 5(2) (peer-reviewed web-based journal).
Marlies Glasius and Armine Ishkanian (2018) ' The Square and Beyond: Trajectories and Implications of the Square Occupations'. In: Peeren E., Celikates R., de Kloet J., Poell T. (eds) Global Cultures of Contestation. Palgrave Studies in Globalization, Culture and Society. Palgrave Macmillan.
Marlies Glasius (2013). Dissident writings as political theory on civil society and democracy. In F. Cavatorta (Ed.), Civil society activism under authoritarian rule: a comparative perspective (pp. 34-56). (Routledge/ECPR studies in European political science; No. 81). London: Routledge.
Helmut Anheier, Mary Kaldor and Marlies Glasius (2012). 'The Global Civil Society Yearbook: Lessons and Insights 2001-2011', in Mary Kaldor, Henrietta Moore and Sabine Selchow, eds. Global Civil Society 2012: Ten Years of Critical Reflection , London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2-26.
Marlies Glasius (2012). 'Economic and Social Rights and Social Justice Movements: Some Courtship, No Marriage, No Children', in Antoine Buyse, Ida Lintel & Brianne McGonigle Leyh, eds. Defending Human Rights: Tools for Social Justice, Antwerp: Intersentia.
Marlies Glasius (2012). Civil society. In M. Kirloskar-Steinbach, G. Dharampal-Frick, & M. Friele (Eds.), Die Interkulturalitätsdebatte - Leit- und Streitbegriffe = Intercultural discourse - key and contested concepts (pp. 305-313). Freiburg im Breisgau: Karl Alber.
Marlies Glasius, (2009). 'Global civil society and human rights'. In Michael Goodhart (Ed.), Human rights: politics and practice Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 147-163.
Marlies Glasius (2009). Do NGOs wield too much power? In P. M. Haas, J. A. Hird, & B. McBratney (Eds.), Controversies in globalization: contending approaches to international relations (pp. 371-382). Washington, D.C.: Congressional Quarterly Press.
Marlies Glasius, Mary Kaldor, anf Helmut Anheier(2009). 'Le Global Civil Society Yearbook: histoire d’un projet collectif'. In M. Vielajus, & M. L. Bouguerra (Eds.), La société civile mondiale à l’épreuve du réel (pp. 21-28). Paris: Editions Charles Léopold Mayer.
Marlies Glasius, M. (2009). De globalisering van de civil society. In G. Buijs, P. Dekker, & M. Hooghe (Eds.), Civil society: tussen oud en nieuw (pp. 193-210). Amsterdam: Aksant.
Marlies Glasius (2006). 'Panacea or Pipedream: Global Civil Society and Economic and Social Rights'. In: Mary Kaldor, Helmut Anheier and Marlies Glasius, eds. Global Civil Society 2006-07. London : Sage, 62-90.
Marlies Glasius and Jill Timms (2005). 'Social Forums: Radical Beacon or Strategic Infrastructure?'. In: Marlies Glasius, Mary Kaldor and Helmut Anheier, eds. Global Civil Society 2005-06 . London: Sage, 190-238.
Marlies Glasius, M. E. (2003). 'Global Civil Society: Theories and Practices'. In Arie de Ruijter and Paul van Seters (Eds.), Globalization and its New Divides: Malcontents, Recipes, and Reform Amsterdam: Dutch University Press.
Marlies Glasius (2012). 'Uncivil society'. Encyclopedia of Global Studies . Los Angeles: Sage, 1689-1692.
Marlies Glasius (2010). 'Civil society'. Encyclopedia of Political Science , Washington, D.C.: Congressional Quarterly Press.
Marlies Glasius (2010). 'Uncivil Society'. International Encyclopedia of Civil Society. New York: Springer.
Armine Ishkanian and Marlies Glasius with Irum S. Ali (2013), Reclaiming Democracy in the Square? Interpreting the Movements of 2011-2012. London: LSE.
Denisa Kostovicova and Marlies Glasius, eds (2011). Bottom-up politics: an agency-centred approach to globalization. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.
Martin Albrow, Hakan Seckinelgin, Helmut Anheier, Marlies Glasius, Mary Kaldor, Gil-Sung Park, Chandan Sengupta, eds (2011). Global Civil Society 2011: Globality and the Absence of Justice. London: Palgrave Macmillan.
Ashwani Kumar, Jan Aart Scholte, Mary Kaldor, Marlies Glasius, Hakan Seckinelgin, Helmut Anheier, eds. (2009). Global Civil Society 2009: Poverty and Activism. London: Sage.
Martin Albrow, Helmut Anheier, Marlies Glasius, Monroe Price, Mary Kaldor, eds (2007). Global Civil Society 2007/8: Communicative Power. London:Sage.
Mary Kaldor, Helmut Anheier and Marlies Glasius, eds (2006). Global Civil Society 2006/7: Violence and Civility. London: Sage.
Marlies Glasius, Mary Kaldor and Helmut Anheier, eds. (2005). Global Civil Society 2005-06. London: Sage.
Helmut Anheier, Marlies Glasius and Mary Kaldor, eds (2004). Global Civil Society 2004-05. London: Sage.
Marlies Glasius, David Lewis and Hakan Seckinelgin (2004). Exploring Civil Society: Political and Cultural Contexts. London: Routledge.
Mary Kaldor, Helmut Anheier and Marlies Glasius, eds (2003). Global Civil Society 2003. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Marlies Glasius, Mary Kaldor, and Helmut Anheier, eds. (2002 ). Global Civil Society 2002. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Helmut Anheier, Marlies Glasius and Mary Kaldor, eds. (2001). Global Civil Society 2001. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
My particular interest lies in the relation between international criminal courts and their socio-political environment. I have written a book detailing how actors in global civil society were in large part responsible for the establishment and particular shape of the International Criminal Court. Subsequent work looked at the aspirations of international criminal justice to 'mend' war-torn societies, at the ways in which people in these societies interact with international criminal courts, and at the ways in which understandings of justice and legitimacy are dynamic, and constructed in part in the course of trial proceedings.
Marlies Glasius (2006). The International Criminal Court: A Global Civil Society Achievement , Oxford: Routledge.
Tim Meijers and Marlies Glasius (2016). Trials as Messages of Justice: What Should Be Expected of International Criminal Courts? Ethics and International Affairs, 30(4), 429–447.
Marlies Glasius (2015). 'It sends a message': Liberian opinion leaders' responses to the trial of Charles Taylor. Journal of International Criminal Justice, 13(3), 419-447.
Tim Meijers and Marlies Glasius (2013). 'Discursive Politics in the Theatre of Justice: the Karadzic Case'. Human Rights Quarterly , 35(3) 720-752.
Marlies Glasius (2012). Do international criminal courts require democratic legitimacy? European Journal of International Law, 23(1), 43-66.
Marlies Glasius and Tim Meijers (2012). 'Constructions of Legitimacy: the Charles Taylor Trial'. International Journal of Transitional Justice , 6(2), 229-252.
Marlies Glasius (2009). 'What is Global Justice and Who Decides?: Civil Society and Victim Responses to the International Criminal Court's First Investigations'. Human Rights Quarterly . 31(2), 496-520.
Marlies Glasius (2009). ' "We Ourselves, We Are Part of the Functioning": The ICC, Victims, and Civil Society in the Central African Republic. African Affairs . 108(430), January, 49-67 .
Marlies Glasius (2008). 'Global Justice Meets Local Civil Society: the International Criminal Court's Investigation in the Central African Republic'. Alternatives . 33(4), December, 413-433.
Marlies Glasius (2008). ' Does the Involvement of Global Civil Society Make International Decision-making More Democratic? The Case of the International Criminal Court'. Journal of Civil Society . Vol.4, No.1. Spring, 43 - 60.
Dubravka Zarkov and Marlies Glasius, eds. (2014). Narratives of Justice in and out of the Courtroom, New York: Springer.
Marlies Glasius and Tim Meijers (2020). ‘Inequality of Arms Reversed? Defendants in the Battle for Political Legitimacy’, in Kevin Jon Heller et al., eds. Oxford Handbook of International Criminal Law, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 678-696.
Marlies Glasius (2016). Press Releases, Not Arrest Warrants: Interpreting the ICC Prosecutor’s Moves in Relation to the Gaza Situation. In R. H. Steinberg (Ed.), Contemporary Issues Facing the International Criminal Court (pp. 15-24). Leiden: Brill Nijhoff.
Marlies Glasius (2014). 'Terror, Terrorizing, Terrorism: Instilling Fear as a Crime in the Cases of Radovan Karadzic and Charles Taylor', in Dubravka Zarkov and Marlies Glasius, eds. (2014). Narratives of Justice in and out of the Courtroom, New York: Springer.
Marlies Glasius and Francesco Colona (2014). ‘The Yugoslavia Tribunal: the Moving Targets of a Legal Theatre’, in Dino Abazovich and Mitja Velikonya, eds. Post-Yugoslavia: New Cultural and Political Perspectives, London: Palgrave.
Marlies Glasius (2011). 'A Problem: Not a Solution: Complementarity in the Central African Republic and the Democratic Republic of Congo ' in Carsten Stahn and Mohamed El-Zeidy, eds. International Criminal Court and Complementarity; From Theory to Practice , Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1204-1221.
Marlies Glasius (2005). 'Who is the Real Civil Society? Women's Groups versus Pro-Family Groups at the International Criminal Court Negotiations'. In: Jude Howell and Diane Mulligan, ed. Gender and Civil Society , Oxford: Routledge.
Marlies Glasius (2002). 'Expertise in the Cause of Justice: Global Civil Society Influence on the Statute for an International Criminal Court'. In: Marlies Glasius, Mary Kaldor, and Helmut Anheier, ed., Global Civil Society 2002 , Oxford: Oxford University Press.