I am a Professor in International Relations at the Department of Politics, University of Amsterdam. My main research interests are in global civil society, international criminal justice, human security and authoritarian rule. My main current research project is Authoritarianism in a Global Age, funded by the European Research Council.
I studied English literature and international law at the University of Amsterdam , and I hold a PhD (distinction) from the University of Utrecht in association with the Netherlands School of Human Rights Research.
I worked at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) as a managing editor of the Global Civil Society Yearbook (2001-2003), coordinator of the Study Group on European Security (2003-2004), lecturer in management of non-governmental organisations (2004-2006), and lecturer in global politics (2006-2008).
I returned to the Netherlands in 2008, taking up a post as assistant professor, later associate professor, in international relations. In 2011-2012 I was a Visiting Professor at the Chaire Leclercq, Universite Catholique de Louvain, Belgium and in Spring 2012 I was a Fellow at the Netherlands Institute for Advanced Studies (NIAS) in Wassenaar, The Netherlands.
I have four interrelated research interests, in authoritarianism, international criminal justice, global civil society, and human security:
Openness to global ICT and media, international NGOs, and inflow and outflow of people have thrown up new challenges for authoritarian rulers in terms of how to control citizens. In a five-year ERC-funded project titled 'Authoritarianism in a Global Age', I will be investigating the nature and sustainability of authoritarianism in relation to globalisation of ICTs, associationalism, and people movement.
See separate tab for more information or the website: www.authoritarianism-global.uva.nl
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 looks 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.
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I have a longstanding interest in theories and practices of global civil society. 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. Recent work looks at what we term the 'square movements of 2011', considering differences and commonalities between the square occupations by the Occupy movement, the anti-austerity protests in Southern Europe, and the Arab Spring.
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Human security has functioned as both a paradigm-shifting and a bridging concept, with its most significant implications being, first, the shift from a focus on state security to one on human rights, and, second, the indivisibility of physical and material security. Despite attempts at narrowing and appropriation, human security has lost neither its radical edge nor its holistic character. However, the bulk of the literature on the subject is theoretical. I have attempted to operationalize the term so as to help enable a real shift in policymaking.
See my homepage at the Free University for more information:
At the University of Amsterdam, I currently teach international relations core courses at bachelor and master's level.
I have previously taught courses on the theory and practice of global civil society; humanitarian intervention and human security; empire, global politics, management of non-governmental organisations, human rights, foreign policy, the United Nations, political theory and qualitative methodology at the Free University Amsterdam, London School of Economics, University of Amsterdam, Universite Catholique de Louvain, University of Sarajevo and University of Utrecht.
With: Tim Meijers, Université Catholique de Louvain
Funded by: Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO); Netherlands Institute of Advanced Studies (NIAS)
We draw on the legal doctrine of "expressivism", which treats trials as theatrical, message-sending spectacles, to theorise the connection between normative legitimacy, actual support and utility of international criminal justice as dynamic, and partly determined in court. We conducted a detailed examination of the discourses employed by defence and prosecution in the cases of Charles Taylor before the Special Court of Sierra Leone, and the case of Radovan Karadzic before the Yugoslavia Tribunal. A further theoretical article will reflect on the generalizability of our findings by considering the elements of the actors, audiences, and the stage in the posited "courtroom drama".
I subsequently conducted fieldwork in Liberia on the perceptions of local opinion-makers of the Charles Taylor trial. Other collaborative work with Balkans scholars situates the Yugoslavia Tribunal (ICTY) within its wider socio-political contexts.
Publications and work in progress
Marlies Glasius and Tim Meijers (2012). 'Constructions of Legitimacy: the Charles Taylor Trial'. International Journal of Transitional Justice , 6(2), 229-252.
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 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.
Dubravka Zarkov and Marlies Glasius, eds. (2014). Narratives of Justice in and out of the Courtroom, New York: Springer.
Marlies Glasius (2014). 'Terror, Terrorizing, Terrorism: Instilling Fear as a Crime in the Cases of Radovan Karadzic and Charles Taylor', in Zarkov and Glasius, 45-61.
Based on fieldwork conduct in the Central African Republic, I took issue with the notion that international criminal investigations are necessarily to be seen as external interventions. An article for the Human Rights Quarterly more broadly surveyed civil society and victims responses to the ICC's first investigations. In a normative-theoretical article, I took inspiration from classical and recent theories in legal sociology and legal anthropology to assess whether there is a theoretical basis for the recent claim that international criminal justice should be 'more democratic'. It concluded that there is no argument for requiring a direct democratic basis that they should pursue wider social aims, and their relationship with war-affected societies should be communicative and cognitive.
Marlies Glasius (2012), 'Do International Criminal Courts Require Democratic Legitimacy?' European Journal of International Law , 23(1), 43-66.
Marlies Glasius (2011), 'A Problem: Not aSolution: 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 (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.
In a monograph on the establishment of the International Criminal Court, I found that global civil society actors had had a significant influence on this international law-making process, and discussed theoretical and normative implications of this finding. It assessed to what extent global civil society can be considered as democratising international decision-making processes. While concluding that this was only very partially the case, I drew attention to the much overlooked and by no means unproblematic 'ethical contribution' of global civil society and offered a qualified defence for more international law, with more global civil society participation, on this basis.
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.
Marlies Glasius (2006). The International Criminal Court: A Global Civil Society Achievement , Oxford: Routledge.
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.
With: Armine Ishkanian, London School of Economics and Geoffrey Pleyers, Université Catholique de Louvain.
Funded by: Robert Bosch Foundation
In this project, we investigate differences and similarities between the anti-austerity movements of the west and the democratization movements of the Arab and post-Soviet regions. We conducted fieldwork in Athens, Cairo, London, Moscow and Yerevan in the Spring of 2013. In each setting undertaking ca. 20 in-depth interviews with activists who had been deeply involved in street protests and/or direct action in the past two years, asking among other things about the values and motivations underlying collective action; the relation between activists and traditional civil society actors such as NGOs, trade unions and political parties; about transnational links; about what happened to activism after the square occupations; and about the role of violence.
Publications and work in progress
Find below the anonymized interview transcripts.
In various contributions, I have argued my views on the nature of civil society, and its relation to the market, to 'incivility', to democracy and authoritarianism (but not to the 'state' as such). In a recently submitted contribution to a discussion forum, I have more explicitly identified my vision with a particular interpretation of Gramsci's use of civil society.
With: Jill Timms, London School of Economics
This research monitored the emergence of hundreds of local social forums inspired by the World Social Forum in Porto Alegre. Based on web-research and participatory observation, it explored the attempts of local, national and world social forums to develop new forms of democratic decision-making, the political positions they project, and the way in which they have become a new 'site', a form of strategic infrastructure, for global civil society. A second, more theoretical article explored the tension between Gramscian and Habermasian ideals in the World Social Forum Charter and in the wider movement.
There is a literature on economic and social rights in political philosophy, but as the sub-discipline would suggest, it is a very theoretical, normatively oriented literature. My research asks similar questions to those addressed by the theorists, but they are answered through an examination of actual present-day activities of global civil society actors, describing new synergies and new methodologies in their work as well as remaining controversies, blind spots and limitations. It examines three tensions embedded in the concept of economic and social rights: between individualist and collectivist solutions to social justice problems; between economic and social rights as legal and as moral norms; and between state-focused and globally oriented ways of thinking about obligations.
With: Martin Albrow (LSE), Helmut Anheier (Hertie School), Mary Kaldor (LSE), Ashwani Kumar (TISS),Monroe Price (Annenberg), Jan Aart Scholte (Warwick), Hakan Seckinelgin (LSE).
The Global Civil Society Yearbook is an internationally renowned annual publication, now in its tenth edition. It comprises conceptual chapters, comprehensive case studies and comparative empirical data on global non-governmental organizations, social movements and networks of citizens. In 2006 it moved to a thematic format with guest editors. I was managing editor from 2000-2003, and remained one of the editors until 2011.
with: Imke Harbers, Jos Bartman, Kris Ruygrok, Adele Del Sordi, Emanuela Dalmasso and Marcus Michaelsen
Funded by: European Research Council Advanced Grant
The overarching research question of this project is: how is authoritarian rule affected by and responding to globalisation of (a) information and communication, (b) association, and (c) people movement?
In four sub-projects, the project investigates:
1. Whether, how and to what extent globalisation of information and communication, association, and people movement affect authoritarian persistence (longitudinal quantitative study, 1970-2011)
2. How, i.e. with what mechanisms, authoritarian states respond to globalisation of information and communication, association, and people movement (multi-sited qualitative studies)
3. Whether, how and to what extent the three forms of globalisation under investigation affect subnational authoritarianism in formally democratic federal states; and how subnational authoritarian entities interact both with national democratic actors and with global actors with respect to these forms of globalisation (mixed methods sub-federal state level studies)
4. What authoritarianism is in a global age: reconsidering authoritarianism's defining characteristics of low accountability and high coercion, and whether these still relate exclusively to statehood (theory study)
With: Paul Aarts, Francesco Cavatorta, Kawa Hassan, Steven Heydemann, Gerd Junne, Reynoud Leenders, Juliette Verhoeven
Funded by: HIVOS
The Knowledge Programme on Civil Society in West Asia was a joint initiative by Hivos and the University of Amsterdam with the purpose of generating and integrating knowledge on the roles and opportunities for civil society actors in democratization processes in politically challenging environments. The programme integrated academic knowledge and practitioner's knowledge from around the world to develop new insights and strategies on how civil society actors in Syria and Iran can contribute to various processes of democratization and how international actors can support this. I contributed various publications relating to the conceptualization of state-society relations by dissidents during communist rule in Eastern Europe and military rule in South America, and how these related to their subsequent democratization.
Marlies Glasius (2012). 'Dissident Writings as Political Theory on Civil Society and Democracy', Review of International Studies . 38(2), 343-364.
Marlies Glasius (2011). 'Dissident Writings: Prefiguring Global Civil Society?' in Denisa Kostovicova and Marlies Glasius, eds. Bottom-Up Politics: An Agency Centred Approach to Globalization, Houndmills, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.
My doctoral dissertation investigated what factors determined the susceptibility of an authoritarian state, Indonesia under Soeharto, to outside pressure in relation to human rights violations. It found that this susceptibility depended crucially on two factors: the need, or at least desirability, of continued violations for the survival of the regime itself on the one hand, and the severity and credibility of western threats on the other hand.
An un-looked for finding that was to determine much of my future research trajectory was that all significant efforts by western states to pursue human rights goals were rooted in and driven by civil society activism.
Marlies Glasius (1999). Foreign Policy on Human Rights; Its Influence on Indonesia under Soeharto . Antwerpen, Groningen, Oxford: Intersentia, Hart.