Across all topics and fields, the Institute recognizes, and its research tackles, the complexities of 21st century security threats, globalization, and intractable inequalities.

Focusing on three main areas – development, security, and governance – the Institute leverages Brown's tradition of true interdisciplinarity to foster innovative, policy-relevant scholarly activities. From Latin America to China, from the Middle East to India, the Institute's work helps us all make sense of the world.

Our Research and Researchers

The Watson Institute is proud to house several region or topic-focused centers, initiatives and projects that are dedicated to research, teaching and outreach. These entities also serve as conveners, sponsoring informative events that inspire dialogue among scholars, students and the public.
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Research Themes

Durable inequalities both within and between nations present the most significant obstacle to promoting democratic, inclusive and sustainable development. The Institute's research in development includes the study of racial, ethnic, and class inequality, national and sub-national governance, urban transformation, democracy and civil society and social provisioning.
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While traditional security concerns persist, the transformed security landscape of the early 21st century presents a range of β€œnew” challenges, from climate change, resource conflicts and pandemics to cyber-threats, transnational crime and irregular warfare.
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Globalization, with its volatile mix of economic opportunity and social disruption, has provoked fundamental challenges to the institutions of political and economic governance. Global problems, such as climate change and labor standards, cannot be tackled by any single nation state; they demand new forms of governance involving governments, private firms and nongovernmental organizations.
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Research Opportunities

The Institute offers a variety of research and funding opportunities for faculty, postdoctoral fellows, and undergraduate and graduate students.