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111 | Adapting our Global Institutions to Today’s Challenges

Dr. Nina Hall is an Assistant Professor of International Relations at John Hopkins University School of Advanced International Relations, where she studies the global organizations that preside over issues of climate change, migration and displacement.

111 | Adapting our Global Institutions to Today’s Challenges

In any humanitarian crisis, we see familiar acronyms responding and commenting: UNHCR, IOM, UNDP, DFID, etc. All of these organizations have rich histories, and many of them were founded in specific response to World War II and it’s aftermath.

Now, in an age of global migration and urbanization, dealing with the global threat of climate change, these organizations are evolving. Some have proactively extended beyond their original mandates. For others, its been a struggle to understand how the mandates of the past address the challenges of the present.

Dr. Hall’s work looks specifically at how individual agencies are grappling with these new threats. She also writes increasingly on digital advocacy, and how organizations are using digital tools and platforms to advocate for issues across national boundaries.

Outside of the Academy, Dr. Hall writes frequently in defense of the rights of refugees, women, indigenous peoples and others.

She has co-authored an Open Democracy article with Rebecca Brubaker analyzing the gaps in global governance for protecting migrants’ rights. She has commented on New Zealand’s proposed humanitarian visa for climate refugees, and also written on how New Zealand’s new government could rethink its foreign policy on gender equality, aid and indigenous relations. In contemporary relations, she’s written about the low point in Australian-US relations: Donald Trump’s first call to Prime Minister Turnbull and differences over a US-Australian refugee deal. She also wrote on the need for academics to organize, and build bridges to marginalized communities in the aftermath of Trump’s immigration ban.

We were fortunate enough to catch up with Dr. Hall on Social Design Insights, where she discussed her work and the pantheon of international agencies that shape refugees and migration. Have a listen at the link above!


Our opening theme music for 2019 is "Bang Bang" and our closing theme is "Salvame" both by Eljuri from her album "La Lucha." The break music for this episode is "I Don'T Mind" by Rob Ruha & The Witch Doctor from their album "Survivance."