Nobel Prize Winner Joseph Stiglitz as Guest of the Urbino Ph.D. in Global Studies


On Thursday, October 8th and Friday, October 9th the international conference on Economic Development and Inequalities will take place online. The event has been organized by the Ph.D. in Global Studies of the Urbino University in collaboration with the Italian Association for the Study of Comparative Economic Systems (AISSEC).

Special guest of the conference and of the 4th edition of the Ph.D. will be Nobel Prize winner in Economics, Joseph Stiglitz, from Columbia University (USA).

All the useful information and the access links to the plenary sessions of the web conference can be found on the dedicated webpage of Uniurb. The plenary sessions will be open to all those who are interested in the event.

For more details and more information about the 2020/2021 edition of the Ph.D. in Global Studies we have interviewed Professor Antonello Zanfei, Professor of Applied Economics, who teaches Economics of Globalization and Coordinates the Ph.D. programme in Global Studies.



Professor Zanfei, the 4th edition of the Ph.D. in Global Studies opens up with the speech of a Nobel Prize in Economics. A great start!

It is such a great opportunity to have Professor Joseph Stiglitz among the guests of the Ph.D. Let me recall he already honored Urbino University with his visit in 2014. This year’s event can be considered as meaningful as the previous one, since it marks a great relaunch of the activities of our Ph.D. after this very difficult phase we all have experienced.


A phase in which the Ph.D. in Global Studies and the entire Urbino University did enormous efforts to guarantee the continuity of the teaching and research activities, facing the COVID-19 emergency.
Stiglitz’s speech deals indeed with the economic aftermaths of the pandemic and will be delivered at an important international conference which will be partly transmitted in streaming via

Can you tell us more about this event?

The conference of the Italian Association for the Study of Comparative Economic Systems (AISSEC), organized in collaboration with the Urbino PhD in Global Studies, will take place online on October the 8th and 9th. Key theme of the conference will be inequalities throughout the world. It is an inescapable issue for students, scholars and practitioners dealing with globalization processes, and Professor Stiglitz has developed a deep critical analysis of this matter.


His reflections derive from his experience as a Head-Economist at the World Bank, as a Chair of the Council of Economic Advisers in the USA and as a President of the U.N. Commission of Experts on Reforms of the International Monetary and Financial Systems, experience that has been subsequently employed to produce several studies on advantages and disadvantages of globalization. He has also founded the Committee on Global Thought at the Columbia University. To sum up, the right guest to open this 4th edition of the Ph.D., which confirms its international vocation.

So, we are going to start with an important event. What other relevant contributions are to be expected?

Besides Stiglitz’ keynote speech, the AISSEC online conference made in collaboration with the Ph.D. in Global Studies, is made up of another important plenary session, which will be centered on a talk delivered by Professor Carlos De La Torre, from Florida University, where he is Head of the Center for Latin American Studies. He will also deal with a key issue: the relationship between inequalities and populisms.


But there will also be 15 parallel sessions with the participation of over 70 scholars coming from over 30 different national and international institutions. They will cover the key topic of inequalities seen from different perspectives: the relationships with development and underdevelopment, their social aftermaths, the connections with technological transformations and with climate change, to name just a few.

A comment on this year’s cohort of Ph.D. students.

Also this year, despite the disadvantages caused by the pandemic, we have attracted candidates from all over the world and the final selection has brought us to identify a good group of students. The new Ph.D. students have already started attending the online introductory courses and we expect to meet them all in November, hoping that the COVID 19-emergency will let us do so.


The mix of competences of the students is well balanced, primarily pertaining the socio-juridical area, since it is this year’s main thematic area. One third of the Ph.D. students gained their academic degrees abroad, while the rest of them come from all over Italy. The gender composition is well-balanced, too, having five women and four men, all under thirty years of age. We trust in the new vital and intellectual vigor they will bring to Urbino.

Global Society, Cross-Border Mobility and Law is the thematic area of the 2020/2021 edition. How will the courses, labs and seminars take place?

The alternation between thematic areas goes on: last year’s edition was centered on political and economic aspects of globalization, whereas this year’s edition starts a three-year course of study based on the sociological and legal perspectives. The topics are many and of great relevance: migratory flows, European and supranational institutions, the protection of fundamental rights, comparative studies on welfare policies, to name just a few. We have already had a very important contribution, made by a renowned guest, Marisol Garcia, from Barcelona University, who held an opening lecture at the end of September on public policies for social innovation in Europe.


Online introductory courses are aimed at filling in the main gaps in the undergraduate preparation of the students and providing them with homogeneous grounds on which to start their academic path. They start at the end of September and run until mid-October as a preparation for the core course with final exams, which are going to take place in the subsequent months. There will be 15 courses with over 250 hours of classes starting in November until end-June, together with seminars, workshops and thematic labs.


The working language is English, as it has been during all the past editions of the Ph.D. Our teaching programme is offered by over 20 lecturers from Urbino University and from other Italian Universities plus several guests from a number of international academic and research institutions based in different parts of Europe, like Amsterdam, Bedfordshire, Freiburg, Lleida, Louvain, Oxford, Strasbourg, Tarragona and Vienna.
Manfred Steger, one of the best-renowned scholars in global studies, will be our Visiting Professor during the month of May, coming from Hawaii University.

To use Stiglitz’ words, what is “the globalization that works” at the time of Coronovirus?

Let’s let him answer. In a few days we will have the chance to listen to him and, in agreement with the other conference organizers, the participation to Stiglitz and De La Torre’s plenary sessions will be open to everybody. A chance that cannot be missed out.

Traduzione a cura di Sofia Baldarelli.


Joseph Stiglitz, Comparative Perspectives on Economic Development and Inequalities

Web conference Thursday October 8.


Carlos De La Torre, Comparative Perspectives on Economic Development and Inequalities

Web conference ― Friday October 9.


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