GEM DIAMOND (2022-2025)

GEM-DIAMOND is the latest iteration of the GEM PhD School which has been delivering double doctoral degrees on Globalisation, Europe, and Multilateralism (GEM) since 2010.

This EU-funded project was launched in October 2022 and will assess the EU’s capacity to act given the challenges facing Democratic Institutions, the rise of Alternative MOdels and mounting Normative Dissensus (DIAMOND).

GEM-DIAMOND is a Marie Skłodowska Curie Action - Doctoral Network (MSCA-DN) involving 6 European -  i.e. ULB, UvA, LUISS, UCPH, UBB, Paris1 - and 5 international – i.e. UoW, UNIGE, UL, WUT, FGV - degree-awarding Higher Education Institutes (HEIs) alongside 6 well-established non-academic institutions – i.e. CEPS, IAI, GMF, PATRIR, FIDH, EGMONT.

The project will hire and train 16 doctoral fellows to help address knowledge gaps associated with the growing dissensus undermining both multilateral and democratic practice. Its' key expected research outputs include:
-Sixteen original doctoral manuscripts
-One edited volume
-One handbook
-Four Special Issues

Overall research program
GEM-DIAMOND’s overall research program will tackle three shared knowledge gaps regarding contemporary strains on liberal democracy:

Objective 1: Conceptualising the seemingly mounting dissensus surrounding liberal democracy.
Objective 2: Unpacking the ambiguous role different actors can play as both champions and challengers of liberal democratic norms, values, and practices.
Objective 3: Assessing the impact of increased dissensus regarding liberal democracy on the policy instruments of the EU and its capacity to act in its internal and external policies.

GEM Diamond project website:

GEM-STONES (2016-2020) 

Lead by the ULB and funded by the European Union's H2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Sklodowska-Curie Actions, the GEM-STONES project brings together 14 partners, including 8 higher education institutions, and 6 non-academic partners across three continents.

The GEM-STONES' specific research agenda is rooted in a shared observation: the proliferation of international institutions increases the complexity of the global system; managing the latter efficiently and fairly constitutes both a necessity and a challenge for the EU. In response, GEM-STONES will investigate the EU's capacity to: (1) project its political choices through international institutions; (2) ensure public policy consistency via existing institutional networks; (3) collaborate in a targeted manner with other regional institutions; and (4) frame rational behaviours within international institutions.

In a nutshell, GEM-STONES seeks to find an answer to the following question: Does the complexity of the global system resulting from the proliferation of international institutions strengthen or weaken the EU's capacity to interact with the world?

Anchoring the implementation of its research agenda in an innovative doctoral school, the GEM-STONES project will seek to answer this question by offering: transnational methods training provided through a series of collective activities organised by the participating universities; an internship programme hosted by the 6 non-academic partners aimed at providing work experience to the PhD candidates; and an interdisciplinary research environment involving legal scholars, political scientists, economists and sociologists from top research centres in European studies. As a result, the project will also actively contribute to the internationalisation of research and higher education through the institutionalisation of “joint doctorates”. Concretely, this means that each of the 15 PhD candidates will be jointly supervised by 2 academics from 2 universities belonging to the consortium and by a mentor from one of the non-academic consortium members. GEM-STONES therefore systematically deliver international double PhD degrees which are further enriched through the inclusion of a non-academic professional dimension.

Lastly, GEM-STONES' “research excellence” and “innovative doctoral training” dimensions are complemented by an extended impact strategy based on a set of concrete initiatives. These include a peer-reviewed series published by Routledge; the dissemination of non-academic products (policy recommendations, documentaries, etc.); the organisation of, or participation in, research events; and the organisation of fora aimed at building sustainable links between researchers, academics, civil society representatives and decision-makers.

GEM-STONES Project website:

GEM PHD SCHOOL (2009 – 2015)

Launched in 2010, the Erasmus Mundus Joint Doctoral Programme on "Globalisation, the European Union and Multilateralism" - GEM PhD School – was an endeavour set up with the support of the European Commission. It fostered first-rate Social Science doctoral research centred on the common challenges facing the European Union and other Regional Organization within a multi-polar global system. All dissertations written within the GEM PhD School's framework are subject to joint tutorship and double doctoral degrees involving two of its partner universities.

The GEM PhD School came to foster a pan-European learning environment geared towards attracting promising doctoral researchers from across the globe. Ultimately, it brought together 10 institutions - from Belgium, the United Kingdom, Italy, Germany, Switzerland, the USA, Japan, the Peoples' Republic of China and Mexico – intent on taken the lead in the interdisciplinary study of Globalisation, Europe and Multilateralism. The resulting epistemic community covered a wide range of Social Sciences amongst which: International Relations and Security Studies; International Political Economy; International and EU Legal Studies; Comparative Regionalism; Comparative Political Sociology; Comparative Political Theory and Sociology; and EU Studies.

The various personal projects developed with the GEM PhD School focus on one or several of the three interdependent phenomena acknowledged in its heading: Globalisation, Europe and Multilateralism. The uniting factor binding the programme’s diverse activities is a shared interest in: (1) the international dimension of contemporary governance challenges; (2) the lessons to be drawn from comparative research; and (3) the broader insights born from the specific institutional experience of the EU.

At the time of GEM-STONES launch, the GEM PhD School had already seen more than 20 fellows successfully graduate, while some 25 Fellows remain enrolled as they work towards completing their dissertations by 2018 at the latest.

GEM PhD School website:

Mis à jour le 7 février 2023