Skip to main content

Northwestern Buffett Institute for Global Affairs

Affiliated Programs, Centers & Initiatives

Northwestern’s scholars are engaged in international research that shapes how we understand the world.

Weinberg College Center for International and Area Studies

The Weinberg College Center for International and Area Studies (WCCIAS) provides the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences with a unified administrative center for interdisciplinary teaching, research and programs on international and regional issues. It is composed of three undergraduate majors and minors programs and an ensemble of faculty-led research groups that pursue cutting-edge research at the seams of academic departments.

WCCIAS Website

Global Poverty Research Lab


The Global Poverty Research Lab is an academic hub for empirical development economics. Established in 2017, the lab aims to use empirical evidence and interdisciplinary engagement to understand drivers, consequences and solutions to poverty issues around the world. The lab's goal is accomplished by supporting graduate student and faculty research, providing undergraduate research opportunities, coordinating a seminar series and assisting with data management.


Keyman Modern Turkish Studies Program

Keyman Modern Turkish Studies Program

Housed at the Buffett Institute, the Keyman Modern Turkish Studies Program promotes intellectual dialogue and scholarship in pursuit of deep interdisciplinary understanding of contemporary Turkey in connection with global developments. The program organizes seminars and conferences, supports related research and undergraduate teaching and brings visiting professors and scholars to Northwestern’s Evanston campus.


Middle East and North African Studies Program


The Middle East and North African (MENA) Studies Program at Northwestern is a vibrant community of scholars committed to offering students and the community at large a rigorous understanding of the region that stretches from Morocco to Iran, and from the Mediterranean into the Sahara, while also maintaining a focus on the vital networks that join the region to the rest of the world—taking the MENA region as a point of departure, rather than a destination.


Global Working Groups


Northwestern Buffett's Global Working Groups undertake collaborative, interdisciplinary research on complex global challenges and pursue solutions to those challenges in coordination with experts and citizens worldwide. The goal is for Global Working Group research to be developed in conjunction with stakeholders who can generate the greatest social impact, including policymakers, practitioners and community members.

Global Working Groups

Northwestern Security and AI Lab (NSAIL)

V.S. Subrahmanian, Head of NSAIL, presenting at the 2022 NSAIL Conference.

Can AI techniques help predict terrorist attacks and destabilize terror networks? Can AI help predict cyber-attacks before they occur? Can it help us achieve better outcomes in diplomatic negotiations? Jointly housed by Northwestern Buffett and Northwestern's McCormick School of Engineering, the Northwestern Security & AI Lab (NSAIL) performs fundamental research on AI relevant to these questions and more.

NSAIL Website

Program in Comparative Historical Social Sciences


Co-sponsored by the Departments of Political Science and Sociology, the Program in Comparative Historical Social Sciences (CHSS) supports training for graduate students interested in comparative and historical research. CHSS faculty and graduate students participate in regular workshops featuring invited speakers as well as other aspects of the program. Students in the CHSS program complete their PhD in political science or sociology and receive a certificate for expertise in the interdisciplinary area of CHSS.


Program in Global Health Studies


The Program in Global Health Studies supports the interdisciplinary Global Health adjunct major and minor and encourages student involvement in global health both in and outside of the classroom through opportunities like summer research fellowships, an alumni mentorship program, support for global health student groups and special travel funding for majors and minors to attend major global health conferences and events.


Latin American and Caribbean Studies Program


The Latin American and Caribbean Studies Program (LACS) supports a spirited and diverse community of faculty and graduate students whose research covers the culture, history and politics of Latin America and the Caribbean—a vast terrain both geographically and temporally. Accordingly, LACS is a necessarily interdisciplinary intellectual community, with departmental affiliations that include African American Studies, Anthropology, Art History, History, Music, Spanish and Portuguese, Political Science, Religious Studies and Sociology.


Program of African Studies


The Program of African Studies, part of Northwestern's Office for Research, is the oldest recognized formal program of African Studies in the United States. Created in 1948 by Melville J. Herskovits, the program is committed to a decolonized approach to African Studies on many fronts—structural, epistemic and relational among others—and to creating an academic practice that re-centers Africans, African American and other black communities in the scholarship and knowledge production of and from Africa. 


Deportation Research Clinic

Housed at the Buffett Institute, the Deportation Research Clinic examines the misconduct of federal, state and local agencies that implement deportation laws. With a global network of U.S. residents issued deportation orders, attorneys, law professors, journalists, policymakers and students, the clinic investigates law enforcement agency misconduct and works with communities to discover and test new strategies to prevent and ameliorate the effects of misconduct during deportation proceedings.

Deportation Research Clinic Website

Global Religion and Politics Research Group


The Global Religion and Politics Research Group brings together innovative thinkers in search of new understandings of, and creative responses to, the challenges of socially and religiously diverse worlds. The Group seeks to improve public understanding of religion by moving beyond the tired alternation between naïvely celebrating religion as the source of morality, community, and freedom, and denigrating religion as the root of global instability.


Equality Development and Globalization Studies

Equality Development and Globalization Studies (EDGS)

Housed at the Buffett Institute, the Equality Development and Globalization Studies (EDGS) Program advances research, intellectual engagement and public dialogue confronting the post-colonial or developing world. Among its core themes are the rule of law; democracy and equality; conflict, tolerance and rights; and growth and sustainability. EDGS also houses the Arryman Program, which trains emerging Indonesia scholars in the social sciences.

EDGS Website

Russian, Eurasian and East European Studies (REEES) Research Program


The Russian, Eurasian and East European Studies (REEES) Research Program brings together faculty and students bound by a shared interest in the vast region between Prague and Vladivostok. Founded with the goal of promoting interdisciplinary collaboration and dialogue, the program supports research, teaching and outreach by organizing speaker series, workshops and conferences and featuring faculty and graduate student scholarship, exhibits and art.


East Asia Research Forum


The East Asia Research Forum (EARF) is a collaborative community that fosters intellectual exchange among faculty, graduate students and other scholars who work across interdisciplinary fields in East Asia, broadly construed. EARF supports a wide array of programming, including speakers and events, work-in-progress workshops and other activities to support this dynamic cohort of Asianists.

EARF Website 

Comparative Politics Workshop


The Comparative Politics Workshop organized by the Department of Political Science features presentations of work-in-progress by Northwestern PhD students and faculty as well as invited scholars from other institutions. The workshop is diverse in terms of both substance and methods. Examples of subjects include: the study of political regimes and democratization, internal conflict and civil war, political parties, the influence of international institutions on domestic politics and citizens’ vote choice.


Center for International Human Rights


The Center for International Human Rights (CIHR) is highly esteemed for its deep commitment to and success in securing human rights for countless individuals around the globe. The Center also plays a vital role in the Northwestern Pritzker School of Law’s expanding international programs. Essential efforts focus on researching and addressing emerging human rights issues as they occur, as well as providing valuable clinical experiences for students interested in the protection of human rights on a global scale.

CIHR Website

The Institute for Advanced Study in the Global South at Northwestern University Qatar


The Institute for Advanced Study in the Global South at Northwestern University in Qatar (#IAS_NUQ) produces and promotes evidence-based storytelling focused on the histories, cultures, societies and media of the Global South. With an inclusive vision of globality, #IAS_NUQ harnesses traditions from the liberal arts, media, communication and journalism to forge multi-disciplinary and multi-modal approaches to knowledge that is locally relevant and globally resonant.

#IAS_NUQ Website

Buehler Center for Health Policy and Economics


The Buehler Center for Health Policy and Economics is housed within the Institute for Public Health and Medicine (IPHAM), Northwestern Feinberg School of Medicine and the Robert J. Havey, MD Institute for Global Health. The Buehler Center helps foster high-quality, policy-relevant economic research, disseminating it widely to decision-makers in the public and private sectors. The Buehler Center also provides research training and scientific support related to health policy and economics.


Knight Lab


The Northwestern University Knight Lab is a community of designers, developers, students and educators working on experiments designed to push journalism into new spaces. The Lab provides an open, collaborative environment for interdisciplinary exploration and conversation, where students and professionals learn together and from one another. The Lab is known for its innovative suite of open-source, adaptable and lightweight tools for media makers.


Global Capitalism and Law Research Group


The Global Capitalism and Law Research Group is an interdisciplinary community of researchers investigating the political, social, legal and normative underpinnings of successful and politically sustainable local, national and global economies. The group's objective is to define new approaches to conceptualizing and assessing the successes and challenges of global capitalism, historically and in the current moment, for different countries and for different stakeholders.


War and Peace Working Group


The War and Peace Working Group is a community of scholars interested in research on the causes and consequences of violent conflict. The group takes a broad definition of conflict that includes interstate competition, civil war, mass atrocity and genocide, and terrorism, among many others. The directors of the working group are Assistant Professor of Political Science Danielle Gilbert, Associate Professor of Political Science Daniel Krcmaric, and Professor and Chair of the Department of Political Science William Reno. 

Center for Communication and Public Policy


The mission of the Center for Communication and Public Policy (CCPP) is to advance interdisciplinary and collaborative communication scholarship informing public policy across a variety of social, political, international, health, science and environmental policy domains. CCPP organizes and encourages research projects within Northwestern and other institutions around the world aimed at advancing and informing public policy. 

CCPP Website

Language Resource Center


The Language Resource Center (LRC) serves as an information and collaboration hub for language learning and teaching at Northwestern. The LRC supports students interested in learning a world language as well as faculty members across language programs and departments in the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences. The LRC also develops and maintains partnerships with other units and schools at Northwestern committed to fostering intercultural understanding on campus and beyond.

LRC Website

Bilingualism and Psycholinguistics Research Laboratory


Professor Viorica Marian, principal investigator of the Bilingualism and Psycholinguistics Research Laboratory, conducts research on bilingualism, multilingualism and linguistic diversity as well as the consequences of knowing more than one language for the human linguistic, cognitive and neural architectures. Research in the lab primarily uses eye-tracking, mouse-tracking, language sampling, standardized testing and cognitive measures as well as computational modeling, functional neuroimaging and event-related potentials.