About the Centre for Global Challenges

The Centre for Global Challenges offers the platform for education and research on issues related to the contested global order, and for academic and societal debate about the global challenges the world is faced with today. 

An introduction to the Centre for Global Challenges


The centre explores possible new insights at the intersections of four central research domains: human rights, conflict & security, sustainability  and development & equity. These strongly interrelated domains will be studied in Utrecht within the overarching theme of global challenges and the contested global order, from the following disciplines: (international and European) law, economics, history, international relations, religious studies and international governance studies.

Moreover, the role of the European Union and European cooperation and the interaction between Europe and global institutions plays a pivotal role in the research. The knowledge and insight thus gained will inform the subsequent exploration of innovative solutions to the challenges that the global order faces.


The Centre for Global Challenges continues and expands upon the successful collaboration between the Faculty of Humanities and the Faculty of Law, Economics, and Governance in the area of education, which previously was coordinated by the Utrecht Centre for International Studies (UCIS).

Associate professor Brianne McGonigle on addressing global issues


The Centre for Global Challenges is a network organization with an open structure, forging connections between the strategic themes of Institutions for Open Societies, Sustainability, and Life Sciences. The Centre also cooperates with the focus area of Cultures, Citizenship & Human Rights and provides for new opportunities for future collaboration with research partners within the university and beyond.

The Centre is a joint initiative of the Faculty of Humanities and the Faculty of Law, Economics, and Governance.

Key Chairs

The key chair holders associated with the Centre for Global Challenges are Sybe de Vries, Antoine Buyse, Marcus Düwell, Beatrice de Graaf, Cedric Ryngaert and Jan Luiten van Zanden.


The day-to-day management of the Centre for Global Challenges is in the hands of the Academic Director, prof. Sybe de Vries. Together with a small and dynamic programme team, professor De Vries supervises the implementation of research, education and valorisation activities.

An Academic Council is established consisting of Utrecht University professors involved in the Centre.

People from different disciplines and mindsets will be brought together and will tackle the biggest issues facing the world today.
Dr. Brianne McGonigle Leyh, lid van de Utrecht Young Academy.