global-e was conceived as a forum for timely commentary regarding global events, processes, and issues. Each number features a brief essay authored by leading scholars and practitioners, offering provocative reflections on a range of topics with the aim of stimulating discussion among the global studies community. The aim is both to encourage the circulation of commentary essays and to stimulate discussion among readers. Commentaries focus on public issues, theoretical debates, methodological challenges, and curricular concerns.

Launched in 2008 as a pathbreaking collaboration of global studies centers at four major universities and expanding to six in 2009, global-e initially relied on contributions of these centers' federal Title VI resources for its operation. More recently, Title VI centers have been subjected to a wave of federal funding cuts that have reduced their budgets by half and forced them to restructure their operations and commitments. After a breif hiatus in 2012, global-e was relaunched in summer 2013 with a new look, new leadership, and new publishing objectives. As executive editor, Michael Curtin (UCSB) works closely with managing editors Victor Faessel (UCSB) and Steve Smith (U of Wisconsin, Madison), and the journal is based at the Orfalea Center for Global and International Studies at UCSB. It is supported by a distinguished editorial board comprising leading scholars from around the world and by ties to the Global Studies Consortium, an alliance of some two dozen member and numerous affiliated programs on five continents that confer or have plans to confer graduate degrees in global/transnational studies.

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Global, Area, and International Archive is a peer-reviewed publications program. GAIA is an initiative of the division of International and Area Studies, University of California, Berkeley, in partnership with the University of California Press, the California Digital Library, and international research programs across the University of California system. Its aim is to represent the best traditions of regional studies, reconfigured through fresh global, transnational, and thematic perspectives. GAIA volumes are published in both open-access digital and print editions.

The Orfalea Center and the Global & International Studies Program at UCSB have facilitated the posting of GAIA-relevant articles for the wider global studies community at UCSB.