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Global Narratives

Globalisation and Literary Studies

Liam Connell

One of post-colonialism’s enduring projects has been the attempt to describe or understand the discursive component of Empire. Founding texts such as Edward Said’s Orientalism, argued that a complementary and necessary culture of imperialism existed alongside the economic and political structures of colonisation. The claim of such work was that this culture discursively produced ideas about difference that justified the European subjugation of other races and made possible the political expansion of the European states. The attempts to extend this analysis to describe a current culture of globalisation have been limited and in some ways unsuccessful. Without repudiating the methods of post-colonialism, it is necessary to recognise that changes to the structures of international relations have seen an attendant shift in the accompanying patterns of discourse. While, undoubtedly, many of the discourses that animated colonisation remain in place, the disavowal of a continuity between globalisation and earlier imperialist or colonising phases of modernity is one of globalisation’s characteristic movements. It is, therefore, insufficient to simply identify the persistence of imperialist discourses, ‘without significant challenge’, in ways that are insensitive to new cultural formulations brought about by structural changes in international relations.

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Conflicting Visions of Urban Regeneration in a New Political and Economic Order

The Example of the Former Bicycle Factory ROG in Ljubljana, Slovenia

Kornelia Ehrlich

This article analyses the phenomenon of urban regeneration and development in the context of globalisation and processes of Europeanisation with a focus on culture and creativity. It asks how the process of negotiating EU-rope is being reflected in places situated at the 'edge' of the European Union and which actors are involved in these processes of negotiating EU-rope, its culture, values and urban regeneration. The author presents an empirical example from Ljubljana, Slovenia. The focus lies on negotiating the usage and development of an abandoned industrial site. Here, different ideas of negotiating and developing the city in the context of globalisation and Europeanisation come to the fore: top-down approaches that follow the image of a creative city as well as bottom-up initiatives that develop anti-global and anti-capitalistic criticism with the help of social-spatial and cultural practices.

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Thomas M. Wilson

Anthropological attention to political and cultural borders has grown considerably over the last twenty years. This has been due in most part to the increasing scholarly attention paid to international and other political borders, in ways that mirror political and economic elites who have continued to place borders centre-stage in their debates on the good and bad effects of globalisation. Once principally the focus of geography, today the study of borders – including their territorial, geophysical, political and cultural dimensions – has become a primary interest across the disciplines due to changing scholarly approaches to such key research subjects and objects as the state, nation, sovereignty, citizenship, migration and the over-arching forces and practices of globalisation.

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Mario Vargas Llosa

Given the extraordinary circumstances confronting us in a world profoundly unsettled by the advances of globalisation in all walks of life, and by the reactions provoked by this process, it may perhaps not be inappropriate to reflect upon how the growing interdependence among nations will affect cultural life. This interdependence is derived from the internationalisation of communications, the economy, ideas and technologies. A certain degree of perplexity and a number of prejudices surround this question. It may be worthwhile to dispel them.

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Ibrahim Aoude, Andrew Davidson, Sergio Fiedler, Michael Humphrey and Owen Sichone

Jonathan Friedman, Cultural Identity & Global Process. (London: Sage Publications, 1994), pp. 253.

Amartya Sen, Development as Freedom. (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1999), pp. 366.

Arjun Appadurai, Modernity at Large: Cultural Dimensions of Globalization. (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1998), pp. 229.

Zymaut Bauman, Globalization: The Human Consequences. (Cambridge: Polity, 1998), pp. 136.

Anthony Giddens, Runaway World: How Globalisation is Reshaping Our Lives. (London: Profile Books, 2000), pp. 104.

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Waste and Powers

Political and Symbolic Effects Due to Privatisation of Urban Sanitation Services

Agnés Jeanjean

I would like to submit to you the idea that an anthropological approach to urban wastes and their corresponding techniques provides an understanding of the social mechanisms of articulation between the different spaces which exist in a city, as well as the construction mechanism or legitimisation of social positions. The continuing privatisation of public services, including urban sanitation services, for the pro t of big Western companies, highlights the consequences of globalisation through the imposition of technical systems.

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Francesco Maria Scanni and Francesco Compolongo

The 2008 crisis and economic transformations (globalisation and financialisation) fuelled significant political phenomena, such as a deep distrust of politics, electoral volatility and the decline of bipolarity and/or bipartisanship in the face of growing outsider party affirmation. In this context, the dialectical model of the Gramscian ‘social totality’ provides an analytical tool capable of analysing those ‘transition’ phases characterised by a fracturing ‘dominant historical bloc’, in itself a precursor to an organic crisis of traditional political parties’ separation of social classes.

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International Biopolitics

Foucault, Globalisation and Imperialism

M.G.E. Kelly

In this article, I present a new Foucauldian reading of the international, via Foucault's concept of 'biopolitics'. I begin by surveying the existing Foucauldian perspectives on the international, which mostly take as their point of departure Foucault's concept of 'governmentality', and mostly diagnose a 'global governmentality' or 'global biopolitics' in the current era of globalisation. Against these majority positions, I argue that analysis of the contemporary international through the lens of Foucauldian biopolitics in fact shows us that our world system is marked by a parasitic imperialism of rich sovereign states over poor ones, carried on at the level of populations.

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Instead of a Defence

Thoughts on the Humanities at Home and Abroad

Peter Vale

The place and future of the Humanities is under scrutiny in many parts of the world. The diminution in the university commenced in the 1980s with the rise of free-market thinking associated with Thatcher and Reagan. It was the end of the Cold War, however, with the rise of globalisation that control was tightened in higher education under the guise of increased freedom. The increasing emphasis on utilitarian forms of knowledge needed for economic growth further imperilled the Humanities. In South Africa, upon which the argument draws for illustration, policy-makers paid increasing lip service to academic freedom and institutional autonomy while directing policy interest and resources away from the Humanities.

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Vytis Čiubrinskas

The Centre of Social Anthropology (CSA) at Vytautas Magnus University (VMU) in Kaunas has coordinated projects on this, including a current project on 'Retention of Lithuanian Identity under Conditions of Europeanisation and Globalisation: Patterns of Lithuanian-ness in Response to Identity Politics in Ireland, Norway, Spain, the UK and the US'. This has been designed as a multidisciplinary project. The actual expressions of identity politics of migrant, 'diasporic' or displaced identity of Lithuanian immigrants in their respective host country are being examined alongside with the national identity politics of those countries.