The prospect of a global economic recession, in the wake of the financial crises in the world’s emerging economies, has injected a sense of renewed urgency into longstanding discussions about the reform of global economic governance. But the calls for greater transparency and openness in the deliberations of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank are largely symptomatic of a deeper legitimation crisis which afflicts all the key institutions of global governance, including the United Nations itself. For there is a growing perception that existing mechanisms of global governance are both ineffectual in relation to the tasks they have acquired, especially so in managing the consequences of globalisation, whilst also being unaccountable sites of power.
Democratic Theory and Democracy beyond Borders
Anthony G. McGrew
Classical Arguments and New Issues
W. Julian Korab-Karpowicz
The world being one is a perennial dream of humanity. Since we are a single species, ideally and logically, there should be all-embracing justice and a better life for all. Should this vision come to pass, the material, political, cultural, and religious differences among human beings could be to at least some degree reconciled, and prospects for lasting peace greatly enhanced. Threatened by unsolved world problems, we might thus begin to consider the prospect of a global authority, a political organization that would transcend the nationstate and could bring about the unity of humankind, global justice, and earthly peace. Like Thomas Magnell, we might start to believe that ‘the predicament of vulnerability of nation-states calls for a global authority with sufficient power to redress or prevent attacks on themselves’.1 Accepting an elaborate argument of Alexander Wendt, we might even come to think that such an authority and a universal world state were inevitable.
Lewis H. Siegelbaum., ed. 2011. The socialist car: Automobility in the Eastern Bloc. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press. vii + 242 pages.
Gabrielle Hecht, ed. 2011. Entangled geographies: Empire and technopolitics in the global Cold War. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. x + 337 pages.
Thoughts on Textbook Analysis, Teaching, and Learning
History textbooks are sources of collective memory and can thus be read as "autobiographies" of nation-states. History textbooks used to be anchored in national traditions, ultimately legitimizing the rationale of nation-states. In questioning the sole validity of national history, social movements since the 1960s and the process of globalization became the seedbeds for the deconstruction of master narratives. Because of their instrumental character as teaching tools, textbooks in general allow researchers to decipher the normative structures of societies. The information revolution since the 1970s has dethroned textbooks as the sole means of instruction in classrooms, and led to the development of different approaches for the analysis of textbooks. Today's globalizing world demands new reference frames for teaching and learning. In the second part of this article, eight clusters that are pertinent for orientation in the perplexing realities of the present are drafted: challenges resulting from the revolution in information technologies; the changing world of work; contradictory tendencies in globalizing processes; the impact of a new turbo-capitalism with its de-legitimizing impact on political systems; unequal developments leading to an ever increasing inequality on a global as well as on local levels; the increase of worldwide migration and its impact on classrooms; contested memories in societies that reposition themselves in a world that has grown together and re-fragmented at new seams; and finally, the crisis in orientation and values and the personal costs resulting from the perplexities and insecurities of the world.
Learning Japanese Psychiatry
How is the knowledge embedded in a global institution such as psychiatry integrated into taken-for-granted understandings and everyday medical practice in a non-Western setting such as Japan? How can ethnographic research address this question without simplifying institutional complexity and cross-cultural variations? This paper argues that the ethnography of apprenticeship can resolve these tensions between global and local sources of cultural knowledge. Recent work in cognitive anthropology and practice theory has demonstrated the value of examining apprenticeship as a window onto dynamics of institutional production and reproduction. As an ethnographic strategy, the study of apprenticeship makes the processes through which knowledge crosses cultural boundaries accessible to research. Drawing on two years of ethnographic research on the training of Japanese psychiatrists, I describe the institutional structure in which psychiatric knowledge becomes embedded in newly trained psychiatrists. This system, known as the ikyoku system, reproduces many characteristics of Japanese organizational patterns. Examining the details of this system offers additional insight into the particular way in which psychiatric knowledge becomes situated in contemporary Japanese society. The theory of apprenticeship, however, has a much broader potential for informing ethnographic research strategies for studying contemporary global institutions.
Exploring Cosmopolitan Competences
Emil Abossolo Mbo and Cassis Kilian
Since global interdependencies are a feature of urbanisation, Kwame Anthony Appiah's pleading for an education in 'cosmopolitan citizenship' is forward-looking. Given increasing mobility, handling different urban rhythms is as important as dealing with different languages. Actors explore how airports, supermarkets and cemeteries react to gait, respiration and heartbeat and how people adopt or impose rhythms. Such investigations might appear superficial from an academic perspective, but they bear resemblance to ethnographic fieldwork.
We (an actor and an anthropologist) refer to the shift from participant observation to collaboration proposed by George Marcus, and conjointly explore rhythmic aspects of urbanisation, which are difficult for scholars to grasp. Our aim is to expand anthropological concepts, methods and forms of representation. In reference to Paul Stoller, we consider acting methods a 'sensuous scholarship' and argue that rhythm allows us to explore preverbal aspects of feelings of belonging or alienation in the urban space.
Heritage politics and private military contractors in Iraq
Maria Theresia Starzmann
The practice of archaeologists and other heritage specialists to embed with the US military in Iraq has received critical attention from anthropologists. Scholars have highlighted the dire consequences of such a partnership for cultural heritage protection by invoking the imperialist dimension of archaeological knowledge production. While critical of state power and increasingly of militarized para-state actors like the self-proclaimed Islamic State, these accounts typically eclipse other forms of collaboration with non-state organizations, such as private military and security companies (PMSCs). Focusing on the central role of private contractors in the context of heritage missions in Iraq since 2003, I demonstrate that the war economy's exploitative regime in regions marked by violent conflict is intensified by the growth of the military-industrial complex on a global scale. Drawing on data from interviews conducted with archaeologists working in the Middle East, it becomes clear how archaeology and heritage work prop up the coloniality of power by tying cultural to economic forms of control.
Diversity, equality, and the politics of knowledge
Thomas A. Reuter
Over the last century anthropological studies have served as a testimony to human cultural diversity, as well as highlighting the existential challenges we all share, but the discipline has failed to provide an undistorted mirror of this unity in diversity. Critics from postcolonial studies and within anthropology have argued that anthropological knowledge cannot be universal so long as representatives of only a few privileged nations participate in the process of its construction, and so long as there are significant power differentials among those who do participate. From the perspective of a performance theory of truth, there are two necessary conditions if we wish for anthropology to genuinely reflect the human condition. The first step is to improve global participation in the social production of anthropological knowledge by creating equality within the discipline. The second is to help create a more level playing field in the world at large by challenging abuses of power in contemporary societies. In this article I discuss recent efforts by international organizations in anthropology to satisfy some of these conditions.
The Construction of Global Moral Culture
What might Durkheim's writings teach us today about the nature of globalization processes and a globalized world condition? This paper contends that Durkheim has a great deal of relevance for social scientific understandings of contemporary globalization. His distinctive contribution involved understanding the genesis and nature of a world-level moral culture. This vision entailed a significant sociological recasting of Kant's cosmopolitan political philosophy. The paper reconstructs Durkheim's account of world moral culture from writings that stretch throughout his career. For each of the major texts considered, the paper points out some of the important intellectual antecedents that Durkheim may have drawn upon, or which have notable resonances with what he was endeavouring to achieve. The overall argument is that the Durkheimian vision of globalization stands as a major corrective to radical critiques of globalization which reduce it to being a simple product of capitalism and imperialism. The moral dimensions of globalization have to be considered as much as these factors, which the paper takes to be Durkheim's major lesson for globalization studies today.
A Century of Anti–Human African Trypanosomiasis Campaigns in Angola
Jorge Varanda and Josenando Théophile
This analysis of over a century of public health campaigns against human African trypanosomiasis (sleeping sickness) in Angola aims to unravel the role of (utopian) dreams in global health. Attention to the emergence and use of concepts such as neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) and ideas about elimination or eradication highlights how these concepts and utopian dreams are instrumental for the advancement of particular agendas in an ever-shifting field of global health. The article shows how specific representations of the elimination and eradication of diseases, framed over a century ago, continue to push Western views and politics of care onto others. This analysis generates insight into how global health and its politics of power functioned in Angola during colonialism and post-independence.