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From Global to Local Heritage

Intangible Cultural Heritage and the Role of the Museum

Janet Blake

Heritage has a dual character whereby it can, at the same time, be celebrated for its outstanding universal value while having a special meaning and value for local and, in particular, bearer communities. Basing protection on the former notion of heritage as a universal, global value has been the dominant approach in international law-making since the second half of the twentieth century. More recently, the significance of heritage to local actors has become much better understood and recognised. The tensions associated with this duality have in recent times become evident with the adoption by UNESCO in 2003 of the International Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage. In this treaty, international cultural heritage law-making has shifted from a paradigm that gives value predominantly to the material heritage – monuments, sites, artefacts and other objects – to one that celebrates a living heritage that is primarily located in the skills, knowledge and know-how of contemporary human beings. This article examines the aforementioned shift from an emphasis on global to local heritage and the role museums can play in this with regard to safeguarding intangible aspects of heritage.

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Deliberative Safeguards and Global Governance

A Market-based Approach to Address Garrett W. Brown's 'Deliberative Deficit' within the Global Fund

Alejandro Agafonow

Garrett W. Brown has argued that donor voting caucuses produce a deliberative deficit between donor and non-donor members in the Global Fund International Board. Although we agree with this assessment, in our research on low-transaction cost alternatives to cope with consistent deliberative conditions (i.e. low-cost arrangements to bring about the exchange among Board members in a certain way) we have found that deliberation and interest-based preference maximisation are not necessarily mutually exclusive, as long as we manage to stop donor members from behaving like monopolists. To this end, we have to open up the Board from its present state of non-transparency, so that new input can be obtained from new constituents. This will also soften the current principal-agent structure that links members to their donors, easing the transition to market-driven governance rules that provide for the replacement of Board members if they do not fulfil the new constituents' expectations.

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Mark Ingram

Cultural anthropology in France continues to bear the influence of a colonial-era distinction between “modern” societies with a high degree of social differentiation (and marked by rapid social change) and ostensibly socially homogeneous and change-resistant “traditional” ones. The history of key institutions (museums and research institutes) bears witness to this, as does recent scholarship centered on “the contemporary” that reworks earlier models and concepts and applies them to a world increasingly marked by transnational circulation and globalization. Anthropology at the Crossroads describes the evolution of a national tradition of scholarship, changes to its institutional status, and the models, concepts, and critical perspectives of anthropologists currently revisiting and reworking the foundations of the discipline in France.

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The Aporia of Power

Crisis and the Emergence of the Corporate State

Bruce Kapferer

The argument focuses on the corporate state as an increasingly significant political assemblage that has enabled new configurations of power with related social effects. Here the discussion proceeds from Karl Polanyi's thesis in The Great Transformation. A critical idea that Polanyi pursued related to the state production of economism and individualism, which prepared the ground for the expansion of capital in its globalizing form. The essay develops this idea, indicating that the nationalist capitalism of the state led to a radical change in the political and social orders of states, gradually giving rise to the corporate state assemblage. The emphasis here is on the corporate state as a socio-political order that places radically distinct structural dynamics into impossible conjunction, leading to progressively disastrous social effects concerning poverty and the emergence of new configurations in which war and violence take specific shapes.

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David McLellan

The theme of this article is the threat—and the opportunities—posed to progressive aspirations by the phenomenon that has come to be known as globalization. A decade ago the term globalization was a novelty both in academic circles and in the popular press. Now, no discussion of economics or political debate seems complete without reference to it. And the recent attacks of Al Qaeda and the invasion of Iraq push the problems of an international legal order and the potential universality of the rights of man to the top of the agenda. Yet in its essence globalization is not a recent—or even a 20th century—phenomenon. The view that globalization is no new phenomenon has some substance. Many commentators have pointed to the level of international trade in the decades before World War.1 And some have thought of ancient Greco-Roman civilization as an instance of globalization— was it not appealed to by St Augustine in his opinion that ‘secrus judicat orbis terrarium’? This is true in the sense that the Roman Empire provided political and legal systems in which diverse nations and cultures could be to an impressive extent integrated. But it was not global: consider the contemporary but separate empires in China, India and possibly South America. Globalization in the literal sense of the word has to do with the rise of capitalism.

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The Rise of the "Global Social"

Origins and Transformations of Social Rights under UN Human Rights Law

Ulrike Davy

The article explores how national social policy ideas and UN-sponsored international social rights interrelate, historically and recently. Based on UN documents of the 1940s and 1950s, the article argues that UN-sponsored social rights – the "global social" – originally did not primarily reflect welfare statism (as taken for granted today), but drew on competing ideas (liberal welfare statism, developmental thinking, socialism). Based on an analysis of the state reports under the Social Covenant from 1977 to 2011, the article also argues that the states' reading of the UN social rights became more homogeneous over time. Only from the 1990s did essentials of welfare statism spread globally. This recent reading of the "global social" focuses on poverty and basic rights, such as the right to food and housing, with instruments like social assistance and measures enabling access to health services, education and land. The article draws on a global database of UN documents created by the author.

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Neriko Musha Doerr

Though the concept ‘global learner’ has become a buzzword in education, few have critically analysed it. This article examines three types of ‘unlikely global learners’ who are not usually considered global learners even though they could be, according to a current definition: Ma¯ori–English bilingual students in Aotearoa/New Zealand; an American student who studied abroad in the U.K. in ways not valued in the dominant study-abroad discourse of immersion; and immigrant English-as-a-Second-Language students in the U.S. I analyse what their erasure as global learners tells us, arguing that the notion of global learner acts as what Walter Benjamin calls a phantasmagoria that masks the power relations involved. Though critical of ‘global learners’ as a globalist concept, I call for expanding the notion in order to engage with current transformations in education.

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Sara Van Belle

In this article, I set out to capture the dynamics of two streams within the field of global health research: realist research and medical anthropology. I critically discuss the development of methodology and practice in realist health research in low- and middle-income countries against the background of anthropological practice in global health to make claims on why realist enquiry has taken a high flight. I argue that in order to provide a contribution to today’s complex global issues, we need to adopt a pragmatic stance and move past disciplinary silos: both methodologies have the potential to be well-suited to an analysis of deep layers of context and of key social mechanisms.

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Thomas Fillitz

The present economic and financial crises do not seem to particularly influence the global art market of contemporary art. In an attempt to understand this apparent opposition, I adopt a macro perspective, combining my own research ventures in Dakar and Vienna with general art market studies. I argue that this market is a special representation of millennial capitalism (Comaroff and Comaroff 2001). The global art market puts in place an organization of diversity that allows a high flexibility in including specific centers and marginalizing others, as well as a special focus on a globally acting group of “ultra high net worth” individuals. Striking features are the concentration of capital flows to a few major centers, the constitution of complex, transnational networks, the dominant logics for each market field (gambling, glamour, moral economy), and the diversification of the commodity character of the work of art.

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Yiu-Wai Chu

In the 1980s, the academy witnessed the advent of postcolonial discourse. Numerous academic conferences, books and journals on postcolonialism appeared one after another. In the academic periphery, many viewed postcolonial discourse as a site of resistance against Western cultural hegemony. With the rise of the discourse of globalization in the 1990s, postcolonial discourse, no longer riding on the whitecaps of the latest critical wave, seemed to have lost much of its currency and critical energy. On the face of it, many central issues of postcolonial discourse, such as colonizer/colonized, East/West and center/margin turned out to be no longer applicable to the global era, when national borders blurred. yet in the new global/local paradigm, the above binaries continued to cast a shadowy specter.