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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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Nina Glick Schiller

Questioning the units of analysis of contemporary migration theory—the nation-state, the ethnic group, and the transnational community—that structure discussions of migration and development, I argue for a global perspective on migration. In deploying these units of analysis, current discourses about migration and development reflect a profound methodological nationalism that distorts present-day migration studies. The global perspective advocated in this article addresses the reproduction and movement of people and profits across national borders. Such a perspective places the debates about international migration and development and the contemporary polemics and policies on immigration, asylum, and global talent within the same analytical framework, allowing migration scholars to address the mutual constitution of the local and the global.

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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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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.

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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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Boys and Education in the Global South

Emerging Vulnerabilities and New Opportunities for Promoting Changes in Gender Norms

Gary Barker, Ravi Verma, John Crownover, Marcio Segundo, Vanessa Fonseca, Juan Manuel Contreras, Brian Heilman and Peter Pawlak

This article presents a review of global data on boys' education in the Global South and recent findings on the influence of boys' educational attainment on their attitudes and behaviors in terms of gender equality. The article also presents three examples—from Brazil, the Balkans, and India—on evaluated, school-based approaches for engaging boys and girls in reducing gender-based violence and promoting greater support for gender equality. Recommendations are provided for how to integrate such processes into the public education system in such a way that provides benefits for both boys and girls in a relational approach.

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Harlan Koff and Carmen Maganda

Volume five of Regions & Cohesion has focused significant attention on the subject of regional development. It has done so because 2015 is such an important year in relation to development debates given the definition of the post-Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) agenda in the United Nations and the official declaration of 2015 as the European Union Year for Development. The introduction to the Leadership Forum of the Spring 2015 issue included important reflections on the theme of “transformative development.” The introduction openly asked whether 2015 could be a decisive year for the global development agenda or whether it will be remembered for global summitry, international declarations and little more.

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Ka Lin, Des Gasper and Laurent J.G. van der Maesen

In the current globalized world, societal trends, problems, and challenges come not only from national states but also from beyond. These trends, problems, and challenges include international migration, human traffi cking, pandemics such as HIV, environmental pollution, and terrorism, presenting risks for the progress of human society and for world peace. Therefore, they are, or should be, subject to forms of global governance. This issue of the International Journal of Social Quality includes several papers to discuss these issues as important topics in social quality studies.

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Bruce Mazlish

Identity is a key concept in psychoanalytic psychology and, consequently, in psychohistorical studies. My task here is not to say anything further about the concept itself – my use of it will be in generalised and unrigorous terms – but to extend its use in psychohistory from its normal attachment to personal, ethnic, religious, and national contexts to the global.