The notion of cultural plurality and the idea of intercultural dialogue have been central to the discussion of cosmopolitanism in both political philosophy and social theory. This point is developed in an exposition of the arguments put forward by Immanuel Kant and Hannah Arendt and through a critical engagement with Ulrich Beck's social theory of cosmopolitanism as a “social reality.“ It is argued that Beck's analysis fails to convince as a sociological extension of a long philosophical tradition and that instead of Beck's macrostructural analysis it is more promising to formulate an actor-centred sociological theory on the transnationalization of social spaces and the formation of a “cosmopolitan“ consciousness or awareness of transnational actors.
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Transnationalization and Development
Toward an Alternative Agenda
The central puzzle discussed in this article is that, despite the new interest in migration and development, much of development studies focuses only on the transfer of resources from the North or West to the South and East. Yet transnational studies document two-way flows. In addressing this issue, the article answers three questions. First, what is new and what is old about the current 'mantra' of the migration-development nexus? Second, with regard to sustained cross-border transactions, which and what kind of transnational ties benefit development? Third, why is there a new enthusiasm about migration and development at this particular point in time? How is this new direction connected to shifting paradigms in development thinking and to changing geo-political alignments and forms of migration control after the end of the Cold War?
Beyond (and Before) the Transnational Turn
Recovering Civil Disobedience as Decolonizing Praxis
Civil Disobedience and the Transnational Turn Can civil disobedience be transnationalized? This is the urgent question posed by scholars about the current landscape of grassroots dissent, as people across the globe confront poverty, violence
The Transnational Turn Meets the Educational Turn
Engaging and Educating Adolescents in History Museums in Europe
History museums in Europe are transnationalizing their narratives. In contemporary historical sections they also increasingly include references to European integration and the present-day European Union. This "transnational turn" within a predominately European narrative frame meets the "educational turn." Museums attempt to transform themselves into more interactive spaces of communication. The meeting of these "turns" creates particular challenges of engaging and educating adolescents. I argue that in responding to these challenges, history museums in Europe so far use three main strategies: personalizing history, simulating real life decision-making situations, and encouraging participative narrating of the adolescents' own (transnational) experiences.
Adversary Analysis and the Quest for Global Development
Optimizing the Dynamic Conflict of Interest in Transnational Migration
In the traditional discourses on modern international migration, the 'sending' countries of the South are supposed to derive three kinds of static benefits—remittances, transfer of technology, and return migration. In today's postmodern transnationalization-through-migration context, the stakes are no longer static but dynamic, and the relative benefits to the 'receiving' countries of the North are much bigger than those that they 'concede'. Does the South have a say in assessing these benefits for the North? Only in an equitable adversary analysis—that is, in a strategic rather than standard cost-benefit assessment, in which each party steps into each other's shoes while on a level playing field—would the dynamic conflict of interest be addressed in ways that would produce a truly global quest for development.
Border tricksters and the predatory state
Contraband at the Romania-Serbia border during the Yugoslavian embargoes
This article analyzes actions of the Romanian state officials and the Romania-Serbia border region people during the embargoes imposed on Yugoslavia in the 1990s. It shows that the embargo-related contraband trade with its diverse layers and actors is an excellent window for studying state formations. Getting involved in both big contraband and the criminalization of smugglers, different state factions developed specific logics of privatization, transnationalization, and interstitial relations. These developments were connected to both the fantasies of accumulation in the context of embargo and Romanian European Union accession. The article also suggests how to understand continuities between the embargorelated and present state formations. Looking at the interplays among border posts, state officials, and the EU, it shows that the border posts are increasingly dislocated from the state and that they seem to become interstitial parts of a post-state field of power.
This article reconsiders established anthropological knowledge about postsocialist “civil society” through an analysis of recent efforts of Serbian nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) to reduce their dependence on foreign donors and develop “local fund-raising” from individuals and businesses. These initiatives had to address widespread suspicion toward NGOs, which confirms earlier findings about their donor-driven origins and the class divide between them and the surrounding society. Nevertheless, the article shows that the fund-raising activists strove to overcome suspicion and indigenize civil society. While anthropologists tend to portray NGO workers as a transnationalized elite, they are more adequately described as a middle-class faction currently subject to a process of precarization. The article also shows how the NGO workers' strategies to overcome suspicion, drawing variously on the global models of rational philanthropy, populist modes of self-presentation, or pre-existing ties to new donors, obscured or reduced the relevance of the class divide.
Western representations of the Other are criticized by anthropologists, but similar hegemonic classifications are present in the relationships between anthropologists who are living in the West and working on the (post-socialist) East, and those working and living in the (post-communist) East. In a hierarchical order of scholars and knowledge, post-socialist anthropologists are often perceived as relics of the communist past: folklorists, theoretically backward empiricists, and nationalists. These images replicate Cold War stereotypes, ignore long-lasting paradigm shifts as well as actual practices triggered by the transnationalization of scholarship. Post-socialist academics either approve of such hegemony or contest this pecking order of wisdom, and their reactions range from isolationism to uncritical attempts at “nesting intellectual backwardness“ in the local context (an effect that trickles down and reinforces hierarchies). Deterred communication harms anthropological studies on post-socialism, the prominence of which can hardly be compared to that of post-colonial studies.
Yogesh Sharma, ed., Coastal Histories: Society and Ecology in Pre-Modern India Debojyoti Das
Jason Lim, A Slow Ride into the Past: The Chinese Trishaw Industry in Singapore 1942–1983 Margaret Mason
Xiang Biao, Brenda S.A. Yeoh, and Mika Toyota, eds., Return: Nationalizing Transnational Mobility in Asia Gopalan Balachandran
Ajaya Kumar Sahoo and Johannes G. de Kruijf, eds., Indian Transnationalism Online: New Perspectives on Diaspora Anouck Carsignol
Kieu-Linh Caroline Valverde, Transnationalizing Viet Nam: Community, Culture, and Politics in the Diaspora Yuk Wah Chan
Christine B.N. Chin, Cosmopolitan Sex Workers: Women and Migration in a Global City Lilly Yu and Kimberly Kay Hoang
David Walker and Agnieszka Sobocinska, eds., Australia's Asia: From Yellow Peril to Asian Century Daniel Oakman
Valeska Huber, Channelling Mobilities: Migration and Globalisation in the Suez Canal Region and Beyond, 1869–1914 Vincent Lagendijk
Bieke Cattoor and Bruno De Meulder, Figures Infrastructures: An Atlas of Roads and Railways Maik Hoemke
Klaus Benesch, ed., Culture and Mobility Rudi Volti
Muslim transnationalism in Indo-Guyana
Localized globalization and battles over a cultural Islam
Johannes Gerrit de Kruijf
Contemporary cultural processes, comprising tendencies toward transformation and reproduction, are inevitably affected by the (re)formative force of globalization. Increased mobility and intensified interconnectedness have expanded our ability to recreate culture, enforce a redefinition of social realities, and transform power structures. Globalization has thus also had an effect on religious realms. Religious concepts, practices, and organizations everywhere are increasingly subject to transnational forces. This article looks at the intersection of these forces and the local powers that determine religious developments by analyzing contemporary Indo-Guyanese Islam as a manifestation of this connection. Rather than stressing globalization's universalizing propensities, it investigates how local conditions determine the relationship between growing interconnectedness and the development of Muslim faith, practice, and collectivity. It is argued that globalization stirs opposing processes of deculturalization and reculturalization in Guyana because of the economic, social, religious, political, and historical context in which local Muslims consume the fruits of transnationalization.