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.
The Construction of Global Moral Culture
Imagining a Cosmopolitan Museology
In recent years it has been asked whether it is time to move ‘beyond the national museum’. This article takes issue with this assertion on the grounds that it misunderstands not only museums as cultural phenomenon but also the ways in which globalization, nationalism, and localism are always enmeshed and co-constitutive. The article begins by considering theories of globalization, postnationalism, and cosmopolitanism and their relevance for national museums in the European context. Specific theories of cosmopolitanism are subsequently further explored in relation to two museum examples drawn from the National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh and the Museum of European Cultures in Berlin. In different ways both examples demonstrate the potential for museums to engage visitors with ideas of cosmopolitanism, globalization, and postnationalism by revisiting, reframing, and reinterpreting existing national collections and displays. In the process the article makes the case for the merits of a nationally situated approach to cosmopolitanism in European museums. At the same time it acknowledges some of the potential limits to such endeavors. The article concludes by imagining what a ‘cosmopolitan museology’ would offer in terms of practice, politics, and ethics.
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.
Comparing the European Union and the Common Market of the South
English abstract: Focusing on the European Union (EU) and the Common Market of the South (MERCOSUR) this article presents the manner in which regional organizations apply underlying tenets of global social policy (GSP). It notes the challenges regional entities face in doing so. It also argues that the application of GSP at the regional level is important given the nature of many socioeconomic challenges, the effects of which are often felt regionally. Included in the analysis are theoretical premises justifying social policy both at the global and regional levels. In a period of economic hardship with an ever-widening inequality gap, there is pressure to roll back regional endeavours to manage social challenges. However it is exactly during such a period that robust regional measures need to be sustained or put in place to integrate global social policy, map out new social responses to problems, or implement existing regional social norms.
Spanish abstract: Centrándose en la Unión Europea (UE) y en el Mercado Común del Sur (MERCOSUR), este artículo presenta la manera en que las organizaciones regionales aplican los principios básicos de la política social global (PSG), y señala los desafíos que dichas entidades enfrentan al hacerlo. El artículo también sostiene que la aplicación de la PSG a nivel regional es importante dada la naturaleza de muchos desafíos socioeconómicos cuyos efectos con frecuencia se sienten regionalmente. En el análisis se incluyen premisas teóricas que justifican la política social tanto a nivel global como regional. En un periodo de dificultades económicas con una brecha de desigualdad cada vez más amplia, hay una presión por reducir los esfuerzos regionales para enfrentar los desafíos sociales. Sin embargo, es precisamente durante este tipo de periodos que deben mantenerse o poner en marcha sólidas medidas regionales para integrar la política social global, trazar nuevas respuestas sociales a los problemas o implementar existentes normas sociales regionales.
French abstract: En se concentrant sur l'Union européenne (UE) et le Marché commun du Sud (MERCOSUR) cet article entend présenter la manière dont les organisations régionales s'appliquent principes sous-jacents de la politique sociale globale (PSG). Il met en relief les dé fis auxquels sont confrontées ces entités régionales. Il fait également valoir que l'application du PSG au niveau régional soit importante compte tenu des nombreux dé fis socio-économiques dont les effets sont souvent ressentis au niveau régional. Des prémisses théoriques sont incluses dans l'analyse a fin de justifier la politique sociale tant bien au niveau mondial que régional. Dans une période marquée par la crise économique et le fossé toujours grandissant des inégalités, on observe une ne e pression visant à faire reculer efforts régionaux destinés à gérer les dé fis sociaux. Or, c'est justement pendant ce e période que des mesures régionales robustes doivent être maintenues ou mises en place pour intégrer la politique sociale globale; planifier de nouvelles réponses sociales aux problèmes ou me re en œuvre les normes sociales régionales existantes.
Arvind K. Joshi
The aged in India have conventionally enjoyed privileges within the framework of a social economy where the needs of the old remained a moral responsibility of family, kith and kin. However the present changing times have forced a shift in the approach to old age care. The old person finds him- or herself in a sticky situation, in between an insensitive state and the demands of globalization. The present paper situates this problem within the framework of globalization and systematically measures the strategic response of the state to this daunting challenge, with respect to economic security and health care in particular. In the conclusion, the paper argues for a rejection of the conventional welfare approach and it advocates an integrated approach based on a coherent social development perspective within the valuation framework of social quality.
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.
The size and dramatic impact of the large-scale mines of Melanesia make a useful case study of the effects of economic globalization on local communities, particularly in terms of poverty and inequality. In the context of debates concerning globalization and poverty, this article examines the processes around large-scale mining at both the national and local scales. It argues that the issue of scale is critical to discussions of the links between poverty and globalization, with no evidence that large-scale mining has reduced poverty at the national level in Papua New Guinea over the last thirty years. Evidence is given from the Porgera mine of the effects of mining development at the local scale, with absolute poverty down but inequality increasing. Ethnographic detail helps to situate these processes in the dynamics of the local society. It is these locally grounded attributes that account for the production of inequality far better than generalized accounts of the 'culture of globalization'.
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.
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.
On the Social Productivity of Ritual Forms
Pentecostal Christianity has in the last several decades demonstrated an ability to globalize with great speed and to flourish in social contexts of poverty and disorganization in which other social institutions have been unable to sustain themselves. This article asks why Pentecostalism should be so successful at institution building in harsh environments. I argue that this question is more fundamental than those scholars more often ask about the kinds of compensations that Pentecostalism provides for its adherents. I then draw on Collins's theory of interaction ritual chains to suggest that it is Pentecostalism's promotion of ritual to the center of social life that grounds its unusual institution-building capacity.