Academic Article. French Intellectuals and Globalisation: A War of Worlds.

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Yesterday I posted the famous audio/story of Orson WellesOctober 30, 1938 broadcast titled “Space invaders” that scared thousands of people who believed that Martians were invading Earth.

Today’s Academic Article recommendation will continue in that tone. This time, it is the turn for French intellectuals to play the role of Martians. 😉 They have leaded the opposition to what they call neo-liberal globalization (a.k.a. Westernization by means of corporate capitalism). Hope you enjoy it and don’t get too scared!

“French intellectuals have been at the forefront of a national and international movement of opposition to neo-liberal globalisation. Drawing on Samuel Huntington’s controversial work, The Clash of Civilisations, I will argue that French intellectuals shared a civilisational perspective of globalisation, seeing it not as a piecemeal market process or economic reform, but as an all-encompassing external threat. This civilisational perspective had contradictory effects on the nature of their opposition. On the one hand, intellectuals were able to produce a radical critique that challenged neo-liberalism and reinscribed the market within a specific political and ideological context. On the other hand, they tended to perpetuate an essentialist view of globalisation that saw this not as an economic process but as an expression of a pre-determined Anglo-Saxontype.”

Waters, Sarah. 2011. “French Intellectuals and Globalisation: A War of Worlds.” French Cultural Studies 22, no. 4: 303-320.  Academic Search Complete, EBSCOhost (accessed October 31, 2011).

Why Globalization Matters?

“It was by making myself a Catholic that I won the war of the Vendee [the war of counter-revolution in western  France], by making myself a Muslim that I established myself in Egypt, in making myself Ultramontane [a devotee of the papacy] that I won men’s hearts in Italy. If I were to govern a Jewish people, I would re-establish Solomon’s Temple.” Napoleon Bonaparte

It is with Napoleon’s astonishing remark that I decided to give you some light of what Globalization refers to and why I choose to write about it as one of the two pillars of my research.

The term Globalization (also referred to as Globalisation) refers to what many different historians considered a process of interrelation (or unification) of the world. It was a process of cultural, political and economic relations that for the first time in history united all mankind.

It has been the aim of historians to identify When does Globalization begun and How it begun.  But also, it has been their aim to question if Globalization as a process has already concluded or if it is an ongoing process in the 21st. Century.  As well, historians are still trying to explain if Globalization should be judged (or not) as the result of only positive (good) results in regard to increasing the wealth, culture and technology of the world; while other historians argue that Globalization has also resulted in poverty, losses, conquest and cannibalization.

Globalization has been studied from different approaches in Social Sciences. Sociologists and Anthropologists have focused on the cultural effects that the transfer of technology, mass migrations, institutions and products has had in different regions of the world. Political Theorists studied how Globalization affects the institutions, norms and hierarchical authorities in specific regions and how changes in other regions may have had altered the status quo. Economists study how globalization increased the commerce and transactions between regions and territories through trade, investments, and flows of capital just to mention a few.

In this blog I’ll aim to discuss Globalization as a process and a result of the interconnectedness of human’s psycho-epistemology in specific contexts and periods of history.  My mission is to study how human behavior is not determined by nature and how human free will (action that results from rational or irrational reasonings chosen between opportunity costs) has shaped the course of history until the present.

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