Thursday, October 30, 2008

What is Globalization? - part 2

People on the Move
  • Human beings have been migrating, journeying and travelling for millennia, across great distances. It is only in this millennium that New Zealand and many Pacific Islands were finally reached by humans.
  • For most of recorded history migrations have taken three main forms. Elite migrations from the core of empires to their periphery in acts of conquest and conversion followed by settlers; elite and mass migrations to imperial cores and cities from the hinterlands and the countryside in search of work; the expansion and contraction of nomadic societies. Most of these have been regional in scope, though the early Islamic and later Mongol Empires had a global reach.
  • From the sixteenth century onwards the shape of global migration was transformed by the European conquest of the Americas and then Oceania as well as more tentative colonial expansion in Africa and Asia.
  • The first great wave of early modern migrations involved the forced movements of the transatlantic slave trade which shifted around 9-12 million people by the mid-nineteenth century. By comparison, the more regional Arabic slave trades and the early modern European emigration to the New World were minor.
  • From the mid nineteenth century onwards, the slave trade was dwarfed in extent by an extraordinary outpouring of Europe's poor to the New World, overwhelmingly the USA. This was accompanied, beginning in the last quarter of the nineteenth century, by a series of Asian migrations (predominantly of indentured labourers) to the USA, Canada and European colonies. Over 40 million people moved in this way in the quarter century before the First World War.
  • During the First World War, international migration plummeted. Although the war triggered some forced migrations, of Armenians and Greeks from Turkey for example, international migrations within Europe almost ceased. North America closed its borders, creating the first set of systematic border controls and immigration legislation in the modern era.
  • The bitter struggles and ethnic violence of the Second World war led to unprecedented levels of forced migrations, refugee and asylum movements. Ethnic Germans fled the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, Jews headed for Israel, Pakistan and India exchanged millions and Koreans flooded south.
  • Economic migration and the rebirth of Western European economies in the 1950s and 1960s drove a renewed epoch of global migration. Despite the oil shocks of the 1970s and the closure of many European immigration programmes, Western Europe's foreign population and ethnic mix have grown as family reunions, unpoliceable borders and sheer demand for labour have driven migration from the European peripheries (Turkey, North Africa ) as well as the most distant outposts of old European empires (Southern Asia, East and West Africa etc.) to the continent.
  • In the 1970s these waves of migration were accompanied by a take-off in legal and illegal migration to the USA and Australasia, enormous flows to the oil-rich and labour-scarce Middle East and new patterns of regional migration within Africa, Latin America, Oceania and East Asia. In the late 1990s, the USA in particular has been experiencing levels of migration that are comparable to the great transatlantic push of the late nineteenth century.
  • Moreover, recent economic migration has been accompanied by an astronomical rise in asylum seeking, displaced persons and refugees from wars of state formation (and disintegration) in the developing world.
  • For OECD states, the current era is characterised by high levels of global and regional migration, borders that are difficult to police, a range of migrations and travellers that are hard to control and in Europe, in particular, unprecedented levels of ethnic diversity. Over 10% of Swedes are foreign born for example.
  • Attempts at international regulation of migratory flows have met with limited success. Many states find it very difficult to mobilise internal support for tracking illegal migrants and are in some cases highly dependent economically on their labour. Simultaneously, all states are having to reassess the meaning and practice of national citizenship in an era of increasing heterogeneity. Dual nationality is on the rise.

The Fate of National Cultures

  • The globalization of culture has a long history. The formation and expansion of the great world religions are one of the best examples of the capacity of ideas and beliefs to cross great distances with decisive social impacts. No less important are the great pre-modern empires which, in the absence of direct military and political control, held their domains together through a shared and extensive ruling class culture.
  • For most of human history these extensive ruling cultures passed through a fragmented mosaic of local cultures and particularisms - little stood between the court and the village. It was only with the emergence of nation-states and national cultures that a form of cultural identity coalesced between these two extremes.
  • With the rise of nation-states and nationalist projects, the globalization of culture was truncated. Nation-states took control of educational practices, linguistic policies, postal and telephonic systems, etc. However, from the eighteenth century onwards as European empires began to entrench themselves and as a series of technological innovations came on stream (regularised mechanical transport and the telegraph most notably), new forms of cultural globalization emerged. These were accompanied by new private international institutions like publishing houses and news agencies, but their impact on more local and national cultures remained limited.
  • The most important ideas and arguments to emerge out of the West in the era of its expansion were science, liberalism and socialism. Each of these modes of thought and the practices that came with them transformed the ruling cultures of almost every society on the planet. They have certainly had a more considerable impact on national and local cultures than contemporary popular cultures.
  • In the period since the Second World War, however, the extensity, intensity, speed and sheer volume of cultural communication at a global level are unsurpassed. The global diffusion of radio, television, the Internet, satellite and digital technologies, and so on, has made instantaneous communication possible, rendered many border checks and controls over information ineffective, and exposed an enormous constituency to diverse cultural outputs and values. While linguistic differences continue to be a barrier to these processes, the global dominance of English provides a linguistic infrastructure that parallels the technological infrastructures of the era. In contrast to earlier periods in which states and theocracies have been central to cultural globalisation, the current era is one in which corporations are the central producers and distributors of cultural products.
  • The vast majority of these cultural products originate within the USA and certain key Western societies. However, the evidence available in support of a crude thesis of 'cultural imperialism' is thin. National and local cultures remain robust, national institutions continue in many states to have a central impact on public life, foreign products are constantly read and reinterpreted in novel ways by national audiences.
  • Those states which seek to pursue rigid closed-door policies on information and culture are certainly under threat from these new communication processes and technologies, and it is likely that the conduct of economic life everywhere will be transformed by them as well.
  • Cultural flows are transforming the politics of national identity and the politics of identity more generally.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Sand Art - Sand Sculptures

By piling, digging, carving and hollowing out this common element, turning it into mythical scenes and fairytale figures, sand sculptors have turned the art of carving in sand into a new trend in many big cities.

Known as a modern art for only 20 years, sand sculpting is a popular and recreational art capable of drawing widespread attention from the public. Sand sculptures can create new tourist programmes wherever they go, bringing in considerable commercial profits. From this point of view, the art is the result of the perfect combination of modern art and modern commerce and is closely linked with tourism. For the last 20 years, this symbiosis has greatly promoted the development of sand sculptures around the world.

Sand sculptures can now be found in more than 100 countries and regions, especially in popular coastal cities. Sand sculptures have become one of the most popular itineraries during sea visits. Meanwhile, the art has also spread to the inland cities.

Over the past few years, the art has aroused widespread interest in Asia -- with Japan, Singapore and China as hosts to various sand sculpture contests. With the launch of the International Colored Sand Sculpture Festival in Yunnan Province , China, the art is also becoming richer in content.

Instant-Disintegrating Art

Sand and seawater are the basic materials for sand sculptures, which are molded into various patterns by digging, carving and hollowing out sand. Sand sculptures contain no chemical adhesives. Once a piece of the sculpture is completed, a special glue-water solution is sprayed over the surface to set the sculpture. Normally, the sculpture can be preserved for several months. Since it is not easy to preserve sand sculptures, which disintegrate over a period of time, the art form is also known as "instant-disintegrating art".

Sand sculpting is also a kind of land art that blends with nature and without emitting any pollutants. Sand sculptures, unlike most traditional sculptures, are admired for their large scale.

Sand sculpting is also a marginal art -- an amalgamation of the elements of sculpting, painting, construction and outdoor recreation. Requiring no professional training, the art can be taken up by anyone. Sand sculpting is known as a fashionable, healthy and exciting programme for leisure and entertainment purposes.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

What is Globalization?

First of all before I start with the topic I would like to appologize from my readers for not updating my blog recently.Last 1,5 month was very busy and important for me as I needed to pass some exams in order to become a MA student,which I became finally :).So I couldnt work properly on my blog.Unfortunatelly I cant update very often now my blog but I will do my best so you can enjoy your reading and get some new and interesting information.Hope you will understand me. :)

I guess many of you heard this term more than once.But how many of you exactly know what is globalization and what place it takes in our life.As now I am more involved in all these topics as a MA student of interntional relations and diplomacy I would like to put some information about globalization.
Here is some info that interpret us the meaning of globalization.


Globalization - the 'big idea' of the late twentieth century - lacks precise definition. More than this, it is in danger of becoming, if it has not already become, the cliché of our times.

Nonetheless, the term globalization captures elements of a widespread perception that there is a broadening, deepening and speeding up of world-wide interconnectedness in all aspects of life, from the cultural to the criminal, the financial to the environmental. At issue appears to be 'a global shift'; that is, a world being moulded, by economic and technological forces, into a shared economic and political arena.

Behind the rhetoric of globalization - rhetoric found in public as well as academic debate - lie three broad accounts of the nature and meaning of globalization today, referred to here as the hyperglobalist, the sceptical, and the transformationalist views.

- Hyperglobalists argue that we live in an increasingly global world in which states are being subject to massive economic and political processes of change. These are eroding and fragmenting nation-states and diminishing the power of politicians. In these circumstances, states are increasingly the 'decision- takers' and not the 'decision-makers'.

- The sceptics strongly resist this view and believe that contemporary global circumstances are not unprecedented. In their account, while there has been an intensification of international and social activity in recent times, this has reinforced and enhanced state powers in many domains.

- The transformationalists argue that globalization is creating new economic, political and social circumstances which, however unevenly, are serving to transform state powers and the context in which states operate. They do not predict the outcome - indeed, they believe it is uncertain - but argue that politics is no longer, and can no longer simply be, based on nation-states.

What is to be made of these different positions? Are we, or are we not, on the edge of a global shift with massive political, economic and cultural implications?

What is Globalization?

- Globalization can usefully be conceived as a process (or set of processes) which embodies a transformation in the spatial organization of social relations and transactions, generating transcontinental or interregional flows and networks of activity, interaction and power.

- It is characterized by four types of change:

1- First, it involves a stretching of social, political and economic activities across political frontiers, regions and continents.
2- Second, it suggests the intensification, or the growing magnitude, of interconnectedness and flows of trade, investment, finance, migration, culture, etc.
3- Third, the growing extensity and intensity of global interconnectedness can be linked to a speeding up of global interactions and processes, as the evolution of world-wide systems of transport and communication increases the velocity of the diffusion of ideas, goods, information, capital, and people.
4- Fourth, the growing extensity, intensity and velocity of global interactions can be associated with their deepening impact such that the effects of distant events can be highly significant elsewhere and even the most local developments may come to have enormous global consequences. In this sense, the boundaries between domestic matters and global affairs can become increasingly blurred.

In sum, globalization can be thought of as the widening, intensifying, speeding up, and growing impact of world-wide interconnectedness. By conceiving of globalization in this way, it becomes possible to map empirically patterns of world-wide links and relations across all key domains of human activity, from the military to the cultural.

- From the pre-modern, through to the early modern (1500-1800), modern (19th to early 20th century), to the contemporary period, distinctive patterns of globalization can be identified in respect of their different systemic and organizational features - uneven as they often are. These patterns constitute distinctive historical forms of globalization. By comparing and contrasting these changing historical forms, it is possible to identify more precisely what is novel about the present epoch.

- Accordingly, to advance an account of globalization it is necessary to turn from a general concern with its conceptualization to an examination of the key domains of activity and interaction in and through which global processes evolve.

This is just the part of it.Later on I will put some more information and some facts about what is going on in our world.I guess each of us should know about it as it is effecting our life directly.