Friday, April 1, 2011

Globalization and Power

Globalization, according to Storey, is a process that essentially reduces the world to a “global village.” More importantly to Storey is the American “global village,” which dominates ideologies worldwide. Storey identifies the theoretical imaginary village as a place where,

“Everyone speaks English with an American accent, wears Levi Jeans and Wrangler shirts, drinks Coca-Cola, eats at McDonald’s, surfs the net on a computer, watches a mixture of MTV and CNN, Hollywood movies and reruns of Dallas, and then discusses the prophetically named World Series, while drinking a bottle of Budweiser and smoking a Marlboro cigarette” (CTPC, 204).

Overall, three key common themes persist regarding globalization theories today. These common themes include deterritorialization, interconnectedness, and speed. Deterritorialization is one core consequence of globalization where time and space collapse as well as national borders and boundaries. Next, interconnectedness is critical to the increase in globalization today. As populations grow, these tremendous populous’ possess the capability to communicated. No longer do individuals live in isolation. Networks, often yielded by technological innovations, connect the world beyond national borders. Finally, the concept of speed repeats itself in globalization literature. Specifically, speed, is a key factor in deterritorialization and interconnectedness, but also in social activity on a global scale.

Although the majority of globalization theory began in the 1970s following the introduction of the post-modern age, the concept of globalization is far from new. Globalization, published by Stanford University in 2002, defines the term globalization as a referent to, “fundamental changes in the spatial and temporal contours of social existence, according to which the significance of the space undergoes compression or annihilation” (Stanford, 2002, 1). The article illustrates the historic nature of globalization theoretically noting the significant changes the world underwent following the Industrial Revolution. The authors of Globalization further,

“Writing in 1839, an English journalist commented on the implications of rail travel by anxiously postulating that as distance was “annihilated, the surface of our country would, as it were, shrivel in size until it became not much bigger than one immense city” (Harvey 1996, 242). Essentially this act of urbanization continued through the next hundred years. Adding to globalization theory, in the 1960s, Marshall McLuhan introduced the “global village,” generated by social “acceleration at all levels of human organization” (McLuhan 1964, 103).

Narrating the Nation: An Imagined Community

The Global, the Local, and the Return of Ethnicity, introduces national culture as a discourse. Specifically, author Stuart Hall defines national culture as “a way of constructing meanings which influences and organizes both our actions and our conception of ourselves” (Hall, 609). Through narratives, culturally based hegemonic belief systems emerge, furthering the power and control of those controlling the regime of truth. Hall states that popular culture reinforces itself through “stories, images, landscapes, scenarios, historical events, national symbols, and rituals” (Hall, 609). The culmination of these narratives represents and gives meaning to the nation, thereby constructing an “imagined community” (Hall, 609). Second, Hall stresses origins, continuity, tradition, and timelessness as they apply to national culture. This emphasis directs its allegiance to “national identity.” Hall indentifies this identity as primordial whereby citizens of a nation are under false “long, persistence and mysterious somnolence” (Hall, 609). Third, Hall includes a discursive strategy introduced by Hobsbawm and Ranger as “the invention of tradition.” These creations replicate through practices and norms of behavior, which exhibit a stable and suitable history. Ritual and symbolic acts often reinforce these traditions. Fourth, the “foundational myth,” acts to form national cultures and identities. The foundational myth ultimately provides an alternative to the historic narrative. Finally, the historic narrative provides an ideal of “pure, original people or folk.” This myth symbolically grounds national identities making them a foundation to the nation or heritage. A return to the past exhibits a display of power as society deems some as “others” and must destroy them in order to purify the society and progress toward future betterment.

Imagined Communities

Hall cites to Benedict Anderson whom believed that a national identity essentially acts as an “imagined community.” Hall questions whether these constructed national cultures and identities exist as unified bodies. If so, this illustrates what Hall deems an “imagined community.” That is, a community constructed of past memories and continuing a common heritage (Hall, 611.) Hall cites scholar Timothy Brennan to define the two alternative positions, which “nation” connotes. First, nation refers to modern nation-state. Second, however, the nation, refers to a more ancient notion of local communities consisting of domicile, family and a underlying notion of safety and security through boundaries and borders.

This ideal represents the possible consequences of homogenization of global identities. Hall articulates three possible costs of increasing globalization. First, globalization can go hand in hand in strengthening local identities, though this is still within the logic of time—space compression.

As Hoffman notes, globalization produces implications and consequences upon/ international politics. First, institutions act to promote violence within states rather than between separate states. Thus, organizations such as the United Nations emerged in order to create regulatory processes in light of the new “global society.” However, the optimistic theoretical concept of“global governance” often fails in its objectives and remains fragmented. Second, the national nature of citizenship remains despite globalization’s influence. Moreover, individuals now possess an increased sense of identity through the state in efforts to refuse cultural hegemony on a global scale. Third, Hoffman notes the strong correlation between globalization and violence. The likelihood of “regional explosions” tremendously affects powers globally. Similar to the recent uprisings in the Middle East and North Africa, technologies, which in effect collapse time and space

Globalization and Geography

Like Hall, theorist and noted geographer David Harvey also adds to the discussion of globalization. However, Harvey treats globalization as an economic phenomenon rather than primarily cultural as Hall discussed. Specifically, Harvey builds off of Marxist ideology in his assessment of social theory today. In, The City in a Globalizing World, Harvey begins by stressing urbanization’s tremendous affect during the twentieth century. Harvey states, “The qualities of urban living in the twenty-first century will define the qualities of civilization itself” (ST, 616). That is, urbanization signifies civil reality today. Harvey next addresses urbanization in terms of power. Harvey notes that the idea of globalization is not new. The phrase, “annihilation of space by time,” coined by Karl Marx, describes what he believed to be a common feature in his day and the future. That is time eradicates spaces due to factors such as increased mobility or globalization. The production of urban places created the first turn toward globalization and the need for a constantly growing market was a key concern of Marx and Engels as emphasized in the Communist Manifesto. Marx and Engels alerted readers that in order for capitalism to flourish and avoid a socialist revolution, “working men of all nations, unite” (ST, 618).

Specifically, he notes that in advanced capitalistic countries, those with power stray from cities, leaving cities filled with poor populations. While Harvey mentions a multitude of cities losing populations, we can see this phenomenon play out here in Memphis. Often deemed “white flight,” Memphis is an excellent example of the powerful/influential, here likely white, leaving the crime-ridden city of Memphis for the equestrian pastures and boutiques of Germantown.

Similar to the concept of “white flight,” Harvey states that the rhetoric of globalization has become particularly important, even replacing within segments of radical thought the more politicized concepts of imperialism, colonialism, and neo-colonialism” (ST, 616). Specifically this theoretic shift began in the post-modern era, that is, around the 1970s and is largely economic in Harvey's opinion . Harvey identifies six major shifts in globalization in recent years, which fundamentally altered the mechanics and processes linked to globalization. First, financial deregulation in the United States due to stagflation marked a notable shift toward a new ideal of globalization. That is, financial deregulation opened up new fields for capital. For example, Harvey mentions that this shift allowed vast geographical distance between entities, which financed industries around the world. Second, the cost of moving commodities, people, and particularly information ratcheted downwards. That is, the organization of production and consumption changed drastically. This in turn affected the wants and needs of consumers. Informational technologies now allowed urbanization and connectivity through networking that was unheard of before this “dematerialization of space” occurred by which geographical adjustments of industry persisted. Third, production and organizational forms changed. That is, disintegration of production systems, divisions of labor and an increase of corporate power transcended national borders. “Global cities” emerged as key fixture of political-economic life as corporations now possessed the freedom to relocate, commanding space. This in turn leaves individual livelihoods up to rapid shifts of urbanization and change. Fourth, the world proletariat has almost doubled (in the last thirty years). Specifically, this occurred through rapid population growth. However, mobile capitalization also plays a crucial role as the majority of this population is working in poor and oppressed conditions. Fifth, the territorialization of the world has changed. Harvey identifies this shift as the new struggle for the state to create a favorable business climate. For example, states have cut monies funding social needs such as welfare to provide capital to induce powerful corporations to locate in that state. Finally, while individual states lost some of their power, geopolitical democratization created new opportunities. In other words, “money power” trumps old notions of power whereby states are at the mercy of new global entities that can insert themselves anywhere and at any time assuming they possess the “money power” (ST , 619).

Harvey concludes by stressing the notion that no real change in the mode of production or social relations has changed. He states, “If there is any real qualitative trend it is towards the reassertion of early nineteenth century capitalist laissez-faire and social; Darwinian values coupled with a twenty-first century penchant for pulling everyone together (and everything that can be exchanged) into the orbit of capital” (ST, 619). Although this outlook appears quite grim, Harvey continues to seek for meaningful action globally to address this new phenomenon.

Globalization and Terrorism

Stanley Hoffmann takes a quite different approach than David Harvey, seen in his seminal article, The Clash of Globalization. Hoffmann identifies globalization as "the clash between the fragmentation of the states (and state system) and the progress of economic,cultural and political integration" (ST, 603). Furthermore, Hoffmann labels globalization as a dominant worldwide sense of tension in recent years.

Similarly, in line with many twenty-first-century theorists, the terrorist attacks of September 11th on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon instilled a new notion of tension arising out of globalization. Here, the term tension does not do terrorism justice. Hoffman discusses terrorism identifying it as “the subversion of traditional ways of war because it does not care about the sovereignty of either its enemies or the allies who shelter them” (ST, 608). He furthers that global terrorism stating, “It provokes its victims to take measures that, in the name of legitimate defense, violate knowingly the sovereignty of those states accused of encouraging terror…” (ST, 608). This quote raises the theoretical notion of the subaltern. Terrorism acts as a subaltern mean by which those without a voice make themselves known. For example, Hoffman continues, “But in September, poorly armed individuals suddenly challenged, surprised, and wounded the world’s dominant superpower. The attacks also showed that for all its accomplishments, globalization makes an awful form of violence easily accessible to hopeless fanatic” (ST, 603). Hoffman sees little promise in anti-terrorist procedures in poor nations that are ridden by violence. For example, now these poor nations can deny individual freedoms as a guise for added security, while tearing away individual liberties.

Jean Baudrillard furthers Hoffman’s analysis of terrorism in his article, The Spirit of Terrorism. Baudrillard begins by comparing terrorism to a virus. That is, terrorism is ubiquitous in nature. He furthers, “Immersed globally, terrorism, like the shadow of any system of domination, is ready everywhere to emerge as a double agent. There is no boundary to define it; it is in the very core of this culture that fights it - and the visible schism (and hatred) that opposes, on a global level, the exploited and the underdeveloped against the Western world, is secretly linked to the internal fracture of the dominant system” (Baudrillard, 2001). Because the violence and very nature of terrorism does not fit into normative Western ideology, this new form a subaltern violence without borders challenges Western notions of security. Baudrillard defines the spirit of terrorism as on in which, “Death is the key (to the game) not only the brutal irruption of death in direct, in real time, but also the irruption of a more-than-real death: symbolic and sacrificial death - the absolute, no appeal event” (Baudrillard, 2001). Furthermore, these new global enemies are willing to both kill and die for causes. That is, terrorism now acts without generating the response violence often produces. Since these persons are willing to die and certainly do in fact die for their causes, there is no punitive response possible to the criminals.

Challenges of Globalism

Despite traditional Western theory of territorially enclosed communities, globalization poses the new threat of unguarded boundaries with far-reaching capabilities and implications. As geographical distance no longer relies on time as a point of measurement, space and time face ultimate “annihilation.” Again, three key common themes persist regarding globalization theories today, including deterritorialization, interconnectedness, and speed. These three broad categories provide a crude framework upon which one can evaluate and assess globalization in social theory today.


§ Out of the three primary theorists covered this week in the Social Theory text, which view of globalization is most in tune with your attitudes toward globalization?

§ How can any global body combat terrorism as it is not linked to any particular geographic locale?

§ What do you predict topics of conversation dealing with globalization will consist of, say, thirty years from now? For example, in a class like ours, what type of global theory will students read?


  1. I must confess that I have little-to-no knowledge of globalization. To my recollection, I have barely encountered this subject in the classroom and otherwise. That said, the readings for this week were very instructive.

    In her post, Kate asks: “Out of the three primary theorists covered this week in the Social Theory text, which view of globalization is most in tune with your attitudes toward globalization?” My elementary, and certainly to some extent naïve, understanding of globalization before reading this week is best reflected in Hoffman’s (re)interpretation of the scholarly view of globalization, vis-à-vis Raymond Aron: “many scholars today interpret the world in terms of a triumphant globalization that submerges borders through new means of information and communication. In this universe, a state choosing to stay closed invariably faces decline and growing discontent among its subjects, who are eager for material progress” (ST 604). Of course, it makes sense that I would have viewed globalization through the lens of information-sharing and communication: and, that this would be (for the most part) positive progress. However, as Hoffman and our other authors note well, this view does not always stand up in the face of reality for a variety of factors, for as Baudrillard writes, “the more concentrated the system becomes globally, ultimately forming one single network, the more it becomes vulnerable at a single point…” (8). Through the lens of Baudrillard, terrorism (as a “virus”) becomes the performative response to globalization (seemingly also a “virus”) (10).

    Even more intriguing is the second question: “How can any global body combat terrorism as it is not linked to any particular geographic locale?” I would posit that the answer lies in discourse which, much like terrorism, is not married to any particular geographic locale, but rather is at once omnipresent and elusive. This may be a somewhat unsatisfying answer, but it is one which we can all agree has some relevancy as a means (effective or otherwise) to address terrorism.

    For instance, Rebecca Kuehl has a piece titled “Toward a Feminist Theory of Global Citizenship: (Re)contextualizing Social Rights in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights” forthcoming in the 2010 Rhetoric Society of America Conference proceedings, which I’ve been working on with Tony de Velasco. Kuehl revisits the text of the 1948 “Universal Declaration of Human Rights” (UDHR) (, which in its opening line historically declares us to be a “human family” (UDHR para.1). The UDHR is “one of the first institutional documents to argue for global human rights” (Kuehl para. 5). Here we see most fully how globalization is a persuasive process which people either accept or reject, peacefully or violently, and which more often than not finds its starting point in discourse. In the end, Kuehl’s analysis demonstrates the importance of both rhetoric itself and rhetorical analysis/criticism to better understanding globalization and the role of rhetoric in both shaping and being shaped by this process, revealing what is at stake and making the work that we do as communication scholars that much more imperative.

  2. How can any global body combat terrorism as it is not linked to any particular geographic locale?

    I think acts of war are the only effective method for resisting terrorism. Discourse is useful only to learn the grievances and demands of the opposition, but is useless to reduce or eradicate the threat of violence. George W Bush was criticized for declaring a War on Terror instead of a War against [Nation]. It was immediately recognized as a fight against an ideology, and the ideology was recognized as antithetical to the American/Western ideology and culture. If the opposing sides engaged each other through discourse, it would essentially be both sides saying "I disagree with your way of life. Dismantle it completely so I won't have a problem with you." Obviously neither side will capitulate.

    Besides, such communication is impossible if you consider the subaltern. Terrorists (as a collective group) exist outside the Western/American ideology, and we exist outside theirs. We cannot communicate because we don't speak the same ideological languages. Therefore, the only expression is through violence.

    Avatar provides a fitting example. The humans cannot tell the Navi "Your tree is sitting on top of an enormous deposit of a mineral that is extremely valuable to us. We need to cut down your tree, mine the unobtanium, and make lots of money. You need to get out of our way." Similarly, the Navi can't tell the humans "This tree is the epicenter of our spiritual connection to the entire planet. Severing that connection will destroy our entire existence. You need to leave us alone." Neither Jake Sully nor Dr. Augustine (the humans who are closest to the Navi) can translate the messages, so the only solution is violence. The humans commit an act of terrorism against the Navi. The Navi must fight back.

  3. Kate asks a difficult question about how a global body could combat a location-less enemy like terrorism, and I’m not sure what the answer is. Clearly we see the U.S. in the past decade trying to do wage this struggle (even if we don’t currently call the enemy “terrorism” or the struggle, the “war on terror”), and the question remains as to whether or not our country will be indefinitely searching to extricate these faceless, stateless threats.

    I think though that Hardt and Negri would use this very conundrum—the paradox of a global powers trying to fight this elusive thing we call “terrorism” and our justifications for it—as sign that we have entered the age of “Empire.”

    As Hardt and Negri point out in the introduction, Empire is not a “metaphor” but a “concept” that aims to theoretically describe and account for the totalizing effects of a historically unique power that has emerged in the so-called postmodern world. They suggest that longer do imperialist powers struggle and vie for power against each other, but rather this arrangement has been “replaced by the idea of a single power that overdetermines [these imperialist powers], structures them in a unitary way, and treats them under one common notion of right that is decidedly postcolonial and postimperialist” (9). In this change, certain global forces (e.g. capitalism) have organized all these disparate imperial orders under a totalizing rubric of power to create something entirely new: “a new notion of right, or rather, a new inscription of authority and a new design of the production of norms and legal instruments of coercion that guarantee contracts and resolve conflicts” (9).

    One symptom of this “constitution of Empire” is the “renewed interest in and effectiveness of the concept of bellum justum, or ‘just war’” (12). But, as they point out, an interesting variation on this renewed interest is that the enemy in these wars becomes “banalized” and/or “absolutized.” That is, the enemy becomes “reduced to an object of routine police repression” or it becomes constituted as “an absolute threat to the ethical order” (13).

    One can definitely read the West’s struggle against “terrorism” in light of this latter case (the absolutized enemy). Terrorism is a very real phenomenon of late (I’m not trying to imply that it is not), but it does seem that we have interpreted it as “an absolute threat to [our] ethical order.” And I think that Hardt and Negri would understand this interpretation of the enemy as indeed a symptom of Empire.

  4. Regarding the first question posed, I found Hall's writing to be most in tune with my interpretation of globalization - specifically the section "Narrating the Nation." What is most ironic about this idea of manufacturing a national discourse is that most modern nation states are new inventions. Of course, most nation states - China, Russia, France - have had long, thriving civilizations, but the diversity within each civilization is neither a monolithic nor homogenous collection. As Americans, we are often forced - sometimes unwillingly but mostly unknowingly - to accept the narrative of our nation's glorious past. As Hall notes: "As members "imagined community," we see ourselves in our mind's eye sharing in the narrative" (ST 609) What this seems to imply is that we all share the idea of Americanism and the American dream to an extend, but a minority of its citizens rarely reap the benefits. The second element that is important as Americans is "the emphasis on origins, community, tradition, and timelessness" (ST 609). This all too often forces Americans to appreciate and relate to its origins even though the origins and history we learn in grade school are convenient text-book examples (manufactured) to ensure that all Americans feel a part of the history.

    As to how a global body can combat terrorism that shifts and easily moves into different geographic locales, this is a difficult question to answer. Unlike terrorism of the past, modern terrorism has changed its mobilization tactics, as Baudrillard notes: "Terrorists not only don't play fair, since they put their deaths into play....but they taken over all the weapons of the dominant power....they have assimilated everything of modernity and globalism, without changing their goal, which is to destroy that power" (Baudrillard 19). We now find ourselves in a situation where the poor terror of the old has been supplanted with the rich terror of the new (21). A nation as rich and powerful as the US can effectively fight and defeat such a force on a conventional battlefield with relational power, but these battlefields no longer exist. To assume that the US can defeat Islamic terror in Afghanistan, Iraq, Yemen, Somalia, et al. is not only impossible but foolhardy. Ironically, what will probably prove most effective in combating this new strain of terror in an increasingly globalized world is globalization itself. As different cultures encounter each other with greater rapidity and frequency, it will be more and more difficult for potential terrorist to accept the terrorist doctrine, for when a person in a region prone to terrorist recruiting sees that the function of terrorist organizations, it will be a hard sell to convince a person to blow themselves up when a better life can be accessed and attained through effective modern tools such as the internet.

    Regarding the last question, again, it is difficult to imagine what students like us will read. After all, globalization is a new concept. It will most likely be viewed in the sames terms that we view Communist theory, modernism, and post-modernism - i.e. from a detached point of view and within a historical context. We also have to assume that the ability of students to attain information coupled with the drastic changes that academia will have undergone in thirty years time will no longer be recognizable.

  5. In perusing the three H's (Hall, Harvey, and Hoffman), I find myself most closely aligned with Hall. The basis for human organization may be biological (e.g., family) or geographical (e.g., tribes). Sometimes, human organize around common values or common appearances or common behaviors. This common basis of organization is real at some level. However, the meaning - the constitutive rhetoric, if you will - that becomes attached to organizational patterns or behaviors is negotiated and socially constructed. I believe that people organize around particular ways of seeing and/or experiencing the world. This is a dynamic process. Humans manifest more than one self or at least multiple facets of themselves. Thus, humans may actually form multiple collectives based on ways of seeing economically or ethnically or sexually and so forth.

    This issue is an important one for the dissertation I hope to write as well as the research agenda I hope to explore after receiving my PhD. I am quite struck by the still unsettled nature of the American identity. The mythos of America is a nation-state characterized by a cosmopolitan, arguably hybrid, identity - a nation-state in which all participate, or have the potential to participate, equally. The reality from the beginning is that only certain members of the American society shared in the rights of citizenship. Those of African descent were categorically excluded by law and custom. This quickly led to the formation of nations and nationalisms within nations and nationalisms. Some nationalisms were absorbed into the dominant paradigm - whiteness.

    The exigences of race and gender are only partially resolved through discursive strategies. I am reminded of the observation about sacred text that theologian Walter Brueggemann made in a presentation ( titled "Where is the Scribe?" He noted that sacred texts are thick, layered, and conflicted. From this we must understand that interpretation of those text requires a chorus of voices. For me, this is foundational to an understanding of globalization. Reality, culture, and globalization, as a social constructs, are not monolithic. They are complicated and at any given moment are a snapshot of a unique set of intersections.

  6. I have a hard time choosing between the three primary theorists discussed in the reading this week, because there are aspects of all three theorists that I think align with my attitudes towards globalization. I think Hoffman is right when he says, “Globalization, far from spreading peace, thus seems to foster conflicts and resentments” (ST, 608). While on a surface level the concept of globalization appears to work, the end result can often be paternalistic or dehumanizing. One such group that humorously addresses this element is the Yes Men [1]. By creating a situation or scene that imitates real organizations, they are able to draw attention to the contradictions between the organizations behavior and their language.
    I agreed with Hall’s assertion that, “A national culture is a discourse—a way of constructing meaning which influences and organizes both our actions and our conception of ourselves” (ST, p. 609). Drawing on our previous readings we can recognize the connection between negotiating the self in response to others and negotiating a national identity. We see this emerge in Joan Wallah Scott’s discussion of the Politics of the Veil in France [2]. She addresses how’s France’s understanding of national identity influences the policies surrounding the veil.
    Lastly, Harvey’s effort to ask , “how globalization has occurred and is occurring” also appeals to me (ST, p. 618). I also can’t deny that I appreciate his attempt to incorporate Marx and Engels into the discussion on globalization.
    To answer your final question, I believe there will be more global theories focused on the influence of technology. Already we are seeing theories being developed on the subject, but in thirty years, the theories that we see now would have had a chance to be improved upon. Additionally, I would like to believe that more global theories will draw upon marginalized communities more to discuss globalization. Even though “the other” is discussed to some degree in relationship to globalization, I think there will be more focus on the intersection of race, class, and gender with globalization.


  7. Before this semester, I always thought of globalization as a positive concept with no adverse affects. Who doesn't want a planet where everyone is connected to everyone else? Isn't that the purpose of the UNITED Nations? It is only in thinking more about this concept of globalization that the detriments (or at least the negative aspects)have been revealed to me. In understanding the bigger picture of globalization, I feel I can better comprehend what is happening across this planet.

    Advances in technology, transportation, and economic opportunity have made many of us more mobile. The average person moves every seven years (does this resonate with anyone in class who has plans to relocate after graduation?) corporations move their businesses to the state or country that offers the most profitable benefite to them. We travel. As a result, globalization has minimized our sense of place. In this sense, I most closely associate with Harvey and his ideas on globalization.

    Having a sense of place grounds individuals in their physical locations. These physical locations contribute to our identies. Being from a specific place conjures up images and perceptions of what that individual should be. I am originally from Southern California and spent most of my life there. When I tell this, I am usually met with responses like, "I can see that" or "You look like a California girl." When I tell people I am from Memphis, the picture is much different. How I choose to answer the question "where are you from?" depends on the image I want to present.

    It is the ease of mobility that has greatly affected our sense of place. No one is "from" anywhere anymore. We simply live somewhere and living in that place is only temporary. When conditions no longer meet our needs, we move. While this seems like a good thing on the surface, what happens when every one is in a constant state of flux and no one and nothing is permanent anymore? The get wars like our "war on terrorism" that keeps expanding across the globe. In the past, war was "easy." The United States went to another country, dominated that country, and "fixed" the "problem" or the "problem people." These days, wars are not or should not be fought this way (some would argue that this is the reason we cannot "win" in the Middle East). Ideologies, rather than physical place, are being contested and this completely changes the game. Globalization is responsible for this game changer. Not only do we know more about what is going on in other countries, other countries know what is going on here in the United States. When people do not like what they see or hear, they are left with only a few options. Do nothing or do something. Terrorists have chosen to do something.

  8. At least Kate doesn’t ask questions that are not contentious : How can any global body combat terrorism as it is not linked to any particular geographic locale? This question not only locates people globally but ideologically. The various answers to how one defines terrorism determines where one sees themselves in the “Clash of Globalization” where the state system and concepts of progress collide. If as Mark points out, an empire is seen as a “concept,” then terrorism, which is a tactic used by the subaltern-ed, then the clash becomes problematic once the power struggle is framed in terms of right and wrong. Whose belief system or whose position within the fight gets privileged? Hoffman highlights one of the contradictions that might surface: “What is wrong here is not patriotic enthusiasm as such, but the weakness of the humanitarian impulse when the national interest in saving non-American victims in not self-evident.” We are currently witnessing the debate over this very issue in the various reactions to President Obama’s decision to commit United States military troops in the “humanitarian” effort in Libya. Are the actions in Libya in the country’s national interest? The internet’s ability to shrink place, brings Harvey’s geopolitical democratization to life as I attempt to explore the multiple reactions to this current issue. There is actually a website called , which deals with interest issues across countries. While politicians in the America place themselves within the different ideological spectrums and views of how the United States should act, from exceptionalism to liberal discussions of the formation of the Obama Doctrine, an oppositional fighter in Libya could now discover a position on this website located in America, England or France to fuel their basic beliefs in their cause. Harvey outlined this process as a consequence of how the cost of moving information downward has decreased. So an answer to Kate’s question is further complicated not only by our location within the globe but by the fact that we can pretend to take positions outside of our own experiences.

  9. After readings this week's theorists' essays, I do not agree with one particular theory per se. Rather, I believe that each holds relevancy to the issues of globalization and power in the world. An example that came to mind when engaging in this week's readings is the latest U.S. Navy, "A Global Force for Good-Until" commercial. I believe this commercial both encompasses and advertises many different aspects of globalization theory that this week's theorists discussed.

    I will begin with imagined communities. Hall discusses five main elements that make up the imagined community of a national culture (I will use the first three for a brief analysis): the narrative of the nation, in the case of this commercial the retelling the story of militarism and patriotism in discourses; second, tradition and timelessness are perpetuated through this commercial by forever celebrating military accomplishments in national holidays; and third, invention of tradition is depicted in this commercial as young adults are being encouraged to "serve" their country.

    Hall (1996) also reiterates that the discourse of national culture is not just modern; rather, its identities are constructed ambiguously between the past and the future (Social Theory). Hall also questions if the national identities that national cultures construct are unified. While Hall argues that "modern nations are all cultural hybrids," (p. 612), I would argue that even though many different images of people are depicted in this advertisement, this military commercial is still presenting the myth of "one people" who needs strong citizens to protect this "one people," I guess in this case, humanity?

    Also, this week's theories on terrorism connect to this commercial. Specifically, Hardt and Negri discuss the concept of bellum justum or "just war." By promoting the "global goodness" of the U.S. Navy, this commercial is, in a sense, justifying itself ethically in case/if the U.S. needs to enter into a "just war."

    Lastly, in thirty years, I hope that the readings on globalization will include more texts concerning the environment and how the industrial revolution and globalization has ultimately destroyed our environments causing humans to reconsider how to use concepts and entities of globalization to reverse such ecological damages. I understand that my point of view may differ from others and is probably not very realistic. However, that is my hope for future studies on globalization.

  10. I, like Melody, have little experience with the concept of globalization except understanding the effects of it on my life. I have watched, like many, in awe of the rebellions that are continuing in the Middle East. However, unlike the generation before, I do not watch the news on the television, but I read reports on the Internet and follow reporters on Twitter. So instead of getting my news at standard news broadcast times, I get my news as a constant stream. In addition, one of my sorority sisters lives in Bahrain and has been affected significantly by the uprisings. Instead on having to wait for a letter, I can read about it and communicate with her via Facebook (even when the Internet is not working there). I found it interesting that when Egypt closed down the nation’s three Internet service providers to stop communication of the rebellion online, many people on Twitter were asking if this action might be possible by the U.S. government. Clay Shirky, an academic Internet researcher, tweeted that this wasn’t possible here because in the U.S. we have too many service providers, whereas Egypt only has 3, and the service providers in the U.S. are multi-national corporations, who do not have the same fear of government.

    For me, the concept that I find most intriguing in globalization is deterritorialization, or Harvey’s fifth shift due to globalization. Here, some scholars seem to see this as a negative aspect, Harvey argues that creates a positive business environment. Hoffman argues that this can have a positive and negative effect on the nation-state, or imagined communities. From my research in fandom, globalization has also lead to the creation of virtual communities that can function as what Pippa Norris describes, bridging or bonding communities. In other words, these communities can bring people together with the same values and beliefs (bonding) or bring together people with different beliefs or values (bridging). In the case of bonding communities, these communities are the ones that tend toward violence and, like many of the globalization scholars believe, insight action against the Other.

  11. Modern empires exist beyond borders of traditional nation states and boundaries. The innovation of technology assists in making the reach of the global empire more efficient as the tentacles of global corporations stretch and contort in malleable ways that seem as bodiless as the flowing wind. What these amoeba like entities accomplish is whatever is pertinent to the bottom line- whatever you want will be sold to you and you will consume it as a customized experience. Even if you are not convinced the empire will find a way to convince you and cater to your specific needs. This point does not suggest a broad overarching confederation of forces hovering above us in a proverbial death star, but what it does implicate is the fortified and seemingly immoveable power of the global brand and how it influences international commerce and biopower.

    The process of globalization is challenging for several reasons. Of the many reasons why this process is so daunting, intriguing and downright frightening, the question that perplexes us most is the question of identity. Where are the allegiances? How do we trust our public servants commonly known as politicians to protect the interest of the body politic and not the mighty corporate empire? Do the CEO’s stand on top of mountains and promise monarchs and elected officials large chunks of the world for compliance and operating room? My interpolation of this biblical narrative may sound like a moderate or blatant exaggeration of reality, but when we examine situations like the mortgage crisis the bailouts and financial crisis in general, it becomes apparent that governments are absolutely influenced by global corporate empires, for better and mostly worse. Americans ( in the U.S., which brings about another semantic distinction that deserves considerable unpacking) are complaining because of the lack of jobs for the common worker and many are taking misguided aim at immigrant populations for their economic woes. What these people fail to acknowledge is the proliferation of American –based corporations in what is known as the third world who capitalize off of cheap labor. Why pay the American a competitive wage when you can produce the same product for a fraction of the cost in a foreign country? The bottom line matters most as insane and downright ridiculous profits are realized because of this cheap production. Add in the factor of governments that are complicit with this type of exploitation and what you end up with is a colossal clusterfuck with catastrophic consequences for multiple citizenships. It does not matter if the governments are democratic, autocratic, communist or socialist- they all consort to for the means of doing business.

    As far as the war on terror goes, it is a war that can never be won by anyone because terror is neither definitive nor quantifiable. People will always be afraid of things they don’t quite understand or are uncertain of what or how to grasp what it is they are fearful of. When you consider that these ideologies are the products of media which are essentially subsidized by the global empire, we need to ask ourselves who is really doing the terrorizing. We are inundated and overwhelmed by media on what we should be scared about today, whether it is radical Islam, SARS, swine flu, immigrants or radioactive sludge floating its way from Japanese power plants. The bottom line is fear is an elusive ghost that chases us as we chase it and the state of paralysis it put us in is perpetual. The opportunity for some determined individual or fringe faction to blindside us always exists. I am more concerned with the narratives that continue to tell us how and why we should be terrified and the commercialization and commodification of this fear based rhetoric.