The African Union and Agenda 2063

The United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) were established in September 2000. Thought to bridge all areas in need of development, the MDGs were created with eight goals:

  1. “To eradicate extreme poverty and hunger
  2. Achieve universal primary education
  3. Promote gender equality and empower women
  4. Reduce child mortality
  5. Improve maternal health
  6. Combating HIV/AIDS, malaria, and other diseases
  7. Ensure environmental sustainability
  8. Develop a global partnership for development” [1]

After fifteen years, in direct response to the MDGs, the entire continent of Africa has seen a reduction in infant mortality rates and the number of individuals with HIV/AIDS, while seeing an increasing number of women in parliament and children in primary school. Although progress was made, the deadline for achieving the goals – 2015 – passed with work still needing to be done.  The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) were developed in 2015 with the hope that the momentum provided by the MDGs could continue in the seventeen categories noted in the chart below:

 

Photo courtesy of the United Nations. https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/sdgs

 

Many scholars, politicians, and humanitarians are aware of the MDGs are a predecessor to the SDGs, however few people are cognizant of the fact that the African Union Agenda 2063 also had influence on the creation of the SDGs. While the MDGs and SDGs were both established with a global mindset, the continent of Africa chose to also involve themselves in the African Union Agenda 2063, an agenda that focuses on the continent of Africa specifically. While the SDGs were established with the expectation for progress to occur within the next fifteen years, Agenda 2063 was created with a timeframe of fifty years, and with those fifty years, seven “aspirations” were set:

  1. “A Prosperous Africa, based on inclusive growth and sustainable development
  2. An integrated continent, politically united, based on the ideals of Pan Africanism and the vision of Africa’s Renaissance
  3. An Africa of good governance, democracy, respect for human rights, justice and the rule of law
  4. A Peaceful and Secure Africa
  5. Africa with a strong cultural identity, common heritage, values and ethics
  6. An African whose development is people driven, relying on the potential offered by people, especially its women and youth and caring for children
  7. An Africa as a strong, united, resilient and influential global player and partner” [2]

While numerous non-profit organizations and non-governmental organizations have been active on the continent since the 1970s, this agenda is significant because it places the agency with Africans themselves. Agenda 2063 proves its uniqueness through a bottom-up approach; rather than have international or outside organizations dictate the who and when of development, a bottom-up approach enables Africans to have a voice in what they want and a hand in how it happens.

Agenda 2063 has obvious implications for political, economic, and social advances, but many researchers are focusing on the idea that, if Agenda 2063 makes notable progress, many African countries could become world players, immersing themselves in international affairs.  Numerous scholars place doubt on Africa’s ability to successfully develop within fifty years, insisting the difficulty to develop lies within a combination of weak governance, political instability, and insecurity – a combination that can be found transcontinentally. [3] However, many researchers make claims  related to the power of Africa, proposing a reawakening of Africa that could have significant implications for the world. In highlighting aspirations 3, 4, and 5, Oluwaseun Tella suggests that the African Union (AU) could be the first union to become an active force in international soft power – the idea that “soft power actors are able to influence other actors due to the attractiveness embedded in the former’s values, culture, and policies”. [4] But neither doubting scholars nor optimistic researchers can claim their projections as fact until the fifty year span has come to an end. In the meantime, the world waits and watches – ready to see Africa’s next move.

 

Additional Reading

Amupanda, J.S. “Who is the ‘We’? Interrogating the African Union’s Agenda 2063 and Youth Political Participation”, International Journal of African Renaissance Studies 13, no. 1: (2018): 56-76.

Ayieko, Benard. “Continental Unity”, Beijing Review 61, no. 36 (2018): 30-31.

Fagbayibo, B. “Nkrumahism, Agenda 2063, and the Role of Intergovernmental Institutions in Fast-tracking Continental Unity”, Journal of Asian and African Studies 53, no. 4 (2018): 629-642.

Ogbonnaya, U.M. “Terrorism, Agenda 2063 and the Challenges of Development in Africa”, South African Journal of International Affairs 23, no. 2 (2016): 185-199.

Slavova, Mira. “African Smart Cities Strategies for Agenda 2063”, Africa Journal of Management 2, no. 2 (2016): 210-229.

[1] United Nations, “From MDGs to SDGs”, The Sustainable Development Goals Fund, Accessed 4 Oct 2018, http://www.sdgfund.org/mdgs-sdgs.

[2] United Nations, “Sustainable Development Knowledge Platform”, Accessed 4 Oct 2018, https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/sdgs.

[3] African Union, “Agenda 2063: About Agenda 2063”, The African Union Commission, Accessed 4 Oct 2018, https://au.int/agenda2063/about.

[4] Nwebo, O.E., “The African Union Agenda 2063 and the Imperative of Democratic Governance (Review)”, Law and Development Review 11, no. 2 (2018): 259-276.

[5] Oluwaseun, Tella, “Agenda 2063 and Its Implications for Africa’s Soft Power”, Journal of Black Studies 49, no. 7 (2018): 714-730.

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Global Knowledge and Transnational Crime

posted by Thaddeus B. Herman

On Tuesday, Oct. 16th, the Center for Global Studies held its second event in a year-long series dedicated to the globalization of knowledge. Around 20 individuals attended to hear Dr. Yulia Zabyelina, Assistant Professor at John Jay college of Criminal Justice at City University of New York, speak about Transnational Organized Crime. Zabyelina’s scholarship relates to ‘crimes of the powerful’ – defined as crimes committed at the upper levels of government where it is difficult for individuals to be prosecuted or held responsible.

Zabyelina opened the event by asking the question “How does legal immunity provide an opportunity for serious misconduct to its holders?” This question relates to the topic of research she is currently undertaking in preparation for a new book. In her research, Zabyelina focuses on misconduct by representatives of the state, specifically diplomatic representatives.

Transnational Organized Crime (TOC) is different than organized crime. Organized crime elicits services that are in response to public demand, are often associated with the desire to have monopoly control in a particular area, and use a pattern of violence and/or corruption through methods of extortion, loan sharking, gambling, bootlegging, or prostitution, among others. TOC, on the other hand, is defined by the United Nations Convention on Transnational Organized Crime (UNCTOC) as an offence that has been:

  • Committed in more than one State;
  • Committed in one State but a substantial part of its preparation, planning, direction or control takes place in another State;
  • Committed in one State but involves an organized criminal group that engages in criminal activities in more than one State; or
  • Committed in one State but has substantial effects in another State.

Conventional forms of TOC have included drug or human trafficking, migrant smuggling, or firearms trafficking. Whereas new and emerging forms include natural resource trafficking, counterfeit goods trafficking, cultural property trafficking, and cybercrime.

In her presentation, Zabyelina pointed out that typical theories dealing with crimes focus on causes such as poverty or lack of general opportunity because of life’s circumstances. TOC, on the other hand, is committed by smart, capable individuals who engage in sophisticated operations. This “elite deviance” is perpetrated by those who commit crimes despite having high educational and financial means. While Zabyelina pointed out there is literature on corporate crime and corruption, she intends for her research to fill an important gap in knowledge on elite deviance through TOC. Elite deviants are those who, according to the Criminaloid theory posited by Cesare Lombroso in 1876, project a respectable, upright façade in an attempt to conceal a criminal personality, enjoy the respect of society, and – because of their established connections with the government – are less likely to meet with opposition.

Zabyelina’s research is focusing on those individuals who have legal immunity that exempts them from search, arrest, and civil or criminal prosecution. Often, legal immunity also includes privileges such as exception from fiscal obligations. Individuals who may receive immunity are usually Heads of State, diplomatic corps, international civil servants, peacekeepers, MPs, or judges. The legal sources for diplomatic immunity vary from international conventions, such as the Vienna Convention of 1961 or the Convention on the Privileges and Immunities of the Specialized Agencies of 1947, to local domestic laws and constitutions of various States. Diplomatic agents are of particular interest to Zabyelina and were defined by her as “a public official who acts as an intermediary between a foreign nation (the receiving state) and the nation which employed and accredited the diplomat agent (the sending State)”. Diplomatic agents of various types make up a diplomatic corps and may hold titles as ambassadors, envoys, ministers plenipotentiary, chargé d’affaires, consuls and vice-consuls, or administrative and technical staff of diplomatic missions.

A typology of offenses by a diplomatic corps was offered by Zabyelina as one fruit of her research. This typology included four types of abuse:

  1. State-authority crime: crime committed on behalf of state institutions
  2. Diplomats as victims: crime without the diplomatic agent’s conscious involvement or knowledge
  3. Diplomats as co-conspirators: diplomats who have deliberately exploited legal immunity to profit from criminal activity
  4. Diplomats as principle offenders: diplomats who have abused diplomatic entitlements for profit as the principal perpetrator of a criminal act.

She provided several case studies to illustrate this abuse. Zabyelina pointed out that the North Korean government has been involved in state-sponsored criminal activity in order to help fund the regime, which is an example of the first type of abuse. As an example of the second type of abuse, Zabyelina highlighted an event that took place in 2012 which saw a shipment of drugs to the United Nations headquarters from Mexico in what appeared to be an imitation of a diplomatic pouch – which traditionally have not been subject to search. As no diplomat was found to be responsible for the crime, this act was perceived as an example of diplomats as victims of crimes. An example of the last type of crime comes from an event where an Ethiopian diplomat was arrested at Heathrow Airport for attempting to smuggle 123 pounds of cannabis through security. When detained, she attempted to use diplomatic immunity as a way to escape consequences of her actions. Her activity resulted in a prison sentence of 33 months.

The presentation ended with an open question followed by discussion with a lively interaction between the audience and presenter. An attendee asked how Zabyelina finds source material from states – especially when it is related to deviant behavior committed by their own diplomats. Zabyelina identified five areas from where she gathers her information:

  1. Mass media and journalism
  2. Court files
  3. Her colleague’s connection to the UN Office of Internal Oversight Services – where her college has interns working to help collect information
  4. Reports or investigations undertaken by international organizations
  5. Interviews with diplomats, members of the chambers of commerce, employees of the New York Police Department, and members of the US State Department

Overall it was an event which elaborated upon a very interesting aspect of global knowledge production.  For more information on the topic,  please look at the library guide – Global Knowledge and Transnational Crime.

 

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The Meaning of Global/Globalizing Knowledge

Thaddeus B. Herman – Rapporteur

On Wednesday, September 26, over 30 individuals came together to participate in a discussion on global knowledge and its production. This event was hosted by the Center for Global Studies and was the first in a series of events exploring different aspects of globalization and knowledge. The discussion was led by a panel of four prominent Illinois scholars including Nicholas Burbules – Gutgsell Professor of Education Policy, Organization and Leadership; Andrew Orta – Professor of Anthropology; Assata Zerai – Professor of Sociology and Associate Chancellor for Diversity; and Steve Witt – Director of the Center for Global Studies and the Head of the International and Area Studies Library.

Witt opened up the discussion with a speech on access to academic knowledge and how it is being generated. He showed data that supported his claim that many “global” collections of knowledge really only include a very small portion of the globe and are not representative of truly global knowledge bases. Knowledge production – or at least the knowledge generated that has impact in academic organizations – largely takes place in a few countries, the majority of which are located in regions commonly referred to as the “west”.

 

Figure 1: Source: US Congressional Research Service. (2018, June 27). Global Research and Development Expenditures: Fact Sheet. Note the definition of “rest of the world”.

Burbules spoke second with a presentation titled “An epistemic crisis”, focusing on many issues around journal publishing. He indicated it is simply not possible to read every new article published in one’s field of study. In fact, more than 80% of all published papers are never cited and those that are cited are often not actually read. He also spoke of the influence of impact factors – the frequency with which articles in a journal have been cited in a particular year – and how this can lead to discrimination against local journals – which may be more relevant to a local population. Research institutions also pressure academics to publish in journals considered to have high impact factors. Of course, this system can be gamed and Burbules included examples of editors of journals who encourage those who submit to cite authors from their own journal in order to increase their impact factor.

Another issue highlighted was the lack of incentive to publish studies which reproduce and reinforce previous studies. Replicability is a cornerstone of the scientific method since a study performed under the same conditions should produce the same results. In fact, when meta-studies have attempted to reproduce results in many areas, a surprising number of results cannot be reproduced – even after increasing sample sizes. So we must ask ourselves the question, how much work of low quality is slipping through and being published?

Andrew Orta spoke on the globalized nature of Catholicism and Capitalism and how they have both been buffeted by local cultural forces. He briefly explored the concept that Catholicism responded to local practices of worship, and adapted to appear more palatable to a local audience. Interesting parallels were drawn between this process, and the process of incorporating global cultural trends into MBA programs around the world. The educational context of the MBA has changed from a “flat” model which saw a fairly standard set of curriculum taught throughout the world to models which are based on various cultural practices found throughout the regions in which the MBA program is established.

The final speaker of the day was Assata Zerai whose talk centered on access and digital inequality. Zerai pointed out that there are excluded voices from multiple fields of study and African research – particularly African research undertaken by women – is not included in western databases that collect research and provide access through search mechanisms. Scholarship that is readily available about Africa is largely generated by western scholars who are often disconnected from actual African perspectives. She argued that there is a direct correlation between the success of people-centered governance structures and women’s access to information and communication technologies (ICT). By not incorporating scholarship undertaken by women on the African continent, we are hindering the promotion of intellectual diversity.

Zerai is undertaking a project to build a database of the works of female African scholars to help make this body of research available to a wider audience and disrupt the conventional division of labor in the social sciences in which African scholars provide the empirical evidence while the heavy lifting of theorizing is left to their western counterparts. The hope is that this effort will amplify the voices of women scholars in African countries.

Following the presentations there was a rich dialogue between members of the audience and the panel members which ended with a dilemma. Can we create systems of knowledge to highlight voices that have been traditionally excluded from processes of knowledge generation and distribution? The speakers acknowledged that there is hope that a way may be found and we can move forward.

 

For more background information and reading please visit the library guide found at https://guides.library.illinois.edu/cgsbrownbag92618 .

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The International Mind Alcoves, Librarians, War and Peace: CGS Director Steven Witt’s Article in the Carnegie Reporter

By Cassia Smith

As the US joined World War I, two librarians partnered with the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace to foster international understanding and world peace. The outgrowth of this partnership was the International Mind Alcoves, a curated collection of books on international travel, exploration, culture, and politics. These books were selected by the Carnegie Endowment and donated to small public libraries, primarily those located in rural areas. Over the following thirty years, International Mind Alcove collections were established in libraries across the country. Center for Global Studies Director Steven Witt has an article in the Summer 2018 volume of the Carnegie Reporter that traces the development, ideals, execution, and cultural impact of this program.

In addition to providing background on the Carnegie Endowment’s aims for and administration of the project, Witt also highlights anecdotes from librarians who circulated the collection, and political leaders’ (often less than enthusiastic) comments regarding the program. He also includes information on the overall quality and selection of the collections and the sometimes complicated ways in which the program interacted with overseas libraries and communities. He concludes by describing how the establishment of the United Nations prompted the end of the International Mind Alcoves, as other avenues for fostering international awareness and understanding became available. In a fascinating twist, after the program had already ended, it became involved in a series of McCarthy-esque Congressional hearings aimed at regulating the activities of American nonprofit organizations, a process that Witt also briefly documents.

Though the UN continues to be a valuable source of international communication and understanding, the precedent set by the Carnegie Endowment’s International Mind Alcoves should not be ignored. The principles of wide dissemination, varied and high-quality books, and a sense of exploration and free interchange are still valuable concepts for modern librarians considering their own collections policies. Even during a period of intense nationalistic forces, the International Mind Alcoves provided a valuable resource for communities trying to make sense of a sometimes chaotic world. As modern libraries face their own uncertainties, this effort may represent one way forward for librarians interested in fostering peace and peaceful communication. Witt’s article has been posted in its entirety on Medium, or you can download the entire issue to your device at this page.

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Nordic education and the Sápmi region

Jeremie Smith, Outreach Coordinator at the Center for Global Studies (CGS), is collaborating with University of Illinois’ alum, Betty Trummel, to develop a new College of Education study abroad course, Nordic Models of Education.  The study abroad course, designed especially for pre-service teachers and other College of Education students, will debut during the Spring of 2018.

This course development is supported by the Center for Global Studies, the European Union Center, and the College of Education. Jeremie and Betty are currently on a course-planning trip in Sweden, Finland, and Norway.  Jeremie will write blog posts during the course development trip to share his experiences and preview the course.

Read the full blog post at the European Union Center Teachers’ Corner blog

___________________________________

Nordic education and the Sápmi region

by: Barbara Myers, M.A. European Union Studies
Program Coordinator, Center for Global Studies

Jeremie Smith is currently traversing the Sápmi on a course-planning trip, in search of conversations, connections, and experiences that will inform the development of a new study abroad course. The Sápmi region, which spans across Norway, Sweden, Finland, and the Russian Kola Peninsula, is the home of the indigenous Sámi people. Smith is visiting the Nordic countries of the region to meet with scholars and experts on Sámi culture and education. The Sámi are a semi-nomadic community, with a total estimated population of 70,000 to 100,000.[1] They have traditionally relied on a close relationship with nature to support their hunting, fishing, gathering, trapping, and reindeer herding enterprises, and their semi-nomadic lifestyle revolves around the seasons.

Residents of the Sápmi region have had a complicated relationship with the Nordic governments. Prior to World War II, Sámi education was largely conducted at boarding schools, where Sámi pupils were acculturated in the language and culture of the school’s state. The Sámi fight for autonomy has led to several changes in their relationship with the Nordic governments. For instance, the Sámi Parliament Act of 1993 established the Swedish Sámi Parliament as a government agency and a popularly elected body, with responsibilities that include allocating state funds for Sámi organizations, cultural programs and other matters, and appointing the board of directors for Sámi schools in Sweden.

Sámi educators are faced with the challenge of transmitting their culture and knowledge under what American educators might consider unconventional conditions. In Sweden, the decentralized structure of the school system leaves education providers responsible for teaching materials. The Swedish government provides remittances to the Sámi Education Board and the National Agency for Education to produce Sámi-language teaching materials, which can be hard to come by. According to recent reports from the Council of Europe on the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages and Sweden, some Sámi educators have taken it upon themselves to translate and dictate books for instruction.[2] Up to 70% of Sámi children under 10 do not reside in the Sámi education area, and the semi-nomadic lifestyle can challenge American notions of a typical school day or term.[3]

Despite these challenges, educators in the Sápmi region endeavor to provide instruction and guidance to their students through Nordic models of education. These models are tied to the Nordic Theory of Love—independence, individualism, self-reliance—as well as the Nordic social welfare state. In his posts about his trip, Smith details how his experiences in the Sápmi region informed the development of the new study abroad course, Nordic Models of Education.

Map of Sápmi

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Source: Nordiska Museet website http://www.nordiskamuseet.se 

 

Additional Reading

Berggren, H., & Lars Trägårdh, L. (2010). Pippi Longstocking: the autonomous child and the moral logic of the Swedish welfare state. In H. Mattsson & S. Wallenstein (Eds.), Swedish Modernism: Architecture, Consumption, and the Welfare State (pp. 10-23). London: Black Dog Publishing.

Gaski, H., & Weinstock, J. (n.d.). Sámi Culture in the Nordic Countries – Administration, Support, Evaluation. Retrieved May 10, 2017, from http://www.laits.utexas.edu/sami/dieda/hist/nordic.htm

Kristinsson, A. P., & Hilmarsson-Dunn, A. (2012). Unequal language rights in the Nordic language community. Language Problems and Language Planning, 36(3), 222-236. doi:10.1075/lplp.36.3.02kri

Partanen, A. (2017). Nordic Theory of Everything: in search of a better life. New York: HarperCollins.

[1] Anaya, J. (2011, January 12). Report of the Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms of Indigenous People to the United Nations Human Rights Council.

[2] Council of Europe. (2014, May 16). Committee of Experts’ Evaluation Report: Sweden.

Council of Europe. (2013, October 10). State Periodic Report: Sweden.

[3] UN report calls for Sami language boost. (2011, January 18). Retrieved May 10, 2017, from https://www.euractiv.com/section/languages-culture/news/un-report-calls-for-sami-language-boost/

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Statement regarding Executive Order barring refugees and citizens of seven countries

Originally published on January 30th, 2017 in Glocal Notes

Author: Steve Witt – Head, International and Area Studies Library, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.


To echo the University of Illinois President’s statement regarding the Trump Administration’s order barring some immigrants, the International and Area Studies Library shares the University’s value of international students, scholars, exchanges, and perspectives as a central aspect of the University’s mission.  The International and Area Studies Library would like to reiterate to the campus community that it provides a safe space for students, scholars, and the community to study, research, and discuss any topic or subject, including the current policies regarding immigrant and refugee access to the United States.

In addition, the individuals at the International and Area Studies library are able to provide all students, scholars, and members of the community with access to important resources to learn about and make sense of the rapidly changing policy environment that relates directly to many regions of the world and issues of international importance.  From print and electronic resources to human expertise, the International and Area Studies Library is available to assist you.

Support for Research on the Topic and Regions Affected

If you are specifically interested in learning more about the seven countries targeted by the Trump Administration, please contact Laila Hussein, Middle East and North African Studies Librarian.  Professor Hussein has expertise in Middle East and North African Studies and Human Rights. She can also help people interested in accessing and understanding contemporary research and journalistic resources from these regions in Arabic and Persian.

Assurance of Privacy and Confidentiality

The University Library’s faculty and staff are professionally obligated and committed to maintaining patron confidentiality.  No question you ask, resource you use, or book you read will be shared without your consent (Library Privacy Policy).

Librarians can also provide advice and instruction on privacy enhancing technologies that you may wish to consider using in online research and electronic communications.  (See Library Freedom Project: https://blog.torproject.org/blog/guest-post-library-freedom-project-bringing-privacy-and-anonymity-libraries or Heritage Foundation for more information on privacy and technology issues:http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2004/05/technologies-that-can-protect-privacy-as-information-is-shared-to-combat-terrorism)

Contacts

To contact an expert in Middle East Studies, get help with research on this topic, or learn more about services, resources, and advice that the Library can offer please contact:

International and Area Studies Library: Room 321, Main Library; 1408 W. Gregory Dr.; Urbana, IL, (217) 333-1501 Email: internationalref@library.illinois.edu

For specific visa advice, and counseling, please contact International Student and Scholar Services

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign: International Student and Scholar Services, (217) 333-1303 (isss@illinois.edu)

Steve Witt
Associate Professor
Head, International and Area Studies Library
Director, Center for Global Studies
University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
Champaign, Illinois 61820 USA
Phone: 217.265.7518
Email: swwitt@illinois.edu

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Graduate Minor in Global Studies

Are you a graduate student interested in gaining a deeper understanding of the process of globalization? Do you want to integrate your skills within the broader interdisciplinary, intellectual, and public policy demands confronting the world’s populations? Do you want to better understand the importance of sustainable development, international cooperation, human rights advocacy, and world peace? If you answered ‘yes’ to any of these questions, you should apply for the Graduate Minor in Global Studies through the Center for Global Studies!

As our world becomes increasingly more globalized and populated, it is crucial for the leaders of tomorrow to understand this emergence. Issues of shared concern across the globe must be confronted in order to maintain freedom, justice, security, and the environment. Businesses, governments, and universities are actively seeking employees with global studies backgrounds as free trade, population exchange, security concerns increase. Requiring only a total of twelve credit hours, this minor is a perfect addition to most graduate degrees. It is flexible with your future career needs, engaging twenty-five units across campus that supporting elective courses for Global Studies Minor students.

This minor is open to Masters and Doctoral students at the University of Illinois. More information can be found at the Center for Global Studies Graduate Minor website at: http://cgs.illinois.edu/academics/gradminor/

Complimenting discussion on this phenomenal graduate minor, our annual Fall Open House Reception and book launch took place Tuesday, November 15th . This reception, in honor of former Center for Global Studies Director, Ed Kolodziej, launched his new book, Governing Globalization: Challenges for Democracy and Global Society. A short review of his book can be found below.

Stay tuned to the CGS website for information on a symposium that is being planned from March 31 – April 1, 2017.

 


Reposted from the September 19th, 2016 ACDIS blog post.

Governing Globalization: Challenges for Democracy and Global Society—A Review

By: Lynne Rudasill, Global Studies Librarian and Associate Professor, University of Illinois Library

The articulation of the canon of global studies is an ongoing, and still incomplete, practical and intellectual exercise. In Governing Globalization: Challenges for Democracy and Global Society, Ed Kolodziej brings the tenets of Order, Welfare and Legitimacy (OWL) into the discussion of the effectiveness and legitimacy of democratic solutions to the governance of the global society.

Dr. K9781783487639olodziej, Emeritus and Research Professor of Political Science, is the founder and former Director of the Center for Global Studies and co-founder and former Director of the Program in Arms Control, Disarmament and International Security at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

This work begins with a description and development of the term “global society” as a means to characterize the transformations of the human condition brought on by globalization. With some kinship to Manuel Castells’ work on global governance, Kolodziej describes the key properties of the interconnected and expanding networks that are at play in the democratic global society.  Kolodziej also provides an exploration of the properties that distinguish earlier societies from the global society in which we live today. Kolodziej furthers his exploration with discussion of many of the non-state actors that are challenging traditional Westphalian notions of nation-states.  He discusses the contributions from Hobbes on Order, Marx and Smith on Welfare, and Rousseau on the imperative of Legitimacy as background. Next he situates the global state, the global market system, and popular rule and human rights as the autonomous structures of power in the global society under this framework.

 

Visit the ACDIS blog to read more!


For further reading on this topic, we suggest the following:

Castells, Manuel. 2000. The rise of the network society. Oxford: Blackwell Publishers.  Also online for Urbana campus community members.

Held, David. .2006. Models of democracy. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press.

Hobbes, Thomas. 1885. Leviathan; or, The matter, form and power of a commonwealth, ecclesiastical and civil. London; New York : George Routledge and Sons.

Marx, Karl. 1970 translation by S. W. Ryazanskaya. A contribution to the critique of political economy. Moscow: Progress.

Rousseau, Jean-Jacques. 1913 ed. The social contract & Discourses. London: J.M. Dent & Sons.

Smith, Adam. 1818. An inquiry into the nature and causes of the wealth of nations. Hartford: Cooke & Hale.

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What the Trump Era Could Mean for Librarians and Educators – Historical Reflections on Promoting Tolerance, Intercultural Understanding, and Global Perspectives

Originally published November 18th, 2016
Reposted from Glocal Notes, a blog from the International and Area Studies Library

By: Steve Witt

Protesters in front of former Chicago Public Library and Grand Army of the Republic Hall, Chicago, Illinois, November 11, 2016

Protesters in front of former Chicago Public Library and Grand Army of the Republic Hall, Chicago, Illinois, November 11, 2016

Regardless of political affiliation, the recent elections in the United States have left many educators and librarians wondering how to make sense of what appearsto be a dramatic political shift that impacts both our ideas of knowledge and notions of tolerance, multiculturalism, and global perspectives. This is not the first time we’ve experienced this kind of societal challenge, and a historical perspective may provide guidance regarding the challenges educators, librarians, and funding agencies that focus on fostering global and intercultural perspectives may face.

In a recent op-ed piece, Benjamin Soskis, historian of philanthropy at the Center for Nonprofit Management, Philanthropy and Policy at George Mason University addresses how philanthropists and foundations might need to adjust to changes in the political landscape and apparent lapses in support for both rural populations and others disconnected from the global economy[i].  Soskis’ analysis pointedly looks back to the challenges and activities of 20th Century philanthropy programs that broadly addressed educational issues in the US.  Soskis also alludes to the need to support dialogue and understanding that counters worldviews focused narrowly on national needs and skepticism of international entanglements.

Soskis’ look back at the 20th Century is prescient in the observation of a focus on the educational needs of rural Americans but also in pointing to political parallels to what the United States may be facing.  Edward Kolodziej, Emeritus Professor of Political Science at the University of Illinois, recently noted in a lecture on global governance that global politics may be moving back to a model last seen in the 1920’s.[ii]

Bookplate from International Mind Alcove program

Bookplate from International Mind Alcove program

In 1918, the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace (CEIP) partnered with educators and libraries to promote what we would now consider global perspectives and intercultural understanding.  Through what were called International Mind Alcoves the CEIP freely distributed books aimed to encourage cosmopolitan thinking across the globe in order to foster the social and economic conditions for peace.[iii]  During the program’s 40 year history, the alcoves grew from a group of small, informal, book collections to a well-funded and highly organized operation. These books were used to promote learning about international relations and cultures and to influence people to realize their “duties, rights, and obligations” as humans within an international system.[iv] Beginning in 1918 and ending in 1948, the International Mind Alcove program established 1,120 adult collections and 447 juvenile collections in mainly rural US public libraries, plus additional collections throughout Europe, Latin America, the Near East, and Asia.

The notion of the “International Mind” was promoted heavily by the CEIP’s chairman of the Division of Intercourse and Education, Nicholas Murray Butler. The overall aim of this work was to replace nationalism with internationalism by nurturing perspectives that transcended political boundaries. This type of advocacy falls within Akira Iriye’s definition of cultural internationalism and the “variety of activities undertaken to link countries and people through the exchange of ideas and persons, through scholarly cooperation, or through efforts at facilitating cross-national understanding”.[v] Central to cultural internationalism is the idea that the key to a sustained peace is cross-cultural knowledge engendered by education and exchange. In the early and mid 20th Century, this new form of internationalism focused on the growing sense of a “global community in which all nations and people shared certain interests and commitments”.[vi]

The International Mind Alcove program’s history reveals an often complicated and controversial relationship between education movements, society, and funding agencies. Just as current debates focus on the authority of knowledge and the confusing distribution of propaganda and false news through social networking platforms, early and mid 20thCentury information dissemination generated debate about the value and power of knowledge in the public sphere.  For example, in Harlingen, Texas, the Public Library board debated the need for “more books on Americanism” as a way to “combat the spread of communism” in an article that also noted “an interesting report on the popularity of the International Mind Alcove collection”.[vii]

The role of knowledge and media in the juxtaposition of Americanism and internationalism also featured heavily on Capitol Hill.  In a series of Congressional speeches Massachusetts Representative George Tinkham, who was skeptical of internationalism, warned that “the manipulation of public opinion from sources which do not represent the general public will become the poisoned cup from which the American Republic will perish.”  Tinkham called for “a congressional investigation of the propaganda methods of the CIEP and its allies [to] . . . insure preservation of American independence and American neutrality”.[viii]  By the early 1950’s, these educational programs were again under fire. Through House Resolution 561, the 82nd US Congress investigated whether or not tax-exempt foundations were misusing their funds to support activities that countered national interests. The committees were charged with conducting a “full and complete investigation and study of educational and philanthropic foundations and other comparable organizations which are exempt from Federal income taxation to determine if any foundations and organizations are using their resources for purposes other than the purposes for which they were established, and especially to determine which such foundations and organizations are using their resources for un-American and subversive activities; for political purposes; propaganda or attempts to influence legislation”.[ix]  The Chicago Daily Tribune, which had long been critical of internationalist programs, editorialized that “huge foundations in the country have been diverted into propaganda for globalism, including international communism”.[x] On the other hand, the New York Times, editorialized on the “dangers to freedom of scholarship, research and thought that lie half-hidden between the lines” of the committee’s investigation.[xi]

There is a clear historical connection between the continued debate between worldviews and the pendulum may be swinging once again toward nationalism and isolationism.  It is also apparent that educators and librarians continue to play a key role in helping communities navigate differences in worldviews amidst a media environment that inspires distrust in knowledge and the existence of multitruths. What lies ahead is unknown.  It is clear, however, that our work to provide opportunities for cultural engagement and to promote a critical understanding of the media and knowledge production are as important now as a century ago.


 

[i] Opinion: New Realities for Philanthropy in the Trump Era. (2016, November 10). Retrieved November 18, 2016, from https://www.philanthropy.com/article/Opinion-New-Realities-for/238379/

[ii] See: Kolodziej, E. A. (2016). Governing globalization : Challenges for democracy and global society. London: Rowman & Littlefield International.

[iii] See: W, W. S. (2014). International Mind Alcoves: The Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, Libraries, and the Struggle for Global Public Opinion, 1917–54. Library & Information History, 30(4), 273–290. https://doi.org/10.1179/1758348914Z.00000000068

[iv] Butler, N. (1923). ‘The Development of the International Mind.’ Advocate for Peace, 85 (1923), p. 344–45.

[v] Iriye, A.  Cultural Internationalism and World Order. (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1997), p. 3.

[vi] Iriye, A. Global Community: The Role of International Organizations in the Making of the Contemporary World. (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2002), p. 18.

[vii]  ‘Rotarians make gift to library.’ Heraldo de Brownsville. October 16, 1938, p. 5.

[viii] Tinkham, G. H. (1933). ‘Nicholas Murray Butler’s Attitude ‘Seditious’. Milwaukee Sentinel, February 26, 1933.

[ix] US Congress. House. Special Committee to Investigate Tax-Exempt Foundations. Tax-exempt Foundations: Hearings before the Special Committee to Investigate Tax-Exempt Foundations and Comparable Organizations. 83rd  Congress. (US Government Printing Office, 1954), p. 1.

[x] Fulton, W. 1951. ‘Foundations Wander into Fields of Isms: Divert High Aims; Probe Planned Diverted to Globalistic and Red Propaganda.’ Chicago Daily Tribune, October 15, 1951, p. 1.

[xi] ‘Foundation Inquiry.’ New York Times, December 11, 1952.

This entry was posted in Culture, Global Events and tagged foundations, globalism, globalization, intercultural education, international studies, nationalism, Peace by swwitt@illinois.edu.

About swwitt@illinois.edu

Steve Witt is associate professor, Director of the Center for Global Studies, and Head of the International and Area Studies Library at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Witt is also editor of IFLA Journal (http://ifl.sagepub.com/). His research focuses on the trajectory and impacts of international developments in library and information science, placing global trends in librarianship and knowledge production in the context of wider social and technological developments.

 

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Honorary Ambassador Wonder Woman

Courtesy of UN.org and DC

Courtesy of UN.org and DC

The famous comic book character, Amazonian princess, fighter of evildoers, and undisputed role model Wonder Woman turns 75 on Friday, October 21st. In conjunction with the 70th birthday of the United Nations on October 24th and in an effort to meet its sustainable development goals (Goal 5 of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals, “Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls”), Wonder Woman will be named an honorary ambassador for the empowerment of women and girls for gender equality.

In many ways, her appointment makes sense. “Wonder Woman is the epitome of the woman who needs a man the way a fish needs a bicycle…She is self-sufficient and strong and fights for equality and justice” (Friedman, 2016). She is a model for female independence. Framing the designation as powerful, inspiring and bold, DC and the WB are promoting this campaign with the new hashtag #WithWonderWoman — notably similar to a certain presidential campaign slogan, #I’mWithHer. 

However, her appointment is not entirely without controversy. In our particular political and social climate, some see this famous super hero as a scantily clad women, encouraging male fantasies of hyper-sexuality. Additionally, her sexual orientation is provocative to some parties. Protests are looming with some arguing that Wonder Woman’s outfit destroys the headway the women’s rights movement has made in looking beyond a woman’s body and clothing for her value as a human being. But, as Vanessa Friedman of the New York Times notes, Wonder Woman is inseparable from her clothing. It represents everything that is special about her, in addition to encouraging women to dress in whatever way that makes them feel comfortable, special, and empowered; whether than be in a sackcloth, loose jeans and button-up shirts, or a tight leather corset with a flowing skirt and combat boots.


“She may not be using her sexuality as a weapon (She has bracelets and gold lasso for that), but it’s nonetheless making a statement”

-Vanessa Friedman, NY Times, 2016


When asked how Wonder Woman would be portrayed as an ambassador, Nicola Scott, the artist behind the most current incarnation of Wonder Woman, noted, “the goal was to create a noble and strong look, while still maintaining Wonder Woman’s approachability and global appeal. While her look is contentious, her reputation and empowering persona still shine bright for all to see.” (Friedman, 2016)

 

Sources:

Canna, Michael. “Wonder Woman is named honorary U.N. ambassador. But not everyone is happy about it.” The Washington Post, 21 October, 2016. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/comic-riffs/wp/2016/10/21/wonder-woman-is-named-an-honorary-u-n-ambassador-but-not-everyone-is-happy-about-it/

Friedman, Vanessa. “Is it Time for Wonder Woman to Hang Up Her Bathing Suit?” The New York Times, 20 October, 2016. http://www.nytimes.com/2016/10/20/fashion/wonder-woman-75-un-honorary-ambassador-fashion.html?_r=0

The United Nations. Stand Up for the Empowerment of Women and Girls Everywhere. Accessed 21 October, 2016. http://www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment/wonderwoman/

 


Books:

Cole, William. 1956. Women are wonderful! A history in cartoons of a hundred years with America’s most controversial figure. Boston: Houghton Mifflin.

Inness, Sherrie A. 1999. Taught girls: women warriors and wonder women in popular culture. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press.

Robinson, Lillian S. 2004. Wonder women: feminism and superheroes. New York: Rutledge.

Spar, Debora L. 2013. Wonder women: sex, power, and the quest for perfection. New York: Sarah Crichton Books.

Articles:

Avery-Natalie, Edward. 2013. “An Analysis of Embodiment Among Six Superheroes in DC Comics.” Social Thought & Research 32, 71-106.Howell, Charlotte E. 2015. “‘Tricky’ Connotations: Wonder Woman As DC’s Brand Disruptor.” Cinema Journal 55, no. 1: 141-149.

Crossette, Barbara. “In 2016, The UN Will be Transformed. Will that be Enough to Bring it Back to Life?.” Nation 302, no. 2/3 (January 11, 2016): 12-17.

Pennell, Hillary, and Elizabeth Behm-Morawitz. 2015. “The Empowering (Super) Heroine? The Effects of Sexualized Female Characters in Superhero Films on Women.” Sex Roles 72, no. 5-6: 211-220.

 

 

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Globalizing Campuses at Community Colleges and MSIs: Illinois Opens Up the Conversation in a New Program

by Zsuzsánna Magdó with Donna C. Tonini

Reposted from the OCCRL blog post published on September 27, 2016

Community colleges and minority serving institutions (MSIs) are crucial partners in the comprehensive internationalization of K-16 education. These institutions provide instruction for nearly half of undergraduates in the country, with community colleges enrolling over 44 percent of college-going African Americans and 56 percent of Hispanic students (Ma & Baum, 2016, p.5), with MSIs enrolling more than 58 percent of minority students (Li, 2007, p. vi). Yet, as the recently released Global Diversity and Inclusion Benchmarks for Higher and Tertiary Education remind, comprehensive internationalization necessitates the adoption of sustainable models, the improvement of institutional performance, and campus-wide dedication to the holistic development of globally competent students.

This July the Center for Global Studies at the University of Illinois opened doors for faculty and international education leaders from ten community colleges and two four-year minority-serving institutions (MSIs) from New Jersey to California. The Fellows who participated in the inaugural Global and Area Studies Summer Research Lab met colleagues, mined resources, and explored initiatives on the Champaign-Urbana campus. Their goal? To create sustainable pathways to global learning for their students through new courses and programs. As community colleges and MSIs have been impacted by the global economy and increasing flows of information technology and culture, they have adapted their institutional behavior and campus culture, often more by necessity than by choice (Levin, 2002). In addition, the gradual shift in the U.S. population from a white majority to a minority majority has been echoed across college campuses, where the percentage of college students who are minority has been increasing (Snyder & Dillow, 2015, p. 378), alongside a surge in enrollment from international students (IIE, 2015). These enrollment trends have remade college campuses into more culturally plural institutions, heightening the importance of expanding cultural literacy, worldviews and global knowledge for students and faculty alike. The Global and Area Studies Summer Research Lab Fellows, acknowledging the increasing engagement with other cultures and the growing impact of global forces, recognized the importance of embedding global content in courses, curricula and programs to assist in the internationalization efforts of their campuses. According to one Fellow, “watching new films and gathering potential readings for a new class amounted to a mini-graduate course.” As another related, “what I found really beneficial was meeting different faculty from a variety of disciplines, discussing my topic, and exploring connections.”

The Summer Lab is a joint initiative between the International and Area Studies Library, the Center for Global Studies, and University of Illinois area studies centers. Designated “Title VI National Resource Centers (NRCs)” by the U.S. Department of Education, these centers have the mission to enhance teacher training and instruction in less commonly taught languages as well as in interdisciplinary area and global studies for the benefit of underrepresented and underserved students. This mission serves community colleges, as the last round of Title VI NRC funding increased opportunities for collaborative programming with two-year institutions. Prior to the Global Area Studies Summer Research Lab, Title VI funds from University of Illinois NRCs supported post-secondary outreach to community colleges and minority-serving institutions in partnership with the Midwest Institute for International and Intercultural Education, a consortium of two-year colleges. The Center for Global Studies also joined other University of Illinois NRCs in providing curriculum and professional development opportunities for faculty and cultural immersion activities for students at Parkland College in Champaign. The Global and Area Studies Summer Research Lab expands upon such existing programs. It opens up opportunities for new synergies in postsecondary outreach by welcoming instructors, librarians, and international higher education leaders from across the country to explore resources at the University of Illinois.

The task of globalizing campuses involves intricate processes that are packed with challenges at every step. With this in mind, we ask our readers, how can initiatives like the Global and Area Studies Summer Research Lab create integrated programs for comprehensive internationalization? Moreover, what resources are needed to more effectively foster diversity and inclusion at community colleges and MSIs?

To share your thoughts, comment here or send your feedback to occrl@illinois.edu.

  • Institute of International Education (IIE). (2015). International student enrollment trends, 1948/49-2014/15. In Open Doors report on international educational exchange. Retrieved from http://www.iie.org/opendoors
  • Levin, J. S. (2002). Globalizing the community college: Strategies for change in the twenty-first century. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.
  • Li, X. (2007). Characteristics of minority-serving institutions and minority undergraduates enrolled in these institutions (NCES 2008-156). National Center for Education Statistics, Institute of Education Sciences, U.S. Department of Education. Washington, DC. Retrieved from http://nces.ed.gov/pubs2008/2008156.pdf
  • Ma, J., & Baum, S. (2016). Trends in community colleges: Enrollment, prices, student debt, and completion. College Board Research Brief. Retrieved from http://trends.collegeboard.org/sites/default/files/trends-in-community-colleges-research-brief.pdf.
  • Snyder, T.D., & Dillow, S.A. (2015). Digest of education statistics 2013 (NCES 2015-011). National Center for Education Statistics, Institute of Education Sciences, U.S. Department of Education. Washington, DC. Retrieved from http://nces.ed.gov/pubs2015/2015011.pdf

The Center for Global Studies would like to thank Dr. Heather L. Fox, Assistant Director of Operations, Communications, and Research at OCCRL and Dr. Vance S. Martin, Instructional Designer at Parkland College, for their participation and support of the Global and Area Studies Summer Research Lab.

Dr. Zsuzsánna Magdó  developed the GAS-SRL while serving as Program Assistant at the Center for Global Studies. She can be reached at zmagdo2@illinois.edu.

Dr. Donna C. Tonini is the Assistant Director at the Center for Global Studies. She can be reached at toninil1@illinois.edu.

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