Cultures and/of Globalization, edited by Barrie Axford and Richard Huggins, evolved out of the GSA conference of the same name held at Oxford Brookes University in 2008. The conference “aimed to draw attention to what might be called the soft features of globalization and globality” (Axford and Huggins 2011, 1).
This book explores the ways in which study of culture as the realm of meaning and identity can inform current debates about globalization and thus afford greater understanding of emergent globalities. By drawing on a range of disciplinary and sub-disciplinary expertise from across the social sciences and also promoting areas of cross-disciplinary research, the book contributes to the development of theory on globalization and also provides some significant illustrations of (cultural) globalization in practice through attention to novel empirical sites and issues. These include eminently cultural realms such as music, film and architecture and those that are invested with a strong cultural component, such as migration and education. Contributions emphasise the soft features of globalization and globality and most look to marry theoretical abstraction with everyday aspects of global processes, focusing on those routine and sometimes conscious connections and accommodations that make up daily life in a globalized world. In doing so, the book itself can be seen as a contribution to critical and multidimensional studies of globalization and as engaging in a form of global practice.
Global Ethics and Civil Society, edited by Darren O’Byrne and John Eade, was an outcome of one of the three summer GSA conferences that took place at Surrey Roehampton between 2002 and 2004. These were organized by Darren O’Byrne, John Eade and others following the first series of GSA conferences held at MMU. Global Ethics and Civil Society grew out of the 2002 conference of that name at Roehampton.
This detailed and timely volume examines the impact of global transformations on concepts of civil society. Divided into two sections, it evaluates changing notions of ethics and how these transformations are operationalized. The first part deals with the theoretical aspects while the second examines the practical impact of the evolution of global ethics and norms on society. Providing solid case studies, this accessible volume contributes to the theoretical literature in the field and will prove a useful library reference work or graduate reader in the areas of globalization, civil society, ethics, human rights, citizenship and cosmopolitanism.
Communities Across Borders, published in 2002 and edited by Paul Kennedy and Victor Roudometof, was one of the two books which resulted from the very first conference run by Paul Kennedy at MMU in 1999. The idea for the GSA came directly out of this conference. With advice and support from academics such as Robin Cohen, Darren O’Byrne, John Eade and Barrie Axford, Paul Kennedy set up all the background procedures for forming a new association. The 2000 conference at MMU was used as an official launch for the new association. By the time the book was published the GSA had been up and running for over a year.
Communities across Borders examines the many ways in which national, ethnic or religious groups, professions, businesses and cultures are becoming increasingly tangled together. This is as a result of the vast flows of people, meanings, good and money which now migrate between countries and world regions. Now the effectiveness and significance of electronic technologies for inter-personal communication (including cyber-communities and the interconnectedness of the global world economy) simultaneously empowers even the poorest people to forge effective cultures stretching national borders, and compels many to do so to escape injustice and deprivation.
Another book which came out of the 1999 conference at MMU was: Globalization and National Idenitites: Crisis or Opportunity?, edited by Paul Kennedy and Catherine Danks, published by Palgrave in 2001. The founding conference was in 1999 from which the book Globalization and National Identities evolved.
Drawing on original research from social scientists working on twelve countries, this book explores the key issues faced by nations and citizens as they struggle to rediscover, reaffirm or reconstruct their sense of national identities in the face of globalizing forces. Some nations and peoples experience the fragmentation of once certain identities as threatening and likely to generate political and social breakdown. Others encounter globalization as a challenge which brings uncertainties but also opportunities for adaptation, the evolution of hybrid identities or new forms of protest.
The special issue was an outcome of the ERC Seminar Series award won in 2003 (R451265188). It was led and applied for by Paul Kennedy (then GSA chairperson). It was entitled, ‘Towards a Global Society’ and involved seven conferences which ran between 2003 and 2005.
The aim behind the ESRC seminar series was to boost the GSA as a fledgling association and it was successful in drawing in some very important academics.
Special Issue: Borders and Networks in the Global System. Edited by Barrie Axford.
Volume 4, Issue 3, 2007