Thursday, March 12, 2020

Nationalism vs. Cosmopolitanism Essays

Nationalism vs. Cosmopolitanism Essays Nationalism vs. Cosmopolitanism Essay Nationalism vs. Cosmopolitanism Essay The continuing phenomenon of globalization has caused scholars to recognize distinctions and ultimately relationships between the global and local in the context of social, political and cultural affairs. â€Å"Cosmopolitans and Locals in World Culture† by Ulf Hannerz approaches an understanding of the relationship between cosmopolitanism and locality in the world through the lens of the individual, while Mary Kaldor’s â€Å"Cosmopolitanism Versus Nationalism: The New Divide? addresses the conflict between the application of cosmopolitanism in the political arena and notions of new nationalism. Together these articles suggest the seemingly oppositional forces of global and local are interdependent and recognize the declining influence of the nation-state and territorial boundaries as means for identity. Hannerz asserts cosmopolitanism as a perspective or approach to grappling with meaning, and addresses the views assumed by cosmopolitan individuals. Cosmopolitans seek to engage and participate with other cultures, for â€Å"the perspective of the cosmopolitan must entail relationships to a plurality of cultures understood as distinctive entities† (Hannerz 239). Hannerz claims cosmopolitanism as an orientation towards diversity, such that the individual experience can be characteristic of several different cultures. In experiencing different cultures, the cosmopolitan seeks contrast not uniformity. This mind-set, as Hannerz suggests, requires a kind of competence in which the individual attains the â€Å"personal ability to make one’s way into other cultures, through listening, looking, intuiting and reflecting† (Hannerz 239). This cultural competence is required for integrating oneself into a foreign system of affairs and engaging in a particular culture. In addressing the cosmopolitan’s competence with regard to foreign cultures, Hannerz points out a paradoxical relation between notions of mastery and surrender. While a cosmopolitan may piece together separate cultural experiences to shape his own perspective, Hannerz affirms a cosmopolitan must surrender to all the elements of an alien culture in order to truly experience it. Thus a sense of mastery comes from surrendering cultural origins, for â€Å"cosmopolitan’s surrender to the alien culture implies personal autonomy vis-a-vis the culture where he originated† (Hannerz 240). This implies that the cosmopolitan may disengage from his culture of origin to engage in alien cultures and vice-versa. This engagement differentiates from that of a tourist. While tourists act as spectators to a culture, cosmopolitans refute the notions of tourism and seek participation. Hannerz asserts a cosmopolitan’s dependence on locals. He introduces the concern that the emergence of a world culture will result in the homogenization of the global resulting in the loss of local culture. However, Hannerz contends that cosmopolitans, like locals, carry a shared interest in cultural diversity and the preservation of local culture. Yet, in order for cosmopolitans to engage themselves in alien cultures, these cultures must be willing to accommodate them. An interdependent relationship exists, therefore, between cosmopolitanism and locality, in which locals must accommodate cosmopolitans and cosmopolitans seek to preserve cultural diversity. Mary Kaldor characterizes globalization as a reorganization of power, which places emphasis on the global and local while undermining the influence of the nation-state. Kaldor points out the shift from vertically organized cultures, which were determined by territory and religion, to horizontally organized cultures that emerged from transnational networks. This process of globalization creates inclusive transnational networks of people and, in doing so, it leaves out the expansive majority. In terms of economic effects, globalization has caused the supply of products to be based on demand and not territorially based mass production. Kaldor asserts this economic shift has caused â€Å"global and local levels of organization [to] have grown in importance while national levels of organization, associated with an emphasis on production, have correspondingly declined† (Kaldor 44). Globalization has caused a transition from emphasis on nation-state level collaboration to global and local levels of collaboration. Kaldor asserts the growth of transnational institutions has promoted direct links between local and global efforts. Local and regional politics have influenced formal and informal forms of cooperation between separate countries, such as eco-friendly initiatives to recycle and control waste. Also, Kaldor notes that nongovernmental organizations have played a role in bypassing national governance to promote humanitarian efforts. These NGOs â€Å"are most active at the local and transnational levels partly because these are the sites of the problems they are concerned with and partly because the formulation of national policy remains the closely guarded province of nationally organized political parties† (Kaldor 45). Despite NGOs having little influence over national governments, national forms of government are increasing transnational links and, as a result, government organizations are decentralizing and becoming more horizontally organized. Kaldor addresses the notion of new nationalism as a response to globalization, which affirms the weakening influence of nation-states. This notion of new nationalism presupposes â€Å"a renewed commitment to existing nation-states and a rediscovery or reinvention of past greatness and past injustices† (Kaldor 48). Kaldor asserts a â€Å"we-them† distinction in which â€Å"we† identifies a common culture and â€Å"them† identifies a foreign enemy on the basis of military threat or separate ethnicity. This new nationalism comes from a reaction to the weakening legitimacy of political classes and a reaction to globalization by virtue of the â€Å"new legal and illegal ways of making a living that have sprung up among the excluded parts of society† (Kaldor 49). This new nationalism is used as a form of political mobilization, yet historically the use of nationalism as a source of political mobility has proven to be a cause of corruption. Kaldor explains that since globalization generates efficiency and high productivity through technology and concern of local demand, the unemployment rate among factory workers has risen. This creates resentment to notions of globalization by the unemployed and, thus, the desire for nation-state protection of jobs. Kaldor asserts this is counter-productive and suggests a solution in which a â€Å"transnational layer of governance†¦would co-exist with other layer[s] –national, local, and regional† to protect local communities and help with problems such as pollution, violence and poverty (Kaldor 54). Kaldor claims that resting political power in the forum of nation-states is inefficient since nation-states have become impotent. While Mary Kaldor provides a focused social/political account of cosmopolitanism and Hannerz offers an account centered on individual experiences, both articles affirm the mutual relationship between notions of cosmopolitanism and locality. Kaldor claims â€Å"the divide between cosmopolitanism and nationalism [which] can be interpreted as a contest for the post-nation-state political order –between those who favor a new diversity of transnational, national and local forms of sovereignty and those who want to build fractional territorial fiefdoms† (Kaldor 56). Both authors agree on the merits of promoting international networks and refute the arbitrary drawing of territorial lines to empower nation-states and instead favor the empowerment of transnational processes that place emphasis on relations between the local and global. Bibliography Hannerz, Ulf. 1990. â€Å"Cosmopolitans and Locals in World Culture† Theory, Culture, and Society 7:237-251. Kaldor, Mary. 1996. â€Å"Cosmopolitanism vs. Nationalism, The New Divide? † from Richard Caplan and John Feffer, eds. Europe’s New Nationalisms: Stats and Minorities in Conflict. Oxford University Press. 42-57.

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