Santa Barbara, CA 93106–2150, Campus Location Other leaders of academic programs assert that they are providing training in “global leadership,” giving potential leaders of transnational organizations and movements the understanding and skills that will help them to solve problems and deal with issues on a global scale. There are moments in history—such as in the ancient Mediterranean world during the Roman and Greek Empires—when there was a great deal of transnational activity and interchange on economic, cultural, and political levels. Global studies is transnational. The Global Studies major requires students to choose a concentration and a geographic region in which to become an expert. European colonialism during the 19th and 20th centuries provides another example of a global stratum of culture, education, technology, and economic activity upon which are based many aspects of globalization in the 21st century. Global studies is both contemporary and historical. _______ Scholars involved in global studies are found in all fields of the social sciences (especially sociology, economics, political science, and anthropology) as well as the humanities, including history, literature, religious studies, and the arts. Global studies is the interdisciplinary study of political, economic, legal, ecological and cultural interconnectedness. Thus to understand fully the contemporary patterns of globalization it is necessary to probe their historical precedents. In common usage, however, many transnational phenomena are described as international, as in the description of some environmental issues as being international when the phenomena themselves—such as global warming—are transnational (though the responses to them may involve an international collaboration among nations). Global studies is transnational. Although many aspects of contemporary globalization are based on European colonial precedents, most global studies scholars do not accept uncritically the Western-privileged patterns of economic, political and cultural globalization. The five key defining characteristics of the field are as follows: Global studies tend to be postcolonial and critical. This very question has been discussed by the Global Studies Consortium, an international organization of graduate programs in global studies. The term “cultural regions” is meant to apply to associations of people bound together by a common language, religion, and heritage that are defined within a particular geographical area … The postcolonial perspective of global studies is one that is viewed from many cultural perspectives. For that reason scholars of global studies sometimes speak of “many globalizations,” or “multiple perspectives on global studies.” This position acknowledges that there is no dominant paradigm or perspective in global studies that is valued over others. Mark Juergensmeyer is Professor of Global Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara, MC 2150 At one of their recent meetings, the representatives agreed upon five aspects of their programs that all of them shared in common, and which distinguish global studies from international, area, comparative, or similar fields. Academic programs in global studies often advance an additional criterion for programs in global studies: helping to foster a sense of global citizenship. What’s more, increased political, social, and economic globalization is also expanding the various career optionsfor adept professionals in this field. This essay is adapted from an essay on global studies for The Encyclopedia of Global Studies (Helmut Anheier and Mark Juergensmeyer, co-editors; Victor Faessel, managing editor) published by Sage Publications.
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