Thursday, July 12, 2007

Conflicts and Tensions, Volume I in The Cultures and Globalization Series

Conflicts and Tensions, edited by Helmut K. Anheier (Center for Civil Society, School of Public Policy and Social Research, UCLA) and Yudhushthir Raj Isar (The American University of Paris) is the first title in The Cultures and Globalization Series, devoted to the economic and political consequences of globalization.

Analyzing the relationship between globalization and cultures is the core objective of this volume. In it leading experts track cultural trends in all regions of the world, covering issues ranging from the role of cultural difference in politics and governance to heritage conservation, artistic expression, and the cultural industries. --back of book description

Each volume in the series will include a suite of Indicators--"innovative information graphics" to convey information about various cultural phenomena across the globe. The suite is breathtaking visually and for all the information it conveys in this section qualifies the title as a reference book (and thus will have a home in ASC Reference). Visual representations of time spent watching television by country, the reach of Disney (and many other transnational cultural organizations) across cultures, languages of the web, telephone traffic flows in Europe, Latin America and Asia, growth in broadband use and internt use in general, per cent of world public wireless access points, blogs by region, growth in number of blogs and hosting sites, movie attendance, film investment, radio and television station comparisons are just some of the pages I pored over. The suite has a media section from which a lot of these examples come but it also includes other indicator sections on human rights, terrorism, current conflicts between nations, piracy, trafficking, tourism, transportation, patents, diplomacy, and others.

The article From Violence to Discourse: Conflict and Citizens' Radio Stations in Columbia, by Clemencia Rodriguez and Amparo Cadavid appears in a previous (less visual) section of the 600+ page volume.

The logic behind the series is that promoting understanding between cultures, in this and subsequent volumes, serves in the interest of peace. I'll be keeping an eye out for forthcoming volumes.

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