Understanding globalization and its impact requires going beyond geography and exploring a range of phenomena, according to a series of essays that appear in the latest issue of Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa, and the Middle East (vol. 26, no. 1, Duke University Press). Guest edited by Ali Mirsepassi, interim dean of New York University’s Gallatin School of Individualized Study, the journal’s essays carve out a terrain of ideas which tries to make sense of existing conditions that include economics, terrorism, and gender roles, among other issues.
“The prevailing view of globalization in predominantly economic terms has contributed to the neglect of the highly significant cultural aspects which, politically interwoven as they are within the public sphere, constitute a considerable social force which is open to variations on both the best and the worst of what modernity has to offer,” Mirsepassi, author of Intellectual Discourse and the Politics of Modernization and Democracy or Truth?, writes in the journal’s introduction.
The journal’s contents also offer potential roadmaps for addressing contemporary political and military circumstances. For instance, in an essay titled “Globalization and Inequality,” Notre Dame’s Fred Dallmayer, a political theorist, argues that in an age of democratization when global politics is increasingly infiltrated by democratic demands, a global order cannot depend upon power politics and must base itself upon a standard of justice and democratic legitimacy.
The Gallatin School of Individualized Study is a small innovative college within New York University. Gallatin gives students the opportunity to design a program of study tailored to their own needs and interests. The key to Gallatin’s educational approach is its close supervision of the student’s course of study by its faculty advisers. Students pursue individual interests by taking courses in the various schools of NYU, engaging in self-directed education through independent studies and participating in experiential learning through internships at New York City’s countless institutions, businesses, and arts organizations. Undergraduates experience a thorough grounding in the history of ideas and great books, and graduate students pursue advanced study in interdisciplinary modes of thought.