Trans Internet-Zeitschrift für Kulturwissenschaften 16. Nr. April 2006

15.1. Transnational Activism, (Cyber-)Cultural (Re-)Presentations and Global Civil Society
Herausgeber | Editor | Éditeur: On-Kwok Lai (Kwansei Gakuin University, Japan)

Dokumentation | Documentation | Documentation

Report: Transnational Activism, (Cyber-)Cultural (Re-)Presentations and Global Civil Society

On-Kwok Lai (School of Policy Studies, Kwansei Gakuin University, Japan)

Section Brief:

The social consequences of economic globalization are chaos: from the point of view of the political Left unbridled capitalism does produce effects of exploitation of the weak and socio-ecological degradation, and for the political Right the malignant forces of globalization engender xenophobia, the destruction of local people’s jobs, culture, language and hence identity.

Against the problematic globalization project, the anti-globalization campaigns become the main (re-)presentation of new identity politics and global citizenship. Thanks to the Internet and mobile telephony, the annual May 1st anti-globalization demonstration against global capitalism in major cities around the world is a core part of the anti-globalization processes. Their messages and representations are loud and clear that the present mode(s) of the WTO/G8/World Bank sponsored global project is not just and fair for many people in the developing world, as well as those underprivileged in the developed countries, and that a healthy cultural reproduction is endangered.

This section attempts to examine aspects and processes of transnational activism, social mobilization logics and dynamics, with specific reference to the new cultural (re-)presentations and (re-)productions in constituting the global civil society, as well as the new identity building for the social activists’ global citizenship.


Section Report and Introductory Remark:

During the IRICS conference, there were five presentations which were later revised in the present form. All presentations highlight the new cultural re-presentation of people, cultural reproduction and the constitution of global citizenship and civil society, in a new hyper-modernity, with the full utilization of information and communication technologies (ICT). The obvious consequences are the trans-national, trans-cultural and cross-border critical engagements of social activists and learners in this new epoch of modernity.

Three presenters (Abe, Graf and Lai) focused their case on the use of new media (Internet and other forms of information and communication technologies) in mobilizing activists in trans-national protests against the globalizing forces and business interests; whilst papers from Apek and Wong address different ways of inter-cultural learning in Asia and (Arabic) Israel, respectively.

Obviously shown in the various case studies presented by authors of this edited panel of discussion, there are three major emerging trends of socio-cultural and political development: cultural re-presentation and the reproduction of cultures are no longer national and regional, but mediated by a whole array of trans-national, trans-cultural and cross-border articulations by activists, as well as by the institutional framework of the neo-liberal economics ideology-driven globalization project under the auspice of global economical institutions like IMP, World Bank and WTO.

The (anti-)globalization project(s) offer both challenges and threats for human civilization, beyond the economic and financial beneficiaries as mooted by international economic institutions. Papers presented in this panel highlight the differential reception, critical engagements and processes towards an unknown future of social destiny, yet all of the presentations indicate the hope for the governance of these processes if full participation of social agencies is guaranteed by socio-polity; and the processes of (anti-) globalization require the stewardship of human values and ethics, as well as normative articulations.

© On-Kwok Lai (School of Policy Studies, Kwansei Gakuin University, Japan)

15.1. Transnational Activism, (Cyber-)Cultural (Re-)Presentations and Global Civil Society

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For quotation purposes:
On-Kwok Lai (School of Policy Studies, Kwansei Gakuin University, Japan): Report: Transnational Activism, (Cyber-)Cultural (Re-)Presentations and Global Civil Society. In: TRANS. Internet-Zeitschrift für Kulturwissenschaften. No. 16/2005. WWW:

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