Volume 8, Number 2 (2017)
Welcome to Volume 8 Number 2 of the Journal of International and Global Studies. We continue to increase our subscriptions to this free open access online interdisciplinary journal. If you would like to subscribe to the journal, just click on the Subscribe tab below the journal title. We will be sure to send you the web link to the journal so that you can read and download the essays and book reviews in accordance with your interests. You will also provide us with a database so that we can draw on your expertise for peer reviewing essays for the journal.
This Spring 2017 issue features five essays from a variety of different disciplines, two Review Essays, and 14 book reviews on globalization topics (defined broadly), a predominant theme of the journal.
The lead essay is by Francis Onditi from the Department of International Relations at the United States International University-Africa. He is a policy researcher and advisor on civilmilitary affairs and has trained senior military officials drawn from the Sudanese Peoples Liberation Movement (SPLM). Onditi reflects on Galtung’s famed statement that the most intractable conflicts are driven by value and cultural differences. He utilizes the power-sharing model related to the research by the Netherlands political scientist Arend Lijphart on consociationalism to advance the timely debate on how devastating ethnic conflict and ethnic cleansing in South Sudan ought to be resolved. The power-sharing model was used for peace agreements in many other conflict areas including Northern Ireland. Onditi uses the case of ‘Good Friday Agreement’ in Belfast as a comparative ideal. Onditi notes how aspects of the power-sharing model has been embedded within the peace agreements of 2005 and the more recent one led by the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) of 2015. Despite this use of formal power-sharing agreements, the lack of a political architecture that could achieve consensus among the ethno-political parties is evident. Onditi indicates how the 2016 Fragile States Index placed South Sudan is ranked as one of the most high-risk countries for refugees, internally displaced people, group grievances, fictionalized elites, human rights, and state legitimacy. Unfortunately, as Onditi describes, the 2015 peace agreement in South Sudan has tended to reinforce the patronage and ‘big man’ politics and militarization of the tribal coalitions and the lack of recognition of human rights protections for many of the marginalized people, including women and children, who are the victims of this conflict. He concludes that a democratically-based model of power-sharing is not always a ‘one size fits all’ solution. Policy solutions need nuanced power-sharing with guarantees of democratic and protective policies for all the parties.
The second essay is by Seema Narain from the department of political science Deshbandhu College at the University of Delhi. Narain discusses the neglect of the problem of Eurocentrism within the field of International Relations (IR) with a focus on India. She discusses the various critiques of Eurocentrism by scholars within IR. Narain evaluates the IR programs at three major universities in Delhi; the University of Delhi, the Institute of Defense and Strategic Analysis, and Jawaharlal Nehru University to determine how indigenous Indian epistemologies are integrated with mainstream IR theories. She indicates that the use of Kautilya’s Arthashastra, widely known as producing a universal political epistemology, based on rich Indian traditional sources could go a long way to produce more effective IR educational and curricular projects. Narain asks whether Kautilya is an Indian Machiavelli or Machiavelli a European Kautilya. This would mediate the problems between a core and periphery and foster a more pluralistic IR.
The third essay is by Musibau Olabamiji Oyebode at the National Open University of Nigeria, Victoria Island in Lagos. He investigates the lack of a critical media when confronting the kleptocracy, greed, and corruption of the Nigerian elite. Oyebode uses a discourse analysis to evaluate and examine the Nigerian media in cases involving corruption. He describes corruption as a form of structural violence that deprives peoples of the basic necessities of life and inhibits economic and social mobility, except for the elite. But Oyebode also indicates that the Nigerian media and the fourth estate is somewhat involved in these corrupt practices. Government officials provide journalists with bribes in order to favor positive coverage. Following an illuminating discussion of the concept of corruption, Oyebode employs the American scholar A. Down’s famed Issue-Attention theory that explains the cycle of public attention to and perception of news issues. It tends to affirm that the public doesn’t remain focused on any one socio-political issue too long because the media continues to turn to new stories and problems. Oyebode describes the history of the media in Nigeria from early newspapers in the 1850s to radio broadcasting in the 1930s and then television in the 1950s. Though there were some instances of truly critical investigations of corruption by the some of the media, most of the current is described as sensationalistic junk journalism. Oyebode calls on professionals within the media to develop more fearless and unbiased reporting techniques including the shunning of bribes and involvement with corrupt people. This is a universal message for media throughout the world today in this populist atmosphere.
The fourth essay is by Matthew Mullen from the Institute of Human Rights and Peace Studies at Mahidol University in Thailand. Mullen presents a précis of his new book Pathways That Changed Myanmar that attempts to explain the military junta’s decision to move towards the recent political transition in Myanmar. His book provides what he refers to as a multidimensional understanding of this political process that resulted from many diverse sources. Mullen comments that there is no way of knowing or proving with definitive certainty the decisive factor in determining the events of this political transition. Referring to other works that deal with this political transition, Mullen suggests that his book does not necessarily contradict or challenge these sources, but rather adds to these prior analyses. He mentions the significant role of Aung San Suu Kyi as well as other grassroots democratic peaceful processes led by the Buddhist monastic order and civil society organizations, ethnic movements, and other forms of hidden everyday resistance that were important challenges to the junta. The sway of activist Western and global ‘Free Burma’ sanctions also influenced developments. But Mullen is careful not to position certain groups or peoples as inherently righteous in this transition. He notes how international critics and scholars have pointed to the inhumane and xenophobic treatment of the Muslim Rohingya by Aung San Suu Kyi and other Burmese actors.
The fifth essay is written by Fay Patel who is an international higher education consultant based in Australia. She writes about internationalization within higher education and views it as a western hegemonic and corporate agenda based on a modernization perspective. Patel suggests that international higher education needs to adopt a glocalization engagement framework (GEF) in order to promote inclusiveness and diversity as well as high quality learning. Summarizing how initial internationalization was traditionally focused on the recruitment and retention of international students and revenue stream by Western universities, which tended to neglect quality learning processes and indigenous voices, she provides a context and rationale for adopting a GEF. This glocalized learning process includes a pragmatic integration of indigenous local culture with global socio-economic, political, and environmental developments as a sustainable and proactive framework with mutually accepted norms that reduce prejudice and discrimination within higher education. Patel outlines the GEF as a means of changing a Western-based revenue enhancing model with a more open and equitable form of higher education with a deep level of intercultural communication and democratic dialogue among countries.
Volume 8 Number 2 also includes two Review Essays. Nima Baghdadi from the Department of Politics and International Relations, at Florida International University reviews two Routledge titles; Cordesman, A. H. Western strategic interests in Saudi Arabia London: Routledge, 2015 (originally published in 1987) and Saleh, L. US Hard Power in the Arab World: Resistance, the Syrian Uprising and the War on Terror. London: Routledge, 2016. Both works reflect on ‘soft and hard’ power by the U.S. in the Middle East. The other Review Essay is written by Tarique Niazi, Department of Sociology at the University of Wisconsin Eau Claire. He reviews two volumes edited by anthropologists; Vaccaro, Ismael, Krista Harper & Seth Murray (Eds.) The Anthropology of Postindustrialism: Ethnographies of Disconnection. New York: Routledge, 2016 and Hylland, Thomas Eriksen & Elisabeth Schober (Eds.) Identity Destabilised: Living in an Overheated World, London: Pluto Press. 2016. Both of these volumes are dealing with globalization issues and consequences throughout the world.
Volume 8 Number 2 also includes 14 book reviews dealing with global trends throughout the world; we intend to maintain this standard of generalized interdisciplinary readability for all of our essays and book reviews in future issues of our journal. We hope that you will subscribe to our journal to read future essays, review essays, and book reviews. We also invite you to submit essays, review essays, book reviews, and suggest possible book reviews for the journal.
Raymond Scupin, PhD Director: Center for International and Global Studies Professor of Anthropology and International Studies Lindenwood University Email: Rscupin@lindenwood.edu
Weak-kneed Media and Festering Corruption in Nigeria
Musibau Olabamiji Oyebode Ph.D.
Kingston, J. (Ed.). Critical Issues in Contemporary Japan. New York: Routledge, 2014.
- Chief Editor
- Raymond Scupin, Ph.D., Director: Center for International & Global Studies,Lindenwood University
- Associate Editor
- Ryan Guffey, Ph.D., Associate Director: Center for International & Global Studies, Lindenwood University
- Assistant Editor
- Joseph Cernik, Ph.D., Professor of Political Science & International Studies, Lindenwood University
- Assistant Editor
- Dale Walton, PhD, Associate Professor of International Relations