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The Skill Revolution and Restless Publics in Globalized Space

  • James N. Rosenau

Abstract

To argue that individuals at the micro level are central to the course of events at the macro level of global politics is to evoke doubt and disbelief. Many analysts reject the proposition on the grounds that it does not really matter what individuals do at the micro level, that macro-level processes can be described, analyzed, and predicted without recourse to the conduct of citizens, that in world affairs the latter are, in effect, mere servants of the former. Put more elegantly, some contend that accounting for the behavior of citizens only completes our mental pictures of international politics by adding detail to our understanding of it. The attribution of causal power to individuals, such reasoning concludes, serves our moral consciences, but that is a far cry from servicing the requirements of cogent empirical inquiry.

Keywords

Collective Action Causal Power Political Arena World Politics Environment Orientation 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Notes

  1. 1.
    For an elaborate development of the argument that citizens are key variables in world politics, see James N. Rosenau, Turbulence in World Politics: A Theory of Change and Continuity (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1990).Google Scholar
  2. 1.
    Extensions of the argument are set forth in James N. Rosenau, ‘The Relocation of Authority in a Shrinking World,’ Comparative Politics, Vol. 24 (April 1992), pp. 253–72CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 1.
    James N. Rosenau, "Citizenship in a Changing Global Order," in Rosenau and E. O. Czempiel (eds), Governance without Government: Order and Change in World Politics (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1992), pp. 272–94.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    See Rosenau, Along the Domestic-Foreign Frontier: Exploring Governance in a Turbulent World (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1997).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    See Rosenau, “Material and Imagined Communities in Globalized Space,” a paper presented at the Conference on Internationalizing Communities: Australia, Asia and the World, convened at the University of South Queensland, Toowoomba, Australia (November 30, 1996).Google Scholar
  6. 8.
    For recent discussions of emotional skills, see Daniel Goleman,Emotional Intelligence (New York: Bantam Books, 1995)Google Scholar
  7. 8.
    Joseph LeDoux, The Emotional Brain: The Mysterious Underpinnings of Emotional Life (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1996).Google Scholar
  8. 9.
    Daniel Yankelovich, “You Can Argue with Einstein,” The Responsive Community, Vol. 1 (Winter 1990–1), p. 78.Google Scholar
  9. 10.
    For a provocative discussion of how elite perspectives may also prevent academics, journalists, public officials, and other observers from discerning how well citizens employ their analytic skills—“We perhaps have trouble taking citizens seriously because they do not theorize in the specialized vocabulary of theory”—see Manfred Stanley, “Taking Citizens Seriously,” Kettering Review, December 1990, pp. 30–8 (the quote is from p. 34).Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    That conceptual and methodological barriers inhibit adequate measurement of shifting levels of analytic skills is also evident in literacy research. See, for example, Daniel A. Wagner, “World Literacy Research and Policy in the EFA Decade,” in Symposium, “World Literacy in the Year 2000,” The Annals, Vol. 520 (March 1992), pp. 12–26.Google Scholar
  11. 14.
    See, for example, Jane Perlez, “All Walks of Life Protesting in Belgrade,” New York Times, December 31, 1996, p. A10.Google Scholar
  12. 15.
    Andrew Pollack, “Thriving, South Koreans Strike to Keep It That Way,” New York Times, January 17, 1997, p. Al.Google Scholar
  13. 16.
    Anthony DePalma, “Protesters Take to Streets to Defend Canada’s Safety Net,” New York Times, October 26, 1996, p. 3.Google Scholar
  14. 17.
    Molly Moore, "Fighting Wrongs with a Gridlock of Protests,"Washington Post, December 2, 1996, p. A18.Google Scholar
  15. 18.
    Cf. Rosenau and W. Michael Fagen, “Increasingly Skillful Citizens: A New Dynamism in World Politics?” a paper presented at the Joint Conference of the Japan Association of International Relations and the International Studies Association, Makuhari, Japan (Sept. 20–2, 1996).Google Scholar
  16. 22.
    James Brooke, “Britain and Japan Split With US on Species Pact,” New York Times, June 6, 1992, p. 1.Google Scholar
  17. 23.
    Michael T. Kaufman, “Yugoslav Denies Involvement of Belgrade in War in Bosnia,” New York Times, June 6, 1992, p. 1.Google Scholar
  18. 24.
    Barbara Crossette, “US Is Discussing an Outside Force to Stabilize Haiti,” New York Times, June 6, 1992, p. 1.Google Scholar
  19. 26.
    A cogent account of the many consequences that may follow when citizens are deprived of their political moorings can be found in Bruce Weber, “Many in the Former Soviet Lands Say They Feel Even More Insecure Now,” New York Times, April 23, 1992, p. A3.Google Scholar
  20. 26.
    For an inquiry into the same dynamics as they are unfolding in the United States, see Rosenau, “Citizenship Without Moorings: Individuals’ Responses to a Turbulent World,” a paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Sociological Association (Pittsburgh: August 23, 1992).Google Scholar
  21. 28.
    For lengthy discussions of the shifting meaning of territory and the notions of sovereignty that attach to it, see Rosenau, “The Person, The Household, The Community, and The Globe: Notes for a Theory of Multilateralism in a Turbulent World,” in Robert W. Cox (ed.), The New Realism: Perspectives on Multilateralism and World Order (Basingstoke: Macmillan, 1997), pp. 57–80Google Scholar
  22. 28.
    Rosenau, “Sovereignty in a Turbulent World,” in Michael Mastanduno and Gene Lyons (eds), Beyond Westphalia? State Sovereignty and International Intervention (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1995), pp. 191–227Google Scholar
  23. 28.
    John Agnew and Stuart Corbridge, Mastering Space: Hegemony, Territory and International Political Economy (New York: Routledge, 1995).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. 29.
    Self-centered citizenship is surely one explanation for the data amassed in Robert D. Putnam, “Bowling Alone: America’s Declining Social Capital,” Journal of Democracy, Vol. 6 (January 1995), pp. 65–78.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. 30.
    Cf. Rosenau, “Armed Force and Armed Forces in a Turbulent World,” in James Burk (ed.), The Military in New Times: Adapting Armed Forces to a Turbulent World (Boulder, Colo.: Westview Press, 1993), pp. 25–60.Google Scholar
  26. 31.
    For a discussion of other recent leaders who have resisted the lures of subgroupism, see Rosenau, “Notes on the Servicing of Triumphant Subgroupism,” International Sociology, Vol. 8 (March 1993), pp. 77–90.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. 32.
    Quoted in Celestine Bohlen, “‘What Country Do I live In?’ Many Russians Are Asking,” New York Times, June 14, 1992, p. 1.Google Scholar
  28. 33.
    Benjamin R. Barber, “Jihad Vs. McWorld,” Atlantic Monthly (March 1992), pp. 54–5.Google Scholar
  29. 34.
    Donald Woutat, “Detroit in Rearview Mirror,” Los Angeles Times, March 11, 1992, p. 1. Quoted is Gerald Hirshberg, former Buick design chief who is now Vice-president of Nissan Design International.Google Scholar
  30. 37.
    A cogent analysis of the emerging global role of social movements can be found in R. B. J. Walker, One World, Many Worlds: Struggles for a Just World Peace (Boulder, Colo.: Lynne Rienner Publishers, 1988).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • James N. Rosenau

There are no affiliations available

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