Global Societies Journal (GSJ) at UCSB is a peer-reviewed and open-access journal that explores and analyzes globalization and global-scale issues from a variety of perspectives and disciplines. GSJ encourages innovative approaches that bridge social sciences and humanities, and seeks to open up new conversations that speak to contemporary global issues. The journal addresses a diversity of social, cultural, political, economic, environmental, and legal issues with a holistic perspective that aspires to further our understanding of the contemporary societies. Global Societies Journal has published a wide range of articles on a variety of topics since 2013.
Volume 2, 2014
Global Studies Journal Volume 2 (2014)
The growth of the coffee industry over the last 20 years has led to expanding global coffee markets. During this time, consumer product awareness has increased the demand for higher quality products. Coffee has been a leading export of many developing countries due to their fertile growing regions and availability of cheap labor. The creation of the Fairtrade Labelling Organization has led many to believe the coffee they are consuming is contributing to development in these products countries of origin. Recent studies show that the push towards fair trade coffee production has had little impact on the goals the organization seeks to achieve. An alternative model, Direct Trade, is increasingly becoming more popular with roasters and has proven to have a more relevant impact on individual farmers and villages it sources coffee from.
Despite being the fifth largest religion in the world, Sikhism continues to be misunderstood. This research looks at the diaspora of Sikhs, specifically from Punjab to the United States of America. The goal is to illustrate the components of their experience – when, why, and how they came, along with reasons why Sikh struggles have eventually developed into triumphs. It is clear that a focus on community has been an overarching theme of their resolute success. However, that community has experienced nuances of division within itself, due to developing relationships with tradition that inevitably follow diaspora and modernization. Misplaced strife faced in the aftermath of 9/11 is also examined. Research was drawn primarily from academic writings and articles, government documents, a joint study by the Stanford Peace Innovation Lab and Sikh American Legal Defense and Education Fund, and personal interactions with Sikhs. By understanding the Sikh Diaspora, one is able to view a case study of where globalization, tradition, and modernization meet.
Closing the Gap: How the U.S. Education System Could Close the Economic Gap between Developed Countries
This paper analyzes the United States education system and how it has recently declined in comparison with other developed countries. The impending results of this lack of educational quality contribute to a possible shortening of the economic gap between the United States and other developed countries. Many nations in the world, though quite strong economically, have GDPs that currently fall behind the United States by a vast amount. However, with the change in education rankings, comes a likely a change in economic rankings in the future. This development could possibly close the gap between developed nations’ GDPs, demonstrating the effect that the United States education system potentially has on the global economy.
Indigenous people in the U.S. and Canada define self-determination as the right to be recognized as an autonomous nation with international status free from paternalistic intervention by settler-state governments. The discourse on Native self-governance suggests that self-determination can be best realized through Native centered practices and logics. Mohawk scholar, Taiaiake Alfred, argues that chief among them is the regeneration of Native lifeways and spiritual practices. The work of Andrea Smith cautions us to recognize how the self-determining subject is in itself a racial project wherein the Native subject is always aspiring to be “fully human.” In contrast, Smith argues that true liberation could be realized by negotiating an alternate definition of personhood that is constituted in and through our beings. Alfred theorizes a form of self-determination that is based on the regeneration of religious lifeways, which, I argue, express the ‘radical relationality’ that Smith describes. This article tethers the work of these two scholars to suggest that Native-centered negotiations of self-determination can only be understood through Indigenous ontological logics and religious lifeways.
In the wake of Russia’s annexation of the Crimean Autonomous Republic, some scholars and analysts of international relations rushed to proclaim the inauguration of the new world order. In this paper, I argue that such claims are mistaken and groundless. Further, Russia’s actions in the peninsula do not represent a stratagem of geopolitical expansion and pose no implications for the global balance of power. Of course, Russia’s annexation of Crimea was in severe violation of international law. Nevertheless, only careful and informed analysis of the political coup that ousted the government of Yanukovych and familiarity with Crimea’s history can illuminate one’s understanding of the causes of the territory’s decision to secede from Ukraine’s authority and reunite with Russia.
The Battle for Development: Economic Growth versus Institutions, Fighting for Long-term Sustainable Outcomes
The globalization process, accelerated through technology proliferation, has “brought about profound changes in the international context [and] could have far-reaching implications for development” according to Deepak Nayyar. He argues a myth exists advocating the spread of globalization and global economic wealth convergence; however, globalization is uneven and a sharp divide between rich and poor countries persists. For example, during the 1980s and 1990s poverty increased in most Latin American, Caribbean, and Sub-Saharan African countries. However, not all developing nations have stagnated, some have experienced high sustained economic growth rates. Both China and Botswana have been hailed as such examples in the developing world while some of their neighbors, notably Mongolia and Zimbabwe, have had more trouble. This begs the question, why have some developing countries achieved development while others have not? To begin to address this question, one must look at various development models and case studies. Before trying to achieve rapid economic growth, it is critical that nations have strong institutions embedded within state infrastructure to ensure long-term sustainable development.