The three crises of globalisation seen from an anthropological perspective
The research literature on various dimensions of globalisation is enormous, yet this project constitutes the first major attempt to weave disparate empirical strands together within a shared conceptual framework, namely that of crises resulting from the acceleration and intensification of global processes. Three major crises of globalisation are to be explored and analysed.
• In the realm of environmental issues/climate change, the quest for transnational legal arrangements ensuring sustainability is counteracted by continued growth in the factors leading to environmental crises.
• In the financial and economic realm, the vulnerability of the global system became apparent during the recent financial crisis, which continues to send ripples through economies worldwide.
• In the area of culture contact and cultural sustainability, tensions and frictions with strong elements of identity politics intensify owing to increased interaction and resource competition, at the same time as calls for cosmopolitan values and universalisation of human rights constitute attempts to overcome conflicts.
A key term is sustainability in the sense of reproductive capability, and the main research question is to what extent contemporary world society is sustainable in relation to the three crises and their internal dialectics. The project entails in-depth ethnographic studies in five continents, global surveys (drawing chiefly on extant research literature) and systematic comparison.
This interdisciplinary and comparative project, based mainly on anthropological approaches, aims to build theory and analyse empirical processes shedding light on, and creating a fuller understanding of, the transitions characterising the present world.