This article examines continuities between territorial colonization (including identity distortion and resistance) and similar processes currently at work in cyberspace. What parallels are there between the spread of Western empire and cultural hegemony (and theories of indigenous regeneration) and the visualization, parcelization, and dominance of virtual space? What continuities are there between the battle for identity among the colonizer and colonized and the blurring of identity in cyber-realms? Will the mapping of cyberspace be significantly different from the “imaginative geography” used to rationalize Western globalization and the spread of corporate networks, developmentalist discourses, and settler communities?
The potential, and the dangers, of attempts to create a transformatory politics based on ecocentric identity are the focus of this article. As a prelude to assessment of competing approaches to ecocentric identity from the perspectives of ecofeminism and bioregionalism, the functions of human identity and the dynamics of identity construction are considered, as are the circumstances under which identity can be politicised. It is argued that, in promoting ways of living in the world which are both ecologically sound and socially just, great care must be taken to avoid the dangers of particularism and ethnic exclusion potentially associated with an ecocentric identity.
The transition from the 20th century to the 21st century is still characterized by geopolitical fluidity and socio-economic effervescence that tend to challenge the sovereignty of the developing state both from below and above. Violent conflicts and economic dislocation, among other factors, assail the integrity of the developing state, thereby impelling hegemonic actors to intervene in order to contain the negative and dysfunctional aspects of globalization. The objective of this article is to utilize arguments and perspectives from neo-Gramscian analysis, World Systems approach, and the neo-Marxist literature to show that the developing state’s sovereignty is being assailed by factors that derive from crisis in politico-economic systems, especially in developing countries. Overall, the analysis underscores the dialectic tensions between the transcendental/universalizing trend of globalization and the self-preservative/affirming interactions between state and society in developing countries.
This essay proposes a new method of understanding non-Western societies’ responses to Western political ideas and religions. While the two main existing explanations of non-Western responses to the West can account for why non-Western societies accept or refuse Western cultures, both fail to address how Western and non-Western cultures interact with each other. This failure keeps the two dominant approaches from facilitating powerful and realistic understandings of non-Western societies’ responses to Western cultures. This article proposes an alternative approach rooted in Gadamer’s hermeneutical theory. This proposed alternative view directly addresses the interaction between Western and non-Western cultures, and holds that such interactions can be effectively explained by looking into the ways non-Western societies’ intellectuals perceive and receive Western cultures. This new Gadamerian perspective leads to a better model of non-Western societies’ attraction to, repulsion from, and incorporation of Western cultural elements.