Samuel Huntington published to some a prescient ‘Clash of Civilizations…” in 1996 as if to predict the ominous 9/11 in 2001 and more of the same happening now in nooks and corners of the world. At the other end of the spectrum, fall of Berlin Wall in 1989 prodded Francis Fukuyama to declare the ‘end of history’—in his words…”end point of mankind’s ideological evolution”. That liberal democracy and Western Capitalism ultimately trumped all other isms including Communism. Both the events and authors’ assessments seem incomplete, their mandates and conclusions flawed. It has neither been the ‘end of history’ nor a well-knit ‘clash of civilizations’ yet! Rather we are witnessing a much more complex world, where Local issues overwhelm the Global and Global issues do not find a Universal one-size-fits-all modern solutions. The processes of Local vs. Global are in full display.
It may seem that some authors in this panel like the ones on technology and power, seem to not have the 'conceptual coherence'. The core theme of this panel is 'identity' at the nexus of global and local concerns. The overall focus of the panel is Glo-cal that is Global and Local imperatives as they affect the identity of individual, ethnic group and State at large. Technology and power are major themes as they impinge and impact the common person. Both the authors of technology and power seem to be disparate in their approach but in fact they are addressing the same local vs. global needs that other four authors of the panel are addressing. How does technology empower the local person who wants to do business via his cell phone and/or broadband in local language? And at the other end of spectrum does a local ethnic group like 'Paraja tribe' be the microcosm of issues confronted by global paradigm like that of the State?
Both Lyotard and Foucault address the need of exposing the repression of 'Global' of the 'Local' from modern to post-modern times and the panel addresses as to how this repression can come out in the open at the level of both local and global implicated in identity issues of the 21st century.