Listen to Coronavirus Patient Zero
The rise of the new major powers in the global system has attracted considerable attention. This has focused on the emergence of Brazil, Indian Russia and, above all China, and the consequences for both the global balance of power and the nature of international relations. In addition to these national powers we are witnessing a proliferation and intensification of regionalism. The rise of regional blocs such as the EU, MERCOSUR and ASEAN is bringing a new component to the global system. As these regional groupings seek to establish relations with major powers and with each other, they not only become global actors in their own right, but also create a new level of interaction, that has been termed 'interregionalism'. This paper explores the nature, extent and implications of the emergence of this new form of international relations.
The spread of Islam around the globe has blurred the connection between a religion, a specific society, and a territory. One-third of the world's Muslims now live as members of a minority. At the heart of this development is, on the one hand, the voluntary settlement of Muslims in Western societies and, on the other, the pervasiveness and influence of Western cultural models and social norms. The revival of Islam among Muslim populations in the last twenty years is often wrongly perceived as a backlash against westernization rather than as one of its consequences. Neofundamentalism has been gaining ground among a rootless Muslim youth -- particularly among the second- and third-generation migrants in the West -- and this phenomenon is feeding new forms of radicalism, ranging from support for Al Qaeda to the outright rejection of integration into Western society.
In this brilliant exegesis of the movement of Islam beyond traditional borders and its unwitting westernization, Olivier Roy argues that Islamic revival, or "re-Islamization," results from the efforts of westernized Muslims to assert their identity in a non-Muslim context. A schism has emerged between mainstream Islamist movements in the Muslim world -- including Hamas of Palestine and Hezbollah of Lebanon -- and the uprooted militants who strive to establish an imaginary ummah, or Muslim community, not embedded in any particular society or territory. Roy provides a detailed comparison of these transnational movements, whether peaceful, like Tablighi Jama'at and the Islamic brotherhoods, or violent, like Al Qaeda. He shows how neofundamentalism acknowledges without nostalgia the loss of pristine cultures, constructing instead a universal religious identity that transcends the very notion of culture. Thus contemporary Islamic fundamentalism is not a single-note reaction against westernization but a product and an agent of the complex forces of globalization.
The growing interdependence on a global scale which characterizes the human condition at the turn of the century constitutes a challenge for both the mobilization of social movements and social movement theory. This volume makes an attempt to adjust the perspective of the "political process" approach to a world in which political opportunities, mobilizing structures, framing processes and collective action of social movements are no longer confined to national political contexts.
China Link Articles
China Link Books