Wednesday, December 20, 2006

New Zealand and Globalisation

Reproduced below is the outline of the second of the Continuing Education courses I'm offering at Takapuna Grammar next year (you can read the other outline on this page). If you have nothing to do on week nights in February and March and would like to a) contribute to my beer fund for 2007 and b) give me an excuse not work on my PhD for a few weeks, then please sign on the dotted line.

'Globalisation' is a fashionable word, but what exactly does it mean? This introductory lesson examines the competing ways that social scientists like Anthony Giddens and Noam Chomsky, journalists like John Pilger, and politicians like Tony Blair have used the concept of 'globalisation' to try to make sense of the increasing integration of the global economy and the rise of supra-national institutions like the International Monetary Fund and the World Trade Organisation.
Key lectures include:

New Zealand and globalisation

A quarter century ago New Zealand had one of the most protected economies and culturally homogenous societies in the world. Today, the economy is mostly owned offshore, by American and Australian companies, and immigration has changed the face of the population dramatically. How did it all happen?

New Zealand and the Pacific in a globalised world

New Zealand once boasted a Pacific Empire that included Samoa, Niue, and the Cook Islands. Today it is once again heavily involved in the internal affairs of small island neighbours, thanks to its role in the RAMSI mission in the Solomons and repeated military interventions in East Timor. What is new and what is traditional in this country's present-day role in the Pacific region? Are we recolonising the Pacific, or doing something new and more positive?

Globalisation and immigration

Immigration has become a hot topic in New Zealand, as immigrant communities make an increasingly noticeable contribution to our cultural and economic life. This lesson looks at the ways that new communities have organised and expressed themselves, and examines the discussions their increasing visibility has prompted. The debates over Islamic head dress and the supposed pressure of immigration on Auckland's infrastructure are considered.

Kiwis and Yanks in the twenty-first century

New Zealand has enjoyed an ambiguous relationship with the United States. New Zealand has longstanding defence ties and increasingly close economic ties with the US, but the issue of nuclear ship visits and disquiet over some aspects of US foreign policy have sometimes strained relations between Washington and Wellington. The prospect of a US trade deal has divided New Zealanders, with some believing the deal will be an economic bonanza and others fearing US economic domination and the 'Americanisation' of Kiwi culture. This lesson considers how close the relationship between New Zealand and the US is today, and where it is headed.

Kiwis and Aussies in the twenty-first century

The recent controversies over the parentage of members of the Kiwis and Kangaroos rugby league teams reflects the close contacts between Australia and New Zealand. Like many people on both sides of the Tasman, a number of league stars have deep connections to both countries through family, residency, and work. But increasing economic integration and two-way immigration have not obliterated the sense of rivalry between Australia and New Zealand, in sport and in many other areas of life. What is the future of trans-Tasman relations? Does the integration of the Australasian economies make political union inevitable? Is the relationship between the two countries one of equality, or are New Zealand complaints of Australian domination justified?


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