World Scholars to Debate Globalization, War, and Justice

Wednesday, April 2, 2003 - 16:00
Santa Barbara, CA

More than 150 scholars, public intellectuals, and global-justice activists from around the world will convene at the University of California, Santa Barbara May 1-4 for a conference to discuss the ramifications of globalization on war and peace, business, social justice, academe, domestic politics, international law, and indigenous cultures.

The conference, "Towards a Critical Globalization Studies: Continued Debates, New Directions, and Neglected Topics," includes debates and panel discussions and will be held in University Center meeting rooms.

The sessions are free and open to the public.

Conference participants will examine the major social, political, and cultural issues raised by an increasingly interdependent world community, according to UC Santa Barbara conference organizers sociologist Richard Appelbaum, professor of global studies and director of the Institute for Social, Behavioral, and Economic Research, and sociologist William Robinson, professor of global and Latin American studies.

One objective of the conference is to "re-examine and recast the emerging fields of global studies in the social sciences, environmental sciences, and humanities, looking at research, as well as pedagogical and policy implications and potential impact on the larger society," Appelbaum said. Another objective, according to Robinson, is to explore "existing and potential bridges between global studies and the process of globalization as it is approached in diverse political systems, national and international policymaking communities, the global-justice movement, and other social and advocacy movements."

"High on the minds of participants will be the current war in the Middle East and how the study of globalization may help people better understand issues of war, peace, justice, and world order in the new century," added Robinson.

In this regard, Tariq Ali, Pakistani-British novelist, playwright, publisher and social critic, will deliver a keynote address titled "War and Peace in the 21st Century: Will the American Consensus Hold?" That talk is scheduled for Thursday, May 1, at 7 p.m.

Among the other notable participants are:

·Luis Macas, Ecuador's Minister of Agriculture and leader of that country's

indigenous movement;

·Saskia Sassen, member of the U.S. Council on Foreign Relations and University of Chicago professor of sociology;

·Walden Bello, leader of the World Social Forum and former member of the Phillippine Parliament;

·Njoki Njehu, director of the Washington D.C.-- based "50 Years is Enough" campaign;

·Anita Roddick, founder of the global company The Body Shop whose business' mission statement begins "...dedicate our business to the pursuit of social and environmental change."

·Susan George, director of the Amsterdam-based Transnational Institute and vice President of ATTAC France.

Among the planned cultural events is a screening of Lourdes Portillo's Oscar-nominated documentary "Senorita Extraviada: The Fate of 200 Women," on Saturday, May 3 at 8 p.m. in Corwin Pavilion.

The film, which tells the story of the more than 200 kidnapped, raped, and murdered young women of Juarez, Mexico, will be followed by an audience discussion with the filmmaker.

The event is also free and open to the public.

Former California state Senator, Tom Hayden will give a plenary address, "The Global Justice Movement at the Crossroads," on the conference's last day, Sunday, May 4 at 10 a.m. in Corwin Pavilion.