Xavier Rambla Sociologia

Altre lloc Blogs.uab.cat

Archive for juliol, 2011

jul. 25 2011

Complex geographical scales of mining

Although it has a much longer history than the current global transformations, mining provides a very salient illustration of the complex rescaling this very globalisation entails. Notably, it relies on a local site, endows national states with a large fiscal basis, and underpins a new global industry, but mostly, the new globalised social field of the mining industry is featured by local and global developments.

Thus, mining is not only local insofar as minerals are located in a particular site, but also because its environmental impact is basically experienced at a local scale. For instance, specialisation in the sector, economic crisis, water pollution, environmental conflicts and the path of social changes in the US state of Montana provide a good example (see Jared Diamond’s “Collapse”).

Further, mining often entails a resource curse for many countries where the monetary and the political consequences of sudden mineral wealth have been mid-term stagnation, sharp inequality and impoverishment. However, the institutional articulation of mining and social policy has also contributed to strengthen the previously strong Norwegian state; it has been decisive to supply funds for social expenditure in democratic Chile too. Then, the outcome of conflicts at this national scale plays a critical role.

Mining corporations have gone global in order to manage their huge financial costs, to compensate for their important risks, and to avail of growing emergent economies. Compared to oil and gas, these corporations are quite negligent at cleaning their waste and improving their methods in order to counter environmental damage. Actually, many end in bankruptcy because they cannot surmount the consequent insurance costs.

But the same comparison between oil, gas and mining highlights a hypothetical explanation. Whereas the distribution chain of oil and gas is short and very visible, the distribution chain of minerals is much longer and more difficult to perceive. For this reason, mining corporations seem to be immune to transnational advocacy (see Jared Diamond’s “Collapse”, chapter 15).

Therefore, the political economy of mining is simultaneously a local, national and global phenomenon whose social relations are currently being rescaled in two ways. On the one hand,  companies are increasingly operating at the global scale in order to respond to huge financial needs and to avail of emergent demand. On the other hand, political action is not effective at this very global scale because the articulation of this sector with public policies remains a national phenomenon, and because transnational advocacy cannot easily show the link between consumption and the environmental effects of mining.


No hi ha comentaris

jul. 23 2011

Planificación educativa global, regional, estatal, local, escolar…

Las investigaciones sobre la globalización han mostrado sobradamente su carácter pluriescalar. Los agentes sociales actúan en las escalas globales por encima del estado, pero también a través de varias escalas; y los estados participan en todo ello de varios modos (vésase Saskia Sassen y Susan Robertson, p.ej.)

Uno de los nuevos fenómenos de este tipo parece ser la proliferación de planes educativos internacionales. Además del Programa de Educación para Todos, coordinado por UNESCO, destacan la Estrategia 2020 de la Unión Europea y las Metas Educativas de la Organización de Estados Iberoamericanos Además, varios países emergentes que tienen una organización federal han adoptado la misma herramienta de política educativa para coordinar a todas la autoridades educativas de su territorio: Brasil, China, India y Unión Sudafricana.

En los últimos meses este proceso parece haber influido en la reconstrucción de varios países tras las revueltas en los países árabes. Al menos, la OEI ha firmado un acuerdo con la Liga Árabe para la Educación y la Cultura que apunta en este sentido.


No hi ha comentaris