Hello [glocal] world!

Created by Mike Rundberg and edited by Muhammad Al-Waeli

The first blogpost in many blogs doesn’t differ much (in meaning) from this one:

Welcome to Malmö Högskola Blogg Sites. This is your first post. Edit or delete it, then start blogging!

I allowed my self to slightly modify the title that traditionally is “hello world” and change it to “hello glocal world”. After starting to study COMDEV, the concept of glocalization has become for me a new way of looking at the world, rather that just thinking of it as a global village. The interaction between global and the local, accelerated through the globalization processes, is what makes our world what it is today.

Eriksen (2005) says, “globalisation creates the conditions for localisation, that is various kinds of attempts at creating bounded entities –countries (nationalism or separatism), faith systems (religious revitalisation), cultures (linguistic or cultural movements) or interest groups (ethnicity).” And all this, the interaction between global and local, makes inequalities “visible, since direct comparison between the groups becomes possible.” (ibid).

Hence we could say that globalization is in fact also a trigger for social movements, specifically those related to identity politics. Eriksen (2005) puts it in very simple terms “the more similar we become, the more different we try to be.”

However I also think that globalization, with the help of communication and media, is making us sometimes more aware about our rights, social issues, and problem that we have not be aware of (being able to resolve ) previously, and gives us access to “role models” we could follow.

Take for example the developments in the Middle East since 2003. Before that, the Iraqi people were not thinking that Saddam’s regime was removable. So tight was his grip on the country and so unsupportive, if not assisting, was the standpoint of the international community towards the sufferings of Iraq’s people. In 2003 Saddam was removed by America’s collation. It seemed this confirmed the Iraqis view of Saddam being very hard to remove unless there is external help from abroad.

But around the same time, the media and communication revolution was increasing in momentum. The believe that it is impossible to have democracy in an Arab country was suddenly a myth. The whole world, but more specifically the Arab world, was watching through satellite channel and the internet, live, the removal of a ruthless regime and the establishment of a new democracy, maybe the first real democracy in the Arabic part of MENA. The Arab nations were watching that it is possible to remove a Middle East dictatorship, and that it is possible, even though hard, to have their own democracies.  So the Arab spring happened, using social media as a tool for creating and organizing social movements, and so was the experience of Tunisia copied in several other countries. If it was possible in Tunisia, why not in Egypt, Libya, Bahrain, Syria, or Yemen?

But exactly around the same time also, many ethnic groups and religious minorities started suddenly to demand for their right to exist, previously not a topic for the Arab Nation. Suddenly, there was no “we are all Arabs” and that’s it; there are Arab Sunnis, Arab Shiites, Arab Christians, Kurds, Copts, and many other ethnic and religious groups that need to express their identity, just like other groups do in democratic societies. Identity politics.

I expect some disagreement on my analysis, or the notion that is was not how it was supposed to happen (and I agree on that), but on the other hand the developments in the MENA region since 2003 are great examples on the concept of the glocalization, something that I can see and feel everyday, living in the new Middle East.

In this blog, David, Chris, Lidia, and I, try to talk about the issues of media, social activism, comdev all that in the context of a glocalized world. We hope that academics as well practitioners in comdev, media, activism, and social change will find some useful posts here.

Enjoy reading!


Eriksen, T. H. (2005). How can the global be local? Islam, the West and the globalisation of identity politics. In O. Hemer & T. Tufte (Eds.), Media and Glocal Change. Rethinking Communication for Development (1st ed., pp. 25–40). Nordicom.



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