Nassar, Jamal R. Globalization and Terror: The Migration of Dreams and Nightmares.
The book deals with one of the most critical topics of our time. The author dissects globalization through the concepts of interdependence, liberalization, universalization, westernization, and capitalism. He shows the relationship of globalization to violence and advances a coherent definition of terrorism (that includes actions by governments) based on material reality. Terrorism is perceived "in a complex political context" (p. 18). Central to the theme is the thesis of "the migration of dreams" as a consequence of cultural and technological globalization and "the migration of nightmares" as a consequence of global violence and terrorism. Here, violence is understood in broad terms: colonialism, transnational corporate exploitation, and the US imperial project are all faces of violence and terror.
The author looks at the root causes of terror and considers that globalization has increased the gap between rich and poor, which, in turn, has enhanced the prospects of violent responses. State-sponsored terrorism also has enhanced those prospects.
The case of Palestine demonstrates the relationship between globalization and terrorism. The book discusses both Israeli and Palestinian violence and points out signs of hope, in the midst of tragic developments, in the form of the globalization of non-violence.
Other cases (Ireland, American-Colombian terror, the Russian-Chechen conflict, and the Congo) are discussed in one chapter, while another is dedicated to Middle East Islamist terrorism. A main issue that emerges from all of those examples is that ending oppression and domination would go a long way to ending terrorism.
A takeoff from the main thesis is how globalization and terror transform "the migration of dreams" into nightmares. Globalization has contributed to the migration of dreams from rich to poor countries, which, in turn, has contributed to the migration of nightmares from poor to rich ones. US domination of globalization and its refusal to cooperate with the world community to improve humanity's situation has contributed to the growth of anti-Americanism and with it the vicious cycle of the migration of dreams and nightmares. As a preventive measure, the author calls for an approach to globalization that baptizes it with universal legal and ethical standards bereft of violence and terror.
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|Publication:||Arab Studies Quarterly (ASQ)|
|Article Type:||Book Review|
|Date:||Sep 22, 2005|
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