Global Civil Society

Topics: Human rights, Civil society, Foreign policy Pages: 25 (7394 words) Published: March 5, 2013
Global Civil Society

New York University
School of Continuing and Professional Studies
M.S. Program in Global Affairs
GLOBI-GC 1050.001
Spring 2013
Wednesdays, 9:30-12:10 pm
Woolworth 237
February 6 – May 10

Professor Colette Mazzucelli, MALD, EdM, PhD
(212) 992-8380 (Global Affairs Program)

Pedagogical and Technological Assistance to Dr. Mazzucelli

Miss Nadiya Kostyuk
Mrs. Janeska Soares Sadowski
Mr. Sam Tyler Powers


Course Description: This course analyzes and assesses the emergence of new political and social activities, which have developed beyond traditional experiences and parameters of the nation state. In this learning community, we question the definition of “Global Civil Society,” particularly as identified with non-governmental organizations (NGOs). Developments in communications technology and social media since the end of the Cold War lead us to examine the ways in which novel, unprecedented interactions developed outside hierarchies in traditional organizations thereby empowering individuals with agency in global affairs and offering diffuse networks a role in social protest movements around the world, particularly in the Middle East.

Course modules explore the interplay between local experiences and the indigenous quest for voice to articulate narratives that relate context specificity and the nascent minimal consensus emerging around what constitutes global civil society. Modules are designed around local experiences with the struggle for gender equality, human rights in contested elections in which violence ensues, efforts to address HIV-AIDS as a local and global health concern, as spearheaded by Ekta Transglobal, domestic violence in developing counties, local initiatives by community leaders of the Baha’i Faith that demonstrate transnational societal activism to combat mass poverty as part of the adherence to world federalist principles, the struggle for democracy and pluralism in Iran, the impact of crowd sourcing and crisis mapping implicating members of civil society across borders on advocacy efforts in Haiti and by Amnesty International in Syria, the influence of the International Coalition of Sites of Conscience project as this speaks to the legacy of the Revolutions of 1968, local experiences in national societies in Europe as responses to the global financial crisis, and environmental activism demonstrated in mapping within the neighborhoods of New York City, as linked to global resource awareness. Of particular interest are the rise of new societal actors and the development of new forms of organizational behavior.

Each module references theory and history in our analysis and inquiry this spring term. A number of modules reference the emergence of crisis mapping and Geospatial Information Systems (GIS) using technology platforms that facilitate crowd sourcing and illustrate uses of mapping and satellite imagery analysis as instruments to monitor potential human rights abuses during presidential elections, to address global health issues notably the HIV-AIDS pandemic, in non-governmental organization (NGO) advocacy work during natural disaster relief efforts, and in environmental activism that originates in local communities as one response to concerns that have a much broader global resonance.

Course Objectives: Students are encouraged to focus on the following goals in the learning process:

• To translate civil society as a European term into other “languages” in order to grapple with and question its meaning, in the age of citizen activism via crowd sourcing and social media, particularly its invention on a much broader scale in the construct “global civil society” • To analyze the meaning of the “right to belong” and the ability “to feel at home,” as identified by Duyvendak, amidst the influences of the gender revolution and increased mobility due to...
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