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Lecture for first year anthropology students at Monash University

Paul Mason

on 16 April 2018

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Transcript of Nationalism

In 1922, Sir Percy Cox, the High Commissioner of Iraq, was negotiating with Iben Saud, the King of Saudi Arabia, to determine the border between the two countries. Cox proposed a fixed line through the desert. Saud wanted the boundaries to remain fluid and open. In the event, as an eye-witness account records, “Sir Percy took a red pencil and drew in… a boundary line.” That line had calamitous consequences, as trade was stymied and the local economy collapsed. “The simple idea of drawing a line on a map was completely alien to those nomadic cultures,” says Prof Brotton. “Much of the trouble we now have with Iraq is to do with those artificially imposed Western boundaries.”

Andrew Pettie (2010) Maps - the new rock’n’roll, Telegraph.
Benedict Anderson defines nation as "an imagined political community - and imagined as both inherently limited and sovereign" (1983).

The nation is 'imagined' in the sense that members of a nation "will never know most of their fellow-members, meet them, or even hear of them, yet in the minds of each lives the image of their communion" (Anderson 1983). In effect, print capitalism allowed for the emergence of anonymous reading publics.
Do we vote by our actions at the ballot or do we vote with our wallet?
Who have you voted for today?
The Invention of Tradition
Ca trù is a musical genre found in northern Vietnam. It was once played in opium dens and brothels but is performed for tourists in Hanoi as a 'traditional religious music genre'. In September 2009, Ca trù became officially recognised by UNESCO as an Intangible Cultural Heritage in Urgent Need of Safeguarding.
Ho Chi Minh, born Nguyen Tat Thanh (1890-1969), was the Vietnamese Communist leader and principal force behind the Vietnamese struggle against French colonial rule.
Between 2001 & 2006 the FBI reported 300 cases of crime on board cruise ships in International waters.
The Spratly Islands are located in International Waters in the South China Sea. Vietnam, Brunei, Taiwan, the Philippines, Malaysia and China have all tried to make claim to the islands. The UN recognises the islands as being under Vietnamese control.
The seas between Australia and Indonesia are potentially resource rich in terms of fishing resources, hydrocarbons, oil and gas. They are of strategic importance to Australia because sixty per cent of Australia’s exports pass through these seas. Since the late 1960s, Australia and Indonesia have conducted a number of negotiations about maritime boundaries.
If you calculate the total amount of money spent on Australian athletes and the total number of medals won at the Olympics, then it turns out that each silver and gold medal costs $40,000,000 Australian dollars and each bronze medal costs $15,000,000 Australian dollars.
Festa de Iemanjá
Mirpur, in Kashmir, is known to many as Little Britain
In the 2010 British elections, people with dual nationality in Mirpur were allegedly being asked to blindly sign proxy voting forms
3% of the people in the world currently reside outside of their home communities or countries of citizenship.
Is the legitimacy of the democratic rule of a nation-state undermined if a section of the voting population is abroad?
Transnational crime exists where criminal activity is :
committed in more than one nation state
committed in one nation state, but a substantial part of its preparation, planning, direction or control takes place in another state
committed in one nation state but involves a criminal group that engages in criminal activities in more than one state
committed in one nation state, but has substantial effects on another nation state
United Nations Convention Against Transnational Organised Crime, 2000, Article 3, paragraph 2.
Transnational Crime
In an address to the UNGA on its 50th anniversary, President Bill Clinton called for international cooperation to address the threat posed by money laundering, narcotics, trafficking and terrorism, noting that the forces of international crime “jeopardise the global trend toward peace and freedom, undermine fragile democracies, sap the strength from developing countries, (and) threaten our efforts to build a safer, more prosperous world.”
Under PDD 42 (United States Presidential Decision Directive No. 42), “International Organised Crime”, 1998, President Clinton declared:
International crime a threat to the national security interests of the United States
(Bill Clinton, U.S. President, 1993-2001).
Transnational Crime
In the Report of the Secretary- General’s High-level Panel on Threats, Challenges and Change entitled, “A more Secure World: Our Shared Responsibility”, 2004:
Transnational organised crime was identified as one of the six clusters of threats with which the world must be concerned
(Kofi Annan, UN Secretary-General, 1997-2007).
Transnational Crime
Transnational Crime
Illegal Markets/Commodities
Money Laundering
International narcotics trade
Illegal trade in arms
Vehicle theft and rebirthing
Human smuggling
Sex Trafficking
Trade in body parts
Diamonds, gemstones and gold
Tobacco smuggling
Smuggling of flora and fauna
Theft of art and cultural objects
Theft of intellectual property
Bush meat trade/illegal poaching
Cybercrime/computer crime
First National Security Statement to the Australian Parliament, 4 December 2008:
Transnational crime – such as trafficking in persons, drugs and arms; people-smuggling and the illegal exploitation of resources – will remain a continuing challenge to Australia’s security and law enforcement agencies in protecting Australian citizens, both at home and abroad
Transnational crime can undermine political and social institutions, inflict economic and personal harm or contribute to other forms of violence
Organised crime more broadly is a growing concern for Australia, one the Government is determined to combat
Role of the Commonwealth in combating serious and organised crime
(Hon Kevin Rudd, MP, Prime Minister of Australia, 2008-).
Transnational Crime
Transnational Crime
In the context of globalisation and technology trends, Transnational Crime capitalises upon:
International travel and transportation
Changing nature of state sovereignty
Developments in communications, etc.
Changes induced by globalisation
Uneven development
The emergence of mega-cities
Rising Expectations of the population
Sophistication of criminal organisations
Increase in corruption
LE resources and expertise
Following the demise of the Cold War, there was an increasing risk of nuclear weapons moving from nation-state control into the hands of terrorists
The rise of transnational crime since the 1980s is a byproduct of globalisation and an indicator of an increasingly postnational world.

4 forces that call into question the nation-state
Political scientist Benedict Anderson and historian Eric Hobsbawm are writing in the Marxist tradition. They view nations as social constructs and cultural artifacts 'imagined' or 'invented' by elites. For Andersen, a number of specific conditions for the rise of nations are necessary, such as the decline of sacred monarchies and cosmological script communities, and the rise of print capitalism.
Can Vietnamese nationalism be related to any of the following factors:
1. Was it born out of and as a reaction to Western colonialism? Or was Vietnamese nationalism catalysed by colonialism?
2. Is it strongly related to ethnicity or communal identity?
3. Is it a historical fact based on the recurrent patterns of resistance to foreign invasion in Vietnamese history?
Ernest Gellner on Nations and Nationalism
Benedict Anderson on Imagined Communities
Edward Said on Orientalism
Martin Luther nailing his 95 theses to the church door in Wittenberg (1517 AD)
Fall of the Roman Empire and the rise of religious rule
How is national identity crafted in Australia?
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