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Challenges and Prospects: Local Government Responses to the Internationalization of Society and Economy Special Issue of Journal of African and Asian Local Government Studies (JAALGS)
Special Issue Editors: Tatchalerm Sudhipongpracha, Ph.D. and Achakorn Wongpredee, Ph.D. College of Local Administration Graduate School of Public Administration Khon Kaen University National Institute of Development Administration THAILAND THAILAND The internationalization of human society and global economy has always been a dynamic, multifaceted process since time immemorial. An extensive range of jargons, such as ‘the end of geography,’ ‘the end of ideology,’ and ‘convergence,’ are regularly employed to illustrate the opportunities and challenges of globalization for nation-states and their administrators. In recapitulating these opportunities and challenges, Robertson (1992, 8) succinctly states that the concept of globalization refers to both “the compression of the world and the intensification of consciousness in the world as whole.” The socioeconomic internationalization is not an alien concept for those in the business circle whose fortune hinges upon an ability to capitalize on economic interdependence and borderless flow of capital and labor (Bell 1974). Beyond the business circle, however, new phenomena created through the internationalization process have both integrative and disintegrative effects (Wallerstein 1980). On the one hand, cultural cosmopolitanism signifies the emergence of a common or trans-national culture that serves as an intermediary between diverse national cultures. On the other, an integrated global society and economy cause a growing host of environmental and social problems. In addition, contemporary resistance to the socioeconomic internationalization assumes a variety of forms, ranging from the strengthening of national and ethnic identities to social unrest of varying intensity. Much research has been conducted on the impact of socioeconomic internationalization on national governments. Yet, the impact on local communities and governments has been under-researched (Cope 1999). The process of internationalization gradually transforms local government roles, financing, organizational structure, and management techniques. As a precautionary note, it is a precarious assumption that “what is happening locally” can be understood by singularly examining “the global” and vice versa (Cope 1999, 175). Rather, what is happening at the local level has to be understood as a “localglobal nexus” (Alger 1988). Indeed, Robertson (1995, 30) coins a portmanteau term—“glocalization”—to explain the dynamics of this “local-global nexus” as “the simultaneity and the inter-penetrating of what are conventionally called the global and the local.” The International Association of Local Government Scholars commissioned a research project specifically designed to achieve three (3) overarching objectives: (1) to identify the opportunities and challenges for local government around the world wrought by the internationalization of our society and economy, (2) to examine local government responses to those opportunities and challenges, and (3) to synthesize the “lessons learned” from successful cases, as well as the common factors underlying ineffective management of the “local-global nexus.” A special issue of Journal of African and Asian Local Government Studies (JAALGS) will result from this research initiative. The outcome of this special issue is to assist local government officials and community leaders in examining their level of management

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effectiveness and preparedness for an increasingly globalized economy and society and in crafting new management and development initiatives. With this Call for Papers, we would like to solicit scholarly and practical contributions that describe, explain, and analyze the management and development strategies adopted by local governing authorities to respond to the consequences of “glocalization.” Although our journal primarily targets governance issues in African and Asian local communities, research contributions from other parts of the world are highly encouraged for this special issue. The research topics in which we are particularly interested include, but are not limited to: Administrative reform measures aimed at enhancing local capacity to deal with the impact of internationalization of society and economy; Innovative management approaches, such as the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) model, contracting, and outsourcing; Fiscal and financial management strategies adopted by local government in response to economic interdependence and free flow of capital and labor; Organizational development, human capital improvement, and new and creative training approaches for local government and community leaders; Community development issues, including quality of life, business development, welfare, social safety net, and cultural preservation; Information technology and how it is incorporated into local public management and community development; Environmental change and sustainable development; and Social and political unrest, intensification of identity politics and ethnic conflict, and communal violence;

The list of research topics is not exclusive and does not preclude other globalization-related topics. If you wish to have your proposals considered for publication in this special issue of Journal of African and Asian Local Government Studies (JAALGS), please submit a one-page abstract of no more than 500 words delineating the research topics, methodologies used, and how your research will contribute to the overarching objectives of the special issue to Tatchalerm Sudhipongpracha (tatcsu@kku.ac.th) by February 28, 2013. When submitting, please include “INTERNATIONALIZATION” in the subject line. Also, please include your names, titles, affiliations, and e-mail addresses in your proposals. Contributors will be notified by April 1, 2013 as to whether they will be invited to prepare a full paper. Final research papers are expected by June 20, 2013 and will be submitted through the refereeing process used by Journal of African and Asian Local Government Studies (JAALGS). References Alger, C.F. 1988. “Perceiving, Analyzing, and Coping with the Local-Global Nexus.” International Social Science Journal 117: 321-40. Bell, D. 1974. The Coming of Post-Industrial Society: A Venture in Social Forecasting. London: Heinemann.

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Cope, S. 1999. “Contracting and Globalization: Implications for Governance, Policy Learning, and Strategic Management.” In Essays in Economic Globalization, Transnational Policies, and Vulnerability, edited by A. Kouzmin and A. Hayne, pp. 173-84. Brussels: International Institute of Administrative Sciences (IIAS), pp. 173-84. Robertson, R. 1992. Globalization: Social Theory and Global Culture. London: Sage. ---. 1995. “Glocalization: Time, Space, and Homogeneity-Heterogeneity.” In Global Modernities, edited by M. Featherstone, S. Lash, and R. Robertson. London: Sage, pp. 25-44. Wallerstein, I. 1980. The Modern World-System II. New York: Academic Press.

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