Asia Institute joins the Interdependence Movement

The Asia Institute has become a proud member of the Interdependence Movement and the Interdependence Day . This movement strives to build the global ties necessary to bring the world together to face the challenges of our era. It currently organizes the Interdependence Day each year on September 12, the Working Group on Global Governance, and the Civic Interdependence Curriculum. As we have written in the brochure of the Asia Institute, we must form the human networks to parallel the networks already built by logistics and supercomputers.

Introduction to Interdependence Day

In a world where global interdependence is not simply an aspiration of idealists, but a brute fact of the forces that bind us together—global warming, financial capital, AIDS, telecommunications, crime, migration, and terrorism—many people still think in narrow, insular terms.

Reality is global, but consciousness too often remains local – constrained by town and nation.

In the year 2000, a small group of scholars, civic and political leaders, and artists from a dozen nations met to design a program that might help raise consciousness around the realities and possibilities of interdependence. Their efforts were given impetus by the tragic events of September 11, 2001, and the group created a project that would:

CivWorld presents the Seminar on Global Governance, convened by Professor Seyla Benhabib of Yale University and Founder of CivWorld Benjamin Barber. The Working Group begins with the premise that there is a deep asymmetry between the challenges of a 21st century world defined by interdependence and cross-border crisis (ecology, crime, markets, health, drugs, terrorism, technology) and the 19th century world of independent nation-states defined by sovereignty and territorial frontiers. Democracy too is tethered to nation-states and its origins in the social contract and popular sovereignty. This suggests that unless we can find ways to globalize democracy or democratize globalization, we will neither be able to sustain democracy into a global age, nor respond to the challenges of interdependence. Yet with no clear path to global governance or democratic globalization, and there are many reasons for skepticism.

The Working Group approaches these dilemmas by focusing on the work its members are pursuing on networked cities (Dr. Barber’s upcoming book is titled If Mayors Ruled the World), as well as immigration and migration (of labor and capital), global rights and global justice, the international courts system, transnational civil society and citizenship, virtual democracy, international institutions, confederalism, and other cutting-edge topics. The Working Group met for six sessions in 2010 and 2011 and will reconvene in 2013. A major conference on global cities at The Graduate Center, CUNY is being planned. More