dimensions of inter-civilisational engagement: migration, deep engagement in economic relations, cultural exchange
and creation, and political reconstruction of civilisational models. The four
dimensions are not exhaustively treated and are analytics for further substantive
research, starting with the exploration in chapters in the subsequent part. This
chapter features several examples that illustrate aspects of the argument. Most
of them are remote from the twenty-first century and are chosen to illuminate
what has generally been neglected: the very early development
Ontologies of connection, reconstruction of memory
Jeremy C.A. Smith
migration. Through voyaging and migration,
islander societies expanded, creating and sustaining zones of engagement for
millennia before Europeans came. Travel stimulated an imaginary of exchange,
the second theme. Exchange cannot be understood with a utilitarian mindset;
it is rather an expression of relationship, association and alliance –engagement
broadly speaking. The third theme is the new world context. European colonialism conjoined the Pacific to other civilisations in more extensive engagement.
This was a violent and disordering historical experience for the
might otherwise be blurry. Citizenship helped maintain good fences. But it
could do that kind of work only on the margins – in border zones and in
the context of limited migration. For the most part, nationality wasn't
arbitrary. It reflected social attachment.
Today, citizenship no longer serves a border-policing function.
Nor could it. The lines have gotten too blurry on the ground. It is no longer
clear where one citizenry leaves off and the
populations than the provinces or
states to which they belong because what counts for the state as internal migration is added to
what the state classifies as international migration. We can thus describe
multilevel polities without contradiction as simultaneously strongly sedentary
and relatively mobile. In a multilevel polity, my normative proposition that
sedentariness is a background context for democracy must therefore be specified
lack access to such communities, maybe through something
like the Panopticon Villages foreseen by Jeremy Bentham. 16 Finally, a supranational government
deals with issues of migration, guaranteeing or supply of mobile workers
between communities to staff essential services, and meet labour shortages.
Of course, individuals might come under the jurisdiction of any of these at
different periods of their lives. One pattern, for instance, might be a
Castoriadis’s theory of the imaginary institution informs my development of a
notion of inter-civilisational engagement in which civilisations acquire meaning
at the point of inter-relationship with other social, historical and cultural forms;
that is, other civilisational patterns, to use Arnason’s phrase. To recount, there
are four dimensions to this inter-relationship. Interaction occurs through migration, economic relations, cultural exchange and the extension of models of polity
and civilisation. The four dimensions of inter-civilisational engagement featured
, just as anyone’ (Mauer, 2010).
By the time a channel of ice-free water was opened, the whales had
been given names in both English (Bone, Bonnett and Crossbeak) and
Inupiaq (Putu, Siku and Kanik). One whale died during the wait, but it
was hoped that the two surviving, but weakened, whales had escaped via
the channel opened by the Soviet icebreakers and resumed migration.
New stories on rafted ice 19
Figure 1 North Slope (USA) villagers passing a Soviet icebreaker, flying a
Soviet flag in 1988.
‘Operation Breakthrough’ received high levels of media
documents can all tell a story about the region.
This chapter seeks to highlight how these representations of the region –
or the way in which circumpolar policy issues are framed by narrative
and images –are a manifestation of and serve to shape power relations in
the region. Consider the selection of the three maps in Figures 4–6 as an
illustration of the various ways of representing the region.
Figure 4 illustrates the bird migration routes connecting one nesting
ground in Arctic Alaska with populations around the world. Like the
ice-locked whales discussed in
and in its ‘War on Terror’. Third, the growth
in complexity of migration strained mono-cultural conceptions of nationality
previously prevalent in nation-states (Castles et al., 2014). Policies of multiculturalism that have taken their place presuppose a mixed demography and
intermingling religions and civilisations. Furthermore, they are premised on
continuing diversification. Multiculturalism is fragile and periodically beset
by xenophobic reaction. Plurality is undeniable, however, and it is evident not
only within states, but in the international arena. The
on Miller's account. Instead, the
general duty to justify coercive migration control is enhanced by special
responsibilities of states for particular migrants and by those migrants’
vulnerability. Where the responsibility and vulnerability is strong,
migrants’ lives are indeed being shaped by a decision to turn them away
and they are actually rather than just potentially dominated by the legal
system of the country they are trying to enter