Challenging the Notion of “Globalization” as a 21st Century Phenomenon

by George Dutton, author of A Vietnamese Moses: Philiphê Binh and the Geographies of Early Modern Catholicism

This guest post is published in conjunction with the Association for Asian Studies conference in Toronto. Check back regularly for new posts through the end of the conference on March 19th.

In the second decade of the twenty-first century it has become a truism that we have finally entered the era of the “globalized.” It takes little effort for historians to produce a wide range of evidence to suggest that this is not the case, and that the phenomenon of “globalization” is one found already in the ancient worlds. This is particularly true with respect to the various “world religions” that emerged between the 5th century BCE and the 7th century CE, each of which gradually, and occasionally rapidly, travelled to distant corners of the globe. A particularly good example is Roman Catholicism, whose initial spread was relatively modest, but which then took advantage of the sailing ships of the “Age of Discovery” to span the globe. Unlike the other world religions, Catholicism has developed an elaborated ecclesiastical hierarchy that reaches around the world with implications for local Christian communities.

Over the course of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, agents of the Christian church reached the farthest corners of Asia and slowly built up communities of local Catholics. One of these groupings was founded in the coastal reaches of the Red River in the northern part of what is today Vietnam, and was then often called Tonkin. Initiated by Portuguese Jesuits, this community of Catholics grew to several hundred thousand in less than half a century. These mission fields soon drew the attention of other orders – Franciscans, Dominicans, Augustinians, and secular mission societies – and priests from a range of nations – Italy, France, Germany, Spain, Ireland, among others.

The Christians in coastal Tonkin found themselves both served by the European priests that were in their midst, and profoundly shaped by ecclesiastical conflicts and decisions emanating from the Catholic centers of power in Rome and the Iberian Peninsula. While local Christians experienced a substantial measure of autonomy imparted by distance and the logistics of communication, they were still subject to church politics in Europe. Thus, the papal recall of all Jesuits priests in Tonkin in 1678 sent shockwaves through the community. The order to divide Tonkin into two vicariates that same year further shook the local Catholic communities, who found themselves now experiencing elements of their faith in ways shaped by differentiated approaches to ritual and emphasis. A century later the formal dissolution of the entire Jesuit Order in 1773 further rattled Tonkinese Catholics, now finding themselves subject to new ecclesiastical leadership whose dictates and expectations were often at variance with their long-standing traditions.

While those loyal to the deep rooted Portuguese Jesuit tradition defied their new overseers, this was not sustainable and in 1796 they dispatched one of their own, the recently ordained Vietnamese priest, Father Philiphê Binh, to Portugal on their behalf. This community understood the global forces of Catholicism, and the nuances of its politics. They became active participants in defense of their traditions and sending their emissary to Europe was an indication of their engagement in the church politics of the period. Vietnamese Catholics recognized, far more than most Vietnamese, the degree to which they themselves lived in an era of “globalization.” What happened beyond their borders in remote political capitals had profound and measurable impacts upon both their material and spiritual lives.

Father Binh’s emergence as a priest and representative of his community on a journey half way around the world to defend its spiritual traditions is the subject of my book. While in substantial measure it is the story of a particular man and the complex contours of his life, it is also very much a tale of the ways in which eighteenth-century religious globalization had profound repercussions for Catholics in Tonkin. It is thus a reminder that peoples in seemingly remote corners of the globe were already then active participants in a world where the reach of ideas and politics was no less extensive than in the twenty-first century, even if it travelled at the speed of sailing ships rather than fiber optics.


George E. Dutton is Professor of Vietnamese History in the Department of Asian Languages and Cultures and Director of the Center for Southeast Asian Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles.

A Vietnamese Moses is currently available as a free, open access eBook as part of our Luminos program. Read it online now.


Open Access Week 2016: An Interview with Collabra: Psychology Senior Editor, Don Moore

collabra_header_twitter_small (1)This post was originally published on the Collabra: Psychology blog. For more information about Collabra: Psychology, our open access journal publishing in psychology, please visit collabra.org and follow along at @CollabraOA and the Collabra blog.

This post is also in honor of International Open Access Week, October 24–30, 2016. Stay tuned all week for more special content from UC Press Open Access initiatives.


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Don Moore, PhD, Haas School of Business, UC Berkeley

Collabra: Psychology is fortunate to have an impressive roster of senior editors across its seven psychology sections. Among these is Don Moore, PhD, Professor of Management of Organizations at the Haas of School Business, UC Berkeley, and Senior Editor in Organizational Behavior.

Don Moore got his start as a PhD candidate at the Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University, followed by a position at the Tepper School of Business at Carnegie Mellon University. While there, he visited the University of New South Wales in Sydney, the University of Wurzburg in Germany, and the Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley. Then, because his family “really likes schlepping back and forth across the country,” he went back to Carnegie Mellon for an additional year before accepting a position in the Management of Organizations group at the Haas School.

Now adding Senior Editorship of Collabra: Psychology to the many hats he wears, we sat down with Don to learn more about his work and research, as well as what inspired him to be part of the open access journal.

1. What inspired you to pursue a career in Organizational Behavior?

After college, where I majored in Psychology, I went to go work for a privately held and neurotically secretive industrial supply company where I was overpaid to do dreadfully dull work. I hated the job the company wanted me to do, but I was fascinated by all the circumstances surrounding my work. How did the company select people for hire or promotion? How did the company make important decisions? Who had the power? How did they communicate with others in the organization? Was the company doing these things optimally or was it possible to identify better approaches? I went back to graduate school, in part to get away from my awful job managing grommet inventories, but mostly to study all the fascinating issues of behavior in organizations.

2. I gather that your research has focused primarily on the study of overconfidence. How did you arrive at this topic?

In graduate school I had the good fortune to be able to work with the wonderful Max Bazerman at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School. For my dissertation, I studied the role of time pressure in negotiation. Mostly, it was a narrow and boring dissertation topic, but there was one interesting result that emerged: when negotiators were put under time pressure, everyone (both buyer and seller) thought it was bad for them, and thought the time pressure would help the other side. Trying to understand how it is that people could be more aware of their own constraints than of others’ led me to run studies in which people were competing with each other on tests whose difficulty I manipulated. When the test got harder, all competitors thought they would be less likely to win. Or to pick another example, when the instructor cancels an exam review session or decides to make the exam closed-book, students’ hopes of getting a good grade decline, even if everyone knows the exam is graded on a forced curve. The consequence is underconfidence: everyone believes they had a below-average chance to win. My career since then has focused on identifying when people are overconfident and when they are underconfident.

3. Can you share a particularly memorable experience or breakthrough in your research?

My proudest breakthrough was when I realized I could explain the baffling empirical inconsistency between the hard-easy effect (in which people overestimate performance most on hard tasks) and its apparent reversal in better- and worse-than-average effects (in which people are most likely to believe that they are better than others at easy tasks). I presented that delightfully parsimonious explanation in a 2007 paper with Deborah Smalland a 2008 paper with PJ Healy.

4. What do you think is the greatest concern or challenge in your field today?

The field is going through a wrenching series of changes in the conduct of research and sharing of results. Before long, it will be standard practice for researchers to pre-register their studies before they run them, and afterward to post data, materials, and analysis code. But until then, the rules of the game are changing, and the changes are not being adopted at an equal rate everywhere, creating some divisions among scientists and some uncertainty for young scientists regarding how they should do their work.

5. What drew you to editorship of Collabra: Psychology?

The old system for publishing and disseminating scientific articles is appallingly inefficient, distressingly unfair, and deeply dysfunctional. For-profit publishers exploit the volunteer labor of researchers, reviewers, and editors. They then claim copyright over our work, slow down its dissemination, restrict access to the knowledge we want to share with the world, and charge our own libraries for access to it. It’s an utterly insane system that only exists because once upon a time it was expensive to distribute paper copies of printed journals. But the Internet has changed all that, making it essentially free for scientists to share their research with the world, for example at a pre-print repository. A revolution will overthrow the world of scientific publishing and I am excited about Collabra: Psychology’s potential role in hastening that revolution.

6. What kind of impact do you hope to have as a Senior Editor for Collabra: Psychology?

I am proud that Collabra: Psychology will be open and free to everyone, and that contributors will also be helping advance open science in other ways, including data posting and open reviews. We hope to establish Collabra: Psychology’s distinctive reputation as a journal whose high methodological standards can assure readers that papers published in the journal present results that are true and replicable. Researchers doing this sort of work ought to be especially interested in submitting it to us. But Collabra as a publishing program is also positioned to play a larger role in the future of scientific publishing. The journal’s publisher and OA platform stand ready to host other journals. When editorial teams at closed journals decide to throw off the yoke of exploitation and move en masse to an open-access format, Collabra has the infrastructure in place to make that move easy for the team. Moreover, since Collabra does not attempt to claim exclusive ownership over articles, it could serve as the quality referee for an online archive, such as PsyArXiv or OSF preprints in the case of Collabra: Psychology.

7. Okay, overconfidence aside — do you have a secret talent or hobby you are willing to share?

I’m quite confident I don’t. I have devoted my life to science, and taken vows of poverty and celibacy. Well, I did make an exception for my wife. And truth be told, I’m not sure the poverty thing is really working out either. But I have become a very boring person as most of my hobbies have fallen by the wayside because I love my work so much. If I have a secret talent, it is the ability to spring eagerly from my bed most mornings at 5 a.m. to dash to my desk and get to work.


Collabra: Psychology invites you to submit your work in Organizational Behavior under Senior Editor Don Moore. Click here to see our Call for Papers.


University of California Press and California Digital Library to Partner with Collaborative Knowledge Foundation to Build Open Source Monograph Publishing Platform

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We’re excited to announce that the University of California Press and California Digital Library have partnered with Collaborative Knowledge Foundation to develop, Editoria, a new open source, digital-first  book production platform.

Through the generous support of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the University of California Press (UCP) and the California Digital Library (CDL) have embarked on a project to build an open source platform for content and workflow management of book-length works. The goal of the project is to create a shared resource for presses and library publishers to automate book production in multiple formats using a versatile, web-based production workflow system.

UCP and CDL sought a highly flexible open source platform that could be easily adopted by other publishers. CKF began development on its PubSweet technology framework in October 2015 and early versions of key components are discoverable on GitLab. The platform is component-based, which means that it can be assembled in many different ways to meet the needs of book or journal workflows.

“We are deeply impressed by the dedication that CKF is bringing to reimagining the tools used in the production and dissemination of scholarship. The CKF methodology begins with collaboration—on product design as well as publishing process,” said Erich van Rijn, Director of Publishing Operations at the University of California Press. “The project, called Editoria, will support a robust book production system for academic publishers and library publishing programs that seek a low-cost and efficient mechanism for streamlining their book-publishing activities. The platform will be open source and able to be configured for many different publishing workflows.”

CKF, UCP and CDL are taking a collaborative approach to product design and development and will be launching a site to make this methodology transparently available to the public in the coming weeks. The Editoria project will progress through 2016 with a launch in early 2017.