Underlying the theme of Fragmentation and Divergence discussed in this volume is a major movement of the present so-called postmodern age, that of the globalisation of the world, the dominant trait of which has been the homogenisation of the economic, financial and monetary systems that transcend the nation-state. While the economic system might function supranationally, however, the nation-state, the mainstay of the postmodern period, is still the most important player in the political arena. With a defined territory, sovereignty, and presumed collective identity the nation-state is the product of a deep and complex entanglement of political, ideological and cultural systems. In apparent contradiction, the present day world is confronted by an environment where the more globalised the economy the less homogenised is the culture, with multiple-value systems resulting in a hybrid, multi-lingual and multi-cultural society and where a globalising nation-state becomes fragmented due to the diverse social, cultural, religious and historical factors. A major task confronting humanity today is that of building a society in which people can live in solidarity and can co-exist peacefully. However, at present, fragmentation has resulted in a divergence of values, which in turn has led to rupture and division.
In the context of such an unstable and anxious globalising society with heterogeneous systems criss-crossing each other, the key issue facing society does of course concern the dynamic transformations of the twenty-first century world triggered by such globalisation.
To approach this issue from a research perspective, a number of inter-related problems must be addressed. Examples include a paradigm shift away from humans as opposed to nature towards one of co-existence between the two; to questions of human beings able to exist side by side and yet have a sense of belonging/solidarity; to issues related to technological innovation and changes in society; and so forth. These issues are not unrelated to each other; they are complexly intertwined with problems of the finite nature of power in society, the limit of human capability, and social justice. Research, therefore, must be constantly updated and knowledge frameworks constantly restructured accordingly; demanding, of necessity, a multi-disciplinary and trans-disciplinary research approach.
Fragmentation and Divergence, volume 7 of Inter Faculty, represents just such an approach. From a common understanding of the intersecting nature of research, this series of studies examines the rapid transformations that the world has undergone in recent years. Across the studies, which reverberate though do not necessarily concord with each other, an in-depth look is taken at individual issues and contradictions confronting society, underscoring the complexity of the systems that make up the present globalised world (economical, political, social, cultural), and highlighting the importance of articulating the phenomena of mankind and his existence with those of nature.
The discussions of the present volume do not presume to provide an answer to the problems brought about by world transformations, but they have been able to give greater depth to an understanding of the world and its issues, they have been able to highlight the extreme complexity and inter-relationship of the problems considered, and have given a new direction to the research of the human and social sciences.
Inter Faculty, volume 7, is the outcome of the international conference on Fragmentation and Divergence, held at the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales, Paris, from 10th to 11th March, 2015. The six chapters of the original discussion were: Environment and Landscape; Social Justice and Equality Beyond Violence; Disaster and Civil Society; Demography and Immigration; Impact of Art and Culture; and Intercultural Dialogue and Education.
This volume presents the full articles and commentaries resulting from the considerations of the conference in order to open the discussion to the greater research community.
Articles by Augustin BERQUE (EHESS, France), Aleš BUČAR RUČMAN (Maribor, Slovenia), Michel WIEVIORKA (MFSH, France), Daniel LEBAUD (UFC, France), Margareta KASTBERG SJÖBLOM (UFC, France), Sébastien LAFFAGE-COSNIER (UFC, France), Rie INABA (UT, Japan); with a foreword by Saburo AOKI (UT, Japan).