Monday, February 24, 2020
The Impact of Globalization on the Human Resource Management of Transnational Corporations (TNCs) - Dissertation Example This is carried out with a view of ensuring that these corporations are able to counter the challenges they experience in achieving their set objectives and remain competitive in their trade activities. This research proposal intends to utilize the following academic publications on assessing the impacts of globalization on the human resource management of transnational corporations. Key Academic Publications 1. Kayode, O 2012 Ã¢â¬ËImpact of globalization on human resource management,Ã¢â¬â¢ Science Journal of Business Management, vol. 2012, no. 3, pp. 1Ã¢â¬â4. The science journal by Kayode on the impact of globalization examines the impact of the work force on the human resource department of an organization with offices that are local or based in other countries. It discusses different issues that drive the aspect of globalization within the workforce along with the challenges that confront these departments on the global scene. The author, Kayode, begins by giving an introdu ction to the current trends of globalization and also provides the definition and the roles of the department. He suggests that it is in charge of managing the human resources in a transnational corporation. ... It will also help my research by highlighting the benefits, challenges and other issues that are affecting these departments. 2. Hunter, LW & Katz, HC 2012, Ã¢â¬ËThe impact of globalization on human resource management and employment relations in the US automobile and banking industries,Ã¢â¬â¢ The International Journal of Human Resource Management, vol. 23, no. 10, pp. 1983-1998. The authors, Hunter and Katz, discuss the effects of globalization on employment relations and its differential impact throughout the different types of capitalism. They suggest that globalization affects different industries in specific ways. In addition, the journal discusses issues like job security, work organization, remuneration systems, and enterprise governance within transnational corporations in the US. It specifically addresses the issues which affect the transnational organizations that are headquartered in the US. The article additionally makes a comparison of the changes that occur in these two industries and their nature of correspondence to the American liberal economy (Hunter and Katz, 2012). The article will help my research by providing more insights into how employment relations in transnational corporations have been affected by the issue of globalization. 3. Friedman, BA 2007, Ã¢â¬ËGlobalization implications for human resource management role,Ã¢â¬â¢ Employee Responsibilities & Rights Journal, vol.1, no. 19, pp. 151Ã¢â¬â171. The article discusses the influences that globalization has on transnational corporations competing for customers who have very high expectations as regards the cost, quality and performance of the products they buy. It highlights the pressures that the globalization process has imposed on their human resource
Wednesday, February 19, 2020
Thomas Struths Expedition reveal about Photography - Essay Example The essay "Thomas StruthÃ¢â¬â¢s Expedition reveal about Photography" talks about Expedition about Photography by Thomas Struth. The artist presents in a landscape format or as portraits to highlight different themes as thought out most of these photographs. The photography according to Thomas Struth attempts to answer questions about self as seen by the audience. It is worth noting that the photography by Thomas Struth is mainly landscapes that are shown in different compositions, color and detail. However, an important part of the photography that has been exercised by the contemporary photographers is the use of portraits that also form a big part of photography collections found in galleries. Additionally, the photography by Thomas Struth is sincerely portrayed in that the artist attempts to bring out true life situations that make the audience trust the message in the portraits. The portraits are brought out in a natural way that brings about the true relationship between form and content, which makes it possible to identify with the photographer. Once a person comes into contact with the portraits captured by Thomas Struth, for instance the Giles Robertson, Edinburgh 1987, there is a communication bond that is created between the audience and the photograph, whereby the audience would be asking itself what the photograph represents in a continuous dialogue. This shows that the images in the portraits actively show that Thomas Struth prioritizes the perception of his audience.
Saturday, February 8, 2020
Introduction to mass communication - Essay Example When it comes to newspapers and magazines, there is a dire need to comprehend how these mass communication facets would take care of the societyÃ¢â¬â¢s portrayal and the people living within it. Their day to day undertakings and tasks would be covered by the mass communication agendas, hence playing a direct role within their life regimes. Mass communication is an important tool within any society as its significance is seen in different contexts time and again. The people who run the different mass communication outlets have a very pertinent responsibility as these look to defy the opposition which is raised in the wake of achieving success. The newspaper and magazine regimes have long realized that mass communication is happening for the benefit of all concerned and that the stakeholders of the newspapers and magazines have to be told nothing but the truth. There is a sense of belonging as far as societal responsibilities are concerned. This is of paramount essence because mass communication does take the major share of the audienceÃ¢â¬â¢s attention, on most of the occasions. The peopleÃ¢â¬â¢s attitudes, knowledge levels and perception regimes change as and when the newspapers and magazines amend their respective agendas. It goes to show without any doubt that mass communication has a very important effect on th e lives of the people who read newspapers and magazines, and even the ones who are not directly affected by the same (Perry 1996). Anything that is printed within these media vehicles gets noticeable coverage and hence the lives of the people are changed either in a positive or a negative way. The change is indeed imminent as is the case worldwide, with regards to newspapers and magazines. It goes to show without saying that the top heads within these newspapers and magazines have a huge responsibility resting on their shoulders, and hence they must make positive impact on the minds of the readers, and indeed the
Tuesday, February 4, 2020
Research proposal - Essay Example The results show that the status of those among 16 years of age remain unchanged from the NEET group while those in 17 year group showed an increase. But contrary to others, the number of 18 year old from NEET shows a decline (Maguire and Rennison, 2005). The studies undertaken among youth population to understand the issues faced by them and hence to evolve necessary support systems have yielded useful results. In one such exercise conducted in Scotland, the data was collected from the school leavers from three different colleges using the focused interviews with the purpose of identifying the reasons and insight about their lifestyles, attitudes and expectation from education and employment (Elliot, 2008). The study revealed the role of both emotional and financial support that would play in the personal growth of the students and the effective interventions by the educational institutions that could play a major role in this regard (Elliot, 2008). The critically examination of the current practice of relating the youth unemployment with NEET have yielded eye opening observations (Furlong, 2006). Competence based education programmes are considered as one of the most successful initiatives to have outcome oriented training sessions. An action oriented research programme undertaken to equip the health care workers in Australia proves this point (Glasgow, 2008). The increase in the chronic illness rate among the population and absence of effective support mechanism forced the authorities to plan competence based education programmes to supply the necessary health care workers. The proper planning followed by effective follow up helped the policy to become highly successful. Thus it is one of the successful cases of effective policy intervention which was appropriately tailored to meet the social demand. In the case of NEET the polices could be appropriately designed in similar ways to
Wednesday, January 29, 2020
Human resources are how a business recruits Essay Human resources are how a business recruits, retains and manages key features and functions of their employees. If businesses are to obtain their objectives, they must plan their human resources function so they have the right number of employees with the right kinds of qualifications and training to meet the needs of the business. Human resources use different approaches to all the different aspects of human resource planning and management. Human resource planning Businesses have to plan carefully to ensure that they have the right number of suitable employees for their needs. To do this they need a good understanding of the labour market in the areas where they operate. Human resource planning also involves looking at how labour is organised within the business. A range of factors when making decisions about staffing from the labour market includes; * Labour turnover * Sickness and accident rates * Age, Skills and Training * Succession In an ideal world businesses should plan ahead when it comes to human resources. A well-organised business will have forecasts and projections of its future staffing needs. These will then be matched to forecasts and projections about the local labour market, which means that the business can develop appropriate strategies for the recruitment, training and development of its staff. Recruitment and selection Recruitment and selection is a well-worn topic, which is treated fully in all major texts. There is always a tension between getting the right person for a job and how much resource in terms of time and money is devoted to recruitment. Businesses recruit staff for a variety of reasons. These can include: * The growth or reconstruction of the business * Changing job roles within a business * Filling vacancies created by resignation, retirement and dismissal * Internal promotion The recruitment process can be costly, in terms of resources devoted to the process and costs associated with recruiting poor performing staff. Therefore, it is important to select accurately people for interview. Businesses need to be very clear about the requirements of the job and about the kind of person they are looking for. This is done in several ways; * Preparing person specifications and job descriptions * Carefully planning how, when and where to advertise * Identifying the strengths and weaknesses of job applications, curriculum vitae and letters of application * Short-listing candidates Training and development Training and development are currently big issues for many businesses in most parts of the country, especially where there are low rates of unemployment. Moreover, more and more businesses are realising that if they fail to invest in training and development they will become uncompetitive. Training and development includes the following; * Induction training * Mentoring * Coaching * Apprenticeships * In-House training * External Training * Recognition of prior learning (RPL) and/or accreditation of prior learning (APL) and accreditation of prior experience and learning (APEL). Performance management Performance management refers to different strategies designed to get the best of a business work force. Different techniques are employed which attempt to relate performance with pay, or promotion or training. Such schemes are not always popular with workers. The following are methods that businesses use to manage the performance of their employees; * Performance reviews including appraisals * Self-evaluation * Peer evaluation * Target setting of individuals and groups. The labour Market Sainsburys constantly monitor the labour market to see any trends in each sector. They use local and national surveys to gather this information. Information gathered is them allocated to the departments that it would suit the best and what people are looking for. For example Sainsburys may be looking for trained bakers and fishmongers, as it is a rare profession. They may also look to see if anyone may reach this profession with a small amount of training, they may investigate if the opportunity cost of training them is viable. If Sainsburys needed a fishmonger and there was one available then they would have to pay them a decent amount of money to be able to acquire their services. This is because they are quite rare to find and may easily be coaxed into another job with money. They may also try to keep these professionals for a long time in one store so that the job in done with consistency. As sainsburys require a high standard they may send them to an off site training course to build up their knowledge of a certain area. Changing features in the market trends makes it hard for firms such as Sainsburys to find the staff they want for specific hi-skilled jobs. This may because there is an increase in professional and managerial work and a decrease in unskilled and semi-skilled work. Also people such as Bakers may have learnt new skills to enter different sections of the labour market. For example a Baker may have had enough of his job, taken an evening class in management, gained qualifications other than baking and joined a more managerial part of the team. Sainsburys need to look hard at the staff they acquire from agencies and applications and think hard about if it would be worth training them up for a specific job. They have to pick them up at exactly the right time. This means that they have to get them before they go elsewhere but have to be wary of them getting trained at great expense to sainsburys and then leaving for a job with better job satisfaction or better money. They have t get the balance just right unless it could prove costly. If Sainsburys employ new staff they may have to restructure the departments, this may prove popular with some staff but unpopular with others. Sainsburys have to think about management structures becoming flatter as a result of greater development of responsibilities and how hierarchies are being replaced by team working. Demographics show that the UK workforce is aging. This can be taken as a good aspect but also as a bad one. Some advantages of having an ageing workforce are that: * They know their job inside out and know how to deal with certain situations. * They have plenty of experience and may be able to offer light on problems which younger staff may have never encountered before. * It may be more reassuring to the customer to see an well experienced person doing the job rather then a young face straight out of school. Some disadvantages of having an ageing workforce are that: * As people get older they may be more susceptible to illness and take more time off. * With new computer equipment they may have to be sent on an expensive training course to learn new ways of working. * They may not be as motivated as younger staff as they are happy with their jobs and realise that they may not be doing it much longer. They may also not want to go for promotions, as they do not want to be bothered with the stress of the modern workplace. There is a steady decline in Primary and manufacturing sectors and an increase in service sector employment. This may work in sainsburys favour as they have positions for all sorts of people in all different sectors. There are a lot of people wanting to do the jobs where you do not need as much experience such as till manning and shelf stacking but they also have room for people with experience such as the butchers and bakers. As there is such a lot of people wanting to take on the less experience needed jobs the employees in these positions have to try and make a good impression and try hard as they know that there is always someone around the corner waiting for their job. This may boost Sainsburys productivity and customer relations. There are increasing numbers of women being qualified in previously mans work. More and more women are being trained as butchers and fishmongers. Women are now holding more high skilled positions now also, for example it would not be uncommon to ask to see the manager and a women to walk out and speak to you. This may seem strange to older generations who may still believe that it should be a mans job. The education and training system is undergoing a change. There has been a major expansion in further and higher education and the development of more flexible vocational training structures. This allows more part-time and mature students to gain higher qualifications. This may also allow them to train whilst working, improving there skills for an in-house vacancy. Part-time students make up a large proportion of Sainsburys workforce. This is because they can work flexible hours and are willing to learn. They may also not mind doing low skilled jobs as they need the money and know that they may not be doing that job forever as they are studying at a high level, having these people on their books may be an advantage to Sainsburys as if they are good they may placed in the running for higher positions. When they finish their higher education weather it be A-Levels or Degree they may give them a chance to move up the ladder. This may seem promising to the employee who already has friends there and knows the set up. They may also like it as it saves them the hassle of finding a completely new job. The sectors that are forecast to expand are those, which have grown since the early 1980s. The exception is construction, where employment is forecast to fall 4.2%. The largest absolute increase in employment is in public services. The majority of new jobs are to be in education and health, which is an area, which has seen significant growth since the early 1980s. Financial and Business services are expected to show the fastest percentage growth. Business services are expected to be the strongest performer in this sector with employment growth at 2.5% per year whilst a fall is forecast in financial services. Manufacturing is set to see further productivity gains, which may lead to falls in unemployment. Norwichs Economy * One third of all the jobs in Norfolk are within the Norwich city council area. This totals up to 94,000 people. * Half the jobs in Norfolk are within the greater Norwich area. Employment in Norwich has grown over the last 6 years, but more slowly than the UK as a whole. * Over 90% of Norwich companies employ less than 50 people but over half of the Norwich workforce are employed in the 66 largest companies and organisations such as Norwich Union and Mash. * More than 50,000 people travel into Norwich each day to work, from the surrounding area. * The average earnings of full-time employees in Norwich (Excluding overtime) are just over Ã ¯Ã ¿Ã ½10 per hour, which is below the national average of Ã ¯Ã ¿Ã ½11.18 per hour. * Between 1995 and 2000 employment grew fastest in financial services, public sector and construction. * In the next few years most jobs are likely to be created within Norwich in business services, hotels and catering, retailing, banking and insurance and construction. There will be a long-term demand for construction skills creating sustainable jobs. * Tourism is growing fast and currently provides 5,600 jobs in Norwich Trends in employment 1997-2007(predictions) 1997 2007 Increasing involvement of Women Female share of total employment 46.5% 48.2% Female share of employees in employment 49.7% 51.7% More Working part-time Part-time share of employees in employment 29.1% 31.2% More self-employed Self employed share of total employment 13.0% 15.2% Supply and Demand graph for Wage Rates S WR1 WR = Wage Rate Sk = Skills WR D2 D Sk Sk1 As you can see as the demand for high skilled people goes up so does the wages they will be getting paid. Supply of Labour S2 S WR = Wage WR2 Rate L = Labour WR D L2 L If the supply of labour decreases then the wage rate will increase. Minimum Wage rate S WR2 WR1 D Q2 Q1 If a minimum wage is introduced which is higher than the wage rate the demand for labour falls Training and Development The aim of training a person is to permanently change their ability. Improving their knowledge, experience and skills does this. To start you off at Sainsburys you are given an induction. This tells you the basics of your job and allows you to do it. Induction programmes are designed to familiarise new recruits with the layout, security systems and about health and safety within the company. To inspire new recruits they may be introduced to key personnel. Sainsburys hold policy interviews, one review happens at 3 weeks, one at 7 weeks and then again at 11 weeks. Sainsburys holds in-house training and coaching in each branch. They also have a How well and I doing? handbook which they give to each employee. This can map out paths and set targets, different for each section on the company. The targets set are: * Measurable * Specific * Time-related * Agreed * Realistic These are set at 6-month periods. The workbooks, which are used for technical training, coach trainees on a specific part of their job. They help them understand what they have got to do and how they have got to do it. For example training for a checkout operator may be given on a dummy checkout and they on a real one serving customers but with supervision. Each store trains its own staff at their job; training centres are used for external training, which may be specific to a persons job such as health and safety or food hygiene. These parts of training may also involve passing an exam and gaining a qualification. The in store training organiser may not be qualified to teach this. External training may also occur when the trainee is learning a specialist subject. For example a fishmonger may be sent to a special training-centre especially for fishmongers. I believe that Sainsburys send their head fishmongers to a centre in London. Sainsburys also has a training room where training videos are shown to trainees. These may be in general subjects such as customer relations. This is very handy as videos can be shown to a trainee as many times as it takes and at very little cost. Also the audience can be selected and many trained at a time. Sainsburys also has a computer on which there are training programs, these give training and also provide a test, which they have to pass.
Sunday, January 26, 2020
Decline And Fall Of Empires In The World History Essay Published on the Cappuccino Culture page of the Spectator web site on 23rd November 2009 under the heading Decline and Fall is an animated cartoon representing the relative sizes of empires from 1800 until the present day.Ã [i]Ã Each empire is represented by a blob that either increases or decreases in size over the period. The collapse of the red blob representing the British Empire, the biggest, is of course marked in the period from the end of the First World War. The only comment this web page elicits is one which notes, this was not interesting you stole three and a half minutes of my life. I offer this counter factual observation at the start of an essay which will set out to show that the British public do indeed have an interest of sorts in the history of their empire, but one that perhaps is not entirely at one with the views of historians. As a listeners comment on the BBC Radio 4 history of the empire puts it,Ã [ii]Ã half the world may hate the English for the su ccess that was the empire, the other half for the scourge inflicted upon them, but please stop it with the apologies. Put simply my argument is that while post colonial theories of empire may still be in the van for academics, the British publics view has developed a more Whigish tendency born of nostalgia. Niall Fergusson has come to be portrayed as the primary advocate of the notion of the benefits of empire. Niall Fergussons book, Empire: how Britain made the modern world,Ã [iii]Ã was accompanied by a television series on Channel 4. The success of the programme was to set up its presenter alongside the likes of Simon Schama and Kenneth Clarke, as a well known personality with his own cult of popularity. For Fergusson it raised a profile which is now established in neo-conservative circles in the US, and he has become a prolific commentator on current affairs for a number of media outlets. He is widely recognised as clever and provocative, and has continued to develop his controversial argument that the British empire was good for the world.Ã [iv]Ã While Fergussons forte is undoubtedly economics and finance, an area of scholarship where much of his other publications are situated, he does not skimp on ranging across the panoply of empire history including setting out where the British empire went wrong the horrors of slavery or the brutality that occurred at the Battle of Omdurma n. In asking whether the empire was on balance good or bad, his view can be summed in his own words that, no organisation has done more to promote the free movement of goods, capital and labour than the British empire in the 19th and 20th centuries. And no organisation has done more to impose western norms of law, order and governance around the world.Ã [v]Ã A Gallup poll taken in 1998 found a British populace who were unapologetic about the Empire. As the Economist noted, the politically correct idea that there was something shameful about colonising large swaths of the world had little resonance amongst the public.Ã [vi]Ã This was the same year that Tony Blair was busily articulating Britain as, Cool Britannia, a model 21st century nation to the Labour party conference. Whilst 60% of those polled regretted the empires passing, only 13% thought that the country could have retained its imperial possessions if it had wished. But the way Tony Blair talked about empire had changed to reflect this public mood. It had developed from what had been the normal reference in the leaders conference speech to decolonisation. By the 1997 conference the creation of a significant empire was one of a long list of British achievements. A minor change but perhaps significant given the New Labour ability at the time to sense and articulate the centre g round of the electorate. It is a tautological statement to say that nations develop differing narratives of their imperial legacy. Such narratives will help shape contemporary popular views. In particular, it will colour the judgement as to whether the loss of an empire was viewed as a defeat, and if so, whether there was a consequential impact on perceptions of national self esteem. Kumars comparison of the French and English experience is instructive.Ã [vii]Ã He notes that for the English the distinction between past and present is pointless: the future is viewed through the resource of a thoroughly assimilated history. This is contrasted with the turbulence of recent French history where the past remains alive. The result for Kumar is that the French now have a significant tradition of self reflection which manifests itself in a strong sense of nationalism and national identity. He contrasts this strongly with the English case. And in considering this more specifically within the context of empire, th e overall French perception was driven by their not being as successful as their imperial competitors, in either the scale of the empire they achieved, or the subsequent management of decolonisation. The end of the British Empire was not only rapid but also remarkably peaceful, notwithstanding some outbreaks of nationalist hostility. It was not accompanied by radical political upheaval: in Britain itself, all was calm. The British had seeming accepted the collapse of their empire with an equanimity bordering on indifference,Ã [viii]Ã which was a contrast with France and Portugal, where decolonisation was followed by political convulsion at home. As David Cannadine cogently puts it in a book of essays on Britains adjustment to the loss of empire, the British Empire may have been won in a fit of absence of mind, but as far as the majority of the population seems to have been concerned, it was given away in a fit of collective indifference.Ã [ix]Ã This is not a nation grieving a collective sense of loss. But such analysis maybe a little too simple. There could have been in the popular British psyche a deliberate trade off between the perceived benefits of keeping the empire as opposed to the alternatives. The eclipse of empire could have passed unnoticed against a backdrop to a shattering of the faith of imperial markets which occurred before decolonisation took place, and then after 1945 the social priorities that were accorded to the welfare state and industrial intervention to deliver material improvement.Ã [x]Ã It is clear this argument can be developed further to include other events in post war Britain such as the European Union dimension, and the unwillingness or ability to afford high levels of defence expenditure and its consequential impact. The reorientation from the east to Europe was well on the way by 1998 as the Gallup survey noted. 50% thought Europe rather than the empire meant more to Britain.Ã [xi]Ã A further complication to the popular view of empire can be developed, which is a tapestry of opinion that reflects the internal boundaries of the United Kingdom. The title of Condor and Abells work says it all in this regard, Romantic Scotland, tragic England, ambiguous Britain.Ã [xii]Ã The conclusions from the interviews that formed the basis of the research showed that in Scotland, respondents inferred heroic national character from Scotlands role in the Empire. Whereas in England, the story of empire was understood to represent a product of excessive nationalism. However, the concept of Britishness was in both groups understood to predate and postdate the history of empire. This is in fact just another way of saying that as a nation the British had assimilated the empire rise and fall to their own historical narrative. A consequence of the decolonising experience in Britain appears to have been that the recent teaching of history is devoid of content when it comes to the empire. Indeed if I recall both my O and A level history courses in the late 1970s, empire did not prominently figure. Such a notion was explored by a Prince of Wales summer school in 2003. The rub of the question was that if European imperialism was the most important historical trend of the 19th century, and the British Empire was the biggest and most important of the empires, why did it not it figure more prominently in schools teaching? As the Guardian reported, schools do week after week of British social history and only one week on the empire. In terms of significance it is not enough.Ã [xiii]Ã The knowledge of empire amongst a generation now one step removed from the Second World War and the decolonisation afterward is too superficial. Our aggravation Fergusson summed the point,Ã [xiv]Ã we can teach the British Empire without saying its either a good or a bad thing. It is both good and bad. One simply needs to know about it how it arose and how it declines. These questions arent in anyway politically loaded. Theres an incredible hangover from the 60s left that says anything about empire must be bad. Im in no way pushing my own interpretation of empire. Its just that it should be at the core of what we teach people about modern history. The reluctance of schools to teach the history of empire and even more the examination boards to set the syllabus is bamboozling and rather smacks of avoidance. But avoidance as a consequence of what embarrassment at the event or the analysis? An Ofsted report on the teaching of history in schools questioned whether a lesson on empire in a three year history course was sufficient given the subjects significance and concluded it was not.Ã [xv]Ã It found that pupils aged 16 would have had 3 or 4 lessons on the subject of empire in their previous 5 years at school. But this is not about providing a unitary explanation of empire in the classroom. The advice Ofsted gave to schools was that pupils should know about the empire and that it has been interpreted by historians and others in different ways. However, others in education were more strident in their criticisms. Dr Andrew Cunningham, a teacher, argued that while the empire might be forgotten in the UK, around the world this was far less likely to be the case where the imperial legacy was the English language, a strong sense of liberty, an impartial legal system and stable parliamentary government.Ã [xvi]Ã He also noted that the legacy lived on within the UK with an ethnically diverse populace drawn from across the former colonies and living together in relative harmony. In an increasingly globalised and interconnected world the existence of old links between peoples, such as language and law, are fundamental building blocks for future relationships. They together with immigration to Britain are important legacies from empire. The Commonwealth bruised and battered in the 1960s and 1970s retains a surprising utility as a dense global network of informal connections, valued by its numerous small states.Ã [xvii]Ã Whether or not this judgement shows a transition in the historical analysis of the empire by the BBC is only a question that the corporation itself might answer. But the analysis has moved on from that of an earlier BBC website for school children which starkly noted,Ã [xviii]Ã the Empire came into greatness by killing lots of people .. and stealing their countries. The issue of hindsight is key in considering historical perspective, and that is as true for analysis of the British Empire as for other events in the past. Time and distance aid the historian by answering the question of what happened next. It is only in the recent 10 to 20 years that histories of the British Empire can begin to be written by those for whom the ideology of decolonisation is a historical phenomenon. Now they are able to judge the claims and successes of what the Ghandis and company of the world constructed as well as assailed.Ã [xix]Ã In chronological terms, Fergusson fits neatly into the category of young historians that Richenberg had identified and to whom he offered such a proposition. As he says, many of the sins of dictatorship, tribalism and exploitation which the British committed in Africa have been overshadowed by those of their colonial successors. It is not that this legitimises the wrongs of the Empire, but it makes it easier for many to attempt to i nterpret what was a liberal empire as an intellectually flawed but not dishonourable attempt to solve problems. With little adjustment such observations would suffice for a publishing editors summary for the back cover of Fergussons book. While retrospection is an aid to comparative analysis it is also an equally useful tool for those who believe the legacies of empire might not always be viewed quite so benignly through such an optic. Jack Straw, when Foreign Secretary, identified Britains imperial past as the cause of many of the modern worlds political problems, including the Arab-Israeli conflict and the Kashmir dispute.Ã [xx]Ã Fergusson, perhaps predictably commented that Mr Straw was guilty of chanting the old National Union of Students refrain we are to blame.Ã [xxi]Ã Conversely though, there is a view for example that the partition in India/Pakistan was now far more important as the defining context for contemporary and future politics, than the legacy of the empire. Perhaps while retrospection helps it does need to be treated with a degree of caution. It is always easy to be wise after the event or as Barry Buzan from the LSE noted in the same article, like looking back at a game of chess; its much ea sier afterwards to work out what the moves should have been. In doing so he captured the views of other historians such as Andrew Roberts and J B Kelly. This gradual development of the view of Empire from apologist during decolonisation to now more benignly contemplative is most clearly reflected in the Commonwealth. Here former colonies are individual nations bonding of their own volition as equals. It shows too that the assimilation of history into a continuous narrative is not solely a British experience. As an institution during the 60s and 70s the Commonwealth was viewed by most as an irrelevance. Indeed during the 1980s, Britain was isolated over its stance on South Africa. Now it is a family of 54 member countries with membership across all the worlds continents, including 1.8 billion people, or 30% of the worlds population. Extraordinarily 50% of that combined population are under 25 and so, many are in some cases 2 or 3 generations removed from direct experience of colonial rule.Ã [xxii]Ã The Royal Commonwealth Societys website describes how all its members are united by agreed common values, principles, heritage and language. They also share similar systems of law, public administration and education and work together in a spirit of cooperation, partnership and understanding. The increasing status of the organisation is such that membership continues to grow to countries that were outside British colonial rule, for instance Rwanda. There is a binding of human experience and values implicit in what the Society says: it is not unrealistic or even nostalgic about the past but in effect says, we are where we are, lets look forward. Given the ethnic diversity of the British population, the Commonwealth is a link by which various disaporia can remain in touch around the world. The Commonwealth is for most of the British public the most visible living legacy of the empire, with its link championed by a monarch who has lived through the decolonisation process. A living body, not a colonial relic, the Commonwealth is a successful story which looks set to strengthen in the future. It has 5 of the worlds economically fastest growing countries (including India) as members and the connections arising from the legacy of British rule mean trading costs 15% less than elsewhere in the world.Ã [xxiii]Ã The Commonwealth has developed into a consensual, informal and adaptable organisation that could be uniquely useful. Such a view cannot help strengthen the bodys reputation in the British publics perception. As the number of Britons with recollections of colonialism are relatively few, such a modern image could well colour perceptions of empire and make its legacy appear benign. The passage of time might have started to heal some of the rawness that underpinned the harsher views of empire that were prevalent in the latter half of the twentieth century during the decolonisation process. The link between many of the liberation movements in the old colonies and Marxism was strong. The subsequent defeat of communism in west and the strengthening of liberal explanations of the benefits of market capitalism and democracy has also helped to soften the often black and white terms in which empires were viewed during decolonisation. But it is the case too that the political left might be leaving its traditionally hostile view of the colonial legacy behind. Clare Short as the Minister for International Development wrote to her Zimbabwean opposite number in 1998, (we are as a government) without links to our colonial interests.Ã [xxiv]Ã An example of overall softening of the retrospective views of empire was set out by Michael Palin in an interview when he became the new President of the Royal Geographical Society.Ã [xxv]Ã Believing that it might now be the time for Britain to stop fixating on the negative aspects of empire, he said, if we say that all of our past involvement with the world was bad and wicked and wrong, I think we are doing ourselves a great disservice. It has set up lines of communication between people that are still very strong. We still have links with other countries culturally, politically and socially that perhaps we shouldnt forget. Commenting on the interview the historian, Andrew Roberts,Ã [xxvi]Ã said, alleluia! Mr Palin is quite right to acknowledge that the British Empire has been taught in particularly abject way in recent years. But before we all get somewhat carried away, some sense of proportion is important. Historians do consider themselves the purveyors of what might be the inconvenience of truth. Though even they are sometimes forced to criticise the over enthusiasm of their profession. My point is ably demonstrated by David Anderson in a review of the work of the American historian Caroline Elkins.Ã [xxvii]Ã She had assessed the number of Africans killed by the British in the Mau Mau rebellion as 300,000. The figure had provoked considerable criticism including from Anderson who had personally researched the field. Noting the affect of such exaggeration was to give succour to defenders of the legacy of empire, he was quick to make the counter point. While the British were no more atrocious as imperialists that anyone else, they were no better. It is time we set aside British amnesia and squared up to the realities of our empire, he wrote. In British politics there has been for most of the 20th century amongst the left a perceived connection between colonialism and capitalism. The expectation was the demise of empire would facilitate the building of a socialist society. But even where over time the economic arguments against colonialism splintered or faded the principles of the right to national determination and a generalised internationalism survived.Ã [xxviii]Ã Movements such as that for Colonial Freedom, launched in 1954, had at heart a deeply held view that colonialism was an evil for British society as well as for the colonised because it was morally corrupting to the identity of the British self. If it is the development of broader political thinking in society that helps set the context for the acceptability or otherwise of fresh historical analysis, then there has been some perceptible recent shifts. A speech by Gordon Brown on Britishness in 2004 it drew both on leading historians of the British national story and cast a net into more right wing territory too. The reasoning was that it was politically disastrous for centre left parties to abandon the ground of national identity and patriotism.Ã [xxix]Ã As Brown reflected on the historical aspects of being British, there was a Whigish air to his account. Any sense that the political aspect of decolonisation is the pervading approach amongst historians has long started to ebb. Whilst the initial veer away from an Anglo-centric perspective on the break-up of empire still maintained some elements of a political theme, the focus has moved to the study of individual countries achievement of self-determination.Ã [xxx]Ã There is still a considerable way to go in the historiography of empire, for instance in terms of the study of womens history. Coincident with the increasing profile of Fergusson in the mid-noughties, a number of historians have delivered grounding breaking research into the legacy of empire along these new lines. Andersons research on the Mau Mau uprising in Kenya in the 1950s was one such case. Undermining the received wisdom of an orderly retreat and deals done at conferences is that empires are not glorious being concerned with the power relations, the domination, often de-humanisation, of one race by another. For Anderson the British empire was no different.Ã [xxxi]Ã His research has been more focused, not the coffee table book tableau view, but dealing with specific events or countries shining a light upward into how we might view the empire enterprise as a whole. The irony here though is not that Fergussons work is viewed as novel or controversial: rather it is the thesis that must be challenged, rather than challenge. However, Stephen Howes claim that Andersons work will transform our understanding of how the British Empire ended and force a wide re-evaluation of Britains modern history is pushing the point.Ã [xxxii]Ã The issue remains that a considerable body of the new work that is aimed at the wider readership is still Anglo-centric. The charge here is that Fergusson is not a heavyweight historian, with his works relying too heavily on secondary texts. As the reassessment of empire progresses with old mythologies being re-evaluated as opposed to rehashed there is a danger that work like Andersons are not permeating effectively enough into the popular historiesÃ [xxxiii]Ã . Tapan Raychaudhuri in considering the legacy of empire from the Indian perspective argues that few serious historians in India see much that was good in Britains imperial record. However, there is little evidence to suggest that in terms of empires legacy with the British public that such a view has entered the genera l consciousness. The impact on Britain of the loss of an empire is different from that on the former colonial states who composed it. It can be hypothesised that the recent British experience was one of becoming a new nation born from a loss of identity (empire) rather than through the more normal moment of achievement of self-determination and sovereignty. The British and maybe its currently subordinate identities have only begun to value their status as a nation as they have lost its as an empire. Looking to the future, rather than embraced tradition, the past is a foreign country.Ã [xxxiv]Ã However, this thesis rather misses the point. The relationship to football that Robinson uses is not strong enough. Past results, whether triumphant or ignominious, are sustained in the pantheon of the football clubs history together with the folklore that accompanies them. It is no guide to future performance on the pitch but it is not dumped, as history becomes part of the living entity that is the club . Extrapolating to Britain, the same is true: history has not been forgotten but assimilated. The notion of popular imperialism is not a new one. Indeed the Falklands war in 1982 could be argued to be the last visible outpouring of such sentiment, though the peaceful return of Hong Kong is another somewhat less jingoist example. It should not be a surprise that a positive idea of the empires legacy or receptiveness (even amongst the cynicism of the Channel 4 commissioning editors) to the work of authors such as Fergusson does exist. The success of imperialism as a popular cultural phenomena during the 20th century was set out by MacKenzie.Ã [xxxv]Ã The empires popularity was a core ideology in Britain which later morphed into nostalgia. However, given natural human emotions, it would be hardly surprising that the visible and quick end of empire after 1945 would not evoke such sentiment. Equally the extent though that nostalgia was a means of escaping the harsh realities of the day is of course a moot point. Though as the Economist noted,Ã [xxxvi]Ã having taken the loss of empire relatively lightly, the British publics concept of identity had been fortified by a comforting set of images of national heroism derived from the Second World War. But nostalgia can be both melancholic as well as euphoric. In the late 1970s the economic and political challenges in Britain were different from today and discussion was focused on how their malaise coupled with the loss of an empire could be met.Ã [xxxvii]Ã Events like Suez summed up the sense of decline associated with decolonisation, but in the public consciousness, victory in the South Atlantic in 1982 has to some extent become linked with economic reform and major so cial readjustment. Today notions of nostalgia continue to be reinforced by newspaper articles,Ã [xxxviii]Ã for instance those covering the current troubles in Yemen. In an article headed, We regret driving out the British, ex-Marxist revolutionaries spoke nostalgically of imperial masters they had fought to remove. Whilst patently British rule is not going to return to Yemen, the continued theme of such articles together with similar ones that most of us have read with regard to the Indian sub-continent reinforce a narrative that underpins the articulation of the some of the putative benefits of imperial rule; albeit driven more by nostalgia than rigorous analysis. Whilst the revival of the neo-Whig view of empire is associated with Fergusson it is possible to see the earlier emergence of the same train of thought. Max Beloff noted that for younger historians coming of age when he was writing in 1995, an optimistic view of empire was not difficult to find, where the sins of empire had been redeemed by a legacy of democratic institutions and liberal ideas, notably represented by the Commonwealth.Ã [xxxix]Ã He continued, the history of the British Empire could be studied to see how this glorious consummation had been achieved. I would not be so bold as to argue that this was an executive instruction to Fergusson, but my point is that the structure of the argument was already there, albeit in an embryonic way. However, when Clements at a similar time made his plea for more analysis of the economics of empire as a means to aiding its public reassessment, he probably did not have the direction that Fergusson subsequently took in mind.Ã [xl]Ã Its conclusions were probably 180 degrees out from what he had anticipated. We have all engaged around the dining room table or at the pub in those rather spurious conversations along the lines of what if we hadnt won the first world war. Such counter factual analyses of history are popular but their value debateable. But it is unsurprising in the sense of the determination to provoke that Fergusson edited a book of counterfactual essays. Such work as Fergusson himself points out challenges conventional approaches to the study of history. E H Carr dismissed counterfactual history as a mere parlour game and red herring, while E
Tuesday, January 21, 2020
A Hasty Decision When I turned eighteen I went out and began renting my very own apartment. The effort I put into this task at the time seemed sufficient. I went online, found a place I liked with good location and low rent. I asked my good friend Sean to live with me to help keep costs down. Then I took care of all the utilities, gas electric, cable, phone, internet, and all the necessities. My first apartment gave me some very rough times, but from that time I learned a little about apartments and a lot about life. Things were going great for Sean and I. we had been living on our own in Tera Vida Apartments for three months and we were getting along swell. The only occasional dispute was when we would rock, paper, scissors to see who was taking out the trash. Expenses were no problem. Sean had a job as a telemarketer and was getting weekly bonuses in excess of five hundred dollars for beating the quota. I was driving the zamboni and working in the pro shop of the local ice rink. The best part of all was no one was telling us to do anything at all. Almost out of nowher...