ISSJ - N° 195 - Global Knowledge

March 2009

This issue offers two complementary perspectives on global knowledge. The first dossier, coordinated by Nico Stehr and Ulrich Ufer, focuses on the subject of knowledge within the context of globalization. It considers the protection of traditional knowledge, the relation of global knowledge and development, and tacit knowledge. The dossier shows that knowledge must be differentiated from mere information; knowledge’s locally embedded nature poses serious challenges to opportunities and obstacles for its horizontal and vertical dissemination. Further, global worlds of knowledge raise questions over the ownership of knowledge. It is as yet unclear whether the outcome will be unhindered dissemination or rather concentration.

The second dossier, coordinated by Rosemary Du Plessis and Peggy Fairbairn-Dunlop, offers a regional perspective on knowledge production in the Pacific, considered from a specifically ethical angle. The dossier explores the importance of Pacific ideals of collective rights and the need to recognize the value of indigenous knowledge systems, particularly the way this knowledge has been collectively produced, share and used. It highlights what is distinctive about particular Pacific indigenous cultures, what is shared by Pacific people and the “negotiated” spaces between indigenous thinking and western science.

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