Local communities across the world experience the effects of accelerated change in many domains. Cities grow and glaciers melt; secularisation is matched by an equally powerful increase in religious fervour; the global economy is volatile and unpredictable, and the global percentage of Facebook users has now reached 13. This interconnected, "overheated" world is a perfect site for comparative anthropological work. The case presented in the lecture concerns a large industrial operation under way in remote Kimberley, north-western Australia, and analyses some of the local reactions to this initiative, placing local crisis management in the context of the world system.

Thomas Hylland Eriksen is Professor at the Department of Social Anthropology at the University of Oslo.