Introduction The dominant theme of the latter decades of the

  

Introduction

The dominant theme of the latter decades of the 20th century and on into this one as well has been that of “globalization” in its many guises – cultural (e.g., the “McDonaldization” of the planet); economic (e.g., the Bretton Woods post-WWII “international economic order”); political (e.g., the “democratization” of governments); financial (e.g., the Asian meltdown of the latter 1990s); military (e.g., arms sales); criminal (e.g. global reach of drug lords).  Again, however, like with terrorism, this is not really anything new other than you living through it.  Recorded history is, in one sense, a record of globalization, beginning with human migration out of Africa into the Middle East and on into the Eurasian continent and beyond; cultural and political exchanges among more sedentary groups; and expanded trade and exploration resulting from technological innovations in transportation and communication – all produced unending linkages among cultures with greater and more frequent global reach.

Thus, the major concern today is less with the existence of globalization but rather its implications.  Is globalization a positive thing or do its negatives outweigh its benefits?  The April 2009 G-20 summit meeting in London generated as much media attention to the demonstrators outside the meeting hall in their bunny suits as it did with the outcome of the meetings. 

Learner Objectives

  • Understand the globalization process
  • Gain a sense of its impact on our lives both individually and as a society
  • Appreciate both the benefits as well as the challenges of this seemingly irreversible process

Assignment 

  1. Globalization Assignment:  go to http://www.iwallerstein.com/wp-content/uploads/docs/TRAJWS1.PDF (Links to an external site.)  and read Immanuel Wallerstein’s article Globalization or Age of Transition? A Long-term View of the trajectory of the World System.  Answer the following questions: 
    1. What are Kondratieff cycles and how does the late 20th century and early 21st century economic system fit into the theory?
    2. How was the post-WWII global economic system designed to benefit the U.S. economy?
    3. What happened to upset this favorable arrangement?
    4. What does Wallerstein identify as the major secular trends influencing the global economy by the 1990s?
    5. How close was Wallerstein in his projections for the future, now that we are getting there?  

   Submit a 4 page (suggested) double-spaced  with footnotes and bibliography on the above topic.

 

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