Monday, December 06, 2004

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In what sort of world will globalization result? Was 9/11 a random crime or a signal of a coming “Jihad and McWorld” clash of civilizations? How does the West engage an enemy that believes it will be rewarded in the afterlife for killing it citizens? Americans fighting in the Middle East want to live, but they are up against suicide bombers. Do we know what the goals of the war on terror are? What do the terrorists want? Should the war be fought at the expense of personal liberties?

Jihad vs. McWorld – The essay comments on 4 interdependencies or imperatives: a market imperative that replaces local or national markets; an information technology imperative; a resource imperative (oil, water); and ecological imperatives of global politics (should the U.S. take a financial hit to clean the environment?). What is fair in global politics? The principle of fairness, equal treatment, is a guide, but how is America equal to other countries? Should the richest countries reduce emissions to a level that all follow? Should the richest countries be allowed to pollute than others? “Pollution Rights” are bought and sold, enabling some to pollute more than others, and those who don’t to benefit from the sale. This is an example of an intractable problem of global politics. The problems caused today do not immediately affect the world; e.g., the Southern Hemisphere will be affected more severely by global warming, but in 40 years.

A smaller world puts us all together. McWorld = Lexus, Jihad = Olive Tree. Which comes first? Which facilitates which? They are interdependent. Jihad = not just Holy War, but fighting to protect a way of life; Barber compares Basques fight for independence to Jihad. Why a sudden emphasis on Jihad? Jihad is reacting to McWorld, feels more threatened by McWorld. McWorld is culturally adaptive, (burgers can be made of lamb or chicken) can it quell the tide of Jihad by controlling itself? It isn’t well regulated, and is selling a “lifestyle”, to which Jihad objects; it has happened suddenly, not gradually. Microsoft makes the money in PC sales, slogan is “Where do you want to go today?” Durable goods do not take you where you want to go, the lifestyle image MS provides is what does it. Recurrent services are what is sold. Why doesn’t McWorld sell lifestyles to rich countries, and goods to poor? Because it can be done as well locally, and doesn’t make the economy go; McWorld can only make money selling a lifestyle. Everything the West sells demands a reconfiguration of gender; 51% of the population will think and act differently. The greatest revolution under way now is the gender revolution.

What is the solution? About what can we be optimistic? What will keep the clash from worsening? Democracy, and democratic forms of government. Democratic tendencies are defeating theocratic tendencies; Jihad can only be controlled by the counterforce of democracy. Has McWorld done enough to promote democracy elsewhere?

What to do about McWorld? Strong Democracy, citizens should be far more active. Can we be more active? There is a freeloader problem, allowing others to do it. Many people are active locally, or in specific local activities, but not outside of those boundaries; why? Is the world too big? Americans have a strong tendency to join groups; how do Americans turn bowling leagues and volunteerism into concern for the world? Barber proposes a “Confederal Option” in which semi-autonomous communites smaller than nation-states are tied together in regional economic associations that are larger than nation-states. “Think Globally, Act Locally” progressive localization, Barber believes is happening in global economics and local activism. “Autonomy” enables a mayor from the United States to visit politicians in China; limits to connections are breaking down. Unlike within the U.S., countries are more fragmented within their populations, more potential for conflict. What would motivate me to form or join an alliance like Appadurai’s Alliance? Take Back the Night was a domestic movement of women, motivated by fight against sex criminals; in some communities, women can’t go to a bar late at night like men, but in NY, women can move freely and make assumptions about them. University campus may be an oasis, but it varies from place to place; women are forced to unite in their social change movements. What are women in this case deprived of?

Huntington – The Clash of Civilizations – Huntington believes that more economic growth must precede democracy, rather than the reverse. The main argument of the essay is that the dominating course of conflict will be cultural rather than ideological or political. In the United States, race may be the cultural clash; Huntington believes that the potential for clash in America is Hispanic culture vs. existing anglo-dominated culture. Western Civilization values individualism, gender equality, which Eastern culture does not always do…Muslims believe these values are destructive to their way of life. Huntington believes there is no middle ground or negotiation between the cultures; how to get through it? Six points:

1) Differences between cultures are basic;
2) The world is getting smaller;
3) Globalization separates people from their local identities;
4) Civilization-consciousness is growing, driven by the West;
5) Cultural differences are less mutable than other differences, and are therefore harder to overcome;
6) Economic regionalism is progressing.

In The Last Samurai, the pro-Western forces win; the struggle is between forces of modernization and a traditional way of life, which is represented by the samurai.

The pro-Western elites are becoming anti-Western, and a more rural sensibility is taking its place “going native”; “Asianization” of Japan, “Hinduization” of India, a “re-Islamization” of the Middle East. These people are less modern, maintain power in a non-secular way. Bin Laden was a member of the elite, but became a rebel. How did this happen? Most al queda leaders are westernized, educated.

There are fault lines between cultures that are replacing old cold war boundaries, Western-aligned vs. traditional clash. There are also torn countries, Mexico and Turkey. Turkey’s leader Sezer forced Westernization, he realized that social reform was critical to modernization. “Islam has bloody borders.” Even in regions with economic imbalances economics is not the issue that drives conflicts, it is cultural.

The “Kin-Country Syndrome” – countries will align politically with countries with which they match culturally; “West vs Rest”. People apply different standards to kin countries and others. Conflicts and violence will also occur between states and groups within the same civilization, but will be less intense and are less likely to expand.

“World Community” = Influence of Western Powers.

Monday, November 22, 2004

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Dilip 11 19

Kelly’s presentation – Motorola works with governments to allocate bandwidth and customers who adopt or reject new technology; M is not a leader outside the U.S., Qualcomm became an IPR (Intellectual Property Rights) company and not a manufacturer. Infrastructure changes are sometimes capital intensive; Dilip used the example of broad, middle, and narrow gauge railroad track, changes are expensive, so a better train might not be used if changing track is prohibitively expensive.

Mary’s Presentation – Disney Japan vs. EuroDisney – Japanese accepted a Disney world that was identical to Disneyland in California; the cultural demands of EuroDisney (staff must dress and wear their hair per the rules, speak English, et al) were too difficult for the Europeans to accept. French don’t “escape” to a world in the same way Americans do, Japanese do. For Japanese, Disney is distinctly American; Disney stories are derived from Euorpean stories and include kingdoms and castles that are part of European history. Disney sold and now licenses EuroDisney to French government, and is doing better. The challenge of replicating the Disney experience outside the U.S. is great.

Steve’s Presentation – Free Trade Agreements (import and export) there are several FTAs, but no central database of FTAs. CAFTA (Central America) some smaller Central American countries fight the FTA. Goods shipped are now valued and regulated in standard ways more than ever; arbitrary pricing is no longer allowed. Some chemicals that can be transformed into dangerous agents require more paperwork. FTAs have different rules and regulations for transportation; balance of trade agreements play in, because there is only so much money that can come from France, China, et al. CFO is in charge of trade agreements. CFRs, federal code of valuation, impose fines and jail time for non-compliance; if valuation or mislabeling occurs, there are consequences. This is an example of the government, though less involved in Abbott’s business, “interferes” in the transport of Abbott’s products. “Governmentality” – a complex regimentation of behavior for legal and security reasons. Are we against big government because of "governmentality"? A small company could probably not comply with all of the rules and therefore compete with Abbott because of these rules.

Culture Matters

Chapter 1 – Culture Makes Almost All The Difference – Landes - Why have Japan and Argentina developed differently? All economic and political activity is predicated on three cultural conditions; culture both promotes and inhibits global commerce. Which cultural traits promote economic success, and which inhibit? How can those that promote success be developed, and how can those that don’t be managed without changing the culture?

Chapter 8 - Social Capital – Fukuyama – What traits make a society more effective? Trusting others to behave in a particular way, “radius of trust”. If the radius of trust is as wide as the whole society, there are high levels of social capital within the society. Externalities affect social capital; negatives and positives balance each other, e.g. Puritans treat the rest of the world like they treat each other, the KKK does not.

The Other Side of Outsourcing – Discovery/Thomas Friedman video.

Friday, November 19, 2004

The Other Side of Outsourcing - w/ Thomas Friedman

Thursday, November 18, 2004

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights

Monday, November 15, 2004

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Dilip 11 13

We’re a week behind; we could focus on:

1) Asian Challenge - Japan and “Asian tigers” (S.Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore) who have succeeded with globally-focused economies; China and India have recently succeeded as well. Russia has not done as well.
2) 9/11/terror and globalization; in the Middle East, are we headed toward a clash of civilizations, or normalization of relations with Middle East and West?

We’ll read about 9/11 and terror, but the readings will touch on the Asian Challenge.

Bhagwati focused on Asia, Stiglitz on Africa; in Asia, capital market regulation may have been all that was needed, globalization issues in Africa may be more a more difficult challenge.

How Globalization has Changed My Workplace – Final Paper – Due December 7

How has my company’s market been changed by globalization? Have back-office services been outsourced? Is it importing/exporting to and from foreign countries more than before? Has advertising used to market my company’s product become more focused on diasporic communities in the U.S.? Are we selling more abroad?

How have my fellow workers, vendors, and customers changed in composition, functionality, or interactive style?

Have technologies, esp. information technologies, changed, and how have they affected my workplace? Have they made my job easier, or more difficult? (e.g. Time-Space compression, mobility, work while you play). Communication revolution (extended hours/travel working with people in other time zones, call centers in India operate from midnight onward, men and women mix in night hours, makes up a Western name for work, changes social structure)

Be creative; reflect on career and nature of work, how has work changed my level of anxiety, self image, overall relationship to work.

Next Assignment due Tuesday before Thanksgiving – November 30 – Dilip wants good papers, not so concerned about when they arrive.

Paper #3 – Globalization and Politics

Many in class stopped watching election coverage after the election was over, though some were news-junkies before Nov. 2. U.S. election of 2004 was a classic two-party election, traditional process. In order to be successful, an individual must be part of a group; in the U.S., you must be part of a party. In a globalized world, is there an existing or emerging conception of politics? Will it go on as it is? Two kinds of politics – Social Movement Politics, like the civil rights movement, the women’s suffrage movement or abolition (often after goal is achieved, the organizations behind the movements cease to exist) (Q: Where do Social Movements get their money and skill?) and Electoral Politics, carried on by political parties. Types of politics blend; in social movements, legislative and judicial branches were involved, someone like Jesse Jackson does both. Our question: Are either type of politics changing because of globalization? Is a new type of politics emerging? Is anti-globalization a social movement like others, or different? (Just because it’s about globalization doesn’t make it new). Are corporations engaged in a new kind of politics?

Readings for paper:

Susan Strange’s first essay – Three paradoxes of decline of state

1) Governments are losing power to regulate information, economies, national cultures. The government seems to be everywhere, however; there are licenses and regulation for everything. This leads to disrespect for the government.
2) Today every group wants its own status as independence as nations; this is happening at a time when there is little independence, countries are more dependent on each other.
3) State regulated economies don’t work, but Asian tigers prosper with state run economies.

(The apparatus in the U.S. is an exception) What does Europe do in the event of a natural disaster? What if Turkey decided to attack its European neighbors? The larger the EU becomes, the less likely it will become a political union, because there will be different political views; if there was a Western European EU only, they might have created a common army. Europe will be an economic and cultural counterforce to the U.S., but not political. (Turkey’s admission might lead EU to become political, resistance to their admission is based on a cultural/political changes it might bring). The 21st Century is thought to be the American/Asian century, while the 20th was the American century. Is China the only possible counterforce to the U.S.?

Technology and communication drive changes.

1) Politics is a common activity, not confined to bureaucrats and politicians.
2) Outcome is exercised by markets, and unintentionally by customers.
3) The authority in society or economic activity is legitimately exercised by agents other than the state.

Appadurai – Deep Democracy

What is the alliance that works on behalf of the illegal slum-dwellers in the city of Mumbai? Three groups of people: SPARC, an NGO; the slum dwellers association; the women’s association.
The slum-dwellers lack water, electricity, and sanitary living conditions (toilets and infrastructure). In some countries, there are ration cards that enable people to buy food staples. (necessities are food, shelter, and basic services) In the poorest countries, 80% of income is spent on food. People who live in illegal slums pay more for necessities than street-dwellers or legal shantytown dwellers. Slum dwellers are not legally entitled to these services. The alliance works to lay claim to domicile for illegal slum dwellers, and get access to these services.

Women’s organizations have sprung up because women can save rather than impulsively spend as men do, they have immediate obligations to children.

The alliance’s groups want to remain autonomous, not combine. Federating is better than combining.

In the future, are federations better than mergers in social movements? In politics, federations lead to more democratic decision-making than bureaucratic or central decision-making. Will U.S. social movements become federations rather than mergers? Success by a federation will not lead to dissolution of any of the member groups.

Politics of patience – MLK Jr.’s Birmingham jail speech, equality can’t wait; “drug of gradualism”…slowly and steadily the condition of African-American will improve, but MLK rejected this idea. African-American leaders believed that discriminatory practices could be ended quickly, that African-Americans could succeed sooner rather than later. Malcolm X said that Democrats might take them for granted, may be oppressive.

Given the condition of the poor, how does it gradually change? Alliance has not aligned itself with any party, will deal with anyone who can help the alliance. The alliance has no ideology. Many urban planners create communities for the poor that are removed from others, banish them to areas miles from cities (Soweto-Johannesburg)…the alliance thinks that the poor communities must be in population centers where they have access to jobs and resources.

What new politics apply to people in slums? The new politics probably run contrary to Utopian views that healthy economy = elimination of poverty and slums. Asian slums are the hub of productive activity, removing them would lead to economic problems; keeping the poor among the prosperous is part of the new politics. The other feature of slum life is that all are involved; every member of the slum is involved in the cause by attending meetings, talking about their situation. In the alliance, meetings sometimes take place in the slum. The slum dwellers constantly count their number; a bureaucratic infrastructure is organized to determine how many are affected, an greater number is more influential and credible (Computers are used to achieve this).
To accomplish changes of this variety, patience is required. Moves like rioting, conventional elections are over quickly.

The alliance groups have things to teach each other; slum dwellers will talk to others in other cities. This has gone global; slum dwellers from Phnom Phen talk to poor in Johannesburg; “Globalization from Below” is leading to an international association of slum dwellers.

This politics is different from Social Movement and Electoral Politics; will it be sustainable?

Rafael – Philippines, Estrada (1998-2001) - Estrada was impeached for accepting bribes. Unusual protests to oust Estrada, middle class took to the street, as did young people. Cell phones were used to oust Estrada; text messaging through the phone was widespread while computers were not. Is this kind of politics sustainable? What happened with Princess Di was a sudden rush of sentimentality, and went on for a week or so, then disappeared. What kind of phenomenon was this? Could it be repeated for political reform? In anti-globalization movement, no one knew where the protestors came from; IT enabled this organization, but who were the political agents who sent the messages? What kind of politics does this represent?

Activists beyond borders – we won’t discuss, but will be part of the readings for the paper.

Monday, November 08, 2004

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Dilip 11 5

Optional presentation about how globalization affects my workplace for next two combined classes; it is not for credit, but will help prepare for final assignment.

Third paper is due by the Tuesday before Thanksgiving.

What were the issues of this election? Why did Bush win? How does the election relate to globalization?

Most of the rest of the world favored Kerry. Bush favors more intervention than Kerry, Bush is a greater promoter of American culture. The election may have been decided on moral issues; if it was, then this was an Olive Tree election. How do we define the Olive Tree in this election? It is made up of three moral issues: stem-cell research, gay marriage, and abortion. Gay marriage was the hottest of these issues; Ohio’s counties with the highest unemployment went to Bush. 80% of people who go to church regularly voted for Bush, and 80% who don’t attend church voted for Kerry. Faith = Olive Tree, Intelligence = Lexus; 80% of people whose priority was faith voted for Bush, 80% whose priority was a secular, scientific intelligence voted for Kerry. Our Olive Tree resembles the Middle Eastern Olive Tree the most; gay marriage and abortion aren’t important issues in Europe, but it is in Saudi Arabia. In traditional societies, religion informs political and cultural life; modernity has de-emphasized the influence of religion on daily life.

This election reveals that religion is more important in the U.S. than in Europe. In India, secular leadership de-emphasized religion after independence, but it has since come back like it has in the U.S. People who tried to motivate people through secular means were not as successful as Gandhi, who used religious language; Nehru, Gandhi’s successor, had a secular emphasis because of the division between Hindus and Muslims. Hinduism does not mobilize people to oppose abortion politically; religion in the U.S. is a positive force, motivating people to political ends. Religion advises secular decision-making, and scripture is used to justify political positions. American Olive Tree has a peculiar take on religion and morality; morality in the U.S. is not a private matter. The definition of a “good life” in the U.S. is influenced by religion; to fundamentalists, one can’t live a good life if one is indifferent to issues of abortion. Liberals believe that justice comes through fairness, equality of opportunity; the least-advantaged, most vulnerable group can get help from the government in the U.S. The debate continues about who is least-advantaged. Kerry said that his own opinion was irrelevant regarding abortion and stem cell research, Bush had a clear vision of how to act on these issues; Kerry was seen as flip-flopping because he was unwilling to promote an image of “the good life” in America. The battle for the Olive Tree is happening…culturally, this is alien to Europeans (England’s Daily Mirror’s headline suggested that the millions who voted for Bush are “dumb”). Pat Robertson/Benny Hinn’s sightings of the “Man in White” followed by requests for money or book pitches would disconcert Eurpoeans; the possibility of ambiguous connections to God makes advice on secular issues including the election through guys like Pat Robertson who claim to speak to God, possible in the U.S. In the heart of the most modern country in the world, this olive tree issue is distinct to the U.S. Bush can say he prays when he makes a decision, Kerry doesn’t say he prays, but only says he is a practicing Catholic. In Christianity, an inconsistency can be forgiven by asking God; liberals don’t forgive inconsistency. Europe and U.S. may not be going in the same direction; their destinies may not be joined. U.S. is the sole superpower, so this divergence may be cause for concern; there are no counterweights to American hegemony.

The other issue in this election has been technology; Howard Dean was able to reach people and raise more money than Kerry by Jan. 1 through the internet. Bloggers were active, they debunked the false documents presented by 60 minutes/Rather. In Philippines, cell phones were used to overthrow a President.

Appadurai – Ethnoscape is the movement of bodies; Ideascape is the movement of ideas, how they change as they move.

Technoscape – how technology moves – technology moved because it was useful to others, Zero is an example of an idea that was carried by Arabs to Europe. The invention of the Zero was revolutionary. Technology moves in modern times because it is part of the landscape of competition; labor, materials and technology are the factors of production; better technology makes a company more competitive. The difference between the advanced and less advanced is technological lag. Countries competitive with each other can trade the technology instead of the finished product; but the seller of the technology can sell them outdated machinery, and therefore keep those with the most up to date technology at an advantage. Of course, the competition in the technology business may lead others to sell up to date technology to everyone. In globalization, technology transfer is becoming smoother. India kicked IBM out because it refused to sell the latest technology to India, dumped old technology there; they now outsource and have opened boutique research labs in India. Technology transfer has changed, there are few examples of lag (Weapons technology may be the exception for nat’l security reasons).

Financescape – money moves on many tracks, two unofficial tracks worth noting – Pan-Chinese track, and the underground hevela system, which is globally supported.

Mediascape – the movement of images – the general impression is that Western countries, especially the U.S., control the world’s media. Hollywood is also an influence, as are particular products like MTV. There are also many regional centers from which images travel; Bollywood cinema is powerful in Senegal as well as India, though they are not translated from Hindi. In Afghanistan, Bollywood is also influential. Hong Kong has emerged as a powerful influence, the fight scenes in The Matrix are kung fu, weapons are less important in these scenes.

As a result, is the world becoming similar or more different? Is this leading to a homogeneous or heterogeneous world? Is diversity disappearing? Appadurai claims that globalization produces as much difference as similarity. Why does this happen? People will maintain their culture as they move; a peculiar combination of melting pot and traditional cultures is the result. America is divided into 5 groups, Indians, Asian, Hispanic, Black, and White, but there is a mixed-race category, which could include most people. Food, cultural products sold here but produced elsewhere are examples of heterogeneity resulting from globalization. Australia, U.S. looks to Asia for its future. Deterritorialization comes from a move and attempt to establish oneself in a foreign country; reterritorialization is the building of an imaginary world in a foreign country. A lack of contact with the home country can strengthen the reality of the imaginary world; imaginary world can become fossilized, a negative consequence of the imaginary world is that they become more radical, jingoistic than people in the home country; IRA is supported from overseas (Boston), other radical groups, whose actions do not effect expatriots, find support from overseas. People in the home country are more realistic, suffer the consequences of support from diasporic communities. Diasporic communities did not blend totally.

Harvey – Time-Space Compression

Our experience of time and space has been compressed. Space can be traversed quickly; people have a sense of time through breathing. Experience of time passing is different if you travel by train, which has a relaxing rhythm, and plane, which is non-stop rush. Travel by plane mirrors what is happening in the world; pace of change in life is accelerated, concerns about the future, frequent job change/retraining compresses time. Formal pleasure, doing activity for pleasure over time, is only possible with time; poets enjoy formal pleasure. In compression of time, the formal principle is gone; some moonlight to gain it, or work to support their sources of formal pleasure. People can relax on an unexpected drive or break from work.

Since 1900, agriculture went from 80% of the workforce, to 2%; today 75% in service, 22% industrial. In this society, clothing has replaced industrial goods as status symbols; one dresses to keep up with the Joneses rather than buy a toaster; durable goods don’t have the ephemeral quality of fashion. Clothes could last as long as durable goods, but fashion demands turning one’s wardrobe often. Fashion rather than function dictates the useful life of clothing. The modern economy survives on selling shirts rather than toasters, selling a lifestyle. Technology and fashion makes the lifecycle of a product or service depend on mental impressions of what they represent. Hallmark holidays have been successfully exported; France celebrates Halloween, India Valentine’s Day. Products no longer carry a life-narrative, they are acquired and disposed of too quickly. No material entity represents periods of modern life as they used to, i.e. old raincoats. When everything becomes ephemeral, people look desperately for something more firm; authorities are sought, religious revivals occur, a transcendental experience can add meaning to a modern time-compressed life.

Thursday, November 04, 2004

The Rumble at Columbia: Stiglitz vs. Bhagwati