Monday, September 27, 2004

Notes from 9/24/2004

Dilip Gaonkar – Globalization

What is globalization?

What comes to mind? - countries of the world are more connected, “international” used to be the hot word. Prior to globalization, there were empires, then nation-states. People suggest that globalization is an era in which there is a less-solid sense of nationalism. Why are nations no longer solid? Companies have no borders. (What agents are pushing globalization?) Nations themselves are contributing, as are religious leaders.

How do we want to study globalization?

Do we study it as economies? Currencies? Finance? Trade and markets?

Finance: There was a CFO, there were bricks rather than clicks, outsourcing. “Global workforce”. Once, workforce was local due to jobs working with manufactured/processed resources like coal or steel, but now manufacturing facilities are spread out. “World Car” the Ford Fiesta, built around the world. Textile industry has gone from N.E. to N. Carolina to Asia, because companies have always followed cheap labor.

Why is the quality of a shirt made in Hong Kong and Thailand or Bangladesh now the same? Companies can run a plant under the same conditions as they did in their home country. More countries have opened themselves up to the investment of foreign companies.

Globalization has made it possible for goods to be produced wherever it can be done least expensively at the same quality. There is a logic that isn’t sentimental or nationalistic.

How does information technology/information work play in?

“Evolutionary economy”

There were 3 categories, agriculture, industrial, and service. Look at the breakdown of percentages of people in the world 1910 worked in each sector…80% in agriculture. In 1960 or 70, it was 5%, now 2%. In the US, it’s less than 3%. The U.S. still produces a lot of agricultural product, but fewer need to work to produce that. In India, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) was promoting a good economy, so as an election strategy they used “India Shining” as a slogan. They were defeated by the Congress Party, because the rising tide didn’t raise all domestic boats. India is predominantly agricultural economy, so the poor were not concerned about international image/global economic progress. Daniel Bell “The Coming of the Post-Industrial Society” in the 70s, predicted that more will work in service than manufacturin.

The different political dimension, Unionization, is the difference today between a manufacturing and service job. Service jobs are not necessarily bound by location; call centers can be in foreign countries like India or the Philippines. Physical proximity is no longer important. Dilip used to call India for $12 for 3 minutes, now it’s $.45, enabling a foreign call center. (Economies of scale helped, more people are now making that international call)

Globalization could not have happened in an industrial economy. Communication and information technology made this possible. Deterritorialization.

What is the connection between globalization and capitalism?

What restrictions should be applied to free market capitalism?

Capitalism is about capital…money wants to mov to a place it can generate the most profit. In last 10 years, capital has come to China in a 50:1 ratio compared to India.

America is that country in which there is the least political restriction on economy.

What kind of restriction should be applied to a global economy? Education and Health are the exceptions to free market logic…


Lexus and Olive Tree - Thomas Friedman – pro-globalization

Globalization and its Discontents – Stiglitz – has serious reservations about globalization, suggests restrictions

Culture Matters – Harrison and Huntington – collection of essays – culture’s effect a country’s ability to adjust to global economy – Max Weber’s Protestant Ethic and the Rise of Capitalism suggested that Protestant beliefs and capitalism were compatible…same is said of Confucianism. Corruption is a barrier…in India, kleptocracy is a barrier to the adjustment to globalization.

Reading Packet

Papers: October 8 – response to Lexus and Olive Tree
October 30 – On Globalization and Economy
November 19 – On Globalization and Culture
December 4 – How has Globalization Changed my Workplace?

Globalization doesn’t mean Americanization, but there are many globalizations, regions with dominant cultures and economies.

For October 2 – Lexus and Olive Tree, pp. 1-142, preface.
Lecture – Two Faces of Globalization

For October 8 – Globalization and its Discontents, pp. 1-88
Lexus, 145-326.
Lecture – Globalization and Economy

Why was 9/11 an example of “Global Terrorism”?

- Victims were from many countries
- Agents of terror were international, and not from U.S. immediate enemy, motivated by international issues
- Terror network has no central location
- Affected the globe, rather than making only a local impact; a clash of civilizations
- Attack on symbol of globalization, the WTC

For next time, be prepared to talk about images of globalization.


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