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POLC38H3 (43)

poli sci lecture note 3

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University of Toronto Scarborough
Political Science
Henry Shiu

• Are Things Getting Worse? Debating the Links Between Globalization, Corruption, and Violence • Globalization? • Emergence of global arena as a new, modern phenomenon… • Previously, world characterized by: a. Existence of numerous and smaller isolated communities… b. Slow and sporadic connections between them… c. Interconnections were extremely limited… • World as a Global Village? • Now, all this has changed… a. Extensive penetration of global forces down to the seemingly most peripheral and isolated communities… b. Speed of interactions have increased tremendously – finance, communication, travel/movement, diseases!, etc… c. Scope of interaction between ‘the global’ and ‘the local’ has become intense and multi-faceted, affecting all aspects of life (social, economic, ecological, political, etc)… d. Though fueled by a variety of social, economic, and political forces, globalization is usually associated with the creation and spread of markets… • From an International to a Transnational World? • What happens in one part of the world has effects in other parts of the world… • These effects cut across borders in ways that are ‘unmediated’ by states… • Leading to news ways of conceptualizing the world – with elements of the Global North being found in the Global South and visa versa… • Questions? • Has globalization been driven only by the spread of markets (economic forces)? Or do markets spread because of political decisions and the exercise of political power? • What effect have these processes of globalization had on the areas we have traditionally called ‘the Global South’? • Have they facilitated or exacerbated processes of social, economic, and political development – especially with regards to the predicament of ‘weak states’? • Debate – Acemoglu and Robinson versus Collier? • Lecture Outline: 1. Brief Discussion – UNDP Diagram on the Distribution of Global Income… 2. The Examination of Globalization in Historical Perspective… 3. Debating Globalization – Different Theoretical Perspectives… • Globalization in Historical Perspective: • Mercantilism and Imperial Expansion… • Capitalism and Imperial Expansion… • Colonialism and Imperial Expansion… • Challenging the Effects of Imperialism – Post-Colonialism and State-Led Development… • Reversing State-Led Development: Globalization and the Era of Structural Adjustment Policies (SAPs)… • Mercantilism and Imperial Expansion… • Prior to era of European expansion? Thriving local economies and polities (East Asia/India, Africa, and LA)… • Growing strength of European countries – consolidation of polities, technological developments – especially in transportation and warfare (!).. • Increasing encroachment on local economies…. • East Asia… • Goal was to capture monopoly control of lucrative space trade… • How? (i) treaties, (ii) through conquest, and (iii) through reorganization of systems of production (plantations and forced labor)… • Mechanisms – politically supported and militarized companies (East India Company, Dutch East India Company), etc… • Effect – destruction of pre-existing social relations, systems of production, and governance… • A and R – “sowed the seeds of underdevelopment” (p. 250). • Latin America… • Spanish conquest of Latin America… • Goal – in search of the wealth of the New World… • Of particular interest were the vast deposits of gold and silver (eg. the silver mines of Potassi in what is now Bolivia – Eduardo Galeano’s The Open Veins of Latin America)… • Led to the entire destruction of indigenous societies – with their systems of social relations – indeed, of entire populations, production, and governance… • Africa, the Caribbean, and Latin America…. • Emergence of state-based trading system – rather than a market-based one… • Barter – involved exchange of guns (from Europe to Africa) for slaves (from Africa to the New World) and commodities - sugar! (from New World to Europe)… • Effects: 10 million slaves transported to the New World, violent destruction of African and New World societies, destructive effect on political development in Africa – strengthening authoritarian and coercive modes of governance… • Abolition of slave trade (1834) led to new forms of coercive systems of plantation production – forced labor in Africa (25% of labor force?), indentured labor (a new form of slavery?) in the New World… • Conclusions…. 1. Expansion of Europe was a political phenomenon… 2. It was facilitated by the use of coercive force… 3. It left historical legacies of social, economic, and political destruction…. 4. The question is – how powerful were these legacies as these parts of the world entered into the modern era????? • Capitalism and Imperial Expansion… • The expansion of ‘free markets’ - hence, is theoretically distinct from the state-controlled system of exchange called mercantilism… • In theory, promoted by the entrepreneurial activity of merchants and investors – searching for economic opportunities overseas… • In reality, facilitated by the exercise of imperial power – the ‘flag’ facilitated capitalist expansion (or in other words, market expansion depends upon the exercise of political power – the ‘imperialism of free trade’!)… • Impact – the commodification of the means of production (land, labor, capital) in which more and more becomes subject to markets (and the exercise of political power!)… • Eg. – the unintended consequences of the privatization of communal land… • Colonialism and Imperial Expansion… • Why colonialism? (protect trade, enhance capitalist penetration – legal and infrastructural development, product of European strategic competition – the “Scramble for Africa” in 1882)… • Imperial, colonial, capitalist expansion as having “dialectical” impacts – complex interplay of both positive and negative effects… • Positive Impacts of Colonialism…? • Generation of tremendous wealth… • Increased opportunities for improvements in basic human needs (health, etc)… • Increases in social mobility (transportation infrastructure, etc)… • Breakdown of traditional social structures (patriarchy, etc)… • Influx of new ideas – nationalism,
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