Globalization at the Turn of the Millennium
I0. Global Political Economies
A0. The Spread of Democracy
10. The great appeal of democracy is that is allows for the peaceful resolution of differences
between a country's social, cultural, and regional groups.
20. Democratic institutions gained ground in eastern Europe and in Russia during the last
30. Since 1991, democracy has become the norm in Latin America.
40. In Asia, Indonesia and China have moved towards more open political processes. The
election of the BJP in India has increased tensions between India and Pakistan, as well as
between India's Hindus and Muslims.
50. With the notable exception of South Africa, elections in sub-Saharan Africa have often
been used by would-be dictators as the first step in establishing their political and
60. Democracy is the exception, not the rule, in the Middle East.
70. In addition to internal factors, the changed politics of the post-Cold War era and the
demands of global economic forces have played important roles in contributing to the
growth (or decline) of democracy in individual countries.
B0. Global Politics
10. Since the end of the Cold War, the United Nations has sought to reestablish its role as the
world's peacekeeper and defender of human rights. While United Nations peacekeeping
missions have had some success, it is often difficult for the member nations to agree on a
given course of action.
20. It has been particularly difficult for the international community to agree on how and
when to intervene in civil conflicts and when to stop human rights abuses. This fact was
illustrated in the slow response of the United States and the European nations to civil war
and ethnic cleansing in the former Yugoslavia and in Rwanda.
C0. Arms Control and Terrorism
10. Recent events have raised concerns about terrorism and the proliferation and
dissemination of weapons of mass destruction (WMD).
20. Many countries, including the United States, have begun new nuclear weapons programs.
30. Fears about WMDs and terrorism came together in the concern that terrorist
organizations, like that led by Osama bin Laden, would gain access to WMDs.
40. President Bush's declaration of a "War on Terrorism" and preemptive strikes by the
United States on Afghanistan and Iraq raised fears in much of the world that the United
States no longer felt itself bound by international institutions and international law.
50. Disorder in Iraq following the United States invasion has intensified the worldwide
debate about the best way to respond to the twin threats of terrorism and WMDs.
D0. The Global Economy
10. After the collapse of state managed socialist economies in eastern Europe and the Soviet
Union, free-market capitalism was the only path left to economic growth.
20. Following a decade of rapid growth, a worldwide recession began in 2000. 30. World trade and manufacturing became increasingly integrated and interdependent.
40. Rapid growth occurred in parts of the developing world, as countries made the transition
from communism to capitalism.
50. China's steps to open its economy to freer trade and investment helped make it a global
60. Technology that made it possible to rapidly invest funds in international markets also
made it possible to withdraw those funds just as rapidly.
70. From 2000 to 2001, worldwide economic growth slowed from 13 to 1 percent.
80. The boom of the 1990s did little to change historic disparities between rich and poor
E0. Managing the Global Economy
10. To promote economic growth and reduce vulnerabilities, many countries formed free-
trade zones and regional trade associations. The strengthening of the European Union
(EU) and the creation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) were
notable examples of this trend.
20. The World Trade Organization (WTO) was founded in 1995 to encourage reduced
trading barriers and enforce international trade agreements. The organization has
numerous vocal critics.
30. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank provide assistance to
countries in economic trouble, but often require that those countries take politically
unpopular steps as a condition of assistance.
40. In light of increased criticism, world leaders have pledged to do more to help the world's
50. President Bush's Millennium Challenge Account is meant to encourage economic growth
in poor nations.
II0. Trends and Visions
A0. A New Age?
10. According to analyst and reporter Thomas Friedman, the 1990s ushered in a new
economic and political age.
20. Friedman believes that global integration will produce support both economic and
30. The events of 9/11 and the global economic slowdown have caused many to question
B0. Christian Millenarianism
10. Many Christians saw deeper meaning in the dawning of the twenty-first century,
believing that the return of Jesus Christ and the end of the world were imminent.
20. Such Christian millenarians see in current events evidence of the coming apocalypse.
C0. Militant Islam
10. People of a variety of faiths are inclined to see contemporary world events in religious
20. Like people of all faiths, Muslims have responded in a variety of ways to globalization.
A minority have chosen a militant response to what they see as a direct threat to Islam.
30. Economic and political failures have contributed to the rise of militant Isla