Chapter 1: Core Concepts and Historical Contexts
September-10-12 7:00 PM
- International studies involvesstudying things between nations, specifically by looking at how
different countries relate to, and deal with, each other, in all kinds of important ways: economically,
politically, culturally, militarily, etc.
- There are over 200 countries in the world today, and every single part of Earth has been claimed by
some country, or group of countries. There are 3 general exceptions to this observation:(1)
Antarctica; (2) atmosphericnear-space, on the edge between the atmosphereand outer space; and
(3) the high seas, in the middle of the oceans. These have been deemed internationalpublicspaces.
- Countrieshave 4 basic elements (Figure 1.1 (p.3)): territory(natural resources), population (people),
culture (high & low), and state (government).
- The most vital naturalresources include: water, food crops, other plants, animals, timber, and
useful rocks and minerals (silver, gold, coal, oil, etc.).
- Top 10 countries by territorial size: Russia, Canada, United States, China, Brazil, Australia, India,
Argentina, Kazakhstan, Sudan (before the partition between North and South in 2011)
Population:People and Nations
- A collectionof highly diverse groups and individuals (especially true for immigrantsocieties like
Australia, Britain, Canada, Israel, and the U.S.)
- Nation: a group of people that sees itself as being people, as belonging together in some meaningful
sense as a unit, and as having its own identity, and as being separate and distinct from other
- The basis of this national uniqueness includes the following shared characteristics:
• Racial or ethnic background
• Shared historical experiences and memories
• Religious beliefs and cultural practices
• Diet/cuisineand fashion choices
• Commonways of believing about, and behaving in, the world
- Nationalism:the drive of a nation to get its own state
• one of the most potent forces of modern history, since American (1776-1783)and French
- Populations don't just have ideals and identities: they also have practical needs and attributes. For
example, a population is highly valuable to its country as a source of labour and talent; yet it also
requires a vast infrastructure to feed it, water it, house it, transport it, clothe it, educate it, tend to
its health, and so on (core infrastructure needs).
- Top 10 largest countries by population as of 2010: China, India, United States, Indonesia, Brazil,
Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nigeria, Russia, Japan
Culture: High and Low
- Culture:how people live, think, and behave
- High culture is to be of especially good quality, or enduring merit, and is thought to represent the
very best and most meaningful pieces of culture (e.g. France's Eiffel Tower, landmark works of
poetry and literature -> Shakespeare)
- Top 10 languages spoken and used in the world: Chinese Mandarin, Spanish, English, Hindi-Urdu,
Arabic, Bengali, Portuguese,Russian, Japanese, French
- Low culture refers to more commonor wide-spread forms of belief and behaviour, such as dietary
practices, popular music and books,sports, religious practices, etc.
- Top 10 religions as of 2010:Christianity (Catholic, Protestant,and Orthodox counted together),
Islam, Hinduism, Chinese folk religion (or Confucianism), Buddhism, Indigenous folk religions
(Shintoism), Judaism, Sikhism, Baha'i, Jainism
- Non-religious = secular
- Culture can serve to unite like-minded countries (creating a civilization), but then it can also serve to - Culture can serve to unite like-minded countries (creating a civilization), but then it can also serve to
divide countries, even causing wars and clashes of civilization.
- Non-state actors: non-governmentalgroupings or institutions. Some of the mostimportant and
influential include businesses or corporations,churches or religious groups, charities, sports leagues,
fan clubs, social movements,and interest groups. (Mostof the charitable non-state actors are
referred to as non-governmentalorganizations(NGOS)).
- Socialmovements: broad-based and widely dispersed groups of people devotedto a certain cause,
like the environment
- Interest groups tend to be more highly organized and morepolitically involved,determined to get
their particular interest onto the agenda of governmentand society,for the sake of change and
securing some kind of benefit.
- In terms of international studies, the most influential and important of the non-state actors are:
• Multinationalcorporations (or MNCs - big businesses with multiple units in multiple countries)
• Aid and developmentcharities or NGOs (sometimesreligious in nature)
• Social movementsor international interest groups (especially ones connected with peace, health,
human rights, and environmentalissues)
• Terrorist groups, insurgent forces, and private militias
- Terrorist group:an armed group that deliberately uses violenceagainst civilian population, as
opposed to military targets, in hopes that the resulting spread of fear/terroramongst the people will
further a narrow political agenda that the group has
- Insurgentforces: revolutionaryarmed groups, committedto the violent overthrowof the
governmentof their society
- Private militias:armed groups that are not part of any country's official military (either political or
mercenaryin nature; have a private political agenda of some kind or they simply sell their military
services to the highest bidder -> latter referred to as private militarycompanies(PMCs) )
The State: Governmentand Its Powers
- A state (governmentof a country) is the group of people responsible for marking and enforcing the
rules that regulate the collective life of people.
- single most powerful association/institutionin the society
Make the rules and enforce them with police; they also arm and train national military forces, both
to protect that societyfrom external attack and to help keep the peace internally
- Decide what kind of activity is legal or not
- Powersof taxation -> have massive financial resources to realize their will
- Patrol borders (sets standards for immigrationand membership)
- Negotiate trade deals with other countries, decide momentousissues as war and peace, and how to
respond to public emergencies
- States remain the most influential agents.
-interstate system -> origins in European history through European colonialism with imperialism
State Formationin Europe
- As the very earliest humans stopped being nomadic hunter-gatherers and became settled
agricultural people, the need for governmentsto organize communitiesand to protect their farms
from foreign invaders and local thieves, was born.
- Earliest humans evolvedfrom the ape family (Homo sapiens) -> approximately200 000 years ago
- Widely agreed that humanity first evolvedin Africa (temperatemiddle region of Kenya & Ethiopia)
- Earliest ancestors -> nomadichunter-gatherers-> never having 1 home base but moved from site to
site in pursuit of animals or food and the flight from predators and each other
- 10 000 years ago -> first agriculturalsettlements were created, people realized they could raise
their own food instead of chasing it (oldest settlementsfound in the Middle East, in the
Mesopotamiaarea between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers -> Iraq)
- Ancient Greece -> city-states: not big national communitiesgoverned by state structures but tiny
cities, usually on coasts or waterways,ruled by local or municipal governments
- Greek civilization had the highest achievementbetween 600 and 400 BCE
- The ancient Greeks were never able to overcometheir local loyaltiesand to create a national
governmentuniting all the Greek-speaking people, with their commonculture, religion, literature, governmentuniting all the Greek-speaking people, with their commonculture, religion, literature,
and ways of living.
- Rome's conquest of Greece is usually dated around 146 BCE.
- A system of governance forged in military conquest
- Imperial core = metropole ("mothercity" or "mother country," literally the pole around which the
rest of the empire revolves)
- Colonies:the conquered and subjected lands, "the dependencies" on the periphery of the empire
- Substantial inequality between metropoleand colony , and the domination and subjugation of the
latter by the former, are of the essence of empire (Figure 1.2 (p.10)).
- The metropoleconquers the colony by force, subjecting the colony to its rule and sends leaders from
the core to govern the periphery in a way that pleases the metropole.The metropoleoffers military
protection,of a kind, to the colony,at least from conquest by other, would-be imperial powers.
Often, the metropolemust invest to someextent in the colony,especially the physical infrastructure
(roads). This investmenttends to be highly selectiveand mainly designed to maximizethe extractive
agenda of the metropole.At times metropoles(e.g. Rome) have offered citizenship rights to the
people within their colonies as an effective way of cementing obedience and as of attracting some of
the "best and brightest" from the colonies to the metropole.
- In exchange for the benefits of military protectionand being part of the empire (with potential
citizenship rights), the conquered people within the colonies commonlymust offer the following
back to the metropole:political allegiance (especially vis-à-vis any rival empires);taxes and other
financial tributes; local troops to help out with the protectionand defence of the colony;and a
steady and large flow of natural resources that meets the metropole'sextractiveagenda. The colony
usually suffers from a brain drain,as its best people seek better opportunities within the heart of
- The rise of the Roman Empire and its collapse contributed greatly to state formation in Europe.
- The governance of the Roman Empire = a form of cosmopolitangovernance
The Roman Empire collapsed in western Europe in the late 400s CE, fragmenting in the face of
repeated barbarian invasions (now Germany).
- In the West, the only institution to survive the collapse of Roman civilization was the Roman Catholic
Church (Christianity having been made the state religion by the emperorsConstantine and
Theodosius). The Western empire dissolved into a series of small ethnic groups and tribe-like
families. Wars occurred (Dark Ages).
- 500-1000CE -> Islamic civilization in Persia and North Africa, and Far Eastern civilizations in China
and India flourished
- During the Middle Ages, circa 1000-1500CE, the rise of the European nation-state had:
• Its own territory,mid-size between city-stateand empire
• Its own national language and literature
• Its own kings, queens, and system of governance
• Its own customs and cuisines
• Its own religion
- For a 1000years, the Roman Catholic Church had been the only religious organization in Europe. In
1517,German priest Martin Luther (and others) demanded changes in the structure, teachings and
practices of the Church; they "protested"(Protestants),and the ProtestantReformationbegan.
When the Church refused their demands, the reformers broke away and formed rival Christian
churches (e.g. Lutheran, Anglican).
- The worst of the religious wars was the Thirty Years War (1618-1648).It resulted in the death of one-
third of the German population.
- Treaty of Westphalia(1648) -> a deal of peace created by national leaders of Europe, forming the
real and true birth of the modern interstatesystem
- "Let's stop trying to kill each other over our religious differences. We, Catholics and Protestants,
both admit that we cannot fully kill off the other side; each is here to stay. So you decide which
religion will prevail in your country, and we'll decide which will prevail in ours. We won't try to religion will prevail in your country, and we'll decide which will prevail in ours. We won't try to
convert each other by force of arms.
- Modus vivendi: something we can all live with, even if it's not our preference
- Westphalia affirms the core "state-centric"values of political sovereignty and territorial integrity ->
state-centric in that they place countries, or the nation-state,at the very heart of international
affairs and at the centre of the global system of power and order. These values privilege the nation-
state over other entities as NGOs, MNCs, international institutions (e.g. UN) and even individuals.
Sovereignty and Territory
- Politicalsovereignty: the right of a group of people to rule themselves
• "political" = power or polis, an ancient Greek term for a group of people living together as an
• "sovereignty"= entitlementto rule
• To be sovereign is to be self-ruling, acknowledging no higher authority over oneself.
• Most basic right of a country in modern international law and global affairs: the right of a country to
make its own laws and to govern itself, provided that it respects the right of all other countries to do
- Territorialintegrity: a communityor country has a right to some livable territoryand is considered
to be the general owner of all the natural resources on, under, or above its land (the "integrity" part
refers to that group's right not to have other countries invade its territoryor attempt to seize its
- A communityneeds not only to have territoryand resources; it needs to be able to count on having
such resourcesmoving forward, if it is to remain an ongoing partnership formed for the general
good of its members.
Spread of State Formation from Europe throughout the World
- With Westphalia, the European interstate system was formed: nation-stateshad finally gelled, and
they agreed to deal with each other in terms of the values of political sovereignty and territorial
- How did the rest of the world cometo share the same structure and to be brought into the same
Westphaliansystem that remains in force today? It is through the experience of European
colonialismand imperialism, from 1500 until 1975.
- European imperialism became reborn once Columbus discoveredthe New World in 1492.
- Table 1.1 (p.15) -> reflects the extent to which Europeans came to spread, by force, their own mode
of governance across the planet. They established the interstate system according to which (a)
countries are the major players in international affairs, and (b) they must (at least try to) deal with
each other on the basis of political sovereignty and territorial integrity.
- Much of the world was used as a vast resource base for Europe, with people, money,and natural
commoditiesflowing from around the world into the heart of European capitals as Madrid,
Amsterdam,London, Paris, Berlin, and Moscow. The American colonists overthrewBritish rule and
established their own republic during the American Revolution (1776-1783).
End of European Imperialism
- Colonization and imperialism period -> rivalries between European empires
- WWI (1914-1918)-> high-water point for European imperialism
• Struggle of imperial rivalries between Germany, Austria-Hungary, and Turkey on one side and
Britain, France, and Russia on the other -> long slaughterhouse of destruction (war stopped by U.S.
intervention in 1917 on the side of Britain and France)
- Treaty of Versailles (1919)ended the Great War
- Hitler promised to tear up the Treaty of Versailles, re-conquer the lost lands of the German Empire,
and grow the Germany economythrough military buildup, modernization, and a renewed round of
conquest within Europe. The Nazis won power in the 1930s.
- WWII (1939-1945)-> biggest war seen
- Axis: Germany, Italy, Japan against Allies of Britain (Canada = colony),China, France, Russia, U.S.
- Decolonization(1945-1975)-> Old European colonies became newly liberated and independent
nation-states, left to fend for themselvesin the interstate system.
North Versus South North Versus South
- Figure 1.3 (p.17) -> 25% of world's population lives in the developed Global North, 75% lives in the
developing Global South
- Afghanistan, North Korea, and Haiti are all north of the equator but have moreof the characteristics
of nation-states of the South.
- All countries are always developing further, always with room to improve.
- Northern/developed/moredevelopedcountries -> wealthier, better educated, healthier, less
populated, more technologicallyadvanced, moreurbanized, more influential internationally, more
attractiveto immigrants, have lower rates of crime, poverty,and unemployment,have morestable
governance and social peace, longer life expectancies, higher average rates of personal happiness
and life satisfaction
- Southern/developing/less-developedcountries-> higher rates of emigration(i.e. people leaving)
than immigration(i.e. people coming in), have less power internationally , higher rates of crime,
disease, poverty,and unemployment,more political instability, greater instances of violence and
warfare, shorter life expectancies, lower rates of average personal happiness and life satisfaction
- Imperialism and colonialismare major reasons why the North is so advantaged.
- Any country can be placed in either the Northern/developed/moredeveloped category or else the
The West Versus "The Rest"
- Northern, developedsocieties = "the West"
- Civilized -> someonewho is urban, wealthy, educated, law-abiding, sophisticated, polished, well-
- Uncivilized -> someonewho is rural, poorer, uneducated, crude, and unpolished
- Expert David Wengrow refers to "civilization" as "culture" or a way of life -> So, there are no
"civilized" versus "uncivilized" cultures, rather, there are only different kinds of civilization.
- Civilizationmeans a pervasive culture, shared by many countries, impacting a large region of the
world over time. A civilization tends to have the same/similarsystemsof law and governance,
economicorganization, patterns of living and settlement,types of food and subsistence, and kinds of
culture, both high and low (especially in terms of worldview,religion, and shared values).
Figure 1.4 (p.20)
- 2 meanings for "Western civilization":
1. The simple geographical reference to western Europe and the coloniesit created, especially
throughout the Americas and Australia/New Zealand
2. The much more important reference to shared values, especially regarding how, ideally, to run a
- The core ideals of the West are commonlythought to include the following:
1. Individualism. There is a commitmentto every individual person's human rights to life, liberty, and
the pursuit of happiness. This would be in contrast to civilizations in which the primary unit of
concern might be the family, or the nation, and the job of the individual is to find a way to fit in and
2. Limited, democratic government. Governmentis seen as the servant of the people, kept under
control by written constitutions,the rule of law, checks and balances, and democracy: free and fair
regular public electionswherein there is one person, one vote, and the majorityrules. This would be
in contrast to civilizations in which governmentmight be seen as leading or controlling the people,
and as having its authority coming not from elections but from, say, military power.
3. Free-marketcapitalism. Most generally, capitalism is a kind of economicsystem that:
a) Allows for the private-propertyownership (i.e. the non-governmentalownership) of the means of
economicproduction (such as natural resources and one's own labour power)
b) Allows businesspeople the freedom to set up their own businesses and to keep someof the profits
they earn for themselvesand for their own private enjoyment
c) Encourages trading between buyer and seller as the means of distributing goods and services in the
economy(this is the "free market" part, as opposed to, say, the governmentdictating who gets
d) Uses money as the means of exchange, to facilitate the trading of goods and services (e.g. the buyer
and seller in a transaction agree upon a price that is mutually acceptable)
e) Features a court system of public laws for the peaceful handling, and non-violent resolution, of
Free-marketcapitalism operates in contrast to economicsystemssuch as communism,wherein the
state owns and controls everything, and/or where the private profit motiveis not so central, usually
because the state taxes back all the gains for its own public purposes. Capitalism is also in contrast
to earlier, more primitive economicsystems of barter exchange(i.e. good-for-goodor favour-for-
favour, non-money exchanges) or forced exchange (the use of violent coercion to conquer and
control the means of economicproduction, notably including territoryand resources).
4. A history of Christianity being the dominant religion. In Western civilization today, there is a
separationof church and state, wherein the governmentdoes not try to enforce any particular
religious vision. This model would be in contrast to civilizations where the state may very well use its
power to try to realize a religious vision, and force people's beliefs and practices in this regard.
5. Commitment to science and technology to improve people's lives. Though most civilizations value
technological improvements,somecivilizations have rejected scientific breakthroughs (e.g. birth
control pill) for reasons of religion or their views on gender roles.
6. Urbanization. Western civilization favours the growth and health of cities as the economic,cultural,
and social engines of modern society.
7. Robust civil society activity. "Civil society" refers to all associations of people that are not official
governmentgroupings or institutions; it includes everything from businesses to churches, and from
sports teams and volunteerorganizations to NGOs. Often, in non-democratic,un-elected
authoritarianregimes, the state does not allow other institutions to rival its influence and prestige,
and so it outlaws them, or keeps their resources very low, as a result shrinking the size of civil
- The West does not fulfill these idealized characteristics perfectly.
- Secularization:lack of religious belief
Relevance of Civilization Differences: Huntingdon's "Clash of Civilizations"
- Cold War (1945-1991):the multi-generational global showdown between the U.S. and the USSR
(struggle as to whose social system would triumph and survive and whose would fail and collapse)
- U.S. & Russia-> 2 biggest winners of WWII
- U.S. -> free-market/capitalistdemocracy
Russia -> police-state,planned-, or command-economycommunism
- Never was a hot war exchange of live-fire hostilities directly
- The 2 nations clashed indirectly in proxy wars, mainly in the developing world. These wars involved
"proxies," or pawns. The U.S. would support one side and Russia would support the other, and those
sides would themselvesfight directly in the live-fire exchange of hostilities. Vietnam (1954-1974)and
Afghanistan (1979-1989)were Cold War proxy wars, and others were fought throughout Latin
America and Southeast Asia.
- The U.S. and Russia never fought directly because they were both nuclear powers, and each feared
total destruction at the hands of the other's nuclear arsenal (the doctrine of mutuallyassured
- U.S. eventually won the Cold War. Russia's social system lost to America's social system. Russia fell
broke trying to keep up with the U.S.' military spending. Most people wanted the right to participate
in their own governance. As a result, in the 1990s,the SovietUnion broke apart, and Russia's
political, economic,and social systemscollapsed and had to be reconstructed completelyalong
more Western, free-market,democraticlines.
- Huntingdon's thesis is that what really sustains wars is a clash over different civilizational values.
• There are different global civilizations. Each one has its own civilizational values and practices. Some
civilizations have values and practices that overlap with those of other civilizations, but many are
unique. The farther apart 2 civilizations are in terms of their values, the more likely it is there will be
wars between them, as they lack respect for each other and mutual understanding. The closer 2
different civilizations are geographically, the greater the odds of armed conflict between them.
- Conflicts between the Islamic and Western world -> Crusades (of Christianity versus Islam, from
1000-1300CE) and moving through the Ottoman Empire (Turkey), North Africa, southern Spain, and
central and eastern Europe (the former Yugoslavia especially) -> England's and France's recent
imperial control over Algeria, Egypt, Lebanon, Iraq, Palestine, and Syria
- The Islamic world at the time did not favour individualistic free-marketcapitalism, democracy,the
equality of women,the separation of church and state, the full application of science and
technology,the prospect of having a robust civil society,and so on. technology,the prospect of having a robust civil society,and so on.
- Thus, Huntingdon's theory predicted that the next huge set of wars involving the Western powers
would be in the Middle East, and against countries where the majoritiesare both Arab and Islamic.
Case Study: The AmericanEmpire?
- The U.S.:
a) Is a country
b) Is currently the world's most influential country
c) Is both a Northern and Western country and in many ways is the flag-bearer of the Western
civilization in our time
d) Has sharp questions actually arise about whether it is an empire
- Americans will deny quite strongly that they are, or have, an empire. They say that empire is a
cynical, old-world game played by other people, especially Europeans, and it is all about power and
- American patriots argue that empire is about a formal relationship of dependency and exploitation
between the metropole and the periphery (the colonies,the dependencies, the hinterland). The
peripheries were run by, and used for the benefit of, the cores. Resourceswere sucked from the
colonies into the capitals. People were sent out from the cores to claim the hinterland and to
colonize it on behalf of the mothercountry, replicating and reproducing its way of life elsewhere.
The peripheries were governed by state structures set up by the core and run by officials who came
from the core. The Americans say that U.S. has no such formal relationship with countries outside its
own borders. The U.S. might be incredibly powerful, the global hegemon (i.e. the world's most
powerful country), but it's not at all an empire. People criticize the U.S. because they are jealous of
its power and wealth.
- Formal empire is an old-style, European model of empire. In an informalempire, there are no
formal, legally declared links between core and periphery, nor formal, publicly declared relations of
dependency. Today, the U.S. is able to set up the basic ground rules of the world system in its
favour. It chooses not to declare an empire formally (it's not there). Ivan Eland says that America
fulfills all the traditional criteria of an imperialcore: it has the biggest economyand the biggest
military; it is politically the most influential; it has the biggest consumer base, and is a magnet for
both foreign investmentand immigration. The U.S. does have some of the more formal aspects of
empire. It also currently operates 700 military bases outside of its own borders.
- Revisionisthistorians,such as Sidney Lens and Don Meinig, dispute about America's founding
values, telling people what they want to believe. They say that U.S. is an imperial project right from
- U.S. -> found in 1620by the Pilgrims at PlymouthRock (Figure 1.5 (p.25))
- Today, the U.S. has extensiveentanglements all over the globe, especially in the Middle East (to
secure the oil supply there, and provide protectionfor its ally Israel). America has imperialism
running -> an empire aspect.
- Empire is associated with the infliction of power, the assertion of dominance, and the absence of
democracyand the self-rule of people.
- The U.S. being an empire could be a good thing. The U.S. is the only country on Earth capable of
bringing someorder to the globe, and capable of preventing it from sliding back down into anarchy:
an ungoverned, chaotic condition of all-out fighting and conflict between the various national groups
and regions. The American empire is a source of security and stability that everyonebenefits from.
- Paul Wolfowitz argues that American empire has been great for raising people's standards of living.
Americans know how to run profitable businesses and how to run a productive free-market
economy,which increases everyone'sstandard of living. So, American empire has generated more
money,and a higher standard of living. The American empire stands for great values: human rights,
individual freedom,free markets, democracy,free and fair elections, separation of church and state,
and the growth of science and technology.
- Noam Chomsky (distinguished professor at MIT in Boston) believes that even if the U.S. started out
nicely, it has turned into a corrupt societyrun mainly for the benefit of the ultra-rich and powerful
elites, "the masters of the universe," focused only on their own narrow self-interest. These elites are
essentially the East Coast power, finance, industry, and money barons of Washington, DC, and Wall
Street in New York City. The U.S. is an empire just like every other historical one: the ultra-elite use
their money and power to run the entire empire for their own benefit, using the commonpeople to
secure these benefits, and only doling out those rewards they must to keep the social peace and to secure these benefits, and only doling out those rewards they must to keep the social peace and to
let them keep their hold on society. These money and power elites use the U.S. military to protect
themselvesand their interests, and they offer lots of great entertainmentout of Los Angeles to keep
the powerless people happy, distracted, and stupefied. This is Chomsky'sultimate conspiracy
theory. He views any form of empire as a violation of democracyand the rights of people around the
world to choose their own forms of governance. He thinks that American empire is especially bad
because Americans know so little, and care so little, about the world outside their borders.
- Niall Ferguson argues that while the U.S. could be a force for good in the world, presently it is not.
Empires can be good. The ancient Roman Empire brought peace, prosperity, civilization, and
technological advances to the entire Mediterranean world for hundreds of years. The British Empire
likewise generated remarkableprosperity, political stability, and cultural advance for its subjects.
The benefits of the British Empire weren't measured simply in terms of wealth and security but also,
he says, in terms of important moral and legal values: individual liberty, free trade, the impersonal
rule of law, and parliamentarydemocracy.The world's 2 largest democraciesare ex-Empire
members: India and U.S. However,the British actually cared about the societiesit governed, and
because it wasn't afraid to admit that it had an empire. The U.S. is an empire-in-denial. Ferguson
thinks U.S. should be like Britain and train future leaders in its dependent societies,it ought to know
more about those societies, it ought to invest in those societies,and it ought to develop the good
institutions necessary for those societiesto succeed over time. Young American elites want to make
it in 1 of 3 cities, depending on their main career interest: New York (money),Washington (power),
or Los Angeles (fame). Unless that changes, he concludes that the American empire will not be a
successful venture for the world as a whole.
Canadian Insights - Canada: Standing at the Crossroads of European Empire and American
- Canada's founding was largely shaped by the imperial rivalry between Britain and France.
- Jacques Cartier -> "discovered"Canada in 1534
- Founding the colony of New France (Quebec), Cartier and other immigrants from France were truly
the first canadiens.
- The British promised accommodation (not assimilation)of Quebec's special French culture.
Canada -> a gigantic natural resource base for export into the imperial hubs of Paris, London, & the
- Three legal events tend to highlight Canada's growing independence from England: the British North
America Act of 1867,whose passage brought about Confederation(July 1st), the Statute of
Westminster of 1931,wherein Britain allowed its colonies to have independent foreign policies, and
the CanadaAct of 1982, when Canada patriated the Constitution,gaining the right to amend it
without British consent - the first amendments came with the passage of the ConstitutionAct of
1982,which added the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
- Canada may be considered as still a colony today.
- Canada is massivelyinfluenced by American pop culture, and its economiclinks with the U.S.
account for about 30% of its national wealth. Canada generally supports the U.S. in most of its
foreign policy decisions. Canada retains its European heritage and its robust links with both Britain
and France. It is a bilingual country, and one with a much stronger welfare state than exists in the
U.S., with particular strengths in quality public education and universal healthcare coverage. Chapter 2: Population and Environment
September-17-12 7:00 PM
- EnvironmentalProtection Agency(EPA): the main governmentdepartment in charge of natural
resource stewardship in the U.S.
- According to demographers, almostall future population growth is expected to occur in the Global
South. The # is supposed to level off as the developing world becomesricher and more developed.
- Increased career opportunities, access to birth control, legal rights, and socioeconomicresources for
women have translated into having fewer children than previous generations did.
- slowest-growingpopulations -> negative population growth (shrinking, not growing)
The Problem with People
- fast-growing populations -> greater # of younger people -> big demand for services young families
with children need (e.g. schools) -> need to create jobs to keep the children occupied at working age
• Puts pressure on governmentsand the poorer governmentsof the Global South
- Slow-growing populations -> greater # of older people -> big demand for services older people need
• Pressure on governments,must tax a smaller base of younger workersto afford these social
• Often, younger workers are leaving to secure better opportunities in larger, fast-growing economies.
- Population brings challenges to any kind of country and to any kind of government.
- 1979 -> China's one child policy -> increased abortions, abandonment of baby girls, will skew China's
demographics (e.g. unhealthy disproportion of boys to girls)
- India's government -> aggressivelydistributes birth control pills
- Pronatalistgovernments:describes governmentsthat want to promote birth and population
growth, as opposed to restricting birth and curbing population growth, as in the case of China &
• Takes measures to increase population (e.g. offering tax breaks to new parents)
• Extremepronatalist policies -> religious law forbids the use of birth control
The Distribution of Population
- Unequal distribution
- World's largest voluntary migration -> movementof Europeans into the Americas (1500-1975)
- World's largest involuntary migration -> coercivemovementof Africans (slaves) into the Americas
(especially the Caribbean and the U.S.) (1500-1865)
- Asia (60% of world's population) , Africa (15%), Europe (10%), North America (8%), South & Central
America (5%), Oceania (Australia, New Zealand, other islands of the South Pacific) (< 1%)
- Populationdensity: tracks how many people there are in a given mile or kilometre
• Asia is the most densely populated continent, followed by Europe, Africa, North America, South &
Central America, Oceania.
- Phenomenon-> Without immigration,the population would decrease. Among the native-born
population, the growth rate is slow/negative.Governmentscan aggressivelyencourage immigration.
- Immigrationcorridor: a heavily travelled route taken by people immigrating to 1 country from
• 3 biggest: Mexico into America, Ukraine into Russia, Bangladesh into India
- Immigrants bring diversity, new ways of life, new skills, and reinforcementsfor the workforce.They
are usually younger, so they bring youthful energy and may chooseto start a new family in the new
- Immigrant-receivingsocieties help new membersadjust to, and integrate in, their new home
countries -> challenge for every society
- Immigrant communitiesoften live together in closely connected and densely populated pockets
within the receiving population, arguably forming societieswithin societies,or nations within within the receiving population, arguably forming societieswithin societies,or nations within
nations. These realities are strongly challenging the identities of someEuropean countries, and
raising issues about the coherence and integrity of a national culture vs. the need to be multicultural
(e.g. to respect cultural diversity while still maintaining social peace and political unity).
Case Study: The French Ban on Muslim Head Scarves
- Clash between immigrant and receiving cultures in France
- 2004:law prohibits the wearing of any conspicuous religious symbols while attending public
elementaryand secondary schools (seemed to be targeting Muslim minority)
- People who have citizenship and a permanent home in one country but live temporarily,for work
purposes, in another
- Tend to work in industries that pay very little and are labour-intensive(e.g. agriculture)
- Canada -> seasonalmigrantworkers from the Caribbean and Mexico during harvest time
- Many are illegalimmigrants who have entered the "work country" without any passport, visa, or
- U.S. has sometimesextended amnesties for illegal migrant workers. According to this policy, illegal
immigrants who could prove they've worked for at least one full season in America's migrant worker
industry could sometimesqualify for legal immigrant status.
- Cracking down on illegal migrant workerscould do damage to the economiesof states.
- Immigrantsleave their home country voluntarily, seeking to make a new and better life for
themselvesand their children. Their motivesare usually economic.
- A refugee is a person who has been forced to leave his/her home country involuntarily, usually for
reasons of war or persecution.
- United NationsHigh Commissionon Refugees (UNHCR) -> HQ in Geneva, Switzerland, lobbies UN
membercountries on behalf of refugees to ensure that refugees receive decent treatment from
receiving countries until they manage to find a new home.
Asylum: refugee being offered admission into a new home country
- 36 million people forming the worldwide populationof concern,including both refugees and
internallydisplacedpersons (IDPS) -> like refugees but in their own country (they have been forced
out of their home region into a different region of the same country (e.g. Sudan: trying to drive out a
whole, distinct people from a certain territorywhere they've been clearly established and living as a
- Refugees and IDPs are very vulnerable populations (lack a home and protection of national
government).Their human rights and quality of life are tenuous and uncertain.
- Processof granting asylum is difficult.
• Citizenship process takes a long time, and the population of concern needs resources and protection
in the interim.
• The countries into which the refugees have fled are often themselvesimpoverished & lacking
For example, wars, dire poverty, ethnic cleansing, and disease in sub-Saharan Africa have recently
generated millions of refugees, who are often forced to rotate between countries, as governments
agree to take them in for short period only, and then they must moveon. Wealthy countries fear
being swamped by the world's refugees if they were simply to open their borders and welcome
- The growth of the population of cities at the expense of rural or countryside areas -> relentless
population trend in developed & developing worlds
- Vital population difference is between urban and rural populations
- Early 1700s:huge changes made regarding the production of goods -> Machine-driven production of
goods became possible, replacing handcrafted production of goods.
- IndustrialRevolution -> big impact on society:people became much wealthier, goods were being
created much more quickly and cheaply, and the nature of work and the economywas transformed
• Spurred urbanization: farm workersflooded the cities, leaving agriculture behind to participate in • Spurred urbanization: farm workersflooded the cities, leaving agriculture behind to participate in
the newly developing industrial economy(HQ in factories)
• Beginning -> only 3% lived in cities, now -> 51% (US (80%), Global South (30%))
• Growth of cities have comeat the expense of rural areas (rural flight: people leave the country in
the hope of finding better opportunities in the city). Those who view the rural way of life positively
(more traditional) might perceive an erosion of traditional values. As cities grow, they also take over
farmland and formerlywild spaces, threatening several animal and plant species by eliminating their
habitat. Cities concentrate people (produce a concentrationof the bad things people cause (e.g.
crime)). Cities have huge problems of management(e.g. housing) greater than rural areas.
• Deeply intertwined with modernization & industrialization
• One favours wealth creation over pollution and modern values over traditional ones.
• Cities tend to offer much better quality of social services (education, entertainment,healthcare, and
poverty management in particular). They tend to offer much greater socioeconomicopportunities
and more upward, merit-based mobility
• Urban dwellers, on average, have fewer children. Population pressure on natural resources
- Every country in the world has at least 1 CSR, and possibly several, and they tend to set the tone and
pace regarding both culture and standard of living.
Canadian Insights: CSRS and the GTA
- With increasing globalization, nations will become less important, and cities much more. Some
experts have predicted the death of the nation-state,at least economically.
- GTA -> almost25% of Canada's national economy
Studies in Technology:Creative Cities
- For as the manufacture of goods increasingly movesoffshore to low-cost labour countries like China,
it becomes important for developedsocieties to provide highly value-added services if they are to
remain competitivein the global economy.(Value-addedmeans that people take rather routine
inputs and, through invention and ingenuity, transform them into outputs, or goods and services,
that are much more useful, valuable, and expensive.)
- Creative city: a substantial creative class, a creativeeconomy,and creative,pleasing city conditions
- Creative class: segment of the workforcethat gets paid to think
- A creativecity has at least 30% of its workforcelabouring in activities that together constitute the
creative economy:inventive "white-collar"work that provides services that improve quality of life
(e.g. education) and/or difficult-to-design, value-added goods (e.g. Internet applications).
- Pleasing city conditions -> the city is not primarily industrial, nor is its layout routine, nor is its
physical infrastructure drab and/or decrepit -> lots of green space and intriguing blend of human
spaces with natural spaces
Transition from Human Population to Natural Environment
- 1798:Thomas Malthus -> human population is growing too much, food prod. can't keep up =
• Neo-Malthusiansbelieve that the incredible growth of the human population simply cannot be
sustained, and that soon enough humans will be too many in number for the planet to feed, water,
clothe, and house us all.
Environment and Resources
- The environment refers to Earth's various, and mostvital, natural cycles and systems,which we
depend upon for life and well-being: the atmosphere,the land, resources under the land, the water,
sea life, the plant world, and the animal kingdom. Resources are the inputs used to produce
- Pollution:humanity's deposits of waste/by-productsof its activitiesinto earth's various natural
systems.Every single human activity creates some waste; there is no possibility of humans creating
zero pollution. We need the natural environment,yet we pollute it.
PessimistsOpen the Argument PessimistsOpen the Argument
- Environmentalpessimists tend to focus on 2 facts above all:
1. The enormousand very rapid growth in human population
2. The rise of industrializationmechanizedmass-productionusing large-scale advanced machinery
and artificial measuressincethe Industrial Revolutionfirst began around 250 years ago.
- Pessimists,like James Lovelock,fear our population will soon exceed what they call Earth's carrying
capacity.This refers to the idea that Earth and its resources are finite, and that there is a limit of
population growth, and resource use, that the Earth can sustain, which we must eventually reach.
Thus, there are only so many people the Earth can carry without becoming completelyused up. In
terms of industrializationthe pessimists fear not only that our production is sucking too much out
of the Earth, but thatwith mechanized mass production for a global marketplaceweare putting far
too much pollution back into Earth's various systems. He refers to Earth as a living organism
The Example of Easter Island
- Easter Island is a remoteSouth Pacific island. In ancient times, there was a rivalry between the
different tribal groups who lived there. This spilled over into a vicious, multi-generational war. The
island's inhabitants made as rapid use as they could of every natural resource attainable. They
ended up exceeding the carrying capacity of the island; everyonedied either from violence or
- No one lives there anymore, and nothing grows there except wild grass. Stone heads remain.
Pessimistssay that if it happened before, it can happen again.
- Environmentaloptimists, like Julian Simon, doubt that these fears will come true. This side has set
Environmental Management and Sustainable Development
- Environmentalmanagement: finding a smart balance between using enough resources to satisfy
present demands and yet not using all the resources"enough and as good" for future generations
- Sustainability: not using resources to exhaustion, not polluting the environmentto the point of its
being poisoned, but rather managementgrowth and consumptionso that future generations will
continue to enjoy the resources we benefit from today. Devising long-term plan to replenish, on an
ongoing basis, the resourceswe consumeasopposed to exhausting and destroying key resources
with short-term"goldrushes"Is the very essence of sustainability.
- Environmentalcritics (Lovelock)argue that environmental"management"is not enough. They say
that the problem lies in the very makeup of industrial capitalism. Capitalism is practically designed to
be the sort of economicsystem that could cause people to exceed Earth's carrying capacity.
- With its focus on private profits and rewarding individual greed, capitalism is seen to be at odds with
the kind of social, public co-operationand solidarity that is going to be needed to (a) curb pollution,
(b) clean out air, land, and water, and (c) transform our economyinto one that operates on a smaller
scale and is more local, more clean, and above all, moregreen. Environmentalists,economists,and
policy-makers(Brundtland Commission Report of 1987)have created the concept of sustainable
development:economicprogress that is based not on growth for its own sake rather on growth that
is measured, paced, reasonable, and consistent with Earth's carrying capacity. It is a growing
economyin a way that can be continued or sustained in the future. Many in the modern
environmentalmovementwould like to see the paradigm of sustainable development(post-
industrialgreen economy)replace that of industrial capitalism.
The Tragedy of the Commons
- The tragedy is this: when things are owned in common,or are unowned, the result tends to be a
decline in both the quality and quantity of the thing. In England, during the medieval times, grazing
areas for herds were public and common.The areas were completelychewed up and useless. The
enclosuremovement attempted to remedy this situation: the commonareas were divided up and
sold to individual farmers, who then "enclosed" their areas with fences and shrubs to prevent
nomadic grazing herds.
- The United Nations' Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) is an international treaty drafted in
1982 that took 10 years to negotiate. It deals with the regulation of the oceans, which exist as public,
unowned, commonspace. The high seas are vulnerable to a range of environmentallydestructive
practices, as states and non-state actors (especially corporations)exploit the unregulated domain.
Garbage gets dumped there; oil gets spilled there; and unrestricted fishing and piracy occurs there. Garbage gets dumped there; oil gets spilled there; and unrestricted fishing and piracy occurs there.
UNCLOS sets out clear rules as to who is responsible for what on the high seas. It establishes that
states may consider water adjacent to their territoryto be their own sovereign territory,out to a
distance of 12 miles (22.2 km) from shore. This is for purposes mainly of shipping and of sovereign
entitlementand responsibility. UNCLOS gives states 200 miles (322 km) from their shores for
economicactivities (e.g. fishing). Beyond the limits of these exclusive economiczones (EEZs), the
high seas remain common,public, and unregulated.
- Some people don't like national enclosure as a solution and their preferred international treaty deals
with Antarctica. The AntarcticaTreaty (1959)essentially turned that entire continent into a kind of
international ecological "park": it was agreed that no country owned any part of Antarctica, that no
military activity would occur there, that neither nuclear weapons nor nuclear waste would be stored
or dumped there, and that the main purpose of human activityin Antarctica would be scientific
- Supporters of national enclosure find these "public people" too idealistic, and they suggest that the
only reason the Antarctica Treaty works is that the continent is too remote,too hostile for human
habitation, and too lacking in any valuable resource. The Arctic has not been set as a public
commonsbut is carved into competing territorial claims by the circumpolarpowers: Canada, U.S.,
Denmark, England, Norway, and Russia. This is because the Arctic is much closer and more
hospitable, and has resources. Thus, idealists tend to favour the international public park solution, &
realists favour national enclosure.
- A similar problem concerns areas that are truly global environmentalconcern yet entirely within the
borders of a handful of nations. Forests are crucial as cleansers of air (carbon sinks), as they soak up
CO2 and release oxygen.
- Biodiversity:diverse plant and animal life (e.g. Amazon rainforest in Brazil)
- The international communityhas paid Brazil to preservea globally valuable environmentalasset.
- Debt-for-natureswap: where a country's international trade partners offer national debt
forgiveness, in lieu of direct payment, in exchange for environmentalpreservation
- Around 1 billion people in the world today lack the minimum calorie intake needed for their stage of
- Distortionin food distribution: excess in the Global north, insufficient food quantities in the South
- Green Revolution: 1940-1980:the movementhelped to export the North's latest know-how in
agricultural production to the Global South (International aid and developmentinvolve this kind
technologytransfer, designed to give not just goods or cash but preferably technology and expertise
to help the South develop more rapidly.) -> brought to the South new methods of planting &
irrigation(e.g. watering crops), better fertilizers and harvesting techniques, and genetically
modified(GM) crops (whose genes have been artificially manipulated so that they are more
resistant to disease, providing superior durability and freshness)
• World grain production has tripled over the last 50 years, yielding enough basic food including the
world's top 3 crops: wheat, rice, & corn to feed all of humankind, if distribution was better
• Negative environmentalconsequences: pollution into groundwater from new chemical fertilizers
- New methods -> must make a profit -> must increase prices farmers charge for crops they produce
- Bad weather (and as predicted to increase owing to global warming) can destroy crops, cutting
supply and thus raising prices. It requires a lot of energy, especially in the form of oil and gas, to
power agricultural machinery and to transport food from rural farms to urban kitchens. When
energy prices go up, food prices go up too. This hurts the global poor the most. Some people living in
the developing world spend 2/3 of their income on food; any substantial increase in food prices
means even less money for other essentials. Increases in food prices don't merely have these moral
or health consequencesto them. History shows that few things are more politically destabilizing
than food shortages or big increases in the price of food staples like bread, rice, and corn.
- A vital human need (drink, clean, use it to water our crops and give it to animals too)
- Used in many industrial processes
- Essential to modern civilization
- 70% of Earth's surface is water, vast majorityis saltwater
- Desalinationis expensive and time-consumingon a mass scale. Nearly all the water we use comes
from freshwater rivers, lakes, and streams, and from groundwater and rainwater. from freshwater rivers, lakes, and streams, and from groundwater and rainwater.
- Between 1.1-1.2 billion people (almostall of Global South) lack reliable daily access to
potable/drinkablewater. Water also gets polluted and wasted. The two biggest water-consuming
nations is Canada and the U.S.
- The water-poorare those who live on ≤ 5L of potable water a day (a single toilet flush).
- We require energy for everything we do.
- Top 5 sources of energy in the developed world: oil, coal, natural gas, nuclear energy,
- Top 3 sources in the developing world: coal, oil, biomass(e.g. wood, charcoal, animal waste, all
burned to make heat)
- Total world energy consumption= 10-12 billion tons/year(increased 20-fold since 1850),owing to
the rise in both population and industrialization over that period (need moreenergy for the future,
trends continue worldwide)
- The problem is that each major source of energy listed above generates significant pollution and
other problems. With oil, there are oil spills, particulate air pollution and greenhouse gases from
burning it, and political difficulties. Natural gas also creates greenhouse emissions and local air
pollution, and it brings some