POLB90 Readings Week 9 - 11.doc

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Department
Political Science
Course
POLB90H3
Professor
Judith Teichman
Semester
Winter

Description
SHELAGH JOSEPH POLB90 READINGS Page 1 of 10 Week 7 Promises Not Kept (Chapter 4) – John Ibster Modernization seldom pays attention to imperialism. • Implied in their conviction that the third world is societies are “traditional” is the view that imperialism had few lasting effects and certainly did not transform the third world in any fundamental way. o For Marxists and dependency theorists, the history of imperialism is critical in understanding the third world and its poverty today. o It is a current common denominator of the third world. • At times imperialism was marked by the dominance of a single European country, at times by competition among several. o It features massive overseas settlement, administrative and military control in other, and informal economic domination in still others. 1492 – 1776: Global expansion The first period of imperialism followed the voyages of discovery. • Prior to the development of better shipping techniques, many communities were isolated. o The first phase of European imperialism can be traced in the succession of world maps the cartographers drew. • Before the might of European weaponry, ancient empires crumbled and were destroyed o The Aztecs by Cortez in Mexico, the Incas by Pizzaro in Peru.  The soldiers were followed by Friars, whose sacred mission it was to salvage souls who succeeded at the expense of wiping out whole cultures. • The Spanish forced the Native Americans into bondage both in agriculture and in the mines. o They established a system of agriculture ecomienda, under which the natives worked on the Spanish estates for four days a week leaving them three days to tend to their own subsistence plots.  When the Native Americans proved unable to withstand the rigors of their new situation, their labour was supplemented by African slaves • The discovery of silver sealed the fate of the blacks and native Americans to one of slavery, disease and death • The Spaniards record of destruction was exceeded by that of the British Empire societies in North America o The British did not merely administer South America, they settled in North America.  In a series of wars, the British overcame their competitors and took control of the continent. • The culture and living standards of the United States are founded, therefore, on the most genocidal imperialism the world has known. SHELAGH JOSEPH POLB90 READINGS Page 2 of 10 o White Americans are the beneficiaries of an unparalleled destruction that almost totally eliminated an entire race. The Causes of imperialism British economist J.A. Hobson ascribed the new imperialism to under consumption, to the failure of the European masses to buy the goods produced by European industry. • As a consequence, the European industrialists had to export their capital abroad in search of new markets: to secure those capital investments and markets, they needed to acquire imperial control. o Lenin argued that the export of capital to foreign lands, of imperialism represented the last futile attempt of the capitalist system to avoid its demise.  The Hobson – Lenin thesis ultimately fails as an explanation of late- nineteenth- century imperialism because, although the Europeans invested heavily abroad, very little of their investments went to the newly acquired colonies. On National Culture – Frantz Fanon Frantz Fanon foregrounds the following paradox: "national identity," while vital to the emergence of a Third World revolution, paradoxically limits such efforts at liberation because it re-inscribes an essentialist, totalizing, fetishized, often middle-class specific understanding of "nation" rather than encouraging a nuanced articulation of an oppressed people's cultural heterogeneity across class lines. o In other words, although the concept of "nation" unfairly characterizes colonized subjects as historically unified in their primitiveness or exoticness, the term's promise of solidarity and unity often proves helpful nonetheless in their attempts at political amelioration.  Fanon encourages a materialist conceptualization of the nation that is based not so much on collective cultural traditions or ancestor-worship as political agency and the collective attempt to dismantle the economic foundations of colonial rule.  Colonialism, as Fanon argues, not only physically disarms the colonized subject but robs her of a "pre-colonial" cultural heritage. And yet, if colonialism in this sense galvanizes the native intellectual to "renew contact once more with the oldest and most pre-colonial spring of life of their people," Fanon is careful to point out that these attempts at recovering national continuity throughout history are often contrived and ultimately self-defeating.  "I am ready to concede," he admits, "that on the plane of factual being the past existence of an Aztec civilization does not change anything very much in the diet of the Mexican peasant of today." In the passage below, Fanon explains that "national identity" only carries meaning insofar as it reflects the combined revolutionary efforts of an oppressed people aiming at collective liberation: “A national culture is not a folklore, not an abstract populism that believes it can discover the people's true nature. It is not made up of the inert dregs of gratuitous actions, that is to say actions which are less and less attached to the ever-present reality of the people. A national culture is the whole body of efforts made by a people in the sphere of thought to describe, justify, and praise the action through which that people has created itself and keeps itself in existence.” Week 8 The Promise of Global Institutions – Joseph Stiglitz SHELAGH JOSEPH POLB90 READINGS Page 3 of 10 Why has globalization-a force that has brought so much good-become so controversial? • Opening up to international trade has helped many countries grow far more quickly than they would otherwise have done. International trade helps economic development when a country's exports drive its economic growth. • Exported growth was the centerpiece of the industrial policy that enriched much of Asia and left millions of people there far better off. o Because of globalization many people in the world now live longer than before and their standard of living is far better.  People in the West may regard low-paying jobs at Nike as exploitation, but for many people in the developing world, working in a factory is a far better option than staying down on the farm and growing rice. Globalization has reduced the sense of isolation felt in much of the developing world and has given many people in the developing countries access to knowledge well beyond the reach of even the wealthiest in any country a century ago. • The antiglobalization protests themselves are a result of this connectedness. o Even when there are negative sides to globalization, there are often benefits.  Opening up the Jamaican milk market to U.S. imports in 1992 may have hurt local dairy farmers but it also meant poor children could get milk more cheaply • Foreign aid, another aspect of the globalized world, for all its faults still has brought benefits to millions, often in ways that have almost gone unnoticed o Guerrillas in the Philippines were provided jobs by a World Bank-financed project as they laid down their arms; irrigation projects have more than doubled the incomes of farmers lucky enough to get water; education projects have brought literacy to the rural areas; in a few countries AIDS projects have helped contain the spread of this deadly disease. Those who vilify globalization too often overlook its benefits. But the proponents of globalization have been, if anything, even more unbalanced. To them, globalization is progress; developing countries must accept it, if they are to grow and to fight poverty effectively. But to many in the developing world, globalization has not brought the promised economic benefits. • A growing divide between the haves and the have-nots has left increasing numbers in the Third World in dire poverty, living on less than a dollar a day. o Despite repeated promises of poverty reduction ~ made over the last decade of the twentieth century, the actual number of people living in poverty has actually increased by almost 100 million. This occurred at the same time that total world income increased by an average of 2.5 percent annually. • If globalization has not succeeded in reducing poverty, neither has it succeeded in ensuring stability. Crises in Asia and in Latin America have threatened the economies and the stability of all developing countries. o There are fears of financial contagion spreading around the world, that the collapse of one emerging market currency will mean that others fall as well. For a while, in 1997 and 1998, the Asian crisis appeared to pose a threat to the entire world economy. SHELAGH JOSEPH POLB90 READINGS Page 4 of10 The critics of globalization accuse Western countries of hypocrisy and the critics are right. The Western countries have pushed poor countries to eliminate trade barriers, but kept up their own barriers, preventing developing countries from exporting their agricultural products and so depriving them of desperately needed export income. IMF and WB Founded on the belief that there is a need for international pressure on countries to have more expansionary economic policies-such as increasing expenditures, reducing taxes, or lowering interest rates to stimulate the economy-today the IMF typically provides funds only if countries engage in policies like cutting deficits, raising taxes, or raising interest rates that lead to a contraction of the economy. • The IMF and the World Bank became the new missionary institutions, through which these ideas (free market ideology) were pushed on the reluctant poor countries that often badly needed their loans and grants. The ministries of finance in poor countries were willing to become converts, if necessary, to obtain the funds, though the vast majority of government officials, and, more to the point, people in these countries often remained skeptical. o In the 1980s, the Bank went beyond just lending for projects to providing broad-based support, in the form of structural adjustment loans; but it did this only when the IMF gave its approval-and with that approval came IMF-imposed conditions on the country. The IMF was supposed to focus on crises; but developing countries were always in need of help, so the IMF became a permanent part of life in most of the developing world.  Those who valued democratic processes saw how "conditionality"-the conditions that international lenders imposed in return for their assistance undermined national sovereignty. o A half century after its founding, it is clear that the IMF has failed in its mission. It has not done what it was supposed to do-provide funds for countries facing an economic downturn, to enable the country to restore itself to close to full employment. Many of the policies that the IMF pushed, in particular, premature capital market liberalization, have contributed to global instability. And once a country was in crisis, IMF funds and programs not only failed to stabilize the situation but in many cases actually made matters worse, especially for the poor. Privatization Governments, by and large, have little business running steel mills, and typically make a mess of it. This is the argument for privatization-converting state-run industries and firms into private ones. However, there are some important preconditions that have to be satisfied before privatization can contribute to an economy's growth. And the way privatization is accomplished makes a great deal of difference. • Unfortunately, the IMF and the World Bank have approached the issues from a narrow ideological perspective-privatization was to be pursued rapidly. As a result, privatization often did not bring the benefits that were promised. The problems that arose from these failures have created antipathy to the very idea of privatization. o Perhaps the most serious concern with privatization, as it has so often been practiced, is corruption.  Privatization advocates failed to realize that without the appropriate legal structures and market institutions, the new owners might have an incentive to strip assets rather than use them as a basis for expanding industry. As a result, in Russia, and many other countries, privatization failed to be as effective a force for growth as it might have been. Indeed, sometimes it was associated with decline and proved to be a powerful force for undermining confidence in democratic and market institutions. SHELAGH JOSEPH POLB90 READINGS Page 5 of 10 Liberalization The fact that trade liberalization all too often fails to live up to its promise-but instead simply leads to more unemployment-is why it provokes strong opposition. • The Hypocrisy - The Western countries pushed trade liberalization for the products that they exported, but at the same time continued to protect those sectors in which competition from developing countries might have threatened their economies. The Political Trilemma of the World Economy – Dani Rodrik Dani Rodrik’s The Globalization Paradox is a practical book. It describes things as they are and not as proponents of globalization would like them to be. It defends national sovereignty and democracy against the threats posed by advocates of free trade. And it rehabilitates government as a necessary element in a market economy. • Economic globalization is both a fact – world markets, heightened trade, and vast increases in capital flows – and an ideology. Rodrik has no dispute with economic globalization as a real process, which fosters trade between nations and which sometimes reduces transaction costs. But he is dead set against the idea, which he calls hyperglobalization, that national and local constraints are irrelevant impediments to the beneficent operation of free trade. o As many historical and recent crises have shown, unregulated global markets are unstable, prone to bubbles and collapse (he uses the example of Argentina).  Rather than irrelevant, national regulatory institutions and practices protect and support globalization. o Markets depend on states and cannot work without them. National markets are “embedded” in states where democratic participation, safety nets, and anti-trust legislation controls business. In nations, the demos provides a constituency for the economy, whereas the sole constituency for global markets are the elites who profit from it. Rodrik’s trilemma: Economic globalization, political democracy, and the nation-state are mutually irreconcilable. We can have at most two at one time. o Democracy is compatible with national sovereignty only if we restrict globalization. o If we push for globalization while retaining the nation-state, we must jettison democracy. o And if we want democracy along with globalization, we must shove the nation-state aside and strive for greater international governance. • There is a contradiction between “the national scope of governments and the global nature of markets.” • Hyperglobalization works to eradicate national regulatory authority and allow capital markets to operate without restraint. • Hypergl
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