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Test 4

Nov 10 Globalization & the Environment

1. Our perspective on the environment as determined by culture
    a. many cultures view humans as one element in an interdependent system
    b. Steger argues "Judeo-Christian humanist" culture places humans as center; view nature instrumentally
    c. Steger points also to capitalism and culture industry as promoting limitless accumulation
    d. Also argues the we have to face up to interdependence of humans with environment
        -Although we are part of an ecosystem, the world will survive in any state, we may not
2. More about the environment
    a. Pop. explosion puts pressure on resources and causes demographic shifts
         -Spread of human settlements. All animals fall into a cycle of natural balance, but humans don't have resistance to its development
    b. Intense pressure on environment from wealthy countries
        -US is 6% of global population yet consumes 30-40% of resources
        -Economies demand more consumption --> evironment vs. economy trade-off?
        -Conservatives argue that Global Warming isn't an issue
        -Democrats believe that they can create GREEN jobs and adjust to changing global climates
        -Possible way to limit consumption -> charge more for energy, force people to waste less by paying for utilities and energy
3. Steger concludes that a lack of enforecements make agreements ineffective

            Renewable Resources- trees, bears, snakes, polar bears, rattlesnakes, agricultural goods
            Non-renewable ones  - oil, natural gas, certain minerals (we have the ability to manufacture other minerals)

            Boundary Resources- timber, oil, natural gas (usually)
            Transboundary ones - fish, water, air, fish,
*Resource conflicts are more likely when the resource is non-renewable or transboundary
1. Non-Renewable Conflict- OIL
    a. we could be experiencing a new "oil shock"
    b. much depends on the recovery from the current crisis
    c. Demand is driven by US/China/India
    d. supply driven by conflict in Iraq, stability issues elsewhere
    e. Oil is increasingly smaller % of GDP but still crucial
    f. Deman doesn't seem very "elastic" in US
        -"elastic," we haven't much changed out oil consumption bc we are unable to make such a drastic change in our way of living
        -1973- oil shock, OPEC raises prices, shock to economic system--> led to inflation in global economy
        -if consumption levels return to how it was pre-crisis, expect gas prices to go up, way up, like...so high, I'm talkin' $5 or $6.
        -Global Oil Market. These markets are so interconnected that if one area's prices rise, others' will as well because others will want to
          export to that area to get those higher prices
        -Implementing a Carbon Tax to use natural resources may help reduce usuage but would be a politcally stupid decision.
            -but replacing certain taxes now with these resource-restricting taxes would help

2. Transboundary Conflict- WATER

Transboundary conflict: Water

            -Predictions that future conflicts could be around water

            -Regional issue in more arid climates

            -Increasingly difficult debates about privatization


Steger’s evidence about per capita environmental degradation points to ongoing LDC vs. developed country debate:


  1. LDC’s arguments:

a.       LDC’s claim developed countries are hypocrites because they have already depleted their resources.

b.      LDC’s want to develop first, then use better technology

c.       Emphasize per capita pollution/consumption


  1. Developed Countries’ arguments:

a.       LDCs can’t be let off the hook, everyone must help

b.      Yes we can produce more pollution, but more wealth too

c.       LDCs shouldn’t ‘reinvent the wheel’ they can utilize better technology, preserve their environment


Some video notes:

-Thailand wanted FDI, so they fixed their currency to the U.S. dollar

-They had a small economic downturn, but that caused a panic

-They couldn’t support exchange rate

____________________Notes: 11/12/09

       I'm missing some of the beginning of this lecture. I came in 10 mins late so... Also, I apologize for some titles sounding random. For example, "Conflict is likely" but didn't explain. Just kept writing in class
The Atmospheric Commons
Two Possible Solutions
1. Governments can regulate commons through various laws
    - but it is difficult at an internal level and there can be information issues such as laws for National Parks and laws governing the seas.
2. Market Solutions
-give permits to pollute a little, and then allow there to be trade of those permits
-this encourages efficiency. is good for initial steps but what about over time? well, wealthier countries/states/firms will use this to pollute more still because they can trade for permits from other states.

         **Bottom line: Countries will need to have a cap. And within those countries, they will need to put a cap on the pollution of its firms. This is still unproven and can be ineffective b/c countries can't be over-efficient.

Cooperation Solution

1. Montreal Protocol on CFCs and HCFCs

    -ozone hole unambiguous evidence of problem

    -there are substitutions for those ozone depleting chemicals

        **Companies sold a lot of energy. They got away with not buying permits and if they had to buy permits, it was inexpensive. But cooperation is possible- Montreal limited CFCs and got countries together.

2. Conflict is more likely

    -Kyoto protocol on greenhouse gases. Signed in 1997, ratified effect in 2005. Almost all (developed) countries except for US signed the treaty. 

    -Calls for a reduction of greenhouse gases for all states. Developing countries largely exempted because they believe they need to first reach a certain standard in their economy before they can start limiting.

    -Protocol uses a cap and trade system. It expires in 2012 (when the world is going to end, obviously). Meeting in Copenhagen in Dec 2009. 

    -Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change claims that by year 2100, globe will be between 2.5 and 10.5 degrees warmer.

        **US didnt want environmental awareness b/c it would lead to decline in its domestic firms. China and India also haven't signed. 

-Acid rain

Industrialization is a cause of acid rain. Poisons lakes riviers, damages soil, endangers the health of animals and humans. Problem for US Canada and European nations.

Causes: immediately after sulfur dioxide SO2 has been emitted into the atmostphere. Almost all fossil fuels contain sulfur and is high in coal (accounted for 66% of US sulfur dioxide emissions, 69% in china). When FF burn sulfur combines with oxygen makes sulfate and the interaction with mist fog or rain it becomes to create SO2 transforms to Sulfuric acid is major environmental health problem.  

Copenhagen Climate Change Conference

-very important meeting December, 2009 in Copenhagen

-intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change claims by 2100

-Global Warming most difficult issue

    • lack of substitute, global issue

Acid rain easier

    • No substitute but more local issue

CFCs (ozone depletion) easiest

    • Substitute available

Notes:  11/17/09


Maalouf’s perspective on identity


  1. Different historical episodes demonstrates that there are numerous identities are numerous identities that can serve as basis of conflict. (religion, class, race, ethnicity, gender)
  2. History also shows that there is no form of identity that is superior or always more important.
  3. Maalouf explores his own identity to demonstrate the many forms of identity that make him who he is (Christian, Arab, French, Lebanese, etc.).
  4. He also emphasizes that he (and each of us) is completely unique, although we lay claim to many forms of identity.
  5. Maalouf argues all forms of identity are socially constructed (thought experiment of ‘relocated infant’ demonstrating arbitrary nature of identity).
  6. Maalouf calls for rejection of ‘tribal identity’ because it leads to violence and death (and is so easily refuted).

-argues that our feelings about slavery, torture, etc. demonstrates the  possibility of progress

      g.   The politics of ‘identity migration’


Video notes:


-Becareful of bubbles, risky investments, similar to the Asian Financial Crisis.

-Battle in Seattle, 1999 WTO, Uruguay round ended, protests started the beginning of global awareness

-Against wealthy developed countries that protected their markets but preached for free trade


Notes: 11/19/09


Modernity and ‘the Other’


Maalouf rejects two types of claims about the Arab world and Islam”

  1. There is an essential connection between Islam and violence/intolerance/extremism
  2. There is no connection between forms of violence/intolerance/extremism committed in Islam’s name


Maalouf argues there is always a connection between particular national/religious identities and the actions committed by their adherents.

            -however, each of these manifestations is an application of ‘doctrine’, not the application

            -‘thou shalt not kill’ is good example of interpretation


What about Christianity and Democracy/Capitalism?

            -Some claim there is a necessary connection


Islam, Christianity, and Tolerance


Islam has history of ‘protocol of tolerance’

            -Moors/Ottoman-empire permitted other religions

-Knowledge of Greeks/Romans preserved in Islamic libraries during European ‘dark ages’


Christianity has history of intolerance

            -the Inquisition, forced Baptism, crusades, etc.


Maalouf’s thesis:


  1. Religion influences people, people influence religion.
  2. When a ‘people’ feel strong/triumphant they will be tolerant, when they feel under attack they will be intolerant


We still need to answer an important question. Why did ‘the West’ become so globally dominant?

            -Maalouf argues we can’t really answer the first part

            -Chance? Technology? Rule of law? Capitalism?


Identity issues have become ‘the West’ and ‘the Rest’

            -this greatly conditions responses by non-Western/poorer countries and regions

            -the ‘other’ often feels humiliated and/or ignored

            -dialogue occurs in language and on terms of the West.


How has this played out in the Middle East?

-after colonization period many states went through a period of national assertion (led by Nasser’s vision) Egyptian, Arab national identity

-Many states asserted secular/socialist policies

-Cold War politics meant all of these states had a patron

What does this have to do with contemporary politics in the Middle East?

            -end of the Cold War marked end of socialist ‘alternative’ to Western dominance.

            -Nationalist and/or Marxist politics seem like failed policies

            -Especially for young people, Islamist politics seem like a possible alternative


Maalouf’s prescriptions for progress on identity:


  1. Learn from Lebanon’s experiments with democracy

a.       Lebanon’s confessional quota system

-competition within religious communities

            b.   Maalouf says we must avoid two extremes:

                        1. The strict quota system based on identities

                        2. Majority rule with no protection for minorities

      2.    Learn from European language experience

            a. Language of birth needs reinforcement/protection

            b. Everyone needs to learn English (resistance is futile)

            c. Everyone should learn a ‘third’ language


Notes: 11/24/09


Globalization, Imperialism, and Terror


I.                   September 11th terrorist attacks on New York and D.C.

A.    Two possible perspectives

1.      9-11 attack was product of evil madmen who ‘hate our freedom’

2.      9-11 attack was product of politically motivated non-state actors targeting the U.S. and its global policies

B.     Rupert and Solomon argue we need to understand terrorism in light of:

1.      A tradition of American exceptionalism

2.      ‘Structural Violence’ of global inequality

3.      Manichean discourse of Al Qaeda and U.S.

-you’re either with us or against us, good or evil

4.      Historical structures often left without of the story


II.                The Politics of Oil

A.    British and French control of Middle Eastern region past WWII.

B.     U.S. dominance of region post WWII

C.     ‘Twin Pillars’ of U.S. policy in region = Iran and Saudi Arabia

1.      Iran – 1953 removal of Mossadegh

-replaced with Pahlovi regime (Shah of Iran)

-1979 revolution, theocratic state since

                        2.   Saudi Arabia – post WWII ‘agreement’ with U.S.

-ruled by monarchy, legitimacy derived from guardianship of Mecca and Medina

D.  Regional policy has led U.S. to endorse undemocratic regimes in favor of stability and secure access to oil.       

        III. ‘Militant Islam’

A.    Small minority of diverse Muslims globally (20% of the world).

B.     Neo-fundamentalism in that foundations of Islam are reinterpreted in response to modern world

C.     Why would narrative of Islam being under attack make sense?

-Afghanistan invasion by Soviet Union

-lack of response to atrocities against Muslims in Bosnia

-Russian repression of Chechens (Chechnya)

-Indian occupation of Kashmir

-Israeli occupation of Palestine

-U.S. invasion of Afghanistan and Iraq

-U.S. military forces in Arab countries, particularly Saudi Arabia

        IV. The Iraq War

A.    U.S. desire for regime change predates 9/11

B.     Clear now that WMO was not the only reason for Iraq war

C.     Democratic peace

D.    Eastern Europe

E.     Endgame in Iraq still hasn’t begun


Notes: 12/01/09 (came in a lil late)


The Future of Global Governance


United Nations?

            -UN is not a world government

            -UN is comprised of member states

            -UN reflects power distribution in the world


UN Structure:


General Assembly – all states are members, controls funding, passes resolutions (non-binding), organizes meetings on particular themes, body for speeches to UN.


Security Council – real power in the UN

            -15 members, (5 permanent, 10 rotating)

            -permanent members have veto power (UK, US, China, Russia, France)

            -resolutions are binding

            -more important in the post-Cold War era

            -can sponsor military action/peace keeping

            -global emergency calls come here


Secretariat – represented by Secretary General

            -comprised of the permanent staff of the UN

            -divided into different issues areas

            -Secretary General is the most important UN position

            -current Secretary General is Ban Ki-Moon (South Korea)

-Secretary General is nominated by Security Council, after consultations for a consensus candidate then approved by General Assembly



            -possibly of stronger regions as forms of governance

            -EU zone including Africa and all of Europe (Euro)

            -US centered zone including all of Americas (US dollar)

            -Asian zone centered in China/Japan (Yuan or Yen)


Civil Society:

            -increasingly prominent role for civil society groups 

            -religious, professional, other forms

            -NGOs like Greenpeace, Amnesty, Red Cross



            -Quebec, Scotland, other regional movements

            -example of glocalization


Video notes:

-unregulated market is what caused our recent economic recession


Missing: Notes 12/03/09


The Future of Globalization

Is Globalization inevitable, unstopable?
First wave of Globalization (1860-1914)
1. First wave had end in WWI and WWII
2. Karl Palanyi argues in The Great Transformation:
    a. before capitalism economy was embedded in society
    b. capitalism seperates economy from society
    c. society responds in a "double movement', reasserting some social        control over capitalism
3. Steger argues fascism in Europe this kind of responce
4. Could we see something like this today?

Contemporary Globalization
1. Possible futures of globalization:
    a. backlash
        -more terrorism and GWOT
        -instability and nativist reesponses to inequality
        worsening global economic downturn (financial instability)
    b. Continuation
        -Unlikely to see more of the same
    c. Reformed globalization
        1. reformed globalization
            -mild reform but continuation of market globalism
         2. globalization based around solidarity, global south

Possible Reforms of a global New Deal:
    a. Tobin tax * Tobin is Nobel Prize winning economist, people are making too much money by moving money (across country boarders) suggests having a very small tax on those transactions
    b. WTO with labor, environmental linkages
    c. Marshall plan for the global south
    d. Reform of the off shore centers (Panama, etc.)
    e. Linkages of labor unions, consumer unions- protect interest of                 consumers