Sunday, November 13, 2005

Resources for week of 11/7:

This week, my resources originate from chapters 3 and 4 of the assigned text for class Global Transformations: Politics, Economies and Culture by David Held, Anthony McGrew, David Godblatt, and Jonathan Perraton. The topic of these chapters is global economics and trade. While they do not directly relate to the subject of war/militarism/terrorism, I believe they offer important insight to our topic. Unlike the name suggests, global trade and economy does not apply to all nations and regions of the world. Developing countries are at an extreme disadvantage because of the lack of chips in their pocket. They are often left to fend for themselves. What these chapters do not disclose is what happens in developing societies when their governments decide to join in the global trade game. Where their efforts had previously been on producing food and resources to sustain life within the country, the work-force often changes to the production of manufactured goods. Even if they continue in their agricultural work, these products are shipped to the larger nations who can pay the higher price for the goods, while the people in the native country are left without sustenance. What kind of an atmosphere does this promote? One where people feel powerless and helpless. We need to be about the business of asking what connections this might foster for terrorism, if any. How does this produce civil strife and war? The poor remain poor and rich get richer. Is this our way of embodying the Kingdom of God? With that analysis, here are some insights that these chapters offer:

“this competition can take various forms such that global markets may often reflect oligopolistic rather than perfectly competitive conditions, with a few major producers dominating a trading sector.” Pg. 150.

“an industrialized economy with the same trade-GDP ratio as a developing country may find it easier to absorb fluctuations in trade levels: thus there is a difference between sensitivity and vulnerability to external factors.” Pg. 151.

“Extensive as they are, trade networks still appear to be concentrated within certain geographical areas, crudely Europe, the Americas and Asia-Pacific, three trade blocs with some economic coherence and including most of the industrialized economies. To many skeptics such developments have been interpreted as evidence that trade is becoming regionalized rather than globalized.” Pg. 167.

“for much of the postwar period, world trade has been concentrated among the developed economies.” Pg. 172.

Eras of trade are marked by wars in these chapters- Interwar Period, Postwar Period.

Note the effects of war on trade- i.e.) Civil War disrupts U.S. world trade. Pg. 159.

Note the impact of the Cold War- Soviets put their money in Western European banks instead of U.S. banks. Pg. 201.


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