510-PAM-sum19-may14

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CPOL 510:  Power and Money: Topics in Global Political Economy

(go back to the course’s main page?)


May 14 – Introduction to Power and Money and to Online Learning

This first week we introduce a couple of things:  questions about online learning, and some background on global political economy.

Online Learning

You saw the first video from Charli Carpenter on our course’s main page – a look at how social media has changed the way we study international politics.  This video is now several years old – what has changed since she first shared this?

The second video is two professors (including me) and two online students, investigating what online students want.  You can watch the video, or instead you can just read the article in EduCause and the PowerPoint that come from the video.

The third video is part of a conference on online learning.  It has me(again – sorry!) for five minutes talking about an online learning method called MOOCs – massive open online courses.  These are online courses with thousands of students – we only have 8 or 10 in our class.  If you click here it will take you to the five minutes I want you to watch – you don’t have to watch the whole hour.

Power and Money: A few things to get us started

We’ll be doing formal studies of Keynes and Hayek, globalization, and other things.  But we’ll start here, with just a couple of introductory ideas.

The first item is a collection of graphics from the Washington Post, snapshots about global politics and global political economy today (in 2014, actually – can you see any changes since then?)

The second item is a reading from Foreign Affairs from 1983: Albert Bressand, Mastering the Wold Economy.   It asks a number of important questions about the global economy right before the end of the Cold War – even though we don’t know it’s almost the end of the Cold War.   I think you will find the similarities to recent and current questions interesting.  If you can’r read it online, you can find it on Blackboard > Readings.

The third item – items, really – is two videos from the recent immigration surges across Europe.  There are many amazing videos, but here are two good short ones:  one on a boat from Turkey to Greece,

the other on migrants who have made it to France and are trying to get to the UK.

Finally, we need to look at the political economy forces that seem to be driving the global and local political changes around the world, often called “populism” as short-hand.  We’ll look into this (and all the topics above) more closely , but this is a useful introduction.  Read or listen to this discussion


In future weeks, you will be asked to answer specific prompts at the bottom of the week’s page, and then to respond to some of your classmates responses.  This week, only the first part.  Please answer each of these, at the bottom of this page.  You can use your real name, or a nom de plume – but you need to tell me by email if you use a pen name.

In future weeks, readings will be delivered to you early in the week and you will have responses due twice – your own essays one day and your response to your classmates’ essays a couple days later.  For this week only, you should have these essays completed by Sunday night, May 19.

You’ll want to look at this advice first:  what makes a good post

1 – What was interesting to you from the Charli Carpenter video or other online learning items – what struck you as important, surprising, wrong, or something else?  Approx 200-250 words

2 – What was interesting to you from the introductory items on global political economy?  You might answer any of these questions and/or write about something else:    which Washington Post graphics were especially interesting and why?  Bressand’s 1983 “worldeconomy” is just rich with things to consider – which elements struck you as most interesting or important?  The immigration videos remind us that global political economy isn’t about theories or calculus but about people.  What narratives impacted you?  And on populism – the return of an old idea to today’s global political economy – what do you hear that’s interesting or important (or something else) in this discussion?   Approx 400-500 words

20 Replies to “510-PAM-sum19-may14”

  1. Yes, you put your comments right here –

    It’s helpful to have a one-line or one-phrase summary at the top of your comments, like I have done here – and then put the text after that. You might want to compose in Word or similar, and then cut-and-paste. Yes, I (JQ) am ests11 – long story… thanks!

  2. I thought the argument that new media technology is combating the hierarchies within the profession of the traditional scholarly status of international relations was quite an interesting concept. Emphasizing the scholarly communications within and outside of academic channels and increasing access to information seems to be both a positive and potential issue moving forward with the dissemination of information. From a positive standpoint, I do believe opening access to those who used to be declined access to such scholarly knowledge due to societal status, access to education, opportunity, privilege and the otherwise, “common folks” is a move in a positive direction. Sharing ideas and information at the global scale should be allocated to those who seek it and not barred from accessibility just because one is not as educated or is unable to afford the ability to look into the arguments. It’s the ability for very important ideas to not just be left for the elites of society but disseminated throughout and this increases awareness, new voices and more viewpoints to contribute to the transnational conversation. However, there could be an issue of cross-referencing and citing the accuracy of such viewpoints that could detrimentally affect the conversation to go in the opposite direction and negatively share incorrect, or not fully accurate information with those unable to know the difference. This, I believe, is the potential issue when you have lack of the ability to regulate a lot of media due to speech rights and just the breadth of information out there that seems to lead us to issues that we now face of people not trusting media sources, reputable or not, and has birthed the age of “fake news” and the arguable bubbling up of a war against the media outlets out there.

    1. I missed this essay the first time, acatiggay – lots good. It’s true, as some others have mentioned: the democratizing influence of IT/SM on sharing news, research, and opinion is offset perhaps by not having “gatekeepers” to screen, edit, and validate what people share. Is a story about açai berries a revolutionary medicinal advance suppressed by Big Pharma, or is it junk science for profit? Are the accusations against [name your favorite politician] damning, out of context, or simply false? We used to have professionals, whatever their skills and biases, help us distinguish – but now we have to do more of this on our own…

  3. The immigration stories in the two videos really impacted me because, one I have studied and worked extensively with immigration, refugee and asylum law and policy in different capacities and two, I have a passion for this world crisis from an international law, immigration law and human rights law approach. Nothing is disconnected, one cannot discuss the political economy and money interests without considering the impact of human beings- without discussing the impact of immigration. I think the videos did a good job at really honing in and showing that intersection of politics, economics and tying in the human experience. It is quite important to understand that the push for power and economic growth actually would benefit from more open and welcoming immigration-friendly laws to facilitate hard working people into the economic growth of a society. But unfortunately racism, classism and nationalism have fueled the direct opposite and war on refugees and immigrants from seeking better lives and the ability to help. I do feel that this has aided in the radicalization of the “others” and has been a perpetual cycle of “one bad immigrant” or “one bad group” being the face of all migrants when in fact this is just blatantly not true.

    The powerful societies will always remain powerful even with the influx of immigrants. And ironically due to the destabilization of other societies, have many of these societies (America, richer Middle Eastern kingdoms and Europe) benefited at the expense of human beings which has caused the influx of refugees and immigrants seeking aid and help. The struggle for economic growth and power at any costs- even at the cost of human life- has really caused the refugee crisis we see today. The video showcasing the building of the fence from the migrants getting onto the Lories for escape and the other video showing the smugglers who make tons of money off desperation and send some migrants to their inevitable demise in the sea, really showed where power, economics and the immigration struggle intersect. I don’t believe globalization can have both closed nations/anti-immigrant nations and transnational trade and interaction. These nations can’t have it both ways. If power and economic prosperity is really the goal, then I do believe being more open to welcome immigrants and refugees can help facilitate that goal rather than the criminalization and othering of immigrants which has fueled hate, unnecessary strife and a worldwide human rights crisis.

    1. Acattigay — So much good in here. One of the most difficult and most important parts of global political economy, political science generally, and legal studies as well, is bringing together an understanding of the theory and policy and politics and “math” with the actual human experience of individuals and groups. We often talk about things “from 30,000 feet” – from a safe, analytical distance. But working with labor groups, or with immigrants, or with underfunded schools, etc these give richness and texture to what we learn from books.

      Although I generally agree with your emphasis on having humane and generous laws about migration – let me push back for just one moment just for the point: should countries have borders at all? Should countries be able to decide who can come into their country, and what goods come in with them? Few people advocate for “no borders at all” (a few, but not really) — the difficulty is imagining and implementing some fair, compassionate way to say “these people can come in but these other people can’t”. The US-Mexico border is unusual because there are few places in the world where developing and developed countries border each other. But as you suggest, migration and refugees is a global issue – spend some time here if you like https://mashable.com/2017/06/06/refugee-crisis-map-explorables/

  4. I should add — the first time you post a comment using your CUA email, it won’t post until I approve you. After your first post is approved, your subsequent posts should appear right away – thanks!

  5. Q1
    There was a lot of interesting information in Charli Carpenter video. One of the main points is the very high increase in readership the internet created in recent years. Epically when it comes to International Relations scholarship. How social media has become the main platform of International Relations scholars where 91 percent use YouTube and more than 50 percent use blogs. Those advancements of social media changed the shape and form of the field. Moreover, I was surprised by the huge impact of blogs where a blog mention creates a massive increase in the readership of scholarly articles. In addition, social media has removed the boundaries between International Relations scholars and policymakers and the public sphere. Another important point is that social media has changed the descriptive words used by International Relations scholars with making writing more concise. That makes ideas read, speared, debated very fast. When it comes to Professor Quirk lecture, there were very important points made. The fact that many professors, educators never took online classes, therefore might not know what is like to take online classes. Furthermore, I did not know how important online activity is as a core part of online classes, that might change the whole evaluation of a certain online class.

    Q2
    Brassard’s 1983 piece discussed very important concepts of the ‘world economy’. Starting with the fact that our knowledge in this context is very limited, and requires many further study, debate, and experiments. Actors of the ‘global economy’ such as major economies and international institution (IMF, World Bank) have not been playing a very negative role then and now. Another major problem under in fact that we know very little is that policy that works on a state level does not necessarily mean it can be applied and succeed on an international level. Moreover, there are many obstacles on the path of having a functioning international economy. Those obstacles can be divided into two categories: notions, and nations. The first are notions that are simply wrong or primitive such as ‘the developing world will boost ‘international economic growth’, where in fact those countries frequently fail to meet their international obligations. Nations like Japan and the US- especially recently- have a strong full or partial protectionist economic policy. Those policies induce national growth but are not necessarily good for international economic prosperity. Moreover, in recent years with the raise of Trump’s America first policy, his withdrawal from NAFTA and the TPP. It is clear that an international economic system based on partnership not an economic war like the US economic war on China and other phenomena is far from reality.

    1. Lots to think about here, BA –

      The increase in popular chatter about IR reflects a couple of things, including the increase in online chatter about everything. But a question we need to ask is whether the democratization of IR debate – that is, that more people can publish in the debate (twitter, blogs, etc.) and that more people can access that debate – leads to improvement in policy outcomes. Is there “better” IR theory and if so is that being translated into “better” policy?

      You ask some of these questions with respect to Bressand. What are the contextual similarities between Bressand’s worldeconomy and today? What are the global problems from 1983 that are similar today? What does Bressand recommend? Is there any useful advice for today?

  6. Q1
    The video by Charli Carpenter was one that focused on the growing phenomenon of Transnational Politics, how international relations have evolved and the role that the information age and internet plays in these areas.
    What was interesting to me from the video was not only seeing the key roles that web 2.0 (such as Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, web applications and so on) and web 3.0 platforms play in shaping international politics and empowering citizens of nations to share ideas and points of view about their government, the description of how it has even shaped the way experts and scholars in the fields of transnational politics and international relations perform their roles and communicate with other stakeholders.
    The most important fact that I gained from this video was that web 2.0 and other communication technologies or new media are levelling the playing field for information dissemination so that not only experienced journalists or scholars can get their information out to the public. They have changed who qualifies to be regarded as an expert in a field of study. In terms of the most surprising fact that I learned, it was the fact from a study that when scholarly articles are mentioned in blogs or on other social media platforms, it provides it with a staggering chance of being read by the target audience or people in general. This was surprising to me because I felt that things like the popularity and expertise level of the author would be enough to attract readers, whether the article is mentioned online or just in newspapers/magazines.
    I think what I would say is wrong about the new media is that it forces people to share so much information and then this could lead to privacy concerns which could be dangerous. There is also the issue of disinformation whereby people know they can put out any kind of information out there and get enough people to buy into their points of view, whether valid or not.
    Q 2
    The most interesting thing to me about the introductory items on global political economy was the discussion on exactly how the dynamics of politics and the economy seem to be inseparable in the global context. This has helped me realize that nations manipulate their economies to achieve political gains and vice versa.
    With regards to the Washington Post graphics, I was especially interested in and enjoyed reviewing five of them. First, the graph (#1) describing the significant gap between global inequalities and what is seen in America surprised me (Matthews, 2014). I knew many nations of the world suffer from inequality, but the graph presented a ratio that was beyond what I could have imagined. I was also struck by the fact that it seems inequality is increasing in the United States.
    Second graph that caught my attention was the graph (#3) that presented facts to show that the richest people in poor countries are poorer than the poor of rich countries (Matthews, 2014). This was a surprising logic for me to get my head around, but it was a very important fact to know that poor people in rich countries like Denmark were rich in comparison to the rich people in nations like Uganda (Matthews, 2014). This means the standard of living is particularly high in those rich nations from my own perspective.
    Third interesting graph I saw was the graph (#10) that described a linear relationship between the growth of literacy and wealth of countries (Matthews, 2014). This was a very important fact for me to know because in a way it shows that not every nation automatically misuses their resources and wealth when they grow. It shows that many actually invest in improving the capabilities and skills of their people.
    Fourth graph that caught my attention was the graph (#25) which showed the transformation of transportation habits in the U.S from 1960s till around 2011 (Matthews, 2014). I observed that while only about 62.7% of people used private vehicles and 9.5% walk to their places of work in 1960, the case in 2011 was that as much as 84.4% go tot work with private cars while only 2.7% walked to their jobs (Matthews, 2014). This shows that people now prefer to drive more than walking which I think could explain less healthy habits and way of life that people live by. The author pointed out the decline in the use of public transport through this same period with more private vehicle transportation now preferred (Matthews, 2014).
    The fifth and final graph that really caught my attention was the graph (#30) that showed the increasing levels of access to internet among nations of the world (Matthews, 2014). It was very interesting to see that for about four decades that the access to internet began, many nations are starting to adopt this phenomenon and make their citizens benefit from its resources. Although the author pointed out that the developing world still has a long way to go in matching the levels reached by developed nations in this regard, he also stressed that they are moving in a positive trend towards that goal (Matthews, 2014). This is interesting to me because seeing nations like China, Iran, and India as well as many others increasing in their access to internet, it means that many other nations have a chance to do so as well.

  7. Q1
    The video by Charli Carpenter was one that focused on the growing phenomenon of Transnational Politics, how international relations have evolved and the role that the information age and internet plays in these areas.
    What was interesting to me from the video was not only seeing the key roles that web 2.0 (such as Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, web applications and so on) and web 3.0 platforms play in shaping international politics and empowering citizens of nations to share ideas and points of view about their government, the description of how it has even shaped the way experts and scholars in the fields of transnational politics and international relations perform their roles and communicate with other stakeholders.
    The most important fact that I gained from this video was that web 2.0 and other communication technologies or new media are levelling the playing field for information dissemination so that not only experienced journalists or scholars can get their information out to the public. They have changed who qualifies to be regarded as an expert in a field of study. In terms of the most surprising fact that I learned, it was the fact from a study that when scholarly articles are mentioned in blogs or on other social media platforms, it provides it with a staggering chance of being read by the target audience or people in general. This was surprising to me because I felt that things like the popularity and expertise level of the author would be enough to attract readers, whether the article is mentioned online or just in newspapers/magazines.
    I think what I would say is wrong about the new media is that it forces people to share so much information and then this could lead to privacy concerns which could be dangerous. There is also the issue of disinformation whereby people know they can put out any kind of information out there and get enough people to buy into their points of view, whether valid or not.

    1. Lots good here, EA. The idea that social media “democratizes” the publishing universe – but as Genevieve says below, at the cost of editorial and fact-checking infrastructures – really does change much of the IR discussion – and other fields as well, of course

  8. Q2
    The most interesting thing to me about the introductory items on global political economy was the discussion on exactly how the dynamics of politics and the economy seem to be inseparable in the global context. This has helped me realize that nations manipulate their economies to achieve political gains and vice versa.
    With regards to the Washington Post graphics, I was especially interested in and enjoyed reviewing five of them. First, the graph (#1) describing the significant gap between global inequalities and what is seen in America surprised me (Matthews, 2014). I knew many nations of the world suffer from inequality, but the graph presented a ratio that was beyond what I could have imagined. I was also struck by the fact that it seems inequality is increasing in the United States.
    Second graph that caught my attention was the graph (#3) that presented facts to show that the richest people in poor countries are poorer than the poor of rich countries (Matthews, 2014). This was a surprising logic for me to get my head around, but it was a very important fact to know that poor people in rich countries like Denmark were rich in comparison to the rich people in nations like Uganda (Matthews, 2014). This means the standard of living is particularly high in those rich nations from my own perspective.
    Third interesting graph I saw was the graph (#10) that described a linear relationship between the growth of literacy and wealth of countries (Matthews, 2014). This was a very important fact for me to know because in a way it shows that not every nation automatically misuses their resources and wealth when they grow. It shows that many actually invest in improving the capabilities and skills of their people.
    Fourth graph that caught my attention was the graph (#25) which showed the transformation of transportation habits in the U.S from 1960s till around 2011 (Matthews, 2014). I observed that while only about 62.7% of people used private vehicles and 9.5% walk to their places of work in 1960, the case in 2011 was that as much as 84.4% go tot work with private cars while only 2.7% walked to their jobs (Matthews, 2014). This shows that people now prefer to drive more than walking which I think could explain less healthy habits and way of life that people live by. The author pointed out the decline in the use of public transport through this same period with more private vehicle transportation now preferred (Matthews, 2014).
    The fifth and final graph that really caught my attention was the graph (#30) that showed the increasing levels of access to internet among nations of the world (Matthews, 2014). It was very interesting to see that for about four decades that the access to internet began, many nations are starting to adopt this phenomenon and make their citizens benefit from its resources. Although the author pointed out that the developing world still has a long way to go in matching the levels reached by developed nations in this regard, he also stressed that they are moving in a positive trend towards that goal (Matthews, 2014). This is interesting to me because seeing nations like China, Iran, and India as well as many others increasing in their access to internet, it means that many other nations have a chance to do so as well.

    1. The graphs you mention are all good ones, I think, EA – rich is possible discussion material.

      But your broader points are important as well: it’s very difficult to think of economics and politics ever unrelated – and similarly, the idea that there are policy questions that are purely “domestic policy” or purely “foreign policy” is also easily disposed

  9. 1. The Charli Carpenter video was very interesting to me from a retroactive analysis perspective. Written in 2012, it reflected much of the optimism about how opening up on-line platforms to everyone could flatten the hierarchy of information and idea sharing. While she alluded to potential negative effects that could result from the wide-open world of internet publishing, most of the video focused on what were projected to be, at the time, positive developments.

    In theory, the advent of on-line publishing platforms should be celebrated as opening the door to a more democratic means to share information and ideas, consistent with principles of free expression. And I do believe that this was how the on-line information explosion was perceived at around the time Ms. Carpenter’s video was produced. Rather than be subjected to “academic censorship” by those who pick and choose which ideas will be published in bound scholarly journals, writers could access audiences, irrespective of their academic qualifications or associations. In other words, the advent of on-line publishing meant that the flow of ideas and information was no longer determined by the self-appointed elite.

    In practice, there has been a real downside that few predicted. Work styled as “academic” can be published without the same type of rigorous analysis and review that true academic work has long been subject to. As a result, intentionally or unintentionally false and misleading information is widely available on equal footing with serious academic work. Fringe, extremist, or inciteful work can be disseminated without obvious tools for the non-academic community to use to discriminate between legitimate scholarship and unsupported conclusions. People who are not experts are given vast amounts of information that even experts can have difficulty interpreting, and are left to draw their own conclusion.

    Therein lies the hazard to society. We uphold democratic, free expression of ideas as fundamental to the American “experiment,” but as the on-going debates over vaccinations, climate change, and election interference show, when there is no gatekeeper to filter untruths or provide perspective, information chaos can result. That is not to say that I advocate for censorship; rather, it is the cost we as society must pay for the more democratic access to information that on-line platforms provide. We, as a society, must evaluate the costs and benefits

    2. One of the aspects of this week’s materials that I found most interesting was the prescience of Bressand’s prediction in the Foreign Affairs article that leaving the international economy to the mercy of Adam Smith’s invisible hand, while states nonetheless manipulate their national economies to suit their own political, social, and economic needs, would be a recipe for disaster. Considering the Washington Post article together with the migration videos, my conclusion is that many aspects of Bressand’s dire warning, have slowly but steadily come to fruition. The articles and the videos shine an unvarnished light on the winners and losers of the modern, interconnected global economy.

    Several of Bressand’s observations about imbalances in industrial policy and unchecked international finance set the stage for the growing global North-South and East-West migration crises as well as the resurgent nationalist, populist, and protectionist movements currently occurring worldwide. Isolated from much of the rest of the world by oceans, it is tempting for Americans to think that the current political, social, and economic challenges that dominate national discourse are derived from our own political disfunction or failed social and economic policies. But resurgent nationalism, populism, and protectionism is not an isolated American phenomenon; similar movements are happening around the world.

    Bressand made some interesting observations that resonate today. For example, he observed that, post World War II, the industrialized nations called for a world economy. Now that we have on, Bressand posited that we had not yet learned to make productive use of it. With startling foresight, Bressand warned that the international community would have to learn “to close the widening gap between growing interdependence and declining collective capacity to deal with the perils it brings with it.” Moreover, I agree with Bressand’s assessment that “[T]he international economy can no longer be defined as, and limited to, the intersection of national economies. Rather, it is now the national economies which must be looked upon as the extension of a global and integrated system with a logic of its own.”

    Why is this important? Why does this resonate today? Because, again, I agree with Bressand’s critique that the international community’s ultimate failure lies within its continued attempts to manage international economic crises through national policies. There is a limit to the problems states can solve with domestic policy when the problems arise out of other countries’ domestic policies, or as a result of entities operating within an interconnected global financial system over which each individual country only has a limited ability to exert influence.

    The other materials for this week provided the evidence, some thirty years later, that Bressand was on to something. The Washington Post article highlighted the divergence in wealth and opportunity for wealth between the developed and developing countries. And the videos highlighted that the flow of migration is principally South to North and East to West. It is no coincidence that there is a correlation between the disparity in wealth and opportunity and the migration patterns. Patterns of inequality, migration, and nationalistic sentiment are all interrelated with global economic patterns. Gone are the days when any one country can solve its own economic problems without considering their intersection with political, social, and economic trends abroad. Until the global community can internalize and act on that, our own domestic policies will have limited effect.

  10. So much good stuff here, Genevieve –

    Let’s start with the massive disappointment (and difficulties) – however obvious they seem now – from the turning of social media from a tool for the color revolutions to a tool for ISIS, white nationalists, foreign interference in elections, etc. Can social media maintain its positive opportunities – like Ushahidi – and eradicate, ignore, or ameliorate the associated costs? Does Facebook or Twitter or Alphabet have the incentive – or even the ability? – to do this? Or can it only be done with China-like state-owned/state-led intensity? Lots of LOLcats and mobile phone sales, but no discussions of Uighurs, Tiananmen, etc?

    I like also your long arc of Bressand’s concerns to todays’ populism – but I wonder if that’s a bridge too far without first acknowledging the role of things Bressand didn’t know yet – the end of the Cold War and the IT revolution for sure, and their constituent parts: global democratization and its partial reversal; globalization of not just trade but of supply chains; massive global migration; ubiquitous, instantaneous, mobile, unreliable social media/news; the 1997-1998 and 2007-2008 financial crises; etc? Or maybe you think Bressand did have an idea about these things, even in their early/predictive stages?

    Nice

    1. Hmm, interesting about Bressand’s crystal ball. From my perspective, I don’t think that Bressand had to have an idea about the specific technological or political interventions to see the trajectory we were headed on. Looking backwards, he may well have understood trend well enough to know that the world was getting small and more interconnected and that was unlikely to reverse course. But I do think he had the general idea that the success of the “worldeconomy” (as he put it) would have losers, and that we weren’t adequately preparing for that.

  11. Charli Carpenter Video
    The video showcases how social media sites such as Facebook have changed international politics. People are using Twitter to instigate revolutions against their governments. Firstly, social media is giving the citizens a lot of information relating to governance; hence, can learn when the government is oppressing them. Through social media, the citizens can mobilize each other to rise against the administration.
    The video has also presented an important aspect of how social media has changed the dynamics of carrying out research. Scholars can now conduct research easily and publish information within a short time. Moreover, YouTube videos can be used to gain a lot of information from other research hence increasing knowledge sharing. Besides, the research can easily be shared with others through blogs and social media sites. Twitter can be used to simplify the research findings through a simple tweet to the public hence simplifying the dissemination of the research findings to the public, leading to better comprehension.
    It is surprising to learn about the number of users in the social media sites in the whole world. Social media sites such as Facebook and YouTube have millions of users. The aspect that if social media was a region, it could be the third largest continent in the world is surprising. The world has been connected via social media, where people from different nations can interact and share ideas. Moreover, it is surprising to know that social media can lead to political upheavals through revolution staged by social media users.
    Global Political Economy
    The Washington post graphic from Branko Milanovic regarding poverty is surprising. It is disheartening to note the level of inequality in the world where the people who are rich in developing countries are poor than those who are poor in developed countries (Matthews, 2014). One can, therefore, wonder the kind of state of the low-income earners in the developing nations who are surprisingly the majority. Most of the poor countries are deep-rooted in poverty, and their citizens cannot afford basic social amenities. Therefore, world leaders must think about how to implement policies that can enhance equality in all countries.
    Immigration from politically unstable countries is rife, and many people are struggling to find their way to countries such as the UK and France. However, the immigrants are faced with multiple challenges of how to get to the border of these nations. Most of them are nabbed by police officers and returned to their refugee camps. Immigration is a major crisis that needs stringent steps to be taken to ensure there is harmony in the global economy.
    Albert Bressand presents a very important message of how the global economy does not exist. World leaders have diverging priorities, and conflicting perceptions hence lack a sense of direction. Every leader is working on how to improve the economy of his country without minding the welfare of other nations. Therefore, the interdependence that existed between countries is gone hence, the global economy is a myth. National economic policies are being used to solve an international crisis, which is completely illogical (Bressand, 2015). It is interesting to learn that world proposals to coordinate growth around the globe is still yielding controversy among the leaders. No framework or motivation can make the world leaders shelve their individual country’s ambitions for the prosperity of the whole world.
    It is interesting to note that populism politics are still common in developed countries such as the US and Europe. As developed regions, it is expected that their mature democracy cannot give room to populist politicians who are there to capitalize on certain issues. However, this has been countered by the recent trend of populist parties winning elections in Europe. For instance, a majority of the UK citizens were influenced to support a Brexit move which has implicated the country to immense problems. Populist politicians influenced the citizens to support the move of exiting the European Union in the pretense of safeguarding their interests. In the US, the citizens overwhelmingly voted for President Donald Trump due to his populist politics of capitalizing on the tentative issue of foreigners flocking into the country. Therefore, it is interesting to learn that populism has found its way to the developed countries.

    1. Hi, Nourh. Lots good here. There are many important questions, but I will raise this one:

      The Bressand article is interesting – to me – because it is from 1983. Bressand is asking a lot of questions that we still ask today. After 1983, the Cold War ended, globalization dominated international trade (and finance and media and terrorism and…for a while…democratization). The information technology revolution meant people can talk, or invest, or scam, or politic, over around the world for almost free. But economic insecurity and inequality, global refugees and migration, and in many ways a kind of global reversion from “global’ to “tribal” has changed national and global politics – back to Bressand’s questions?

  12. Dr. Charli Carpenter opens her remarks by reminding us that the Facebook community is larger than the population of the United States which, while true, seems to understate the more than 2 billion active users on the website. Evidence of the way social media has revolutionized world politics can clearly be seen now with the election President Trump and his preference for Twitter as the main platform with which to reach his constituency. I was also struck by the graph showing the drastic spike representing the power of blogs to point readers toward scholarly articles and can personally attest that my own behavior is accurately reflected in this spike. One concern presented by new media is that threat of misinformation is high and prevalent, as evidenced in American politics during the 2016 presidential campaign, therefore scholars must be diligent when researching. Also, the potential to misunderstand tone, thereby misinterpreting context is ever present and should be considered. Nonetheless, the continual exponential growth of technology necessitates academia to at least attempt to keep pace to have an accurate view of the modern world.

  13. There were a number of graphs presented in the Washington Post that were particularly interesting to me. Beginning with graph #2, I was fascinated to see the depiction of global inequality dating back to 1500, noting the significant spike in inequality circa 1850 during the Industrial Revolution. Among the eight countries cited, only China and India maintained nearly the same level of inequality after that timeframe. This may potentially be correlated to graph #11, in which China and India show a drastic decline in poverty beginning in about 1980. Since graph #2 stops in 1950, we don’t see the depiction of how the economic boom in China and India affected their standing in terms of global inequality, but I am left wondering if inequality grew with the drop in poverty, considering that the Industrial Revolution’s economic boom marked an increase in inequality in the earlier industrialized nations.

    The decline in interstate war deaths depicted in graph #13 was also surprising with over 20 deaths per 100,000 in the 1950’s dropping to a level so low that it does not register on the chart in the 2000’s, and civil war deaths dropping nearly as much. Perhaps this aligns with graph #14 showing a steady decline in armed conflict since 1991.

    Another graph that intrigued me was #24, which showed that money spent on groceries between 1982 and 2012 only saw significant change in in two of the seven listed categories and they occurred at nearly a proportionate level. There was an 11.3% increase in processed food purchases, while meats actually dropped 9.8%.

    Graph #27, depicting the sudden rapid decline in share of income held by laborers in the mere 20 years between 1987 and 2007 is staggering. Perhaps this trend explains the seeming decline of middle-class America and the sense of growing domestic inequality.

    Finally, in graph #30, I was surprised to see that Italy has a relatively low percentage of their populace online compared to other Western nations. While the U.S. is near the 100% mark, Italy falls just over 40%. I expected a much higher number for them as a founding member of the E.U.

    The two videos depicting migrants attempting to cross borders were heart-breaking. In the first video, the high cost of €2,000 per adult and €1,000 per child left me wondering how in the world these people in an apparent desperate situation were able to garner the funds needed. Furthermore, the high cost only bought passage for a small, albeit death-defying, portion of their journey, and that journey was filled with perils, not the least of which was a rickety old boat that broke down during passage. The second video, featuring eight-year-old Khaled put a face to the horror taking place in Syria. His resilience in the face of tragedy was inspiring. I was also struck by how fast France erected the fence along the highway to keep migrants in the tent city from attempting to stow away on lorries headed for England. Within two weeks the fence was up, a pace indicating urgency.

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