Chapter 33 Notes

Globalization and Economic Crisis
A. An Interconnected Economy
1. Economic growth in China and India, along with their large populations, made
them future world economic powers. These nations and the United States
increased their demand for oil to the point that the price per barrel rose from $20
in 1999 to $70 in 2006, then fell abruptly during the economic crisis of 2008.
2. To promote economic growth and reduce vulnerabilities, many countries formed
free-trade zones and regional trade associations. The strengthening of the
European Union (EU) and the creation of the North American Free Trade
Agreement (NAFTA) were notable examples of this trend.
3. The Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) was formed in 2001 with China,
Russia, and four former U.S.S.R. regions initially for the purposes of collective
security. Oil-rich Iran applied for membership in 2008.
4. The World Trade Organization (WTO) was founded in 1995 to encourage
reduced trading barriers and enforce international trade agreements. The
organization has numerous vocal critics. The International Monetary Fund (IMF)
and the World Bank provide assistance to countries in economic trouble, but few
expected the drastic downturn in the global economy.
B. Global Financial Crisis
1. The 2008 financial crisis had roots in the Asian crisis of 1997 when the
investment boom in Asian countries burst. Money then flowed the other way,
much to the U.S., allowing the U.S. to fight two wars while lowering taxes.
2. In 2008 the U.S. housing boom collapsed causing devaluation in housing and
generating a large number of home foreclosures. U.S. financial firms and banks
teetered on the brink of collapse. Unemployment increased. U.S. presidential
candidate Barack Obama won the election in part from faith in his ability to stem
the economic crisis.
C. Globalization and Democracy
1. In the last decades of the twentieth century, the number of democratic
institutions increased throughout the world.
2. The great appeal of democracy is that it allows for the peaceful resolution of
differences among a country’s social, cultural, and regional groups, and reduces
the threat of war between democratic nations.
3. The economic crisis of 2008 caused some new democratic governments to fall.
4. Democracy in Pakistan seemed uncertain; President Pervez Musharraf stepped
down rather than face impeachment because of his support of the U.S. The
government also faced growing strength of the Pakistani Taliban.
5. Asian countries have moved toward more open political processes. The election
of the BJP in India increased tensions between India’s Hindus and Muslims. In
2004, the BJP lost a national election to the Congress Party and peacefully
handed over power.
6. With the notable exception of South Africa, elections in sub-Saharan Africa have
often been used by would-be dictators as the first step in establishing their
political and military dominance. In Sudan, violence in Darfur led to Omar alBashir becoming the first sitting head of state to be charged with genocide by the
International Criminal Court in 2009.
D. Regime Change in Iraq and Afghanistan
Experiments in democracy took place in Afghanistan and Iraq after the United
States overthrew both regimes.
2. Ruled by the Taliban at the time of the 9/11 attacks, and harboring Usama bin
Laden, Afghanistan became the target of the United States in December 2001.
With the fall of the Taliban, Hamid Karzai was elected interim president in 2002
and was Afghanistan’s first democratically elected president in 2004.
3. Afghanistan’s government has not proven strong enough to control warlords in
some outlying regions, and it has had to fight attempts by the Taliban to regain
power. Despite efforts to the stem production, the majority of Afghanistan’s
agricultural income comes from opium production.
4. The United States began a preemptive strike against Iraq on March 20, 2003,
under the belief that Iraq held weapons of mass destruction (WMDs), although
United Nations weapons inspectors had not found any evidence of WMDs in
Iraq. When no WMDs were found, President George W. Bush then stated that
the reason for the invasion was to liberate the Iraqi people from oppression and
install a democracy.
5. After “major fighting” ended in Iraq, the United States led Iraqis through the
steps to a constitutionally elected government in January 2005. As democracy
took shape in Iraq, they also endured a guerilla insurgency and, after the election
of a Shi-ite majority, conflict between Shi-ite and Sunni factions, verging on
civil war. By the time Barak Obama took office, however, signs of stabilization
led him to announce withdrawal of U.S. combat forces by August 2010.
6. The hardships of democratization in Iraq and Afghanistan led other Middle
Eastern countries to question U.S. urgings to liberalize their political systems.
The capture of 23 seats in the Lebanese parliament by Hezbollah in 2005 and the
majority of seats won by Hamas in the Palestine Governing Council seemed to
confirm for oil-producing countries their hesitancy to hold free elections. In
2007, Hamas attacks against Israel led to aerial bombardment by Israel on the
Gaza Strip.
The Question of Values
A. Faith and Politics
1. Evangelical Protestants became a powerful, conservative political force in the
United States, particularly during the presidency of George W. Bush. Catholic
conservatives led opposition to abortion, homosexuality, marriage of priests, and
admission of women to the priesthood. Israel’s hyperorthodox Jews, known as
haredim, vehemently resisted both Israel’s unilateral withdrawal from Gaza in
2005 and plans for withdrawal from parts of the West Bank. In India, Hindu
zealots made the BJP party a powerful political force.
2. The birth of the Islamic Republic of Iran in 1979 made the current of Muslim
political assertiveness visible to all, but by the year 2000, acts of terrorism by
non-Iranian Muslim groups claiming to be acting for religious reasons were
capturing the headlines. Media technology increased terrorism’s effectiveness as
a political tactic from the 1980s onward, especially with spectacular attacks
against the United States and Europe.
3. Most notorious of the terrorists was the Saudi-born charismatic leader Usama bin
Laden. Through his group of fighters called al-Qaeda, he attacked American
embassies, the U.S. Navy destroyer Cole, and the World Trade Center and the
Pentagon in 2001. Further terrorist attacks by Indonesians in 2002, North
Africans in 2004, and English-born Muslims in 2005 suggested that the violence
begun by al-Qaeda had become decentralized and that recruits might no longer
be taking orders from bin Laden. Debate has not settled on the reasons for the
increasing violence but fear of terrorism became pervasive throughout the world,
and many peaceful Muslims found themselves suspect because of their beliefs.
B. Universal Rights and Values
1. The United Nations sought to protect the rights of individuals through the
Universal Declaration of Human Rights, passed by the General Assembly in
December 1948. The declaration’s emphasis on individual rights was derived
mostly from European and American history; many of the countries that later
signed this declaration had reservations about the universal nature of concepts
that had been formulated exclusively on the basis of the western cultural
2. Rather than addressing fundamental philosophical issues regarding the concept
of human rights, human rights activists worked through nongovernmental
organizations (NGOs) and focused their efforts on agreed-upon violations of
human rights: torture, imprisonment without trial, and summary execution by
death squads, and on famine relief and refugee assistance.
3. U.S. demands that its citizens be exempted from the jurisdiction of the
International Criminal Court and that “enemy combatants” taken prisoner during
the “war on terrorism” did not have to be treated in accordance with the Third
Geneva Convention, and its withdrawal from the Kyoto agreement has prompted
charges of hypocrisy from critics of the U.S. government. The election of Barak
Obama, the first African-American president of the U.S., seemed to signal a
change in American attitudes on international rights issues.
C. Women’s Rights
1. Positions on the question of women’s rights clearly demonstrate the dichotomy
of views between the western industrialized nations and the nations of Africa,
Asia, and Latin America.
2. The feminist movement in the west was concerned with voting rights, equal
access to education and jobs, and an end to gender discrimination and sexual
exploitation. Feminists in the west also decried the oppression of women in other
parts of the world.
3. Some nonwestern women complained about the deterioration of morality and
family life in the west and questioned the priorities of the western feminist
movement. Efforts to coordinate the struggle for women’s rights internationally
gained momentum in the 1970s, but these efforts were not able to overcome
deep-seated cultural disagreement on the definition of women’s rights.
4. International conferences have focused attention on women’s issues more than
they have generated solutions. On the other hand, increasing women’s education,
better employment opportunities, political participation, and control of fertility
are goals that promise to lead to better gender equality.
III. Global Culture
A. The Media and the Message
1. After World War II, the United States became the world’s main exporter of
movies, challenged only by India, Egypt, and Hong Kong.
2. In the 1960s, television began to spread to most of the nonwestern world, where
government monopolies ensured that the new medium would be used to
disseminate a unified national viewpoint rather than function as a medium for the
transmission of western culture and opinions. American organizations like CNN
(Cable News Network) used satellite transmission technology to enter the
international market, proffering a fundamentally American view of the news. In
response to CNN, other countries have developed their own twenty-four-hour
news coverage, such as Al-Jazeera, based in the Persian Gulf emirate of Qatar,
which interprets the news of the Iraq War, for instance, from a different
perspective than U.S. news media.
3. The development of digital technology offered the possibility of combining the
separate technologies of movies, television, and computers, while the
development of the Internet transformed business and education. These
technological innovations could be seen as portents of western—especially
American—cultural domination, but as technology became more widespread,
people around the world had more opportunities to adapt that technology to their
own purposes.
The Spread of Pop Culture
1. The new technologies helped change perceptions of culture by allowing popular
culture to become more and more visible. At the beginning of the twentieth
century, European composers, choreographers, writers, and artists drew on
popular cultures to inspire and enliven their work.
2. Initially, the content was heavily American but consumer products of American,
European, and Japanese transnational companies found their way into
international markets and filmmakers began to be inspired by global themes for
international audiences.
Emerging Global Culture
1. Cultural links across national and ethnic boundaries at the elite level generated
much less controversy than did the globalization of popular culture. RussianAmerican collaboration on space missions and in the business world, the flow of
graduate students and researchers from around the world to American scientific
laboratories, and the use of English as a global language were all aspects of
globalization at the elite level.
2. The importance of English as a global language became evident in the
emergence of an international literature in English, though world literature
remained highly diverse..
3. Western universities have become the model for higher education around the
Enduring Cultural Diversity
1. Diverse cultural traditions persisted at the end of the twentieth century despite
the globalization of industrial society and the integration of economic markets.
Japan, for example, has been a success in the modern industrial world in spite
of—or perhaps because of—its group-oriented, hierarchical approach to social
2. The economic success of Japan and other Asian countries calls into question the
long-standing western assumption that all of world history culminated in the
exceptional convergence of political freedom, secularism, and industrialization
that emerged in the west. Also coming into question was whether
industrialization offered the only viable route to prosperity.