CHAPTER 33 OUTLINE – NEW CHALLENGES IN A NEW MILLENNIUM I. 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 1. II. 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 tradition. 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, B. C. D. 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 world. 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 relations. 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.