How to Think About Globalization

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    • 00:00


    • 00:10

      PROFESSOR RICHARD MANSBACH: Good day.I am professor Richard Mansbach of Iowa State University,and this is a tutorial on globalization,its key characteristics, criticisms of its impact,and possible global futures.Every one of us is touched by the process calledglobalization, but that process is poorly understood

    • 00:31

      PROFESSOR RICHARD MANSBACH [continued]: and its impact is fiercely contested.Indeed, there's even disagreementas to when the process began.Was it millennia ago when the first human beings left Africa?Was it only 20 years ago when the internet was begun?What I want to do is clarify what we mean by globalization,elaborate some of its positive and negative consequences,

    • 00:55

      PROFESSOR RICHARD MANSBACH [continued]: and capture the extent it affects our future.The simplest way to conceive of globalizationis a process that allows the free movement of persons,things, and ideas around the worldand the decline of impediments to such movement.I will be covering the following points-- one, the definition

    • 01:15

      PROFESSOR RICHARD MANSBACH [continued]: and salient features of globalization,the criticisms of globalization, and four possible futuresof which globalization is only one.It's important to understand globalizationand its processes, because they affect everyone

    • 01:37

      PROFESSOR RICHARD MANSBACH [continued]: for better or worse, and have transformedglobal politics and the global system by replacing,slowly, territorial sovereign stateswith transnational political, economic, and social networksof individuals around the world.

    • 01:60

      PROFESSOR RICHARD MANSBACH [continued]: The salient features of globalization are asfollows-- one, the spread of communications, informationand communications technologies, social medialike YouTube and Facebook that shrinkthe role of geographic distance, the importanceof territoriality, and sovereign borders,and therefore lower the barriers between domestic and foreign

    • 02:22

      PROFESSOR RICHARD MANSBACH [continued]: policy.There is no customs agent at frontiersto interfere with messages coming across the internet.Thus, when America's Federal Reserve monetary policiesraise or lower interest rates at home, a domestic policy,that also affects the value of American currencies,

    • 02:44

      PROFESSOR RICHARD MANSBACH [continued]: and therefore the ability of the United Statesto export and import goods in foreign countries.Secondly, the spread of knowledge and skillsin unprecedented ways and an explosionin national transnational political participation,owing to the new technologies-- for example,

    • 03:04

      PROFESSOR RICHARD MANSBACH [continued]: blogs, online voting, mobilizationof protests in cyberspace, all of which provideinfinite information and opinion from sourcesof all political coloration.No longer is political discourse limited to voting for,contributing to, or writing letters to candidates.

    • 03:25

      PROFESSOR RICHARD MANSBACH [continued]: Indeed, protests in Kiev, Ukrainelast year were organized not by folks meeting in rooms,but by email, by cellphones, by social media.Many of these people had never met one another.Three, the triumph of capitalism in the emergence

    • 03:45

      PROFESSOR RICHARD MANSBACH [continued]: of global markets that transcend state boundaries and limitstates control of their own economiesas firms and countries compete globallyby lowering cost-- with one computerand an internet connection, folks can invest in move fundsalmost instantly, thereby sometimes bringing

    • 04:08

      PROFESSOR RICHARD MANSBACH [continued]: about the collapse of currencies or causing precipitous dropsin stock markets, literally in the wink of an eye.With a computer and an internet connection, we can invest,we can move funds almost, well almost, instantaneously,and thereby, as I said, bring about the collapse

    • 04:28

      PROFESSOR RICHARD MANSBACH [continued]: of currencies or stock markets almost immediately.Four, the spread of global cultures-- peopleeat, dress, and conduct business in the same way.And Us and Western norms, like individualism and consumerism,spread, undermining traditional elites

    • 04:49

      PROFESSOR RICHARD MANSBACH [continued]: and traditional religious beliefs.Highly educated, global, professional political andeconomic elites across the world travel first class,talk to each other to each other in Englishby phone, email, and social media,and communicate more frequently and easilywith foreign members of these elites

    • 05:10

      PROFESSOR RICHARD MANSBACH [continued]: then they do with their own fellow citizensthat they might meet on the streets of their home city.In addition to such cultural homogenization,other possibilities include clashing civilizations--for instance, Europe's collision with indigenous peoplesin the New World or Civil War in 1992 in Bosnia,

    • 05:33

      PROFESSOR RICHARD MANSBACH [continued]: among Greek Orthodox Serbs, Catholic Croatians, and BosnianMuslims, or what we call hybridization.For those of you, for instance, whohave visited the border with Mexico and Texasor that in southern California, whichsome are called Mexifornia, we see no particular US

    • 05:54

      PROFESSOR RICHARD MANSBACH [continued]: or Mexican culture.We see something a little different.Both are bilingual, eat Tex-Mex food, or the equivalent,and follow customs brought in from both countries,both Mexico and the United States.A fifth characteristic is the spread of Englishas a global language as was Latin or French

    • 06:17

      PROFESSOR RICHARD MANSBACH [continued]: in earlier centuries-- what we used called lingua-franca.English, today, is the language of science and business,and those who know English are immenselyadvantaged in global affairs.I once attended a meeting of officials of a German firmin New York, who were meeting with managersfrom around China, Germany, Russia, and all spoke English.

    • 06:40

      PROFESSOR RICHARD MANSBACH [continued]: They didn't speak German.A six characteristic is the spread of liberal democracyand democratic aspirations-- somethingthat many thought had conquered the worldwith the end of the Cold War.Thus, the Arab Spring and its democratic demands,which erupted in Tunisia in 2011,

    • 07:01

      PROFESSOR RICHARD MANSBACH [continued]: then spread elsewhers-- Egypt, et cetera by social mediaand cellphone, videos uploaded to YouTube.Thereafter, secular pro-democratsmistrusted political Islam.And the subsequent spread of political Islambrought an end to the Arab Spring,

    • 07:21

      PROFESSOR RICHARD MANSBACH [continued]: as the secularist undermined the revolutions thathad taken place.A seventh characteristic is the spread of global civil society,and with it the seeds of what we call global governance in oneor another issue area.International organizations, like the World TradeOrganization and the International Monetary

    • 07:44

      PROFESSOR RICHARD MANSBACH [continued]: Fund, and nongovernmental organizations,like Amnesty International or Greenpeace,fostered norms and rules in human rights.Greenpeace, for its part, has spread environmental norms,which have taken root around the world.Norm diffusion-- that is the belief in what is right

    • 08:06

      PROFESSOR RICHARD MANSBACH [continued]: and what should be done, and governantsare hardly uniform among issues.For example, governants in international traderemain strong and vigorous by contrastwith the endangered nuclear nonproliferation regime.And environmental norms are only emerging very slowly,

    • 08:26

      PROFESSOR RICHARD MANSBACH [continued]: especially after America's refusalto endorse the Kyoto Protocol on climate change.Not everyone praises globalization.Critics point to, first of all, what theycall the democratic deficit.For instance, individuals-- we, you, me--

    • 08:50

      PROFESSOR RICHARD MANSBACH [continued]: have little input into the policiesof giant transnational corporations.Giant international organizations,like the United Nations or the European Unionor nongovernmental organizations, evensuch organizations that do as we would like them to,do don't ask us for their opinion.

    • 09:10

      PROFESSOR RICHARD MANSBACH [continued]: A second criticism is that we inventeda world, a competitive world of cutthroat capitalismand declining domestic welfare, owing to the efforts of states,countries, to cut taxes and cost competitivelyin areas like medical care, social security, and the like,

    • 09:31

      PROFESSOR RICHARD MANSBACH [continued]: because they want to attract foreign firmsand outsourcing of operations by corporations in orderto reduce court costs and therebyremain globally competitive.A third criticism is that bad things spread far more quicklythan they used to in the old days whetherby airplane, internet, or simply marching across boundaries,

    • 09:57

      PROFESSOR RICHARD MANSBACH [continued]: so that we have the rapid spread of diseases, like avianflu, SARS, and MERS.And we have the rapid globalizationof economic woes like the 1997, 1998 so-called Asian contagion,an even more the rapid spread of America's 2008

    • 10:17

      PROFESSOR RICHARD MANSBACH [continued]: sub-prime mortgage financial crisis.A fourth criticism is that globalizationcauses the erosion of distinctive culturesand languages in the face of a so-called superficial CocaCola, McDonald's, Levi's Jeans culture.Fifth, the result is a race to the bottom, in which companies

    • 10:40

      PROFESSOR RICHARD MANSBACH [continued]: that have moved to less developed countriesreduce their costs, and thereby follow few environmental rulesor safety regulations and providethe most ghastly working conditions usingchild labor, building factories in countries like Bangladeshthat are fire traps.

    • 11:00

      PROFESSOR RICHARD MANSBACH [continued]: A six criticism is that there is global economic inequalitywithin societies like China or Indiaor the United States, in which the rich growricher and the wealth gap widens,so that the economic pie as a whole is growing,but the distinction between top and bottom is also growing.

    • 11:24

      PROFESSOR RICHARD MANSBACH [continued]: Those who support globalization by contrastpoint to its positive features, such as raisingtotal global income, providing jobs in poor countries,and fostering norms like gender equality.

    • 11:44

      PROFESSOR RICHARD MANSBACH [continued]: Looking ahead, we can envision our possible futures,some of which already exist simultaneouslyin different regions.The first, which those who are fond of globalization,look forward to is based on liberal optimism.It's the triumph of globalization,

    • 12:04

      PROFESSOR RICHARD MANSBACH [continued]: the decline of sovereign states, and the dominanceof economic forces and economic logic.It's the conditions that we see in North Americaand in Western Europe and the European Union.A second possibility is also a liberal vision.It entails restructuring of the global system

    • 12:25

      PROFESSOR RICHARD MANSBACH [continued]: to provide a greater role for international andnon-governmental organization, and featureshumanitarian intervention, such as that took place in Libyain 2011, to secure liberal norms like democracyand human rights, and to rebuild failed states like East Timor

    • 12:45

      PROFESSOR RICHARD MANSBACH [continued]: or Cambodia.So an example would be humanitarian interventionin the country of Haiti after its brutal earthquake,and as I noted in Libya to protect citizensfrom the brutality of the dictator Muammar Gaddafi,and state building in countries where the state has collapsed,and we call them failed states like Sierra Leone.

    • 13:08

      PROFESSOR RICHARD MANSBACH [continued]: The third, and most pessimistic, is a worldof escalating chaos and the incapacity of the systemto manage widespread violence caused by poverty,ethnic and religious hatred, populationgrowth, ecological disaster, and corruptionthat produce what we call failed states in which terrorism

    • 13:31

      PROFESSOR RICHARD MANSBACH [continued]: thrives.The example that most would site would be of coursea country like Somalia.This is the case in several parts of the developing world,especially in Middle East countries like Syria, Iraq,and Yemen, and in Sub-Saharan African countrieslike Somalia and Sierra Leone.

    • 13:53

      PROFESSOR RICHARD MANSBACH [continued]: The final vision is a return to a power politics worldof states and authoritarianism in responseto instability and disorder.Alas, a leading example is that of contemporary Russiaunder its current president, Vladimir Putin.

    • 14:19

      PROFESSOR RICHARD MANSBACH [continued]: In conclusion, global politics is a systemof increasing and organized complexity,in which the fate of many, many millionsdepends on decisions of relativelyfew fallible leaders.Globalization is eroding states.It is eroding territoriality.It is eroding geography, and it is creating global economic,

    • 14:41

      PROFESSOR RICHARD MANSBACH [continued]: political, and social networks.History, with its record of wars and mistaken decision,suggests how dangerous it is to place our faith in leaderswhose understanding of their own behaviorand its political consequences is imperfect.Our task in the words of a political philosopher, Niccolo

    • 15:03

      PROFESSOR RICHARD MANSBACH [continued]: Machiavelli, is to make provisions against the futureby dikes and banks, so that when it rises it will eithergo into a canal or it's rush will notbe so wild and dangerous.

    • 15:24


How to Think About Globalization

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Professor Richard Mansbach explains what contemporary scholars mean by globalization. He takes a particular focus on weighing the pros and cons of globalization on world economies, cultures and individuals.

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How to Think About Globalization

Professor Richard Mansbach explains what contemporary scholars mean by globalization. He takes a particular focus on weighing the pros and cons of globalization on world economies, cultures and individuals.

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