Rapid Innovations in Technology Particularly Telecommunications and Thesis

  • Length: 44 pages
  • Sources: 50
  • Subject: Anthropology
  • Type: Thesis
  • Paper: #37448132

Excerpt from Thesis :

Rapid innovations in technology, particularly telecommunications and transportation, have accelerated the globalization process in recent years, and a number of positive outcomes have been associated with these trends, including increased levels of international commerce and improved cross-cultural understanding and communications. Despite these significant positive outcomes, the same globalization processes have also further exacerbated existing economic and political inequalities between developed nations such as the United States and the United Kingdom. These glaring disparities between the very rich and the very poor have also been cited as a major contributor to the incidence of international terrorism, making the need for informed and timely approaches to resolving these inequalities more important than ever before in human history. To this end, this dissertation/thesis provides a review of the relevant literature concerning political and economic inequalities that are attributable to globalization and how these inequalities have contributed to international terrorism in recent years, and a case study of these issues as they relate to the Gaza Strip. A summary of the research and important findings are presented in the study's concluding chapter.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1: Introduction

Chapter 2: Globalisation, Inequalities and Terrorism

Political Inequalities

Economic Inequalities

Contribution of Inequalities to International Terrorism

Chapter 3: Case Study of the Gaza Strip

Chapter 4: Conclusion

Definition of Key Terms

GINI

This is a measurement of the income distribution of a country's residents

GNI

Gross national income

IDA

International Development Association

Table of Figures

Figure 1. Per Capital Income Growth for Average Income of the Poorest One-Fifth

(percentages)

Figure 2. Numbers of NGOs having Members in Low Income, Middle Income and High

Income Countries 1991-2001

Figure 3. Global GNI per capita (2001)

Figure 4. Global population required to subsist on $2 a day or less: 1984-2001

Figure 5. Regional percentages of population living on less than $2.00/day

Figure 6. Comparison of regional poverty rates using $1.25- and $2.00-a-day cutoffs

Figure 7. Gini Inequality in Africa

The Inequalities Caused by Globalisation that Promote International Terrorism

Chapter 1: Introduction

The process of globalization is certainly not new, and many of the processes that are shaping the world today have been at work for thousands of years. The processes of globalisation began to gain momentum during the mid-19th century as the impact of the Industrial Revolution created a global search for markets and raw materials (Jones 2005). During this latter period in human history, imperialism managed to overcome any resistance to the spread of globalization, and by the early 20th century, an integrated global economy had already been established (Jones 2005). Following the outbreak of World War I, though, this initial global economy was devastated by a series of political and economic shocks and the Russian Revolution further eroded the economic structures that had fueled the globalized process up until this point in time (Jones 2005). Despite these setbacks, the process of globalization quickly picked up pace thereafter. For instance, according to Jones, "Barriers to the mobility of people were erected which have never been removed. Barriers to investment and trade grew to dramatic heights. Multinationals proved flexible. Many existing organizations remained intact, although there was not a great deal of new investment during the 1930s and 1940s" (2005: 40).

Following the end of World War II, the forces driving globalization became the focus of the international community once again. In this regard, Farazmand notes that, "With the emergence of the Soviet reformist leader Mikhail Gorbachev, who called for global restructuring, openness, a new way of global thinking, peace for all, superpower cooperation, and an end to the Cold War, the concept of a new world order reemerged" (1999: 509). Likewise, after the Helsinki Summit in September 1990, then-U.S. President George Bush also employed the term "new world order" to describe the emerging globalized marketplace (Farazmand 1999). Not surprisingly, the issue of globalisation has also become the focus of an increasing amount of research in recent years (Farazmand 1999).

The concept of globalization remains controversial, though, and there remains a paucity of agreement concerning precise definitions. In this regard, Bierema, Bing and Carter define globalization as being "the crossing of financial, technical, and cultural boundaries to facilitate a global flow of goods, information, and services. Terminology aside, many companies have developed a global presence in the past two decades through technological advances and eroding trade barriers" (2002: 70). Not all of the effects of this increasing globalization have been negative, of course, and the positive effects of globalization include increasing international commerce, cross-cultural understanding and communications (Bierema et al. 2002). Despite these positive effects, a wide range of negative outcomes for emerging nations in particular have also been attributed to the process of globalization which also formed the focus of this study discussed further below.

Statement of the Problem

Although the processes are not new, Jones (2005) emphasizes that the forces driving globalization have become increasingly accelerated in recent years as a result of innovations in technology, particularly telecommunications as well as transportation. As noted above, there remains a lack of a consensus concerning what globalization means to different people, but Kiggundu (2002) suggests that irrespective of the definition that is used, the adverse effects of globalization remain firmly in place. In this regard, Kiggundu emphasizes that, "Globalization is multidimensional and, therefore, means different things to different people across time and space. Globalization is about transformational change with intended and unintended adverse effects" (2002: 17). Many of the adverse effects of globalization, of course, are economic in nature. For instance, according to Held (2004), "It is now almost impossible to pick up a newspaper or listen to the news without either being confronted by the word 'globalization' or being faced with issues relating to its economic impact" (86). Moreover, Held (2004) suggests that even as the processes of globalization have intensified in recent years, the ability of national governments to address the inequalities it produces has declined and international bodies increasingly lack the authority to enforce agreed policies. Indeed, Friedrichs and Friedrichs report that, "International financial institutions such as the World Bank are key players in an increasingly globalized capitalist system. [In fact], the policies and practices of international financial institutions such as the World Bank, the World Trade Organization, and the International Monetary Fund can only be understood in the context of the notion of 'globalization'" (2002: 13). Furthermore, Kiggundu also emphasizes the inexorable and irresistible qualities of globalization, particularly for emerging nations and suggests that because they are at the mercy of international trade, they have no real choice in the matter but to hang on as best they can in the globalization process. For instance, "Because the key drivers of globalization come from industrialized countries," Kiggundu notes, "individual developing countries have no realistic option but to participate in the globalization process" (2002: 17). The adage that "a rising tide raises all boats" may be applicable in some ways to the processes of globalization. For instance, poor people may be able to benefit from societies growing richer as demonstrated by two World Bank economists, David Dollar and Aart Kraay, who studied 40 years of income statistics from 80 countries and found that growth benefits the poor just as much as the rich. According to Dollar and Kraay, "With 1% growth, the incomes of the poor rise by 1% on average; with 10% growth, they rise, on average, by 10%. Not always and not everywhere -- there are exceptions and variations -- but on average" (80). Dollar and Kraay illustrate their finding in Figure 1 below.

Figure 1. Per Capital Income Growth for Average Income of the Poorest One-Fifth (percentages)

Source: Norberg 2003, p. 79

The harsh realities for hundreds of millions of other global citizens that do not reach this "average," though, is the inequalities that globalization has further exacerbated. In this regard, Hammer reports that, "In a world where a few enjoy unimaginable wealth, two hundred million children under five are underweight for lack of food" (2003: 108). Not only do hundreds of millions of people lack enough to eat in a world of otherwise-plenty, fully two-thirds of the world's citizens do not have access to clean drinking water on a regular basis (Hammer 2003). These fundamental inequalities, though, represent just the tip of the inequities iceberg, making the purpose of this study particularly timely and valuable and this purpose is discussed further below.

Purpose of Study

The overarching purpose of this study was to use a political economy approach to analyze the inequalities that have been caused by globalization and the effect of these inequalities on promoting international terrorism. By identifying opportunities to address these inequalities, policymakers, nongovernmental organisations and other interested actors may be able to help eliminate the fundamental causes of terrorism and provide a framework in which further progress can be achieved in the future.

Importance of Study

Although the precise causes of international terrorism are multifaceted, many authorities cite the political and economic inequalities that exist between major industrialized nations and emerging nations that are being caused by the processes…

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