Globalization and Upheaval in the Post-Cold War Era

  1. Nationalism vs. Union

    1. Many new nations emerge in the post-Cold War world

      1. Breakdown of Soviet Union produces several new nations as republics gain independence

      2. Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia both break apart along ethnic lines after Communism

      3. East Timor gain independence from Indonesia (2002)

    2. Some well established states have moved towards greater local autonomy, such as Spain and the United Kingdom

    3. Nationalist struggles are often accompanied by violence

      1. Empires and superpower dominance had in some cases suppressed local conflicts that would now come to surface

      2. Breakdown of Yugoslavia introduces the term "ethnic cleansing" into common speech

      3. Often, as in Yugoslavia, violence stems from competing ethnic claims to same territory

      4. Violence also has resulted from would-be break away regions from larger states

        1. East Timor's independence plebiscite followed by violent attacks by anti-independence militias

        2. A long-running war for Chechnya's independence from Russia continues to this day

        3. Many other regions in the world face from independence movements

      5. Post-colonial countries face internal conflicts as colonial and superpower influence retreats

        1. In Africa, wars for local independence have broken out in Sudan, Congo (Zaire), Ethiopia, Morocco, and elsewhere

        2. Iraq, Kashmir, Israel/Palestine are all example of post-colonial ethnic conflicts

        3. Conflicts can also be financial, as independence sentiment grown in wealthier lowland Bolivia against the poorer highlands

    4. But globalizing economy and collapse of empire has also encouraged greater union in some regions

      1. East and West Germany reunite as end of Cold War eliminates reason for division

      2. Britain returns Hong Kong to China as its power recedes, as do Cold War tensions

      3. European Union

        1. formed initially as a common economic market for coal and steel for a few western European countries (1952)

        2. gradually moves towards greater economic integration, and 12 members before end of Cold War

        3. after Cold War, membership rapidly expands to include most of Europe

          1. adoption of a common currency, the Euro, in 2002

          2. open trade an labor borders

          3. extensive economic integration

          4. some integration of judicial systems

        4. but also resistance

          1. Britain retains the pound, does not take up the Euro

          2. two attempts to create a European Constitution have been defeated at the polls

          3. Russia has objected to spread of Union east (and the spread of NATO as well)

      4. Efforts at common markets elsewhere, but generally less extensive than the European Union, such as NAFTA (1994)

  2. Consumerism and Global Culture

    1. Liberalization of trade

      1. United States (following policies of Britain in the 19th century) promotes "free trade" after World War II

      2. While not truly free, trade generally liberalized after 1945

      3. This tends to favor wealthiest countries, notably the United States

      4. Fall of Soviet Union opens up more markets to growing global trade system

      5. Liberalized trade also creates a more interconnected and interdependent world

    2. U.S. domination of global markets helps build a global culture

      1. U.S. (and to a lesser extent European) firms tend to crowd out local suppliers in many countries

      2. Economies of scale promote consolidation, creation of very large corporations

      3. Various brands become globally ubiquitous (Coke, Pepsi, McDonalds) as do some U.S.-based celebrities and U.S.-based pop culture in general

      4. Building on legacy of British empire, U.S. dominance ensures near universal use of English as language of commerce and diplomacy

    3. As Japan and other Asia economies grow, some of their brands being to compete globally with U.S. and European brands as well

    4. Global culture and economy promotes growth of multinational corporations whose identification to any one country is tenuous

    5. All this depends on global spread of consumerism

      1. a belief that most important goal is possession or consumption of goods and services

      2. increasingly trumps religion and ideology as driving force behind human behavior

      3. Global and national economies increasingly depend on the ability of all people to purchase ever-increasing amounts of goods and services

  3. Counter-Colonization and Multiculturalism

    1. Trade liberalization and growing refugee population leads to reversal of migration trends

      1. Former colonial subjects migrate into Europe

      2. Hispanics migrate into U.S. in large numbers

      3. Economic and political refugees migrate to developed countries regardless of former colonial status

    2. Racial and ethnic discrimination lessens in many countries

      1. Civil rights movement in United States spawns many imitators, both in and outside of the United States

      2. Apartheid regime dismantled in South Africa in the 1990s

      3. Australia opens up to Asian immigration and and ends many discriminatory practices against the aborigines

      4. Movements such as these are accompanied by much restlessness from groups world wide who see themselves as oppressed

    3. Multiculturalism

      1. Increasingly, developed countries seeing demographic changes that make the more like their "neighborhood"

        1. North African and Turkish population grows in Europe, and Europeans migrate more freely to other European countries

        2. Hispanics become largest "minority" group in the United States

        3. Asian population expands in Australia

      2. How much these groups should assimilate, separate and/or change the culture of their new homes remains hotly debated

      3. Movement such as Negritude in parts of Africa demonstrate cultural defiance in face of European and U.S. claims of cultural superiority

  4. Religion and Secularism

    1. Consumerism and the global economy have tended to weaken the role of religion, particularly in developed societies

    2. Several religious movements have viewed this as a threat, and strengthened as a result

      1. Technologies used to promote global culture have also proved useful to promote religion

      2. Fundamentalists of many religions have responded to the rationalization of modern society with their alternative version of "universal natural laws"

      3. This anti-modernism using tools and ideas of modernism has appealed to people in many countries

        1. Ayatollah Khomeini's Shiite revolution in Iran, 1979

        2. Rise of evangelical Protestant conservatives in the United States from the late 1970s to the present

        3. expanding influence of anti-Western fundamentalism in several Islamic countries depends in part on internet technology

      4. But new technologies and globalization has also led to a flourishing of religious diversity in many regions