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I devote this, the final section of our course to the meaning of Globalization for the Nation State.

Some people speak of “globalization” as if it were an entirely new phenomenon.  I am uncomfortable with this approach because it is so vague.  If we define globalization in terms of a massive expansion in contacts among peoples and an explosion in new technologies, I’m afraid that Genghis Khan (1162-1227 AD) and Alexander the Great (356-323 BC) would be sorry to be excluded from this category.  To avoid making the concept extend too far, I will merely focus on a few contemporary ways in which they world has become, as they say, “a smaller place.”  To do this, I will debunk a few popular mythologies about where we are and where we are going.

37. LECTURE: Monday, November 27

Myth #1:   “The spread of global liberalism is rational”

Assumption:   We tend to associate the idea of “globalization” with the  spread of our own values.  It’s sheer mythology to imagine that these values are uniformly appropriate for the rest of the world.

Assignments:  So, is globalization good or bad?  Or is this not a very useful question?

Globalization and the Mythology of Coca-Cola   WATCH

Benjamin Barber, “Jihad vs. McWorld” PRINT AND READ

John Rapley: “The New Middle Ages,” Foreign Affairs (May-June 2006)  At JSTOR, then search through ProQuest Social Science Journals:  PRINT AND READ


38. LECTURE:  Wednesday, November 29

Myth #2:  “Global Terrorism is irrational.”

Reflections on terrorism:  My bias for rational calculation

Sanche de Gramont, “The Transformation of Moral Idealism into Violent Revolution” PRINT AND READ

Dale Eickelman: “The public sphere, the Arab ‘Street’, and the Middle East’s Democracy Deficit”: HERE

Osama bin Laden: “Transcript of Speech,” Al Jazeera.com, Nov. 1, 2004 READ

“The French Colonialist’s Global Comeuppance,” Foreign Policy, January 2015 PRINT AND READ

39. DISCUSSION SECTION:  Friday, December 1  

Paragraph Assignment:  Has political history, as we have known it (see Fukuyama) come to an end, or are we destined to relive the conflicts of the past (see Barber)?

For this discussion, read (only) the Introduction and Sections 3 and 4 of this article BEFORE today’s meeting: Francis Fukuyama: “End of History”  PRINT AND READ

Timothy Stanley and Alexander Lee, “It’s still not the end of history” PRINT AND READ


40. LECTURE:  Monday, Deember 4

Reflections on liberal democracy:  My bias for hope

Today’s Assumption: It’s hard to be optimistic about the chances for global liberalism, but it’s reasonable to be hopeful.


Samuel Huntington: “Democracy’s Third Wave,”  Journal of Democracy, Spring 1991. See JSTOR at PRINT AND READ

Knowledge@Wharton, “Lew Gerstner’s turnaround tales at IBM,” READ

Recommended (if you have time) Fareed Zakaria, “The Rise of Illiberal Democracy,” Foreign Affairs:  READ


41. LECTURE:  Wednesday, December 6

Myth #3:  “We are the end of history”

Today’s assumption:  The world is not ours to control.  But we can still do some things to make it better.  My bias for perspective about our limitations.

Read these short essays in sequence and ask yourself whether each will lead us in the right direction.

Stuart Jeffries, “Welcome to the new age of uncertainty”:  READ

Kurt Andersen, “The end of the world as they know it”  READ

Erica Goode, “Is humanity getting better?”  READ

Kelly J. Baker, “Why I remain hopeful,” Chronicle of Higher Education  READ

Alan Weisman, “The World Without Us” WATCH


Your Final Essay Assignment is HERE

Ecclesiastes 9:11:   “I returned, and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favor to men of skill; but time and chance happen to them all.

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