Chapter 33 Review

In Ian Clark’s “Globalization and the post-cold war order” chapter, I found it interesting how he shows the differences in globalization during the pre-Cold War era and post-Cold War era. He points out that the a globalized world order was a factor that led to the end of the cold war however it was not the cold war that led to the recent trend toward globalization with the international community. He also points out how the globalization has led to health care not receiving the necessary amount of funding it needs to treat the deadly diseases that are destroying third-world countries. As I stated in one of my earlier blog posts, it seems as though the economic interests of the more developed countries is in control of the allocation of funding on the global scale.

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Human Rights

I found Hefner-Burton and Kiyoteru Tutsui’s article “Justice Lost! The Failure of International Human Rights Law To Matter Where Needed Most” to be interesting but also concerning because it shows how countries aren’t genuinely invested in supporting human rights on a global level. Although it may have seemed like these countries that had signed the UN Declaration of Human Rights were truly interested in promoting human rights on a global scale, in reality they artificially promoting themselves to the media as morally and ethnically-just nations while not falling back on some of the articles that they pledged to in their signings of the declaration. I found this information to be very discouraging and I hope that these nations will start to take human rights more seriously in the future.

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Globalization and the post-cold war era

A common thread in the reading was globalization, and how it seems to be propelling a lot of the new order and global changes, as well as concerns for the future. It is difficult to reconcile the vast variety of theories on the actual effects of globalization, ranging from saving the current order of the world to destroying it.

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Globalization and World Health

In Chapter 33, Ian Clark observes the disparity in the global health market, saying that “a mere 10 per cent of research spending globally is devoted to address those health problems that account for 90 per cent of the global disease burden” (518). While he categorizes this disconnect between problem and solution as the product of globalization, he doesn’t offer a solution. If most of medical research is put in to treating developed diseases rather than aiming to treat the life-threatening diseases that plague less-developed countries, that probably speaks more to our globalized economic system, rather than solely a lack of morality.

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“Globalization is often portrayed as an effect of the end of the Cold War because this led to its further geographical spread, (p 520, BSO). Ironically enough, the US objectives in the Cold War were promotional for democracy and globalization raises questions to the effectiveness of democracy on a “global order,” putting in questioning whether moving forward, democracy is the best form of regime for a superpower.

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Chapter 33 by Ian Clark was a really interesting wrap-up to this course. In particular, I found the “interpretations of globalizations and the end of the cold war” box on page 519 to be very compelling. For example, Shaw (1999) concludes that “The end of the Cold War division into competing world orders marks a crucial…transition to single-world economic, cultural and political orders,” however, I have trouble imagining the world going into a single-world cultural order. On a micro-level, humans are always  trying to find ways to differentiate themselves from others whether it’s through art, fashion, or simply a haircut. For this reason, I just don’t see the extreme cultural homogeneity that Shaw refers to as possible.

Another interpretation, by Laidi (1998), says “America has ceased to be a superpower, because it has met its match: globalization.” However, I would argue that globalization may actually be on the side of North America because the norms, values, and institutions being spread and absorbed are often North American in origin, or more broadly, “western.” So many of the institutions are funded by the US, so US interests are often prioritized.

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Globalization and accountability

When I was reading about the international effects of the recession of 2008 I couldn’t help but wonder if increasing globalization and international economic interdependence could be a way to prevent such an economic upheaval again. Understandably, this seems counter-intuitive given that it was globalization that let our financial crisis spill outside our boarders in the first place but so much of that was due to the “unprecedented levels of deregulation” that were the status quo at the time. I wonder if international economic interdependence were stronger, if individual states would feel more compelled to behave responsibly knowing that they play and integral role in the greater system. Post 2008 crash, many countries’ immediate response was so shrink back from the global arena and increase their autonomy in an effort to shield their economies from the fallout of others’ mistakes which is understandable, no doubt, but increased globalization could potentially offer the same protection.

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Globalization is often thought as an extreme form of inter-dependance. Does this interdependence make it more or less possible for another world war? The nature of interdependence has been thought of to deter major threats or war. Does this mean that as the world continues forward trading more and relying more on other countries, it is actually becoming safer?

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Wow. We’ve made it until the end. This section of the course takes a broad perspective our current world order and how interdependence and industrialization has shaped our world. This idea harkens back to one of my earlier posts in which I talk about the Marxist World Systems Theory. This theory is extremely valid because it explains how and why rich countries feed off poorer countries. As long as a country is importing raw materials and exporting manufactured goods it will stay rich because it is using technology, not its natural resources, to drive the market. This is why poorer countries who want/need these manufactured good by exporting their natural resources stay poor and are environmentally diminished. For a poor nation to become richer it will need to start exporting manufactured goods.

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chapter 33 Argument

The point made that “Traditional democracy does not offer effective representation in global order” has some truth to it, but can be proven false if states are able to compromise. A democratic society is one in which a free state manifest itself. Sadly, not all states on the globe are free. Since not all states are free, it makes it easier for states to develop disagreements amongst each other. Democracies struggle to represent in world order becasue they struggle to find common ground with states that aren’t able to present themselves as being “free”. If every country was democratic, world order would be a very simple and easy endeavor. As long as nations continue to be divided, World Order will forever be a difficult goal to achieve by all states who seek it.


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