Monday, February 24, 2014

International Relations - week of February 24th


Please watch this video, and post a comment - in the form of a
question, commentary, answer to another student's question, critique,
etc. - in the comments section. Please use your real name, so I can give
you credit for attendance this week.






This 25-minute lecture is a good transition from this week's to next week's material. Skip the horrible 1980s' VHS-style intro at the beginning - the lecture itself is good.

56 comments:

  1. Test [insert name here]4:53 PM

    Testing

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  2. Neoliberalism, has increased inequality. that's interesting. Create wealth before it's disputed? how?

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    1. Peter9:22 AM

      I think the point is to allow developing countries to develop and protect infant industries the way that now-developed countries (NDCs) did while they were developing. This would impinge upon exports from multinational corporations based in the developed countries, however; and since they largely control their host governments through lobbying and campaign contributions - and because the vast majority of developed countries' populations are ignorant - they have no competition in running the show. Remember that even Japan and Korea would likely have been unable to use the successful policies they used if it weren't for their proximity to the USSR and China, so the U.S. was eager to allow them to use whatever measures they wanted to develop into strong countries to counterbalance China and the USSR. Only an educated and informed population can counterbalance the power of corporate interests. In other words: it's all on our generation, and the next.

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  3. Vincent Quach12:48 AM

    "The American system is socialism for the rich and capitalism for the poor...the macroeconomic system is keynesianism for the rich and monetarism for the poor." I like how this quote relates the U.S. system to the global system through contrasting ideas and yet these theories can coexist/influence with one another in the same system, much like an ideological convergence.

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  4. Marlene Mai
    I thought it was interesting how he talked about technology as a degree towards globalization but it does not typically mean that advanced technology in transportation and communications in countries reflect globalization but instead, politics and careful regulation in the way powerful countries have decided to govern themselves and influences developing countries to do the same. This is particularly interesting because we define globalization in the wider sense that advanced technology around the world is globalization and not just politics and power.

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  5. Carlos Esparza
    I found really interesting how he said that slow growth in a country's economy and politics created a greater instability in those fields. Instead of there being a slow adaptation to new ideals from a country and there being a slow transition, there was greater instability and therefore more problems would be slowly be presenting themselves in the forms of financial crisis mostly everywhere. Instead of there being an easy transition, so many problems became relevant, that it was hard to keep a state stable both economically and politically.I also found very interesting how many of the problems (economically) created a higher demand in resources and the only states that were greatly affected by these problems, made them more vulnerable to even a greater crisis, like the food crisis in Africa that he mentioned, and therefore the bigger states would keep weakening smaller states since they were the ones that would suffer the most.

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    1. Jessica Ortega12:27 AM

      Carlos, I agree with you too. It is hard to understand how a growth in economy, which is and has always been seen as a positive achievement for a country to do, could have created instability.

      I believe that most of the world has closed markets so socialism is the cause for poverty as most countries refuse to open their markets

      Jessica Ortega

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    2. Peter2:34 PM

      Ha-Joon isn't saying that economic growth per se is causing instability; it's a certain kind of economic policy, neoliberal economic policy. As you all read in the Annual Editions article on the financial crisis and developing countries, many developing countries did not get hit as hard as the U.S. and Europe by the crisis.

      As for closed/open markets or socialism/capitalism, take China vs. North Korea as an example. Both are self-proclaimed socialist countries. North Korea, however, has largely closed markets (not really out of choice, however, but due to externally-imposed economic sanctions). China has partially open markets: its policymakers have selectively chosen which markets to open to foreign investment, and which to keep closed. As for an example of a country with far more open markets than China, take Ireland. During the bubble, Ireland was a hot destination for investment. That worked out well while the bubble was expanding, but now that it has popped, it is in dire straits. Ha-Joon is advocating selectively open markets; between North Korea, China, and Ireland, he would say China's policy is best.

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  6. Carolina Becerra
    It has always been a thought of mine in how most things contradict. I found the presenter’s argument compelling in that he highlights how countries that advocate neoliberal globalization have they themselves not reached elite statues through the system they promote. The United States and Britain, as noted in the video, did not become rich overnight through neoliberal policies. They were infant industries who rose to power through protectionism. Ironically, the powerful elite countries demand from the third world countries that they transition into a globalized world through neoliberal policies. If faced with third world issues, these elitist would not accept their own policies.

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    1. I think this is a very good argument, Carolina, and I agree with you. I remember Professor Bach mentioned something along these lines in lecture, too. This goes with the dependency theory, where the developing countries are exploited by the developed countries. These first-world countries believing they are helping the countries grow when in fact they are forcing ideas and products upon them which the developing countries are either not ready for or do not know how to properly utilize. But as you noted from the video, these current first-world countries started from the bottom at one time, as well, and they needed time to gradually progress into the power they are now. The problem remains in the fact that the developed countries don't take this into account for currently developing countries, because they are past that stage. But this may end up being detrimental to the developed countries themselves, because if the third-world countries don't survive, it affects the entire international system due to the impacts of globalization.

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  7. Melissa Soto4:21 PM

    Melissa Soto
    I found it interesting how he argued technology is merely indicative of globalization and that politics are the actual driving force behind globalization. He refers globalization to be a “politically modifiable process” that is not inevitable at all. It appears that richer, more developed countries are more capable of rewriting the rules and having more policy freedom while developing countries are pressured to adopt more business friendly neoliberal rules. The inequalities that derive from neoliberal globalization must be rectified by reforming the global system and its rules. I found his point about policy diversity very interesting because it implies having distinct tailored policies and goals for countries instead of attempting to dictate widespread rules that must be abided by however inefficiently by all countries.

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    1. Elizabeth Palafox
      This was also a thought of mine as I watched the video and it seems that's this type of individualized policy reform based on the each country'a need is also dependent on the already developed countries just as their economy is. The type of policies intact now are another form of siphoning wealth of lesser developed countries and its not in the best interest to give up that power

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  9. ‘We have to create wealth before we can redistribute it…has neo-liberal globalisation been good at creating wealth? And the answer is no’. Ha-Joon Chang posits this interesting statement about globalisation. One would think that globalisation makes the world more connected and collaboration easier amongst nation-states. We normally would think about globalisation in terms of technology being innovated constantly, not just in terms of power, however one defines power. Chang notes that global trade rules should be reformed that would allow policies to help with long-term development and mentions several other changes that the global market should make. Easier said than done, but hopefully it can realised.

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  10. Anna Floersch
    I think it's interesting that he starts off with stating his concurrence with neo-liberal thinking in that it is necessary to create new wealth before attempting to "redistribute" it. He notes that some of the world's biggest economies today began with strong forms of protectionist practices - yet, I wish he'd done more to explain his ideas of suggestions on HOW to create wealth, instead of simply critiquing the practices of the powerhouses of the West.

    Also, I was somewhat surprised by his comparison of globalization today to that of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Even though he says that technology does not really completely define globalization, I think today's definition of the word incorporates a lot of technology, and to undo this would take more than accounted for.

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    1. I share your interest with having to create a new wealth before commencing to redistribute it among the thoughts of neo-liberal thinking and the speaker. Although it is obviously a more modern time, with technology and advancements, I do believe that the way globalization might have been comparable to the nineteenth century is in the sense of buying, selling and trading rather in the manner in which it was conducted. Again, I do agree with your point on actually explaining the medium in which wealth is created and maintained.

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  11. Ha-Joon Chang mentions examples of how globalization has affected countries in different ways, most notably his example of the bus driver in Amsterdam who gets paid fifty-five times more than a bus driver in Delhi. He uses this as an example of a neo-liberal globalization negative effect on the global system, and also asks how the people in Haiti are eating mud cakes to survive while other countries prosper. If this is what he is trying to portray (correct me if I'm wrong, please) then I don't think this can solely be blamed on neo-liberal globalization. I'm sure he's obviously aware of other factors that have caused this inequality between countries undergoing the same type of globalization. His opinion on the neo-liberalist statement that, "we are richer than ever thanks to globalization" which to him is "a clever advertising slogan because when you think about it, we will always be richer than ever as the world economy keeps growing" in essence is also saying that prosperity is relative, and so I think that under any regime we would be also facing the same dilemma. However, I agree that globalization causes big, rich countries prior to its introduction to continue to prosper, while smaller, poor countries are exploited and stuck with facing problems of inequality and instability.

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    1. Peter2:47 PM

      You aren't wrong about what he is saying, necessarily. It's just that there is more to it. His example of the bus drivers is meant to lampoon the neoliberal dogma that in capitalism, people are paid according to the value of their labor: more skill, more money. His point is that wages aren't determined merely by skill, but by a host of political-economic and historical factors that are completely overlooked by neoliberal ideology. (Elsewhere he similarly lampoons the neoliberal dogma that insanely high CEO pay is always justified; he calls it "The L'Oréal Principle: Because I'm Worth It".)
      As for Haiti's situation, certainly one can't lay all of the blame on neoliberal policies. Its founding as a slave plantation colony of France, having to fight a bloody and destructive war to achieve independence, centuries of hostility from European powers for being the first self-governed Black former colony, being forced by France to pay hundreds of millions of dollars in reparations (yes, reparations, because by freeing themselves Haitians deprived poor French nobles of their human property), etc., etc., throughout its history, are also major factors. Ha-Joon would only say that Haiti could be doing a lot better under an economic regime other than the neoliberal one.

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  12. Aryanna Chavez
    Chang heavily emphasizes that it is politics that has had more of an affect on globalization versus technology being the driving force of globalization, which is arguable, however without the spread of worldwide technology, the world would be in a very different state.
    The countries who have more of the upper hand in political power are more capable of changing the international rules so that their countries are the ones that benefit the most, whereas other countries are not as fortunate, merely because they do not hold as much political power as these other world powers - whether it be due to government corruption in their countries or a lack of educated leaders. He discusses how people of developing countries are at a disadvantage because of where they were born. Being born into a country without the advantages that developed countries have is unfortunate, however it is not impossible for citizens living in developing countries to work hard and dedicate their life to either moving to a different country to improve their and the lives of their family, or to aim to go into politics so that they may also better the government and society of their country so that over time, they may have advantages like other developed countries as well.

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    1. Peter2:57 PM

      Very true. But it's also perfectly true to say that everyone in any country with a lottery can become a millionaire. It's just that we all know that the chance of everyone winning the lottery is nil. Likewise, people living in much of the developing/underdeveloped world can, potentially, get rich or move to a rich country. The point, however, is that without broad-based economic development, we know that a majority of people in such countries will not. An even worse problem is this: even if a hundred thousand Ha-Joon Changs took over the government of, say, Zimbabwe, what are they to do? They need technology from the developed world to develop, and if the developed world tells them that they must adopt neoliberal policies before they invest (that is, send bulldozers, cranes, water purification equipment, sewage treatment plants, computers, factory machinery, etc.), then what are they to do?
      China's answer has been: develop our infrastructure, education, and healthcare through strong-state communism; then, once it is up to par and capable of supporting large-scale business, we selectively open our markets to foreign capitalists keen on exploiting our workers for low wages. Then they will transfer the technology we need to develop further, until........ we shall see.

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  13. Yuzana Mone
    Whenever i hear about globalization, i think about technology and oh this is what drives globalization. But he was talking about how it's not by comparing technologies now and back then. I think it's quite interesting how he said that technology alone is not responsible for globalization. How does politics really encourage globalization? Is it because politics have economic power and therefore can increase trade in developing countries? It's just my understanding. Can anyone explain in some details, please? Thx!

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    1. Peter2:59 PM

      Did my comment above help out at all, or were you looking for a different sort of explanation?

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  14. Eunsol Kim9:21 PM

    Eunsol Kim

    What I found really interesting is when during his lecture he comments, "...allow developing countries to use policies that suit them better and they're going to grow faster and provide much bigger market to the developed countries." I agree with his statement in that each country, especially developing countries, have different economic systems and structures and not all of them can compete in the same level as the developed countries. However, as Ha-Joon Chang mentions, all developed countries are self-interested nation-states who expect the developing countries to eradicate their tariffs not to help the developing countries grow economically but to solely to benefit themselves. As the developed countries continue their political actions based on self-interest, a true economical globalization in which all countries prosper will be an impossible idea.

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    1. Eunsol, I agree that developing countries should be able to use policies that suit them better. In fact, developing countries should be able to form the type of government and economy that best suits them. Yet, America can not allow socialist, or other forms of non-democratic governments to form abroad because it might be a threat to the American goal of spreading democracy internationally - especially if a non-democratic government is successful. For example, Iran had been a successful country economically and politically it was doing well under a socialist government. But, America didn't like the idea of a stable socialist government (especially one that was openly anti-West) so they executed Project Ajax - which is just one example of U.S. infiltration of foreign government's domestic affairs.

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  15. Nicole Chamberlin10:21 PM

    It's very alarming when he said "I run out of fingers counting the financial crises in the world", he names a lot of the ones that have happened and continue to happen because of the neoliberal globalization. He mentions how the powerful countries decided to rewrite the rules of the financial markets, in addition to deregulating the markets, these powerful countries put pressure on developing countries to do the same. This makes me think of the US's involvement in Eastern Asia and how the US would only help these developing countries if they agreed to embrace the same policies. For example, you could look at US pressure put on Japan in post-WWII and how they wanted them to engage in the WTO and open their markets in exchange for the US's aid and support. The US put the same pressure on South Korea, Taiwan, Singapore and others which eventually led to a change in industrial policy from ISI to ELI which opened up the markets and focused primarily on exports such as textiles (comparative advantage). Anyways, it is very obvious that the powerful countries are the ones that pressure the developing countries to take on these similar policies but it is definitely for the self-interest of the powerful country... So it is without a doubt that globalization is driven by politics not technology! There is an article in AE that talks about the world before the 20th century was controlled by Pax Britannica, and now it is Pax Americana... I think that whoever has the most power (economically, politically, militarily), is going to be putting the most pressure on these developing countries to open their markets and incorporate policies that the powerful countries will benefit from.

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    1. I think you'll like any one of Ha-Joon's books, particularly Bad Samaritans. The interesting thing about South Korea and Japan is that the U.S. encouraged and allowed them to follow different policies than those urged on other countries, arguably because they were viewed as important allies against the USSR and China, so U.S. policymakers wanted them to be industrial powerhouses. Whereas countries like, say, Jamaica....

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  16. Abhiramy Sathyanarayana10:43 PM

    I don't quite understand how technology does not drive globalization and the idea that where we end up depends on politics. He points out that it wasn't lack of technology that the world in the 60's was less globalized, but because the idea that cross-border economics should be carefully regulated was stressed. Doesn't technology enhance globalization as international integration was made easier?

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    1. Peter3:10 PM

      His point is more that technology is not the only thing that drives globalization. (Unlike what some people like Thomas Friedman seem to think. I say "seem to think" because the jury is still out as to whether T-Fried actually thinks, or whether computer software writes his books and columns.) For instance, fiber optic technology is a necessary but insufficient condition for outsourcing call centers to India. If call center workers in the U.S. organized themselves as effectively as doctors (or to a lesser extent, lawyers), the government would have outlawed such outsourcing, and all the fiber optic technology in the world would not have produced this one example of globalization. And so on, and so on, down the list. But your point that technology enhances globalization and makes integration easier is absolutely correct.

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  17. Saloni Mathur11:49 PM

    I agree that every state would require a different approach to resolve its economic problems. Chang brought up an interesting point that even the fully developed countries that promote neoliberalism today used protectionism or some form of it in its earlier developing years. I believe that neoliberalism shouldn't be imposed on every country, but rather each country should be allowed to determine for itself which economic policy works best for it.

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  18. Nicole Carlos
    I believe that technology does, in a sense, drive globalization. In fact, I would go so far as to say that in the current era, technology is the main driving force. With the advancement of technology, the world has become more globalized. That is, the way that we learn about other cultures and their ideas are different now than they were in the 60s. Information travels quick enough that a person in the United States can be on a video call with someone in China. Even the mere fact that we can see things instantly through social media is a proof that technology is presently one of the main sources of globalization, not necessarily politics.

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    1. Peter3:12 PM

      I don't disagree with you - it all depends on how you define "globalization". If you focus mostly on the greater degree of interconnectedness between far-flung people and the spread of ideas, then very few political policies affect it (the only exception I can think of being censorship).

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  20. I think it's interesting how he points out that there is a clear imbalance while some countries like the U.S. have over 50 representatives working for a certain sector other countries have a few representatives and there are still an astonishing 22 countries with no members in Geneva. Also he points out that each developing countries should have distinct approaches in resolving economic problems and i think it's interesting that he specifically states that the big powerful states are constantly rewriting the rules, and deregulating the markets which brings no good to the developing countries. Of course I do agree that developing countries each need a different approach in resolving their economic problems.

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  21. I find it interesting how Chang explains that technology did not lead to globalization. Globalization points at culture exchange, free trade, and communication; one form of communication would be technology. But on the other hand I agree that part of globalization as the speaker points out, is how a country carries itself with their politics and control of power and over society.

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  22. With the 1960's being the height of the Cold War, wouldn't there have been more regulations and hesitation to trade and globalize? I believe that the "lack of technology" NOT having to do with a more globalized 1960's is accurate, because the fear of another countries' possibly opposing ideals during the Cold War would be enough for a country to avoid communications with another.

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  23. I have found that despite the dire consequences of neoliberal policies, especially in Latin American and African countries, international institutions (which are comprised of developed countries) are imposing these policies on the developing countries because it inherently benefits the developed, richer countries. Greater access to developed country markets and technology promised improved productivity and a higher living standard. But globalization has instead thrown up new challenges such as growing inequality across and within nations, volatility in financial market and environment deterioration. Another negative aspect of globalization is that a vast majority of developing countries remain removed from the process. The process of globalization of developing countries’ economies are constrained by trade barriers, which has progressively managed to prevent developing countries from competing and hence hastening the pace of globalization.
    Also, I also found unfair that the same policies that the developed countries used to get rich are no longer allowed to be used by the developing countries. However, Chang argues that developing countries should be helped to be at a competitive standard since it would create a bigger market, which would be quite beneficial to the developed countries.

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  24. I find it ironic that countries that praise free market capitalism like the United States and the United Kingdom were countries that at one time practiced protectionism to develop their industries so that they may compete at a global scale. One reason why developing countries are not able to compete with fully industrialized nations is that these 1st world nations have banned these types of practices, making the market completely uneven for these developing nations because by these 1st world nations creating the rules for global trade, the poor nations stay poor while the rich ones get richer.

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  25. Tanvi Patel5:44 AM

    Tanvi Patel

    I think that it's interesting how he talked about how countries competing against each other in the economics field are not at the same level. He compared this to sports and how there are different ranges and different leagues and said that a third world country should not be asked to compete with a first world country, but splitting countries into ranges based on economical and other powers will not necessarily promote growth, in my opinion. If we do happen to divide countries up into categories, then a lower level third world country can become a higher level third world country, but they will always remain a third world country. You compete to get at your opponent's level or to get higher, but if you don't even have the opportunity to compete, then how will you get higher. You can't expect a college basketball team to win the NBA finals because only professional NBA teams are allowed to compete in the NBA finals.

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  26. Anonymous5:48 AM

    Jerry Quintana

    I personally found this lecture to be interesting because the orator implements and weaves in IR concepts such as globalization, trade, and neoliberalism. He argues that globalization is not the result of advanced technology, which most people would believe, but rather it is the consequence of politics. Politics plays a chief role in globalization because it pressures and influences developing countries to specialize in products that they have a comparative advantage in, so that the developed countries can exploit those developing countries. Although the developing countries receive an economic boost in the short run, in the long run they suffer sure consequences such as debt and only make the developed countries richer, while they remain poorer. In conjunction, the idea of neoliberalism comes into play to influence trade so that each country can cooperate and receive a benefit. I thoroughly enjoyed the insight that was provided from this lecture and have drawn my own conclusion about international relations, which is that globalization does not necessarily present a positive impact for all nations and developed countries are given much more of an incentive and benefit from the spread of globalization.

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  27. HaJoon Chang says that poor countries are affected by Globalization. The main reason why poor countries are affected by globalization is because the wealthy countries do not help the poor countries as much as they should. Poor countries are not poor because they were "born" that way. They're only poor because back during colonialism, European countries exploited and stole their resources. Hence, Europe is insanely wealthy in comparison to them. With globalization, it is harder for poor countries to be able to participate in international trade. He says that the automobile is a good illustration of how globalization doesn't go well. He believes that reforming the self-governing states would help a lot towards the road of improvement. The starving countries, the food crisis in developing countries is a great example of why countries specializing on certain things isn't a healthy benefit for the world. Rich countries have too much policy freedom and this does not help the welfare state. Policy freedom has been reduced for developing nations. But the largely developed nations like China, India, Brazil, and South America have increased their policy freedom. Chang says that the U.S. will have the biggest role in helping developing countries, especially with free trade. And because the U.S. is very independent when it comes to global political issues, it helps increase peace as it stays neutral.

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  28. Michelle Urday1:01 PM

    I agree with his point that the current parameters in which most nation states find themselves operating within allows them short term higher income but no long term insurance against an increase in food prices, riddling their futures with mass hunger. From what I understand he is saying, larger developed countries are cheating the smaller developing countries of any real long term success because of the neoliberal policies they push on them.It is interesting that he points out richer developed countries actually violated the neo liberal policies they now preach when they were developing by using protectionist policies. However, I do not believe his solution was articulated effectively. His solution is somewhere along the lines of global rules need to be rewritten to allow smaller countries to use protectionism to their long term benefit. However he repeatedly states such a task does not happen overnight and must be debated thoroughly. He leaves his solution rather vague and open ended. His speech was overall insightful so I guess he succeeded in having listeners question the status quo, with a solution to his proposed problem to be found in the actions of future generations.

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    1. Peter3:23 PM

      Your critique echos the Marxist critique of Ha-Joon's ideas: that capitalism as a world system simply cannot support the universal use of smart protectionist policies that all now-developed countries used during their periods of development (not to mention outright theft, through colonialism). Export-led growth requires a hell of a lot of importers. Maybe the rich countries could be those importers, but their industries would be unlikely to sit back quietly as their foreign competition grows stronger. Also, Modern Monetary Theory points out that once you strip away the concept of money (which very few people, including Nobel laureate economists, actually understand), exports are a net loss, while imports are a net gain. (Think of yourself: if you were a net exporter, giving more of your stuff away to other people while receiving less stuff in return from other people, you would be worse off in reality.) Only if the accumulated money were spent to get more things, would it be worth it - but then you wouldn't be a net exporter then, would you? You'd be at parity.

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  29. Imperialism is just an PC way of saying american/british economic imperialism. Its inevitable with or with out tech. Tech just made it easier

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  30. Helen Darr

    I don't fully agree that we are as globalized right now as we were just a few of decades ago. But if you look at it from a political perspective, then perhaps, since the different regulations etc have been in place for quite some time. However, from the individual's perspective, I think technology has played a greater role in globalization than politics. A good example is what has been going on in the Middle East.

    However, I agree that with globalization, the problems many countries face, especially the developing countries, have become more demanding, whereas they are more vulnerable to what's going on in the world and their capabilities to solve the problems have become smaller because of all the regulations and policies in place. Coming from European Union myself, I have witnessed how the Union places often times ridiculous regulations, policies, demands on the countries, creating unnecessary additional hardships. Perhaps the Union could be partially blamed for the European crisis by draining the countries from the money that could be invested better. For instance, it is required that a small American-size liquor store in Europe has to have three sinks. Like the presenter pointed out- many policies that rich countries force on other counties work well in theory and could be justified, but in practice- they are not really feasible. Hence, I agree that the political freedom for rich countries has increased, because they can often dictate the "rules" while there is a reduction in political freedom for developing countries who find themselves having to accept the often unnecessary conditions just to, for example, trade with the U.S. or Germany, etc.








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  31. Anonymous3:35 PM

    Roberto Luna
    I agree with his comparison of the world economy and sports. How is a developing country supposed to compete with "heavy weights"? The example of china proves his point had it not protected it's industries it would of never accumulated it's wealth next to the developed country's around it. developed states say that neoliberalism is the guide to achieving 1st world status though the lecturer points out that many developed countries broke the rules to achieve their wealth today.

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  32. Christian Bager
    So my first comment for some reason was deleted when I tried submitting it so this is the shorter version
    I agree with a lot of what he is saying throughout the entire presentation. Especially to start with of when he shows that the entire idea of creating this is essentially just the rich countries being too proud of sitting on their high international high chair with globally recognize status. The very fact that it was these rich countries are now directly influencing economic reform in countries that might not even speak the same language has something to show for this. Also the fact that 99% of what they are doing now is coming up with excuses as to why a certain policy didn't work is a testament to this.
    My economics teacher in high school that taught me international economics used to emphasize one point that Ha-Joon also alluded to. That the rich countries know exactly how the poor countries should change their trade policies in order for them to get develop, but instead they nearly make the conscious decision to not allow them to use these methods, and instead promote methods that make the developing countries less likely to develop.
    I'll add a bit more in a bit, I just need to finish something else first.

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    1. On top of that the story about Geneva further shows the monopoly of the rich countries on global economic decision making. There are so many things that have huge ramifications on a lot of people, however they simply can't keep track of everything and lose out on a lot of things that might actually be beneficial for their continued economic development. I can sort of understand right now that the global financial crisis is a bigger issue so they need to figure that one out sooner and then start looking at other things. But once they do then I personally feel that they should slow down things and start focusing more on specific scenarios rather than making grand statements and solutions that are meant to solve everything in one go. And start acting more as an advising committee rather than an oligarchical system that threatens those that do not follow a set path. On top of that they should work towards providing advice on independent growth, such that they can be self reliant in the case on another economic melt down. And through not having to be directly manipulating and guiding a system the developed countries can also have more resources themselves and not have to lend huge sums of money.
      My personal stance is that the IMF, world bank and WTO have pretty much ruined the potential of growth in developing countries, and so long as they impose such strict non restrictions, then a bunch of the world will stay developing for years to come. And that instead the WTO should stop having specific protocol that they use as a default for all situations, and instead find unique solutions to each crisis. So actually promoting individual development rather than having to be a piece in a global puzzle favoring the rich. The idea of globalization is amazing if the concept is to promote universal growth, but seeing as it is only used as a way for rich countries to abuse poor countries through lying to them and not providing anything other than a reason to become lazy and dependent on others, makes it a sour concept. I love the fact that I get to know what happens around the world and I want the world as a whole to be better place however cliche that sounds. Because if we start seeing globally competitive firms forming in developing countries that would provide for better global competition, which would actually be beneficial for the MNCs out there. Another point is that without the trade barriers some of the rich countries have actually started to fail as well, because they look at short term economic gains rather than long term sustained economic development. On top of that it would promote better living standards and more interconnections of the global community, however unrealistic that may seem on paper, it is still something I hope might be actually used.

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  33. Zachary Ferguson8:28 PM

    I think Chang brings up an interesting point in that most first world, economically prosperous nations developed themselves under a protectionist perspective. Now, the states of the North preach the ideals of neoliberalism, as if this paradigm that was intentionally not employed by these well-established states would now help developing countries. Personally, I wonder if this decision is consciously being made in an effort to oppress third world states and keep them weak.
    Also, I find that Chang's bus driver story further supports the idea of scholars like Jared Diamond that geography and simple luck determines the future success and wealth of not only a person, but an entire state. A counter argument might be, to refer back to Chang's story, that the Indian bus driver could just move to the European nation. But in my opinion, this further reinforces the importance of the location. The person wouldn't need to move if another state or location offered similar or less opportunity.

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    1. Francis Esmas7:59 PM

      While there is the possibility of the Northern countries purposely keeping down third world states through neo-liberal policies, I'd find it more likely that these richer countries just cannot truly understand the problems that poorer countries are facing. Because the richer countries are significantly more advanced (at least in economic terms) than these poorer countries, the richer countries cannot truly understand the viewpoint of the poorer countries. For this reason, Chang's idea to make global laws work based on a country's current state seems like it could be effective in narrowing the gap between developed and developing countries. The world economy may take some hits in the short-run as some developing countries may take on more non-neoliberal policy, but as more countries reach a common economic level, the distribution of wealth created by global trade could be more equally distributed.

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  34. Katrin Gendova2:04 AM

    I agree with some parts of his statement. I do not think that we should view globalization only as referring to technology and new inventions. I believe, it is tightly connected to politics, since basically almost everything nowadays is related to it. However, at the same time, I disagree that globalization is defined only by politics. It may play a huge part in it, but for me the term "globalization" is related to the overall progress of the world. Politics have existed for a long time, whereas globalization is a new statement defining the overall change and progress going on, whether it is political,technological, economical or ecological...

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  35. Anushka Ramnani10:11 PM

    I found it interesting how he said that globalization was not merely caused by advanced technology. That it was more politics that caused globalization and that technology was just the surface of it. However, I also believe that politics is not the only thing that caused globalization. I believe that people were brought together just by the challenges facing the world and not just by technology or politics.

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  36. Chang argues that globalization is politics and not technology. He mentioned that the world economy in late 19th and 20th century was almost as globalized as world economy today and achieved under bases of primitive technologies. Technology at that time was not driving globalization instead it was a general consensus that cross border economic activities need to be carefully regulated. Interesting. . .

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  37. Frank Jimenez

    I would have to disagree with Chang's argument that politics and not technology. I think that technology is the biggest reason why globalization exists, but I agree with what he is saying about how the powerful countries dictate what is done politically throughout the world.

    I think that this issue is very relatable to our class in learning North/South, Developed/Developing nations. There is a reason why it is very hard for these developing nations to do what their name entails because of the rules that richer nations put on them. I believe in the realists stance that everyone is for themselves and it only makes sense that our system is like this. All nations are out for themselves and will definitely establish a system that exploits the weaker nations.

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  38. Krystopher Mandujano

    I would have to disagree with Chang's argument that it was politics and not technology that created globalization. I think that politics helped to make globalization "official" in terms of policies, but without technology, global politics would be more focused on countries and their allies than the world as a whole. For example, if air travel was not perfected than it is likely that negotiations between nations would not be as extensive as they are now because of the longer travel times which would make trade foods, and other perishable items much more difficult. As for his points about free trade, I agree with his point about how the less developed nations like Brazil are hurt by free trade because of the fact that these less developed do not have the ability to compete with the more developed nation, and they would need addition rules in place in order to compete with the other nations.


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  39. Anonymous9:10 PM

    Melissa Hernandez
    It was interesting how he said that how globalization today is processing is not because of the new emerging technology, but rather “only because powerful countries have decided to rewrite the rules that govern the global economy in a certain” that consists of deregulation and opening of their economies, “especially the financial markets” and then pressuring the other countries to do the same. In a sense saying and ultimately blaming, the increasing the gap between the North and South, primarily on the Northern powerful counties, which I agree with. If the Northern countries did not pressure the Southern countries to lower their trade borders and decreasing in their ability to protect their domestic industries, the Southern countries may able to grow their own industries so they can compete on the global scale with northern countries’ industries.

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  40. I feel that many people use globalization as a causal account for many things: socioeconomic disparity, culture subversion, Western normalization, etc.–but I see it as more of an effect. I see it as a broad-standing umbrella term for a variety of causes and their effects. For instance, if the international system is largely competitive in the sense that nation-states are seeking self-interested goals, it is expectable for advantaged players to use the things that spur globalization (communication, transportation, etc.) to their benefit. It just so happens that Western culture is, in this regard, "winning". The point, then, is not to simplify globalization as a causal account or even a phenomenon, but to better identify the individual factors that are causing the problems, and isolate solutions to them within their respective domains.

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