(politics) World Politics

(politics) World Politics - Chapter 1 Introduction The...

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Chapter 1: Introduction The chapter identifies the predominant interests, interactions, and the institutional environment during the periods of colonization. The brief historical survey on the topic lays the foundation for using the “three Is” to analyze current struggles in economic development and possible ways forward. The brief historical tour offered in this chapter can identify prevailing interests, interactions, and institutions of the eleven puzzles that are listed in the Introduction and that form the themes of subsequent chapters. The chapter starts off with a puzzle of its own that should provoke students into questioning the current structure of global governance and where it is leading. The century from roughly 1815 to 1914 was one of relative peace and incredible prosperity. With a few notable exceptions, war among the Great Powers was absent. Global economic integration became an accepted norm, in stark contrast to the isolation that was common before the Industrial Revolutions. Economic growth, reflected in national accounts and standards of living in the West, grew more quickly than they had before or would after. In contrast to this golden age of peace and prosperity, the next century produced devastating military conflict and economic volatility. Quite quickly, values in the West shifted from acceptance of globalization and laissez-faire competition to nationalism that rejected international economic structures and sought to regulate domestic conflict, both economic and political. The data on war-related death and financial catastrophe presented in “The Thirty Years’ Crisis” section of this chapter contrasts the social condition under the Pax Britannica. Five major historical periods are reviewed to show the changing interests, interactions, and institutions of world politics. First, the Mercantilist Era was led largely by Western states intent on securing power and markets. Although the Western economies did engage in limited trade, monopoly power over colonies forced them into exclusionary economic relations with the metropole. The newly solidified international norm of state sovereignty combined with expansionist ambitions to produce bellicose relations among the Great Powers, without international institutions to check ambition. By the second era, the Golden Age, economic development and the balance of power on the European continent had changed state interests from mercantilist zero-sum conflict into positive-sum economic cooperation based on the Ricardian principle of comparative advantage. During the Golden Age, investors and industrialists, who shared the states’ belief in the gains from open trade, increased economic power and slowly began to shape world affairs. The mostly autocratic states also shared an interest in suppressing social movements,
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(politics) World Politics - Chapter 1 Introduction The...

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