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Unformatted text preview: A “New World Order”?
The End of the Cold War, Globalization,
and Geopolitics, 1970-present
• With the collapse of the socialist world around 1990, the three world
order that began after the end of WW2 also came to an end.
• A new globally integrated world order has emerged organized into a
unified marketplace with virtually unhindered flows of capital, commerce,
culture, labor, and information across most national borders.
• New political formations such as the EU, and new economic
powerhouses such as China, as well as increased South-South alliances,
have challenged the economic and political hegemony of the United
• Yet, at the same time, increased urbanization, overpopulation,
diminished food supplies, environmental degradation and global
warming, the AIDS pandemic, and greater divergence between the
wealthy North and the poor South, has struck developing and
underdeveloped nations at crisis levels unmatched since the end of
• The roots of these current crises go back to the 1970s economic crises
which were the conditions of the end of the state communism and the
seeds of the new global order. Economic Crises of the 1970s
• Despite the Cold War, the superpowers’ grip on economics and politics
diminished in the 1970s.
• The 6 Common Market countries in Europe (Italy, France, West Germany,
Belgium, Netherlands, and Luxembourg) had surpassed the US in GDP. By
1973, the CM exported 3 times as much as the US.
• In 1971 the Bretton Woods currency system collapsed. The US went off of
the Gold Standard because of budget and trade deficits.
• The US faced further challenges from expanding Japanese economy and
OPEC nations that controlled the supply and price of oil.
• The OPEC oil embargo of the 1970s marked the first time since Europeans
colonized the globe that the producers of raw materials controlled economic
flows to their own benefits.
• Very high interest rates in the US led to slowdowns in industrial
development and consumer spending.
• Stagflation: high prices + unemployment + high interest rates; an unusual
• The result was sobering for Americans: energy resources and economic
growth had their limits.
growth OPEC Collapse of the Soviet Bloc
• The most significant event of the end of
the 20th century was the collapse of the
Soviet Empire and the end of the Cold
• Dissent against Soviet rule had been
around since at least the Hungarian
uprising in 1956.
• In 1980, Polish workers reacted against
food price increases by going on strike
and creating an independent labor
movement called Solidarity.
• The movement embraced many
including members of the Polish
Communist Party and the Catholic
• Solidarity insisted that the government
recognize it as a legitimate organization.
• The Communist Party nearly collapsed
from the protests until the Soviet
government intervened and outlawed
Solidarity. Collapse of the Soviet Bloc
• The Soviets put in a new military government.
• The Polish situation highlighted the economic
problems facing the Soviet Bloc since the 1960s:
stagnant economies, negative growth,
deteriorating standards of living. Most Eastern
Bloc residents had to wait in long lines to receive
basic items, often receiving nothing.
• Vodka, however, was readily available.
Alcoholism skyrocketed in the Soviet Bloc.
• Fertility levels fell.
• The USSR was forced to import masses of
amounts of grain from the US.
• As its people were suffering, the USSR spent
massively on maintaining an arms race with the
• In 1985 a new leader, Mikhail Gorbachev, took
over the USSR. He quickly proposed several
solutions to the Soviet economic and political
woes. Collapse of the Soviet Bloc
• Peristroika: a restructuring of the Soviet
economy, including increased productivity,
capital investment, new technologies, and
mild market reforms.
• Glasnost: “openness” to the nonGlasnost
communist world. It allowed for new forms
of free speech, free circulation of
information. This became very important
after the Chernobyl tragedy.
• Dissent and debate was beginning to be
• Although, Gorbachev wanted to
implement reforms in nearly every aspect
of the Soviet system, he still believed in
• In 1987, one of his allies, Boris Yeltsin
resigned the government out of protest
against Gorbachev’s reforms as
ineffective. Tiananmen Square, 1989
• Inspired by a visit Gorbachev made to China, thousands of students massed
in Beijing’s largest square to demand democracy in China.
• They communicated with the outside world using email to get their messages
to the West, and using video and photographs to promote their cause.
• As Chinese workers began to join them, the hard line Chinese government
cracked down on the protests as the world watched.
• Thousands were arrested and sent to prison, some facing death.
• Despite the setback in China, the spirit of the revolt carried its way back to
Europe. Poland and Czechoslovakia, 1989
• Tiananmen Square ignited a chain of
events that would resonate across the
• In June 1989, without Soviet backing,
the ineffective Polish government held
free parliamentary elections. Solidarity
candidates drove out the communists
and by 1990, Lech Walesa was elected
president, signaling Poland’s lean
towards democratic and market reforms.
Gorbachev’s USSR declared that it would
not intervene as it had in Warsaw in
1981, in Prague in 1968, and in Hungary
• In November 1989, Alexander Dubcek,
the leader of Prague Spring in 1968,
called for the ouster of Stalinists from the
playwright, leader of
the Velvet Revolution
in Prague, and future
• The communists resigned in what came
president of the Czech
to be called the “Velvet Revolution”
because it lacked bloodshed.
because East Germany and Romania, 1989
• East Germans had attempted to escape over the
Berlin Wall since the 1960s, often being gunned down.
• On November 9, an ambiguous statement by the East
German government encouraged guards to allow East
Berliners to cross into the Western half of the city.
• The government of West Germany offered the East
Berliners each the equivalent of $100 to spend in the
• Berliners then released years of anxiety by assaulting
the wall with sledgehammers. By 1990 the Berlin Wall
• In Romania, Nicolae Ceausescu was the hardest
dictator in the Soviet Bloc since Stalin.
• In December 1989, an opposition movement erupted in
violence, the most violent of the 1989 revolutions with
over 1000 dead.
• After gaining military support, On Christmas Day,
protesters tried Ceausescu and his wife Elena in a
hastily-formed show trial and then immediately executed
them on live television.
them German Reunification, 1990
• The collapse of communism in Eastern Europe
helped pave the way for the unification of Germany
which had been divided since the end of WW2.
• West German Chancellor Helmut Kohl promoted
and created a new Germany in October 1990.
• The initial celebration came to quick end, however,
as East Germany acted like a weight on West
Germany. East Germans, who lived near poverty
but had jobs under communism, lost their jobs in
• Unemployment increased, social services
evaporated, social tensions increased and violent
attacks against immigrants were on the rise as neoattacks
Nazi movements gained in numbers.
• Throughout the former Soviet Bloc the transition to
democracy and free markets was anything but
smooth. Many suffered in the transformation, but
nowhere was the transition more disastrous than in
Yugoslavia. Yugoslavia, 1990-2000
• The USSR and Yugoslavia held together
large numbers of ethnic groups under their
communist reigns. In the wake of the collapse
of communism in both countries, ethnic and
religious tensions going back hundreds of years
• In 1990, the Serb communist Slobodan
Milosevic became president of the new
Republic of Yugoslavia.
• In 1991, Slovenia and Croatia seceded from
Yugoslavia, but the Croats lost 1/4 of their
territory to the Serb dominated Yugoslav army.
• Civil war ravaged Bosnia-Herzegovina where
a Muslim majority tried to create a multiethnic
• Bosnian Serb men, supported by Milosevic
• Bosnian Muslims could not arm themselves to
resist the Bosnian Serbs because of a UN
embargo. Yugoslavia, 1990-2000
• As Yugoslav provinces broke away from Serbia,
Milosevic pursued a policy of ethnic cleansing against
• Soldiers in Serbian militias raped women leaving them
pregnant with Serbian babies; men and boys were
killed; libraries and museums were destroyed; Mostar
Bridge was destroyed in 1993.
• Under Clinton, peace between Bosnia, Croatia and
Serbia was established in 1997 at Dayton, Ohio.
• In the late 1990s, Serb forces
attacked ethnic Albanians in the
Yugoslav province of Kosovo.
This time NATO intervened and
bombed Serbian forces. UN
peacekeepers kept the peace.
• In 2001, Milosevic was
captured and was placed on trial
for war crimes at the World
Court in the Hague. He died
while standing trial in 2006.
while Mostar Bridge, built
by the Ottoman
Empire in 1566;
destroyed in 1993
destroyed • In 1990 Peristroika had failed to
improve the Soviet economy.
• Russian Parliament elected Boris
Yeltsin as the president of the Russian
Republic over a communist candidate,
and this sparked a coup in 1991 by
• While Gorbachev was held inside the
parliament building in Moscow, Yeltsin
stood atop a tank and called for mass
• Hundreds of thousands filled the
streets, soldiers defected to protect
• The coup failed as Russians refused
to return to Stalinist policies of the past
70 years. The USSR failed to exist.
• Life continued to deteriorate, however,
as unemployment, organized crime, and
ethnic and religious battles continued in
the breakaway republic of Chechnya.
the USSR, 1991 Global Challenges
• The 1970s brought on a heightened awareness of challenges and limits facing First World nations.
• In the 19th century, industrialization and population
growth were indicators of the progress of civilization. By
the 1970s, these were now showing their negative effects
on natural ecology and global environmental health.
• Nuclear energy was a by-product of the nuclear arms race
between the US and the USSR. Since the 1950s, nuclear
reactors appeared throughout the US, Western Europe and
the Soviet Bloc. Initially offering a “clean” alternative to
carbon-based fossil fuels, the dangers of nuclear energy
became real during the Three Mile Island meltdown in
Pennsylvania in 1979 and the Chernobyl disaster in
Ukraine in 1986.
Ukraine Nuclear Disasters
• In March 1979, one of the reactors of
the Three Mile Island Nuclear
Generating Station suffered a partial
core meltdown. The meltdown was
contained within 5 days and no one
was killed or injured. But, disaster
brought to the public’s awareness the
real threat such energy sources pose.
• In the USSR in 1986, residents in the
vicinity of the Chernobyl Nuclear
Power Station were not so lucky. One
core reactor exploded the roof off its
building sending radioactive dust into
the atmosphere. Many Ukranians and
Russians died in the accident. Cancer
levels rose in the 1990s. Today the
region near Chernobyl is still
uninhabitable. Environmental Pollution
Environmental • Emissions produced environmental damage such as acid rain, first discovered
in the 1970s.
• Clear-cutting tropical rainforests for cattle grazing land and cash crops has
threatened the survival of these forests, essential to biological diversity and
global oxygen production.
• Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), chemicals used in aerosols and refrigerants, had
eaten away at the earth’s ozone layer, a blanket of gases surrounding the earth
which protects the planet from harmful ultraviolet rays.
• Emissions and pollutants were adding gases to the atmosphere, creating a
layer which traps heat in much the same way a greenhouse does. The
greenhouse effect has produced a phenomenon called global warming. The
small increase in the overall temperature of the earth produces large scale
consequences such as the warming of the oceans, melting of ice caps and
glaciers, rising of seal levels, disruption of weather patterns, alterations of
global currents. The effects these have on the environment could be permanent
• In the 1980s and the 1990s governments have addressed some of the causes
and implemented solutions such as lower carbon monoxide emissions and
reductions in greenhouse gases.
• In 2005, the UN Kyoto Protocol was put in place in an effort by 187 countries
to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and lower overall global temperatures.
to Kyoto Protocol
Kyoto North vs. South
• Since WW2, nations in the developing world have struggled with
• The least industrialized countries in the world experienced 98%
of all population growth.
• By 1999, the world population had reached 6 billion people and it
will double that by 2045.
• In non-industrialized countries life expectancy increased by 16
years between 1950 and 1980.
• Fertility rates dropped in the West due to increased forms of birth
• Migration of large numbers of people to urban areas of nations
not able to provide services only exacerbated the population
growth problem by adding the specter of poverty.
• Despite increased healthcare and dissemination of western
medicine, most of the increased population lives in the poorer
southern hemisphere, while the wealthier populations live in the
northern North vs. South Division
• During the 1980s and 1990s, world leaders began to address the growing
divide between earth’s northern and southern hemispheres.
• Southern peoples suffered lower standards of living, greater health problems,
greater illiteracy, and could not rely on their post-WW2 governments for support
such as welfare, healthcare and education.
such World Population Increases, 1950-1997
• Contagious disease also reflects the inequalities of a globalized world.
• Microbes know no national, religious, or linguistic borders.
• Diseases which afflicted populations in the 19th century such as cholera and
malaria are largely under control thanks to vaccination programs, better
healthcare, and better sanitation.
• New diseases have emerged in pandemic form since the 1970s such as
Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS), caused by the Human
Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), which is transmitted through contact with semen
or blood of an infected person, through sexual contact, contaminated blood
transfusion, or intravenous drug use through shared needles.
• Initially stigmatized as a homosexual disease, the virus has spread to the
heterosexual population, and has hit the poorer populations of the world the
• In its first two decades 12 million people have died of AIDS, 2.6 million in
1999 alone. By 2000, 33 million had acquired the HIV virus. New drugs which
prolong the effects of the HIV virus have not been available to underdeveloped
regions such as sub-Saharan Africa. Increased deaths and transmissions of
the disease have occurred more rapidly in Africa than elsewhere.
• Education is the key to stopping the disease. A Tanzanian survey showed
that 20% of women with 4-5 years of education demanded that their sexual
partners wear condoms. Only 6% of women with no education demanded it.
partners Global AIDS Rates
Global Genocide in Africa
• The most gruesome political violence in
the global age has occurred in Africa,
where nation-states have been weakest in
• African agriculture has been unable
sustain the growing populations and
conflicts over unequal access to important
resources like education have only
exacerbated ethnic tensions.
• Drought, famine, and corruption have led
to riots, violence, and genocide as in
Rwanda in 1994.
• The Hutus and the Tutsis had lived side
by side for generations, often intermarrying.
• In 1994 they began to slaughter one
another. The UN sent in peacekeeping
forces, but US president Clinton blocked a
UN Security Council resolution. Most UN
forces were removed.
forces • Hutu militias took this as a green light to
slaughter. In 100 days, 800,000 Tutsis
and moderate Hutus were massacred
while the world did nothing.
• In July 2003 in the Darfur region of
western Sudan, a conflict erupted
between the Janjaweed, a loosely formed
militia of Muslims, and land-tilling tribes in
• Some estimates of the death toll are as
high as 450,000 civilians, including
women and children.
• Although the US has called the conflict
a genocide, the UN has been reluctant to
do so. The Sudanese government
denies that it is a genocide and has
considered the UN peacekeeping force
an invasion comparable to the US
invasion of Iraq.
• Both crises in Rwanda and Darfur have
produced mass exodus of refugees into
neighboring Genocide in Africa
Genocide Terrorism as a Political Tool
• In the 1960s and 1970s some political
groups turned violent in response to the
increase in conservative governments,
economic slowdown and the
ineffectiveness of legal means for social
and political change.
• These groups used terror as a weapon
in their fight for national and political
rights: kidnapping, bombing, bank
• They often recruited disaffected youth
to join their ranks.
• Black Panther Party in the US
• Red Army Fraction and Baader-Meinhof
gang in West Germany
• PLO in Israel/Palestine
• IRA in Northern Ireland
• Basque Separatists in northern Spain
• Red Brigades in Italy
Red Islam Confronts the West: Iran
• In the 1970s as Western dominance was
deteriorating, US President Jimmy Carter
faced an insurmountable crisis when a
religious revolution brought to power
Ayatollah Khomeini, a fundamentalist Muslim
leader in Iran.
• Khomeini had been in exile in Paris where
he orchestrated the Shi’ite Muslims of Iran to
abandon all Western culture, and demanded
a return to a traditional Islamic society.
• The pro-US Shah was ousted and Khomeini
returned to Tehran.
• In November 1979, supporters of Khomeini
stormed the US embassy in Tehran and held
American hostages for over a year, until the
newly elected US president Ronald Reagan
negotiated their release.
• US paralysis in the face of Islamic militancy
galvanized rejections of Western influence in
the Middle East.
the Iraq and Saddam Hussein
• Not all Islamic countries were always united
against the West.
• In September 1980, Iraq’s president Saddam
Hussein launched an attack on neighboring Iran,
fearing that the Shi’ite revolution in Iran might spark
a similar conflict in Sunni Iraq.
• He also wanted Iranian oil
• For 8 years Iran and Iraq were at war, the US
supporting Iraq and the USSR supporting Iran. But
the war ended in a stalemate. Iraq suffered heavy
debt because of the war and Saddam Hussein
needed more oil to boost the Iraqi economy.
• He invaded Kuwait in 1990 as a solution to Iraq’s
troubles. But a UN coalition was formed by US
president George H.W. Bush and they drove the
Iraqi army out of Kuwait.
• No-fly zones were placed over southern and
northern Iraq and US forces remained in Kuwait
Saddam Hussein and US
and Saudi Arabia throughout the 1990s until the
Ambassador Donald Rumsfeld
invasion of Iraq by US forces in 2003.
invasion USSR Invasion of Afghanistan
• The USSR supported a coup by a communist faction against Afghanistan’s government in 1979.
• Afghanis put up much resistance to the
communists. But by 1980, thousands of Soviet
troops were fighting inside Afghanistan.
• The CIA fearing that Afghanistan would fall into
the Soviet sphere, mobilized support and trained
local Afghanis to fight the Red Army.
• One of the leaders of the resistance movement
was a wealthy Saudi national named Osama bin
Laden. He was trained by the CIA.
• With the USSR’s troubles mounting in the late
1980s, the Soviets pulled out of Afghanistan in
• Afghanistan remained contested until the late
1990s when the Taliban Party, a group of Islamic
fundamentalists imposed a strict and ruthless
regime. Al Qaeda Against the West
Al • In the 1990s Osama bin Laden promoted a panIn
Arab or pan-Islamic world that increasingly gained
support for its rejections of Western culture and
• bin Laden advocated a holy war against the West,
specifically against the US for maintaining its
military presence on the Arabian peninsula, and for
its support of Israelis against the Palestinians.
• Using his own mass wealth, bin Laden created a
global terrorist network, called al Qaeda, that
trained in Taliban-ruled Afghanistan, and claimed
responsibility for the World Trade Center bombing
in 1993, the bombings of US embassies in Africa in
1998, the attack on the USS Cole in 2000.
• The most spectacular attack against the West
occurred on September 11, 2001 when 4 US
commercial jets were hijacked by Saudi members
of al Qaeda and 3 were flown into the World Trade
Center and the Pentagon, killing nearly 4000.
• In response, George W. Bush declared a “war on
terror” and invaded Afghanistan and Iraq.
• Neoliberalism refers to a political and economic
philosophy that first appeared in the 1970s.
• It de-emphasized or rejected government
intervention in the domestic economy. It focused on
free-market methods, fewer restrictions on business
operations, and property rights. In foreign policy,
neoliberalism favored the opening of foreign
markets by political means, using diplomacy,
economic pressure and, for some neoliberals,
• In the 1980s British Prime Minister Margaret
Thatcher and US President Ronald Reagan both
implemented domestic policies that encouraged
private enterprise as the solution to sluggish
• In addition they called for an overhaul of the
outdated welfare state, reductions in domestic
spending on social services, and tax cuts for big
business and the wealthy. Margaret Thatcher
and Ronald Reagan Neoliberalism and Supply-Side Economics
• Neoliberalism emphasized supply-side
economics associated with the economist
• Supply-side economists argue that tax cuts for
big business allows for greater investment, and
increased wealth means expanding economies.
They also emphasize keeping wages low and
increasing sales tax.
• As business profits increase wealth “trickles
down” into the poorer levels of society, bringing
them up also.
• Critics of supply-side claim that as wages
stagnate, the overall standard of living of the
poor increases much more slowly than the rate
of economic growth, and that the middle
classes merge with the poorer classes.
• By the mid 1990s, however, even US
Democrats such as Bill Clinton subscribed to
neoliberal policies, and ended the welfare state. Milton Friedman Bill Clinton IMF and “Structural Adjustment”
• The IMF and the World Bank, both created in 1944, provided loans to developing countries if
they agreed to implement Structural
Adjustment Programs. These programs are
conditions for receiving loans and they include:
– Cutting social expenditures, also known
– Trade liberalization, or lifting import and
– Increasing foreign direct investment
– Balancing budgets and not overspending
– Removing price controls and state
– Privatization of industry
– Enhancing the rights of foreign investors
through national laws
– Improving governance and fighting
corruption. Criticisms of Structural Adjustment
• Although the Structural Adjustment Programs were designed to
increase the strength of local third world economies since the 1950s,
these SAPs did not always produce desired results and often produced
serious consequences for those states accepting aid.
– undermining national sovereignty by dictating national economic
– encouragement of privatization and opening of markets to the
West (i.e., the US)
– much of the SAPs focus on increased use of pesticides and
fertilizers without regard to the environment
– agricultural trade has produced increased urbanization into global
southern cities, also mass migration of immigrants to the North.
– SAPs demand austerity of local governments, cutting of social
spending on healthcare and education.
– SAPs produce global inequality between the north and south by
forcing the poorer southern nations into further debt that they owe to
the developed world.
the Urbanization and the Creation of Slums
• SAPs have had a detrimental effect on the poorer
nations and their growing populations.
• Over 50% of the world’s populations now live in
urban areas, most of which do not have the
resources to care for these expanding populations.
• In addition, unlike the 19th century slums in
Manchester and Dublin which were largely
accompanied by an increase of secularization, Mike
Davis in his article on slums points that these new
global slums are fertile ground for fundamentalist
forms of religions such as Islam and Pentecostal
Christianity. The Post-Cold War World
• After the Cold War, intellectuals tried to
assess the state and meaning of the world
at that time.
• Francis Fukuyama claimed that humanity
had reached the “end of history,” that all of
the ideological struggles of the past have
come to an end and that democracy and
capitalism have succeeded in dominating
• Samuel Huntington offered a different
account. He argued that future conflicts
would be about a “clash of civilizations,”
specifically the irreducibility and
incompatibility between the Christian West
and the Islamic East.
• Both of these views have failed to take
hold. But the success of Western economic
policies has some arguing for a new form of
imperialism. Francis Fukuyama Samuel Huntington World Trade Organization
• In 1995 the WTO was formed to regulate global trade and set standards for trading partners. Its principals:
• free of discrimination, one country cannot privilege a particular trading
partner above others
• fewer trade barriers (such as tariffs).
• predictability, with foreign companies and governments reassured that
trade barriers will not be raised arbitrarily and that markets will remain
• tend toward greater competition.
• more accommodating for less developed countries, giving them more
time to adjust, greater flexibility, and more privileges.
• In 1994, the North American
Free trade Agreement was signed
between Canada, the US, and
• The agreement stipulated the
lifting of trade barriers between
the three North American nations,
and the increased flow of goods
and services across borders (but
• It also allowed for the protection
of intellectual property in these
areas, the encouragement of
entrepreneurial competition, and
the suspension of local laws that
hindered the agreement’s
implementation. Clinton signs NAFTA
into The Effects of NAFTA in Mexico
• Transnational corporations, mostly from the US have
benefited greatly from NAFTA, usually at the expense
of local indigenous populations in Mexico who are no
longer protected by local trade unions and labor laws.
• Local farmers in Mexico have suffered from the import
of cheap produce from the US into Mexico and the
expansion of factory farms in Mexico that export
produce to the US, Canada and other parts of the
• Since the inception of NAFTA, overall wages in
Mexico have dropped 20%, forcing many younger
workers to migrate northward into the US, legally or
• Cheaper labor in Mexico has also led to layoffs of US
workers. Zapatistas in Chiapas
• On the same day that NAFTA was
signed into law, January 1, 1994, a group
of peasant farmers in the southern
Mexican state of Chiapas formed the
Zapatista Army of National Liberation
(EZLN) named after the Mexican
revolutionary Emiliano Zapata earlier in the
• The Zapatistas were determined to fight
against the implementation of NAFTA and
the loss of their rights to farm local land in
Chiapas in favor of the US corporations
that were going move in.
• Their “leader” was man calling himself
Subcomandante Marcos, and he was
suspected to be a professor of philosophy
from Mexico City.
from Zapatistas in Chiapas
• The Zapatistas took advantage of
new internet technologies and the
media to spread their message
across the globe, gaining sympathy
from similar groups in Africa and
• Early in 1994, the armed
Zapatistas took control of 5 small
towns in Chiapas, they declared war
on the Mexican government.
Twelve days later a cease fire went
• Although, the Zapatistas have
largely failed to achieve their goal of
greater autonomy in the face of
NAFTA policies, they have brought
to the world’s attention the
resistance to First World polices.
resistance Zapatistas in Chiapas
Top sign: "You are in Zapatista
rebel territory. Here the people
give the orders and the
Bottom sign: "North Zone.
Council of Good Government.
Trafficking in weapons, planting
of drugs, drug use, intoxicating
beverages, and illegal sales of
wood are strictly prohibited. No to
the destruction of nature."
Federal Highway 307, Chiapas. “The Battle of Seattle”
WTO Conference, Seattle, 1999
• In 1999, the WTO held its annual
conference on global trade at Seattle.
This particular conference was to
promote further trade agreements similar
to those like NAFTA.
• The conference was overshadowed by
the convergence of over 40,000 antithe
globalization protesters from all over the
globe, who were determined to put an
end to WTO policies and the negative
effects they were having on local
populations, the environment, and the
state of global democracy in the new
• Labor unions, anarchists, NGOs,
environmentalists, feminists, and
socialists made up the largest groups of
protesters. “The Battle of Seattle”
WTO Conference, Seattle, 1999
• Although the conference
managed to continue, over 4 days
of protests and demonstrations
led to vandalism, 600 arrests, and
use of tear gas and rubber bullets
• The next conference the WTO
held was in Doha, Qatar, away
from western media and antifrom
• Rock groups such as Anti-Flag,
Pennywise, and Rage Against the
Machine have made references to
the 1999 WTO protests or used
footage in their videos.
footage Venezuela’s “Bolivarian Revolution”
• In 1998, Venezuela elected Hugo Chavez
as its new president. Chaves campaigned
on the idea that the US is an imperialist
power and is single-handedly responsible
for the misery of the peoples of Latin
America since the Spanish left in the early
Chavez calls his socialist revolution
“Bolivarian” after Simon Bolivar, the 19th
century revolutionary who tried to unite
South America into a single nation-state.
• Chavez was nearly overthrown in a coup
by the Venezuelan military supported by
the Bush administration. He prevailed
however and remains in power, a harsh
critic of Bush.
• In September 2006, speaking before the
UN General Assembly, Chavez referred to
Bush as “the Devil.”
• He was re-elected to a third term in
November A New Age of Empire?
• Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri, Empire (2000)
• Is the US an empire in the old sense (19th
• They say no, that the old forms of imperialism are
• There is a new Empire without borders and
without a center that encompasses the globe and
no nation-state is in charge any longer.
• Hardt cites the failures of the Bush wars in Iraq
and Afghanistan as the attempt on the part of the
US to become an empire, but failing.
• These wars they argue are civil wars and the US
is acting like a police force.
Terms • Structural Adjustment Programs (SAPs)
• Kyoto Prorocol
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