Introducing international development management
Introducing international development management

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Introducing international development management

2.3 Globalisation

Having looked at different conceptualisations of poverty as a shorthand route to understanding development, let us now turn to the context of development. The Development: context and practice course introduces ‘development now’ through a number of cross-cutting ‘big stories,’ one of which is globalisation. Read Article 2 on globalisation, below.

Click below to view Article 2 (0.05 MB).

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Developing countries have had a very mixed and complex experience of globalisation. The theoretical order placed upon our ‘big story’ of globalisation through the three approaches of regulation, regionalisation and resistance has helped us to crystalise key fracture lines in an increasingly messy and contested discourse. But let us now consider how governments and citizens of developing states are reframing development strategies in order to engage more effectively with a globalising world.

Now read Article 3 on globalisation, linked below.

Click below to view Article 3 (0.02 MB).

We now want you to apply your understanding of globalisation. Read the following introduction and carry out Activity 3.

Activity 3: A levels perspective in understanding globalisation

Some writers argue that the level of interconnectedness that we have today is unprecedented, permeating all aspects of our lives, while others acknowledge that changes are taking place but contend that they are not fundamental, and possibly no more significant than changes in the past.

Let us explore the position of those in the former camp, who identify globalisation as transformative. To appreciate their argument you need only think about where the clothes you are wearing were made, or where the food and drink you have consumed over the past 24 hours came from. In Section 1 we touched on the interconnections between the global, regional, national and local levels. To demonstrate the utility of such a ‘levels’ approach in helping you unpack the substantive meaning of globalisation, let us take two issues and trace their impact along an imaginary spectrum from the global down to the local level, and from the local up to the global level (see Table 1 below). The first issue is the devastating attacks on New York and Washington in the United States on 11 September 2001, and the second, the uprising of indigenous Indian communities in south-east Mexico on 1 January 1994 against the perceived oppression of the Mexican government. The uprising was led by an organisation calling itself Eje'rcito Zapatista de Liberacio'n Nacional (EZLN), or the Zapatistas.

Table 1

GlobalRegionalNationalLocal
Attacks on USA as World's sole superpowerThe North Atlantic Treaty Organisation activates Article 5 of the Washington Treaty, which states that an attack on one of their members is an attack on all 19 members.In return for Pakistan government support of US coalition against terrorism, US economic sanctions against Pakistan are lifted.One person killed in Jacobad Pakistan (home of an airbase made available to US forces) in protests against Pakistan government support of US-led air attacks on Afghanistan.
Zapatistas use the internet to disseminate information about their cause. They win popular support across the globe, and provide a spur for the burgeoning anti-capitalist movement.That the uprising happens within two hours of the North American Free Trade Agreement coming into force does not go unnoticed in the region. The Zapatistas call for an end to ‘development’ which is seen as dehumanising.Mexican government sends in forces to suppress uprising with untold loss of life. But there is widespread support for the Zapatista uprising among ordinary Mexicans.Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN) stages an armed uprising in the Mexican state of Chiapas, demanding democracy, liberty and justice for Indigenous Indians.

Can you think of another issue, global or local, and trace it down or up the spectrum?

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