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A Closer Look: Cases of Globalization


A Closer Look: Cases of Globalization


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The Work of Changing Minds (December 17, 2003)
This ZNet article describes the phenomenon of "recovered factories" in Argentina, where workers take control of the means of production in bankrupt factories. The movement began in 2000 in response to economic troubles directly linked to IMF policies, which led to the collapse of the economy in December of 2001. The author, a native to Buenos Aires, highlights how the movement breaks from the strict market mentality of capitalism to offer marginalized workers the opportunity to increase production.

India's Global Ambitions (November 6, 2003)
India has become a top medical-tourism destination attracting patients from all over the world, yet 43 percent of the country's population still has no access to basic health care. India's private hospitals have upgraded their medical equipment and technology, and now offer quality medical treatment at a cost far below London or New York. (Far Eastern Economic Review)

Levi's Last US Workers Mourn Loss of Good Jobs (October 19, 2003)
Levi Strauss built up his jeans-producing company 150 years ago, and his jeans have become an "American icon." Yet, the last Levi's factory in the US will become another casualty of the shrinking US apparel industry. At the end of 2003, it will close down and transfer its production to Latin America. (New York Times)

British Workers Count the Cost of Globalization (September 21, 2003)
Companies always seek ways of producing more at lesser costs. Globalization offers them the possibility to shift work to other parts of the world with lower wage levels. As British companies outsource more and more office-base jobs in call centers or communications to India, China or South Africa, British workers feel the negative impacts of globalization. (Panos)

Chinese Economy's Underside: Abuse of Migrants (August 26, 2003)
Foreign investment and trade have brought rapid development to China's coastal provinces, attracting many migrants from the interior. But these workers have few legal rights, and often find misery where they sought prosperity. (New York Times)

Who Said Anything About Rice? Free Trade is About Cars and PlayStations (August 10, 2003)
Having benefited enormously from the global economy, Japan finds that liberalizing its agricultural sector pits its traditional agrarian culture against market ideology. (New York Times)

Neo-Liberal Nicaragua: A New Banana Republic (August 7, 2003)
When Nicaragua held democratic election in 1990, its leaders promised that US aid would quickly lead to prosperity. Instead, a decade of neo-liberal policy advice from Washington has done little to combat the country's poverty, malnutrition, and corruption. (CounterPunch)

Britain Looks Abroad for Nurses (July 29, 2003)
The UK has bolstered its ailing health system by luring nurses from poor nations to work in Britain. While the nurses receive higher pay, their home countries accuse the UK of stealing indispensable health workers. (Christian Science Monitor)

Coke Adds Life? (July 25, 2003)
Indian officials welcomed the opening of a Coke factory in impoverished Palakkad, but residents of the rural community say it has monopolized their irrigation water and demand the government shut it down. (Independent)

Corporate Slush Funds for Baghdad: Plugging Iraq into Globalization (July 22, 2003)
The US plans to use Iraq's oil wealth as collateral to secure loans from the World Bank and other donors. While the Bush Administration claims such maneuvers are necessary to rebuild the country, critics believe the scheme will make Iraq dependent on international financial institutions and force it to adopt their neo-liberal policies. (CounterPunch)

Workers Falling Behind in Mexico (July 15, 2003)
Mexico hoped NAFTA would make it a prominent player in world trade, but now finds itself in a paradox of the global economy; wages are too low to support a decent standard of living but too high to compete with manufactures in Asia. (Washington Post)

Edge of the Empire (July 10, 2003)
A British advocate of corporate responsibility finds that Mongolia must tackle the broader challenges of globalization--such as corrupt privatization and rising social inequality--before it can pursue reform at the level of individual corporations. (Ethical Corporation)

Free Markets Add to Woes of Solomon Islands (July 3, 2003)
Liberalization has made the South Pacific nation's economy dependent on foreign governments and corporations, sowing the seeds for political unrest. (New Zealand Herald)

Globalization to Azeris Means Oil and War (June 26, 2003)
Azerbaijan's oil reserves and border with Iran have increased its profile in Washington, but Azeris fear increased US involvement will reinforce the autocratic government and rekindle conflict with neighboring Armenia. (Moscow Times)

Coffee, the Deadly Embrace (June 23, 2003)
The World Bank and IMF told Nicaragua that coffee exports would grow its economy, but instead they have benefited multinational corporations at the expense of poor farmers. Fortunately, a grassroots "fair trade" movement has begun to balance the equation. (ZNet)

India Winning Higher-Status Jobs from US (June 18, 2003)
US companies are increasingly moving high-skill jobs to India, where computer programmers make less than a tenth the salaries of their US counterparts. (Christian Science Monitor)

Making Trinkets in China, and a Deadly Dust (June 15, 2003)
China's booming export industry has led to record growth in GDP, but life remains difficult for migrant workers like Hu Zhiguo, who became ill working in a jewelry factory. (New York Times)

NAFTA's Untold Stories: Mexico's Grassroots Responses to North American Integration (June 2003)
After Mexico signed NAFTA it has seen sluggish job growth, declining wages, and mounting poverty. With this record, NAFTA cannot serve as a model for future trade agreements in the Americas. (Interhemispheric Resource Center)

Cinco de Mayo: Early Battle Against Finance Globalization (May 5, 2003)
This brief history of the 1862 Mexican battle against French imperialism and foreign debt presents several parallels to the situation of many developing countries today. These countries' ever-increasing indebtedness to international financial institutions and obligation to privatize only deepens poverty and popular resentment of the World Bank and IMF. (San Francisco Chronicle)

Economics Without Tears (April 6, 2003)
Author Gonzalo Jurado explains how trade liberalization simultaneously impoverishes and enriches the Philippines. He proposes to minimize damage and maximize profits by increasing trade regulation in non-competitive industries, improving social safety nets for the working poor and strengthening national institutions that manage the economy. (Manila Times)

Private Water, Public Good (March 11, 2003)
A New York Times editorial predicts that globalization's next big controversy could be about water privatization in developing countries. This editorial urges strong government regulation to reduce potential harms to the public interest.

Thinking Small: Globalization and the Choice of Technology (March 2003)
This paper disagrees with the conventional wisdom that adopting large-scale, capital-intensive, automated technologies will accelerate economic development. The author advocates using smaller-scale technologies for populous developing countries. (Orion Online)

Latin American Projects Honored at Conference on Globalization and Equity (February 14, 2003)
This recent conference awards researchers and projects that propose innovative policy solutions to the negative effects of globalization. Brazilian NGO "Renascer" won an award for its pioneering approach to health care, work skills training and education for the poor. (Pan American Health Organization)

Internet Used to Spread BioPharm Crops (February 14, 2003)
This assessment of an alert from the Edmonds Institute details current efforts by pharmaceutical companies to hire farmers in developing countries to grow their potentially hazardous crops. In effect, this practice spreads genetically engineered organisms across the world and endangers local ecosystems. (Third World Network)

Depressed Coffee Prices Yield Suffering in Poor Countries (February 7, 2003)
Coffee prices have plummeted drastically in recent years, endangering stability and democracy in many third world countries. The coffee crisis exemplifies how unfettered economic globalization enhances the power of transnational corporations and puts small farmers at the mercy of the global market. (National Catholic Reporter)

Lay of the Land (February 2003)
Urban sprawl threatens the sustainability of human settlements around the world, but sprawl in the West Bank presents especially dangerous problems. Strategic Israeli settlements lead to human rights abuses and erode the sovereignty of the Palestinian people in violation of UN resolutions. (Metropolis Magazine)



The Mexicans Dance on their Hats (December 23, 2002)
This author blasts assumptions and general lack of knowledge other North Americans have of Mexico. Feed by NAFTA, social and political tension is high and rising between the wealthier, more Spanish-descent North and the impoverished, indigenous South. (Yellow Times)

Vietnam Embraces Globalization on Own Terms (November 21, 2002)
The Vietnamese economy is slowly opening to international investors and global capitalism. Vietnam's deliberate pace reflects an attempt to avoid the kind of financial crisis several developing nations endured after rushing to adopt the neo-liberal ‘Washington Consensus'. (Manila Times)

Sowing Disaster? (October 10, 2002)
The discovery of genetically modified corn in the Sierra Norte Mountains of Mexico has outraged scientists and farmers alike. Genetically altered corn, whose plantation was outlawed, displaces the organic diversity necessary for preservation of Mexico's staple food, as well as the future supply of the world's corn. (The Nation)

Globalization as a One-Way Street (October 5, 2002)
An op-ed piece from a Filipino news organization describes the damaging affects of agricultural trade policy between Australia and the Philipines. Imploring her government to intervene, the author explains the absence of safety nets for local producers in the face of economic globalization. (ABS-CBM)

How Much Threat Will Globalization Bring to China? (July 21, 2002)
"Time Warner and the News Group have obtained the right of settlement in China's mainland," however entering into a particularly protectionist media culture means that foreign companies must make adaptability their main virtue. (People's Daily Online)

Globalizing Clinical Research (July 1, 2002)
The Nation coins it the "global commerce in human experimentation." Over the past decade, large pharmaceutical companies have exported their clinical testing to developing countries, "where oversight is slim and patients plentiful." The companies claim that because drug treatment is so scarce in the developing world, "patients" should feel fortunate to receive any treatment at all.

A Mountain of Resistance (June 18, 2002)
With evidence of environmental damage, physical abuse, and false promises, the people of Danbury, Vermont vehemently oppose the incursion of OMYA, a Swiss-based multinational, on their communities. This is only the most recent case in a long history of battles between civic society and the corporate giant OMYA. (Ottawa Citizen)

Coca Cola Parches Agricultural Lands in India (May 28, 2002)
A Coca-Cola factory threatens the livelihood of villagers by contaminating the water supply and drying up wells. CorpWatch India reports that "in the absence of any law to regulate the extraction of groundwater," giant corporations are using village water supplies at the expense of local populations.

When Here Sees There (April 21, 2002)
The globalization of the media was supposed to "knit the world together," allowing international understanding to flourish. In contrast, coverage characterized by "superficial familiarity" has made the world a less tolerant place. (New York Times)

More Should Be Done To Make Globalization Work For South Asia's Poor (March 28, 2002)
The incomes of half a billion people in South Asia have declined in the last decade, according to the Human Development Report 2001. Activist governments, civil society and the private sector must co-operate to counteract the negative effects of globalization in the area. (UNDP)

Piles of Poisons in Mexico (March 22, 2002)
The NAFTA agreement has been called a relatively "green" treaty, as it incorporates environmental protection clauses. However, since 1994 Mexico's hazardous waste imports have doubled, a problem compounded by the waste-producing maquiladora factories. Environmental diversity, water quality and the health of the Mexican people are all under threat. (WTO Watch)

Africa Struggles to Get Online (March 14, 2002)
The Internet provides African communities with an important means of communication, reflected in the rising number of Internet service providers and cyber cafés across the continent. However, the lack of a stable electricity supply and limited telecommunications structures in many countries hinder access to the World Wide Web. (Reuters)

Globalization and Alpine Pollution (March 6, 2002)
The transportation of goods to northern Europe through the Mont Blanc tunnel causes pollution and degradation of the alpine environment, illustrating how globalization has created a world "oriented towards an always-increasingly irrational productivity and consumption." (ATTAC)

Water Incorporated; The Commodification Of The World's Water (March 5, 2002)
The "services agreement" section of the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA) opens water up to privatization across Latin America. The "commodification" of water will lead to environmental problems, "increased prices, and a concurrent loss of access to water" for the poor. (Earth Island Journal)

Is the United States a Pollution Haven? (March 1, 2002)
Under NAFTA, the US has come to dominate the market for corn, overtaking traditional Mexican producers. Not only do Mexican peasants suffer, but there is a high environmental price: the effect on the environment in the US Corn Belt, and on biodiversity in Mexico. (Americas Program)

States of Discord (March/April 2002)
"Will globalization ultimately strengthen or destroy the nation state? Will it lead to more democracies or more revolutions?" A Foreign Policy debate attempts to answer these complex questions.

Drugs: UN Board Sounds Alarm About Internet's Role in Trafficking (February 27, 2002)
The Internet, often seen as one of the more positive aspects of globalization, has been cited as a major obstacle in the fight against drugs. Instant communication allows drug traffickers to optimize the efficiency of their supply chains, hampering the efforts of anti-drug agents. (Inter Press Service)

In Corn's Cradle, US Imports Bury Family Farms (February 26, 2002)
Since the NAFTA agreement was signed, corn growers in Mexico find they can no longer compete with the "mechanized, subsidized giants of American agriculture." The corn used to make tortillas, a staple food in the Mexican diet, will most likely now come from north of the border. (New York Times)

Shall We Leave It to the Experts? (February 18, 2002)
Enron's involvement in Maharashtra, India, reveals the true effects of globalization in developing countries. The signing of the Power Purchase Agreement has left the Maharashtra State Electricity Board with an annual bill of $220 million and electricity prices locals cannot afford. (The Nation)

Globalization & Militarization (February 2002)
A globalized military industry could leave the world "awash with weapons," fuelling conflicts and serving the interests of terrorist organizations. A balance must be sought between demands for increased trade liberalization and the dangers that globalization could bring. (Foreign Policy In Focus)

Off the Grid: Mexico's Free Market Extremism (January/February 2002)
Through neo-liberal economic reforms prompted by NAFTA, "the Mexican government has created an investment climate which depends on a vast number of low-wage earners. This climate gets all the government's attention, while the consumer climate - the ability of people to buy what they produce - is sacrificed." (Multinational Monitor)



Disparities of Wealth Are Seen as Fuel for Terrorism (December 20, 2001)
The International Herald Tribune conducted a worldwide poll suggesting that globalization and US lack of understanding of international problems serve as the breeding ground for terrorism.

Bucking the Corporate Future (Winter 2001/2002)
Grassroots Globalization Network "advances positive alternatives to corporate globalization" by promoting community projects such as economic cooperatives and community-supported livelihood programs.
(Earth Island Journal)

UNconventional: A Point of View: ‘Good' Globalization (September 2001)
Food insecurity in many countries highlights the negative effects of globalization. Carefully formulated policies, suited to specific agricultural regions, offer developing countries the opportunity to benefit from globalized agricultural trade and information networks. (UN Chronicle)

One Chance to Shake-Up the Rules Denying Affordable Drugs to Poor People (June 4, 2001)
Global patent rules are being used by the rich pharmaceutical industry to thwart low-cost competition that can provide more affordable medicines to poor people. Oxfam argues that members of the WTO should listen to the demands of developing nations to change these rules. (Oxfam GB)

Habitat Releases Pioneering Reports on the World's Cities (June 4, 2001)
The United Nations Centre for Human Settlements (Habitat) launched its first reports on urban conditions and trends Monday, stressing that more than 1.2 billion of the world's population of 6 billion live in inadequate housing. (Inter Press Service)

United Nations Expert Group Meeting to Examine Situation of Rural Women, Globalization (May 30, 2001)
A UN Meeting in Mongolia will address the social and economic challenges and opportunities faced by women in rural areas in the face of globalization.(M2 Presswire)

Adapting Technology to the Needs of Each Society (May 25, 2001)
A seminar in Madrid criticized the indiscriminate use of advanced technology from the North in developing nations.The application of energy-intensive technologies imported from the industrialised North may aggravate rather than solve the problems of the developing South. (Inter Press Service)

UN Links Globalization to Racism (May 1, 2001)
UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Mary Robinson argues that globalization is leading to a rise in racism and xenophobia, as rich countries are determined to keep the benefits of globalization to themselves. (BBC)

Ireland's Paper Tiger (May/June 2001)
A new book explores Ireland's rise to international competitiveness through economic liberalization and US direct investment. While these trends have helped some Irish, particularly those in financial services, inequality has risen and social mobility has decreased, leaving public servants, teachers and nurses skeptical of the benefits of this new growth. (Foreign Policy)

Globalization Hits Malaysia's Rural Sectors (January 8, 2001)
Up to 10,000 padi farmers in rural Malaysia face ruin, due to an influx of cheaper rice through imports and smuggling. The implementation of the Asean Free Trade Agreement in 2003 will remove subsidies to the agricultural sector that keep it afloat, further worsening the situation. (Third World Network)



Globalization And Poverty (September/October 2000)
In asking, "who feeds the world?" the author finds that, increasingly, multi-national companies sell genetically engineered, mass-produced food to countries that traditionally rely on subsistence-based production. The spread of capital-intensive, corporate-controlled agriculture means biodiversity and self-sufficiency suffer, while poverty grows. (Resurgence)

Is Ownership An Outmoded Concept? (April 10, 2000)
This article from the Los Angeles Times explores the way in which globalization has permanently altered our concept of property.

Developing Countries Find Little Consideration (March 23, 2000)
The second World Water Forum, ending last week, evoked a mixed reaction amongst participants, some alleging that developing countries' interests were sidelined by global corporations and institutions like the World Bank. (Amman Jordan Times)

Blue Gold of the 21st Century (March 2000)
The second World Water Forum at the Hague is an international initiative bringing about debate regarding the future of water policy - a resource increasingly being treated as a commodity, with privatization being promoted as the only effective means of combating shortages and rising prices. (Le Monde Diplomatique)

Militarism a Facilitator for Globalization (February 2000)
A paper from Women's International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF) that discusses the connection between globalization and security.

Defining the World's Public Property (January 2000)
"Who owns knowledge?" An article from Le Monde Diplomatique that looks at the effects of globalization on the privatization of knowledge.



Gender and Globalization (Summer 1999)
Globalization has had a profound effect on women; offering jobs, but only at low pay; reducing the role of the welfare state; and introducing new pressures as a result of structural adjustment programs. However, global integration has also enabled grass-roots women's NGOs to arise, who have begun to tackle these issues on the international stage. (Journal of World-Systems Research)

Drugs Become World's Trade Boom (July 4, 1999)
Article from the Guardian that looks at the effects of globalization on the spread of criminal industries.

La Linea: NAFTA, Justice, and the US-Mexico Border (June 30, 1999)
A Corporate Watch article which examines some of the effects of NAFTA on gender, labor and environmental justice in Mexico.

A Global Marketplace Means Global Vulnerability (June 22, 1999)
Washington Post article that discusses the recent controversy surrounding the Coco-Cola, Co. Argues that the globalization of consumer power exerts checks on large corporations and provides an impetus for quality control.

Newest Tool for Social Protest: The Internet (June 18, 1999)
Article from the Christian Science Monitor that looks at the way some are using the internet in order to protest the actions of government institutions.

"Coca-Colonization" of the Third World (June 2, 1999)
Article by Thalif Deen of InterPress Service looks at why many western nations (especially the US) are considered to be "modern-day economic colonialists."

What Does Globalisation Mean for Health? (June 1999)
Article which looks at the effect that globalisation has had on global health standards and practices. (Third World Network)

The Military's Silent Role in Globalisation (May 22, 1999)
Emphasizes military spending in order to illustrate how wealthy states have circumvented some of the common structural reforms associated with neoliberal economic theory. (InterPress Service)

From Walls to Webs: Globalization Takes Shape in New Millenium (May 5, 1999)
Article that looks at the changing forces of globalization, especially technology. (Gannet News Service)



The Communications Paradox (July 1995)
Article which discusses technology and communication and looks at some of the implications these hold for the future. (Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists)


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