Memoir of Jean Stebinger, born in Rhame, North Dakota, population 300, in 1922. She has traveled extensively and lived with her husband and children in Egypt, Lebanon, and Indonesia.
International politics began with the emergence of the first organized states thousands of years ago. Global politics is more recent--it appeared about five centuries ago when the European powers began to mesh the world's far corners together through conquest and trade. Today we live on a planet characterized by globalization or the ever more complex economic, cultural, technological, and environmental interdependence among all people everywhere. Until recently globalization’s development was slow. Although countries increasingly traded, allied, and negotiated with each other, the divisions among them far outweighed the ties, and nations often settled their conflicts with war or the threat of war. However, since 1945, despite or more likely because of the “Cold War,” globalization has developed rapidly and profoundly. Today all humans are formally tied to all others through their country's membership in the United Nations and numerous other international organizations, along with the immediate benefits of global trade, telecommunications, travel, and the internet. Yet globalization has a dark side—it destroys as well as creates jobs, wealth, and lives, while every human lives under the shadow of potential nuclear and ecological extinction. How did humanity reach a stage of history so filled with such an array of prospects and perils? Globalization: A Short History of the Modern World explores that all powerful force for good and evil from the Renaissance through today and beyond.
This book explores how the traditional ideal of Chinese manhood - the "wen" (cultural attainment) and "wu" (martial prowess) dyad - has been transformed by the increasing integration of China in the international scene. It discusses how increased travel and contact between China and the West are having a profound impact; showing how increased interchange with Western men, for whom "wu" is a more significant ideal, has shifted the balance in the classic Chinese dichotomy; and how the huge emphasis on wealth creation in contemporary China has changed the notion of "wen" itself to include business management skills and monetary power. The book also considers the implications of Chinese "soft power" outside China for the reconfigurations in masculinity ideals in the global setting. The rising significance of Chinese culture enables Chinese cultural norms, including ideals of manhood, to be increasingly integrated in the international sphere and to become hybridised. The book also examines the impact of the Japanese and Korean waves on popular conceptions of desirable manhood in China. Overall, it demonstrates that social constructions of Chinese masculinity have changed more fundamentally and become more global in the last three decades than any other time in the last three thousand years.
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Economics, Dominique reminds us, is a social science, with prescriptions that are statistical in character but inherently polemical. In contrast to the laws of the natural sciences, economic statements, meaningful as well as meaningless, can be transformed into a vehicle for the promotion of false consciousness, as when the polemical prescriptions of social sciences are used to promote unavowed interests. The axiomatization of economics in the early 1950s, though well-intended, has produced two negative consequences: the equation of science and mathematical formalism by some, and a total lack of concern for experimentation on the part of others. These translate into excessive abstraction, empirical irrelevance, and a total lack of social purpose.
Dominique argues that excessive abstraction is causing economics to gradually lose its social usefulness. This state of affairs has, in turn, led the general public to accept at face value the prescriptions of an untested orthodoxy, such as unfettered globalization, as genuinely scientific. In the era of unfettered globalization, the top 20 percent of the world's income earners have become richer while the bottom 80 percent have become impoverished and environmental degradation has gone unabated. Dominique argues that, according to the scientific theory of economics, the top quintile must pay the costs and the bottom four quintiles ought not bear alone the brunt of globalization. To reverse this outcome, the bottom 80 percent must become pro-active in economic policy formulation. A challenge to contemporary development and economic policy that will be of interest to economists, public policy makers, the international business community, and social activists.