Globalization and Post Soviet Union World
Population growth Access to resources Economic development and interconnected economies
Global population growth since World War II has been concentrated in the poorer nations. What is the impact of this growth in these poorer and developing nations and in the industrial nations since World War II?
• • • • • • • Whereas population growth in the nineteenth century was highest in wealthy countries, since World War II it has been highest in poor nations. Industrialized nations have made the demographic transition (lower fertility and mortality rates), with a resulting reduction in population growth. Population growth has slowed because of rising marriage age, fewer children per marriage, higher female employment rates, increased use of contraception, family planning, and social welfare policies. In developing nations, declining mortality rates have combined with high birthrates to create a population explosion. As much as 95 percent of future population growth will take place in developing countries. In extreme cases, government policies aimed at population control have led to infanticide (in China particularly) and forced sterilization (in India particularly). Both developed and developing nations face their own unique problems for the future. Soaring population levels place great strain on agriculture, health care, education, and the infrastructures of countries already burdened with the problems of development. A higher percentage of young people in developing nations also means a greater need to create new employment opportunities. In developed nations, the high percentage of older citizens places a greater strain on social welfare systems.
In the years since World War II, how have economic development and population growth altered world migration patterns?
• Since World War II wealthy nations have generally remained wealthy and poor nations have remained poor. • In wealthy nations, population growth has slowed, creating a shortage of working-age people. • Some countries have allowed or even encouraged immigration to supply workers. • Others, such as Japan, have tightened restrictions on immigration. Japan has compensated for its aging population by investing heavily in robots and other technological responses. • In poor nations, population growth has soared, producing a large excess population for which there are no jobs, as the economy has not expanded sufficiently to provide them. • Many people move from rural areas to cities, seeking economic advancement, health care, and education. • Others migrate overseas to find those opportunities.
What conditions led to the end of the Cold War and the breaking up of the USSR?
• • • • • • • • • • Both economics and politics played a major role in ending the Cold War. Government inefficiency and lack of flexibility in the planned economy limited competitiveness. The global arms race also diverted resources from modernization of the Soviet economy. Soviet discontent from internal suppression of dissidents and the protests against the war in Afghanistan added to the effects of the declining economy. In 1985, Mikhail Gorbachev instituted major reforms, including a policy of openness called glasnost. His economic plan, perestroika, moved the Soviet economy toward a free enterprise system. At the same time, protest movements in Soviet-dominated Eastern Europe spawned widespread opposition to the communist government. By 1989, communist governments in Eastern Europe had fallen; their collapse was illustrated most vividly by the dismantling of the Berlin Wall. Declarations of independence by Soviet republics, including Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia, brought the crisis to a boil. The president of the Russian republic, Boris Yeltsin, led popular resistance in Russia. The remaining Soviet republics subsequently declared their independence as well. In September 1991 the central legislature of the USSR, the Congress of People’s Deputies, voted to officially dissolve the union.
What are the environmental consequences of post–World War II population and economic growth? How has technological innovation affected the environment?
• Enormous expansion of the world’s population and economy has often had disastrous consequences for the environment. • The intense need for raw materials has had an impact on a great many areas, ranging from urban industrialized centers to the most remote rain forests. • Many nations that rushed recklessly to industrialize— particularly the Soviet Union—took few precautions against damaging the environment; they even carelessly dumped nuclear waste. • The delicate balance between economic expansion, creating and protecting jobs, and consumer demands has often been maintained at the expense of the environment. • At the same time, technological innovations have provided the tools to help repair environmental damage. • Technological innovation in pollution control devices promises to aid the environment in the future.
What part did technological innovation play in the economic expansion after World War II? What is the role of the transnational corporation on the dissemination of technology.
• World War II was an enormous generator of industrial innovation, resulting in new products and markets. Improvements in transportation and communication were also important in spurring economic growth. • Advances in electronics brought about by the war have been especially responsible for economic expansion. • In the last fifteen years alone, the growth of the computer industry has increased economic expansion and productivity. Transnational corporations became the primary agents of these technological changes. • The transnational corporation does business across national borders, has multinational ownership and has shareholders, workers, and managers from many different countries. • As these companies became more powerful, they were increasingly able to escape the control of national governments. • They were able to do this by shifting the sites of their facilities to countries with less intrusive policies.
After the collapse of the Soviet Union, the forces of the Cold War were changed and were evident immediately in the Middle East. Describe the first conflict after the end of the Cold War in the Middle East and explain the events that led up to it and resolved it.
• • The first military conflict after the end of the Cold War was the Persian Gulf War. The impact of the Cold War on this conflict is twofold; first, that Russia was no longer able to support its former ally, Iraq in a military confrontation with the United States became clear and second that Iraq wanted to ―flex its muscles‖ in the region and perhaps become a regional superpower with the Soviet Union in a position of weakness. The leader of Iraq was Saddam Hussein. Students should explain his actions and how they led to the military response of the United States. His aggression toward the neighboring oil producer, Kuwait, stemmed from the accumulation of Iraqi debts that Kuwait refused to forgive or reduce and Hussein’s accusations that Kuwait was engaging in ―lateral drilling‖ and that Kuwait was historically a part of Iraqi territory. He claimed that Western imperialism after World War I had created artificial borders in the region and that Iraq had ancestral claims to Kuwaiti land and therefore oil resources. Although the United States had hoped for years to cultivate Saddam Hussein as an American ally in the region by 1990, President Bush committed to military action in Iraq, although the United States fell short of removing him from power. The removal of Saddam Hussein required a Second Gulf War in the spring of 2003.
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Explain the characteristics of the Newly Industrialized Economies (NIEs) of the Pacific Rim that allowed those nations to quickly industrialize and become global economic powers. Be specific.
• Pacific Rim nations, such as Korea, Taiwan, Singapore, and Hong Kong, (Four Tigers) share several important features. • They have well-disciplined and hard-working work forces, and they invested heavily in education. • All have high rates of personal savings. • These savings are used to fund investment in new technologies. • All these economies benefit from government sponsorship and protection. • All benefited from the expansion in world trade and international communication that permitted technology to be disseminated rapidly.
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First, the question of imperialism and ―meddling‖ or the motives of both the superpowers in these neighboring countries should be addressed. In Iran, the United States had helped the shah regain power in 1953 through covert intervention by the CIA. In return, Iran purchased American weapons and gave the United States favorable oil trade conditions. The people in Iran, however, resented the Shah’s corrupt and autocratic policies and the people viewed the shah as a ―puppet‖ of the United States. He was overthrown in 1979 by a Shi’ite cleric named Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, who replaced the monarchy with an Islamic Republic. The new government was Ani-American and Anti-Israel. In November 1979, Iranian radicals seized the United States Embassy in Tehran and held fifty-two American diplomats hostage for 444 days. This was a blow to the prestige of the United States. In Afghanistan, the Soviet Union sent its army to support a growing communist government there. The Soviet Union became embroiled in a guerilla war with local Islamic warlords in the countryside who were being supported with training and weapons by the United States. This war became a drain on Soviet resources and became increasingly unpopular at home. These ―losses‖ were humbling for both superpowers and demonstrated inherent weaknesses and contributed to changes infrastructure and international focus in both of the nations’ systems.
How did American and Soviet imperialism in the Middle East lead to Islamic Revolutions in Iran and Afghanistan? How did they become a highly publicized example of the frustrations of the United States and the Soviet Union?