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The Dark Side of Globalization

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Globalization has brought many benefits, including the reduction of poverty in several countries. But it also has a dark side: the unleashing of negative forces as a result of the compression of time and space made possible by modern technology. From arms trafficking in West Africa through armed insurgencies in South Asia and the upsurge of jihad in the age of globalization, this book examines the challenges that the dark forces of globalization pose to the international system and the responses they have triggered. Written largely by authors from developing countries, the book's goal is to help maximize the beneficial consequences of globalization while muting its baleful effects.

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Introduction: Globalization and transnational uncivil society

It has been said that being against globalization is like being against the sun coming up every morning, and about as fruitful. That may or may not be the case, but there is little doubt that globalization, that is, the increased flow of goods, services, capital, data and cultural products across international borders, has been one of the driving forces of international affairs over the past 30 years. In the light of the 2008–9 world financial crisis, some questions have been raised as to whether this will continue to be the case – the World Trade Organization reported a 12.2 per cent drop in world trade in 2009 (WTO 2010) – or whether we will enter a process of “deglobalization”. However that may be, since the Third Industrial Revolution was launched in 1980, when the first personal computer and round-the-clock television news from CNN came on the market, information technology (IT) and telematics have been bringing the world closer together and deterritorializing it. We may not be living at a time of “the end of history”, as Francis Fukuyama famously argued (1992), but a case can be made that we are moving towards “the end of geography” as we had known it. The effective, “real” cost of a telephone call from New Delhi to Denver is no different from one made from New Delhi to Mumbai.

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