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Archive: 2004

October > Global Environment
America's Blindfold Media
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This October at the Mauna Loa Observatory in Hawaii, an American physicist reported a surprising jump in the amount of atmospheric carbon dioxide. While the startling new data from Hawaii could indicate that global warming is increasing even faster than before, it was two London newspapers—The Guardian and The Independent—who broke the story to the world. The major American press or broadcast channels never mentioned it. Climate change is easily the most serious global issue of the 21st century, yet why are the US major media failing to educate Americans, blindfolding their audiences as they turn a blind eye to the world?
September > Global Economy
Can Globalization ‘Go Social’?
cover image “Going global” typically means corporations expanding their business activities across national borders. Consequently, globalization has for a long time been regarded primarily in economic terms. But are serious concerns about the social dimensions of globalization becoming more and more critical? The slow pace of economic growth in Latin America and Africa, the poverty in the Middle East and former Soviet Union, and the neoconservative economic failure in Iraq suggest that free-market transformations—and macroeconomic solutions—are by no means guaranteed, either overnight or over the long term. In a world continuing to harden socially because of rapid and unsettling modernizations, could prevailing thinking about globalization shift toward the social?
August > Civil Society
Big Democracies at the Crossroads
cover image In just five years, has Indonesia emerged with a more mature political environment than has Russia in the 15 years since the end of the Cold War? Both are large new democracies facing massive decentralization projects and challenges from an old guard. Yet while President Vladimir Putin continues to harden his grip, Indonesian voters saw fit to expunge General Wiranto (pegged as the “Musharraf of Indonesia”) in his hungry but failed third-place bid for the presidency this September. In a balloting year filled with surprises from India and Venezuela, and with Americans battered by the Bush-Kerry race, what do Russia and Indonesia tell us about the future character of democracy as a globally expanding project?
July > Civil Society
Too Much Global?
cover image From the World Summit on the Information Society, where the global and the local are wired and admired, to the mechanisms behind “Fahrenheit 911,” where they team up against the Bush Administration, WorldPaper editor Peter Orne explores the emerging fabric of our shared human perspective. By pairing the global and the local with the national and the personal, he introduces a more perfect union of inquiry into a world caught in the throes of globalization and confronting a loss of communal meaning and values
June > Civil Society
Global Village Versus Faith Tensions
cover image The global war second only to the War on Terror is a world war of religion among Christians, Muslims and Jews. Or so the black ink of the daily headlines, the bloodied hands of extremists, and the inkwells of ivory-tower notables may easily lead us to believe. In the two-plus years since September 11th, however, more moderated voices have begun a serious self-examination within their home countries, leading us toward a keener understanding of cross-societal discord and cultural and religious tensions within the global village
May > Global Economy
World Trade and Western Supremacy
cover image A landmark World Trade Organization ruling at the end of April that US cotton subsidies cause artificially low international prices is leading to predictions that cotton producers from Brazil to Western Africa may now have an incentive to increase production and get what they call a fair price for their crops. While wealthy-country farmers won't give in to the WTO without a fight, persistent developing-country and nongovernmental- organization activism may have sparked the beginning of an end to Western supremacy over world trade negotiations
April > Global Economy
The Changing Geography of Cheap Labor
cover image Westerners long enjoying global economic superiority rationally accept the advantages of outsourcing jobs to India, Brazil and elsewhere to boost corporate profit margins. But now that the trend appears to have made life more worrisome for white-collar workers at home, resentments have grown toward their lower-wage counterparts abroad. As a global trend, however, white-collar outsourcing may be closely studied but it is still somewhat misperceived, for it is neither an overnight surprise nor an obviously easy labor solution, and it remains a distant reality in countries like China
March > Global Economy
World Debt Threat
cover image Because debt is a prerequisite to growth, and so many countries, including the wealthiest, owe staggering amounts of it, the real lessons from borrowing only seem to come to light when crises happen and commentators weigh in. For at least one prominent international economist, the lesson learning is ongoing and a time for warning has come again. Today, especially in the emerging economies, debt crises are inevitable, but poor management of their onset and outcome is not