A SAMPLE POSITION PAPER
Globalization: A Transition to What?
Barber, Benjamin R. Introduction to Jihad vs. McWorld (New York: Ballantine Books, 1996) Kobrin, Stephen J. "Back to the Future: Neomedievalism and the Postmodern Digital World Economy," Globalization and Governance (London: Routledge, 1999. After the bloody clashes between anti-globalization protesters and the police in Genoa, globalization is once again on the world's agenda and it is here to stay. A dream to some and a nightmare to others, globalization is a widely debated issue among journalists and scholars, among intellectuals of all profiles, business people and decision-makers alike. Benjamin R. Barber, Walt Whitman professor of political science, and Stephen J. Kobrin, professor of multinational management, both join the discussion, each giving his own vision of what the post-modern future of this globalized world might look like. In "Jihad vs. McWorld" Barber's fragmented and at the same time integrated world is "terminally post-democratic" (20). It is pulled apart by two opposing forces: disintegrating ethnic hatreds and unifying mechanisms of global economy, none of which cares much for civic society and civil liberties. In Barber's terminology Jihad stands for the blind parochialism of any kind, but primarily for tribal instincts that tear countries apart and cause bloody wars. McWorld epitomizes the world of consumerist capitalism unified by commerce, entertainment and consumerism that knows no borders. Although Jihad seems like a more obvious threat to democracy, McWorld is no less dangerous because both are enemies of the sovereign nation states and of democracy. Barber warns that democracy might be collateral damage from the confrontation between globalization and parochial fragmentation. While Barber is primarily interested in the fate of democracy, Kobrin gives a great deal of attention to the problem of state sovereignty in the increasingly integrated world. In "Back...
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