Core Themes and Concepts: Neoliberalism, Colonialism, and Globalization.
July 11th 2007
Neoliberalism: A global ideology
Neoliberalism: A political and economic ideology that attempts to improve human well-being by promoting individual self-interest; it advocates for the withdrawal of government interventions in the economy (such as tariff and quotas, but also government services); it strives for the free movement of goods, services, people, and money.
Many of the contemporary political boundaries we see on the map today are the direct result of political negotiations and the use of force that occurred during the colonial era.
Few of the world’s political boundaries reflect pre-colonial ethnic and/or cultural groupings.
The impact of this arbitrary division of the world’s surface into nation-states continues to be felt today: ethnic conflict, immigration, nationalist movements, and “terrorism”.
Colonialism and Racism
Colonial expansion into the tropical regions of the world was justified in part by the “White Man’s Burden”: It was believed that the wisdom of the Enlightenment and European technological superiority was absent in the tropical regions of the world. It was therefore the duty of the European powers to “save the savages from their own irrationality and backwardness”
Colonialism and the global economy
Colonies generally served as sources of raw materials and natural resources for the colonial powers.
Colonial powers had the technological capability to transform raw materials into industrially produced consumer goods.
Colonies would export cheap raw materials and import expensive industrial goods.
This pattern of “uneven terms of trade” continues into the present day: e.g. chocolate
“The growth of interregional and worldwide linkages and the changes they are bringing about” (GL-4)
What has fostered the growth of interregional and worldwide linkages?
What sorts of changes are these linkages bringing about?
How does neoliberalism and colonialism contribute to the process of globalization?
7/12 South America: Political economic change and changing environmental relationships pp. 107-111 pp. 118-125 pp. 127-129pp. 137-143