The concept of interconnectedness through global world trade, often referred to as globalization, is a hot topic of debate today. What are the results of modern world globalization on economy, culture, politics and the environment around the world?
This website presents many of the pros and cons in the globalization debate today. Decide for yourself: Is globalization ultimately more harmful or beneficial for our society?
Some suggested reading on the issues of globalization:
Friedman, Thomas L. The World Is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-First Century. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2005. Print
Foer, Franklin. How Soccer Explains the World: An Unlikely Theory of Globalization. New York: Harper Perennial, 2005. Print.
The pioneering cultures of the Silk Road overcome physical obstacles to create connections across varying geographies. Why did they choose the intricate routes that are seen in our lesson? Take a look at a physical map of Eurasia like the one here. Draw your own routes from the east coast of China to the Mediterranean Sea. What paths did you choose? Why? Compare them to the Silk Road maps of our lesson. Did you match the traders of the Ancient Silk Road?
Sometimes a single unlikely idea can have massive impact across the world. Sir Harold Evans, the author of They Made America, describes how frustration drove Malcom McLean, a small-town truck driver, to invent the shipping container. Containerization was born, and it transformed the modern global economy.
It may seem that we're living in a borderless world where ideas, goods and people flow freely from nation to nation. We're not even close, says Pankaj Ghemawat. With great data (and an eye-opening survey), he argues that there's a delta between perception and reality in a world that's maybe not so hyperconnected after all.
As globalization and technological advances bring us hurtling towards a new integrated future, Ian Goldin warns that not all people may benefit equally. But, he says, if we can recognize this danger, we might yet realize the possibility of improved life for everyone.
James Glattfelder studies complexity: how an interconnected system — say, a swarm of birds — is more than the sum of its parts. And complexity theory, it turns out, can reveal a lot about how the economy works. Glattfelder shares a groundbreaking study of how control flows through the global economy, and how concentration of power in the hands of a shockingly small number leaves us all vulnerable. (Filmed at TEDxZurich.)
Suggested Reading on the Silk Road:
Gordon, Stewart. When Asia Was the World. Cambridge, MA: Da Capo, 2008. Print.
Liu, Xinru. The Silk Road in World History. Oxford: Oxford UP, 2010. Print
Wood, Frances. The Silk Road: Two Thousand Years in the Heart of Asia. Berkeley: U of California, 2002. Print.
Weatherford, J. McIver. Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World. New York: Crown, 2004. Print.
Whitfield, Susan. Life along the Silk Road. Berkeley: U of California, 1999. Print.