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Organization, Regulations, and Courses 2018-19

MALS 337 The New Global Order: Development, Democracy and Revolution

Globalization and the pursuit of market-led development have become two crucial concepts that re-emerged full-blown in the wake of the Cold War, as the West triumphed over the Soviet Union and the Marxist model.    With the United States as the sole remaining super power, liberal democracy and market-led economies were widely considered by policy makers in the West to be the inevitable cornerstone of a new global order.   Yet, the process of globalization since the early 1990s has produced unpredicted results.    The end of the Cold War has not generated a prolonged "Pax Americana" marked by an end to intra-state warfare, insurgencies, or violence, nor has economic development resulted in the consolidation of democracy.  The strongest economic performer in the post Cold War period has been China, still an authoritarian Marxist regime, and the Russian Federation that emerged from the former USSR is evolving in a decidedly anti-democratic direction. 

The end of the Cold War in the Americas appeared to usher in the potential for greater hemispheric unity, the strengthening of representative democracy and sustained economic growth.  While economic development has been historically strong, it remains uneven and the fruits of economic success often distributed in a skewed pattern favoring elite groups.    In several countries in the region, a strong reaction to liberal democracy and market-led economic growth gave rise to the consolidation of proto-authoritarian regimes such as that of Hugo Chávez in Venezuela promoting a 21st century brand of revolution and a revival of anti-U.S. sentiment. Countries in the region still contend with problems such as insurgency, organized crime, and high levels of violence.  

This course will examine the links between democracy, market-led development, and globalization in greater theoretical depth as well as in practice since the end of the Cold War.  It will use Latin America as a particular point of focus in highlighting macro trends in politics and economic policy-making since the 1990s as well as case studies digging deeper into these variables.

The first part of the course focuses on globalization in general, its impact on the world economy and the economies of specific countries and on international business.  The tension between globalization and moral questions will be elaborated on.  Intellectual/ideological responses to globalization will also be discussed.

The second part of the course will trace trends in Latin America's links to the global economy and the relationship between paths of economic development and political structures.  Specific attention will be paid to the transition from military dictatorships to civilian democracies, the challenge of illegally armed groups and criminal organizations to stability in the region, and the current bifurcated development path between countries pursuing market-oriented growth policies and those engaged in inward-led growth and resource nationalism. 


Evelyn Lechner; Peter DeShazo