Thursday, July 12, 2007

Beyond Nuclear Winter: Opening The Global Debate To Pluralistic Perspectives On Political And Economic Models Of Development

... "This is the challenge for the future: how does the United States provide global leadership now that it is seen by much of the world with suspicion, distrust, and even hatred rather than respect? Thinking about major global challenges facing the world might provide insight into how the US transforms its role from a hyperpower to a trusted global leader. Better to have form follow function and style be shaped by substance, than the other way around.

The biggest challenge is global poverty. Fifty years from now there will be 3 billion more people in the world than today. All the additions to global population will come from the non-industrial, non-western, non-white world. The West will have less than 1 billion people in a world of 9 billion. Forty percent of the world's population now lives on less than $2 a day. The great challenge is how to absorb the additional 3 billion in population into the global economy in a socially and politically sustainable way.

The problem in meeting this challenge for the United States is that the global economy is seen as based on an American model, and thus globalisation is often viewed as Americanisation. Giving globalisation a human face and forging an economic model with social inclusion, greater equality and massive reductions in extreme poverty are now security issues for the United States, since it is identified in the rest of the world with exclusion, inequality and polarisation.

With 40 million Americans without health insurance and income inequality on the rise, the struggle for new social integration into the market economy is a domestic issue for America, not just a global issue. Europe is struggling with how to define social democracy within the framework of the newly liberalised and enlarged market of the European Union. Latin America is questioning its own recent democratic and market-oriented reforms as social conditions have worsened rather than improved. As Chavez rises in Latin America as an alternative voice, Africa looks to China, wondering if there is not another path available to it, apart from the free enterprise, free market, free trade model pushed by the west. The United States, instead of being a proselytizer for democracy and markets, should open up the global debate to pluralistic perspectives on political and economic models of development, which would diffuse current tension and polarisation and weaken the profile of advocates of false alternatives, such as Chavez." ...

Colin I. Bradford "From Dominance to Trust [Restoring America's Leadership Legitimacy]" Guardian Unlimited [London], July 9, 2007. Republished by the Brookings Institution [Washington, D.C.], July 12, 2007.

Nesvizh Renaissance Palace Complex in Belarus [above]; and Pidhirtsi Renaissance Palace Complex near Lviv, Ukraine [below].

Guess which World Heritage Monument has received greater world and national heritage preservation funding? [Please think carefully!]

Photo credits: (c) Sergey Plytkevich and [Belarus] and Vladyslav "Slav" Tsarynnyk and Lviv Ecotour [Ukraine]. All rights reserved. With thanks.


Ukrainian Girls from Disadvantaged Families Learn to Use the Internet

On December 20, 2006, 6 teenage girls from Pidhirtsi, Ukraine, created a website entitled,“Let’s Attract Tourists to Pidhirtsi!” after learning web design skills from IATP Trainer Iryna Kozak. The site was dedicated to the ancient castle [Renaissance palace] located in the village, its history and legends. A statement on the home page of the website reads, “Our aim is to draw society’s attention to Pidhirtsi Castle, which is neglected now, and find sponsors to repair the castle. It will make it possible to attract tourists to Pidhirtsi.”


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