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Author Topic: Books About Globalization  (Read 28975 times)
spork
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« on: April 10, 2012, 4:13:36 PM »

Looks like I'm going to be teaching a course on, for lack of a better term, globalization.  Any suggestions? The course is supposed to be interdisciplinary. Please, no Thomas Friedman, because he's a idiot. Same for Ian Morris's Why The West Rules For Now.

So far I've perused the following:

The World That Trade Created, by Pomeranz and Topik.

The Post-American World, by Fareed Zakaria.

Globaloney, by Michael Veseth (I prefer this to his Globaloney 2.0, which spends a lot of pages on the 2008 financial crash).

I would like to find something similar to Eamonn Fingleton's Jaws of the Dragon, but more introductory in nature.

Moorish Spain, by Richard Fletcher might work. I like the idea of using some historical account of the cultural interaction between Europe and the Middle East. But this book seems a bit dated in terms of scholarship.

I'm very familiar with William Easterly's books on development, as well as Poor Economics by Banerjee and Duflo.
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corny
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« Reply #1 on: April 10, 2012, 4:33:14 PM »

Moorish Spain, by Richard Fletcher might work. I like the idea of using some historical account of the cultural interaction between Europe and the Middle East. But this book seems a bit dated in terms of scholarship.

You might take a look at David Levering Lewis's God's Crucible: Islam and the Making of Europe, 570-1215. I bought it as background reading for an interdisciplinary western civ sort of class I was teaching a couple of years ago and then only made it through the first couple of chapters, which, I realize, is not exactly a ringing endorsement. But the bit I read was quite useful.
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pigou
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« Reply #2 on: April 10, 2012, 5:41:42 PM »

What about Jeffrey Sachs? I haven't had a chance yet to read Common Wealth, but I hear good things about it. Then there's Collier and The Bottom Billion, which I'd certainly recommend.
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anthroang
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« Reply #3 on: April 10, 2012, 7:46:38 PM »

Sweetness and Power (http://www.amazon.com/Sweetness-Power-Place-Modern-History/dp/0140092331/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1334101481&sr=1-1) is an interesting historical account of globalization with an analytical approach that could be applied to current commodities. It's also fairly accessible for undergraduates.

I've also used The Devil Behind the Mirror (http://www.amazon.com/The-Devil-behind-Mirror-Globalization/dp/0520249291) as an example of ethnographic approaches to the study of globalization, and have heard good things about Networking Futures (http://www.amazon.com/Networking-Futures-Movements-Globalization-Experimental/dp/0822342693), though I haven't read it yet.
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academic_cog
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« Reply #4 on: April 10, 2012, 10:43:59 PM »

There were a bunch of semi-recent "food studies" books tracing the global path of various commodities (The Power of ______ was a typical title format, as was How ______ Changed the World) that might be interesting to throw in the mix. There was one on how water bottling became a global commodity too. Actually, water rights and access would be a really fruitful area to look at.

And the more I think about it, "globalization" is kinda a big topic, isn't it? Do you have any special slant you want to take on it or areas to cover?

Our school did _Travels of a T-Shirt in the Global Economy_ as the "community reading" one year, if you want something very simple and accessible. _The Beautiful Generation: Asian Americans and the Cultural Economy of Fashion_ would be interesting as well. And I feel like you'd absolutely have to read something on the FoxConn factory and Apple etc., but don't actually know any good sources.

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fizmath
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« Reply #5 on: April 11, 2012, 12:42:27 PM »

Jihad vs. McWorld
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spork
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« Reply #6 on: April 11, 2012, 9:37:44 PM »

Jihad vs. McWorld

Yuck.
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reener06
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« Reply #7 on: April 11, 2012, 10:09:35 PM »

I like "No Logo" by Naomi Klein because it brings home to students the objects they buy and use have global ties/consequences. Her website has a lot of good information plus links to videos that are useful for upper level classes.

Have not read, but heard good things about: "From Modern Production to Imagined Primitive: The World of Coffee from Papua New Guinea" by Paige West. Traces the coffee from the fields to the middle people to those that buy and consume it.

"Tsukiji" by Ted Bestor is great, but perhaps too long for an undergrad class.


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oldadjunct
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« Reply #8 on: April 12, 2012, 2:38:40 AM »


It's an oldie but goodie, I guess.  I only remember it from seeing the title here.  I first encountered it in 2004, my first semester back to teaching.  It was in a first semester comp reader at a very [un]S[elective]LAC.  Hardly a high honor, or recommendation.  I had no idea I was a book.  Maybe it is a 'story'?  A Novel?
« Last Edit: April 12, 2012, 2:42:36 AM by oldadjunct » Logged

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aliasme
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« Reply #9 on: April 12, 2012, 8:44:49 AM »


It's an oldie but goodie, I guess.  I only remember it from seeing the title here.  I first encountered it in 2004, my first semester back to teaching.  It was in a first semester comp reader at a very [un]S[elective]LAC.  Hardly a high honor, or recommendation.  I had no idea I was a book.  Maybe it is a 'story'?  A Novel?

It's a book from an earlier article (Foreign Affairs, I believe). Like Huntington's Clash, the article is "better" than the book because it's a tighter piece of work. (The argument is still fairly simplistic/reductionist, but is more clear in the article).

Recommendations:

Niall Ferguson, “Sinking Globalization,” Foreign Affairs, 84 (2005):  64-77

Stanley Hoffman, “Clash of Globalizations” in Foreign Affairs, 81 (2002):1-5.*

G. John Ikenberry, “Globalization as American Hegemony” in David Held and Anthony McGrew, eds, Globalization Theory: Approaches and Controversies, 41-58.  (Cambridge: Polity 2007) *

The Held and McGrew collection is uneven, as edited collections can be, but there are some gems beyond the Ikenberry piece as well.
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ls410
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« Reply #10 on: April 12, 2012, 11:41:03 AM »

I'll second the 'T-Shirt Travels' book.  I also show the PBS "Global Voices" episode about t-shirts in the world economy alongside the book (it's on Hulu and youtube).  In upper level courses, I also use more academic literature about the used clothes trade (Karen Hansen has written extensively about it in Zambia). 

Also as a more popular text, I've used parts of "A Year without Made in China". 
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spork
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« Reply #11 on: April 12, 2012, 5:56:04 PM »

Thank you for the replies so far. The books on PNG and the DR look especially interesting. I'm familiar with Ferguson, Ikenberry, Barber, Huntington, etc., and aliasme is right, usually the earlier journal articles are much better than the expanded book versions.

I don't like Jihad vs. McWorld because of its simplistic "global corporate monoculture vs. local cultural identity" framework (shredded by Michael Veseth in Globaloney). Although Barber has an important point about democracy, it's not supported.

One the subject of trying to forecast the effects of globalization, here's an interesting review by Paul Krugman of Thomas Friedman's The Lexus and the Olive Tree:

http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/books/1999/9906.krugman.lexus.html

Krugman is correct about how quickly these kinds of books get dated.

I prefer books/articles written by academics, though usually they are lousy writers, which limits the field of possibilities. Also academics are often wrong, but I can pose opposing arguments against each other and show students how to evaluate which argument is stronger.
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"Please do not force people who are exhausted to take medication for hallucinations." -- Memo from the Chair, Department of White Privilege Studies, Fiork University
crumpet
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« Reply #12 on: May 10, 2012, 9:32:55 AM »

What, specifically about globalization are you interested in exploring? Economics, culture, power?
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bibliologos
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« Reply #13 on: May 20, 2012, 9:29:43 AM »

Jared Diamond?
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crumpet
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« Reply #14 on: August 13, 2012, 7:35:42 AM »

Does anyone have any particular suggestions about globalization studies in which global goods are used to buttress local identities? I know they are there but can't remember where due to a fragmenting brain.
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