of Year Readings
by Benjamin Barber
Barber’s thesis, which was written pre-9/11, argues that we are now in a global struggle between two opposing forces. The first, called “McWorld,” seeks to breakdown national borders, cultural differences, and politization in favor of globalism and world capitalism. The response to “McWorld” is a sort of neo-nationalism called “Jihad” which seeks to break down national borders for the creation of even smaller communities. Barber’s thesis comes up often when discussing new foreign policy challenges. http://www.bemidji.msus.edu/peoplenv/barber.htm
of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order by
Huntingtion main thesis is that with the end of the cold war the US needs to adopt a new paradigm for viewing world politics. Instead of a system defined by the dichotomous cold war (the US and the USSR), there is emerging a multicivilizational world where civilization matters (egs. Western, Islamic, Latin American), not ideology (like capitalism, marxism, or democracy).
The End of History and the Last Man by Fransis Fukuyama
Hegelian theory argues that history is an evolutionary process in which governing philosophies are attempted and discarded based on how well they serve the governed – this process will continue until the final (and best) theory of governance emerges. That has occurred, says Fukuyama, with capitalistic democracy now being the only credible governing philosophy remaining. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_End_of_History_and_the_Last_Man
by Robert Kagan
argues that Europe and America are in the process of embracing entirely
different foreign policy perspectives. He
argues that the United States prefers to exercise power in defense of its
interests and security while Europe wants to rely on international law.
The difference in these perceptions and tactics represents a power shift
between the two entities with Europe declining in stature and the US rising.
Kagan’s arguments are said to be highly thought of in the Bush White House.
Some have argued that Kagan’s thesis is a way explain why there was so much
European resistance to the US invasion of Iraq.
Why did the
western world come to dominate the globe?
look at this question we will examine the arguments of two books Guns, Germs,
and Steel by Jared Diamond and Culture and Carnage by Victor Davis
Hanson. Diamond argues it was geography that led the West to dominate while
Hanson argues that the beliefs and values of western culture is what led to
Chapter summaries of Guns, Germs, and Steel can be found at: http://www.mcgoodwin.net/pages/gungermsteel.html
Just a Moment?
By Robert Kaplan
challenges that assertion that the West should export Democracy and in fact
wonders how long it will last in the United States. http://www02.homepage.villanova.edu/farhang.erfani/Democracy/KaplanDemocracy.pdf
Alone: America’s Declining Social Capital
by Robert Putnam
thesis created a great deal of discussion after it was published. He argues that
Americans are no longer joining civic, religious, or political organizations and
that bodes ill for the future of the Republic. His thesis has been widely read
and has sparked a great deal of discussion among sociologists, psychologists and
Wisdom of the Crowds: Why the Many Are Smarter than the Few and How Collective
Wisdom Shapes Business, Societies, Economies, Societies and Nations
by James Surowiecki
argues that collective humanity is often smarter than the wisest individual.
This includes not only the collective’s ability to encourage ethical
behavior, but their ability to correctly analyze information and predict the
behavior of other groups and individuals.
Odd Girl Out:
The Hidden Culture of Aggression in Girls
by Rachel Simmons
examines and challenges the assumption that school-age aggression is the
hallmark of the boy. She instead argues that female aggression tends to show
itself primarily through interpersonal attacks that use rumors, friendship, and
note passing. She says that most of this aggression happens below the radar of
schools and parents but can actually be more damaging than physical violence.
and Demand Curve
discussion of one of the fundamental models used for understanding
discussion of the past practices of protectionism, the rise of globalization,
and the subsequent concerns that have been raised.
v. Supply-Side economic theory
emergence of these two conflicting theories on the economy influence (if not
dictate) our ongoing debates about the economy, taxes, and government spending.
Mystery of Capital: Why Capitalism Triumphs in the West and Fails Everywhere
by Hernando de Soto
Soto argues that poverty in the third world can be traced to the lack of formal
documentation of capital. This creates economic insecurity that robs a
country’s economy of vitality and stability. His thesis has been widely read
in both economic and foreign policy circles. While his thesis remains
controversial it is still considered one of the freshest ideas about how to
fight third-world poverty.