Rapid Innovations in Technology Thesis

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For example, Hurrell and Woods emphasize that, "Within weak states globalization and widening inequality are eroding the capacity of governments to deal with an increasing set of social, economic, and political conflicts" (1999: 2). At the regional level, the inequalities being generated by globalization are creating instability and the further marginalization of the already impoverished (Blank 2007). At the global level, the implications of the inequalities being caused by globalization are even more severe. In this regard, Hurrell and Woods add that, "As globalization creates sharper and more urgent problems for states and international institutions, increasing inequality reduces their capacity to manage these problems effectively. In this context, it is unsurprising that the sense of unease about globalization has increased and that political and media attention has come to highlight its negative consequences" (1999: 2).

Rationale of Study

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Notwithstanding its importance, the implications of globalization remain unclear and understudied (Kiggundu 2002). In fact, to date, there has not been a unified theoretical or conceptual framework developed that can even adequately explain globalization; rather, various authorities have advanced different models (Fine 2002; Bartelson 2000; Held 2000 and others), a trend that has only further contributed to the complexity of the analysis as well as confusion concerning what globalization means to different peoples (Fine 2002; Kiggundu 2002), causing some observers to question whether such a unified theory is possible. What is known with some degree of certainty, though, is that the processes of globalization are challenging the bases of order in profound ways including exacerbating inequalities both within and among states and by diminishing the ability of traditional institutions to respond to new threats to national security (Hurrell & Woods 1999).

Description of the Study Approach

TOPIC: Thesis on Rapid Innovations in Technology, Particularly Assignment

This study used a combination of two methodologies, a qualitative review of the relevant peer-reviewed, scholarly, governmental and nongovernmental organizational literature together with a case study approach, to achieve the research purpose described in the introductory chapter. This approach is highly congruent with numerous social researchers who emphasize the need to review what is known about a given topic prior to formulating opinions and drawing conclusions. For instance, Fraenkel and Wallen report that, "Researchers usually dig into the literature to find out what has already been written about the topic they are interested in investigating. Both the opinions of experts in the field and other research studies are of interest. Such reading is referred to as a review of the literature" (2001: 48). Likewise, Wood and Ellis (2003) suggest that one of the most important outcomes of a well conducted literature review is the opportunity to identify gaps in the existing body of knowledge.

The second part of the study approach consisted of a case study of the Gaza Strip. According to Thomas, a case study is "...a general term widely used, especially in the social and behavioural sciences, to refer to the description and analysis of a particular entity (object, person, group, event, state, condition, process or whatever). Such singular entities are usually natural occurrences with definable boundaries, although they exist and function within a context of surrounding circumstances" (2004: 128). This description of a case study suggests that this research approach was highly suitable for the purposes of this study. Moreover, other authorities also confirm the value of a case study approach for social research applications. For instance, according to Neuman, the case study approach is "research in which one studies a few people or cases in great detail" (2003: 530). The ability to develop an in-depth analysis of a specific topic also makes the case study methodology a highly suitable technique for the purposes of this study. As Feagin, Orum and Sjoberg point out, "The study of the single case or an array of several cases remains indispensable to the progress of the social sciences" (1991: 1). There are some distinct benefits to the use of a case study approach as well. For example, Feagin et al. add that, "The case study offers the opportunity to study these social phenomena at a relatively small price, for it requires one person, or at most a handful of people, to perform the necessary observations and interpretation of data, compared with the massive organizational machinery generally required by random sample surveys and population censuses" (1991: 2). Taken together, the combination of a critical review of the relevant literature and the case study approach represented a useful framework for developing the research needed.

The data-gathering method used for this study proceeded in a step-wise fashion, beginning with a general review of globalization, followed by more focused research concerning the effects of globalization on creating inequalities in the political and economic spheres. Similarly, the case study component also proceeded in this fashion, beginning with a general overview of the situation and its historical antecedents, followed by increasingly focused research concerning inequalities in the political and economic spheres.

Overview of Study

This study used a four-chapter format to achieve the above-stated research purpose. Chapter two of the study delivers a critical review of the relevant and peer-reviewed literature, and chapter three provides a case study of the Gaza Strip. Finally, chapter five presents a summary of the research and the study's conclusions.

Chapter 2: Globalisation, Inequalities and Terrorism

This chapter provides a review of the relevant peer-reviewed, scholarly, governmental and nongovernmental organizational literature concerning the political and economic inequalities that have been associated with the process of globalization, followed by an analysis concerning how these inequalities have contributed to the incidence of international terrorism in recent years. A brief summary of the research concludes this chapter. In spite of its worldwide implications, the processes that are driving globalization must be interpreted and explained as they affect people at the local level (Kiggundu 2002). Modern economic definitions provide some indication of how the globalization processes are playing out at the local level, but these are insufficient to provide the robust analysis needed to understand how the inequalities being produced can be resolved (Fine 2002). In this regard, Kiggundu emphasizes that, "The key actors, who are predominately, though by no means exclusively, found in the industrial triad, drive globalization: the United States, Western Europe, and Japan. These countries, which form the G8 group, account for more than 80% of the capital, technology, and markets that drive globalization. These countries form the central core for globalization and try to ensure that the 'rules of the game' are favorable to their domestic constituencies" (2002: 18). Although the emerging economic powerhouses of the so-called "BRIC" countries (Brazil, Russia, India and China) remain influential in the globalization process and such influence will continue to increase in the future, at present, the United States remains the most powerful driver of globalization (Kiggundu 2002). In fact, Kiggundu stresses that, "One cannot understand globalization without understanding the United States: its economy, drive for scientific innovation and competitiveness, capital markets, global corporation and business management acumen, geopolitics and international relations, the military, domestic politics, and popular culture" (2002: 18). While some economists project China's economy to outpace the United States in the next decade or two, at present, the U.S. remains the key player involved in the process of globalization. As Kiggundu concludes, "In the twenty-first century, the United States is well positioned for globalization -- what the United Kingdom was for the Industrial Revolution about 250 years ago. Every globalizing developing country, therefore, must understand its relationships with the G8 countries in general and the United States in particular. Likewise, Americans must understand better how the rest of the world lives and works and is governed" (2002: 18).

The experiences with globalization to date have made it apparent that the processes are inextricably interconnected with various types of extremes. In this regard, Kiggundu emphasizes that, "Winners have tended to 'take it all' by accumulating wealth, assets, opportunities, income, and political and economic power as well as control of and access to technology. Losers, on the other hand, have tended to lose it all: income, assets, economic and political power, and dignity as well as control and access to opportunities such as education and training, technology, and government services and subsidies" (2002: 18). Consequently, political and economic inequalities have become more severe and their adverse effects felt far more significantly in some regions of the world than others (Kiggundu 2002). Because peoples' lives and the quality of life for their families are at stake, it is little wonder that these inequalities have become a global sore spot that have implications far beyond their effect at the local level. In this regard, Kiggundu emphasizes that globalization "causes economic, social, political, and cultural discord, especially for societies in which equality, egalitarianism, and social justice are core values. While most developing countries have always experienced inequalities, globalization makes them more pronounced and transparent" (2002: 18). The responses needed to these political and economic inequalities demand an informed and enlightened approach that has thus far eluded policymakers in the developed nations of the world, but which… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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