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Volume 1 August 2010

Our world: The Next

25 Years Our world: the next 25 years

“What will the world of 2035 be like? Will the United States remain the world’s reigning superpower? Maybe not. Will climate change have had worsened? Most likely. Will the Global Financial Crisis be over? Possibly.”

Obama and post racial America “Is the concept of ‘post-racial’ society a fair analysis of progression or is it simply a slogan born from race-neutral politics and a desire for both whites and blacks to avoid the difficult, and often painful or shameful, issue of racial disparity?”

Free trade “Free trade, and the global pursuit to remove the barriers hindering international trade, will persistently spark battles between cultural identities on matters far broader than simply economics.”


editor-in-chief Emma Altschwager

managing editors Emmica Schlobolm Ryneisha Bollard Justin Lampley Jenna Bishop Kimberlee Meier

associate editors Minya Scase Michele Walker Simone Genovese Amy Phillips Siyana Aminath

executive directors Michael Mallomo Joel Ellis

advisory board Kerry Green David Casey David Lundberg Patrizia Furlan

DESIGN Carlo Jensen Lisa Kurtze

contact details Editorial enquiries and submission: saglobalist@gmail.com Editor-in-Chief: editor.saglobalist@gmail.com

artwork The artwork for this issue Our World: The next 25 years is based on the discovery that exactly 25 years ago on July 3 the film Back to the Future opened in American theatres. The successful Hollywood trilogy is based on the adventures of Marty and the Doc in their time machine into both the past and 25 years into the future.


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A note from the Editor

Feature articles 2. Our World: The next 25 years

Paige Richards

I

am delighted to welcome you to the inaugural edition of The South Australia Globalist. These pages are filled with the international issues that students from the University of South Australia are most passionate about. The theme ‘Our world: the next 25 years’ encapsulates a wealth of topics including poverty alleviation, to free trade, globalisation, and terrorism. Each article delves into the issues that matter the most in our contemporary global society. While it is important to learn from the mistakes of the past, it is imperative that we look towards the future to ensure that our world is one we are proud to pass on to generations to come. Twenty-five years ago the Berlin Wall was still standing, terrorism was a distant threat for most of the Western world, the internet was an unknown technology, DNA had not been used in criminal convictions and the peril of climate change was largely unrecognised. Twenty-five years ago, few would have predicted that by 2010 we would have the first African-American President of the United States and the first female Prime Minister of Australia.

4. Obama and Post-Racial America

Emma Altschwager 7. Fighting Terrorism

Daniel Feher 8. Future of Foreign Aid Ryneisha Bollard 10. Climate Change

Daniel Weekley 12. Australia’s Role in the alleviation of global Poverty

Kate Barker 14. China’s Demographic Crunch

Minya Scase 16. Free Trade

Borrowing the wise words of John F. Kennedy...“the one unchangeable certainty is that nothing is unchangeable or certain”. As the next generation of leaders we are faced with this quandary, as we step forward to address the issues of our time. We can make educated projections about where the world will be in 25 years but there will always be an element of the unknown influencing the direction international relations take. It is our responsibility to foster peaceful international relations, uphold universal human rights, promote a sustainable environment and combat injustices, corruption and discrimination.

Tom Johnson 18. Globalisation Retreat

Anna Benton 21. dying to comsume Tammy Van der Reijden

Reviews

This first issue would not have been possible without the unwavering support of the School of Communication, International Studies and Languages, the UN Society along with the Head of School, Professor Kerry Green and the Global21 community. Special thanks must also go to our Board of Advisory members David Casey, David Lundberg and Patrizia Furlan. And last but not least, I would like to thank the editorial and design team who have worked tirelessly to turn our vision into a reality. I hope that you enjoy reading this publication as much as we have enjoyed seeing it come to life.

22. from the editor’s bookshelf

Emma Altschwager

26. more than a hint of hope

Editor-in-Chief

Issue Two - The Seven Deadly Sins of International Relations Send your submissions to the editorial team at saglobalist@gmail.com by Friday, September 10.

Emma Altschwager 23. capitalism: a love story

Kimberlee Meier

Global experience 24. the life of an african ninja

Luke Ebbs

Collette Brown

Opinion pieces 27. american wealth disparity

Emmica Schlobohm

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The South Australian Globalist

Our world: the next 25 years f e at u r e a r t i c l e P a i g e R i c h a r d s

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n 1935, gas company owner Thomas Midgley wrote an article, ‘Man will Migrate to Mars’ in which he posed several theories about what life would be like in the year 2035. Some of them, such as the ‘thousand-mile-an-hour’ airplane have already been achieved, and some such as the anti-age serum that would allow “grandfather, father and son to share their youth for hundreds of years” we’re still waiting on. But for all the outlandish ponderings about ‘celluloid pyjamas’ and giant poultry, Midgley’s musings are a perfect example of humanity’s obsession with the unknown.

What will the world of 2035 be like? Will the United States remain the world’s reigning superpower? Maybe not. Will climate change have worsened? Most likely. Will the Global Financial Crisis be over? Possibly. Even though 2035 is a mere 25 years away, it still feels as if it is a far off era reserved for science fiction films. In actuality, it is right around the corner. But what will the world of 2035 be like? Will the United States remain the world’s reigning superpower? Maybe not. Will climate change have worsened? Most likely. Will the Global Financial Crisis be over? Possibly. Luckily, unlike Midgley, we can find precursors of what the world order will be like a quarter of a century away. In terms of the world’s superpowers, the United States’ stronghold as the superior power will be decided by the Obama administration. After a difficult start, catalysed by the inherited mess left behind by George W. Bush, it will fall to President Obama to right the wrongs of the past 2


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The world is likely to move from a unilateral, Westernised world to a bilateral hybrid or more Easterninfluenced world order.

administration and secure the United States’ position as the autonomous world power. The ‘War on Terror’, bungles with bad intelligence about Weapons of Mass Destruction and leadership from a President who seemed more motivated with avenging his father than the benefit of the nation, led to the United States falling out of public favour. Escalating negative sentiments was the Global Financial Crisis, (GFC) which hit the country hard. The Bush administration left office with an estimated US$490 billion federal budget deficit. Even with a strong new administration prepared to make changes, the United States may not retain its superpower status in 25 years time, particularly with the economy in its current state of flux and with troops still deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan. The world is likely to move from a unilateral, Westernised world to a bilateral hybrid or more Eastern-influenced world order. Even though in recent history the major power bloc has been made up of the United Kingdom, North America and smaller powers such as Australia, China has been gaining momentum as a potential world leader. Overlooked as a superpower in the past, China’s economic and militaristic growth in the past several decades cannot be ignored. Napoleon Bonaparte once said “when China awakes, it will shake the world” and although centuries have passed since those words were uttered, they still ring true. China was one of the only countries not drastically affected by the GFC, recording an eight per cent economic growth in late 2009. Due to the economic reforms brought in by Deng Xiaoping in the late seventies, China has continued to produce major growth in its GDP ever since. China also has a large population of consumers/producers as well as a vast array of natural resources – removing the need, and the cost, to outsource from external parties. In terms of military power, China is peerless. It has the world’s largest army and arguably, the most disciplined. The only thing that is holding back their military is the use of outdated equipment. They simply cannot match the technological capabilities of the United States. However, that stands to change with

the new military reforms being put in place which include the development of a multirole jet fighter and unmanned vehicles, due to be in use by 2015. Only time will tell whether China will use this new intelligence and economic power to become the world’s super power but as we can see presently, they are most certainly able to snatch the brass ring from the United States. But what good are nations clamouring to be the world’s premier power with climate change looming over our heads? It was predicted in 2007 that over the next 25 years the amount of coal-fuelled power stations being built will produce the same amount of fossil fuel that the human race has used since the industrial revolution, threatening to neutralise the efforts put in place to reduce the effects of global warming. Regardless of the Kyoto Protocol and carbon offsets in place, until man finds a sustainable, eco-friendly and most importantly, cost-effective alternative, there will still be a worsening effect on our environment. Dr Roger Angel from the University of Arizona suggests placing a ‘solar-shade’ in space to act as a sort of artificial ozone layer – costly and not proven to be able to work. Bio-fuels such as ethanol still have their critics, mainly car manufacturers and oil companies that would incur profit loss. In 2035, unless we continue to research and put in place alternative energies such as solar, wind, and hydro, and rely less on carbon fuels, the damage done will be irreversible.

similar to the one in which we live today. We may be more influenced by China than the United States if a potential major power shift from West to East occurs. Climate change will still be a threat to our way of life but hopefully it is held at bay with more action to reduce carbon emissions. And the ramifications of the GFC may have changed the pecking order of developed and developing countries. Until we arrive there, we, like Midgley, can only predict and hope for the best in 2035.

Paige Richards is a second year student of a Bachelor of Communications, Media and Culture.

What else could be as irreversible is the effect of the Global Financial Crisis? Countries such as Greece have shown a ‘second-wave’ of the GFC, while countries such as Australia and England have begun moving out of deficit. Borrowing from the World Bank will only force the Greeks further into debt, as there is no realistic way for the loans to be paid back. In 25 years, the world order of developed and developing countries may very well have shifted and countries like Greece, who have been hardhit, may very well be deemed developing nations as they rebuild themselves.. 2035. What should we expect? If you subscribe to the Mayan calendar, in 2035 the Earth would have been destroyed 23 years earlier. A climate change enthusiast? A similarly devastating scene would have played out due to global warming, rendering the planet unliveable. Migrating to Mars might not seem so outlandish. Or will we have moved into a mono-cultural utopia where power and wealth is distributed fairly? The world of 2035 is likely to be 3


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Obama and a post-racial America F e at u r e a r t i c l e E m m a A l t s c h w a g e r

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orty-five years, two months and one week after Martin Luther King’s ‘I have a dream’ speech came the most significant shift in the racial landscape of American politics. Barack Obama was elected as the 44th President of the United States of America and the first African-American to hold, arguably, the most powerful position in the world. In a country whose history is tainted with violent and shameful abuse, exploitation and the severe oppression of African-Americans, Obama’s election provided a beacon of hope for change. But does Obama’s election signify that Americans have transcended the issue of race? Or is Obama’s Presidency simply another unique step in improved race relations rather than meaningful and absolute change? One does not wish to stereotype all Americans as racist because this generalisation is not a fair or accurate analysis of every individual in the US. Many countries throughout the world have problems with racism and the US alone should not be condemned. However, racism is embodied in overt and subvert forms of discrimination which culminate in detrimental effects on indigenous people. This can be seen in historic and contemporary American society and because of the US’ global prominence as a superpower, it is open to extensive scrutiny. Obama’s election as the first African-American President is a significant step in the amelioration of the two largest racial groups in the US and therefore lends itself to contextualised analysis of American race relations. Some political analysts are sceptical of Obama’s election as an indication of a post-racist American society. They argue that Obama’s election is not necessarily the result of a significant shift in race ideology, but rather a unique set of circumstances in the political sphere at the time of his campaign. Executive Director of the American advocacy group Opportunity Agenda, Alan Jenkins, suggests Obama’s success is a result of him being a phenomenally gifted politician. A candidate who ran a flawless campaign, 4

in a ‘change’ election year and in the midst of the economic crisis that played to Democratic strengths. Undoubtedly, Obama’s landmark victory signifies a degree of change and increased racial tolerance. However, in a country where African-Americans are still subjected to discrimination, inequality in the distribution of wealth, inadequate education and rampant poverty, discrepancies in theory and practice arise. Is the concept of ‘post-racial’ society a fair analysis of progression or is it simply a slogan born from race-neutral politics and a desire for both whites and blacks to avoid the difficult, and often painful or shameful, issue of racial disparity?

The image of a black president in many ways serves as a mask for racism. Many political commentators and academics have drawn comparisons between Obama’s victory and other moments in history that signified progression in racial equality. The civil rights movement, the March on Washington, the outlawing of segregation in public schools in 1954 and the Million Man March, each symbolically promised lasting change in Americans’ attitudes to racism. These events contributed significantly to the acknowledgement of African-Americans’ rights and the improvement of race relations. However, they did not cause a shift to a post-racist society. These events provided legislative and judicial protection from discrimination, but a lack of understanding of the underlying racial issues proved to be detrimental to lasting change. Enslavement and dispossession of Native Americans has left a legacy of white supremacy in the American psyche. As long as this mentality exists for a societal majority, even an event as monumental as the election of the first African-American president will not accomplish a post-racist shift.


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Throughout Obama’s campaign and postelection, a race-neutral mentality was adopted by the campaign itself as well as by many facets of American society including politicians, the media and the white community. Scholars Esposito and Finley argue that Obama himself embraced a ‘colour blind ideology’ during his campaign by overshadowing the reality of racism with the possibility of American egalitarianism. Neutralising racial disparities only compounds them as it disregards the progression of race relationships and the social status of AfricanAmericans. According to US Professor Thabiti Asukile, this is “more dangerous than ever because of the illusion many politicians, academics and journalists are promoting that race does not matter any more”. Obama’s race-neutral stance also provokes the question: if he could not adequately address racism while running for the Presidency, how could there be any meaningful change following his election? Obama’s actions suggest that he will avoid addressing race unless his political survival depends on it. “The image of a black president in many ways serves as a mask for racism,” says Asukile. However, for the possibility of a shift to a post-racist America, Obama needs to lead by example and address issues of racial disparity, so that American society is forced to face the idea that colour-blindness is not the same as equality. Genuine progress on racial issues comes from respecting differences, not avoiding them. Although Obama often avoided addressing the issue of race during his campaign, statistics from the Pew Research Centre suggest that the race factor favoured Obama. Even though Obama’s supporters expressed concern about the impact of his race on the election, only seven per cent of white voters said that race was important to their vote. Furthermore, the exit poll revealed that while support for Obama by southern whites was only 31 per cent, he collected approximately half of white votes in other regions. Undoubtedly, Obama’s race was also a major factor in drawing out large numbers of African-American voters. Their share of the electorate in 2008 was 13 per cent, compared to 11 per cent in 2004 and 10 per cent in 2000. This increased activity in the political sphere suggests Obama’s race in itself increased the inclusion of AfricanAmericans in the democratic process, which has been a major obstacle in improving their 5


The South Australian Globalist

opportunity and social inclusion. Obama’s Presidency indicates an improvement in racial attitudes, but this is yet to translate into policies and opportunities in both the private and public sectors. Furthermore, human rights activist Linda Burnham argues that racist expression has taken ‘new, coded and perverse’ terms, which can be seen in right-wing policies that protect the interests of white Americans, as well as other covert expressions of racism. This metamorphosis of racism includes racial animosity in terms of concealed discrimination, structural inequality and implicit bias.

societal status and inclusion in state affairs. Since his inauguration in December 2008, Obama is yet to take action to improve social and economic conditions for AfricanAmericans. Although he did not promise such action, many African-Americans anticipated that Obama would instigate meaningful change in policies that have a disproportionate negative effect on people of colour. However, the Obama Administration has not made any changes to policies such as those associated with the social safety net, criminal justice and tax policy, which have a disproportionate negative impact on African Americans. Commentator and analyst, John Powell from Pan-African Voices for Freedom and Justice says “we [America] as a society are more socially conscious and racially egalitarian than at any time in our short history. However, this improvement in the societal position on race is not reflected in either our conscious attitudes or our interinstitutional practices and policies”. Obama’s inaction and a lack of substantive policy pronouncement on race suggest that he may not be any more pro-active on issues of race than his white male predecessors. Even in an era, in which African-Americans have improved their social and economic standing, there are major countervailing trends. For example, the poverty line for African-Americans still hovers between 20 and 25 per cent, which remains more than twice than that of white Americans. While the median income rose dramatically for African-American women between 1974 and 2004, it fell for African-American men. Until there are changes in policy to correct these imbalances, no meaningful change can occur. Perhaps the most significant indicator that the US is not post-racist is the discrepancy that still exists between African-Americans and white Americans in terms of equal 6

Historically entrenched residential segregation and localised poverty in many American cities perpetuates unequal opportunities in the realms of education, health care, employment and housing. Although race becomes insignificant in predicting a number of important outcomes for young adults, when asset levels are included in models, wealth itself is nevertheless distributed unequally by race, which perpetuates a diversity of social problems. Racial disparity in this social context highlights that the racial inequality embedded in American policies and practices hinders the country’s ability to resolve its deep-rooted racial problems. “Racial apartheid and the most blatant twentieth-century forms of discrimination are behind us but the colourline has hardly faded away,” says Burnham. While Obama’s Presidency is not indicative of a complete post-racist shift, it has the ability to transform racist attitudes, practices and policies. His supporters describe him as a ‘transformational figure’ and his Presidency as a ‘paradigm shift’. Two years before his election, a victory for Obama was viewed by a majority of political experts as impossible because of his race. However, he proved critics wrong by winning votes from a significant proportion of whites and drawing large numbers of new African-American voters. Obama is progressive in a political context that had proved to be increasingly conservative over the previous 30 years, with only one Democratic president serving two terms in 40 years. He also has the potential to alter stereotypes of AfricanAmericans as his abilities, motivation and status challenge the typical perceptions that provide a foundation for racism. Obama’s election is a natural step in the ongoing evolution of American democracy and ascension of African-Americans, from slavery and oppression, to complete participation in the social, political and economic spheres of American life. Obama

represents an emerging demographic of educated and influential African-Americans who have benefited from the social changes that were predominantly brought about by the civil rights movement. He is part of a profound cultural shift and his election creates opportunities to redefine a range of social and cultural constructs in American society. A major encouragement from Obama’s election is that he drew two-thirds of the vote from people under the age of 30, which suggests a shift in race ideology among younger generations. It is clear the ascendency of an African-American man to the highest office in the country has validated claims about social and economic success being possible for anyone, irrespective of race, as long as they can show sufficient talent, effort and motivation. With the influences of globalisation and the increasing multiculturalism in the US, the coming years will see a broadening context of racial identity as multiracial Americans, Asian Americans and Latinos demand a stronger political voice. As demographics change, so too do the pressures on political candidates to represent the broader community’s interests and demands. These are heavily influenced by not only race, but social class and generational differences. Obama’s election signifies the beginning of this journey, but it is not indicative of a ‘post-racist’ America. The US will continue to struggle with issues of racism and racial inequality. With the immense changes under way in American society, there is a need for a new theory on racial and class identity that addresses the challenges to reducing racism. Race-neutral politics will only hinder necessary progress, not promote it. For the US to progress in its development towards becoming a post-racist civilisation, it is integral that different facets of society work co-operatively to address issues of racial disparity. Obama has the ability to facilitate this through collaboration between his Administration, non-profit organisations, policy-makers, marginalised communities and the American public. Until the US government addresses unequal opportunities and social exclusion, it cannot abolish racism that has been deeply embedded in her history and culture.

Emma Altschwager is in her final year of a Journalism and International Studies double degree.


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Fighting terrorism within legal boundaries f e at u r e a rt i c l e D a n i e l Fe h e r

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he phenomenon of ‘terrorism’ evades straightforward definition and it is this perplexing attribute which highlights the global, social, political and religious significance encased within it. Like other phenomena such as ‘religion’ and ‘power’, terrorism is impossible to define absolutely because of its amorphous nature. How then, do we combat a concept which is not readily defined, without becoming the enemy? Many theorists have offered definitions of terrorism and while these definitions are not without substance or insight, thus far none can be considered conclusive as many fail to explain complicating factors such as state sponsorship. New York University Professor Jeff Goodwin defines terrorism as “the strategic use of violence and threats of violence, usually intended to influence several audiences, by oppositional political groups against civilians or non-combatants who belong to a specific ethnicity religious or national group, social class or some other collectivity, without regard to their individual identities or roles”. In contrast, New York University Professor John Waldron states that terrorism is often defined simply as “a form of coercion”. Even more simply, and perhaps most concerning is former Israeli Prime Minister, Ariel Sharon’s definition, as cited in the New York Times, “terrorism is terrorism is terrorism...”. If there are so many definitions of terrorism out there, some elaborate, specific and complex, and others terrifyingly simple, how can a government accurately and legally pursue terrorists without getting it wrong? And what happens when they do get it wrong? The dilemmas that arise as a result of this affect how terrorism is ultimately combated and how this affects our freedoms. The US Federalist Papers state that “in framing a government which is to be administered by men over men, the great difficulty lies in this: you must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place oblige it to control itself”. This statement resonates in the face of bungled incidents such as the Muhamed Haneef

case. The Indian national and physician was arrested at Brisbane Airport trying to board a one-way flight to India, shortly after the Glasgow Airport attack in 2007 which was perpetrated by two distant relatives. Haneef denied any involvement but was subsequently stripped of his presumption of innocence and his visa, and was detained in solitary confinement without charge for 12 days. The charges were ultimately dropped due to errors in findings during the investigation, mismanagement of the case by the Director of Public Prosecution and insufficient evidence. Haneef had his visa formally returned and the Federal Government was forced to admit its mistake, amongst calls for an external review of the handling of the case. The Australian Government, like its British and American counterparts, invested significant efforts in counter-terrorism strategies post 9/11 – and continues to do so – to keep the nation and its citizens safe. But did it make the trip wire too sensitive and too close to home? The Haneef case provides an example of the difficulties faced by the Federal Government in tracking down potential terrorists before they are able to commit a terrorist attack and at a stage in their development where they are likely to be evading attention and capture, and thus difficult to detect and implicate conclusively. For every terrorist the authorities are able to apprehend and stop, how many innocent civilians will be caught in the dragnet like Muhamed Haneef was? Exacerbating this problem are the legal ramifications of combating terrorism. As Obama’s Homeland Security Assistant, John Brennan has noted, a significant evolution in the fight against terrorism is the recognition that acting outside the law and conventions on human rights, such as the ‘enhanced interrogation’ tactic of ‘waterboarding’, only promotes terrorism further. However, it is acknowledged that the capture and prosecution of terrorists and would-be terrorists, especially at the crucial time before they are able to cause harm, is also fraught with difficulty. With this dilemma in mind, how much ‘stretching’ or modification

of the law can take place to provide authorities with an advantage that remains within the boundaries of the law and basic human rights, is tolerated by the public, and does not contribute to the radicalisation of other potential terrorists as a consequence of its enforcement? The complex nature of terrorism, and its advent in the past decade as a remarkably coordinated global epidemic, means that mistakes to combat it will be made. The Muhamed Haneef case is an example of the dilemmas described above, namely, the capture of terrorists without the collateral capture of innocent civilians and the questionable use of law and enforcement to pursue potential suspects. Ultimately, what this case highlights is the need for governing bodies to self-regulate and stringently selfmonitor when putting into action strategies and policies to counter terrorism. Terrorism, by nature, is dynamic. It is shaped by a multitude of factors and thus combating it will require an ability to be responsive to a change in these factors, and to learn from fundamental mistakes. The US use of ‘enhanced interrogation’ is a fundamental mistake, and according to John Brennan is one that it claims to have learnt from. Similarly, it can be argued that the management of the Haneef case was riddled with mistakes, some minor and others more concerning, such as the extended detainment of Haneef without charge and the denial of his presumption of innocence. Like the US, the Australian Government is treading a fine line when it invokes powers which claim to act for the good of the collective people by compromising human rights.

Daniel Feher is in his third year of a Bachelor of Arts degree majoring in International Studies.

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Future of foreign aid f e at u r e a r t i c l e R y n e i s h a B o l l a r d

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onsidering foreign aid can prop up corrupt governments and is not always given by developed countries for the right reasons, can it still be argued that foreign aid is a good idea? The humanitarian ideal is that large transfers of money, technology and expertise can be used to fill the gaps between developed and developing nations and help the economic development process. However, many scholars argue that the primary motivation for aid-giving is political rather than humanitarian. For example, Dr Peter Boone from the London School of Economics points out that “foreign aid programs were launched long before there was compelling theory, or compelling evidence, that proved they could work”. A realist would argue that the amount of aid that a country receives depends more on its strategic value to donors than on its need for extra resources. This does not mean that aid is not given for humanitarian reasons as well, but simply that a donor is more likely to be concerned about another country’s humanitarian situation if that country also happens to have strategical importance. In her 2009 book Dead Aid: why aid is not working and how there is another way for Africa, international economist Dambisa Moyo goes as far as to argue that aid is developed countries’ way of ignoring the problems of the developing world. She claims that “for the Western politician, maintaining the status quo of aid, it is much easier just to sign a cheque” and that donor countries continue to pursue the aid-based model “even when it has become apparent that aid, under whatever guise, is not working”. Following this line of argument, foreign aid is a good idea for developed countries because it is seen as an easy way to help the developing world while also benefiting their own interests. Therefore, foreign aid can be a bad idea for the citizens of developing countries because donors may give aid to corrupt governments, despite the negative effect this has on aid effectiveness. Carl Jan Willem Schudel, Assistant Professor of the University of Amsterdam’s Political Science Department, 8

points out that government officials in corrupt countries use foreign aid for private rather than public purposes. Their corrupt practices include bribery and nepotism, and they slow down economic growth and development because they are costly to companies, and thus reduce chances for corrupt states to attract the necessary foreign capital. Despite these deterrents, many countries with corrupt reputations still receive considerable amounts of aid. Moyo argues that this constant stream of ‘free’ money is the perfect way to keep an inefficient government in power. It also removes the incentive for governments to seek better and more transparent ways of raising development. The effect of this is particularly apparent in Africa, where corruption costs the continent $150 billion a year. For example, Transparency International reports that Mobutu Sese Seko, President of Zaire (now known as the Democratic Republic of Congo) from 1965 to 1997, stole at least $5 billion from the country. It is clear more needs to be done to fight this harmful use of aid. Professor Schudel suggests that multilateral aid is more effective than bilateral aid in this case, because it is harder for the private interests of individual governments to influence the allocation process. Currently, multilateral aid makes up only one-third of total aid, so there is room for improvement. Foreign aid is always more beneficial when it is given to countries with good policies in place. A prominent study into this idea was conducted by economists Craig Burnside and David Dollar in the American Economic Review in 2000. While they found that aid has, on average, had little impact on economic growth, it has a more positive impact on growth in recipient countries with good fiscal, monetary and trade policies, compared to countries with poor policies where it has little effect. Conversely, they found that bilateral aid does not tend to favour good policy. Bilateral aid was found to be strongly and positively correlated with government consumption, which explains why the impact of foreign aid on growth is


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not more broadly positive. Thus Burnside and Dollar suggest that “making aid more systematically conditional on the quality of policies would likely increase its impact on developing country growth”. By contrast, Tomi Ovaska from the Department of Economics at Youngstown State University claims that it does not seem to matter whether or not aid is given to countries with good governance, institutions, and policies when it comes to economic growth. However, he does acknowledge that it is plausible that aid given to countries with good governance would yield better results than aid given to countries with poor governance. Moyo also challenges the validity of the Burnside and Dollar findings. She argues that countries with good policies will make progress unassisted, and that foreign aid is supposed to help countries with bad policies. Moyo claims that “far from making any improvement, aid could make a good policy environment bad, and a bad policy environment even worse”. In fact in some cases, foreign aid may be the ideal antidote for countries that are less fortunate in having good policies in place. Therefore, while foreign aid is a good idea when given to countries with good governance, scholars disagree on the link between aid and policy and whether this should influence how aid is given. In terms of what is seen to be ‘good policy’, supporters of foreign aid argue that it is a good idea when it is delivered to democracies. This is because democracies follow more equitable and transparent economic policies that are conducive to sustainable economic growth. For example, Stephen Kosack from the Development Studies Institute at the London School of Economics and Political Science found that aid has a more positive effect on life quality in democratic countries than in autocratic ones. He therefore argues that aid would be more effective if it were combined with efforts to encourage democratisation. Knack adds that aid encourages democratisation through conditionalities; by providing technical assistance for electoral processes and the strengthening of checks on executive power; and by improving education and increasing per capita incomes, which research shows are conducive to democratisation.

While they found that aid has, on average, had little impact on economic growth, it has a more positive impact on growth in recipient countries with good fiscal, monetary and trade policies, compared to countries with poor policies where it has little effect. On the other hand, it can be argued that aid is a bad idea because it undermines accountability processes, which are essential for healthy democratic government. Foreign aid can negatively impact the democratic stance of developing countries, as well as their economic growth, by reducing investment and increasing government consumption. This occurs because foreign aid can lead to ‘rentseeking’ activities in order to appropriate the resources transferred and to exclude certain groups from the political process. As a result, political institutions become less democratic and less representative. This is because most foreign aid is given regardless of the democratic level of recipient countries, which means there is no incentive for governments to maintain accountability. However, this does not mean that donor countries should not aim to promote better institutions in developing countries. If aid has been found to be ineffective or even harmful towards democratisation, democracy can be promoted through nonaid channels such as trade, foreign direct investment and diplomacy. Therefore, because there is a lack of conditionality when it comes to aid and democracy, aid can be a bad idea. This means that more efforts need to be made to either add more conditionality to aid or to seek non-aid channels to promote democracy.

harmful to African countries that it should be gradually phased out. She argues that in a world free of aid, it is likely that African economies would improve, corruption would fall, and Africa’s growth would start increasing. This is a rather extreme conclusion to draw, but it highlights the need to reform aid policy. William Easterly, Professor of Economics at New York University, argues that instead of using aid to promote economic growth, it should be seen as a means of financing particular tasks that are clearly in huge demand. For example, reducing malaria deaths and providing clean water. In other words, Professor Easterly suggests that foreign aid should be used to create more opportunities for poor individuals, instead of trying to transform poor societies. He also argues that conditions, along with evaluation of aid effectiveness, are the two main ways that donors can direct aid resources from less successful projects toward those that are more likely to succeed. Conversely, conditionality has been found to be ineffective because there is a lack of credibility in the threats made by donors. This is because donors compromise their own credibility by giving aid to recipient countries even when they do not meet the conditions imposed on them. Therefore, conditionality is one of the key issues that must be addressed in making aid more effective. It is clear that making aid effective is no easy task. However, it must be done because foreign aid is, essentially, a good idea.

Ryneisha Bollard is in her final year of a Journalism/International Studies double degree.

Despite its shortcomings, foreign aid is a positive concept because it has the potential to make a constructive impact on developing countries. Economic experts, Henrik Hansen and Finn Tarp from the University of Copenhagen argue that most studies since 1970 have found that aid has had a positive effect on developing countries and few have found that it does harm. Conversely, Moyo claims that aid is so 9


The South Australian Globalist

Climate change now, and into the future f e at u r e a r t i c l e D a n i e l We e k l e y

Every person on this planet will feel the effects of climate change, regardless of whether their nation was a primary cause of global warming or not.

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limate change is an issue that is affecting people and states from every corner of the globe. While it is true that wealthy countries such as the US, Australia and many European nations from the Global North have been the primary contributors to global warming, the rest of the world will not be immune to its effects. Every nation will suffer the consequences of global warming and it is therefore illogical for wealthy countries to be lumped with the sole responsibility for fixing the problem. Furthermore, it is predicted that in the next 50 years, compared to wealthy nations, developing countries will contribute a far greater proportion of greenhouse gases to the atmosphere, making them a future cause of further climate change. Hence, the responsibility for addressing climate change should fall to all countries, regardless of their current contribution to the problem. China and India, although not recognised as belonging to the Global North, make a large contribution to climate change and are a good example of the foolishness of excluding developing countries from any plan to address it. The earth’s climate transcends state borders. It does not simply affect states in isolation. Climate change does not discriminate between countries that contributed to it the most or the least. Therefore, the responsibility of addressing climate change cannot simply be left to the worst offenders. All states will be affected and all states must help to prevent further climate change. It is predicted that those nations who have contributed least to climate change may be among the first and hardest hit.

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Some 15 island-nations in the Pacific Ocean are expected to feel the climate change impact imminently and will face everything from the loss of natural resources and biodiversity, to the loss of land. These islands account for roughly 0.03 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions, yet will face dire consequences because of climate change. The possible loss of these islandnations reinforces the fact that climate change is an issue that will affect the whole world, and a solution cannot simply be left to the countries that caused the damage. Although this may seem unfair to the island-nations, they must accept some responsibility for the actions of humankind in general and do their bit, together with wealthy nations to reverse climate change. The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) presents this idea succinctly by outlaying its ‘Common but Differentiated Responsibility’ notion in the Kyoto Protocol. Under this framework, all countries would contribute to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and eventually climate change, but at different levels. Nations listed in Annex 1 of the Kyoto Protocol - consisting of the developed and wealthy Global North - were deemed to have gained the benefits of early industrialisation, which has caused much of the current global temperature increases. Thus, they should lead the way in making emissions reductions to reduce climate change. However, the sole responsibility of reducing emissions was not placed upon Annex 1 countries from the Global North. All countries were encouraged to reduce emissions because they have each made a contribution to global carbon emissions and ultimately climate change. By the year 2050, developing nations will make a greater contribution to global warming than wealthy countries. While current predicted levels of climate change may have been predominately caused by the Global North, further climate change will be caused predominately by developing nations. Climate change analysts, Elzen and Schaeffer estimate that Annex 1

countries currently contribute roughly 65 per cent of global temperature increases, with the rest of the world contributing 35 per cent. However, by the year 2050 it is estimated that the rest of the world will contribute more to global warming than Annex 1 countries and by 2100 roughly 65 per cent of all global temperature increase will be caused by non-Annex 1 countries. This temperature increase is estimated to reach about two degrees by 2050, as caused by Annex 1 countries. By 2100, when non-Annex 1 countries become the main contributors to global warming, the total temperature will increase to almost four degrees. Economist and UK government adviser, Nicholas Stern believes an increase of just two degrees will likely cause the extinction of 15-40 per cent of the Earth’s species, a 2030 per cent decrease in availability of fresh water and put 10 million more people at risk of coastal flooding. An increase of four degrees will likely cause around half of the world’s species to become extinct, a 15-35 per cent decline in crop yields in Africa and Australia and place 300 million more people at risk to coastal flooding. So, the statement that ‘wealthy countries have caused climate change’ is in itself almost outdated. Wealthy countries have up until now contributed a significant amount to global warming, but in the near future will contribute significantly less than developing nations, who have growing populations and have limited access to renewable energy sources. China and India, as developing superpowers, have a large role to play in addressing climate change. Both countries are a good example of those not included in the Global North or Kyoto Protocol Annex 1 but have nonetheless contributed significantly to climate change. Overpopulation and rapid industrialisation within these two countries has served to amplify their carbon emissions to the levels of wealthy Global North nations. China and India have joint populations of 2.4 billion people, nearly half of the global population. These huge populations make it imperative that the two


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countries be included in any deal to reduce climate change. Leaving them out would omit almost half of the global population.

An increase of four degrees will likely cause around half of the world’s species to become extinct, a 15-35 per cent decline in crop yields in Africa and Australia and place 300 million more people at risk to coastal flooding.

China’s emissions by 2010 will outweigh the reductions proposed for Annex 1 countries in the Kyoto Protocol, which China was exempt from due to its status as a developing country. Currently China is the world’s second largest carbon emitter in front of fourth seat India. Clearly, the Global North cannot deal with climate change by itself, as its efforts will be made obsolete by the growth of China. To truly address global warming, China’s emissions must be cut and the country must switch to renewable energy sources. Currently, it is predicted that two new coal power stations are built every week in China, further exacerbating their level of carbon emissions. With their population and emissions set to soar, countries like China and India must play a significant role in contributing to climate change action.

century. Although the Global North may have been the main cause of climate change until now, the world’s developing countries will have a greater impact in the near future, highlighting the fact that they too must address climate change. China and India, the world’s most populous, developing nations, are quickly turning into superpowers to rival the US. With this status, and the sheer weight of their own carbon emissions, comes a responsibility to prevent climate change. Climate change is caused by, and is a problem for, the whole world. If our current way of life and natural ecosystems are to be maintained, then the whole world must address climate change together.

Daniel Weekley is in his first year of a Law/ International Studies double degree.

While nations continue to bicker about who is responsible for climate change and who should fix it, the earth’s climate slowly but surely changes. These changes will not simply affect the Global North. Every person on this planet will feel the effects of climate change, regardless of whether their nation was a primary cause of global warming or not. Therefore, the responsibility for preventing climate change, or at the very least blunting its impact, must fall to all nations. Regardless of who caused it, all nations must face its impacts together. Due to industrialisation and overpopulation, developing countries will produce a greater amount of carbon emissions by the halfway point of the 11


The South Australian Globalist

Australia’s role in the alleviation of global poverty f e at u r e a rt i c l e K a t e B a r k e r

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urrently, over one billion people in developing countries live on one dollar a day and cannot afford the most basic necessities for survival. This is classified as extreme or absolute poverty and eight million people every year die as a result. According to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the bad attributes associated with extreme poverty, such as the spread of disease, illicit migration, environmental degradation, crime, political instability, armed conflict and terrorism, are being spread between borders and continents and are aided by globalisation. Therefore, for the international community, the issue of alleviating poverty is more than just satisfying the moral conscience. It affects every state, including Australia and the reduction of extreme poverty is essential for global security, prosperity and environmental security. As the ninth largest member economy of the OECD and the dominant regional economy, Australia is ideally placed, economically and geographically, to play a key role in the alleviation of global poverty. Australia has a proven track record of being generous and effective in response to natural disasters in the East Asia-Pacific region, providing a high level of support, particularly for vulnerable Pacific Island countries. Australia’s current development aid program aims to advance the national interest by assisting developing countries reduce poverty and achieve sustainable development. In order to achieve this, the government believes there needs to be strengthened frameworks for sustainable and inclusive economic growth that will benefit the poor. Australia also aims to increase its support for interventions which enable the poor to improve their productivity,

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whilst encouraging governments, institutions and donors to be more accountable to the poor. The state emphasises the importance of transparent, accountable and participatory governments for the developmental process. It believes good governance provides a solid foundation on which to implement activities aimed at poverty reduction. At the same time, rapid economic growth needs to be supported by strong public policies in order for the poor to be able to access the benefits of globalisation. The Australian government agency responsible for managing overseas poverty aid is AusAID. The majority of AusAID’s resources are focused towards development within the Asia-Pacific region, with a smaller amount of aid going to Sub-Sahara Africa, Palestine and Iraq. In 2004-2005, Australia donated over $1.2 billion to East Asia and the Pacific and $209 million to South Asia, Africa and the Middle-East. AusAID forms partnerships with NonGovernmentmal Organisations, such as the Red Cross, Oxfam and World Vision to theoretically maximise the reach and impact of Australian aid. Statistically, Australian citizens are the second most generous per capita donors to non-profit aid agencies for their global poverty work. In 2006-2007, NGO programs received an estimated $716 million in public donations and the rate of Australian public donations has continued to grow since 2001. The Australian government’s expenditure on development aid between 2006 and 2007 was 0.3 per cent of the Gross National Product, which is substantially less than most OECD countries. In 2005, former Prime Minister, John Howard promised an increase in aid expenditure of up to $4


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Statistically, Australian citizens are the second most generous per capita donors to non-profit aid agencies for their global poverty work. billion by 2010 and despite the increase, Australia still spends only 0.36 per cent of the Gross National Profit on global poverty. As a result, Australia is ranked 18th of the 22 OECD donors this year, despite the nation’s economic success and the high level private donations. This proves to be a notable flaw in Australia’s efforts towards the reduction of poverty because NGO’s often have extensive practical experience with counterpart agencies and networks within developing countries. On a global scale, multilateral institutions reinforce their commitment to alleviating poverty through initiatives including the Millennium Development Goals. The number one goal of this initiative is to eradicate extreme poverty and hunger by 2015. In 2006, global poverty rates were falling due to improvements in the development of Asian countries, but at the same time, the poor are getting poorer in regions including Sub-Sahara Africa. Expanding populations and the slow growth of agricultural output have resulted in setbacks in the fight against poverty in some regions. For the Millennium Development Goals to achieve its target, it was agreed by world leaders that an average of 0.7 per cent of the states’ Gross National Product is required. Currently the top OECD countries meeting or exceeding this standard are Norway, Denmark, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and Sweden. The United States donates the largest sum of money, but even still, this is only 0.16 per cent of the state’s Gross National Product. Injustices, such as global poverty are a product of inadequate and corrupt social institutions. Global poverty and inequality are not inevitable and can be eliminated through collective or multilateral action and institutional reform. For liberals, international organisations play a vital role in facilitating international cooperation, and

they serve as arenas for negotiations.

a more equal level in a global market.

Globalisation offers a myriad of opportunities for the reduction of poverty in developing countries. However, it does not automatically result in an equal distribution of prosperity and social progress since the benefits of international trade are not shared equally. Successful global trade is dependent on adequate institutions. Therefore, developing countries do not have the capacity to participate equally with the dominant economies in a global market. Countries who are unable to join in on the rapid economic growth and development offered by globalisation, risk the possibility of becoming marginalised.

The reduction of extreme poverty is essential to Australia and the international community’s security and economy. Poverty will never be entirely eradicated because inequality is inevitable. What we can try to achieve within the next ten to twenty years is lessen the inequality gap. This can be achieved by eliminating debt for the poorest countries and continuing the commitment to follow through with multilateral goals aimed at poverty reduction, like the Millennium Development Goals.

In the last ten years, Australia has worked to implement a substantial regional program in East Asia, focused on supporting economic integration in the region and addressed trans-boundary development challenges, such as crime and reducing the spread of disease. In 2001, the UN rated 47 per cent of East Asia live under the poverty line of $2.85 a day. By 2005, the World Bank’s projections of regional growth suggested nearly 40 million people had risen above the poverty line, with the exception of East Timor, Papua New Guinea and Cambodia. This decrease in poverty levels within Asia is a significant win for Australia’s aid efforts. Yet, today over 700 million people in East Asia continue to live below the poverty line. Judging by East Asia’s progress in the last ten years, if Australia increased its contribution to development aid to the UN recommended amount of 0.7 per cent of the GNP, a lot could be achieved within the next five years.

It is evident that Australia’s attitude and efforts towards the reduction of poverty within the East Asia-Pacific region have been successful in some areas and Australia should continue these efforts to become the forerunner in eliminating extreme poverty within the region.

Kate Barker is in her fourth year of a Journalism/International Studies double degree.

Australia does not donate a substantial amount of development aid to the poorest continent, Sub-Sahara Africa. Instead, the Australian government believes debt relief should be used as a reward to good governance in struggling nations. For example, Australia sees merit in cancelling the debts of severely impoverished African nations, such as Ethiopia, who have met standards of good governance, providing basic services and economic opportunities for its citizens. Instead of increasing financial aid to Sub-Sahara Africa, Australia should continue to support the G8’s proposal to eliminate the debt of the top 18 most heavily indebted poor countries, therefore enabling them to participate from 13


The South Australian Globalist

China’s demographic crunch f e at u r e a rt i c l e M i n y a S c a s e

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s the international community looks towards the next 25 years, one big issue is the position that China will assume on the international stage. Following the opening and liberalisation of the economy under Deng Xiaoping, China has grown impressively at a rate of around eight per cent per year, with GDP per capita also increasing precipitously. In his recent article Foreign Policy, Robert Fogel has predicted the Chinese economy to be worth US$123 trillion in 2040. China’s weathering of the recent financial crisis, retaining high levels of growth, is seen as further evidence of China’s economic strength. There is no doubt that the growth of the Chinese economy has been strong, and has lifted millions out of poverty. However, in looking to the next 25 years, China must overcome a significant demographic obstacle to ensure the continuing strength of its economic growth. Whilst there has been much acknowledgment of demographic issues arising from ageing populations in Western Europe, Japan and Australia, similar demographic issues must be considered in the Chinese case when making predictions of economic ascendancy. The one child policy, implemented in the post-Mao era, had definite soundness in recognising the potential burdens of overpopulation, which places undue pressure on resources and the employment sector. This in turn contributes to social unrest. However, despite the sound nature of such policies of restricting the population, it is a demographic hurdle of a different nature that China is currently facing. The main issue with China’s demographics is the excessive ratio of those of the pre-one child policy era to those born after it, and the problem of supporting these older people. Previously, the duty of caring for elderly parents could be shared among their 14

numerous offspring. Now, a single couple has the burden of caring for two sets of elderly parents, which puts enormous time and financial strain on younger generations, especially if they have a child as well. The lack of state provided welfare leaves families with few options when caring for elderly family members. Western European countries may face issues of public spending ballooning with ageing populations, but there is at least the presence of state assistance which is changing the nature of the burden on younger generations. Such a predicament has explicit implications for China’s economy. Economic growth to date has lead to the establishment of an urban middle class. Much growth has been provided by industrialisation, but it is the middle class which provides continued economic growth in a postindustrial society. Over the next 25 years, such pressure arising from elder care will have definite negative implications for the effectiveness of the middle class in aiding the growth of the Chinese economy. The recent economic crisis alerted the Chinese government to issues stemming from having an export-oriented economy. Chinese economic growth is reliant on US (and European) economic strength, thus economic crises originating in the US can hurt the Chinese economy. Such reliance on foreign markets has led China to look more inwards, strengthening domestic markets for growth. However, with the increasing financial burden of elder care, and a lack of state welfare provision, there is a two-fold source of problems for developing a home market. Firstly, family resources are consumed in providing for elderly family members, and secondly, there is a very high savings rate for economically active members of younger generations. This high rate of savings is good for investment, but detrimental to short term domestic spending. The Chinese government has two options.

Over the next 25 years, such pressure arising from elder care will have definite negative implications for the effectiveness of the middle class in aiding the growth of the Chinese economy. It can either leave the situation as it is, or provide welfare services. The latter option is problematic. There has been, and still is, much state involvement in China’s economic growth, which would have to be scaled back to provide the funds for welfare, and the level of welfare investment would be massive, given China’s population of over 1.6 billion. Whilst the encouragement of private enterprise and privatisation of state owned firms could lessen the cost of state involvement in the economy, among other beneficial outcomes, this would probably not compensate for the costs of welfare, and the economic restructuring, including taxation, that would go with it. Neither option is an easy one. Over time, China will not be so hampered by demographics, and there may be policy changes, such as the abolition of the one child policy, particularly if democratisation takes place. However, it is not the purpose of this article to speculate about such things. These demographic issues represent a profound challenge for China. However tackled, these issues must be dealt with in order to ensure that over the next 25 years China continues to grow as an economic powerhouse, and continues its transformation from a closed country rife with agrarian poverty to a wealthy, prosperous leader in East Asia, equal of Western powers on the world stage.

Minya Scase is currently completing her Honours in International Relations.


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The South Australian Globalist

Free trade f e at u r e a r t i c l e To m J o h n s o n

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ertain terms and phrases are thrown around in world politics until they become clichéd and meaningless. ‘Globalisation’ would certainly fit into that category. However, one core component of this concept will continue to raise significant debate in the next 25 years. Free trade, and the global pursuit to remove the barriers hindering international trade, will persistently spark battles between cultural identities on matters far broader than simply economics. For governments around the world, the issues surrounding Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) arguably have the greatest political concern. While FTAs are narrowly defined as a reduction or removal of international trade barriers, such as import taxes called tariffs, these negotiations are often tied to human rights, environmental concerns and cultural imperialism issues. The present momentum of globalisation has now made this issue more significant than ever, as politicians must compare the liberating benefits of FTAs against the outlined negatives. The single aspect, which perhaps influences people’s stance on this issue the most, is their personal identity. According to the Assistant Professor of Politics at the University of San Francisco, Annick Wibben, this form of identity politics creates ‘insider/ outsider’ perceptions. Wibben’s theory argues that by being ‘inside’ a certain group of race, nationality, ethnicity, gender, class, sexuality or religion, you are therefore ‘outside’ another group. The ramifications of this are that the ‘others’ are polarised and thus we cannot empathise with their circumstances effectively. In terms of free trade, this means the ‘developed’ world the ones usually arguing for FTAs - cannot fully understand the effects that these agreements have on the ‘developing’ world. As a Caucasian descended from European heritage, my ability to empathise with this ‘outside’ group, and their reasons for rejecting FTAs, is limited. My economic identity is fairly common in Australia; a middle-class citizen of this wealthy Western 16

Free trade, and the global pursuit to remove the barriers hindering international trade, will persistently spark battles between cultural identities on matters far broader than simply economics.

country. Such an identity has influenced my mostly supportive attitude towards FTAs. Greater competition from such agreements will benefit my identity’s consumer culture, as lower prices, broader choice and greater technical innovation apply to goods and services. Additionally, my identity as a young adult planning to enter the workforce with a tertiary degree helps form this opinion, as FTAs open more foreign investment into Australia, thus creating higher demand for skills. My gender also influences this as society perceivably has a tradition of placing greater pressure on males to achieve and sustain employment. However, my national identity as a conservative Australian rejects the cultural implications of FTAs, particularly concerning the creative industries, including literature and broadcasting, as such agreements reduce the availability of local content; something often highly desired by those sharing my identity. However, this identity restricts the broader understanding of the free trade debate. For instance, those ‘inside’ my group are more likely to perceive investment by multinational corporations into developing countries as spreading income and employment, particularly to suppressed minority identities who are denied alternative work due to their race, gender, sexual orientation or religion. However, the ‘outside’ group may be more likely to perceive this investment as exploitation, as poorer human right laws enable multinational corporations to overwork and underpay their workforce in generally unsafe conditions.


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The concerns regarding FTAs extend to other issues in world politics. One such issue is the conditions tied to aid packages from intergovernmental organisations, such as the World Bank and International Monetary Fund. According to the University of Groningen’s, Niels Hermes and Robert Lensink, the World Bank and IMF are often criticised for demanding the recipient government use free trade concepts, by removing barriers to international trade, thus enabling wealthier countries to dominate their underdeveloped markets. Cultural diversity is also undermined by FTAs. This threat is most explicit in the media industry, where US Associate Professor of Law, Claire Wright argues that FTAs could potentially cause the largest US media companies to dwarf smaller overseas productions, due to their budget size and expertise. While some politicians argue that this is still satisfying society’s demand for information and entertainment, others can highlight how local ideas, references and even linguistics are consequently neglected. The increased capital development encouraged by FTAs is also linked to environmental degradation. According to political science and economics writer, Philippe E. Duford, FTAs encourage multinational corporations to shift capitalintensive production overseas, meaning that “contaminated water and smog are situations that developing countries can look forward to”. Additionally, FTAs support a ‘race to the bottom’ mentality between developing countries, as they lower their environmental standards in order to encourage foreign investment, as stated by PREM Economic Policy Group and Developments Economic Group. Free trade is an issue likely to cause heated discussions over the next 25 years. Despite being hailed by economists as the ideal trade framework where everybody wins, we are forced to reconsider this perception when empathising with those who are less likely to benefit from an enhanced consumer experience. The identity of the developed world is largely restricted to a limited scope of the broader issue; one which will affect every identity in future world politics.

Tom Johnson is in his first year of a Journalism and International Studies double degree.

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The South Australian Globalist

Globalisation retreat FEATURE ART I CLE A n n a B e n t o n

The benefits of globalisation seem to be restricted to the gains of tangible objects including money, material goods, imports and exports.

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ou would be hard pressed to find a hyper-liberalist who wouldn’t jump at the opportunity to list the rapid growth incentives, worldwide economic development, technological advancements and almighty opportunities arising as a result of globalisation. The unfortunate fact stemming from this example is that these idealistic outcomes are preached by only a very small minority, who advocate this supposedly advantageous economic course and, as a minority, also reap the benefits. Too often, free market and increasingly capitalistic trends are said to be benefiting the world. But who makes up this world, and who has the voice to make such a statement? Let us not forget the voice of the povertystricken, of Mother Nature, of the exploited workers or the indigenous peoples. Globalisation is not new. In fact, it began in the late 15th century when a combination of capitalism and conquest led to the exploitation of foreign workers in Asia, Africa and Latin America. Interaction at this stage shared great resemblance to the current trends. There existed a linkage based on imperialism, conquest, extraction, exploitation and international exchange of commodities. Thus, in essence, the term ‘globalisation’ is the only new addition to the movement, representing an attractive masquerade to what has always been an exploitative and unsustainable movement. In the minds of many, the effects of globalisation are predominantly economic, and the definition is often limited to the opening or freeing of the international market across national boundaries.

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However, the interconnectedness of states today is not a purely economic notion. Rather, it is one of multidimensionality and shapes cultural, political, environmental, technological and security-based trends. That said, the importance of the international economy in the subject of globalisation cannot be ignored. The transformation of the world economy from the late 20th century until today has been noted through many economic factors such as the upturn in international production, foreign direct investment (FDI) and the global trade of goods and services. The economic sphere of globalisation is also one that emphasises the supremacy of monetary growth and efficiency. Liberalist idealism argues that the openness of international trade will lead to this growth and in turn, will have a ‘trickle down’ effect, bringing about poverty reduction, employment and general happiness. Contrary to popular belief, trade liberalisation and globalisation have not led to global-scale poverty reduction, employment or general wellbeing. Nor have they led to globally accounted economic growth. In a study by the US Centre for Economic and Policy Research, the growth rates of 175 countries were compared between 1960 and 1980 and between 1980 and 2005. It was discovered that in the period between 1980 and 2005, trade liberalisation, privatisation and deregulation had in fact sharply reduced rates of both social progress and economic growth for most countries. Although neo-liberalists would argue otherwise, there is growing evidence to show that in the booming times of interconnected economic movement, most of the world has fared worse off. The monetary gains have increased in the developed world and have dramatically decreased in developing countries, particularly in Africa, where 29 of the

world’s 34 economically lowest ranked countries are located, and where dozens of countries are worse off than 20 years ago. The success stories of income growth, such as in East Asia, which are continuously presented by globalisation campaigners, have proven to be the exception and not the rule. Globalisation has effectively paved the way for an even greater divide between rich and poor, through means such as the exploitative international division of labour and production. According to World Bank 2002 figures, the average income in the richest 20 countries is 37 times that in the poorest 20, a ratio that has doubled in the past 40 years. In the political sphere, we see that although the current, individual political workings of nation states are still important, they now function in a world shaped by global politics. It is often questioned, and examined particularly by economic nationalists, whether or not globalisation will lead to the complete demise of state power. Already, the world has witnessed a power shift from states, to outer-state institutions, namely inter-governmental organisations such as the United Nations, the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund and the World Trade Organisation. The power has also shifted from the hands of states into those of money hungry multinationals. The trouble with the immense power placed in any of these bodies is the undemocratic nature that they encompass. According to Professor of International Relations at the University of South Carolina, Charles Kegley, a complete global government has, and will be, a representative body of only the rich and powerful, presenting policies and regulations fitting to hegemonic preference. Increased global interconnectedness is also leading to cultural grey areas, whereby ancient heritage is frighteningly losing importance. In everyday life, people all over the world bear witness to signs of cultural


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homogenisation. Many represent a string of routine examples used repetitively: a Coca Cola sign in rural Africa, McDonalds in the holy Medina, and Nike hats placed askew on the heads of impoverished children. Contradictions are everywhere, but the damage is deeper and more widespread than these few examples. The benefits of globalisation seem to be restricted to the gains of tangible objects including money, material goods, imports and exports. However, the evaporation of ancient traditions, languages and irreplaceable customs are those that lie outside the relentless measures of development and growth. Cultural flow across borders could potentially be an enriching concept, creating a new level of worldwide tolerance. However, this would only be so if the “ideals and images flowed both ways, instead of almost entirely from the US and Europe to the rest of the world,” says Professor of Sociology at the University of California, Arlie Hochschild. And of course, in the unfortunate reality, the most prevalent cultural adoptions appear to be those of consumption, capitalism, waste, greed and violence. Such increasingly capitalistic cultural attributes are not only overthrowing ancient tradition, but are causing higher levels of social distress, predominantly in the one place globalisation has supposedly benefited - the developed world. Clinical psychologist and researcher Oliver James coins this theory, ‘Selfish Capitalism’. He explains that “Selfish Capitalism increases materialism in developed nations, and since materialism causes emotional distress, Selfish Capitalism has caused a massive increase in the amount of emotional distress in the English-speaking nations”. It seems that this economic trend is making even the affluent, more miserable. Globalisation makes way for relatively simplistic worldwide travel for those, of course, who have the fiscal capacity. With this seemingly endless flow of people moving across borders, the spread of disease and the threat of pandemics has become a major human security concern. The lack of

impregnable walls between one country’s ailments and another’s, means that bacteria and viruses are now moving as fast as e-mail and money flow. This is no more evident than the recent H1N1 influenza which spread across borders without discrimination. Perhaps one of the most topical, and yet politically ignored reasons for retreating from globalisation, is the horrendous destruction of the natural world. This is not to place blame on global interconnectedness for every environmentally destructive habit, but rather to draw attention to the largescale consequences that this movement has on the environment. With globalisation comes capitalism, trade, resource extraction, global exchange, profit and economic growth. Capitalism leads to excess waste, trade to carbon emissions, resource extraction to pollution and deforestation, and economic growth to the blindness and money hungry haze which allows these processes to occur.

Contrary to popular belief, trade liberalisation and globalisation have not led to global-scale poverty reduction, employment or general wellbeing. Nor have they led to globally accounted economic growth. Globalisation coincides with new and highly threatening environmental issues such as loss of biodiversity, depletion of the ozone layer and global warming. Global crossborder flows have also led to long term problems such as leaching and groundwater contamination. Evidence of this destruction can be seen worldwide. The precious Amazon is being destroyed and replace with cattle and soy bean farming, primarily for export, agricultural land is becoming saline as a result of cash crop production, mangroves are being destroyed for prawn farms, and over 75 per cent of the world’s fisheries are now fished at their biological limit.

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The South Australian Globalist

Furthermore, changes in the environment are causing diverse ecological shifts. Not only is species extinction at the greatest rate since the time of the dinosaurs 65 million years ago, but natural disasters are holding almost normative essence. The frequency of events such as tsunamis, flooding and droughts is taking a great toll on human security worldwide. In Ethiopia alone, it is suspected that there are as many as 6.2 million people needing emergency humanitarian assistance because of severe drought. This increase in natural disasters shows that the planet is not in need of saviour. The planet will go on, adapting and readapting to temporary life forms. It is the human race that is in dire trouble. Mother Nature is already taking her revenge. Despite being viewed by many as a means to development, knowledge and efficiency, advancements in technology, particularly the introduction of the internet have made global communication possible for groups sharing a particular violent ideology. The expansive movement of people across borders has also incited groups labelled ‘terrorist organisations’ such as Hamas, who have emerged in an effort to fight foreign occupation. The ‘Westernisation’ that has occurred in the globalising international arena has also created a backlash forged by extremist groups who fear a Western takeover.

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Globalisation coincides with new and highly threatening environmental issues such as loss of biodiversity, depletion of the ozone layer and global warming.

Some may argue that the technological advancements arising as a result of globalisation are to be applauded. However, often these lead to the replacement of human labour jobs, creating unemployment and leaving skilled workers redundant.

such as Manu Shroff, who believe that “we must learn to live with some degree of inequality if that is necessary for the incentive structure required for rapid growth,” and who will advocate for destruction and inequality if it leads to economic power. The human race is on an unsustainable path, and drastic shifts away from rampant globalisation must be made. We owe it to the natural world, to the developing world and essentially, to ourselves.

Anna Benton is a recent graduate of a Bachelor of International Studies.

Prevalent Marxist economic theories denounce globalisation, when it leads to exploitation of workers. The exploitation and inequity faced by workers worldwide as a result of global trade and production is no secret. Amongst the liberalist promises of hope and prosperity, small scale farmers and manufacturers are losing out. The reduction of trade tariffs has lead to harsh competition for small-scale farmers against monopolised cash croppers, and they are often left bankrupt. In the end, we have a duty to retreat. We have a duty to remove ourselves from mindless adherence to hyper-liberalists,


a u g u s t 2 0 1 0 - O ur wo rld : t he next 25 yea rs

Dying to consume do you suffer from affluenza? f e at u r e a rt i c l e Ta m m y Va n d e r R e i j d e n

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he growth of the world’s population demonstrates the value of our continued existence. We don’t want to end here, thus we procreate. To carry on the human race and to live in the manner we are accustomed to, it would seem that there is an imperative need to protect the world for the future. Unfortunately, society largely ignores concerns of sustainability and opts for living for the now. Governments appear to support sustainability principles, at least on paper. However, these messages fail to reach the masses and those that do seem to make little difference. Surely, we wish to secure more than just a future for our children; we want a good one at that. So what is the barrier to achieving a growing yet sustainable society? Perhaps we should look to our intrinsic need to consume. The intangible idea of safety and prosperity for our descendents is difficult to connect with when, in reality, we really covet tangible material possessions. Parts of the developed world, both citizens and states, are suffering from a pandemic of affluenza. Affluenza (n). 1. The bloated, sluggish and unfulfilled feeling that results from efforts to keep up with the Joneses. 2. An epidemic of stress, overwork, waste and indebtedness caused by the dogged pursuit of the Australian dream. 3. An unsustainable addiction to economic growth. Modern Australian society is gripped by this insidious modern affliction. As a market economy, we are constantly driven to consume. We are told that consumption keeps the cogs of industry in motion, which in turn keeps us in jobs. Indeed, the current Australian Government attempted to lessen the effects of the current recession by spending, via a $42 billion stimulus package. An integral part of this package was cash bonus payments, paid to various

socio-economic groups including lower and middle earning tax-payers, which encouraged spending. We are bombarded with spend-more advertising, given huge credit by financial institutions and encouraged by government policy to live in the now and spend. Traditionally, consumption has been about fulfilling needs. However, modern consumerism is driven by desire to fulfil wants.

Traditionally, consumption has been about fulfilling needs. However, modern consumerism is driven by desire to fulfil wants.

Clive Hamilton and Richard Denniss from think-tank, Australia Institute contend that it is not just our psychological attachment to consumption that is the problem, but consumption itself. Our constant lust for newer, better and bigger things causes terrible environmental consequences such as waste and pollution.

quality of life by slowing down their work patterns and becoming less materialistic. The reduced and/or selective consumption of ethical simplifiers is driven by their concern for environmental, social and animal welfare impacts. These people not only ask the question ‘do we need this?’ but go on to ask ‘what are the impacts to the world?’ Both of these lifestyle choices have been vilified as detrimental to our market economy system. Reality is that there is now a burgeoning mini-economy based solely around providing ethical simplifiers, in particular, with their needs. We may not all be able to completely downshift our lives or contemplate the ethics of everything we use but we can certainly ask ourselves ‘do I need this or do I just want it?’ This simple question can begin to purge the insidious affliction of consumerism from our society and as a result assist in maintaining the sustainable development of our planet. TAMMY VAN DER REIJDEN is currently completing a double degree in Bachelor of Managment and Bachelor of Arts

In order to offer real sustainable development solutions we must first cure ourselves of our affluenza affliction. If we continue on the road of materialistic consumerism, there is little doubt that we will cause irreparable damage to our country and indeed our world. We must begin by reforming our consumption habits now or it will be forced upon us in the not too distant future when our resources diminish and the world is torn further apart by famine, disease and conflict. There is an entire movement of people, from all classes and walks of life, already making these choices. They are known as voluntary simplifiers and fall into two categories, downshifters and ethical simplifiers. Downshifters increase their perceived

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The South Australian Globalist

From the editor’s bookshelf r e vi e w s E m m a A l t s c h w a g e r

the hidden brain

r eq u i e m f o r a s p ec i e s

Goo d by e t o a l l t h at ?

S h a n k a r Va d a n t a m

Clive Hamilton

Robert Manne & David McKnight

What if unconscious biases in memory, emotion and attention are the true catalyst for most misunderstandings and conflicts between people and nations? What if it’s our subconscious that makes our moral decisions instead of logical thinking? In The Hidden Brain, author and science journalist, Shankar Vedantam explores the new science of how subconscious thinking influences human behaviour and our decision making processes. Vedantam presents unique cases of everyday unconscious decision making and applies the most recent scientific studies to each situation. The correlation is fascinating. Does society’s functionality in fact rest with our unconscious biases or do we have conscious control over global politics, economy and social interaction?

While recent studies indicate the seriousness and dire consequences of climate change, only a few have truly woken up to the urgency of the situation. Hamilton looks at the reasons so many have buried their heads in the sand and our failure, as the human race, to recognise these consequences. He also examines and refutes claims by climate change deniers and offers practical solutions to our worsening environmental state. Well worth a read.

A collection of nine chapters from contributors such as former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, feminist philosopher Jean Curthoys and political commentator John Quiggin, which explore the central beliefs and flawed character of the neo-liberal philosophy following the events of the global financial crisis. Goodbye to All That? argues that the contemporary consequences of neo-liberalism are growing inequality, weakening social bonds, rising individualism and materialism, and paralysis in the face of global warming. The book also questions whether the era of neo-liberalism is over and if so what set of ideals and values might replace it. A thoughtprovoking collection of short essays, which force us to consider, what next?

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a u g u s t 2 0 1 0 - O ur wo rld : t he next 25 yea rs

Capitalism: a love story r e vi e w s K i m b e r l e e M e i e r M i c h a e l M oo r e ( 2 0 0 9 ) O v e r t u r e F i l m s / Pa r a m o u n t Va n t a g e

In Moore’s latest instalment Capitalism: a love story, the Sicko filmmaker continues to use the lens in order to voice his frustration of the American government and economic systems. But this time it’s with a twist - Wall Street FatCats. The film explores the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) of 2007 and its extended effects into 2010. It focuses on issues from the disastrous Treasury Department, implemented by the Bush administration, to the privatization of government industries, such as juvenile care facilities. Although the film isn’t as focused as his previous chapters (Fahrenheit 9/11 and Bowling for Columbine), perhaps because of the haze surrounding the crisis and arguably the difficulty of the subject itself, it still complements Moore’s ability to tackle a topic that others would shy away from. As the title suggests, capitalism is an ongoing ideology throughout the film and acts as a platform that Moore bounces off continuously. Using methods such as stock film from the Roosevelt era of government, to the recent events of Obama’s election success in 2009, Moore creates an appealing dynamic that heavily emphasises the change in US society in the last 50 years. The importance of economic wealth versus that of personal welfare. Yet, in Capitalism: a love story, Moore fails to deliver that one knockout punch that he has landed in previous instalments, and finishes the movie in a surprising manner. “I can’t do this anymore,” he says. Although his movies are often satirical in style, Capitalism: a love story is overly so, and is sometimes uncomfortable to watch as Moore goes even further over the top. In one particular scene, Moore hits the streets in an armoured vehicle in order to get the ‘people’s money back’, arriving at banks and awkwardly standing out the front cracking jokes at the security guards. Witty for one minute, painful for the next four. If you’re an absolute avid fan of Moore, like myself, you’ll tag this film a ‘good’ one, instead of Moore’s customary ‘greatness’. If you’re not, the satire might wear thin, and you might refrain from another slice of the Canadian Bacon in the future. Kimberlee Meier is in her second year of a Bachelor of Journalism.

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The South Australian Globalist

Life of an African ninja unisa global experience L u k e E b b s

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offee was high. He had been sniffing glue for hours and was ready to find a place to sleep. Traipsing the streets, trying to find the best sleeping spots before they were taken, the intoxicated Coffee stumbled into the road. He barely remembers flashing lights before being dragged under a truck. “I don’t remember what happened next, except I was left in the gutter to die,” he says, lifting his shirt to show the deep scars on his torso from where sharp rocks had shredded his flesh. “But it would take more than a truck to kill a ninja.” To be called a ninja is the highest honour for street boys like Coffee. It means they are veterans of the streets the most likely of all their comrades to survive in the everyday battle against poverty, abuse and disease. After the AIDS virus killed his parents five years ago, Coffee was forced from his village home to the streets in search of work. In Kisumu, Kenya’s third largest city, there are thirty thousand children living, working and sleeping on the streets. They are the forgotten casualties of a society devastated by poverty and disease. Coffee is thirteen, but five years of street life has eroded his youth. His wiry muscles, scarred black skin and tired eyes reveal a life of hard work, little sleep and constant drug abuse. Coffee never even finished primary school, but can speak three languages fluently. When he is not working or sniffing glue with his friends, he reads newspapers and watches television through shop windows. “You know in Kenya, we are smart,” he says with a proud grin. “We can all speak English. I would be embarrassed if I couldn’t, so I have always 24

practised. Anyway if I couldn’t speak English, I couldn’t understand the football and that would be very, very bad for me.” Everywhere Coffee goes, he carries the Manchester United football club emblem just above his heart. Tattered, torn and barely recognisable, his football shirt is his most prized possession. “Football is my biggest love. It takes me away from the streets, it makes me feel high,” he says, fidgeting pensively with the rim of the glue bottle in his hands. “Man United especially. If they lose, I am angry for a week, and if they win, I’m happy.” Coffee loves football for the same reason he sniffs glue. It is a source of relief from the painful memories of his past, the hardships of his present and the hopelessness of his future. Yet unlike football, glue is a dangerous and expensive addiction. Coffee works up to ten hours a day to afford his mind-rotting dependence. For twenty-cents, he can buy enough glue to stay high for a day and a night. “Glue is my food, it stops me feeling hungry and I couldn’t sleep without it,” he says. “Sometimes I will work all day for it or even steal it from the younger boys...I don’t think I could ever stop sniffing.” Coffee’s work is so dreary and dangerous it would drive anyone to steal. He spends hours rummaging through dumps bare-foot, searching for scrap metal and plastic bottles. On a good day, he gets work clearing dirty water from food kiosks and washing public buses. But money is just the start of Coffee’s drug problems. Every morning he wakes with severe migraines, dizziness and often throws up what meagre food scraps line his stomach. He suffers withdrawal symptoms

after merely hours. Without glue, Coffee loses his sanity – he would even risk his life for it. “After the truck hit me, I was only in hospital a few days. I ran away from the nurses to find my friends and get high.” Coffee knew he was putting his life at risk by running away. It was only a matter of time until the gaping wounds covering his body became infected. When he returned to the hospital, he was almost dead. “His street friends brought him in asking us to take him,” says Eddah Awuor, a nurse at Kisumu’s biggest public hospital. “We only treat street boys if it’s really serious and because he ran away, we were reluctant to take him...but he would have died from septicaemia if he stayed on the street.” If Coffee had died on the streets, no-one apart from his friends would know or care. Officially, he is not even a person; the government has no record of his existence, which means he has no rights to subsidised health care, no right to free primary education and no identity. Coffee – and the thirty thousand children like him – officially share the same rights as the rabid dogs they share the streets with. The sub-human status of street children is reinforced by wide-spread discrimination and abuse. Coffee says ever since he came to the street, people have treated him like an animal. “Most people hate us. They don’t understand the reasons we left home; they think we choose to come to the street because we are wild, because we like to get high and fight. They say we ran away from home because we are lazy and don’t like to work.”


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To be called a ninja is the highest honour for street boys like Coffee.

“When you hear that, you run as fast as you can, or you choke on tear gas and get a beating.”

Like black South Africans during apartheid, Coffee and his friends are refused service at food kiosks, public buses, shops and restaurants, even if they have money. Only the drug-dealers welcome business with street children.

Sadly, it is an effective policy. Coffee is so scared of sleeping on the open streets, he often retreats to the pungent sewer lines below the city. He says the buzzing of mosquitoes is almost deafening down there. “I have sat awake all night because of Umbus (mosquitoes) in the sewers. They are everywhere, like it’s their home.”

“Only a few places will serve us food or sell us clothes,” says Coffee, his eyes narrowing with contempt. “We have no friends and a lot of enemies on the streets.” As is often the way with oppressed minorities, the street children’s worst enemy is the police. With their brutal beatings and merciless use of tear gas, they legitimise and encourage discrimination against street children. Their solution to the problem of orphans on the streets is simple – beat them out of the city and into the surrounding slums. “Many nights I have woken to them shouting ‘Hakuna kulala! Hakuna kulala!’ It means ‘No sleeping!’” says Coffee, who sports numerous nasty scars from conflicts with police.

Kisumu city, based on the shores of Africa’s largest lake, is one of the worst parts of the world for malaria. The parasite kills tens of thousands of children in the area every year. Coffee knows he is at risk when he sleeps in the sewers, but prefers mosquito bites to a beating. Police are never held accountable for their brutality. If Coffee tried to report police abuse, he says he would be laughed at and turned away. After all, he does not exist in the eyes of the law.

Yet all these conflicts are dwarfed by Coffee’s ceaseless struggle against painful memories and destroyed dreams. He is haunted by the death of his parents, the cruel abduction of his sisters and the self-destructive question that brings misery to so many – W\what if? “If my parents did not die, I would be back in the village now, going to school and helping in the shamba (maize field) with my sisters,” says Coffee. “I would be studying to speak good English so I could live on the coast and work with tourists.” These dead dreams torture Coffee’s mind as he sniffs glue in the sewers or searches dumps for scrap metal. The battle against his past is one even a ninja cannot win and it is slowly destroying his mind and spirit. And Coffee is just one child.

Luke Ebbs is a Hawke Ambassador and is currently completing his Masters in Journalism

The streets are a battlefield, and Coffee is constantly at war. When he is not fighting hunger or malaria’s mosquitoes, he is battling older street boys for the best sleeping spots, younger street boys for their glue, or police for his freedom.

and International Studies.

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The South Australian Globalist

More than a hint of hope unisa global experience C o l l e t t e B r o w n

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t is not every day you meet someone who has dedicated their life to helping others in need, especially someone who has struggled to make their own ends meet. It was not until I met Mr Elvis Morris Donkor, while volunteering in Ghana, that I could confirm the notion of passion and determination being equal, if not more important factors, than monetary wealth, in leading communities towards a more prosperous future. This is the story of a devoted man and the contributions he has made in the struggle against HIV and AIDS in Ghana. Let me begin with the fact that this man was only 16 years-old when he established his own organisation, the Alliance for Youth Development (AYD) which supports people suffering with HIV. The aim of AYD, is to help underprivileged people bridge the developmental gap existing between them and the more endowed communities by attempting to reduce the spread of HIV and AIDS. It does so by training community AIDS workers, counsellors, and caregivers to plan, design and implement community HIV/ AIDS programs and providing home-based care for people infected and affected with the virus. According to a 2008 UNAIDS report, the national HIV prevalence of Ghana was 1.9 per cent in 2007 and there were approximately 260,000 men, women and children living with HIV, compared to Australia, where there are approximately 18,000 people living with the virus. UNAIDS also estimates that there are 160,000 orphans as a result of AIDS, and that there are approximately 17,000 children living with AIDS in Ghana.

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a u g u s t 2 0 1 0 - O ur wo rld : t he next 25 yea rs

Mr Donkor has worked hard to do something about this situation and his journey has not been easy.

This is the story of a devoted man and the contributions he has made in the struggle against HIV and AIDS in Ghana. He dropped out of high school because he could not afford to pay for his school fees, which today cost about $20-30 per term. Instead, he worked at an internet cafe where he discovered his passion, from online research, about issues surrounding HIV and AIDS. Mr Donkor said he was very lucky to work with the Rural Action Foundation. This took him to Akosombo, in Ghana’s Volta Region, where he worked on an HIV prevention project focussed on children. He used his salary to help people, particularly youth, suffering from HIV, who had no medical services available to them and who did not attend school. From 2005 to 2006 Mr Donkor was selected to be a national HIV trainer in a community run care program ran by the Ghana AIDS Commission and has since trained thousands of people all over the country Mr Donkor’s efforts were recognised when he won MTV’s Staying Alive Award, in both 2005 and 2006. He was awarded US$10,000 to carry out further work in his field. The money aided him in continuing to help those living with HIV. He assisted the elderly as well as orphans in ways such as paying for their school fees, hospital expenses and clothes in the Abura Asebu Kwamankese district in Ghana’s Central Region.

He was humble when he spoke about opening his orphanage, saying that he had no other option than to start his own organisation because the benefits of his work were not reaching the children in need. Mr Donkor explained how on many occasions when he gave clothes for children in need to their foster mothers, they would give the items to their own children instead of the orphans.

vocational activities, teaching children who have finished their junior school skills that they can take back to their community, enabling them to be self sufficient.

This, he said, forced him to take action, which in turn initiated the establishment of the Children’s Home of Hope, an orphanage which has become a home for 18 orphans whose parents have died as a result of AIDS.

The curriculum is being planned by volunteers from the United States, who are also going to establish a school farm with animals and food so that they can move in the direction of self-sustainability.

None of the children who live in the Children’s Home of Hope are HIV positive, as the medical facilities to care for HIV positive children are not yet available. Nor have they been told that their parents died from AIDS, as Mr Donkor fears this knowledge may lead them to be treated differently in the community and at school.

Let us recognise Mr Donkor’s efforts and initiatives in helping people with HIV and AIDS. His extraordinary abilities in raising awareness, his striving to reduce the stigma attached to the virus, and his devotion to establishing the Children’s Home of Hope, as well as the Free-School project, should be highly praised.

Mr Donkor does not receive any government support, or help from other NGOs or individuals, and relies solely on his own income to support the children and pay the three women who take care of them.

The world can learn a lot from Mr Donkor’s story and be inspired to follow in his footsteps.

Incredibly, he has also been planning to feed about 1000 people at a soup kitchen, in collaboration with the Rotary Club of Accra, for all the orphans and street children living in the community.

Collette Brown is a Hawke Ambassador and

Mr Donkor said the school “will also host other business activities such as an internet cafe for the local community to use, whereby the profits would be used to support the organisation and its programs”.

is completing a Journalism and International Studies double degree.

Mr Donkor’s plans do not end here. Currently, he is trying to build a new orphanage, with the facilities needed to support children with HIV, as well as a Free School for Kids, which will boast a curriculum that is the first of its kind in Ghana. The curriculum would be based upon

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The South Australian Globalist

To drive the yellow or the red lamborghini? That is the question. opinion piece E m m i c a S c h l o b o h m

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he super rich in the United States are soaring past the rest of us at such a rapid rate that they may eventually break through the earth’s atmosphere. Perhaps a tad melodramatic but nonetheless the increasing disparity between the rich and the poor is causing numerous social issues within America. On a first glance, the rich elite may appear to have nothing to do with the problems faced by low income earners. However, this could not be further from the truth as there are direct correlations between social problems and the growing inequality felt by citizens of the US. These include a lack of political participation and a general discontentment with life. Not only is the gap growing between the rich and the poor but between the ‘Bill Gates rich’ and the upper class. These gaps need to be bridged in order for America to maintain its democratic ideals. So does social inequality really matter or can the rich elite and the rest of us mere mortals coexist in the same modern world? It is a common feeling that living in a nation with such large wealth disparities is immoral. Citizen wellbeing is being detrimentally affected, and on humanitarian grounds, this not conducive to society’s ideals of democracy and basic standards of living. If the ‘Jiminy Cricket’ approach doesn’t convince, perhaps a look at economic growth would be better. On the one hand, some economists today assert that inequality is inevitable in a modern market society. They suggest that processes put in place to lessen this inequality only lead to

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Discontentment creates a multitude of problems and can contribute to the occurrence of violence and crime. market inefficiency and put societies at risk of not being able to generate new wealth. However, there are a growing number of economists who assert that societies that accept gross inequality often suffer bleak consequences. When compared with societies that have a broad middle class, lower class societies generally have poorer scholastic outcomes. This disparity produces a less educated labour force and therefore, a diminished amount of human capital. Large gaps between the rich and the poor give rise to weak economic development. Princeton economist, Roland Benabou, affirmed this notion by finding twelve ‘cross-country empirical analyses’ that correlated inequality with negative growth. The United States sits at the top of the charts when it comes to the inequality of disposable income. The expansion of wealth in the top quintile of the US population is escalating poverty levels. People are sinking into destitution as others glide to the top. The pursuit of happiness (and wealth) reflected through democratic principles is described as the ‘American Dream’. However, social inequality threatens to shatter this dream and American ideal of a shared citizenship with no political classes. A two tiered society can form, with the very

rich upper-middle and upper classes living extremely diverse lives to the working class and poor. The Grand Canyon between the rich and the poor in America does not only concern issues of poverty but also of social income status. Those witnessing people living lifestyles opposite of their own can become frustrated and feel they are being unfairly disadvantaged. Discontentment creates a multitude of problems and can contribute to the occurrence of violence and crime. Many poor nations, such as Moldova and Albania, have low levels of violence which certainly isn’t the case in the US. Community participation also commonly decreases in areas where inequality is rife. Poorer people commonly feel foolish, out of place and fear being looked down upon when participating in community groups. Ideas of trust can be tarnished in these cases. In places where inequality is highly evident people often have a belief that if others have the opportunity to take advantage of them, they will. Social trust is important, as it is connected with other aspects of civil life, such as participation in politics and having an active role in civic organisations. People with a more positive attitude towards the idea of social trust are also more likely to give to charity and accept others who are different as well as minorities. This consequential effect improves the overall cohesion and functioning of civil society. So how do we stop the elite from buying that third Lamborghini? It is here that the


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Not only is the gap between the super rich and the rest of American citizens morally, socially and economically damaging, it is also politically destructive idea of a maximum wage comes to play. Historically, philosophers have considered how much we need and how much is acceptable in comparison to others. Plato rationalised that the perfect ratio between the richest and the poorest should be four to one, while Aristotle thought it should be five to one. Currently analysts have deemed that in every developed nation approximately 97 per cent of income earners share a ten to one ratio between the richest and the poorest. This ratio can be applied to the proposal of a maximum wage. It can be understood that ten times the minimum wage would be the maximum wage an individual could earn. Any more than this amount would therefore be taxed at 100 per cent. In the United States the minimum wage is $5.15 an hour which works out to be approximately $10, 712 a year. Applying the set ratio, the maximum income able to be earned by an individual would be $107, 120. By having a connection between the maximum and minimum wage, high earners would be encouraged to increase the minimum wage, if not for anything else, but their own personal interests.

Not only is the gap between the super rich and the rest of American citizens morally, socially and economically damaging, it is also politically destructive. Former US Senator, Bill Bradley, said in 1996 that “money not only determines who is elected, it determines who runs for office”. The rich elite have more sway with political leaders, while the voices of the lower and middle classes are lost in the clouds. The extreme discrimination towards women and African-Americans, which is still present in American contemporary society, has been overshadowed by a quieter, less noticed threat. A threat that stems from the fact that power lies in the hands of a few who have extreme wealth, income and political influence. The people’s voice, a vital part of democracy when expressed through participation, often only represents a small percentage of citizens and their interests. The super rich are not only driving the best cars, residing in the best homes and walking the best breeds, they are dominating the corporate, political and social realms of America. ‘The land of opportunities’ now only caters for those with thick wallets.....

Emica Schlobohm is currently completing a double degree in Social Work and International Studies.

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Global21, formerly known as The Globalist Foundation, is a network of student-run international-affairs magazines at premier universities around the globe. Founded at Yale University in 2005, Global21 seeks to connect high-achieving students around the world in ways that will remain with them as they become tomorrow's leaders in business, the non-profit sector and government. By targeting select university students, we hope to create a practical tool for dialogue that will bear tangible results in the form of greater international cooperation and understanding in the future. Since our founding, we have established ten chapters at Yale University, Peking University, University of Cambridge, University of Sydney, University of Toronto, University of Cape Town, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Bogazici University in Istanbul, Sciences Po of Paris and University of South Australia.


The UniSA United Nations Society Update

21 September 2010

22-24 September 2010

UniSA UN Society Annual General Meeting: Become a part of the fastest growing student academic clubs at UniSA. All welcome to apply and all positions up for grabs, including:

The South Australian Model United Nations Conference 2010 is South Australia’s premier conference for the development of leaders on the global stage.

For more information go to www.auuns.org and register for what many have called the best university experience they have ever had.

We invite all UniSA students to participate in SAMUNC 2010. You don’t just debate world politics, you experience world politics.

It’s fun, it’s intense and it is great on your cv as a capacity-building experience. It is SAMUNC 2010.

• • • • • • • •

The Presidency Vice-Presidency Treasurer I.T Director Marketing Director Social Chair Leadership Program liaison SA Globalist Magazine Liaison

For more information on applying for the executive contact us at unsociety@unisa.edu.au.

Represent a country, represent an NGO, or represent the global media. Help develop solutions to the biggest global problems of our time including the global financial crisis, natural disaster response, North Korea and many more.

Also upon attendance at SAMUNC 2010, UniSA students will exclusively see a return of $10 from their $70 registration fee which covers everything.

Join the UniSA UN Society by registering with us through the Unilife Clubs website: http://unione.unilife.edu.au/Clubs/Club. aspx?CID=46. Contact us for more information at unsociety@unisa.edu.au


S N O I I SS

M B U R S te m b e r 1 0

Oadline Sep F L L C A tw o d e

th

2010

The seven deadly sins of International Relations

I ssu e

Volume 1 August 2010

Our world: The Next

25 Years

The SA Globalist team invites you to submit an article for our second issue based on the theme - The Seven Deadly Sins of International Relations. We’re looking for articles from both liberal and conservative perspectives that correspond with one of the seven deadly sins. Greed, Pride, Lust, Sloth, Gluttony, Anger, Envy. The options are endless, so be creative! Themed articles, general international affairs articles, opinion pieces, book/documentary reviews, photographic essays and humorous pieces can be submitted.

Our world: the next 25 years “What will the world of 2035 be like? Will the United States remain the world’s reigning superpower? Maybe not. Will climate change have had worsened? Most likely. Will the Global Financial Crisis be over? Possibly.”

Obama and post racial America “Is the concept of ‘post-racial’ society a fair analysis of progression or is it simply a slogan born from race-neutral politics and a desire for both whites and blacks to avoid the difficult, and often painful or shameful, issue of racial disparity?”

Free trade “Free trade, and the global pursuit to remove the barriers hindering international trade, will persistently spark battles between cultural identities on matters far broader than simply economics.”

Articles must be either 800 or 1600 words and opinion pieces must be between 200-500 words. For a copy of the submission guidelines and submission coversheet please email saglobalist@gmail.com. The deadline for submissions is Friday, September 10th and all submissions should be emailed to the editorial team at saglobalist@ gmail.com. If you have any questions about submission requirements ideas or email the Editor-in-Chief, Emma Altschwager at editor.saglobalist@ gmail.com.

SA Globalist - Issue 1  

SA Globalist - Issue 1