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The Myth of Global Chaos

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Reading Summary on the Myth of Global Chaos

Sadowski (1998) discusses the merit in arguments linking globalization to ethnic and cultural wars. He refers to American thinkers, who saw that the transfer of American values to the world would cause other cultures to feel threatened resulting in irrational wars. He refers to their viewpoint as “global chaos theory”, contrasting it with Fukuyama’s optimistic view of the post USSR world. Sadowski proceeds to deconstruct the pessimistic arguments for impending global chaos saying much of intercultural conflict is historical. He adds that the situation is not chaotic, but complex. The future of the world depends on grasping these complexities.

The major theme in Sadowski’s presentation is that there are universal fundamentals to war. He says that most of the world conflicts revolve around sharing of resources. Many of them occur within similar cultures. He lists Somalia and Bosnia as examples. Sadowski contends that conflicts are not as irrational and chaotic as the global chaos theorists proposed. The protagonists actually have rational basis for their actions. The conflicts are a struggle for political and economic power in those communities. He contends that globalization actually promotes intercultural understanding reducing the risk of intercultural wars. He adds that fettering globalization will in fact promote conflict. 

The author’s has managed to lift the debate on globalization and intercultural conflict from a one-dimensional view to a much wider discussion in the context of human history. By linking the causes of conflict to local issues such as resources and political power, he delinks intercultural conflict from globalization. I believe that this is the better way of addressing the potential of globalization to cause conflict. Before the era of globalization, there were conflicts. The methods used to propel them pretty much resemble what we call intercultural wars. I therefore agree with the authors arguments.

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