New Challenges for a World in Flux
Edited by Linda Yueh
Chapter 10: Two Scientists for Every Man, Woman and Dog in America? How Sustainable is Globalisation?
Raphael Kaplinsky INTRODUCTION In 1957, at a high point in the Cold War, the Russians launched the first satellite – the Sputnik. The fact that the Russians had got into space first came as a great shock to the Americans, who responded with a crash investment programme in the training of scientists and technologists. Jahoda calculated that if this increase in human resource investment had been sustained over the decades, by 1992 there would be two scientists for every man, woman and dog in America (Jahoda 1973). The first decade of the twenty-first century feels a little like 1957. To many it appears as if the momentum of globalisation is unstoppable. But a moment’s reflection suggests that a more cautionary attitude is in order. For one thing, the spread of globalisation is uneven. It is true that there has been an accelerating removal of barriers to trade (especially in manufactures) and the cross-border flow of capital and that this has been associated with a deepening in the breadth and intensity of economic integration. However, many barriers to cross-border integration persist, not least in controls over the flow of people, especially those with little education and skills. There is also little sign of the withering away of the nation state, although its functions and purview are nevertheless in a state of flux (Weiss 2002). For another thing, the idea that globalisation is unstoppable fails to take on board the experience of history. The last decades of the nineteenth century represented a similar...
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