The Impact of Globalization on Indigenous Peoples in Mexico and Bolivia

The following is a paper written for the author’s PLS 315 – International Political Economy class.

Abstract
Globalization has presented itself in many different forms, affecting nearly all people of the planet. While much attention is paid to the extreme positive and negative impacts, the process has created both winners and losers. The same mixed result can be seen amongst the indigenous peoples of Mexico and Bolivia. These two significant indigenous populations have faced sizable challenges due to the integrating economic, political and cultural landscape. Nevertheless, the forces behind globalization have not only provided a means for resistance, but also a chance to confront the long-standing marginalized status of indigenous peoples. Despite these efforts, the effectiveness of political and social leaders as well as the policy of developed nations and multilateral institutions will determine the lasting impact of globalization.

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Balkanization of Bolivia

Four weeks after Bolivia’s Santa Cruz province voted for autonomy in a referendum, the lowland provinces of Beni and Pando will vote in similar referendums with another planned in Tarija at a later date. There are many factors involved; gas, race and political control are all issues plaguing the Bolivian government and President Evo Morales, the first fully indigenous head of state.  He has labeled the referendums as “unconstitutional” and “illegal”.   

BBC news 

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Sanyo and VW to mass produce Lithium-ion batteries

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Volkswagen is hoping producing cars using Lithium-ion batteries by 2010.  The plans include diesel-electric plug-in hybrids in order to move towards a future “directed more strongly at making electrically powered automobiles alongside ones driven by more efficient combustion engines.”  Nissan is planning on mass-producing the same batteries by 2009.  These are steps in the right direction, but is it too little too late?  Could we also be trading one scarce resource for another in an attempt to continue to power personal automobiles?

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