Talking Points on Global Issues

Prentice Hall
Richard H. Robbins  
Total pages
November 2003
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Talking Points on Global Issues: A Reader is designed to promote discussion and thought on global issues that have a direct bearing on our everyday lives.

The twenty-nine readings vary from brief newspaper articles, to studies on global economic conditions, to excerpts from books. In some cases, sets of readings have been selected to present different perspectives on the issues. For example, are human beings “naturally materialistic” or do they have to be taught to consume? Other sets of readings highlight specific problems. For instance, how does one define terrorism? Each set of reading is accompanied by exercises and study questions that can be used as class discussion topics or as guides to the readings.

The reader, which can be used independently, is organized into thirteen problems that correspond to the chapters in Global Problems and the Culture of Capitalism, Third Edition by Richard H. Robbins.


  • Twenty-nine readings from a variety of different sources challenge students to think about global issues that have a direct bearing on our everyday lives.
  • Each Reading Set begins with a Problem, Example and Study Questions which contextualize the issues being examined in the readings and engage the student.
  • Can be used independently or in conjunction with Global Problems and the Culture of Capitalism, Third Edition by Richard H Robbins. Available free when packaged with the textbook using Special ISBN Order No. 0-205-44488-1.
  • Online Reader offering 12-15 additional readings is available on the text's Companion Website. This site, regularly updated by the author, also offers an extensive list of Websites on global concerns, including links to resources on countries, corporations, global media, and maps; a “global updates” page that features links to news stories and articles on emerging global issues; course syllabi, course assignments and exercises, discussion questions, and more! Visit

Table of Contents


I. Reading Set Number One: The Consumer.

“Manufacturing Desire,” by Ignacio Ramonet, (May 2001, Le Monde Diplomatique).

“A (Mild) Defense of Luxury,” by James B. Twitchell (from “Living It Up: Our Love Affair With Luxury.” Colombia University Press, 2002; also reprinted in The Chronicle of Higher Education March 15, 2002).

“The Dubious Rewards of Consumption,” by Alan Thein Durning (Worldwatch Institute, “How Much is Enough?” (c) 1992,

II. Reading Set Number Two: The Laborer

“Slave Labor Means Big Bucks For U.S. Corporations,” by Michael Schwartz (Daily Bruin U. California-Los Angeles, January 31, 2001).

“Behind Roses' Beauty, Poor and Ill Workers,” by Ginger Thompson, (New York Times, February 13, 2003).

III. Reading Set Number Three: The Capitalist.

“The Unremarkable Record Of Liberalized Trade,” by Christian E. Weller, Robert E. Scott and Adam S. Hersh. (Economic Policy Institute Briefing Papers, Oct 2001.

“After This: Whatever Capitalism's Fate, Somebody's Already Working on an Alternative,” by David J. Rothkopf (Washington Post, January 19, 2002).

“The Difference Between Money & Wealth,” by David Korten (Business Ethics, January/February 1999).

IV. Reading Set Number Four: The Nation-State.

“War And Peace,” by Eric Hobsbawm (The Guardian, February 22 2002).

“The Eagle Has Crash Landed,” by Immanuel Wallerstein (Foreign Policy, August 2002).

V. Reading Set Number Five: Population.

“U.S. Eugenics Like Nazi Policy Study: Forced Sterilizations Carried Out Longer Than Thought,” by David Morgan (Reuters, February 14, 2000).

“Peru Apologizes For At Least 200,000 Forced Sterilizations,” (United Press International, July 25, 2002).

VI. Reading Set Number Six: Poverty, Hunger, and Economic Development.

“Global Poverty: The Gap Between the World's Rich and Poor Is Growing, and the Dying Continues,” by Thomas W. Pogge (Public Affairs Report, Vol. 42, No. 2, Summer 2001).

“Global Falsehoods: How the World Bank and the UNDP Distort the Figures on Global Poverty,” by Michel Chossudovsky.

VII. Reading Set Number Seven: The Environment.

“The Environmentalists Are Wrong,” by Bjorn Lomborg (New York Times, August 26, 2002).

“Corporations Urged Not To 'Appease' Environmental Groups,” by Marc Morano ( February 03, 2003).

“Environmental Trends,” by Peter Montague. (Rachel's Environment and Health News, #737 November 8, 2001).

VIII. Reading Set Number Eight: Health and Disease.

“Southern Sickness, Northern Medicine: Patently Wrong,” by Philippe Riviere (Le Monde Diplomatique, July 2001).

“2 Paths of Bayer Drug in 80's: Riskier Type Went Overseas,” by Walt Bogdanich and Eric Koli (New York Times, May 22, 2003).

IX. Reading Set Number Nine: Indigenous Peoples.

“The Pressure to Modernize and Globalize by Helena Norberg-Hodge (from The Case Against the Global Economy-And a Turn Toward the Local,” edited by Jerry Mander and Edward Goldsmith, Sierra Club Books, 1996).

“In the Native Way,” by Tom Goldtooth (Reprinted from Yes! A Journal of Positive Futures, Winter 2002).

X. Reading Set Number Ten: Peasant Protest.

“Farm Unrest Roils Mexico, Challenging New President,” by Ginger Thompson (New York Times, July 22, 2001).

“The New Peasant's Revolt,” by Katherine Ainger (New Internationalist Magazine, #353, January-February 2003).

XI. Reading Set Number Eleven: Antisystemic Protest.

“Who are the Global Terrorists?,” by Noam Chomsky (Reprinted from Ken Booth and Tim Dunne eds., Worlds in Collision: Terror and the Future of Global Order, Palgrave/Macmillan, UK, May 2002).

“Euro Law Wrongly Defines Terrorism,” by John Brown. (Le Monde Diplomatique, February 2002.

XII. Reading Set Number Twelve: Religious Protest.

“On a String and a Prayer: In Nation After Nation Religion Has Taken on a Role as the Primary Force for Political Change,” by Mark I. Pinsky (The Orlando Sentinel, December 14, 1997).

“Does Religion Promote-Or Subvert-Civil Society? ” by Timothy A. Brown, Civnet Journal, January-February 1999, Vol 3. no. 1.

XIII. Reading Set Thirteen: The Citizen-Activist.

“Reading Number 1: The Growth Consensus Unravels,” by Jonathan Rowe (Dollars and Sense: The Magazine of Economic Justice: Issue #224, July-August 1999).

“The Prosperous Community: Social Capital and Public Life,” by Robert Putnam (American Prospect Vol 4, no 13, March 21, 1993).