Really Just Misunderstood, Surely.

Groups A & B

Read the article ‘Ten Common Misunderstandings about the World Trade Organisation‘. 

2 groups then need to produce counter-evidence to each claim of misunderstanding named on the website. Record both where you got the information from and the author of the source. We will then review the misunderstandings and see whether you agree or disagree.

Groups C & D

Investigate the following common criticisms levied at the IMF, World Bank and WTO:

  • Race to the bottom
  • Earn more – eat less
  • Tool of the developed world
  • Reduces state sovereignty
Explain the basis of each of these criticisms and evaluate the validity of them.

IMF, WTO, WB and Multinationals

Watch these videos and then answer the questions that follow each one. It is a good idea to take notes as you watch these videos – not too much detail, just a few keywords so that you can remember statements and main points.

PART 1 – Globalisation


  • For 30 seconds after watching these videos, write down your thoughts – just single words and questions about what you have just watched.
  • What did you think of the explanations for globalisation that were given in the video? Did they help explain globalisation to you? Were they missing anything? If so, what? How would you improve their explanations? What was the best explanation in the video? What was the worst?
  • In his video, Noam Chomsky says that we are all for globalisation. How does he qualify this statement?
PART 2 – The IMF, WTO and World Bank



  • You have 30 seconds to write your ‘stream of consciousness’ about what you have just watched.
  • As a group, discuss what you watched – ask each other questions if there was something you didn’t understand etc – and then come up with a statement about globalisation and one (or more) of its institutions that you will argue for or against. Prepare a short argument and be ready to share it with the class.
PART 3 – Multinationals

 

  • What is a multinational corporation? 

The following activity is taken from the Power and International Politics Textbook:

  • Choose a multinational corporation from the following:
AOL, BP, Coca-Cola, Dell, Walt Disney Company, Enron, Exxon Fiat, General Motors, Halliburton, Hearst Corporation, Honda, HSBC, IBM, Jardine Matheson, Kyocera, McDonald;s, Microsoft, Nestle, Nike, Nintendo, Nissan, Nortel Networks, Nokia, Monsanto, Parmalat, Shell, Schlumberger, Sony, Toshiba, Toyota, Wal-Mart
  1. Research your chosen organisation on the internet. Here is a good place to start. Make sure you look up the website of each multinational.
  2. Complete the following questions about your chosen corporation:
Name of Company:
Where is it’s home base?
In how many countries does it operate?
What do the main operations consist of?
What are the main points in its mission statement or statement of things it wants to achieve?
What were its profits in 2007 or 2008?
How many people does it employ and in how many countries?
Has it been involved in anything controversial? If so, what?
Has it been targeted by protesters? If so, why?
What are the major challenges faced by the company?
  • Bring this information to class with you as we will be putting it all together to get a bigger picture of what multinational corporations are doing.

Watch the rest of this documentary at home:





Globalisation and its Institutions

The World Bank, The International Monetary Fund and the World Trade Organisation are the three main institutions involved in promoting globalisation. Your next tasks will involve you looking more closely at what these organisations do and their effects on the world economy and certain countries.

You need to complete the following tasks by next lesson:

1. Using the textbook readings and internet sources (check the Diigo group) draw up a table which lists the anti and pro-globalisation arguments.

2. Using the websites listed below, the photocopy I gave you from the textbook and any other resources you can find on the internet, and working in pairs if you like, create short fact sheets about these major organisations. Include whatever you think is most important. Next week in class this will provide the basis for our revision wiki.

World Bank

www.worldbank.org

www.jubileeusa.org

The International Monetary Fund

www.imf.org

www.50years.org/action/s26/factsheet2.html

www.cftech.com/BrainBank/FINANCE/IMFHistory.html

The World Trade Organisation

www.wto.org

www.globalexchange.org/economy/rulemakers/topTenReasons.html

3. Find a recent article in an Australian newspaper (online) and an overseas paper about the IMF, WTO or World Bank to help illustrate who they are and what they do. Be prepared to add the link to our wiki with a one or two sentence description of the article.

4. Which countries are not members of the IMF and the World Bank? Why? These resources might help you: 

The CIA World Factbook

SBS World Guide

Write up your answers on a word document or whatever else suits you. Bring your finished tasks to next class as we will be putting what we know together to create a resource for the whole class.

DON’T FORGET YOUTUBE as a resource for finding short videos to explain key concepts and organisations. They are not always great, but if you watch critically then there are sure to be a few that you can get some good quality information from.