In his last speech to the U.N.’s General Assembly in September, 2016, U.S. President Barak Obama pointed to a world more prosperous yet with political and security crises. He called this combination a paradox arising from globalization—the converging of political, economic, and social systems around the world made possible by advances in technology. I contend that globalization is not the primary cause of the massive changes going on in some societies but not others (and in parts of a given society), hence Obama’s diagnosis and prescription fall short. In short, parts of some societies, and some societies as a whole were going through massive, deep changes that were reinforcing the tendency of traditional forces to resist and stay put. It is the widening of the gap, both within some societies and between them that is the real cause of the strife.
The full essay is at "A Troublesome Widening."
1. Carol E. Lee, “Obama Urges Course Shift for World in Conflict,” The Wall Street Journal,” September 21, 2016.