2 1. What are the varieties of prognostication for the future 1.What are the varieties of prognostication for the future? Which do you find the most meaningful? What sort of future do you foresee?Open for discussion
3 2. In what sense can it be said that the 20th century represents a new period in world civilizations?Criteria established throughout the textParallel developments in major civilizations (new technologies, new political forms, tendency toward cultural secularizations)Reshuffling of political boundaries (decolonization, loosening of Western geopolitical dominance)Intensification of international contacts (more extensive trade, worldwide alliance systems, cultural exchanges).
4 3. What trends in political organization and economic development can be identified in 20th-century world civilizations?Political organization seems to favor continued dominance of democratic parliamentarianism, well established in industrialized countries; successful attacks on authoritarian forms of government in Philippines, Korea, many African states, Indonesia, and throughout Latin AmericaIt is unclear if new democracies are firmly rooted. Economic trends based on industrialization; gaps remain wide based on level of industrialization and sophistication of technologyCreated immigration, impact on family, urbanization.
5 4. In what ways has the 20th century offered evidence of human progress? In what ways has humanity regressed?Progress: advances in technological sophistication and scientific knowledge allow ability to manage human and natural environment with better means of preserving health and improving life expectancy, increased education, improvement in status of women and treatment of children, abolition of slavery.Regression: technologies applied to war allowed greater destructive capability, intensifying regional conflicts and small wars, spread of armament sales, including nuclear weapons, increasing intolerance in societies such as the Middle East and India.
6 5. The authors postulate several potential causal factors impacting civilization in the future, including population growth, the exhaustion of frontiers, and technological advances associated with the “post-industrial world.” Evaluate the impact such factors are likely to have on the future.In the 1960s and l970s, there was widespread concern that population growth would outstrip production of food and resources and lead to environmental disaster and warfareDrop in birth rates caused this problem to be discounted by the 1990s, although birth rates remain dangerously high
7 End of “frontiers” means greater potential for friction, seen now in hostility toward immigrants; no more population migrations possible, leading to potential conflict over space.Technological developments (computers, genetic engineering, robotics) linked to creation of “post-industrial society”Most typical of advanced industrial states; led to service-oriented economy with machines performing most industrial tasks and much of agricultural production as wellFosters a generally optimistic view of industrialized society, though critics emphasize increase in inequalities in world economyOthers argue that technological transformations are not fundamental but merely reinforce existing trends.
8 6. Consider the role of traditional civilization identity versus the pace of internationalization in 20th-century cultures.Various cultures continue to emphasize traditions that are specific and traditionalIdentification may be through traditional religions (Islam, Hinduism)Ethnic identification, as with Slavic groups in former Yugoslavia or among French-speaking population in QuebecOr simply cultural patterns such as centralized state and bureaucratic intervention in China; end of cold war has accentuated regional separations. Despite retained individuality, some forces continue to accelerate internationalization: difficulty of isolation, speed of transportation andCommunication, world trade, development of international scientific communityInternational artistic styles, popularity of Western fashions, fads, and sports such as soccer.