Globalization—Ready or Not?




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RIT Professor to Look at the Social Impact of Globalization


The increasing integration of the world economy comes with unexpected consequences. What is the social impact of globalization as political and economic forces rapidly change social systems and international alliances? Who benefits and who gets hurt in the process?

Scholar and author Robert Manning will present "A Critique of Neoliberalism: Equitable Development or Global Assembly Line?" as part of the Rochester Institute of Technology’s Caroline Werner Gannett Lecture Series, Globalization, Human Rights and Citizenship.

Manning, RIT’s Caroline Werner Gannett Professor and director of the Gannett lecture series, will give his presentation at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 14, in Webb Auditorium in the James E. Booth Building. The lecture—free and open to the public—will be handicapped accessible and interpreted for the deaf.

In his talk, Manning will explore the key trends and tensions in the global economy following Sept. 11, with particular attention to the United State’s focus on promoting international commerce and free trade.

As Manning notes, globalization has produced unprecedented levels of international commerce, yet little of the resulting wealth has trickled down to the most disadvantaged social groups.

"Greater reliance on world markets makes the world’s poor and middle classes increasingly susceptible to international economic downturns with few effective public support programs to alleviate their distress," he says.

Manning will discuss why current trade policies are exacerbating the hostility of Middle Eastern populations toward the United States; the collapse of the Argentine government, including suspension of public debt payments; and future political conflicts over the North American Free Trade Agreement.

Manning also will discuss how "supranational institutions" are promoting commerce over environmental and human rights concerns, which he believes has weakened business ethics and corporate responsibility. He notes that this "raises important issues over the leadership role of the U.S. in shaping the future patterns and trends of globalization."

Manning is a specialist in comparative international development and immigrant/minority relations and a former senior Fulbright lecturer to Mexico. He also wrote the renowned book, Credit Card Nation: The Consequences of America’s Addiction to Credit, recently released in paperback.

A national authority on banking deregulation and consumer credit/debt, Manning’s research has been instrumental in the formulation of public policies in many countries; he has testified before the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives as well as several federal commissions and state legislatures, most recently in November. (Information concerning Manning’s current research is available at www.creditcardnation.com and www.rit.edu/gannettseries.)

Manning has appeared on CNN Headline News, ABC’s Nightly News with Peter Jennings, Good Morning America, The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer, CBS’ Eye on America with Dan Rather, Fox Evening News, MSNBC’s The News with Brian Williams, 60 Minutes II and Money Talk. He has been quoted in Newsweek, Forbes, The Christian Science Monitor, The Chronicle of Higher Education, and Family Circle among other publications.

Manning recently returned from Australia where he gave the keynote address to commemorate the 30th anniversary of Australia’s Consumer Protection and Employment Agency.

For more information about the Gannett lecture series, call 475-2057 or visit www.rit.edu/gannettseries.