Global Political Economy: World Trade Organization, World Bank, And European Union Sample College Essay


This essay on global political economy will present answers to the attached questions. The answer to the first question will illuminate the exact functions of World Trade Organization (WTO), the problems associated with the body, such as market access in developing countries, tariffs, and impacts of subsidies, barriers that make developing countries face, agricultural policies, and agricultural agreements.

The answers to the second question will illuminate the World Bank’s resolve to reduce poverty. While still on the second question, the paper will highlight the basic roles of the World Bank including its lensing function and its general goals. Millennium Development Goals will be discussed in light of its specific policies and the hindrances to achieving these goals. Under this context, corruption will also be discussed.

The answer to the third question will revolve around the European Union and the single market. In this respect, Greece will be brought into perspective. Questions relating to basic principles of single market, what single market really is, the problems that Greece is facing will be answered. More importantly, Greece’s debts, people’s lack of confidence in her financial market, her social and economic instability, and how her instability has impacted other countries in the Euro zone and the general world economy will be discussed.

What WTO does

World Trade Organization looks at global rules that govern trade between different nations. It ensures that trade is carried out smoothly between nations and guarantees trading partners of predictability and freeness in trade undertakings.

WTO and market access too developing countries

Power politics that characterize activities of WTO remain a major hindrance to developing countries benefiting from trade: the WTO does not permit adequate public participation in its activities. The organization never lives up to its claims of free, open, and democratic activities as it appears more lenient to large corporations as compared to smaller, local organizations. Developing countries that are signatories to the WTO have no say as to how certain goods are manufactured.

An example of its impartiality is seen in Guatemala, which toiled to reduce infant mortality rates to comply with the WHO guidelines and to counter aggressive marketing that baby food companies embarked on to convince mothers that they were selling nutritious products that guaranteed protection from diseases more than the mother’s milk would do. In a twist of events, affected companies reported this to the predecessor of WTO, GATT.

The law was reversed because Guatemala was threatened with sanctions. A similar example regards Canada’s complaint to the WTO about France’s ban on asbestos. The victim’s woes are rarely attended to by the WTO. The multilateral trading systems do not benefit developing countries, or those with weaker economies, in any way. The predecessor of WTO, GATT, that only addressed agricultural trade erred in allowing countries to make use of non-tariff measures like import quotas and using subsidies. This move distorted agricultural trade that had hitherto relied heavily on export subsidies.

This did not resonate well with the WTO principles of fair competition. Developing countries were expected to cut their subsidies and lower their tariffs just as developed countries did. This move did not guarantee fair playing grounds for these trading partners. In fact, before the Uruguay Round, unfair competition was characterized by restriction imposed on agricultural imports by quotas and other non-tariff measures. This made domestic prices be higher than the world prices.

Agricultural agreement

The agreement was initiated to reform trade and come up with policies that are market oriented to improve predictability and security for both importing and exporting countries. The new rules border on market access, domestic support, and export subsidies. These rules and commitments endeavor to tackle trade restrictions that cloud imports and make exports artificially competitive. Under this agreement, governments are obligated to support rural economies by coming up with policies that do not distort trade.

The agreement intends to guarantee flexibility in implementation of commitments. Developing countries must not cut their subsidies or lower their tariffs to conform with developed countries as it was initially. Least developed countries are totally exempted from all these regulations. Countries that heavily rely on imports have their interests catered for in the Agriculture Agreement.

World Bank and Poverty

What the World Bank does in general, the body’s role of lending, and its general goals

The World Bank offers technical and financial assistance to developing economies the world over. The World Bank is committed to fighting poverty by providing resources, sharing knowledge, building capacity, and creating partnership in the private and public sectors. By undertaking in these activities, the body aids poor nations. It has two development institutions (IBRD and IDA) that helps it to realize its goals. IDA focuses on the World’s poorest countries where as IBRD marshals resources towards reducing poverty in middle income and credit-worthy poor nations.

The Bank provides low interest loans, interest free credits, and grants to developing countries. These funds can be used in education, health, public administration, infrastructure, and other areas of economy.

World Bank’s MDGs

The MDGs were conceived at the United Nations Millennium Summit in 2000. The goals included commitment to eradicate extreme poverty, achieving universal primary education, promotion of gender equity, reducing child mortality, improving maternal health, combating HIV/AIDS, malaria, and other diseases, fostering environmental sustainability, and developing a global partnership for development. The World Bank is alive to the realization of these goals.

World Bank’s specific policies on MDGs

With respect to eradication of extreme poverty and hunger by 2015, the World Bank provides technical and financial support to various countries. The bank has since established Global Food Crisis Response Program to assist countries hard hit by hunger. The bank also does zero-interest development financing. The bank measures education outcomes for the poor, offers innovative incentives to keep kids in schools, establishes standards for schools, and trains teachers who work in disadvantaged areas.

The banks promotes gender equity by strengthening nutrition, initiating disease prevention programs, improving girl child education, and expanding women access to credit facilities. The bank tries to reduce child mortality by strengthening national health systems and protecting the poor from ill health. To improve maternal health by 2015, the bank works towards developing effective and efficient national health systems.

The WB works towards combating HIV/AIDS, malaria, and other illnesses by developing stronger national health systems. Towards environmental sustainability, the bank endeavors to improve management of water resources and reducing the impacts of climate variability and change. Finally, the bank intends to develop a global partnership for development by 2015 by reducing low-income countries’ burden of external debts through debt relief.

Challenges to achieving MDGs

A major challenge to attaining millennium development goals has been the impacts of global economic crisis. This has put developing countries in some serious financial constrain occasioned with weak demand in advanced economies and modest capital inflows. Advanced countries have since embarked on increased borrowing. This has made borrowing costs to skyrocket that has crowded out developing countries borrowers.

Development in developing countries has also been lowered by tighter financial conditions. Attainment of millennium development goals faces potential threat in global financial crisis. It was estimated that those living on less than a dollar were to hit a record 64 million. Higher unemployment rates and lower remittances that have characterized global financial crisis threaten to increase poverty levels. Layoffs have been caused by collapse in global demand. Some of the challenges that hinder the realization of the MDGs include capacity building, infrastructure development, and development of financial systems, and corruption that continues unabated in developing countries.

Impacts of corruption on poor countries

The World Bank is investing a lot of energy towards fighting corruption because corruption makes public administration dysfunctional. The World Bank intends to promote accountability and transparency. Corruption undermines policies and programs intended at alleviating poverty. For poverty levels to be reduced in developing countries, it is pertinent that corruption is attacked.

European Union and the single market

What are the basic principles of a single market/what is a single market about?

A single market is a trading bloc that allows for free trade with similar policies on product regulation and the freedom of movement of factors of production. A single market endeavors to create a scenario where there is free movement of labor, capital, labor, and goods between member countries. The physical borders, the taxes levied are done away with to allow free trade. The four factors of production are supposed to freely move between member countries without any form of restriction.

Problems that Greece currently faces

Greece currently suffers from a huge public debt because of the balance of trade deficit that it suffers. This deficit stems from her decision to join European Union Trading bloc. In the process, Greece lost her competiveness. The problems that Greece faces had been occasioned by the previous governments’ resolve to misreport her official economic statistics to be in EU monetary union guidelines. The governments spent beyond their means and concealed their deficits.

Greece’ public debt was 120% of its GDP in 2010, the highest ever in the world. The international community lost confidence in the country’s ability to repay her debts. To avert this crisis, the European Union member countries and the IMF agreed to offer rescue package. Greece was subsequently given 45 billion pounds in bail out. In total, Greece has received 110 billion pounds in austerity funds aimed at salvaging the country’s economy and that of the entire Euro zone.

Twitter Role In Interactive Lessons Creation

Social network has allowed an individual to have access to the world and interactions can be made easier through chatting and messaging. There are many social networks in the world today but in this particular context we are majoring on “twitter” and how it has helped to create interactive lessons in the classroom (“The Twitter Experiment” 1). The essays in the New York Times and the twitter experiment have a similar theme i.e. how social network can enhance interaction in a class setup (Freeman 35-37).

One similarity between the essay and the YouTube link is the use of the same social network, “twitter” (Scott 45-52). It is a social network that allows users to blog posts with a limit of 140 characters. To log in to twitter, one needs an email address and they acquire a user name for interaction. You can have as many followers as you want. In relation to education, students are able to make their posts and their views are seen by the whole class (“The Twitter Experiment” 1).

Justin Lansink illustrated in the essay has the fear of speaking out in class while David Petty, a freshman in the study of political science in the University of Texas Dallas says that one does not have to worry about speaking to a multitude of people in the class (Martin 2010). This shows that the fear to make your point across in class can be countered by the availability of social network. Not every individual has the capacity to speak up because of fear of being put down or saying the wrong thing.

Posting on the screen builds up the confidence of students to be interactive (Wellman 1-12). In terms of analysis, this similarity is significant in terms of helping to understand the necessity of social networks in the current society. Apart from helping to provide and spread information quickly, social networks aid in promotion of healthy relationships in the society thereby enhancing harmony amongst people.

In both materials, teachers are using twitter in schools to set up “backchannels” in their classrooms. The teacher’s computer is connected to a projector and reflected on the white screen. This allows the questions, posts, answers and commentary to be visible by everyone in the class. This is made possible through a live digital streaming and the student’s response is relative to the class discussion (Hansen 75).

In the video clip, David Schallert a History student in the University of Texas Dallas voices out that in a classroom of fifty students it is hard to get your opinion out. Through the help of twitter, an additional number of student can get there comments piped up and be heard like anyone else (“The Twitter Experiment” 1). The same point can be seen in the magazine whereby Nicholas Provenzano, an English teacher at Grosse Pointe South High School which is outside Detroit, illustrates that out of thirty students; only twelve can engage in a conversation and through backchannels an additional of eight are able to pipe up. He notes it is an improvement (Hansel 18-20).

Purdue University in Indiana developed their back channel system where students post their questions and answers that can be read on their laptops and smartphones and projected on a large screen (Brown 10). The same is seen in the University of Texas Dallas where student are sitting with their laptops while there is a large screen in front of them where their comments are displayed (“The Twitter Experiment” 1).

In this case, it can be noted that both materials indicate the importance of technology to the society in terms promotion of easy learning techniques. It is clear that both producers of the two materials were mainly suggesting to their audience the technology has helped the current society in terms of it has eliminated complex procedures. The audience, in both cases, can deduce that the use of technology has improved the lifestyle of mean in a great way.

Professor Chakravarty says that students are intimidated and could not speak up, while in the video, Dr. Monica Rankin says that he could not be able to pull out a discussion from students but now thanks to twitter, interactions is successful (Shishkin 16-19). The teacher-student relationship is made trust worthy by the response the teacher gets from the students. This gives the teacher moral to pass knowledge.

Kate weber mentioned in the magazine essay, convinces that students are not destructive rather they are quick to know things. Even Dr. Monica Rankin says that she thought it would be disastrous and messy to introduce this system but the response was encouraging. In both resources, it can be proved that social network in classrooms can work and enable effective learning environment (“The Twitter Experiment” 1).

By the comments from the elementary and University students there is a positive response towards this system (Freeman 54-60). In terms of analysis, this example shows the importance of technology in terms of enhancing education and other social activities that take place in life. It is clearly evident that most of the use of technology has created major changes in terms of creating a platform whereby individuals can easily communicate and resolve conflicts. These pieces of literary work demonstrate that technology can be useful in terms of improving education and processes of learning.

In conclusion, the innovation and introduction of devices has brought change in education. There are many who would think that by adding devices like laptops and smartphone in their classes, students will be more destructed. All people need is for their opinions to be heard and social networks like twitter have enabled students to get involved in classroom activities. Social networks act as ice breakers and this encourages interaction between them (Moody 103–127).

They are able to correct each other and learn what each and every one of them has to put across. People who are introverts no longer have to fear being called out to speak in public. It is in such platforms that one may have the right answer but because of fear they would rather keep it for themselves. Twitter has allowed everybody’s views to be displayed. It is also an advantage for teachers who have many students in class. It is impossible to get every bodies opinion in a crowd of one hundred people but twitter has a made it easy by enabling teachers to get as many response as possible in a short moment (McGrath and Krackhardt 223-242).

Works Cited

Brown, Amanda. “The tricky business of business tweeting.” The Irish Times. 2011: 10. Print.

Freeman, Linton. The Development of Social Network Analysis. Vancouver: Empirical Press, 2006. Print.

Hansel, Saul. “Advertisers Are Watching Your Every Tweet.” The New York Times. 2009: 18-20. Print.

Hansen, William and Eric Reese. Network Genie User Manual. Greensboro, NC: Tanglewood Research, 2009. Print.

Martin John Levi. Social Structures. USA: Princeton University Press, 2010.

McGrath, Blythe and Krackhardt. “The effect of spatial arrangement on judgements and errors in interpreting graphs”. Social Networks 19 (1997): 223-242.

Moody, James and Douglas White. “Structural Cohesion and Embeddedness: A Hierarchical Concept of Social Groups.” New York: American Sociological Review. 2003. Print.

Scott, John. Social Network Analysis. London: Sage, 1991. Print.

Shishkin, Philip. “Genes and the Friends You Make.” Wall Street Journal. 2009: 16-19. Print.

The Twitter Experiment. Twitter in the Classroom. Web.

Wellman, Barry and Berkowitz. Social Structures: A Network Approach. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1988. Print.

The Evaluation And Grading Process Of Students

The evaluation and grading process of students depends on a number of factors including the effort made by a student. This process should be used to analyse the understanding of the student in relation to course material. The process of evaluation and grading according to Violet was undertaken in order to understand the needs of the students. According to her, this would help her devise the relevant approaches to teaching her students. The main aim for testing is to assess the student’s understanding of the course material properly.

The student is required to answer questions that are set by a standard that is identified by an authority in order to assess the understanding of course material by students. Violet is, therefore, required to use the grading system to assess the level of understanding of her students of the course material.

A test should be tailored in such a way as to ensure that the students’ learning ability is assessed correctly. It involves the application of a uniform standard against which the students are assessed to provide information on the students’ understanding and ability to learn (Wasserman, 32).

These standards are objective in the sense that they require the teacher to administer a test to all students. This is regardless of the effort they put in class participation and other factors that a teacher may consider relevant in evaluation. This objective nature ensures an even playing field for the students.

Evaluation, therefore, takes the form of standardised tests that are administered to all students in a given jurisdiction. This is especially so with students who have undergone the same curriculum. The students are required to overcome and solve similar tasks by the use of skills acquired in the classroom.

One justification for the application of a ‘blanket’ standard is that the students undergo the same curriculum and are, therefore, exposed to the same information. Though the level of understanding and speed at which the students grasp the content during the learning process differs, the basis upon which they are being assessed is not the speed at which they understood the course material. Rather, it is the understanding of the course material that is being tested. The evaluation process is, therefore, objective.

Violet made a mistake by personalising the evaluation process and using it to assess the speed at which the student grasps the course content. In doing so, she sought to grade the students according to the effort made to understand the course as well as the participation of a student in the classroom. These standards, as applied by Violet, focus on something totally out of the scope for which evaluation was initially administered. This subjectivity is also seen where she attempts to use the process to change her teaching methods. According to her, she intended to use the evaluation as a means of understanding the various capabilities of her students with the aim of tailoring the learning process to suit their needs.

This is contrary to the basis upon which the standardised evaluation tests are administered. The main reason, as discussed earlier, is to ensure that all students have an equal ground upon which they will be evaluated (Wasserman, 33). Violet also became subjective by assuming that her student, Adam, was going to fail the final examination. This assumption may have impeded her ability to understand the problems which Adam was facing both academically and emotionally.

Violet adopted a marking and grading system that took into consideration the abilities of the student as well as their effort in completing tasks that are required of them. This mode of grading helps to check the excesses of the standardised tests that assume the level of understanding of all students is at par with each other. The assumption of these standardised tests is that the students have learned the same content during the learning period and, therefore, should be able to be assessed on the same universal standard.

It is argued that the standardised tests fail to recognise the disparities in learning ability of the students (Goldberg, 364). These tests apply a uniform standard despite such disparities in both the ability to understand the course material and the amount of input of each student in the learning process. In my opinion, Violet used a fair process that categorised the grading process into groups that assess the different abilities of the students in learning and understanding.

Violet should administer a test to assess Adam’s abilities based on her own assessment of his progress during the entire learning process. This aim of this should be to aid the student in putting down the information he has acquired through studying the course and understanding such material. One of the most likely effects of this action will be opposition from the school administration whose position is that the student’s marks should be increased up to the pass mark to allow him to pass and not to, primarily, assess his understanding and performance in relation to the course material.

Works Cited

Goldberg, Mark. The Test Mess, Phi Delta Kappan, 2004.

“Relative Resource Manager.” webct. N.p., n.d. Web.

Wasserman, Selma. Quantum Theory, the Uncertainty Alchemy of Standardizing Testing, Phi Delta Kappan, 2001.

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