Thursday, September 22, 2005

Fancy pictures

Last Monday ISA's autumn term lecture series kicked off with a presentation by a Princeton sociology professor on how to visually present globalisation. The interactive project is at an early stage, but they've got some data up on world trade - one of the first gloablisation relationships which is most commonly presented. Other forms, including cultural forms may become available as data is presented by others in this open-source activity.

Given the cost of collating data on world trade, we were only able to see comparisons between 1980, 1990 and 2001. However, it as sufficient to show that in terms of volume and proportion there are really only three axes that matter - and which have got stronger over the timeperiod: the US, Europe and Japan. Latin America's relationship is relatively small while African presence in the world trade/globalisation relationship is virtually non-existent. Furthermore, in large part most other trade relationships by 'smaller' nations are centred around these regional hegemons, e.g. East Asia has stronger relationships with Japan. Interestingly also, when broken down by commodity, it becomes clearer that Middle East oil is directed more at the Asian market than the US.

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