Option 1: Environmentalists, Science and Critiques of Globalization in the Post-WW2 World
Environmental movements became global movements in the sense that local events, especially pollution events, took on global significance. Environmental activists mobilized in response to these events to not only highlight problems with nuclear power and the Great Acceleration but also much broader issues with the Earthly limits of “development.” In an essay explain how: (1) the end of
WW2, both the horrors of “total war” and a boom in Fordist-style production, triggered new forms of environmental activism in international organizations, treaties and especially in stories and art; and (2) how the “affluence” of this economic boom and Third World struggles in the 1960s broadened environmentalist critiques from scientists and others in the “West” to people in formerly
colonized countries of the Global South. (3) In a third section, reflect on this history of environmentalism and explain which events have had the most lasting significance with respect to sustainable development in the world today.
Option 2: Institutions and Technology in the Post-War World
WW2 not only ended with horrible destruction from total war, but it also produced new global political and economic institutions as well as “new lines on maps” and a world of new technologies. In an essay explain how: (1) political and economic institutions as well as post-war agreements became battlegrounds for Cold War and liberation struggles; and (2) how people in many different places challenged this new “machinery,” both its institutions and many of its new technologies, to achieve greater freedom and prosperity. (3) In a third section, reflect on these institutions and technologies and explain which of these “creations” (political, financial, technological) had the most impact for achieving greater equality, prosperity and lasting peace on Earth.
Option 3: People, Freedom and States
WW2 mobilized millions of people not only to join military struggles in the name of freedom against fascism but also to seek greater freedom in their home societies, in former colonies, in transnational organizations and in terms of incredible new possibilities to travel, work, and lead new lives. In an essay explain how: (1) people formed new movements, associations and ideas about human rights in the decades after WW2 to “imagine” more free, just societies; and (2) what happened to these struggles for justice and peace by the late 20th century (1980s-2000s). Did they fail or succeed? How did they change? (3) In a third section, reflect on these protest movements and explain which ideas or movements from the postwar world made the greatest contribution towards world peace and the expansion of human rights.