Nongovernments: NGOs and the Political Development of the Third World

Nongovernments: NGOs and the Political Development of the Third World

Nongovernments: NGOs and the Political Development of the Third World

Nongovernments: NGOs and the Political Development of the Third World

Synopsis

• A complete overview of the composition and types of today's NGOs

This definitive work on nongovernmental organizations is worthwhile reading for anyone who is interested in NGOs or the political development of the Third World. Nongovernments details the influence these organizations have had on world political systems and the hope they bring to the possibility for sustainable development.

Excerpt

The global economy is undergoing a fundamental transformation in the nature of work brought on by the new technologies of the Information Age revolution. These profound technological and economic changes will force every country to rethink long-held assumptions about the nature of politics and citizenship.

At the heart of this historic shift are sophisticated computers, robotics, telecommunications, and other Information Age technologies that are fast replacing human beings, especially in the manufacturing sector. Automated technologies have been reducing the need for human labor in every manufacturing category. By the year 2020 less than 2 percent of the entire global workforce will still be engaged in factory work. Over the next quarter century we will see the virtual elimination of the blue-collar, mass assembly-line worker from the production process.

Acknowledging that both the manufacturing and service sectors are quickly reengineering their infrastructures and automating their production processes, many mainstream economists and politicians have pinned their hopes on new job opportunities along the information superhighway and in cyberspace. Although the "knowledge sector" will create some new jobs, they will be too few to absorb the millions of workers displaced by the new technologies. That's because the knowledge sector is, by nature, an elite and not a mass workforce. Indeed, the shift from mass to elite labor is what distinguishes work in the Information Age from that in the Industrial Age. With near-workerless factories and virtual companies already looming on the horizon, every nation will have to grapple with the question of what to do with the millions of people whose labor will be needed less, or not at all, in an evermore automated global economy.

Jeremy Rifkin is the author of The End of Work: The Decline of the Global Labor Force and the Dawn of the Post-Market Era. He is president of the Foundation on Economic Trends in Washington, D.C.

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