How Globalization Spurs Terrorism: The Lopsided Benefits of "One World" and Why That Fuels Violence

By Fathali M. Moghaddam | Go to book overview

PART TWO
Catastrophic Evolution and
Terrorism

Memories of my childhood tumbled out as I rode high on the red doubledecker London bus. I had lived in London with my family and used to ride in such buses frequently. The bus was winding past Little Venice, near my old neighborhood, and everything seemed so familiar; the sights and smells took me back to my childhood world. Yet, although I could not put my finger on it at first, it was clear that something about the surroundings had changed dramatically—the voices on the bus were very different. I could now hear Spanish, Polish, French, Russian, Arabic, Urdu, and some other languages I could not recognize. And, yes, I could also hear English being spoken on the London bus. Europeanization is in full swing.1

“So few English people left in London now,” commented an elderly English lady sitting next to me on the bus. “Lets face it,” she added with a wink in her eye, “even the government is foreign. I don’t know what’s worse, Scottish prime ministers or Polish plumbers.”

My smile seemed to encourage her and she added, “Look at this bus, we have a mini United Nations right here.”

Enormous migrations are transforming western societies at the turn of the twenty-first century, but they are also changing patterns of contacts between groups all around the world. In Chapter 6, I explore the consequences of these “sudden” intergroup contacts, giving particular importance to the speed at which changes are taking place and groups are being brought face to face. Looking at the contemporary situation from an evolutionary perspective, I argue that sudden contact between

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