The Globalization Of The Cocoa Industry In The Mayan Economy

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Globalization is a predominant term in global politics today, but it is a more complex issue than some may perceive it to be. While it has enabled a remarkably integrated global political landscape and fast-tracked the international economy, these new global networks also exposed the full extent of economic and power imbalances between states. Powerful western states and corporations have used global integration to exploit states that are rich in highly sought-after resources, but not strong or secure enough to protect these resources from external actors. The worldwide cocoa industry has expanded profoundly since its emergence in Mesoamerican culture in the 15th century, and this industry has become a microcosm of western dominance in the global economy. The exploitation of Latin American and African countries at the hands of western corporate enterprises is an ongoing trend in cocoa production; however, hope rests in corporate social responsibility and the fair trade movement to dramatically alter the global production network of cocoa going forward. Cocoa has an illustrious history which initially began with the Mayans around 500 BCE in Mesoamerica, the region that would later make up Mexico and some surrounding nations (Kermani 2006). With no access to external sweeteners like sugar, the cocoa of this era had a bitter taste which differs greatly from what is recognized as chocolate today. Since Mayan civilization did not possess the resources to create a solid, edible

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