The Industrialized World

The World Today Part I


Consequences of Economic Interdependence

A miniature Greek flag, bearing stripes and a cross, sticks out of a pile of European Union banknotes, or euros.

Greece, represented by the blue and white flag, is just one of many members of the European Union.

In 2009, the Greek economy began to plummet beneath overwhelming debt that it could not repay. Many nations in the European Union (EU), an organization linking the economies of more than two dozen European nations, feared that Greece would fail to pay back its debt. This default, or failure to make payment, would potentially send other European nations into economic crisis. For the next several years, the EU provided aid packages, called bailouts, to Greece in exchange for domestic restrictions, called austerity measures. However, many Greek citizens protested the EU’s terms. In 2015, despite public protests, the Greek government agreed to a third EU bailout and to the necessary austerity measures in order to avoid bankruptcy and to stay in the EU.

In this lesson, you will examine political and economic changes in Europe and Russia since the end of the Cold War. In particular, you will investigate the purpose and some of the accomplishments of the EU. You will also learn about the impact of market economics on Russia, and you will evaluate some of the challenges faced by Russia and other European nations today.


  • Explain the purpose and contributions of the European Union
  • Describe the impact of market economic policies in Russia and in Asia
  • Compare political and economic changes in Europe and Russia since the end of the Cold War
  • Assess factors that contributed to violence in the Balkans
  • Explain economic and social challenges faced by Russia and the government’s responses

Key Words

  • default
  • deficit
  • ethnic cleansing
  • euro
  • European Union (EU)
  • Good Friday Agreement
  • multiethnic
  • Northern Ireland
  • Pacific Rim
  • Slobodan Miloševic
  • surplus
  • Vladimir Putin