John F. Kennedy said, "If a free society cannot help the many who are poor, it cannot save the few who are rich." In today's global economy, democracy cannot live in a sea of poverty, and as capital and corporations move across national borders to wherever costs are lowest and profits highest, nation-states, far from increasing regulations to eliminate the effects of destructive competition, must instead progressively dismantle the little regulation they already have in order to stay internationally competitive.
The permeability of national borders has tremendously increased in the face of electronic commerce and other technology-driven innovations which have rendered the territorial state more susceptible to external influences. As Ian Douglas observed, it's "the ascendance of the 'stateless corporation', the emergence of the trillion dollar '24-hour, integrated global financial market-place', the sharpening of competition under capital mobility and the 'law of one price', the proliferation of foreign direct investment, the increase in intercontinental migration, and the emergence of a 'global information society'. Everything from the rise of neoliberal transnational technocracy to crises of governance, ecology and citizenship, from the fragmentation of institutions and institutional boundaries, to decolonization, democratization, pluralism and sub-nationalism" (in Gills 110).
It is these characteristics that make up the dynamic process of globalization; however with these changes come instability and people feeling anxious about their well-being and security.
To understand the present, we need to examine the past and its impact on current events. A pivotal moment in human history was the Treaty of Westphalia signed in 1648 which ended the Thirty Years War in Medieval Europe, and brought about a new world order through the creation of the state system deemed to establish peace and stability. This system defined state sovereignty within a political space by the institution of citizenship, and conceived such concepts as state's interests, security, and power in determining its behavior and the making of its foreign policy. According to many scholars, globalization is transforming this Westphalian paradigm by changing the notion of state territoriality from state-restrictive to transnational space. State control over space and time is increasingly bypassed by global flows of capital, goods, services, technology, communication, cultural penetration, and information.
Economic globalization has brought about mixed results. On the one hand, it has raised the standards of living for several hundred million people in Asia; and as certain indications have shown, when countries reach a certain level of development, pressures to improve workplace and environmental conditions give those countries a confident voice on the global stage as they challenge inequities and biases of geopolitical structures. On the other hand, international capital movements, impelled by market sovereignty, have created new inequalities of every variety as they concentrate the benefits of growth upon already advantaged sectors within and among societies and worsening the relative and absolute conditions of those more disadvantaged (Richard Falk in Gills 47-49).
Some scholars view globalization as a "paradigm shift" in that it involves a cultural and social shift in our value system, lifestyle, and our recognition and acceptance of the diversity of the 'other', whether it is cultural, ethnic, religious, sexual and so on.
Hence, if we look at globalization as being the new international system, it is not the only thing influencing events in today's world. As Thomas Friedman noted, "what is new is the system, what is old is power politics, chaos, clashing civilizations, and liberalism;" they are all part of the new world order and "the interaction between this new system and all these old passions and aspirations make this process a very complex one…Under the globalization system you will find both clashes of civilization and the homogenization of civilizations, both environmental disasters and amazing environmental rescues, both the triumph of liberal, free-market capitalism and a backlash against it, both the durability of nation-states and the rise of enormously powerful nonstate actors" (xxi).
The growing challenge to state sovereignty around the world seems to originate from the inability of the modern-state to navigate between the power of global networks and the challenges raised through the increase in ethno-political conflict, the expansion of terrorism, the growth of sophisticated weaponry production, all of which undermine state boundaries and sovereignty, and make us rethink the changing nature of war and peace in the new post-Westphalian world order.
One may wonder whether global security lives in paradise, or whether democracy will enable nation-states to move into a self-contained world of laws and rules, and where transnational negotiation and cooperation can lead to the realization of Kant's "perpetual peace." Globalization seems to be the world of competitors whether they are friends or foes, everyone fears not the other as much as the rapid change created by that other we cannot see, touch, or feel.
The contemporary international system offers some intriguing and complex impediments to the historical Westphalian state. What is this system? How does it challenge the state's sovereignty and security? How do the motivations, intentions, and actions of the actors on the international arena help us understand the outcome of the developments and changes occurring on the global scene? And how far do these developments defy the nation-state's ability to act? This paper will attempt to answer these questions as it examines these global developments which are challenging our conventional conceptions of the 'political' and its position in the new international system.
Globalization has been the buzz-word since the 1990s with an ever-growing diverse literature about its scope and dimension. Anthony McGrew noted that it refers to "the multiplicity of linkages and interconnections between the states and societies which make up the modern world system. It describes the process by which events, decisions, and activities in one part of the world can come to have significant consequences for individuals and communities in quite distant parts of the globe".Globalization then implies a process which covers most of the globe and operates worldwide, at the same time it implies intensification at the levels of interaction and interdependence between states and societies; these two trends explain the stretching and deepening of this global process. Waters defines it as a "social process in which the constraints of geography on social and cultural arrangements recede and in which people become increasingly aware that they are receding", and Anthony Giddens says globalization is "action at distance" (in Hay and Marsh 21-22). More importantly, it's where "the proto-typical citizen of the fin du siècle needs to be 'agile', 'rapide', 'mobile', 'adaptative', 'inventive', 'competitive', 'self-reliant' and 'self-motivated', 'self-monitoring', 'self-governing', 'efficient' and 'effective'" (Ian Douglas in Gills 110).
What needs to be highlighted here is that the debate on globalization is obscured by a "pervasive conceptual fuzziness" surrounding the term itself; there seems to be however a set of 'clusters' of definitions according to the perspective or issue area from which the definition emanates. This cluster might include economic processes, political processes, world culture processes, and global society processes. Therefore, we may say that globalization is a "multidimensional process" and has a common element across most of the prevailing approaches identified as an 'epochal shift'; the idea being that "all societies, stimulated by the forces of global change, are taking on 'new' forms," and this brings to focus the idea of "profound discontinuity" as opposed to the idea of "fundamental continuity" (Louise Amoore et al. in Gills 15-16).
Hence, although there are many definitions, what we need to recognize is that globalization is not a new process that followed the Cold War; it would be easy to miss its historical and social dimensions if we focused only on its modern strategy and power. What is new today is the all embracing character of global relationships (technological, economic, social and political) and the speed of reaction through the media and electronic network markets, what some scholars call the "Convergence Phenomenon" which has allowed increasing links between economies of the world, where organizations of different countries transact business in a world market not demarcated by national boundaries and trade barriers. This has also resulted in economic and political integration with the creation of the "supra-state" such as the European Union (EU), the Association of Southeast Asia Nations (ASEAN), and the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).
However, humans have always adopted several strategies to ensure their survival and well-being; they have migrated, traded, conquered, and technologically innovated. Therefore, globalization is not only about the role of technology in stimulating change; globalization is also about human interconnections that have slowly enveloped humans since the earliest times as they globalized themselves (Robbie Robertson 2003:6). From the agricultural revolution to the industrial revolution, technological changes altered the way humans produced and transformed the nature of human societies, but human interconnectiveness granted these revolutions a substantial dimension as it gave their strategies new forms and scopes thereby generating new dangers and challenges. As interconnections increased and took global dimensions, trade prospered and the power and influence of trading classes increased accordingly. Commerce led to democratization which empowered people to act and transform class structure as well as ensured that modernity was more attainable; but the process of democratization can be hindered by the dominant elite in its desire to monopolize its potential and reorient globalization towards more exclusive strategies.
Slowly, globalization came to mean different things for different people; for analysts angered at the contemporary power and influence of transnational entities, globalization has become the bête noir that is homogenizing the world, destroying its diversity, and marginalizing its peoples' hard-won democratic rights (Robbie Robertson 2003: 3). For others, the new form of global integration will enable humans to co-operate more meaningfully with each other, because according to the Kantian concept of "pacific federation", cooperative relations between democratic states will lead to the creation of a community of interest based on a "cosmopolitan law which adds material incentives to moral commitments", and that is why they renounce the option to use force in their mutual interactions (Doyle in Viotti and Kauppi 233-244).
Whether we tend to agree with one or the other, globalization is an ongoing process and its key feature is integration. It's the integration of all people living within the boundaries of a certain space into the political community and their political equality as citizens which make up the essence of a nation-state; and although this seems to be a democratic ideal few nations have reached, it has not been without its share of violent change.
Thomas Friedman observed, "it is the inexorable integration of markets, nation-states, and technologies to a degree never witnessed before, in a way that is enabling individuals, corporations, and nation-states to reach around the world farther, faster, deeper, and cheaper than ever before, and in a way that is enabling the world to reach into individuals, corporations, and nation-states farther, faster, deeper, cheaper than ever before. This process of globalization is also producing a powerful backlash from those brutalized or left behind by this new system" (9).
According to this definition, there are three key actors in this process: the state, the global market, and the individual. How they interact with each other helps us better understand the system.
Globalization, Cultural Identity, and the State
Today, globalization is regarded as one of the most important determinant of the human condition. Nicos Poulantzas noted that "what is specific to the capitalist state is that it absorbs social time and space, sets up the matrices of time and space, and monopolizes the organization of time and space that become, by action of the state, networks of domination and power. This is how the modern nation is the product of the state" (in Castells 243).
Manuel Castells maintains that globalization has changed this paradigm as it challenges the state's ability to capture historical time through the appropriation of tradition and the construction and reconstruction of national identity. Identities are originated from dominant institutions and become identities only when and if social actors internalize them and construct their meaning around this internalization.
In these global times, people are being exposed to diverse possibilities. The expansion, speed, and availability of international trade and global mass media are exposing foreign cultural products and services, different perspectives and experiences at the local level; migration and people moving their cultures across borders, are all causing changes in local cultures, values, and traditions; producing multiple, fragmented, and cosmopolitan identities which can undermine national identity.
Castells argued that "our societies are increasingly structured around a bipolar opposition between the Net and the Self" (in Castles and Davidson 6); however this system has not been able to give meaning to people's lives that's why they increasingly seek meaning through particularistic identities based on ethnicity, religion, regionalism or nationalism and this explains why many contemporary conflicts are not concerned primarily with 'rational' economic and social interests (Castles and Davidson 6).
Because globalization allowed for a higher mobility of people, Friedman noted, it has forced countries around the world to adapt to this new concept of multiculturalism and having to deal with problems of race and ethnicity. Consequently, one may ask if the social and political construction of national identities can take place without linking it to the concepts of territory and boundaries, and how can we understand the new relationship between the state and its political community, i.e. its citizens, in these transformative times.
Peter Mandaville noted that "the citizen is intrinsically linked to the state insofar as it is only the state which can bestow this status upon an individual" (12); this implies the notion of inclusion and exclusion in the sense that there are those considered to be citizens with rights and obligations as opposed to those who are non-citizens. The state has also traditionally served an important function that of the ethical in that it provides protection and social justice for its citizens (13). Both these structures have been challenged by the process of globalization.
As for the ethical function of the state, globalization threatens the very essence of the Westphalian system: state sovereignty. Transnational non-governmental organizations such as Amnesty International, Greenpeace, and Médecins Sans Frontières challenge state activities and its legitimate role to uphold the 'rule of law' within its territory as part and parcel of its sovereignty; they criticize and often attempt to interfere in situations of torture, detainment without trial, nuclear testing, and refusal to grant access to those offering humanitarian aid.
On the other hand, existing territorial states have become an amalgamation for economic interests and social identities within an intensely competitive, integrated yet unstable world economy. International corporations have gone beyond state boundaries to recruit labor and move them across borders, and the notion of the 'supra-state' such as the European Union, are both forcing a new form of political community based on a wider framework that of a 'global civil society'.
However, as Mandaville argued, if we are to think that such "apparent inclusivity is highly democratic…there is also the sense in which such 'universalism' can be read as a form of exclusion which, by its assumption of homogeneity, negates difference" (13). The integrity of the state is then challenged by those excluded groups classified under gender, sexuality, religion, ethnicity, and who are seeking their inclusivity under the notion of citizenship.
Stephen Castles and Alastair Davidson observed that globalization broke the territorial principle, the nexus between power and place. Referring to the work of Lapeyronnie et al., 1990, they draw attention to the need of making a distinction between three elements that evolved in nineteenth and twentieth century 'national industrial society', these are: society, state, and nation. 'Society' referred to an economic and social system based on rational (as opposed to traditional or religious) principles within a bounded national territory; 'state' referred to a political system based on secular (and usually democratic) principles capable of regulating economic and political relations and change; and 'nation' referred to a 'people' defined on the basis both of belonging to the territory of the state and having a common cultural and ethnic background. Politics, the economy, social relations and culture were all congruent as they all took the nation-state as their main point of reference (6-7).
Another vital distinction is the one between citizenship and nationality or as Castles and Davidson indicated, between "the notion of the 'citizen' as an individual abstracted from cultural characteristics and that of the 'national' as a member of a community with common cultural values." They maintain that the nation-state is the combination of a political unit that controls a bounded territory (the state) with a national community (the nation or people) that has the power to impose its political will within those boundaries, and that "citizenship is meant to be universalistic and above cultural difference, yet it exists only in the context of a nation-state which is based on cultural specificity – on the belief in being different from other nations" (12).
However, when we examine the world as it is today, there are 200 nation-states in the world yet over 6000 languages – language being one of the indicators of a cultural community – hence conflict is bound to arise when different ethnic groups are to be molded within the confines of one nation or as D.P. Moynihan puts it, even if a fraction of these ethnic groups "were to seek to become nations, the potential for conflict would be enormous." He states that there is "an inherent contradiction between two basic principles of the United Nations (UN): the principle of national sovereignty and that of the self-determination of peoples" (in Castles and Davidson 12).
The distinction made here between the nation and the ethnic group can be very ambiguous in that there have been several views and definitions of the 'ethnic' depending whether we look at the Anglo-American or the Continental European literature; consequently, maybe there need to be a separation between the concept of a nation and that of the state, thus a disconnection between nationality and citizenship. Still, in a world of migrants and ethnic groups, this entails reconciliation between the individual and the collective and a new notion of state borders (Castles and Davidson 24).
Anssi Paasi noted that boundaries do not limit themselves to landscapes and line demarcations; they manifest themselves in social and cultural practices and are instruments of social control and the communication and construction of meanings of identities. They link the past, present, and future together as they construct continuity for social interaction(in Newman 72). But when the existing landscape is reshaped and transformed by the actors within it and their interconnection with other actors outside of it; allowing for further spatial mobility of people, goods, money, ideas, technology, and other assets, the effectiveness of the state's authority and legitimacy in controlling and preserving its boundaries is brought into focus.
Some scholars believe that the stretching of social and economic relations across space and time has destabilized and weakened the nation-state. Huntington maintains that while states remain the primary actors in world affairs, they are also suffering losses in sovereignty, functions, and power. International institutions and powerful international bureaucracies now operate directly on individual citizens. In short, state borders have become increasingly permeable, and state's power and authority has been considerably weakened (35). Conversely, A. Amin and N. Thrift argue that "globalization does not represent the end of territorial distinctions and distinctiveness; rather it means an added set of influences on local economic identities and developing capacities" (in Newman 71).
Instead of being the end of geography, globalization then requires for us to reinterpret it away from the economic mapping of the world in terms of state territories, towards a more complex notion of states and localities integrated into the global economy. Political and social boundaries have not really disappeared; rather they have been reconstituted around and across long-established ones. People continue to experience a steady interconnectedness across geographical, cultural, and other divides even as they seek to maintain their distinctiveness and separateness from other individual communities.
In his attempt to locate political space under these changing conditions, R.B.J. Walker identified three transformations in the existence of our political identity/community: the first is related to the existence of a complex multitude of global connections; the second contends that the existence of these global connections does not necessarily entail some form of universalism; and third, that despite the global nature of these connections, people's lives are embedded in a myriad of particular locations and circumstances. He argues that "these three themes converge on a recognition that in the modern world, communities and solidarities have to be grasped as a dialectical moment, as a sense of participation both in large scale global processes and in particular circumstances" (in Mandaville 21).
Consequently, while nation-states seem to be loosing their power, they have not really lost their influence. People still live in closed worlds, the territorial state continues to be the dominant form of political organization in the minds of people everywhere; even in the case of dissatisfied 'ethnic' groups, their goal generally is to get control of national governments or to separate and create their own. States and their boundaries remain a powerful source of identity in the modern world, especially at the level of the individual, and his/her participation in daily routine actions, which will continue to link them with the idea of sovereignty (Newman 71).
P. Hirst and G. Thompson acknowledge that states continue to be vitally important for regulating and policing the more diversified societies that are emerging, "the emerging forms of governance of international markets and other economic processes involve the major national governments but in a new role: states come to function less as sovereign entities and more as components of an international polity. The central functions of the nation-state will become those of providing legitimacy for and ensuring the accountability of supra-national and subnational governance mechanisms" (in Castells 304).
Hence, is globalization creating a global cultural homogenization or are people becoming more assertive of their own cultures? Furthermore, are people so different from one another that we can look at each culture in isolation, or does culture really reveal the dialectical relationship between us and the others therefore is the result of power inequity?
Cultures are interwoven in the dynamic processes of change, when one group's tradition clashes with another group's, conflict arise. Differences between civilizations perceived or otherwise, frame the issue of cultural identity and reveal the dialectical relationship between us and the others. Samuel Huntington observed that, "people define themselves in terms of ancestry, religion, language, history, values, customs, and institutions…culture and cultural identities are shaping the patterns of cohesion, disintegration, and conflict in the post-Cold War world" (20-21). The fundamental source of conflict in the new world, he maintains, is not ideological or economic rather it is a clash between groups or nations of different cultures, or to use his term, between different "civilizations".
However, this argument is charged with conceptual classifications such as "Westernization," modernization," "progress," "orientalism," "traditional," which divide people according to "fault lines" placing them in boxes mired in stagnation. This Western ethnocentrism has led many to confuse "Westernization" with "progress" alluding to non-Western, traditional cultures being out of "modernity" and backward.
R. Anderson, R. Seibert, and J. Wagner remarked that "the chief oversight of the modernization theory is its failure to appreciate the political dimensions of human choice in traditional settings…While people everywhere are inclined to accept the beliefs and perspectives with which they were reared, they are everywhere capable of revising and criticizing these traditions when they no longer seem to fill their needs." The differentiation in rhetorical styles people use to justify their motives and actions whether they are rationalistic, traditional, or religious, does not in any way eliminate the rational calculation in the decision making process. Therefore, when looking at another culture, people tend to see the 'other' as being more deterministic and arbitrary compared to our rational self; in the sense that our actions are "guided by reason…tempered by personal freedom" while those of the 'other' are "simple, stereotyped, and unreflective." 'We' do something because we 'think', while 'they' do it because they 'don't' (xxii-xxiii).
As demonstrated earlier, in our era of globalization, people are being exposed to a great deal of lifestyles and possibilities which are affecting the way they understand and construct their identity. Anthony Giddens calls for a rejection of the notion of society as a cleanly demarcated entity, and maintains that "in a general way, the concept of globalization is best understood as expressing fundamental aspects of time-space distanciation. Globalization concerns the intersection of presence and absence, the interlacing of social events and social relations 'at distance' with local contextualities" (in Robertson 1995: 26). Events that occur at a distance are now being experienced instantaneously through the new information highway and influencing local identities. However, as Ulf Hannerz noted, "this does not mean the emergence of a world culture but rather the perforation of cultural contexts in which they were not socialized" (in J. Gort, H. Jansen, and H. Vroom 15).
Giddens seems to ignore the "complex intercultural relations that necessarily arise from the very processes it identifies, globalization is not a one-way path from the West to the rest" (Mandaville 31); and as one critic argued, "while [Giddens] may claim that globalization does not involve the crushing of non-Western cultures he does not seem to realize that such a statement requires him to theorize the issue of 'other cultures'. His suggestion that there is no Other in a globalized world apparently absolves him from undertaking such a task. He fails to understand that it is only in a (minimally) globalized world that a problem of 'the Other' could have arisen. What he apparently doesn't see is that a view of the world as marked by unicity can coexist with a view of the world as a place of others – indeed that such recognition is central to the conceptual mapping of the global circumstance" (in Mandaville 32).
Roland Robertson also counters that the intersection of presence and absence is "insightful and helpful" but implies an "action-reaction" relationship which does not fully capture the complexity of the "global-local" theme. He argues that the debate about global homogenization versus heterogenization should be transcended and combined, and instead of looking at one or the other, we should focus on the ways in which both of these tendencies have become features of life in the new world, and the expectation of uniqueness has become increasingly institutionalized and globally widespread. Global localization or glocalization refers to the "construction of increasingly differentiated consumers and the invention of consumer traditions" (29).
In other words, with the expansion of global capitalism, we are not moving towards the homogenization of culture, rather to the awareness of the expansive scope of the cultural diversity in local cultures, because as Mandaville noted, "homogeneity of practice also produce a curious inverse side-effect: localizing the global can also at times serve to globalize the local. The channels which open spaces of local political community to the global outside can also be appropriated by those communities in order to export their own notions of the particular" (36). As Appadurai puts it, "the globalization of culture is not the same as its homogenization, but globalization involves the use of a variety of instruments of homogenization (armaments, advertising techniques, language hegemonies, clothing styles, and the like), which are absorbed into the local political and cultural economies, only to be repatriated as heterogeneous dialogues of national sovereignty, free enterprises, fundamentalism, etc." (in Mandaville 36).
Hannerz also remarked that for locals, diversity "happens to be the principle which allows all locals to stick to their respective cultures" at the same time, cosmopolitans largely depend on 'other people' carving out 'special niches' for their cultures (in Robertson 1995: 29).
Consequently, we can say that culture represents a set of "repertoires, with corresponding dispositions and competencies that are latently available and are activated by individual actors, according to the demands of the situation in which they find themselves. These repertoires may reflect different cultural sources and can therefore be multicultural in composition" (André Droogers in Gort, Jansen, and Vroom 16).
The notion of globalization involves then the simultaneity and the interpenetration of what are conventionally called the global and the local or the universal and the particular. When CNN, the internet, satellite television, and many other transnational companies invade people's imagination and borders, they are being domesticated and interpreted at the local level.
However, some scholars maintain that not all cultures are capable of assimilating other cultures without loosing their own identity, and this can be an overwhelming and threatening experience to those who fear loosing the stability and certainty of their traditions. Hence, "healthy glocalization is the ability of a culture, when it encounters other strong cultures, to absorb influences that naturally fit into and can enrich that culture, to resist those things that are truly alien and to compartmentalize those things that, while different, can nevertheless be enjoyed and celebrated as different" (Friedman 295).
Consequently, globalization can be either an enriching experience, or as some critics charge, a kind of cultural genocide on the world; that is, the most dominant cultures are becoming more dominant at the expense of many others. Benjamin Barber remarked that there are two tendencies pulling the world in opposite directions with equal strength: one McWorld tied together by technology, ecology, communications, and commerce, the other a re-creation of ancient subnational and ethnic cultures pitted against one another, "neither one offers much hope for citizens looking for practical ways to govern themselves democratically" (53). As Huntington observed "the distribution of culture in this new world reflects the distribution of power. Trade may or may not follow a flag, but culture almost always follows power" (91).
This leads me to ponder the duality of the current international order in how much weight can we still attach to the state as opposed to the market and the actors on the international scene; and whether democratization can lead to world stability if not peace.
The Politics of Globalization
Some scholars tend to see Democracy as a western gift to the world, carefully nurtured since its foundation in Classical Greece; which leads to the assumption that globalization is solely a conception of hegemons imposed on the world. However, according to Robbie Robertson, democracy did not originate in Classical Greece; the similarities between modern and Greek democracy derive from a common reliance on commerce which depend on a wider ownership of resources and wider political franchises than conquest societies require; in other words, they necessitate democratized political and economic systems. He maintains that democratization is a by-product of globalization, just like industrialization is its child; and its contemporary origins lie in the social and economic changes shaped by globalization (204).
Liberals have long maintained that the basic principles of democracy, competition and participation, presuppose an economic foundation whereby mass demands expressed through mass participation then formulated by elite competition, can lead to solid economic results and a better quality of life. As states become more economically developed and wealthy, the less they engage in wars against other growing democratic states due to the high costs and low benefits wars have on the economic structure.
Could there be some reason for guarded optimism here that, in this new global age, as Friedman said, no two countries which have had a McDonald's have fought a war against each other since both the winner and the looser would be destroyed should they do? Or could we be witnessing Fukuyama's "end of history?" that is, "the end point of mankind's ideological evolution and the universalization of Western liberal democracy as the final form of human government" (Fukuyama, 1989).
How many wars have we witnessed that were to be "the war that ends all wars" and to make the world safe for democracy? After World War I, President Wilson's idea of a new world order, based on moral principles and self-determination would lead to peace through the creation of a "concert for peace" which will be maintained by a partnership of democratic nations; and the League of Nations was born. World War I resulted in social upheaval, ideological conflict, and another world war. World War II, as President Franklin Roosevelt put it, would "end the system of unilateral action, the exclusive alliances, the balances of power, and all the other expedients that have been tried for centuries and have failed"(in Huntington 32). The Cold War followed in a very global way, and when it ended, it was replaced by the emergence of ethnic and civil clashes, and the new more sophisticated thermonuclear, chemical, and biological wars which shattered whatever illusions we may have had about the long awaited world peace.
Manuel Castells maintains that as the state attempts to restore legitimacy by decentralizing administrative power to regional and local levels and reinforcing centrifugal tendencies to bring citizens closer to government, it ends up increasing their aloofness toward the nation-state (243). People, as parts of the global players, seem to be in rebellion against uniformity and integration. The intensification of tribal, ethnic, and religious conflict; the prevalence of massacres and ethnic cleansing; the proliferation of nuclear and other weapons of mass destruction; the spread of terrorism all give a gloomy picture of a world in sheer chaos. As Benjamin Barber observed these are "rebellious factions and dissenting minorities at war not just with globalism but with the traditional nation-state." Nationalism which was once a force of integration and unification is now more often a "reactionary and divisive force, pulverizing the very nations it once helped cement" (59-60).
The post-Cold War era has witnessed not only a "move from a world dominated by a single chessboard, the strategic-diplomatic one, to a world dispersed into a variety of chessboards" (Stanley Hoffmann in Rochester 116), but also a transformation of the strategic-diplomatic gameboard itself. As Rochester noted, although inter-state wars and specifically those between great powers have declined, what we are witnessing is "force without war", the clashes and hostilities within states; the nonconventional violence and security threats posed by nonstate actors including transnational terrorists and criminal organizations and mafias which are penetrating and destabilizing the national state in a variety of contexts.
Castells goes on to point out that while drug trafficking is the most significant industrial sector in the new criminal economy, weapons, technology, radioactive materials, art treasures, human beings, human organs, killers for hire, and smuggling profitable items from anywhere to anywhere are connected through the mother of all crimes: money laundering (259). Moreover, the fast changes in military technology are undermining the state's capability to stand alone in warfare; the new notion of global, collective security is based on interests and negotiations that reshape foreign policy into different formats for each issue to be tackled.
So even though democratic principles of freedom and equality will continue to spread around the world, maybe it is too early to think humanity has put power away and lost the stomach for war. Thucydides' historical account of The Peloponnesian War could well be our account today. In his description of the nature of war and why it continually recurs, he identifies the real or underlying causes of why nations are moved to war are fear, interest, or honor (in Viotti and Kauppi 57-58).
The struggle for power, the pursuit of interests and the emotional attachment to one's belief system continue to live in our era of globalization. The past should be the guide for our future; people in all times will always be attached to their culture, language, and home. That's why, Friedman says, globalization affects geopolitics but it will never end it; in that it raises the costs for the McDonald's countries to "use war as means to pursue honor, react to fears or advance their interests" (250). In his Golden Arches Theory, he holds that globalization influences geopolitics not only in raising the cost of warfare through economic integration but also in many other ways. "It creates new sources of power, beyond the classic military measures of tanks, planes, and missiles, and it creates new sources of pressure on countries to change how they organize themselves, pressures that come not from classic military incursions of one state into another, but rather by more invisible invasions of supermarkets and super-empowered individuals" (261).
This directs me to the next currently debated issue, that the state has been more and more challenged by the new levels of governance and economic activity of multilateral and transnational entities. "In the cold war, Friedman remarks, the most frequently asked question was: How big is your missile? In globalization, the most frequently asked question is: How fast is your modem?" The speed with which technology and capital seem to traverse and permeate state's borders undermine its central role in redistributing income, as well as have less control over the resources that individuals possess.
Mario Vargas Llosa noted that "through democratization, globalization has expanded the horizons of individual liberty" (in Robertson, 2003:251). States have to share power not only among themselves through multinational institutions and transnational corporations, but also with their own people. Nation-states as created by the Westphalian Treaty no longer hold the monopoly of power; more and more they are being shared by a plurality of sources that traverse national boundaries and compete for authority, pacts and alliances.
In the contemporary international system, national security has taken a new meaning no longer equated exclusively with military issues; it has been broadened to include economic, ecological, and welfare issues. These issues involve a host of state and non-state actors such as the international governmental organizations (IGOs), nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), and multinational corporations (MNCs), which have multiplied since the end of the Cold War, and all attempt to affect the foreign policy process. As Henry Kissinger noted, "the traditional agenda of international affairs, the balance among major powers, the security of nations, no longer defines our perils or our possibilities…Now we are entering a new era. Old international patterns are crumbling: old slogans are uninstructive; old solutions are unavailing. The world has become interdependent in economics, in communications, in human aspirations" (in Viottti and Kauppi 307).
Markets are eroding national sovereignty and giving rise to international banks, trade associations, transnational lobbies, 'think tanks' such as IBM, Microsoft, CNN, BBC, and many others, all of which have major national, transnational, and international investments and agendas which influence political decisions, but none have a meaningful national identity or even breading a global consciousness. As S. Castles and A. Davidson noted, "most of the images exist only in a fantasy realm completely divorced from the lives of 80 per cent of the globe who view them," that there is a rupture between the cultural life and the lived life experienced by only the privileged minorities of some rich countries, and that most people have no direct experience of different cultures that allows them "to make sense of media grabs" (4-5).
In Rochester's words, if economics is now "a continuation of war by other means", nation-states are forced to share their power and authority with an overlapping and competing set of actors in a highly sophisticated electronic world. This e-herd, as Friedman calls them, is "in the business of collecting, presenting, and disseminating information, even if it is biased and anti-state" (Brunn in Newman 116). They use advanced information-communication technology to collect and relay events about leaders, conflicts, political corruption, economic crisis, human rights violations, and environmental issues; draw on opinions and images to build allegiances across national borders, exercising considerable constraints on governments and influencing decisions and policies made by the state.
Scientific progress, Barber explains, embodies and depends on open communication; which means that all types of technology such as computer, television, cable, satellite, and many others, are integrated and demand open societies in order to give every person access to information; "Satellite footprints do not respect national borders; telephone wires penetrate the most closed societies….secrecy and science are enemies" (58).
Globalization and the Welfare State
Nation-states, Castells argued, have become too small to handle global forces, yet too big to manage people's lives. The notion of a national welfare state, Rochester explains, is a newer creation than the national security state. The latter concerned itself with enlarging its military establishments during the two World Wars, while the worldwide depression contributed to bigger economic establishments (the welfare state) and entailed creating jobs, social security, minimum wages, and other such matters.
This concept was rooted in the Industrial Revolution, the growth of a middle class, and the advent of mass democracy in Nineteenth Century Europe, all of which produced growing demands on governments for benefits and services. However, it wasn't until the Great Depression of the 1930s when John Maynard Keynes proclaimed that "governments everywhere should actively intervene in their national economy and engage in fine-tuning, i.e., manipulate monetary and fiscal policy levers in response to whatever economic problems the country was experiencing, in particular stimulating the economy at a time of recession through heavy public spending and tax and interest rate cuts and cooling the economy off at a time of inflation through the opposite measures" that the welfare state firmly took hold (Rochester 155).
So although the nation-state is still the basic unit for welfare systems, it has however lost control over its national economic policies by the growing web of economic interdependence, and can no longer pursue welfare policies that ignore the pressures of global markets. The ever-expanding markets compelled nation-based capitalist economies to open their national borders in search of an international economic imperium. Trade balance and exchange rate, the growing transnationalization of investment, production, and consumption essentially determine economic policy.
Therefore, Capital may appear to have won the class struggle, but as S. Castles and A. Davidson pointed out, "this does not lead to Fukuyama's 'end of history' rather to forms of social and political disorganization that threaten the security of the well-off and the stability of democratic states" (7). And as columnist Larry Elliot remarked, "unless the market delivers what people want: a living wage, job security, quality of life, a decent environment, dignity in old age, a thriving welfare state; then it stands to loose not just public support but its entire legitimacy" (in Robertson, 2003: 237).
States also confront limitations regarding the global management of the planet's environment; global warming, deforestation of the planet, damaging of the ozone layer, pollution of water reserves, depletion of life in the oceans and many other issues where resolutions of such concerns are no longer exclusive at the state level. Public health campaigns and the eradication of many childhood diseases meant a longer human lifespan and an ever expanding population. Statistics show that global population is growing at an alarming rate; around 1830 it was 1 billion in number; by 1930 it had doubled to 2 billion; in 1999 it reached 6 billion. At the growth rate of 1.5 percent, population is expected to double in 40 years, and by 2150 it would reach 694 billion (in Rochester 201).
This population growth creates a multitude of challenges in food production, water supply, shelter, employment, and clearing more forests for land agriculture and other commercial interests. Conflicts over natural resources, especially water and oil, have been on the rise in recent years as they are key requirements for sustaining human life and economic activities. Although 70 percent of the earth is covered with water, drinkable water is in short supply. Ninety- seven percent of the world's water is salt water; two percent is tied up in the polar ice caps, leaving only 1 percent of total water resources found in rivers and lakes available for human consumption. The potential for international conflict is heightened by the fact that 40 percent of the world's population depends on 215 river systems shared by at least two states; twelve of these are shared by at least five different states, for drinking water and irrigation (Rochester 197).
Michael T. Klare emphasized that the distribution of water in shared rivers is a chronic source of tension even under the best of circumstances. When the flow of water is relatively abundant, the states involved enjoy good relations with one another; but when the flow diminishes and the political environment deteriorates, these tensions often reach their peak. Therefore, acquisition and protection of critical water supplies is shaping the way we understand national security in our modern era; any threat to these resources can lead to a "justifiable cause of war if other means prove unavailing." Water like oil is essential for a wide range of human activities, but more than oil it is a fundamental source for human survival – drinking, bathing and sanitation, and for food production (141-142).
The growing shortage of water in many countries and the increasingly sophisticated technology available has increased the awareness of the politicians who have linked the problem of water to the political situation. Therefore, the quest for a comprehensive cooperation and diplomatic and legal approaches need to be considered in order to facilitate the equitable distribution and overall settlement of water resources, as well as solve any dispute before droughts or any other environmental problems occur such as water pollution, may it be in rivers, lakes, or oceans, which adds to the significant risks of diseases, endangering deep seabed and water habitat, valuable wildlife, biodiversity, and food sources.
Along with water pollution, air pollutants are changing atmospheric temperatures and the ozone layer due to deforestation and the burning of fossil fuels and other sources which release carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxide, lead, soot, and dust into the atmosphere. These pollutants as they cross national borders become international concerns as they affect the health of millions of people.
To bring it all back together, the state is weak in resolving these environmental issues on its own. In ecopolitical terms, states are increasingly interacting, and at times bypassed, with nonstate actors such as IGO's, NGO's, and MNC's, who have been more involved in the decision-making process by advancing environmental agendas to produce new policies adopted by the state.
Conclusion: Where do we go from here?
Will globalization endure, and if it does, how can we make it work worldwide? Can McWorld and Jihad be reconciled? Do we need alternatives to the current system? Who is best qualified to make enduring reforms that are catalyst for peaceful change?
The corporate world as well as big powers today expect globalization to continue; the question here is how to make it work for the poor and not just for the corporate conglomeration. Corporate-driven globalization has not sustained the democratic imperative of social and economic development. As Benjamin Barber noted, the high-tech commercial world lends itself to a new form of "control and manipulation, and to skewed, unjust market outcomes, as well as greater productivity. The consumer society and the open society are not quite synonymous" (1992). Democracy has been limited to the polling booths, but people have had no say over the economic systems and institutions which affect their lives; it is rather corporations and the international financial institutions that rule, not the governments.
Corruption can take many facets, and while it exists at a high level in many developing countries; in Western countries, it takes the form of corrupted market forces leading the democratic process. David Held stipulates, "The objections to such a hybrid system are severe. It is open to question whether it offers any solutions to the fundamental problems of modern political thought which have been preoccupied by, among other things, the rationale and basis of order and toleration, of democracy and accountability, and of legitimate rule" (in Castells, 1997: 303).
More and more, nation-states no longer hold power on their own; rather they have become strategic actors playing their interests and the interests they are supposed to represent, in a global system of interaction in a condition of systemically shared sovereignty. On one side, they ally themselves closely with global economy in order to foster productivity and competitiveness of their economies; on the other, they cooperate in a multilateral world with each other regardless of the aspirations of their citizens.
As we contemplate this contemporary system becoming more of a battlefield than a productive competition for a better world between its ever-growing circles of participants, one may have serious doubts whether it is a safe world for the human race. As Barber observed, the current tendencies of the world order are "remotely democratic in impulse; neither needs democracy, neither promotes democracy." The morality of the actors on the international scene, far from limiting the struggle for power, gives the struggle ferocity and intensity not known to other ages, as Hans Morgenthau once said, "it is like the feeble rays, barely visible above the horizon of consciousness, of a sun that has already set."
Thinking of alternatives is no longer a choice but a responsibility. The challenges facing today's world are multiple and very complex in nature; vast global forces are at work, and many nations are moving into uncharted waters. A new paradigm needs to be established with a fresh set of maps befitting our 'postmodern' world. Peace, stability, freedom, cultural diversity, human dignity, and economic and ecological efficiency are the key criteria leaders of the world claim to pursue and rectify; it will be interesting to see how they will unfold.
But, to be truly radical is to make hope possible rather than despair inevitable; so as Thomas Mann said, "Time has no divisions to mark its passage. There is never a thunderstorm or blare of trumpets to announce the beginning of a new month or year. Even when a new century begins, it is only we mortals who ring bells and fire off pistols."
There is a long journey awaiting all mankind, it begins when they start walking.
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خلاصة: العولمة و تحدّيها السيادة و الأمن
تطور إعلان المراقبين للعولمة عن أهمية السلطة و النفوذ لمسار العولمة منذ عام 1990. وما نشهده اليوم هو عالم بشخصية جديدة يضّم مجتمعاً دولياً سريع التعامل على المستويات التكنولوجيا، الاقتصادية ،الاجتماعية ،والسياسة .وقد فاقت السرعة قدرة المجتمعات والدول ،وأصبحت الحدود بين الدول أشبه بخطوط رمزية لا تستطيع أن تراقب أو تحدّ من نفاذ الاموال والسلع و الأفكار و حتى القيم إلى المجتمعات المختلفة ،وبذلك خلقت حالات نفسية و ذهنية لدى الكثير من المواطنين تجعلهم يشعرون بإنتماءات غير واضحة و غير متضامنة .ويأتي هذا على حساب الشعور القومي والتوحد في الرؤيا المطلوبة لتحقيق أيّ انصهار وطني ،حتى أن هوية الفرد والمجموعات باتت في مهب المجهول
إن التغيير في الشعور بالنسبة الانتماء الفردي والجماعي هو تحصيل حاصل وليس نتاجأ لإرادة واضحة التغيير. وفي سياق البحث نتطرق للقوة الأفعل في العولمة ألا وهي الغرب في مفهومه السياسي والإيديولوجي والاجتماعي
وهناك مستويان في ردات الفعل تجاه العولمة :الأول وهو مزيد من التصلّب ضدّ العولمة من قبل الحكومات المهّمشة، والثاني هو المحاولة لاستيعاب العولمة بأقل خسارة ممكنة، لأن لا حول و لا قوة حيال الضغط الكبير الذي تفرضه العولمة