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1.1 Is globalization a source of order or disorder in world politics?

1. Are you persuaded by the liberal view that globalization creates the conditions for a more stable world order? Why or why not?

  • There are a number of people who maintain that globalization-induced interdependence and prosperity are evidence that order is established in the contemporary globalizing world. As such, these two characteristics are believed to establish stability and a diffusion of democratic values. As a result, it is presumed that human security increases and the potential for international conflict decreases.
  • On the other hand there are some schools of thought, particularly realism, which highlight that globalization drives a heightened form of power competition and state rivalry. Consequently, such voices maintain that globalization causes instability rather than stability.

2. Does globalization promote world order or primarily a Western liberal world order? Is the distinction important?

  • There are many contemporary critics of globalization, who have claimed it is a phenomenon that imposes predominantly western and liberal values on the remainder of the world community.
  • In particular, Marxist scholars claim that globalization is responsible for an increase in economic and social inequalities. Indeed, this speaks to the second point of question 1 above, as it is here that instability is seen to be provoked.
  • Another set of scholars particularly sceptical of the notion of globalization as a world order rather than merely a Western order, are postcolonial authors. Here, what is highlighted is the sense that globalization expresses itself as a form of cultural imperialism, which provokes political and cultural backlashes.
  • On the other hand, the predominantly liberal camp regards globalization as premised on the idea that shared values and rules are required for this phenomenon to occur in the first place. In other words, a growing international rule of law and consequential strengthening of a global civil society is regarded an expression of a world, rather than merely Western order.
  • Some might argue that this distinction is insignificant, as the only thing which matters might be a world order which allows for economic prosperity. However, it is important to note that a universalizing global system premised on only particular values might not be suitable for the smaller political entities within that system. Crucially, a universalizing order determines what political systems and political subjects are acceptable. Those, which/who do not fit this parameter might find themselves forced to assimilate into a particular order, which might not be best suited for their needs.

3. How significant is a stable world order to economic globalization?

  • On the one hand globalization requires shared rules. This is evident in the growing rule of law in international relations. To maintain this cooperation in a global civil society requires stability and world order.
  • However, some theorists would suggest that globalization feeds on global instability. For example, Marxists view globalization as specifically a capitalist globalization responsible for proliferating inequalities and relying on economic rivalries, insecurities and the competition for resources.
  • Furthermore, those that suggest a stable world is not necessary for economic globalization would argue that the two states are in fact incompatible. Indeed the same infrastructure that enables globalization also supports those forces that create social instability, such as: transnational criminal activity, human trafficking, the drugs trade, and transnational terrorism.