Has Globalization Transformed International Politics?

Topics: Globalization, International relations, Capitalism Pages: 12 (4198 words) Published: May 19, 2010
Has Globalization transformed International Politics?

A wide debate on how globalization affects global governance has taken place during the last years. Globalists and sceptics have argued about the transformations going on, their nature and importance. As Chanda notes, throughout history, interconnections between states and people have been growing (Chanda, 2008). However, globalization seems to have pushed these changes to a point in which a new global order arises, threatening to transform the essence of international politics. This essay will explore the ideas that have raised around the issue of globalization within international politics, trying to give a response on whether they have suffered a transformation or not. With this purpose, I will first try to give a proper and widely accepted definition of globalization. On a second section, I will look at the different perspectives defended by globalists and sceptics, as the theories proposed by both are quite relevant to understand the reach of the current circumstances. In order to give a response to the question of the title, in a third section I will focus on different areas of global governance, analysing how globalization is supposed to have transformed politics. I will refer to issues of cooperation, sovereignty, welfare, economy and security, considering the arguments of both globalists and sceptics as means to find a conclusive answer. In every section, I will try to give a personal response to every enquiry previously raised. Finally, I will end with a conclusion in which I will try give a general answer to the question on whether globalization has transformed international politics or not.

Defining some concepts
Defining globalization and its nature seems necessary in order to understand the issues that it has raised. Reaching a consensus on the definition of globalization is quite complicated. As Kiras, (in Baylis, 2005, p. 480) notes, it is a phenomena open to subjective interpretation and, consequently, definitions differ widely. However, it is possible to find some basic characteristics that most theorists have pointed about globalization. As a very simple explanation, Scholte (cited by Mingst, in Vayvr , p. 89) defines globalization as “the emergence and spread of a supraterritorial dimension of social relations”. Meanwhile, Thomas (cited in Clark, 1998, p. 481) defined it as “the process whereby power is located in global social formations and expressed through global networks rather than through territorially-based states”. These two general descriptions suggest that globalization is about a vast growth of interconnections between societies, governments and trade actors around the world. Summing both definitions, it can be argued that globalization is as a process that involves a shift in the spatial scale of the human social organization of our world, linking distant communities and expanding the reach of power relations through all the continents. Held (1997, p. 253) that this shift that characterizes globalization involves that day-to-day activities become progressively influenced by events taking place in other places around the planet, even those on the other side. In addition, globalization implies that actions and decisions adopted by local minority groups can have an important impact on the global issues. Thus, globalization is a multidimensional condition. It involves mostly every aspect of life. Social, technological, cultural, economic and political spheres are affected by and take part in the process of globalization. Increasing flows of power, capital, labour force, information and ideas is another of its basic characteristics. Globalization has been usually defined as a matter taking place out of the human control. However, Mingst (1999, p. 89) clarifies that this process is not inexorable and argues that “what is critical in globalization theory is the recognition that people perceive that this process is...

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