top of page

UNIT-2 Changing Nature of Global Politics | Global Politics DU SEM 4

A. Globalization to de-globalization, and post-globalization


  • Globalization, a term emerging in the 1940s and gaining widespread attention in the 1990s, reflects an increasingly interconnected social life.

  • Early works like Ohmae's "The End of the Nation State" and Friedman's "The Lexus and the Olive Tree" oversimplified globalization, portraying it as an inevitable force spreading capitalism and erasing local traditions.

  • The perception of globalization intensified post the "Global War on Terror," contributing to the West versus rest dichotomy.

  • Despite debates on the decline of the United States and the rise of China and India, many struggle to grasp globalization as diverse connections linking local to global spheres.

Arriving at a Definition of Globalization:

  • A functional definition by David Held describes globalization as a process embodying a transformation in the spatial organization of social relations and transactions.

  • Globalization is different from ‘globality,’ signifying a social condition of interconnectedness.

  • It reflects a transformation from nationality to globality, with assumptions about the modern state system transitioning to postmodern globality.

  • Globalization emphasizes change, including changes in the state system and various dimensions of economic, social, cultural, and political lives.

  • It marks a change in people’s consciousness regarding connectivity and interconnectedness, moving beyond exclusive national identities.

History and Origins of Globalization:

  • Scholars differ on when globalization began, with some tracing it to prehistoric times.

  • Manfred Steger’s conceptualization divides globalization into prehistoric, pre-modern, early modern, modern, and contemporary periods.

  • Pre-Historic Period (1000 BCE to 3500 BCE): Global human dispersion began, leading to settled societies and a transition from hunter-gatherer groups.

  • Pre-Modern Period (3500 BCE to 1500 CE): Innovations like writing and the wheel facilitated long-distance communication and cultural exchange.

  • Early Modern Period (1500 to 1750): European expansion intensified global flows and colonial implications.

  • Modern Period (1750-1980): European dominance led to increased world trade, colonization, and the rise of science and technology.

  • Contemporary Period (1980s onwards): Neoliberal initiatives and technological advancements fueled a surge in global interdependencies and exchanges.

George Ritzer’s Origins of Globalization:

  • Ritzer identifies the origins of globalization in human desires for a better life, leading to trade, missionary work, adventures, and conquest.

  • He discusses globalization as a long-term cyclical process with historical cycles.

  • Therborn identifies six distinct epochs or “waves” of globalization, spanning from the fourth to the twenty-first century.

  • Specific events like Roman conquests, the spread of religions, trade in the Middle Ages, and European colonialism contribute to the origins of globalization.

  • Recent changes like the emergence of the United States as a global power, the rise of multinational corporations, and the end of the Cold War have accelerated globalization.


  • The Silk Road: A network of trade routes connecting the East and West, facilitating the exchange of goods, cultures, and ideas.

  • European Colonialism: European powers colonized regions around the world, spreading their influence and integrating economies globally.

  • Industrial Revolution: The Industrial Revolution in Europe led to advancements in technology and transportation, furthering global connections and trade.

  • Information Revolution: The Information Revolution, marked by the rise of the internet and digital technologies, has accelerated global interconnectedness and communication.

Globalization and Deglobalization:

  • Complexity of Globalization: Defining globalization is challenging due to varying meanings and interpretations.

  • Comprehensive Framework: Kornprobst and Paul propose a framework that focuses on interconnectedness across economic, medical, and social dimensions.

  • Economic Interconnectedness: Globalization involves the integration of national economies through trade, investment, labor migration, and technology exchange.

  • Uneven Impact: Globalization has uneven impacts, highlighting inequalities and the need for fair exchanges.

  • Health Dimension: Globalization is evident in the global spread of diseases like yellow fever, influenza, AIDS, and COVID-19, emphasizing the need for global cooperation in healthcare.

Deglobalization Processes:

  • Recognition of Deglobalization: Scholars recognize deglobalization processes despite the narrative of increasing interconnectedness.

  • Historical Epochs: O’Rourke and Williamson outline historical epochs of globalization and deglobalization, highlighting periods such as mercantilist restriction, the first global century, and subsequent retreats.

  • Contemporary Perspectives: Sociologists approach deglobalization analytically or normatively, offering insights into cultural interpretations and economic models.

  • Impact of Great Recession: Scholars draw parallels between the Great Depression and the great recession, highlighting shifts in global economic dynamics.

Neo-Globalization and Post-Globalization:

  • Critique of Globalization: Critiques of globalization challenge neoliberal and corporate globalization, advocating for alternative approaches such as anti-capitalism and global democracy.

  • Rise of Neo-Globalization: Neo-globalization aims to reform and transform existing globalization, addressing negative consequences and promoting global justice.

  • Global Civil Society: Global civil society encompasses activism promoting global democracy and a global public sphere, challenging the dominance of nation-states and corporate interests.

  • Post-Globalization: Post-globalization reflects a potential shift in the global economic and political landscape, characterized by a revaluation of past globalization principles.


  • It discusses the role of the state system in globalization and examines contemporary crises and changes in the international order, leading to post-globalization discussions.

  • The unit emphasizes the need for a nuanced understanding of globalization, recognizing its complexities, uneven impacts, and the necessity for global cooperation and governance to address global challenges.


B. Geo-politics, Geo-economics, and Geo-strategy

Geopolitics: Understanding Politics and Geography

Definition and History:

  • Geopolitics examines the interplay between politics and geography, seeking to understand and represent the world's complexity.

  • It emerged in the late 19th century, emphasizing the connection between states, nation-states, and inter-state competition.

  • Early geopolitics by figures like Mackinder and Mahan focused on land and sea power, influencing strategic thinking.

  • Post-World War II, U.S. strategic thinking by Kennan and Spykman contributed to geopolitical theories, while critical geopolitics emerged to challenge state-centric views.


  • Classical geopolitics views the world as a stage for state competition and imperialistic policies, hierarchically classifying regions.

  • Critical geopolitics emerged to challenge state-centric practices, exposing biases and challenging authoritative narratives.

  • Feminist geopolitics rejects simplistic classifications, emphasizing complexity, connectivity, and embodied perspectives.


  • Geopolitics involves human geography, studying unique places and social connections between them.

  • It is both a practice (involving real actions to wield power) and a representation (shaping perceptions).

  • Geopolitics considers geopolitical agents (individuals, countries, corporations) operating within structures (rules and norms expressing power).

  • It is intimately linked to power, studied in terms of material, relational, and ideological aspects.

Contemporary Relevance:

  • The resurgence of classical geopolitics is seen in responses to events like the War on Terror and the rise of China.

  • Understanding geopolitics is crucial for navigating today's complex global landscape, where power dynamics are constantly shifting.

Geo-Economics: The Strategic Use of Economic Tools in Geopolitics

  • Definition: Geo-economics strategically uses economic tools for geopolitical goals, recognizing the interconnectedness of economic and political factors.

  • Measures: It involves measures like trade policies, investments, and sanctions to achieve political influence and security goals globally.

Rise of Geo-Economics since the 1990s:

  • Introduction: Edward Luttwak introduced the term, predicting a shift from military to economic competition post-Cold War.

  • Focus Areas: Scholars like Hudson, Hsiung, and Mattlin explored geo-economics, focusing on economic security, non-Western powers, and material structures influencing economic relations.

Geo-Economics and Geopolitics: Interlinked Strategies:

  • Relation: Geo-economics and geopolitics are two sides of the same coin, combining economic, political, and strategic dimensions.

  • Implementation: States employ both geopolitical and geo-economic strategies within their grand strategy, utilizing diplomatic, military, and economic means to achieve objectives.

Four Generations of Geo-Economics:

  1. Pre-20th Century: Mercantilist practices where economic power served geopolitical objectives.

  2. Early to Mid-20th Century: Recognition of economic and geopolitical interplay, marked by global economic integration and the Cold War.

  3. Late 20th Century to Early 21st Century: Shift from geopolitics to geo-economics, emphasizing economic statecraft and institutions like the WTO.

  4. Early 21st Century Onward: Current era defined by a multipolar world, digital revolution, and the use of economic tools for global governance and technological influence.

Contemporary Examples:

  • Belt and Road Initiative (BRI): Exemplifies modern geo-economic strategies, integrating infrastructure development, economic partnerships, and geopolitical influence.

Challenges and Criticisms:

  • Concerns: Critics argue that geo-economics can lead to economic coercion and undermine global governance mechanisms.

  • Impact: The use of economic tools for geopolitical ends raises concerns about the impact on smaller states and the global economy.


C. Territorialization and De-territorialization


  • Foundational Concept of Modern State: Territory is a defining characteristic of the modern nation-state, delineating its borders and sovereignty.

  • Four Sub-Principles of Territoriality:

  1. Sovereignty: Defined as supreme power and control that a state holds over its affairs within its territory. This concept has evolved from theologically sanctioned monarchical models to modern state-based sovereignty. However, contemporary challenges include the growing influence of transnational agents and competition for autonomy.

  2. Integration: This refers to the force that binds a state or society together, based on common values and norms. Unlike transnational bodies, which emphasize differentiation, integration is based on subordination to a single supreme actor.

  3. Borders: Borders demarcate and secure a state's territory. There has been a historical transition from loosely demarcated borders of medieval states to rigid national boundaries with modern cartography. Today, borders serve more ideological and socio-psychological functions in transnational politics.

  4. Security: Security is the state's guarantee of security to its population within its defined territory. Globalization has transformed security threats, making them more complex and unpredictable.


  • Impact of Globalization: Globalization has led to a perceived weakening of national territories, a concept known as de-territorialization. This challenges traditional concepts of territoriality, sovereignty, and security.

  • Challenges to Traditional Notions:

  • Sovereignty: The rise of transnational agents emphasizes autonomy over territory, challenging traditional notions of sovereignty.

  • Integration: Transnational bodies operate based on differentiation, forming temporary alliances across borders.

  • Borders: Borders are viewed more as ideological and socio-psychological constructs rather than strict legal or security features.

  • Security: Globalization has transformed security threats, making them more complex and unpredictable.


D. Cultural Frames of Global Politics

The Return of Culture and Identity in IR:

  • Shift in IR Theory: Culture has played a significant role in IR theory, experiencing shifts in relevance over time.

  • Historical Significance: Culture and identity were significant in IR from the 1940s to the 1960s.

  • Revision in Theorizing: The traditional understanding of culture in IR needs to be problematized and redefined to align with the current landscape.

  • Current Theorizing: Current IR theories highlight themes and dimensions of culture that were previously ignored or marginalized.

  • Social Construction: Culture is considered a product of social construction, where membership is optional rather than mandatory.

Globalization and the Return of Culture:

  • Intensified Globalization: Post-Cold War, globalization has intensified, leading to the compression of space and time.

  • Interconnectedness: Events and information can reach across the globe in real-time.

  • Example: The rapid global spread of the COVID-19 pandemic due to global travel and interconnectedness.

  • Economic Integration: Increased movement of goods, services, and capital across borders.

  • Example: The rise of multinational corporations like Amazon and Apple, whose products are available globally.

Theses on Globalization and Culture:

  • Homogenization Thesis: Globalization leads to cultural convergence, often associated with Americanization.

  • Example: The spread of American fast-food chains like McDonald's and KFC worldwide.

  • Polarization Thesis: Globalization makes cultural identities stronger, leading to conflicts.

  • Example: The rise of ethnonationalism in Europe, such as the Brexit movement in the UK.

  • Hybridization Thesis: Globalization allows for cultural exchange and hybridization.

  • Example: The fusion of Western and Indian cultures in Bollywood films, incorporating Western music and dance styles.

Deconstructing Huntington's Clash of Civilizations:

  • Huntington's Theory: Huntington proposes civilizational clash as a key concept in global politics.

  • Example: The conflict between Western and Islamic civilizations, as seen in the Middle East.

  • Primary Threats: Views Islam and Chinese civilization as primary threats to global security.

  • Critique of Huntington's Theory: Lacks grounding in historical sociology, stereotyping cultures, and civilizations.

  • Example: The oversimplification of complex cultural dynamics in regions like Africa and Latin America.


  • Globalization and Territoriality: Globalization does not weaken state territoriality but extends state sovereignty beyond its borders.

  • Revised Conceptualization: There is a need for a revised conceptualization of territoriality in the context of globalization.

  • Beyond Global-National Duality: Moving beyond the traditional global-national duality is essential for developing a more comprehensive understanding of globalization.

  • Resurgence of Culture: The resurgence of culture is significant in global politics and requires new forms of theorizing in IR.

  • Process and Change: Understanding the dynamic nature of globalization requires a shift in focus towards processes and change in the international system.


Mit 0 von 5 Sternen bewertet.
Noch keine Ratings

Rating hinzufügen
bottom of page