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Francis Fukuyama: key ideas about the state and globalisation

in 1992, Francis Fukuyama published The End of History and the Last Man

he argued that war would eventually become a thing of the past due to the rise of liberal democracies that tend to be unwilling to engage in conflict with each other

in 1989, the Berlin Wall was torn down, leading to the reunification of Germany as a liberal democracy and in Eastern Europe, communist dictatorships were overthrown and replaced with democratically elected governments

in 1991, the Soviet union collapsed and in 1992, the leaders of the EEC pledged themselves to a common citizenship and currency, becoming the EU

the close connectivity between democracies could evolve to challenge the primacy of the state and the EU could provide a model for the future relationship between nations

as states work more closely together, supranational governments would increasingly challenge the absolute sovereignty of the nation state


how has the internet and regionalism promoted insularity rather than integration?

the internet has also facilitated insularity

for example, the television network Russia Today deploys its global outreach, not to breakdown barriers, but to provide Russian nationalism with a global audience

the rapid advance of regionalism has not undermined national citizenship, it has actually provoked a backlash

especially in Europe, where most countries have seen a rise in Eurosceptic nationalist parties — a phenomenon that Brexit is likely to encourage


how does Thomas Hobbes’ ideas link to the state and globalisation?

Thomas Hobbes supports the idea that the state should be the main actor in global relations

he argued that adherence to the authority of the sovereign state provides the most effective way of protecting society from mankind’s potential for anarchy

he appreciated that a powerful sovereign state, with the ability to control its subjects, provides the best way of ensuring peace and stability


the Treaty of Westphalia

the Peace of Westphalia (1648) ended the Thirty Years War and developed the principle of state sovereignty

it ended the Holy Roman Emperor’s claim to possess sovereign authority over virtually independent German states

this meant that each individual state would be sovereign over its own internal affairs and no other state, or supposedly superior body, could intervene within its borders

Westphalia also defined the sovereign equality of states — no state has the legal right to intervene in the sovereign affairs of another state + all states, whatever their size, possess the same legal right to independence


Woodrow Wilson: what were his ideas and what did they lead to?

during the 20th century, Westphalian principles dominated the globe

in Fourteen Points (1918), US President Woodrow Wilson established the principle that nationstate sovereignty should be founded upon the right of self-determination based on a shared ethnic heritage

this led to the creation of new states such as Austria, Czechoslovakia, Hungary and Poland after WW1


the Montevideo Convention (1933)

the Montevideo Convention (1933) determined that a sovereign state must possess....

• a defined territory
• a permanent population
• a viable government
• the capacity to enter into diplomatic relations with other states

a state would possess a monopoly of lawmaking powers within its borders, while outside interference could not legally change a state’s borders


post-WW2 decolonisation

following the end of WW2, there was yet more nationbuilding as former colonies of the great powers gained independence

in 1947, the independent states of India and Pakistan were established while old empires in Africa crumbled in the face of nationalist movements

in the Middle East, Egypt, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria all achieved independence after WW2

from 1989 to 1991, as communism collapsed through Eastern Europe, new nation states (including the 15 constituent parts of the Soviet Union) were established based upon principles of self-determination

only 15 of the 193 members of the UN had existed as independent nation states in 1910


current state sovereignty

no state, however powerful, has the right to intervene in the affairs of another state since all states can claim the same right to determine policy within their own borders without fear of outside interference

states act out of self interest in order to achieve the best possible outcome for themselves

the legitimacy of the nation state derives from its acceptance as a nation state by other nation states — for example, Palestine claims statehood but since the UN does not officially accept these claims, it remains unrecognised


influence of non state actors in increasing interconnectedness

nonstate actors = entities such as NGOs, IGOs, TNCs and even criminal and terrorist networks that wield significant influence over global affairs

global interconnectedness has been advanced through the rise of such non-state actors

as the problems that the world faces becomes more complex, from climate change to international terrorism, a collective security dilemma is created which states cannot resolve on their own

therefore, they increasingly turn to nonstate actors to help solve such global issues


what is global governance?

global governance exists today

refers to the complex web of interconnectedness in which nation-states are working with eachother and with nonstate actors

various IGOs (such as the UN, WTO, IMF and World Bank) as well as regional organisations and international judicial bodies facilitate this interconnectedness and encourage global governance

states retain sovereignty and choose the extent to which they cooperate with each other and other stakeholders

global governance therefore involves interconnectedness rather than the centralisation of global power within one single supranational body

liberals encourage the development of global governance since it reduces state egoism by connecting the global community and consequently reduces the possibility of war


what is a world government?

does not exist today

means that the nationstate, either voluntarily or involuntarily, would abandon the right to govern its own citizens

power would be centralised in one location rather than diffused among various states and nonstate actors, as it is today

the closest the world has come to a world government is the UN, but this organisation is based upon the sovereign equality of its member states and so is primarily intergovernmental rather than supranational

realists oppose the principles of world government since they argue that the state is the most important actor in global relations

liberals are also cautious about world government since it is often associated with a lack of democratic accountability and the empire building tendencies of dictators


is globalisation a new phenomenon?


hyperglobalisers assume that current globalisation is unique and has established interconnectedness between states on a scale never seen before

some liberal critics believe that we are now living in a ‘global village’ in which our similarities outweigh our differences

the internet penetrates almost everywhere in the world and global capital flows are instantaneous, creating a supraterritorial world in which state sovereignty and borders matter less than ever before


is globalisation a new phenomenon?


globalisation is in the process of transforming the world, yet many historians argue that ‘we have been here before’

the first great age of globalisation lasted from 1870 to 1913, when global trade dramatically increased and British hegemony expanded

British values, such as freetrade, a meritocratic civil service and opposition to slavery, had a global influence significantly more profound than today’s commercialisation and materialism

Mahatma Gandhi played a key role in ending British rule in India, but his autobiography demonstrates how deeply he had absorbed British values

today, the British Commonwealth is the second biggest organisation in the world and British principles of parliamentary democracy have globally penetrated, possibly even more deeply than than modern ‘Americanisation’


is globalisation a new phenomenon?


it would be misleading to suggest that states and people are more connected than ever before in history

in reality, the way in which leaders such as Putin, Trump and Erdogan have deployed nationalistic rhetoric and policies to win public support indicates that nationalism is, if anything, becoming more important in global relations

this is a far cry from the earlier periods of history, when nationality was significantly less important than it is today

the great age of migration was actually the 19th century, when millions sought a new life in the USA and there was extensive movement of people within the British Empire

the expansion of continental railways was so rapid that in 1861 France even abandoned the passport and passport free travel became the norm across Europe until WW1

the universality of the Roman Catholic Church also challenged state sovereignty and transformed the cultures of indigenous populations — missionaries spread the Catholic faith from Japan to South America

during the Roman period, a single language, culture and citizenship dominated Western Europe and the near east, demonstrating that cultural homogenisation and globalisation is not a new process

history suggests that they have been earlier, possibly even more profound, periods of globalisation


has globalisation changed the world?


economic globalisation has dramatically increased global trade, lifting millions out of poverty and creating the potential for greater convergence between the Global North and Global South

as a result of economic globalisation, China is on course to becoming the world’s biggest economy, challenging US hegemony — this represents a shift of the global balance of power eastwards, towards emerging economies

due to the internet, global capital flows are now instantaneous, interlinking economies all over the world — since the world is so economically and financially interconnected, no state can avoid financial crises, such as the collapse of Lehman Bros in 2008

TNCs, rather than nationstates, are increasingly determining employment opportunities and labour rights, especially in the developing world AND NGOs, such as Greenpeace, add another layer to global decision-making, further challenging the primacy of nation states

cultural globalisation has led to a global monoculture culture, in which there are a few truly national products remaining as TNCs, such as Adidas and Nike, manufacture and sell across the globe

states work more closely together in IGOs like the UN and the UN’s R2P has encouraged a more universal standard of human rights

the internet has facilitated the spread of radicalisation and terrorism, undermining national allegiances and challenging the state’s ability to tackle internal and external threats


has globalisation changed the world?


global interconnectedness is not entirely new, previous periods of history also experienced remarkable degrees of integration — the first wave of modern globalisation occurred between 1870 and 1913

the Global North still dominates ownership of global wealth — North America and Europe contain 18% of the world’s adult population, yet they possess 67% of total household wealth

since the 2007-9 global recession, cross-border trade has actually decreased — it represented 53% of the world’s economic productivity in 2007, but just 39% in 2016

nationstates remain the key players in global politics and IGOs require states to work together if they are to be successful — e.g. South Africa’s decision to leave undermined the ICC’s influence

the global impact of the 1929 Wall Street Crash and even the 1720 South Sea Bubble demonstrate that the global economy is not uniquely interconnected today, it has always been so

citizens still identify with the nationstate, globalisation has clearly not created a global citizenry as there are a rising nationalist parties across Europe — nationalist, ethnic and religious identities have been reinforced as a reaction to cultural homogenisation

the extent of one’s human rights is still determined within states and cultures, the universalisation of human rights is undermined by continuing allegiance to Asian, Muslim and Russian values

terrorist threats and migration have led to the reassertion of national control over borders — the migrant crisis threatened the Schengen Agreement and President Trump is committed to building a wall along the Mexican border

in some ways, the new challenges and uncertainties of globalisation have strengthened the nationstate as seen in the rise of nationalism — the death of the nationstate seems to have been exaggerated


what does Trump’s administration suggest?

the Trump administration challenges the extent to which states act within the boundaries of free trade liberalism

protectionism seems to be reasserting itself in defiance of the Washington consensus

regionalism is under threat from the nationstate, as seen in Brexit and President Trump’s criticisms of NAFTA


what determines nation state policy today?

realist self interest rather than liberal cooperation determines nationstate policy

for example, the Russian annexation of Crimea, the ongoing dispute between China and Japan over the ownership of islands in the South China Sea and President Trump’s executive order withdrawing the USA from the TPP