International Relations notes World Community
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Q. 2. What do you understand by New World Order? Explain it.
Ans. The post-cold war world is facing breathtaking changes in almost all spheres of life. A fundamental restricting of production, finance and communication that has taken place in the past one decade has tended to erode national boundaries and national sovereignty from outside. The integration and fragmentation of states seem to be following concurrently. Deep tides of nationalist and sub-nationalist feelings and powerful global fînancial and market interests seem to running in opposite directions. There are shifts and exchanges in identity not merely beyond the nation-state, but beneath or below the nation-state.
Disintegration of USSR has led many analysts to contend that several other nation-states will meet a similar feets sooner or later. Many of the nation-states of today owe their present shape to the collapse of the Ottoman, Hapsburg, French and British empires some of whom look set to break up again. So far the democratic nation-states have shown a resilience to survive. Few-countries and round the world
are indeed neatly filled by single nations. Some nations such a the Basque, the Kurds, the Palestinians anti Cree Indians have no country at all. On the other hand, there are millions of Hungarians outside Hungary, millions of Chinese outside China and a million Turks inside Bulgaria.
For several centuries world history has been written in terms of the struggle for influence among nations. However, it is clear yet what aggregation of power will be the focal point of the next century cultures, economic blocs, regions, subregions, tribes or revitalised nation slates. After a century bitter struggle between the free market capitalism and centrally pläned socialism, on the one hand, and between constitutional democracy and authoritarian rule, on the other, democratic governance today is ever more widely embranced as an ideal and market-oriented economic reforms are being undertaken in almost every country.
There is a growing awareness of the tensions between global economic forces and those who seek to maintain a civil and human society, between global corporations and national democracy; and between efficiency and social contract. The economies of the First World countries ike Japan is in a shambles. The so-called Tiger economies of East Asia are wobbing. All these have exposed the frailty of the emerging world order. Academics, theorist and policy makers have, over the years, sought to analyse the emerging world order through a variety of models, paradigms, often contradictory. Robern E. Harkavy, after having exhaustively analysed the various models, has offered seven discrete images ol the post-cold war world. The following tive models, based primarily on Harkavy’s exhaustive analysis are briefly discussed below.
A combination of economic dynamisms, global military strength, lead in cutting-edge technology and the appeal of its mass culture gives the US a truly globai reach. Only the United States has the complete mixture of economic, military and diplomatic powers to qualify as a superpower. Since the Soviet flag came down over the Kremlin at midnight on December 25, 1991, US remains the predominant economic, military, cultural and technological force in the world. It spends as much on defence as the next six military powers of the world combined.
According to Huntington, “n contrast to other countries, the United Stales ranks extraordinarily high in almost all the major sources of national power: population, size and education, natural resources, economic development, social cohesion, political stability, military
strength, ideological appeal, diplomatic alliances technological achievement. it is, consequently, able to sustain reverses in any one area while maintaining its over all influence stemming from other sources.”
The American armed services are equipped to fight smart wars, using everything from Stealth bombers and fighters to AEGIS cruisers and sophisticated night-lighting battlefield weapons. Through satellites, early-warning aircrafts, and an extensive oceanic acoustical detection system, its forces usually have the means to spot what potenial rivals are up to.
Washington’s pre-eminence in the post-cold war era has been achieved by manipulating the international system in its favour. According to the Pentagon’s Defence Planning Guidance for the Fiscal Years 1994-1999, the US must prevent other states from challenging our leadership or secking to overturn the established political and competitors fronı even aspiring to a larger regional or global role.
The worldwide elimination of barriers to trade and capital, and the rise of communications technology have created the global financial marketplace. Average daily worldwide trading in financial instruments now exceed $ 1 trillion. This is largely carried out by huge financial institutions with short investment horizons. They are beyond the control of any government. As óne investment banker says, we have entered an age of unprecedented financial power and risk. The strength of worldwide markets, already immeasurable, will only grow. Markets will be the dominant, worldwide force of the early twenty-first century, dwarfing that of the United States or any consortium of nations.
The United States, Japan, China, Russia and Europe will define the emerging pattern of the twenty-first century. Since geoeconomics has largely replaced geopolitics, it is not so much the military capability as the economic strcngth and clout of a nation or regional grouping which will define the new world order. In the post-cold war era, the ideological glue among nations has come unstruck. Alignments will now be along perceived economic interest rellected in regional economic groupings. While no lasting power alliance can be predicted, competitive economic blocs are already emerging. The three major economic blocs have already emerged which will be in constant competition-
(i) A German-centered European bloc;
(ii) A US-led Western Hemispheere bloc, centered on the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA); and
(iii) A Japan or China-led Pacific Rim region.
The European Union appears to be the strongest grouping so far
in terms of the member states stable economic base and the systematic evolution of integration mechanisms. Later the European Union and rope in Russia and possibly North Africa. The NAFTA, too, is already in operation and it will gradually encompass the entire Latin America. As far as the third grouping is concerned, it is not clear who will eventually lead the Pacific Rim region. Till he Asian melt-down, Japan was the obvious leader, with South Korca fast making up with the leader. China is apparently growing at phenomenal speed. Besides, it has all the attributes of a global power.
The Third World countries have every litle say and except for some potential regional or economic power, these countries are likely to be reglegated to the status of neocolonial resource zones to be courted by the three major blocs. Till the 1997 Asian melt-down, the East Asian economies were threatening to overshadow the other two blocs. Asian scholars and leaders maintained that Western society was decadent and that Asian culture, with its strong emphasis on family values and social discipline, was more conducive to stability and economic growth. “Such a theirs was demolished by the economic melt-down. Today the Japanese and East Asian economics are wobbling. For now Europe appears well placed on the world economic chessboard and it is bound to be a dominant economic power in the twenty-first century. As throw points out, “the House of Europe’ contains 850 million people that are both well-educated and start out not poor. Much will depend on how fast the process of integration takes place and how the russian economy performs. According to Harkavy, the spectra of a growing fault line between Islam and the secularised West may raise questions about whether the incipient Eurobloc could achieve the preferential access to Middle East.”
NAFTA will eventually integrate the entire Latin American region. By 2005, it is likely to emerge as the world’s largest free trade zone, extending from Alaska to Argentina. However, Latin America is right now only weakly tied to the US. Washington’s enthusiasm for pursuing regional free trade arrangements will depend to a large extent on the performance of both the United States and Latin Americian economies in the coming period. A significant downturn in the US economy or a worsening or unemployment is likely to provoke additional protectionist pressures and to constrain new foreign policy intiatives. Similarly sluggisn growth in Latin America will tend to dampen US interest in closer economies ties.
Culture is becoming a critical factor in the international social relations in the times ahead. Tho fundamental source conflict in this new world will not be primarily indelogical or primarily economic. The great divisions among humankind and the dominating source of conflict will be cultural. The principal conflicts of global politics will occur between nations and groups of different civilisations. The clash of civilisations will dominate global politics. The fault lines between civilisations will be battlelines of the future.
Protagonists of the ‘global village’ thesis do not visualise any fundamental conflict either between nations or between trading blocs. They bełieve the world will be more integrated arid it will be guided by global interdependence. Today the world shares the same images from film and entertainment : the same news and information bounces down from satellites, instantly creating a common vocabulary.
The communication revolution has effectively abolished distance and made terrain irrelevant. Information technology is creating a woven World by promoting communication, integration and contact ai a pace of change that for outruns the ability of any government of manage. Territorial sovereignty and. control on the movement of goods and people, the two attributes of the nation-states, are being undercut by the communication revolution. Global currency, bond markets, internet, CNN and MTV are the new empires of mind whose images swamp our consciousness.
The culinary homogenisation and transnationalisation of beverage consumption patterns sought to be achieved by international giants may have led to the cocacolinisation of the globe. But it has also manipulated the entire sociopolitical and ecological context in which peopłe in the Third World work, eat, drink and reproduce. The new information technologies are. not technologies of freedom bur a weapon of destabilisation and information colonisation.
The ever-widening gap between the rich nations of the North and poor of thc South will create a new duality in the world. It will be the central theme of international politics because it will be the single greatest threat to peace and progress in the twenty-first century. While history hás, caused the paralysis of the Third World societies, the developed world is moving in the opposite direttion. We have two worlds on the same planet : one world is toiling to stave off hunger, while the other, ecompassing the developed North, is champing at the byte to cross over into cyberspace.
With the end of the cold war, there was a good deal of talk.about the prospects for a new world Order. There was a new world order in
the sense that the bipolar system established after World War II had broken down. But that was order within the anarhic state system,and it was not nccessurily a iust order. The territorial st ate has not always existed in the past, so it need no necessarily exist in the future.
Since 1945, there have been several major efforts io develop alternatives that go beyond the nation-scale as the model for world politics.
(i) World federalism : Federalism posits a solution for the problem of anarchy by way of an international federation : states would agree to give up their national armaments and accept some degree of central government. Federalists often draw analogies to the way the 13 American colonies came together in the eighteenth century. Some believe that history is a record of progress toward larger units. But federalism has not proven to be a very successful design. Peace is not the only thing people value. Perpetual peace is available only in the grave. People also want justice, welfare, and autonomy, and they do not trust world government to protect them. In addition, few people are convinced that the federał remedy would work, that it would be a cure for the problem of war. Even it the anarchic system of states is part of the.cause of war, getting rid of independent states would not necessarily be the end to the war.
(ii) Functionalism : According to functionalism, economic and social cooperation could creâte communities ihat cut across national boundaries and thus eliminate war. Sovereignty would then become less relevent, and though the formał shell of the state would still exist, its hostile content would be drained away. At the end of World War II, functionalist thinking gave rise to some of the specialised UN agencies such as the Food and Agricultural Organisation, the World Health Organisation, and others: Functionalism exists to’ some extent today, with. a world full of transnational interests, non governmental organisations, multinational corporations and so on.
(iii) Regionalism: Regionalism became very popular in 1950s. jean Monnet, head of French Planning Commission, thought that the functional approach at a regional level might lock Germany and France together and thereby prevent a resugence of the conflicts that had led to World Wars I and II. In 1950, Europe started the process with the Schumann Plan, integrating Western European coal ánd steel industries. After 1957, the Treaty of Rome established the European Common Market, which provided a step-by-step reduction of trade barriers and harmonisation of a whole range of agricultural and economic policies
that culminated in the creation of the European Union in 1992. Other regions have tried to emulate European regionalism, with NAFTA. By the mid 1990s there was widespread ambivalence in the countries of the European Union over just how much sovereignty to cede to a regional government. But even though he drive toward federation was slowed, Europe had changed. In today’s Europe everybody may not be in the same boat, but the boats are lashed together in a variety of ways that are very different from earlier period.
(iv) Ecologism: Ecologism provided a new brand of hope for a’ different type of world order. Richard Falk’s This Endangered Planet argued that two things cõuld provide the basis ol a new world order the growing important of ‘transnational, non-territorial actors and growing interdependence under conditions of scarcity. Falk argued there would be a gradual evolution of grassroots, populist values that would transcend the nation-state. Anticolonialism, anti-racialism, greater equality and ecological balance would lead not only to strengthening of majorities in the United Nations, but to the creation of new regimes for handling the world’s dwindling resources. The end result would be international norms peace, justice, and ecological balance and a new form of wórld order. However, Falk overestimated how scarce resourcés would become and underestimated how much new technologies can compensate for the existent scarcity is.
(v) Cyber-feudalism : The information revolution is flattening hierarchies and replaying them with network organisations. The centralised bureaucratic governments of the twentieth century will become decentralsied, and more governmental fünctions will be handled by private markets as welł as by non-profit organizations As decentralsied organisations and virtual communities develop on the internet, they will cut across territorial jurisdictions, and develop their own patterns of governance. While nations states will continue to exist, they will become much less important and central to people’s lives. People will live by muliple voluntary. contracts and drop in and out of communities at the click of a mouse. The new pattern of cross-cutting communities and governance will become a modem and more civilised analogue to the feudal world that existed before the Westphalian system of states became dominant. Although we can discern trends in this dircetion, this vision of how to get beyond the nation-state leaves open questions about how the claims of virtual and geographical communities will interact, and how issues of violence and security will be handled.
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