Does Globalization increase the prospects for peace
in world politics?
By globalization we simply mean the process of increasing interconnectedness between societies
such that events in one part of the world more and more have effects on peoples and societies far
away (Baylis &Smith, 2005:8). It involves the process of increased integration between different
countries and economies and the increased impact of international influences on all aspects of life
and economic activity. Does globalization increase the prospects for peace in world politics? In
modern times, there are two different perspectives on globalization-----realism and liberalism. For
realism, it considers that globalization is nothing new, not good or bad; for liberalism, it thinks that
globalization has significant influence on the peace of world politics. It is a complex debate and will be
discussed by looking at the issues in terms of these two different points of view.
Realism is the dominant theory of international relations (Baylis &Smith, 2005:161). Globalization does
not modify the most important aspect of the world politics, explicitly the territorial distribution of the
world into nation-states. Whereas the increased interconnectedness between economies and
societies may make them more dependent with each other, but the same thing cannot be used to
describe the state systems. At this point, states maintain sovereignty, and globalization does not solve
political conflicts between nations, taking American imperialism as an example. Globalization does not
provide safety for American government on the oil supply, such as the Gulf war (1991) and Iraq war
(2003). Therefore it does not weaken the consequence of the threat of the use of military or the
strength, or the significance of the balance of power as well. After the attack on 11 September 2001,
Naim says that ‘the era of globalization is over’ (2002:25). Thus globalization may influence our
societies, economies, and culture, but it does not surpass the international political system of states.
Under realism, globalization can not increase the prospects for peace in world politics.
Liberalism, which is quite different from realism prefers considering globalization as the end product of
a long-running change of the world politics. According to Doyle (1997:207), liberalism includes four
claims: juridical equality, democracy, liberty and the free market. Here, globalization then essentially
destabilizes realist accounts of world politics since it shows that states are no longer such central
actors as they used to be. In their place there are a variety of of actors, of differing importance
according to the issue-are concerned. Liberals are especially interested in the revolution in technology
and communications represented by globalization. This increased interconnectedness between
societies which is economically and technologically caused the results in a fairly different pattern of
world political relations from that which has gone before. As Fukuyama (1989:3—18) pointed in his
book “The End of History”, he claimed that ‘liberalism contends that liberal states were more stable
internally and more peaceful in their international relations.” States are no longer sealed units, and
consequently the world looks more like a cobweb of relations than like the state model of realism.
According to Bentham(1793), ‘between the interests of nations there is nowhere any real conflict’. For
example, China and the USA have a lot of conflict not only in ideology but also in politics, however,
with the development of globalization, because of the rising of economy of China, the interaction
between these two countries has become more and more closely than ever before. And they all enjoy
the benefits from economic development together. From this aspect, Globalization increases the
prospects for peace in world politics.
In conclusion, this essay has explained the concepts of globalization, realism and liberalism,
comparing the different perspectives between realism and liberalism on globalization by providing
some historical examples. Realism and liberalism are all existing in modern times, they have different
points of view on globalization. Realism is an image or a theory of reality which means idealistic, it is
not in touch with the world, and it is more romantic. From its concepts, globalization does not increase
peace in the world, because it thinks globalization can not really change the pattern of the countries
although it improves the developing of world economy. While liberalism has a different notion, it is a
progressive or wishful thinking, globalization increase the interconnections, the degree of
interdependence and the integration of economies between countries, so that it can increase the
prospects for the peace of world politics.