To what degree are geopolitical theory applicable to the 21st Century and an age of globalization?
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The study of geopolitics has undergone a long period of time and in the more recent years this field of study has been reflected more in books and papers and as well in journals thousand of students pay for essay on this uptodate topic today. This subject has been argued upon that geographical analysis will always provide a great deal of influence in today’s world and time and that it will present such a picture of forces that will exist in this time but within a geographical frame and context.
There are some topics in international relations which are confused with geopolitics and this kind of misunderstanding still existed from the starting of the 21st Century.
Geopolitical theory can be defined as the study which analyzes the geography, history and as well as social sciences but with a great deal of reference with spatial politics (spatial politics can be defined as terms that just simply simplify and dramatize political based actions and differences of a particular state) and as well as patterns of various scales (that is these scales can range from local to state to international even). It can be said that geopolitics is aided by all these three fields of studies. If you will ever have an idea order essay online do not hesitate to contact best essay service.
The work of geopolitics is to examine the political, strategic and economic side of a state’s geography. Here geography can be defined as location, size, relationship and functions of/ between resources and places. The name geopolitics was given by a Swedish political scientist called Rudolf Kjellen, who taught at the Gothenburg and Uppsala Universities.
Kjellen was the first one to create and develop an organic system of political science and this system was able to provide a systematic and automatic account of the states that were developed. This organic system is based on five dimensions, these dimensions are as follows:-
Globalization can be defined as a way that the world is getting interconnected both economically and culturally. Globalization is actually the process of economic, technological, political and socio-cultural forces i.e. globalization refers to the adaptation or development of values, knowledge, technology and behavioral norms across different societies and countries around the world. The characteristics of globalization are mostly linked with global networking (i.e. internet, electronic communication or technology etc.) with interflow of information in the economic, social, political and cultural learning areas, interflow between international alliances and competitors, international collaboration and multi-cultural integration and global village and technology(Robertson 1992).
There are four dimensions to globalization: 1) building the global economy of the world, 2) formation of the world opinion, 3) democratization i.e. the emergence of a global community and 4) the creation of global political institutions. As we know that globalization is the process of economic, technological, political and socio-cultural forces. There are different kinds of dimensions to globalization such as Economic, Sociology, Anthropology, Psychology, Cultural, Communication, Political and Geographic etc(Kofman & Youngs 2003).
For example a lot of professors and teachers from any ethnic background are quite ill prepared to handle these multicultural differences. Many Americans attended segregated schools, lived in racially unmixed neighborhoods and were unexposed to people who were substantially different from themselves. Another example from an organizational environment would be, a manger declines a gift which is offered by a new employee of the company, an immigrant or a person belonging to a different background; who wanted to show his or her gratitude for the job. The manager, who was very concerned about ethics and policies of the company, explained the rules and procedures about not accepting any sort of gifts. The employee felt insulted therefore he or she quit their job(Waters 2001).
It must be remembered that globalization plays an important role in diversity as well, because it is because of globalization that diversity is increasing whether it is a state or a country or even an organization. For example, globalization is one of the reasons why cultural diversity of an organization is increasing and therefore it requires members of the HR department to become more aware of cultural differences that exist so that other managers of the organization can be properly advised to handle situations. Managers and the HR department further their contributions to the organization by being informed about cultural differences among the company’s international operations. Projects and innovations that have been successful in one country are often duplicated and applied in others. Technically or financially oriented innovators may focus on technological or financial feasibility, unaware of cultures differences that could reduce their success.
Today geopolitics is being viewed by the geographers in a spatial pattern, which is not containable within a national boundary, that is, which has spread worldwide with the help of globalization. The whole world is being viewed as an interdependent system and along with the part of the world which is being shared is called nation – state by the geographers. In a book called ‘Geography and Politics in a World Divided’ by Saul Cohen, in that book the author (Cohen) has divided the world into different geostrategic regions.
There are two geostrategic regions, they are 1) the Maritime; this region is based upon on trade between different nation and 2) the Eurasian Continental Realm, this geostrategic region is more inclined towards interior direction like the Middle East. The author says that in both of these geostrategic regions (the Maritime and the Eurasian Continental Realm) there are some first order states (that is, there are some are some states which are more powerful from the other states)(Cohen 2002).
The states which are powerful in the Maritime region are the United States, Japan and the European Union. Whereas the states that are powerful in the Eurasian Continental Realm region are China and the Soviet Union. The author also believes that there is some shatter – belts states which divide regions with both the realms. And it must be remembered that there are some independent states within these realms like Pakistan, India, Vietnam and Thailand. There are some gateways in both the realms that act as the linkage between the realms and the regions which joins them together and this only can be done through globalization. It is also believed that power is distributed and that power is in a great deal of places and it is changing continuously, but in an integrated system.
Geopolitics helps us to understand that why some countries or states are powerful and the others are not. The difference between the spatial patterns of countries and its relationship with international relations has been observed from the starting of time. But it must be remembered that the link between geography and politics only started over a century ago.
For example, if we see through the study of geopolitics we will see that the Middle East plays a very important role and always has been a strategic region, which connects Eurasia and Africa together and it is all due to globalization. According to Cohen in his book, the Middle East is considered to be the shatter – belts that are where Maritime region meets the Eurasian Continental Realm (Cohen 2002).
There was a time when the Middle East region had the most power and the most important trading region of the world, but this all came to end when the Middle East came under the western influence (that is under the form of colonial domination of the west), and later on Middle East became a pawn for powerful countries like the United States and the Soviet Union. The position of the Middle East (that is the tri – continental position) will be the most important geographically based position. It is still a little hazy that whether Middle East will be able to recover and overcome its economic and as well as social difficulties and it is still unclear that whether Middle East be able to reestablish itself to its former glory as a important region of trading and culture. And it is still unclear that whether Middle East will remain a shatter – belt or not, or whether it might be caught between the colliding external cultural and political forces of the world(Stiglitz 2003).
The raging impacts of globalization on the existence of humans mean that it touches necessarily on all the parts of the questions based on philosophy. Globalization just makes sure that the philosophers should pay extra attention to the voices that have been neglected for a long period of time and which are connected with the western society in a more intimate ways than ever.
The political theory of the west always presupposed the existence of the territorial states, that is, the nation’s or community’s borders are easily differentiated from other nations or communities borders. Since the achievement of democracy, the power at the global level means is that the justice and democracy is completely unattainable. But from a realist point of view of international politics, the most important characteristics or elements of modern sovereign states mostly revolves around the western political thoughts. The goal of the western political thoughts is to pursue the normative goals primarily to those of the domestic arenas.
Globalization is considered to be an important challenge to each of the traditional assumptions related to the geopolitics of the west. There is no evidence anymore that the nation – states can be defined as the ‘schemes that are self – sufficient and that they are very important for human life’, in relation to the spread and the intensification of the socially based relations across all borders of a nation or a state, in today’s time the idea of a bounded community leads to suspicion due to the shifts and trends of in the spatial – temporal elements of human life. The strongest and powerful political units are now also being subjected to the increase in the de-territorialized activities (for example, global financial markets etc.) even, because they have very little or no control over these trends.
Globalization plays a very vital and important role in the 21st century. It is mostly referred as the idea of the world connected to each other or integrated or even less territorially divided in economical and cultural sense of the word. Due to the cold war era, we can all see the groundwork which surrounds us in the 21st century. What we see is that the states which were existing territories are not able to convert themselves into developed societies. These states are either too big for social identities or economical interests. But then again these societies are too small for any economic purposes.
But it must be remembered that the market sectors are increasing at a rapid pace within an intensive, competitive and integrated economy but it must be remembered that this economy is very unstable. This can be considered as a paradox of fragmentation against globalization, whereas many geographers have seen this since the world’s slow end (that is the cold war era of the 1980’s).
Politics and globalization are usually seen as two different processes but in actual they both are related to geopolitical order, which has been emerging very slowly over a long period of time. Hence it must be remembered that interstate boundaries have started to take a different meaning and perspective from before(Agnew n.d.).
Since the 19th century trading has become independent and free and during the cold war era, this moved a notch upwards, that is, they began to promote the transnational movement of all productions factors (these factors would include capital, labor and technology etc.). As it is a known fact when production of products had been based on national basis, free trade was only done limitedly. But in today’s time production of goods along with trade has become easy because it is easy to move between national boundaries.
There has been a change in the trend of the world economy; along with that there has been a decrease in the economic importance of existing states. Since the 1950’s, there has been a rapid increase in the world trade. This growth in trade happened due to a growth of industrialized units all over the world. Free trade was made possible because of the declining costs in the transportation costs of the materials and finished goods and an increase in the institutional innovations (for example, World Trade Organizations (WTO) and European Union (EU) etc.).
With the help of globalization transnational firms and companies have become major key players in the making of an open world economy. For example, the United States economy is the total share of world exports, and these exports shrank by one quarter of the year (that is between 1966 and 1984), US – based companies are still being accounted for the same proportion of world exports because of their operations because these operations are spread all over the world(Lipsey and Kravis 1987) .
Japan’s economy is the second largest economy of the world after the US’s. The Japanese economy is increasing internationally but this has created problems for other economies of the world. For example, the meltdown of the Asian economies in the 1997-98 and this meltdown had negative effects on the Japanese economy as well. This meltdown happened due to Japan’s heavy involvement in the exports, investments and production region.
Financial system of the world has become extremely globalized. The increase demands in the diversified portfolios, the deregulation of national stock markets etc. have led to transnational finance. And to fulfill this demand the financial markets now work continuously without any help or supervision from the government (Agnew n.d.).
In the end as we know that the world is now becoming a boundary – less state, there has been an increase in opportunities due to border – less collaboration between nations. But it must be remembered that this new world economy is not very stable. Globalization as we speak is not only the result of technology but also due to liberal economies and modernization of the world. But all of these changes should be taken into consideration because without them there would have been no creation of a geographical logic, which now presents the world economy. And it must be remembered that geopolitics of current globalization may or may not be sustainable.
Agnew, J A (n.d.), ‘A World That Knows No Boundaries? The Geopolitics of Globalization and the Myth of a Borderless World’. Available from <http://www.qub.ac.uk/cibr/WPpdffiles/CIBRwp2003_2.pdf>[Accessed on 11th January’09]
Cohen, B S (2002), ‘Geopolitics of the World System’. Rowman & Littlefield
Collins, R (1999), ‘Macro history: Essays in Sociology of the Long Run’. Stanford University Press
Gray, C S. & R. Sloan, G R. (1999), ‘Geopolitics, Geography, and Strategy’. Routledge
Kofman, E & Youngs, G (2003), ‘Globalization: Theory and Practice’. Continuum International Publishing Group
Lipsey, R. & Kravis, I (1987), “The competitiveness and comparative advantage of US multinationals.” Banca Nazionale Del Lavoro Quarterly Review
Payne, J T. (2004), ‘Geopolitics, Globalization and the Age of Terrorism’. Available from <http://www.raleightavern.org/geopolitics.htm>.[Accessed on 11th January’09]
Robertson, R. (1992), ‘Globalization: Social Theory and Global Culture’. London: Sage
Rowntree, L.,Lewis,M., Price, M. &Wyckoff,W.(2007). Globalization and Diversity: Geography of a Changing World. Prentice Hall
Scholte, J.A.(2005). Globalization: A Critical Introduction. Palgrave Macmillan.
Shah, A (2006), ‘Geopolitics’. Available from <http://www.globalissues.org/issue/65/geopolitics>.[Accessed on 11th January’09]
Stiglitz, J.E.(2003). Globalization and Its Discontents. W. W. Norton & Company.
Waters, M (2001), ‘Globalization’. Routledge
- Geopolitik: it is the first step of the organic system process. This step basically defines the conditions of the state and problems that are being faced by the state and its people but in their geographical elements and characteristics.
- Ecopolitics: it is the second step of the organic system process. This step looks into the state’s economical developments and as well as the state’s economical establishments.
- Demo – politics: it is the third step of the organic system process. This step looks into the state’s population trend and as well as its ethnic composition.
- Sociopolitics: it is the fourth step of the organic system process. This step sees the particular state or country from a sociological point of view.
- Kratopolitics: this is the fifth and the last step of the organic system process. This step is based on the viewing of the state’s governance by the people of the state. This step is considered to be the most important step of the whole process because this is where state can be monitored and controlled(Rowntree,Lewis,Price &Wyckoff 2007).
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