Government and Politics - Images of the Global Future

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  • Created by: Mizgin
  • Created on: 26-12-11 16:45

Images of the global future:

Images and reality: 

an image is a representation or likeness of an individual, grp or thing.  They may play a sig role in building up knowledge and understanding - explaining the bhvr of global actors. Image is imp in shaping how ppl see themselves and how they see others. -perhaps most clear with nationalism and the nationalist image. Thus it is a nation's 'image' of hostility or friendliness that determines its reaction, not its 'real' hostility or friendliness...etc... 

Poststructuralist theorists: Derian: role of 'new military-industrial-media-entertainment network', operates thru exposure of modern warfare on TV, e.g. hollywood war movies.

Contending images for the future:

Images are also used as explanatory tools, highlighting imp trends and developments in global politics. some of the most influential are:

1. A borderless world? - surfaced in the writing of Ohmae. Hyperglobalist model. Globalisation is a profound, even revolutionary set of econom, cult, tech and pol shifts that have dramatic implications for the state and notions of sov. State weakened as a territorial entity e.g. bec of the movement of ppl, goods etc.National govts find it difficult to control what goes in and out of the country. = prosperity for all. Economic resources drawn towards most profitable use, all countries that ppte will benefit. Thus, orgs such as WTO have helped rich get richer but also poor become less poorer. Also, in political terms, = widespread and enduring peace. 

But how persuasive is this image? Kind of exaggerates? the state isn't really redundant now. Indeed, states have been transformed, but not wiped out. In some ways, globalisation may have strengthened the state e.g. China and Russia have become imp agents of modernisation bec of globalisation. Plus does it always lead to peace? there's been a lot of pol and cult backlash... ethnic nationalism and religious fundamentalism (reactions against perceived threats). Plus, not everyone can always win as the above theory suggests. Market-based econom. systems have structural disparities.

2. A world of democracies? -  this image is rooted in republican liberalism. Highlights an irresistible trend in favour of democratic governance and against authoritarianism and autocracy. 'End of history' theorists such as Fukuyama: liberal democ represents the end point in human history, bec offers members of al soc's prospect of social mob and material security, opp for personal development without interference of state. General spread of peace, declining likelihood of conflict between states. "democratic peace" thesis - bec of homogenisation of values - lib-democ norms. Historical evidence by Huntington: three 'waves' of democ. 

The idea that the state-system will be transformed thru trend in favour of democ has however, attracted criticism. e.g. 'end of history' thesis ignores the conflicts such as crimes and corruptions linked to the 'shock therapy'. Thus, the collapse of communism really outlined the transition from a stable, bipolar world to an unstable multipolarity. Plus, China and Russia are maybe demonstrating authoritarianism and how this has advantages over democracy.  Kagan: "return of history" - 21st century is characterised by rivalry…


Old Sir


A useful, thought-provoking set of notes;- these might be useful to students who are preparing for over-arching 'synoptic' questions because they provide a good starting point from which in-depth investigation and the gathering of case studies may follow.

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