Military globalization

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Military globalization is defined by David Held as “the process which embodies the growing extensity and intensity of military relations among the political units of the world system. Understood as such, it reflects both the expanding network of worldwide military ties and relations, as well as the impact of key military technological innovations (from steamships to satellites), which over time, have reconstituted the world into a single geostrategic space." [1] Military globalization implies firmer integration of armed forces around the world into the global military system. For Robert Keohane and Joseph Nye military globalization entails “long-distance networks of interdependence in which force, and the threat or promise of force, are employed.” [2]

Globalization or globalisation is the process of interaction and integration among people, companies, and governments worldwide. As a complex and multifaceted phenomenon, globalization is considered by some as a form of capitalist expansion which entails the integration of local and national economies into a global, unregulated market economy. Globalization has grown due to advances in transportation and communication technology. With the increased global interactions comes the growth of international trade, ideas, and culture. Globalization is primarily an economic process of interaction and integration that's associated with social and cultural aspects. However, conflicts and diplomacy are also large parts of the history of globalization, and modern globalization.

David Held was a British political scientist who specialised in political theory and international relations. He held a joint appointment as Professor of Politics and International Relations, and was Master of University College, at Durham University until his death. He was also a visiting Professor of Political Science at Libera Università Internazionale degli Studi Sociali Guido Carli. Previously he was the Graham Wallas chair of Political Science and the co-director of the Centre for the Study of Global Governance at the London School of Economics.

The military funding of science has had a powerful transformative effect on the practice and products of scientific research since the early 20th century. Particularly since World War I, advanced science-based technologies have been viewed as essential elements of a successful military.

Held [3] divides the military globalization into three distinct phenomena:

  1. The globalization of the war system. This refers to the “geopolitical order, great power rivalry, conflict and security relations.”
  2. The global system of arms production and transfers, reflected in the global arms dynamics.
  3. The geo-governance of violence, “embracing the formal and informal international regulation of the acquisition, deployment and use of military force.”

All three processes above “are connected to technological development, which made them possible in the first place. The result is increasing global interdependence and complexity." [4]

The process of military globalization starts with the Age of Discovery, when the European colonial empires began military operations on the global scale. Their "imperial rivalry led to the First World War, which was the first global conflict in world history." [5] Keohane dates military globalization at least from the time of the conquests of Alexander the Great. [6]

Age of Discovery Period of European global exploration

The Age of Discovery, or the Age of Exploration, is an informal and loosely defined term for the period in European history in which extensive overseas exploration emerged as a powerful factor in European culture and which was the beginning of globalization. It also marks the rise of the period of widespread adoption in Europe of colonialism and mercantilism as national policies. Many lands previously unknown to Europeans were discovered by them during this period, though most were already inhabited. From the perspective of many non-Europeans, the Age of Discovery marked the arrival of invaders from previously unknown continents.

See also

International relations Relationships between two or more states

International relations (IR) or international affairs (IA) — commonly also referred to as international studies (IS), global studies (GS), or global affairs (GA) — is the study of interconnectedness of politics, economics and law on a global level. Depending on the academic institution, it is either a field of political science, an interdisciplinary academic field similar to global studies, or an entirely independent academic discipline in which students take a variety of internationally focused courses in social science and humanities disciplines. In all cases, the field studies relationships between political entities (polities) such as sovereign states, inter-governmental organizations (IGOs), international non-governmental organizations (INGOs), other non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and multinational corporations (MNCs), and the wider world-systems produced by this interaction. International relations is an academic and a public policy field, and so can be positive and normative, because it analyses and formulates the foreign policy of a given state.

World government or global government is the notion of a common political authority for all of humanity, giving way to a global government and a single state that exercises authority over the entire world. Such a government could come into existence either through violent and compulsory world domination or through peaceful and voluntary supranational union.

World War III hypothetical global conflict that has yet to occur

World War III and the Third World War are names given to a hypothetical third worldwide large-scale military conflict subsequent to World War I and World War II. The term has been in use since at least as early as 1941. Some have applied it loosely to refer to limited or smaller conflicts such as the Cold War or the War on Terror, while others assumed that such a conflict would surpass prior world wars both in its scope and its destructive impact.

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Hegemony form of government in which a leader state rules over a number of subordinate states

Hegemony is the political, economic, or military predominance or control of one state over others. In ancient Greece, hegemony denoted the politico-military dominance of a city-state over other city-states. The dominant state is known as the hegemon.

International relations theory is the study of international relations (IR) from a theoretical perspective. It attempts to provide a conceptual framework upon which international relations can be analyzed. Ole Holsti describes international relations theories as acting like pairs of coloured sunglasses that allow the wearer to see only salient events relevant to the theory; e.g., an adherent of realism may completely disregard an event that a constructivist might pounce upon as crucial, and vice versa. The three most prominent theories are realism, liberalism and constructivism. Sometimes, institutionalism proposed and developed by Keohane and Nye is discussed as an paradigm differed from liberalism.

Great power nation that has great political, social, and economic influence

A great power is a sovereign state that is recognized as having the ability and expertise to exert its influence on a global scale. Great powers characteristically possess military and economic strength, as well as diplomatic and soft power influence, which may cause middle or small powers to consider the great powers' opinions before taking actions of their own. International relations theorists have posited that great power status can be characterized into power capabilities, spatial aspects, and status dimensions.

In international relations, multilateralism refers to an alliance of multiple countries pursuing a common goal.

Joseph Nye American political scientist

Joseph Samuel Nye Jr. is an American political scientist. He is the co-founder, along with Robert Keohane, of the international relations theory of neoliberalism, developed in their 1977 book Power and Interdependence. Together with Keohane, he developed the concepts of asymmetrical and complex interdependence. They also explored transnational relations and world politics in an edited volume in the 1970s. More recently, he explained the distinction between hard power and soft power, and pioneered the theory of soft power. His notion of "smart power" became popular with the use of this phrase by members of the Clinton Administration, and more recently the Obama Administration. He is the former Dean of the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, where he currently holds the position of University Distinguished Service Professor, Emeritus. In October 2014, Secretary of State John Kerry appointed Nye to the Foreign Affairs Policy Board. He is also a member of the Defense Policy Board.

Hegemonic stability theory (HST) is a theory of international relations, rooted in research from the fields of political science, economics, and history. HST indicates that the international system is more likely to remain stable when a single nation-state is the dominant world power, or hegemon. Thus, the fall of an existing hegemon or the state of no hegemon diminishes the stability of the international system. When a hegemon exercises leadership, either through diplomacy, coercion, or persuasion, it is actually deploying its "preponderance of power." This is called hegemony, which refers to a state's ability to "single-handedly dominate the rules and arrangements ...[of] international political and economic relations." HST can help analyze the rise of great powers to the role of world leader or hegemon. Also, it can be used to understand and to calculate the future of international politics through the discussion of the symbiotic relation between the declining hegemon and its rising successor.

Collective security international security philosophy that everyone is safer together; that the security of one is the concern of all

Collective security can be understood as a security arrangement, political, regional, or global, in which each state in the system accepts that the security of one is the concern of all, and therefore commits to a collective response to threats to, and breaches to peace. Collective security is more ambitious than systems of alliance security or collective defense in that it seeks to encompass the totality of states within a region or indeed globally, and to address a wide range of possible threats. While collective security is an idea with a long history, its implementation in practice has proved problematic. Several prerequisites have to be met for it to have a chance of working. It is the theory or practice of states pledging to defend one another in order to deter aggression or to exterminate transgressor if international order has been breached.

Global governance or world governance is a movement towards political cooperation among transnational actors, aimed at negotiating responses to problems that affect more than one state or region. Institutions of global governance—the United Nations, the International Criminal Court, the World Bank, etc.—tend to have limited or demarcated power to enforce compliance. The modern question of world governance exists in the context of globalization and globalizing regimes of power: politically, economically and culturally. In response to the acceleration of worldwide interdependence, both between human societies and between humankind and the biosphere, the term "global governance" may name the process of designating laws, rules, or regulations intended for a global scale.

Interventionism is a policy of non-defensive (proactive) activity undertaken by a nation-state, or other geo-political jurisdiction of a lesser or greater nature, to manipulate an economy and/or society. The most common applications of the term are for economic interventionism, and foreign interventionism.

Robert Keohane political scientist from the United States

Robert Owen Keohane is an American academic, who, following the publication of his influential book After Hegemony (1984), became widely associated with the theory of neoliberal institutionalism, as well as transnational relations and world politics in international relations in the 1970s. He is currently a Professor of Political Science at the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton University. A 2011 survey of International Relations scholars placed Keohane second in terms of influence and quality of scholarship in the last twenty years.

In the study of international relations, neoliberalism refers to a school of thought which believes that states are, or at least should be, concerned first and foremost with absolute gains rather than relative gains to other states. Neoliberalism is a revised version of liberalism.

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Functionalism is a theory of international relations that arose during the inter-War period principally from the strong concern about the obsolescence of the State as a form of social organization. Rather than the self-interest of nation-states that realists see as a motivating factor, functionalists focus on common interests and needs shared by states in a process of global integration triggered by the erosion of state sovereignty and the increasing weight of knowledge and hence of scientists and experts in the process of policy-making. Its roots can be traced back to the liberal/idealist tradition that started with Kant and goes as far as Woodrow Wilson's "Fourteen Points" speech.

Cosmopolitan democracy is a political theory which explores the application of norms and values of democracy at the transnational and global sphere. It argues that global governance of the people, by the people, for the people is possible and needed. Writers advocating cosmopolitan democracy include Immanuel Kant, David Held, Daniele Archibugi, Richard Falk, and Mary Kaldor. In the cosmopolitan democracy model, decisions are made by those affected, avoiding a single hierarchical form of authority. According to the nature of the issues at stake, democratic practice should be reinvented to take into account the will of stakeholders. This can be done either through direct participation or through elected representatives. The model advocated by cosmopolitan democrats is confederal and decentralized—global governance without world government—unlike those models of global governance supported by classic World Federalism thinkers, such as Albert Einstein.

Complex interdependence in international relations is the idea put forth by Robert Keohane and Joseph Nye (1977) that states and their fortunes are inextricably tied together.

Institutional liberalism or liberal institutionalism is a modern theory of international relations which claims that international institutions and organizations such as the United Nations (UN), NATO and the European Union (EU) can increase and aid cooperation between states. The theory can be compared to idealism, the international relations theory which emerged after the First World War when the League of Nations was founded. Like political realism, institutional liberalism is utilitarian and rationalistic. States are treated as rational actors operating in an international political system in which hierarchy cannot be enforced.

Progressive realism is an American foreign policy paradigm largely made popular by Robert Wright in 2006 which focuses on producing measurable results in pursuit of widely supported goals. It supports stronger international institutions, free trade, and US national interests. Progressive realists' beliefs are similar to neoconservatives in that foreign interests, such as national defense and participation in the United Nations, serves national interests. They feel that economic interdependence, the environment and global security makes international governance serve national interest. The policy emphasizes the need to convert "hard" military power and "soft" attractive power into "smart" power.

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Low politics is a concept that covers all matters that are not absolutely vital to the survival of the state as the economics and the social affairs. The low politics are the domain of the state's welfare. It concerns all things about social or human security. This concept is the opposite of the high politics which concerns the state's survival and strict national security. Keohane and Nye describe that previously, the international relations were based on a simple interdependence scheme based on national security: high politics, and that nowadays the international relations are ruled by a complex interdependence based on domestic issues : low politics.


  1. David Held, Anthony McGrew, David Goldblatt & Jonathan Perraton. (1999). Global Transformations; Politics, Economics and Culture, Cambridge Polity Press, p 88.
  2. Robert Keohane & Joseph Nye. (2002). Power and Interdependence, Boston: Little, Brown and Co, p 196.
  3. Global Transformations, p 89.
  4. Armin Krishnan. (2008). Wars as Business: Technological Change and Military Service Contracting, London & New York: Routledge, p 158.
  5. Wars as Business, p 158.
  6. Robert Keohane. (2002). Power and Governance in a Partially Globalized World, London & New York: Routledge, p 195.