International & Global Politics


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Globalization literally means “The development of closer economic, cultural, and political relations among all the countries of the world as a result of travel and communication becoming easy.” (Cambridge dictionary)

Globalisation has undoubtedly created a complex web of interconnectedness, that indicates that the decisions that shape our lives are made at a great distance from us. Globalisation has many perspectives, such as economic, cultural and political globalization. Globalization of the economy has served as a powerful force to shape the post war world. Trade in goods and services has brought countries to unify and establish peace for many years.

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The progress of globalization has been associated with the growing rural poverty and a widening of rural-urban disparities. Pressures from global economy disrupted agricultural practices in the developing world-subsistence farming abandoned for cultivating cash crops. Globalisation also heightens violence since there are now plenty of ways to express ourselves. International criminals, mainly narcotraffickers are a result of high crime rates.

Supporters of globalization argued that poverty is reduced and inequality is narrowed. For example; In China the poverty rate fell 68% between 1981 and 2005 due to globalisation.

Globalization has created a web of interdependence and interconnectedness which has resulted in a ‘borderless world’. Global means comprehensive; dealing with nearly all elements or aspects of a system. Global politics thus takes place at all levels – worldwide, regional, national, sub-national and so on. Whereas, “‘International’ politics should thus, more properly, be described as ‘inter-state’ politics” (Andrew Heywood), but International and Global politics coexist and complement each other. They should not be seen as irreconcilable modes of understanding.

Transformation of International politics to Global politics

A few significant changes and developments have been noticed that has altered the international politics into global politics; New actors have emerged in the form of Transnational Cooperation’s and NGO’s, Increased interdependence and interconnectedness has developed though unevenly around the world and the trend towards global governance.

Global politics is an arena of constant and accelerating change. The decisions and acts of a country or a set of countries arriving at political agreements, shape international politics, making it more global and interconnected. Interdependence in contrast to integration is “mere mutualism” of states, as Emile Durkheim put it. The doctrine that mutual dependence is necessary to social well-being, not only for individuals but on a greater level for countries as well. For instance, the war against Saddam Hussein wouldn’t have been possible without international assistance but also the treaties have initiated solutions for global problems such as; child marriages, environmental degradation, child labour etc.

State sovereignty is the fundamental principal of international politics, it can be traced back to the Peace of Westphalia (1648), which is referred to as the beginning of modern international politics. Subjects of conflict and peace, along with diplomacy and military action revolve around international politics.

However, in a globalized world, New actors like Transnational Cooperation’s removes the boarders between nation states and countries. Making the world ‘borderless’.

Interdependence and Interconnectedness

Increased Interdependence and interconnectedness have given birth to security dilemma. In international politics a term coined as “state-centric” means ‘An approach to political analysis that takes the state to be the key actor in the domestic realm and on the world stage.’ State-centrism is quite difficult to achieve in modern times due to the involvement of a country with the rest of the world. This system has been illustrated in ‘billiard board model’ which has come under pressure because of new trends and developments such as considerable growth in cross-border, movements of individuals, good, currency, information and ideas.

Sceptic, Transformational (least developed country for angola and dubai ), Hypo global


Globalisation changes the traditional ways of thinking and transforms world politics. It is said that state-centric concept has been most affected by globalisation. By definition “The processes through which sovereign nation-states are criss-crossed and undermined by transnational actors with varying prospects of power, orientations, identities and networks” (Beck 2000). To identify what globalisation really is we need to get a deeper view of it, the dominant feature of globalisation is that geographical distance is least relevant and that territorial borders, such as provinces, are becoming less important. It focuses on the broadening of the political process in terms of making local, national and global events to regularly interact.

Perspectives of Globalisation

There are different perspectives of globalisation;

• Hyperglobalists

• Sceptics

• Transformationalists

Hyperglobalists literally means “The view that new, globalized economic and cultural patterns became inevitable once technology such as computerized financial trading, satellite communications, mobile phones and the Internet became widely available.” (Andrew Heywood)

Hyperglobalists firmly believe in globalization. Hyperglobalism portrays globalization as revolutionary fragments of economic, traditional, technological and political modifications that have improved since the 1980s. The focus although is found to be on developments in the field of information and communication, such as the digital revolution. Also, the emergence of global financial system like the International Monetary Fund or the European Central Bank and the rise of global commodities. For instance, many international firms have spread their products making them easily accessible anywhere in the world.

Hyperglobalism in a nut shell promotes a borderless world where the nation states are dominated by transnational forces. “Multinational companies have fundamental influence on the economy and represent natural response to the “borderless” economy that is characterized by homogenous consumer tastes. These companies crowd out national models of economy as relevant units of economic activity (Ohmae, 1990).”

Nevertheless, hyperglobalism shows an over exaggerated view of globalisation. Firstly, it does not consider the impact it would have on the values, perceptions and ideologies of a country. Secondly, it underestimates the sovereignty of a country. They are interested in pooling their sovereignty by getting involved with international organisations such as regional training blocs and the WTO. Lastly, the rise of global terrorism and migration statistics has re-emphasised the significance of the state in safeguarding domestic security and in protecting national/ territorial borders.

The Sceptics emphasize on globalization being a fantasy in terms of the significant role of played by the national economies and promotes cross border activities, though dismissing the idea of a cohesive global economy. However, the globalisation thesis has some advantages; First, it reveals certain facts, such as the shift towards better flexibility and weaker trade unions and public expenditure control particularly, welfare spending. Second, it advocates that these shifts are not linked to an agent such as large-scale cooperation, whose benefits might be seen to be served by globalizing tendencies. The mobility of goods, capital, individuals and ideas is better than before and this has inevitable consequences for economic, cultural and political life.

The Transformationalists stand on a more moderate position to portray globalisation. It agrees with the profound changes that have altered the system of the world politics along with the remains of its traditional features. This is the most accepted view of globalisation since it shows a middle road view.

Major alterations have taken place in world politics. Such as, the interconnectedness has encouraged the cross-border activities, which range from global migration acceleration, growth of international trade to the greater accessibility of Hollywood movies or US television programmes and the movement of electronic money. Ultimately resulting in the increase of speed and flexibility of e-commerce.

Case Study of Angola

Angola is situated in sub-Saharan Africa, that has severe economic and social problems. Angola has been in a state of war for the past four decades. Although Angola exports high-value products (petroleum and diamonds) and has significant other potential, it has been ranked 128th in the World Bank tables.

In Angola, global economic relations were sustained through colonial power. The war, and the disruption caused by the collapse of Portuguese colonialism that led to a sudden downfall in the rural economy. This includes the collapse of local production because it had to compete with foreign made goods. For instance, Brush making requires little capital and raw material, but it fails to compete with plastic brushes imported by the container-load. And local jam production struggled to re-establish when women street traders sold marmalade made with Spanish oranges in Brazil under licence to a Scottish company, imported through South Africa.

Another challenge Angola face is lack of support from their government, when International Organisations interfere it is important that they do not dictate their agenda but rather support the locals at a national level. There’s an increasing possibility that National-level civil society organizations might have differences of opinion with such international organizations, over issues such as price levels for fuel and services, and privatization of basic services. The major development issue involving globalisation is that how more local people can generate income by being productively employed in the development process.


The supporters of globalisation say that globalisation helps to achieve prosperity for all, but the critics argue that it increases poverty and inequality.

In terms of economic globalisation, critics have emphasised on the deeply rooted patterns of inequality. Critical theorists argue that the TNCs and developed countries are the only benefiters while the developing world copes with low wages and weak or non-existent regulations where production dominates the global markets rather than domestic needs. Economic globalization has been referred to as a form of neo-colonialism: it fools poor countries into opening up their markets while the rich states plunder their resources.

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