Is globalisation weakening to eventually disappear?

It has increased the speed of interconnectedness, interdependence while reducing the world to the size of a village

Dr Samreen Bari Aamir June 10, 2022
The writer is an Assistant Professor at DHA Suffa University, Karachi. She can be reached at [email protected]

The term ‘globalisation’ was coined by Harvard Business School Professor Theodore Levitt in 1983; however, this phrase was first used by economists and social scientists in the 1960s. When the world observed the events after WWII, such as the fall of the Berlin Wall and the disintegration of the Soviet Union, the term ‘globalisation’ became the buzzword of the century. This process has increased the speed of interconnectedness and interdependence while also reducing the world to the size of a village.

Globalisation is altering and transforming the world from conventionalism to enlightenment. World politics is taking a new turn now, with the superpowers once again splitting the world into alliances and regions. Ideologies and ethnic politics are once again contaminating global peace. Religious issues are widening the divide between the East and the West, while economic interdependence is receding to the regional level.

World leaders are once again employing the terms such as ‘weapons of mass destruction’, ‘nuclear capabilities’, and ‘hydrogen bombs’ to demonstrate their ability to limit and contain their adversaries and to create a balance of power. At a time when the United States faces increasing competition from Russia and China, it is allocating a huge amount of its GDP to national security. The United States has prioritised burden-sharing over collaborating with strategic partners to build more effective shared forces giving rise to the concept of regional security and accelerating the alliance system. The American military is huge, well-trained, well-equipped and technologically advanced. Since the fall of the Soviet Union, American forces have become without a doubt the most powerful — by far — on the planet’s surface. The US has expedited its programme to build the next stage in atomic warfare, a thermonuclear bomb. This new weapon, often known as the hydrogen bomb, was nearly 1,000 times more powerful than traditional nuclear bombs.

Russia has launched a war against Ukraine in order to maintain its buffer zone, and this controversial and conflicting situation is raising the temperature of the region. US Secretary of State Antony Blinken stated that America’s mission, backed up by hundreds of millions of dollars in military aid, was simply to support the Ukrainian people. The White House authorised Russia to return its troops to their box without resorting to military force. “Direct confrontation between NATO and Russia is World War Three, and we must work hard to avoid it,” President Joe Biden stated in early March.

NATO’s expansion can be considered as an effort to create hegemony and restrain Russia. China and Russia are attempting to limit Western countries and the United States by forming alliances in order to undermine their strategic and economic dominance. The world’s two most powerful leaders presented a broad long-term pact that challenges the US as a global force, NATO as a cornerstone of international security, and liberal democracy as a model for the rest of the world. “Friendship between the two States has no bounds,” they pledged in a communiqué issued following their meeting on the eve of the Beijing Winter Olympics. “There are no ‘forbidden’ cooperation sectors.”

According to The Guardian, China’s trade with Russia increased by 13 per cent year on year in March. The increase exceeds a 7.75 per cent rise in China’s worldwide trade, indicating that Beijing maintains close ties with Moscow. In March, China’s shipments to and from Russia totaled $11.67 billion. According to Chinese customs data, China’s commerce with Russia increased by more than 12 per cent in March compared to the previous year, exceeding the increase in Beijing’s trade with the rest of the globe. Shipments to and from Russia grew 12.76 per cent in March to $11.67 billion, according to Chinese customs statistics.

There is another surprise for the world as Turkey, which was a strong supporter of NATO’s eastward expansion, has decided to reject Sweden and Finland’s participation in NATO. This comes as a surprise to the Nordic countries and their allies, as the new aspirant is supposed to seek a vote from all NATO members. Countries have begun to criticise the Turkish government because they believe Turkey has formed good relations with the Russian government and that this gesture is an attempt to appease Russia.

Another Asian country, that is India, is not supporting NATO’s extension openly. The United Nations General Assembly voted 141 to 5 on March 2 to condemn Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. India, the world’s largest democracy, did not vote. India’s abstention was not its first. India is also apparently in talks to acquire Russian oil at a discount and is looking for methods to retain trading connections with Moscow despite Western sanctions. These options are a technique for India to avoid making a decision. These decisions reflect India’s complex geopolitical balancing act in the midst of the Ukraine conflict. Even as it moves closer to the United States, it maintains its longstanding bond with Russia.

Published in The Express Tribune, June 10th, 2022.

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