Globalization and International Security

Keywords: international security globalization

This research paper discusses the issues of globalization and international security in their interdependency and interrelation. Challenges and obstacles of the efficient international security policy are considered. Globalization and international security are two directly proportional notions: the quicker is globalization, the stricter is international security.


International security is nowadays closely connected with the notion of globalization. These two concepts seem to be the basic in today’s political and economic situation. Thus, to start with, we should identify the notion of the international security. International security is the set of measures performed by countries and various international organizations aimed at the provision of the mutual safety in the world politics. This set of measures involves the implementation of both military actions and diplomatic treaties and agreements. Both types of security – national and international are closely connected.

As far as globalization offers its ways to ever-growing interaction of people and nations in almost all aspects of the human activities, as well as greater proliferation of cultures, political, economic and social activities, this results in greater rejection. This happens because of the discrepancies in some major points such as religion, for instance, or property issues. The brightest example of the globalization influence on international challenges is terrorist attacks, particularly on September 11, 2001, because these were the first, and they entailed the complete reorganization of global vision of the international security issue. We may state that these attacks were conditioned by the effects of increasing political globalization – striving of the US to get the control over Iraq and improve its position as the world leader and power controlling all aspects of the world political order.

Therefore, the present paper discusses the issue of the impact the globalization has on the international security and challenges posed by this influence. As far as globalization is rather broad and general term, we will use more specific aspects of globalization such as terrorism and struggle with it, international security in the countries of the Asia-Pacific region resulting from the dramatic economic growth of this region, and other challenges of globalization as associated with the necessity to improve the international security of these countries.

General discussion

International security and globalization

Starting from the end of the twentieth century and continuing in the twenty first century, the globalization of different issues has provided both positive and negative effects. The positive effects of globalization imply closer and thus more effective cooperation of nations on various issues. These involve the sphere of political, cultural, economic cooperation. However, the same issues may have negative effects because in such way the collision of different views happens and this results in the conflict, as we can see on the example of the terrorist attacks of 9/11 – different views on the same question – who will rule – have predetermined the outcome of the conflict: dramatic and terrifying event, which made nations shudder in anticipation of the same threat. Thus, for the most part the growth of terrorist attacks resulted in the desire of nations improve their international security. This may be accomplished in a number of ways: either through military actions, as it has been already mentioned, but this method is too radical, or through agreements, treaties and participation in international security programs or associations.

Despite the fact that since the ending of the Cold War, which happened more than decade ago, there was an anticipation of the dramatic improvement in the sphere of international and national security. However, these hopes have failed, for new challenges have replaced the threat of nuclear weapon and civilization destruction.

New challenges and issues of international security posed by the globalization include terrorism, various forms of extremism, separatism, growth of the crime rates, corruption, weapons of the mass destruction, regional conflicts, ecological catastrophes etc. Despite the fact that these challenges existed previously, in the globalization era they have achieved another sounding, because the world became much more mutually dependent and interconnected than earlier. Therefore, these challenges have begun to obtain a universal character rapidly, thus posing a threat to both national and international stability and security.

The lives of many people of different nations have become influenced by these issues and challenges posed to the regional and international communities, and this influences continues its growth. As foreign minister of Russia Igor Ivanov stated, Proof of this is the wave of terrorist acts, unprecedented in scale and cruelty that has rolled from New York to the Island of Bali and Moscow (Ivanov, 2003). The key issue nowadays is not even the disclosure of the spheres where globalization has threatened the security of states and their citizens, but rather that far more interesting nowadays question of the way the effects of international insecurity may be challenged. Besides, it should be defined, why there are so much threats confronting humanity at the beginning of the twenty first century, and what measures can be taken in order to prevent or neutralize the ever-increasing number of new challenges to the peace and international threats.

Globalization has become the greatest and the most influential constructor of the new international security picture. Its influence on the development and facilitation of the relations between nations in this basic sphere is considered to be rather contradictory. Thus, on the one part, globalization furthers rapid advancement of technological and scientific progress and facilitates ever-increasing communication among nations. Thus, if we look at the issue more closely, we will see that globalization to great extent assists humanity in provision of the potentiality for improvement of the quality of the international security and brings it to another level of development. It is due to the mutual dependence between nations in almost all spheres of the political, economic, social order, that helps to develop absolutely novel political approaches targeting the creation of the democratic multiparty organizations of controlling the international system of security and in such way targeting the reliable solution of the security problems.

Nevertheless, the process of globalization has negative meaning, which is expressed through the intensification of the old challenges of international security with the simultaneous raising of new challenges and dangers. The part of outer factors in the evolution of nations and countries is increasing crucially. Due to the discrepancies in the economic and financial power, the interrelation and mutual dependency between nations becomes ever more unstable and disbalanced. Despite the fact that a minor group of leading industrialized countries almost obviously plays the part of the grounds for globalization, the rest of the countries stays aside of the financial economic advancements. As a consequence, the differences of economic and social advancement of the world grow intensively.

According to Ivanov, the world economy may nowadays be separated into two types of zones: zones of growth and stagnation. Therefore, as Ivanov states, in 1998 ten leading states – recipients of foreign investments accounted for 70 percent of their total amount, and countries with a low development level accounted for less than 7 percent (Ivanov, 2003). At the same time eminent politician claims that While in 1960 the incomes of the richest 20 percent of the world’s population exceeded those of the poorest 20 percent by 30 times, by 2002 that gap had trebled (Ivanov, 2003).

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All these problems: unemployment, low wages, social injustice, discrepancies in the realm of religion, culture, etc, contribute greatly to the issue of international security improvement. Certain steps have been already made in this direction, and they appear to be rather effective, but they will be discussed later in this paper.

As for the mutual dependence of globalization and international security, we may state that we become the witnesses of the transference of negative globalization aspects to the countries of the Third World. The point is that it is harder for the Third World nations to defend themselves from the negative influence of globalization, but what is far easier to people living in developed countries is that they are protected to a certain extent with the economic and political power of their states. Consequently, the deceleration of globalization processes results in the breaches widening, which concerns the gaps in speed and direction of both economic and social advancement of whole regions of the world.

It should be also mentioned that the very notion of the state power is changing in today’s world. International security nowadays is provided with the help of not only military forces, as it has always been, but also with the help of the financial, economic, information and other resources which affect allies and opponents particularly comes to the foreground.

There are certain factors which supposedly make it either easier or more complicated for countries to obtain access to the advantages of globalization, and which become ever more involved in the ‘armory’ of security strategies. Thus, globalization and attempts to manipulate its processes are often used as tools of pressure in politics and economy. This peculiarity of the current state of affairs with international relations is emphasized in the UN report called The Impact of Civilization on Social Development. This report underlines that concern over globalization is partly due to the fact that the national policies of states are increasingly influenced by policies pursued outside their boundaries (UN report). Although this concerns national security policies, it is obvious that the international security policies are affected by the global politics and economy as well. As an example of such connection we can provide the example of the International Security Assistance Force – although this mission was established by the UN Security Council, a lot of countries of the world responded the call for assistance.

Thus, the United Nations Security Council has established ISAF – International Security Assistance Force, which is the development and security mission in Afghanistan, led by NATO. The mission was established on December 20, 2001 (UNSCR) and involves approximately thirty five thousand people. The troops for this mission were contributed by thirty seven countries. The main target of International Security Assistance Force was to protect Kabul (Afghanistan) during the war in Afghanistan (started in 2001), and provide the security of the people from the Taliban, al Qaida.

There are a lot of tools which are used to influence international security through the globalization processes. According to Ivanov, these tools of manipulation include the following:

Investment and credit diplomacy, which benefits from the sharp need of developing nations in loans and investments of foreign capital.

Information diplomacy, which targets the prevalence in the space of the world information; Political engineering, which implies the joint usage of different levers such as economic, political, and military ones for the construction of the required type of partners. In other words, states are ready to accept the conditions of the answer to both national and international challenges and issues posed from outside the boundaries of these states.

In general, it should be particularly underlined that the process of new international processes started in the period after the Cold War ending, obtained to a great extent unchangeable and uncontrolled nature.

Consequently, as it turns out, the situation has arisen which is filled with a great potential for the crisis outbreak, but which is simultaneously useless for the prevention or solution of international security issues collectively, meaning with the help of the whole world community. The deficiency of efficient mechanisms for control and monitoring of the actions and adapting the interests of a group of governments can be implemented as the pretence or evidential support of the statement that the purchase of weapons of mass destruction, even if its quantity is insignificant, becomes almost the only way to ensure security in international terms in today’s unpredictable and unstable world. The risk and challenge of such situation is in the fact that threats to national and international security will exist until some serious measures are taken.

Terrorism as the threat to international security

One of the most crucial challenges the world community faces nowadays is the identification of the most sharply states problems of national and international security – notions, which are often closely connected. The current attempts of the world community to fight these problems should be analyzed and the question should be answered as for the effectiveness of these attempts.

As it has been already mentioned, the threat of the international terrorism nowadays is posed rather obviously and thus becomes the major threat to the security of the humanity. One of the most difficult things in fighting terrorism, according to Russian foreign minister Ivanov is that terrorists usually change their techniques and strategies of fighting for their aims, and they used to find ever new targets of their just retribution: The population of the major megalopolises on the planet and strategically important marine transportation of energy resources, computer systems that support the life of a modern state, the transportation, tourist and banking infrastructures of the world – this is by no means a complete list of targets of attacks that have already happened and may happen in the future (Ivanov, 2003).

The key reason for the current situation existence is that extremist leaders try to breed strife, and in such way manipulate others. The most awful thing is that usually this happens on the political level, and people dependant on the state or government suffer in such situation. Thus, terrorist leaders try to destabilize the current state of affairs in separate countries through the use of causing strife as a result of religious, cultural or national discord. Thus, they find weak sides and strike a blow influencing not those separate countries but the whole world community.

The growth of international terrorism had entailed the necessity to cooperate in order to fight international terrorism. Thus, national programs aiming the interaction against terrorism were established within the frameworks of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization and the Commonwealth of Independent States (Ivanov, 2003). Their target is to put an obstacle on the way of the ever-spreading terrorism, particularly in Central Asia (Ivanov, 2003).

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Therefore, we should always remember that the protection of rights of every citizen is the direct concern of every country, that is why it is necessary to develop new more efficient programs aiming fight against terrorism and other threats to international security. The United Nations continue to claim its opinion as for the effective struggle with terrorism. According to the UN, this struggle should be supported essentially by the international law.

This problem may be solved with the help of the UN, which has always taken great interest and participated in the affairs of terrorism protection, persecution of terrorists or terrorist loyal people, assistance to those people who have suffered from the extremist activity.

International security in Asia-Pacific region

Asia-Pacific region may be considered the developing one, because countries of this region traditionally have underdeveloped economies, and inexpressive politics but nowadays situation seem to have been changed. That is why it is rather unexpectedly for the world community to evidence the fact that Asia-Pacific region has become the center of the international security, in other words, the Asia-Pacific is currently…home to a wide range of attempts at international cooperation on security issues (Goh, Acharia, 2007). It has not been until the beginning of the 1990s that considerable developments and improvements in international issues resulted in the essential changes in the international security of Asia-Pacific region. The most important events which contributed greatly to the development of this region and brought about the transformations in the sphere of international security were the end of the Cold War and the vagueness of the situation with the American strategy as for East Asia. Besides, this resulted from the advancement of China on both political and economic arena due to its dramatic economic growth.

It was exactly that economic growth that opened China to the world as the prospective country leading in terms of the economic growth and bringing changes at all levels of the development. Another reason for the change was the crisis of Asian economy in 1997, which damaged the region significantly and doubted the efficiency of the international institutions and the existence of the programs on international cooperation in the sphere of security provision. The activities of the terrorists in Southeast Asia, which have incurred from the terrorist attacks in the USA on September 11, 2001, contributed greatly to the change of the approach concerning national, international and local security.

These examples of globalization require further research as for the conflict solving in Asia-Pacific countries. Great variety of approaches to international and national security was considered and thus they have changed significantly since the times of the Cold War. In 1994 the ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) Regional Forum was established, and it was the peak of the new initiatives developing in the region at those times. As for the increase of international security between countries of the Asia-Pacific region, we should state that there is growing effort to provide the international security with the combined effort of ASEAN countries, Japan, South Korea and China. Besides, great number of organizations has appeared which has certain relation to the security, such as the APEC (Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation), the Shanghai Cooperation Organization and others.

As a rule, these cooperative efforts concern the issue of confidence establishing between Asia-Pacific countries. However, because of the differing conditions of these organizations operation, a lot of such efforts suffer from the deficiency of the mutual cooperation and lack of competition as well.

Within the framework of the international security there are a number of questions which will be answered in the present paper. They include the concern over the APEC, the main issues of which were extended and thus achieved both greater role and importance on the political scene. So, the reason that has facilitated this transformation in goals of the APEC was the struggle against terrorism after the infamous event of 11 September. The issue of the terrorism in the era of globalization as the key concern of the world community has been considered in this paper. However, first we should answer the question how do relate those two notions of globalization and terrorism, and what are their common points. Therefore, we should mention that globalization has different layers, such as for instance political, economic, cultural and many other; and as a rule globalization is considered as the ever-growing interconnection between people and whole nations as a result of the progress and technological advancements in communication facilities, transport, information technologies etc.

It can be hardly doubted that the development of the communications, IT and transport as well as closer interaction between nations, has contributed greatly to the necessity of the international cooperation and security improvement. The reasons for the greater international danger may be waited from the side of international trade and economy on the whole, as far as money and power are closely interlinked and for the most part they are the reason for the majority of conflicts.

Among other factors influencing international security is the institutional adaptability as stated by Goh and Acharia, who claim that it is the “presence of or the presence of institutional

mechanisms that could be adapted to respond to new challenges; in this case, the APEC’s leaders’ Summit was one such institution that provided a ready forum for the discussion of pressing security concerns among the region’s heads of state (Goh, Acharia, 2007).

They consider ASEAN and ARF to be as well corresponding in order to adopt and accommodate the supplementary frameworks of international security. However, these actions are considered to be the misuse of powers. For example, Association of Southeast Asian Nations nowadays significantly changes its previous orientation to international issues of security to the transnational ones. ASEAN Regional Forum has also adopted the program of dealing with international terrorism.

According to investigation, performed by Goh and Acharia, the current standards of national interaction differ in various institutions. Thus, the most developed standards are those suggested by ASEAN, while those of Asia-Pacific institutions which are under the threat, are the standards of noninterference. It should be also mentioned here that legalization of the institutions of the Asia-Pacific region has obtained the formalized character. For instance, we can mention the the dispute settlement mechanisms created under the ASEAN Free Trade Area (AFTA), new rules for managing forest in ASEAN countries, the Declaration of Conduct (admittedly a weaker example) in the South China Sea, and moves to deviate from the consensus principle in ASEAN and the ARF (Goh, Arachia, 2007). These steps may be considered as the formalized operations of the improved and intensified international security.

International Security before 9/11 and after it

Thus, the infamous events of 9/11 became the turning point in the history of the international security. The thing is that, according to Khan, the discourse and direction of the international security issues and globalization processes has been changed. First of all, it should be mentioned that before that turning point the prevalent issues of the politic and economic concerns of the global community were the issues which concerned the geoeconomy (Khan, 2001). The majority of summits and international associations and organizations were concerned with the only question of globalization and humanitarian problems.

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However, nowadays geopolitics and other security issues have come to the foreground and the post-Cold War organizations determine further course of events, or as Khan put it, old language and institutions of the cold war are shaping our thinking about global politics (Khan, 2001).

Khan evidences, that in the sphere of politics it had been decided prior to 9/11 that democracy is the only best way to arrange the most beneficial politics. In the sphere of economy, the World Trade Organization has established its own standards and thus different countries tried to raise their standards in order to comply with the new ones established by WTO. As for the social aspect, multinational corporations, for the most part American ones, influenced greatly the world popular culture.

Therefore, it was the terrorist attack of September 11, 2001, which changed everything. Globalization was accelerated, and this resulted in more or less free movement of capital, labor, technology and other material and immaterial resources across the boundaries of the countries. Thus, as far as globalization is the way to open all possible borders and make this flow across the borders free to the greatest extent, the main task of the international security, on the contrary, is to restrain this free flow and in such way secure and protect entrusted peoples and territories.

Thus, one of the ideas after the terrorist attack that possessed political minds was the thought that to a certain extent this event was facilitated by the liberal policies of transactions across the borders. And as far as liberalism and democracy are interconnected notions, the position of democracy as the leading and the most appropriate political structure was undermined.

The intensification of the international security thus implies the slowdown in the economy, because with harder control of the transactions the flow of capital will be slowed too. The most primitive but nonetheless still effective measures of international security are those which will prevent the free crossing of borders by terrorists: this includes stricter VISA provision, new regulations concerning border patrol and stricter policy of foreigners monitoring and control.

On the governmental level national security is provided with the increase of international cooperation, which helps to ensure the legitimacy and reliability of information crossing the borders. Although this concerns national security first of all, in fact international security is also involved here, as far as nations cooperate with each other, exchange information and resources and this makes these countries vulnerable. That is why the efficient system of the international security monitoring is needed.

As it has been already mentioned, the relation between globalization and international security is directly proportional, as far as it was globalization that facilitated the emerging of terrorists as the phenomenon of the world politics. However, globalization has been developing throughout many centuries, and nowadays it had just increased its pace. Of course, the most efficient measure of the security provision is at the same time the most radical and the most impossible to accomplish. The point is that it is absolutely impossible to close the borders and let each nation live without cooperation and interaction with other nations.

It can be undoubtedly stated, that it is impossible to do. And Khan supports this idea stating that “all advanced economies depend considerably on international trade… 25% of US economy is dependent on international trade. The information technology sector in the US and increasingly in Europe now depends on technical expertise of global labor, particularly from India and China (Khan, 2001). Thus, complete separation and estrangement is impossible, and the only way to withstand the blow of terrorists is to intensify the international security policies and restrain the pace of globalization.


Consequently, in the present paper we have discussed the issues of the international security and the influence of globalization on the international security. As a result of the research, it became obvious that globalization and international security are closely connected. First of all this is true because they are directly proportional, i.e. with the acceleration of globalization the international security policies should be intensified. Despite the fact that for the most part the paper is dedicated to international security and related issues, in fact it is very difficult to differentiate the notions of national and international security, because again due to globalization these two concepts became mutually dependent and interrelated.

Consequently, having discussed the abovementioned issues we may state that the impact of the globalization on the international security and challenges posed by this influence are rather various but in any case complicated. Using globalization as a general term, we have used more specific aspects of globalization such as terrorism and war against with it, international security in the nations of the Asia-Pacific region coming from the considerable economic growth of this region, and other challenges of globalization as connected with the necessity to improve the international security of these countries.

As for the countries of Asia-Pacific region, their policies of international security has been developing and intensifying since the ending of the Cold War. ASEAN Regional Forum, ASEAN Free Trade Area, APEC and others are the decisions taken in response to the globalization advancement and international security improvement.


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