Globalization and the National Security State: A Framework for Analysis1

Norrin M. Ripsman, T. V. Paul
  • International Studies Review, June 2005, Oxford University Press (OUP)
  • DOI: 10.1111/j.1468-2486.2005.00481.x

Globalization and the National Security State: A Framework for Analysis


T.V. Paul
McGill University

A growing body of scholarly literature argues that globalization has weakened the national security state. In this essay, we examine the globalization school's main propositions by analyzing the national security strategies of four categories of states: (1) major powers, (2) states in stable regions, (3) states in regions of enduring rivalries, and (4) weak and failed states. We conclude that the globalizations school's claims are overstated given that states of all types pursue more traditional security policies than they would expect. To the extent that globalization has affected the pursuit of national security, it has done so unevenly. States in stable regions appear to have embraced the changes rendered by globalization the most, states in regions of enduring rivalries the least. Although the weak and failed states also show signs of having been affected by globalization, many of the “symptoms” they manifest have more to do with internal difficulties than external challenges.

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