Under Pressure? Globalisation and the National Security State

T.V. Paul, Norrin M. Ripsman
  • Millennium Journal of International Studies, March 2004, SAGE Publications
  • DOI: 10.1177/03058298040330020501

Under Pressure? Globalisation and the National Security State

Why is it important?

A growing body of scholarly literature argues that globalization has weakened the national security state. In this article, we investigate the impact of globalization on four core areas in which globalization scholars contend that the national security function of states has been affected: 1) the frequency of interstate wars; 2) the level of global military spending and the size of armed forces worldwide; 3) the participation of multilateral security providing institutions and international non-governmental organizations (INGOs) in international security activities; and, 4) the challenge of global terrorism. Our analysis reveals that most of the globalization theorists' expectations about the worldwide pursuit of national security remain unfulfilled. There is no major evidence of a decline in global military spending, a reduction in armed forces worldwide or an increasing reliance on international institutions or INGOs to foster security in the contemporary era. Moreover, those changes that are evident — such as an apparent reduction in interstate warfare — cannot be attributed with confidence to the phenomenon of globalization, rather than to other geopolitical factors, such as the end of the Cold War and the entrenchment of American hegemony. Thus, while globalization may transform the pursuit of security in the future, there is no evidence that it has done so profoundly to-date.

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