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Book

Cover The Globalization of World Politics

Edited by John Baylis, Steve Smith, and Patricia Owens

The Globalization of World Politics is an introduction to international relations (IR) and offers coverage of key theories and global issues. The ninth edition has been updated to explore the most pressing topics and challenges that dominate international relations today, including a chapter on global health, which explores the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. Pedagogical features—such as case studies and questions, a debating feature, and end-of-chapter questions—aid with the evaluation of key IR debates and the application of theory and IR concepts to real world events.

Chapter

Cover The Globalization of World Politics

12. Poststructuralism  

Lene Hansen

This chapter examines the core assumptions of poststructuralism, one of the international relations (IR) perspectives furthest away from the realist and liberal mainstream. It explores whether language matters for international relations, whether all states have the same identity, and whether the state is the most important actor in world politics today. The chapter also considers poststructuralist views about the social world, state sovereignty, and identity and foreign policy. Finally, it discusses poststructuralism as a political philosophy. Two case studies follow. The first one looking at discourses, images, and the victory of the Taliban regime. The second case studies examines Covid-19, state sovereignty, and vaccines.

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2. Globalization and global politics  

Anthony McGrew

This chapter examines the characteristics of contemporary globalization and how they are reshaping world politics. It argues that both the Covid-19 pandemic and climate change are indicative of just how deeply enmeshed the fate of communities and societies across the world has become, not to mention how globalization simultaneously unifies and divides the world. It explains why globalization challenges some of our traditional ways of thinking and theorizing about world politics. It asks whether there are limits to globalization or whether it is inevitable. It also considers the extent to which globalization is responsible for the emerging shift in the structure of world power, namely the ‘decline of the West’ and the ‘rise of the rest’. Two case studies are presented: one is about global food security and the other is about multicentric globalization.

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25. Global health  

Sophie Harman

This chapter looks at public health on a global scale and examines how crucial this topic has become since the recent Covid-19 pandemic. Global political interest in pandemics, the chapter argues, is about much more than just the threat to health and lives. It is also about the knock-on impact health emergencies, such as the recent pandemic, have on economics and society including social welfare and education, but also socio-economic, gender, and racial equality. The chapter starts with an examination of how health became a global issue with reference in particular to the relationship between war and disease. In addition to this, health became a global issues as a result of the growth in world trade and the resultant economic globalization. Two case studies are presented in this chapter. The first consider the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1308 and the second delves into the relationship between Covid-19 vaccinations and intellectual property rights.

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26. Refugees and forced migration  

Ariadna Estévez

This chapter is concerned with the international politics of refugees and forced migration. It shows how they are produced and managed in the context of contemporary globalization. Forced migration, the chapter defines, is the compulsory mobility of people due to existing and potential threats, mostly in the Global South and East. The chapter explains that these threats are related to a variety of international issues, and highlights the fact that there is debate concerning the underlying causes, including on-going colonial legacies and existing power relations. In order to discuss forced migration, with an emphasis on the international politics of refugee legislation and law, the chapter locates the subject within the field of international relations (IR). It goes on to provide an overview of the conceptual debate, presenting a critical discussion of new ways of characterizing forced migration, along with their analytical and policy implications. It then considers how policy-makers classify various types of forced migration. Case studies look at Covid-19 and the effect the pandemic has had on asylum processing and forced migration, criminal and state violence, and corporations in Venezuela.

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27. Poverty, hunger, and development  

Tony Evans

This chapter examines the contested nature of three important concepts in world politics: poverty, hunger, and development. It explores whether the poor must always be with us, why so many children die of malnutrition, and whether development should be understood as an economic issue. It also considers orthodox and alternative approaches to development as solutions for poverty and hunger. The chapter includes two case studies. The first looking at the hunger of children around the world, comparing the pre- and post-pandemic situations. The second case study examines hunger in Uganda, again, comparing the state of hunger for families in that country before and after the Covid-19 pandemic.

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1. Introduction: from international politics to world politics  

John Baylis, Steve Smith, and Patricia Owens

This chapter introduces the text which offers a comprehensive analysis of world politics in a global era. The text examines the main theories of world politics— realism, liberalism, Marxism, social constructivism, poststructuralism, post-colonialism, and feminism. It reviews the main structures and processes that shape contemporary world politics, such as global political economy, international security, war, gender, and race. Furthermore, it addresses some of the main policy issues in the globalized world, including poverty, human rights, health (with particular emphasis on the recent global pandemic), and the environment. This introduction offers some arguments both for and against seeing globalization as an important new development in world politics. It also explains the various terms used to describe world politics and the academic field, particularly the use of ‘world politics’ rather than ‘international politics’ or ‘international relations’. Finally, it summarizes the main assumptions underlying realism, liberalism, Marxism, social constructivism, post-structuralism, post-colonialism, and feminism.

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28. Global trade and global finance  

Matthew Watson

This chapter explores important issues in the conduct of global trade and global finance. In particular, it looks at how the Covid-19 pandemic has changed the experience of global trade and global finance in recent years. It asks why the global economy is so good at allowing some people to own untold riches while many others have too little money to meet basic subsistence needs, and whether the world would be better or worse off without the institutions of global economic governance. After discussing the globalization of trade and finance, the chapter considers the regulation of global trade and global finance. Two case studies are presented, one dealing with the Covid-19 vaccination programme and global economic recovery and another looking at US President Joe Biden's proposed global minimum corporate tax rate.

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6. Rising powers and the emerging global order  

Andrew Hurrell

This chapter examines the global order, led by the United States, that emerged at the end of the cold war and asks whether it has been effectively challenged by rising powers. It begins with a discussion of the challenges to the idea of a U.S.-dominated global order, focusing in particular on the role of large, emerging developing countries as well as the idea of the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa) in the context of the future of the global economy. The chapter then considers the more recent economic slowdown in the emerging world, along with the political and social challenges facing many emerging societies. It also analyses some of the major theoretical arguments about the impact of rising powers on international relations and whether they are powerful enough to affect international order. The chapter also asks, what is the role of emerging powers in a post-Western order characterized both by US/China rivalry and by pressing global challenges such as climate change and the Covid-19 pandemic?

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8. Marxist theories of international relations  

Stephen Hobden and Richard Wyn Jones

This chapter examines the contribution of Marxism to the study of international relations. It first considers whether globalization is a new phenomenon or a long-standing feature of capitalist development, and whether ‘crisis’ is an inevitable feature of capitalism, and if so, whether capitalism contains the seeds of its own destruction. The chapter proceeds by discussing a number of core features common to Marxist approaches as well as the internationalization of Karl Marx's ideas by Vladimir Lenin and subsequently by writers in the world-system framework. It also explains how Frankfurt School critical theory, and Antonio Gramsci and his various followers, introduced an analysis of culture into Marxist analysis. Two case studies are presented, the first relating to capitalist developments in Communist China, the second looks at the global Covid-19 pandemic and considers the social impact and patterns of impact in a global setting.