What challenges does globalisation pose for the norms, rules and practices of international society?

We came, we saw, we sat it out.

Globalisation is a medium for the spread of international systems around the world. From the years of imperialism to the present modern world, it has shaped the norms and practices of how states and non-states work and interact with one another. The emergence of trans-national corporations and the resurgence of post-world war II economy had propelled the notion and the resultant impact of globalisation that had brought forth onto the world table. Globalisation has been in a perpetual motion in shaping and shrinking the world in proportionate sizes.

“When I wrote ‘The World Is Flat,’ I said the world is flat. Yeah, we’re all connected. Facebook didn’t exist; Twitter was a sound; the cloud was in the sky; 4G was a parking place; LinkedIn was a prison; applications were what you sent to college; and Skype, for most people, was a typo. “, Thomas Friedman.

Thomas Friedman categorised globalisation in three stages. Globalisation 1.0 extended from 1500s to 1800s in imperialist Europe through naval exploration. Imperialism and mercantilism of lesser countries were achieved by trade agreements and colonisation in the exception of war conquest. From the 1800s to the end of World War I, Globalisation 2.0 was further enhanced by the rise of industrialisation of European countries. The Britain Empire was the major hegemonic power in that period, where machinery and its naval prowess ruled over most parts of the imperialistic world. From a size medium to a size small world, we have come to a stage of Globalisation 3.0. The advancement of technology and modernisation brought about in globalisation had enhanced the inter-connectedness and an even more hegemonic entity of international society. Market and social liberalisation made the mainstay of mechanisms that were forcefully reinstated by the unipolarity of United States, following the end of the Cold War. Deregulation and neo-liberalisation was the result of globalisation; free market promoted the transparency and freedom of economic reformations, and also allowed incremental flexibility of social freedom.

International organisations such as the UN recognises the relevant members which take part in international relations and the involvement of economic and military processes between states. A further top down categorisation in regional areas come in the mould of EU, AU and ASEAN which represents the doctrine of these member states indicates the allocation of regional benefits and validity of acknowledgement.

The norms, rules and practices of international society change over time in the face of globalisation. Diplomacy plays a major in shaping the process of working relations through sensible discussions on salient issues between states. Let us take the Syrian war as an example of how the states of international society interplay. The raging civil war in Syria demonstrates that the magnitude of the conflict had subsided due to however strained yet successful diplomatic relations between the United States and Russia. The balance of power between these two states; of which the dichotomy of interest supports opposing factions within the Syrian war through military interventions, has perpetually prolonged the conflict.

The sovereignty of Syria had been violated by the interventions of these two states; United States drawing the first blood and followed by Russia to uphold the sovereignty of Syria governed by the Assad Regime. International societies have international laws to adhere to, in the name of law and order. The intervention of the military forces of the United States and NATO forces however disregards the existence of international law established by the United Nations.

According to Article 51 of the UN Charter,

“Nothing in the present Charter shall impair the inherent right of individual or collective self-defence if an armed attack occurs against a Member of the United Nations, until the Security Council has taken measures necessary to maintain international peace and security. Measures taken by Members in the exercise of this right of self-defence shall be immediately reported to the Security Council and shall not in any way affect the authority and responsibility of the Security Council under the present Charter to take at any time such action as it deems necessary in order to maintain or restore international peace and security.”

Diplomacy, balance of power, sovereignty and international law define the norms of international society for which sovereign states maintain international relations and respect each other’s existence in the international society. Globalisation has been in a perpetual motion in shaping and shrinking the world in proportionate sizes. The challenges that pose in the order of globalisation are reflected in the unfortunate global events such as the Arab Spring, which evidently rose to crescendo of revolutions and became the harbinger of civil conflicts in the Middle East.

The four norms of international society were challenged in its various aspects; economic, military, legal, ecological, cultural and social context with the military intervention of various states and most notably of its undying perpetual resultant which poses the desperate need for humanitarian aid for these affected countries. The recent meltdown of the 2007/08 financial crisis unfolded the salient issues of the world’s largest economy, which its effects was further perpetuated through the globalisation.

When faced by the repercussions of these negative ramifications, reformations made by the member states of international society have to consider the imperative measures impartially. This is so that the spectrum of inter-connectiveness has widen to the extent that every intricate movement is felt even in the most isolated location of the world, much owed to the domino effect empowered by the rise of technology.

However, one might argue that the institution for the present period of time is deemed customary of the conundrum globalisation had shouldered in the face of an ideology. Democracy.


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