chapter  7
20 Pages

Globalization, war and terrorism

In this chapter my focus will shift rather sharply, to violence, conflict and war, and particularly the ‘war on terror’. In the Introduction I gave a brief rationale for including these themes in a book on globalization. President G.W.Bush, with the support of allies of the USA, declared the ‘war on terror’ in the wake of the attacks on the World Trade Center in New York and the Pentagon in Washington in September 2001. But rather than interpreting the ‘war on terror’ simply as a result of these attacks, we can interpret the attacks and their consequences as an important moment in a longer-term process of change in US military and security strategy, a gradual shift from ‘soft’ power (the capacity to shape opinion, interests and identities in favour of globalism) to ‘hard’ power (the massive use of economic and military force to compel compliance) in response to pressures on ‘globalism’ which began to build up from the mid-1990s (Steger 2005, Saul 2005, Pieterse 2004).