chapter  1
16 Pages

Critical challenges for globalism in human security studies

The study of human security is driven by the process of globalization. Globalism, as a theoretical perspective, has its intellectual roots in Western liberalism (see Chapter 2). According to two leading American liberal scholars, Robert Keohane and Joseph Nye, globalism is ‘a state of the world involving networks of interdependence at multi-continental distances, linked through fl ows and infl uences of capital and goods, information and ideas, people and force, as well as environmentally and biologically relevant substances’. 1

Globalism is also associated with the multiplicity of threats to security – a growing set of actors and methods. It presents itself in different forms of threat: military, political, legal, socioeconomic and cultural. The number of actors in this new global politics has increased: states are no longer the key actors, but only one of many; the role of international organizations has become more signifi cant; nongovernmental actors (including non-governmental organizations, NGOs) have become more vocal and infl uential. Market forces have now become more recognizable. Methods for dealing with these threats to security have also multiplied. According to globalists, old-fashioned military globalism in the forms of imperialism, colonialism and interstate rivalry has been on the decline, while a new form of military globalism, the different forms of intervention for peace, arose. Legal globalism is spreading across the world in such forms as international or global criminal justice. Political globalism spreads ideas about power and democracy. Economic globalism sprang from Western capitalism and continues to spring into life in remote corners of the world through the process of marketization.