Globalisation after the year 2000 Essay Example






Issues of Globalization cannot be assessed as entirely new things but from the perspective of change in terms of scope and impacts (Agnew, 2009, p.12). The present paper is devoted to the analysis of globalization related issues with a special focus on the book by Agnew (2009) entitled‘Globalization and Sovereignty”.

The subsequent sections start with conceptualization of the main term, followed by a review of the book by Agnew in light of the topic, globalization including detailed discussions on associated impacts. In the third section, rationalization of how relevant selected articles are to the book’s key arguments is presented followed immediately by conclusion.

Globalization Defined

Agnew (2009) views globalization as the ‘global scale -transactions especially trade are now being conducted (p.12). He states that the terms as used in the early 1980 and 90s related to the whole economic system but more specifically to the dealings of multinational organizations.It also means a liberalized world characterised by free trade beyond limitations of boundaries with collective. Today, globalization is not only viewed as scale based transformation, but also seen in terms of decomposition of traditional state based system or order (Agnew 2009, p.12).

Agnew (2009) seems to favour Plato and Aristotelian school of thought where globalization is defined in terms of either a fixed/ permanent or mobile communities including how ideas of globalization featured in subsequent thinking and practices in the general political arena especially in relation to the articulation of statehood (p.19). He argues that it is only by taking this direction or point of view that people will begin to appreciate the fact that globalization is not totally a new phenomenon but has existed since time immemorial.

Impacts of Globalization

The author highlights impacts of globalization especially on power sharing. He asserts that nations inevitably must give away some level of authority or share power with the rest in the global system. Unfortunately, this new system brings with it a decline in military practicality including of the big states. It is associated with the kind of governance distinguished from the tradition or previously territorial based state. This further compromises a spatial and monopolized power administered by countries or states (Agnew2009, p.24). On the lighter side, the new system is associated with growing international markets. Agnew has focused a lot on the impacts of globalization on state’s sovereignty, citizenry and nation-state as discussed below.

Agnew believes there is not a clear definition of the term sovereignty. On the extreme end, the term may mean a democratic and legitimate power or authority vested in a state with definite boundary or territory. On the other hand, the term can represent rather violent origins of such statehood and the subsequent hiding of the origin of its existence aimed at defending the country/ state and its boundary against potential enemies from within as well as external aggression. Although different scholars have different versions or meanings of the term, there is a general consensus in relation to the fact that sovereignty by and large is an extension and institution based control and power or authority with a spatial field. The only disagreement is on the nature of this spatial field; whether it should be viewed in terms of large space or betaken as combination of different sets of mutually exclusive territories (p.2).

Sovereignty is such an important aspect in any administration of any nation. Agnew strongly states that in a country where there is no sovereignty bonded to territory , almost everything if not all , including purposeful and meaningful politics, effective governance , way of dividing up, representation and geographical mapping of world politics tend to disappear (Agnew, 2009:2).

Agnew agrees with the realties of globalization and its consequences in undermining the presumed political monopoly exercised by different nations over their boundaries but specifically insist that globalization has merely brought about further complications of an already complex interdependence between sovereignty and territory. He seems to have a different tone and disagrees with the commonly held beliefs or in his words, myths revolving around sovereignty and globalization. For instance, that the end result of globalization is a flat world, that is globalization is a completely new phenomenon and often linked with liberalization and lastly, that the changing world is antithetic to the welfare state (p.13). Instead, he proposes a more pluralistic understanding of sovereignty through delineation of four different sovereignty regimes that more accurately accommodate the variable nature of political authority in the globalization era characterized by the free though uneven distribution of capital and information (p.122). The first regime is the classical type characterized by use of infrastructural power within a specified boundary via highly centralized governance like the case of chine. The other type is Imperial typical of many Middle East countries, and those found in sub-Saharan Africa as well as Latin America. Third is the Integrative regimes such as the EU and last is globalist type represented by US and this type is associated with the exercise of sovereignty which goes beyond territorial boundaries.

Although Agnew discuses the four regimes, he merely gives a framework for understanding the various forms sovereignty in light of globalization. However, he clearly and thoughtfully highlights the effect of globalization particularly on state sovereignty. Again, he has only concentrate majorly on the negative side yet it is a known fact that globalization has a brighter side, like increased modernisation and technological growth or advancement and access to all ideas as well as goods and services beyond the limits of boundaries (Grinin, 2008). It would be more interesting if he also discussed the impacts of sovereignty on minority communities. There is a general consensus among different authors that globalization tend to compromise the rights of minority communities especially where the states encourage ethnic orientations or identities (Hinders, 2004).

Relationship with other articles

There is a strong connection between the book by Agnew and the selected articles particularly in relation to understanding the effects of globalization on Nationhood and sovereignty. For instance, right from its introductory, the memorial clearly reveals that Cherokee communities have over the years valued sovereignty and lived happily under the legal aspects of nationhood and citizenship (P.466-467). However, with globalization, nationhood, citizenship and recognition as well as belonging exhibited among the Cherokees communities have been gradually eroded.

The words of President Abraham Lincoln in the Gettysburg Address are also more relevant or meaningful in the contemporary world as it were some in the 1860s. The speech during the civil war addressed by Lincoln was aimed at dismissing the existing ideas of State Sovereignty but instead encouraging the idea of nation-hood. In otherworld, he preferred national unity to sovereignty. Therefore, for him, the United States of America from the perspective of nationhood would imply a country established unbreakable independent nations. However, in terms of sovereignty, USA is would be viewed as collection of independent countries/ nations which have come together in mutually agreed union with collective benefits. Thus it can be argued that he is the proponent of nation which unfortunately is gradually being eroded in the globalization era.

The article “The Wretched of the Earth”, by Fanon is also quite relevant in relation the globalization he also paints a rather negative or dark side of globalization as he believes that when nations come particularly the third nations in the so called economic partnerships, aimed at improving their economies and quality of life, it is often the well placed countries in the system that benefit at the expense of others, the poor nations (p.154).


From the discussion, globalization seems to have more of the negative than positive. However, it can be wished away hence the need for more caution especially those who may be tempted to embrace the globalizations with keen consideration in terms of its consequences.


Agnew, J (2009). Globalization and Sovereignty. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefied.

Cherokee Memorials (2003). The Norton Reader: An Anthology of Nonfiction, Shorter 11th, New York: Norton, 2003, p. 466-468.

Franz Fanon, “The Pitfalls of National Consciousness,” The Wretched of the Earth, Theory, p. 1578-1585.

Grinin, L. E. (2008). Globalization and Sovereignty: Why Do States Abandon Their Sovereign Prerogatives? Age of Globalization vol 1pp 22–32.

Henders, S.J(Ed) (2004). Democratization and identity: regimes and ethnicity in East and Southeast Asia, UK:Lexington Books.