'Globalisation has reduced threat of inter-state wars'
BY KM RAKESH
THE fast-changing world order riding the wave of globalisation has transformed the nature of armed conflicts from inter-state wars to ethnic wars and neutralised the risk of a nuclear war, said a visiting political scientist from Canada.
TV Paul, a James McGill professor in international relations in the department of political science at McGill University, Montreal, on Tuesday said in a presentation titledGlobalisation and the changing National State Security at the Gulf Research Centre (GRC) in Dubai, that "There is no chance of a nuclear war unless due to some miscalculated adventurism."
He said the globalised world is moving in a direction that could see intra-state wars of different dimensions that ultimately threaten national security. While weak states are the worst affected, he said it was too premature to fix the entire blame on globalisation as some of them, whether in sub-Saharan Africa, Middle East, or South Asia, were failing due to a combination of reasons.
The professor and author of several books, currently giving finishing touches to his latest works Globalization and the Changing National Security State and The Tradition of Non-use of Nuclear Weapons, said globalisation has opened the floodgates of reforms in political spheres as well. Although better known as a driver of economic changes, he said the world has come to terms with the multi-faceted nature of globalisation.
Drawing attention to the global realities, the professor said there were more cultural, ethnic wars and post-industrial wars in the globalised world. With the offensive military doctrine being dropped by almost every state, he said the strike-first-ask-later position now stands abandoned. "From offense, the world is moving to defence and deterrence."
The ways militaries spend their budget have also changed with the emerging national security trends requiring more quick-strike forces that are small, mobile and more potent. More states are seen to involve private players and non-state actors in tackling the emergent problems of national security that has attained greater dimension, Paul said.
In the post-9/11 scenario, countries are putting more emphasis on national security. But quite paradoxically, he found the UN's peace keeping efforts to be grossly inadequate.
He said it was difficult to fathom why the UN peace keeping operations were not manned adequately. "The entire peace keeping operations are handled from a room smaller than this (the GRC conference room)," he said expressing amazement at the visible lack of initiative in one of the most important activities of the global body that can play a much bigger role in securing troubled spots.
Of the more perceivable trends, he said emerging power China is using international institutions more than earlier powers like Germany. The global initiatives undertaken by Beijing show that.
Diffusion of major differences like the Indo-China border issue is one of the major benefits of globalisation. While the two emerging Asian powers are building up their military, he pointed out that the two Asian giants were riding closer on bi-lateral trade.
The professor said globalisation has thrown up a new category of people in "global citizens." Though they hold some passport, they do not consider themselves tied to any particular country. Yet, he said, it was too early to sign the demise of nation-states.
Addressing the concern of globalisation widening the chasm between the haves and have-nots, he said it was something that the states have to work on. Rather than blaming globalisation, the state administrations must ensure proper distribution of wealth so that the benefits percolate down to the lowest economic strata.
In the discussion that followed, Indian Consul General in Dubai Venu Rajamony highlighted the co-operation between India and China in solving much of the issues that plagued their relations during the pre-globalised era. The initiatives taken by the two countries have gone a long way in developing a healthy bi-lateral relation, he said.
Abdulaziz Sager, chairman of GRC spoke of the regional issues and said the GCC countries have benefited economically from the globalised world. The presentation of the professor who had his education in Kerala University and Jawaharlal Nehru University in India was attended by scholars and experts in international relations and strategic affairs.