Posted: September 17th, 2017
Topic: Discuss how global economic reforms and reforms to global institutions or corporations could lead to a more equitable and therefore a more peaceful world.??
Essay requires a minimum of 10 references.
Reference List at end.
Page numbering top LH corner (Header note)
TOPIC 1: INTRODUCTION TO GLOBALISATION AND PEACE
Chapter One of the textbook: ‘Introducing Globalization1 and Global Issues’
plus at least one of the articles on peace mentioned below.
The Moodle articles are provided to give you further reading possibilities – the more
you read, the better informed you will be.
After doing the readings and joining discussions for this topic, you should be able to
define globalisation, identify a few key concepts, and understand what disciplines
cover it. You should also have a basic understanding of ‘positive peace’, ‘structural
violence’ and ‘cultural violence’.
Defining your terms is a vital first step in academic research. Let us try to get a handle
on what exactly we mean by globalisation, as it can mean very different things to
different people. It also depends on which lens you are looking through – political,
economic, feminist etc. In Peace Studies we encourage a multi-disciplinary approach,
as peace is impacted by many factors, from the political economy of the international
arms trade at the macro-level to a parent’s resistance to violent movies and games at
the micro-level which, multiplied by millions globally, can also be powerful.
Read Chapter One of the textbook: ‘Introducing Globalization and Global
Issues’. Snarr gives an idea of the complexity of the issue, showing how important it
is not to over-generalise. For example, the idea that globalisation is new and leading
to a shrinking world is challenged by critics who argue that labour, trade and capital
moved at least as freely in the latter part of the nineteenth century. The movement of
people (within Asia, for example) was huge, and much less regulated by passports,
visas and so on than it is now.
Another important point is that the increase in interdependence and advanced
technologies is true in the wealthier countries, but not true for the vast majority of
people in the world, who live in the less developed countries of the “South” (or
“Third World”). They are much less likely to use the internet, but more likely to have
mountains of toxic ‘e-waste’ dumped on them by wealthy nations. There are also
forces of disintegration at work (such as the recent breakup of Sudan) at the same
time as there are globalising forces. Similarly, the question of whether globalisation is
good or bad depends on many variables, such as good or bad for whom (eg Third
World workers or First World shareholders)? Is the power of the state being eroded,
and what impact will this have? Importantly, Snarr points to the need to consider
issues such as poverty not in isolation, but as interconnected with numerous other
issues, such as health and the environment.
I prefer the Australian spelling: globalisation.
Read Introduction and Chapter One of Globalisation of World Politics (2014) by
Baylis et al. These introduce you to some key concepts, with a focus on politics and
international relations. Chapter One of Introducing Globalisation (Sparke 2013) is
another current introduction, with a focus on political economic aspects, such as neoliberalism.
Both can be found on Moodle or online. ‘Challenging globalization – An
introduction’ by John Feffer is also well worth reading, as is ‘How to judge
globalism’, by Amartya Sen (both in e-reserve).
These chapters examine some of the history of globalisation, and point out some pros
and cons of globalisation. They discuss different models of ‘development’, and point
out that a key economic idea, shared by both capitalists and communists, is the drive
for rapid economic growth. Some major aspects of globalisation which you will need
to get your head around include free trade, deregulation, multinational corporations
(MNCs), monopolies, privatisation, market fundamentalism, technological advances,
dependency, ‘free market’, ‘democracy’, and transparency. They examine who is
pushing globalisation, who is challenging it (or more usually aspects of it, such as
neo-liberalism), and what alternatives to the dominant paradigm are out there. In the
weeks to come we will look more closely at concepts like the free market, democracy
and growth, and examine the impacts and methods of MNCs (especially those in the
military-industrial complex). Then we too will look at the dissenting voices and the
solutions they propose.
Some authors challenge the view that globalisation is a new and purely Western
phenomenon, because of past examples of internationalisation. Would you agree, or
do you think that current globalisation is, on balance, primarily driven by Western
economic forces? How do the Asian or emerging economies such as Japan, China and
India fit into this worldview?
Another question to think about is whether globalisation is unstoppable or inevitable.
If so, why are there groups deemed ‘anti-globalisation’? Sen talks about antiglobalisation
movements and characterises them as lacking an appropriate focus. But
what evidence does he give for this focus, or even for the characterisation of such
movements as anti-globalisation? Is this just a media beat-up, since many such
activists call themselves not ‘anti-globalisation’ but part of a ‘global justice’
movement, which actively embraces globalised communications technologies and
networking? As we will see from Topic Five onwards, such movements clearly do not
see that everything about globalisation is inevitable, as they put considerable energy
into transforming or resisting it. They believe that even ordinary people can have
some control over the process, particularly if they use the synergies created when
This unit is particularly concerned with the relationship between globalisation and
peace, so it’s important to understand what is meant by peace. Below is a brief
discussion of the concept of positive peace, which is necessary to counter ‘structural
violence’ and ‘cultural violence’ as well as the more obvious ‘direct violence’. Some
of you will already have an understanding of different definitions of peace, and
different types of violence, from other Peace Studies units (such as PEAC101
‘Introduction to Peace Studies’). Nevertheless, you should read through these notes to
refresh your memories, get a deeper understanding, and understand some different
Throughout the unit we will explore the interconnectedness of peace and issues like
global food security, global warming and militarism. We will examine the impacts on
peace of various economic and political policies implemented by international bodies
such as the United Nations and its Development Programme (UNDP), the World
Bank and the International Monetary Fund. Perhaps more importantly, given the
power and influence of multinational corporations, we will ask how a global
economic system dominated by such corporations contributes towards peace or
conflict? And what is the role of the military-industrial complex, a global economic
force that is much less scrutinised than others?
We will also examine people and movements who are using globalisation to promote
and create peace. What groups are following the advice of the old protest banner:
“THINK GLOBALLY, ACT LOCALLY’? Are they also trying to link with other
groups in the region or even in far-flung places? Who is trying to create global
movements for peace, solidarity and sustainability? What methods do they use? How
can globalised communication technologies aid such movements? Who is trying to
preserve the unique aspects of their cultures against an onslaught of homogeneity, or
merely struggling to feed their families in a rapidly-changing world?
Johan Galtung, the ‘father of peace studies’, often refers to the distinction between
‘negative peace’ and ‘positive peace’ (e.g. Galtung 1996). Negative peace refers to
the absence of violence. When, for example, a ceasefire is enacted, a negative peace
will ensue. Although something undesirable stopped happening (e.g. the
violence stopped, the obvious oppression ended), it is negative because there is still
strong potential for violence to re-erupt, because the underlying causes of it have not
been addressed. Positive peace, on the other hand, is filled with positive content such
as restoration of relationships, the creation of social systems that serve the needs of
the whole population and the constructive resolution of conflict. (Helen Ware, on the
other hand, prefers the term Peace Zero for armed conflict, Peace One for negative
peace, and Peace Two and Peace Three as a society progresses towards the ideal but
perhaps unattainable positive peace.)
Peace does not mean the total absence of any conflict. Conflict is inevitable in even
the healthiest societies, and if handled well can lead to good dialogue, consideration
of alternative or minority views, and creative solutions. Positive peace, however,
means the absence of violence in all forms and the unfolding of conflict in a
constructive way. It is well-managed social conflict. Peace therefore exists where
people are interacting nonviolently and are managing their conflict positively – with
respectful attention to the legitimate needs and interest of all concerned. Relevant
Galtung, J 1964, ‘An Editorial’, Journal of Peace Research, 1 (1), 1-4
Some of you will already have an understanding of different definitions of peace,
and different types of violence. Nevertheless, you should read through these notes to
refresh your memories, get a deeper understanding, and understand some different
Galtung, J 1996, Peace by Peaceful Means: Peace and Conflict, Development
and Civilisation, Prio, Oslo.
Grewal, Baljit Singh 2003, Johan Galtung: Positive and Negative Peace,
Auckland University of Technology
For much of the world’s population, hunger, not war, is the pressing issue, and it is
hard to imagine a genuine peace that did not overcome our current global pattern of
extensive poverty in the midst of plenty. Far more people die from structural violence
than war, but those deaths rarely reach the headlines.
Hunger and poverty are two prime examples of what is described as “structural
violence,” that is, physical and psychological harm that results from exploitive and
unjust social, political and economic systems. It is something that most of us know is
going on, and some of us have experienced, but in its starker forms, it is sufficiently
distant from our lives that it is hard to get a good perspective on it.
Structural violence includes any violence or suffering caused by the structures and
institutions of a society. People who suffer from structural violence cannot control the
conditions that have caused their suffering. For this reason, structural violence often
leads to feelings of complete and utter hopelessness. It is a form of violence based on
the systemic ways in which a given social structure or social institution harms people
by preventing them from meeting their basic needs. Institutionalized elitism,
ethnocentrism, classism, racism, sexism, nationalism, heterosexism and
ageism are some examples of structural violence. Structural violence and direct
violence are highly interdependent. Structural violence inevitably produces conflict in
the long term and often direct violence, including family violence, racial violence,
hate crimes, terrorism, genocide, and war. As Deborah Winter and Dana Leighton
Direct violence is horrific, but its brutality usually gets our attention: we
notice it, and often respond to it. Structural violence, however, is almost
always invisible, embedded in ubiquitous social structures, normalized by
stable institutions and regular experience. Structural violence occurs whenever
people are disadvantaged by political, legal, economic or cultural traditions.
Because they are longstanding, structural inequities usually seem ordinary, the
way things are and always have been.…. Structured inequities produce
suffering and death as often as direct violence does, though the damage is
slower, more subtle, more common, and more difficult to repair. Globally,
poverty is correlated with infant mortality, infectious disease, and shortened
lifespans. Whenever people are denied access to society’s resources,
physical and psychological violence exists (Winter & Leighton 2001:1).
You can download their article online:
Winter, D. D., & Leighton, D. C. 2001 ‘Structural Violence’; in D. J. Christie,
R. V. Wagner & D. D. Winter (Eds.), Peace, Conflict, and Violence: Peace
psychology in the 21st century. New York: Prentice-Hall.
Galtung, Johan. “Violence, Peace, and Peace Research” Journal of Peace
Research, Vol. 6, No. 3 (1969), pp. 167-191 (on Moodle).
As well as direct violence and structural violence, a third form of violence has been
identified by Galtung:
Cultural violence’ is defined here as any aspect of a culture that can be
used to legitimize violence in its direct or structural form. Symbolic violence
built into a culture does not kill or maim like direct violence or the violence
built into the structure. However, it is used to legitimize either or both, as for
instance in the theory of a Herrenvolk, or a superior race (Galtung 1990:291)
It may be exemplified by religion and ideology, language and art, empirical science
and formal science. Cultural violence makes direct and structural violence look or feel
“right,” or at least not wrong. The study of cultural violence highlights the way in
which the act of direct violence and the fact of structural violence are legitimised and
thus made acceptable in society. The topic of Cultural Resistance (Topic 8)
examines how culture can be used for cultivating peace. For background, read
Galtung, Johan 1990 ‘Cultural Violence’, Journal of Peace Research, Vol. 27,
No. 3 (Aug., 1990), pp. 291-305 (on Moodle).
There are also some good general guides to peace studies, such as:
Webel, Charles P and Galtung, Johann 2007 Handbook of Peace and Conflict
Studies, EBooks Corporation (e-book) or
Rees, Stuart 2003 Passion for Peace: Exercising power creatively, UNSW
Other Peace Studies units examine different aspects of peace and violence.3After
doing some of the readings above, however, you should understand peace as a multifaceted
concept which is relevant to numerous aspects of globalisation.
For more detailed study of peace issues I recommend PEAC328/528 ‘Peacemaking’,
PEAC352/552 ‘Building Peace in Post-Conflict Situations’, PEAC354/554
‘Postconflict Justice and Reconciliation Processes’. Nonviolence is another related
issue which is taught in PEAC 303/503 ‘Active Resistance: Contemporary
Nonviolence’; it complements the second part of this unit. To explore environmental
issues further, I recommend PEAC304/504 ‘Environmental Security’ and
PAIS365/565 ‘Politics and the Environment: Intersecting Crises’, while refugee
issues are covered in PEAC 388 ‘Constructing Aliens: Refugees in Contemporary
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