Edited by Nayef R.F. Al-Rodhan
As noted by Neil MacFarlane in his contribution, the improvements in technology, communications, education, and other transnational flows have altered the environment in which states currently operate. Therefore, the security challenges that states find themselves faced with are complex and multifaceted. He identified a number of geopolitical implications of globalization and security: the emergence of a complex array of security challenges; the impact of globalization varies greatly depending on the state and region with which you are dealing; globalization is not eroding the state entirely as a force within the international system, but rather is redefining its role; and, the impacts of globalization on security are acting as forces that help to assist global interstate cooperation since each individual state realizes its inability to handle the new challenges in the system.
(a) Economic Security: Lessons and Trends
When assessing the economics of the international system, a number of dilemmas were presented as states move forward in developing economic policy. The major policy recommendations relied on two points: further market mitigation and the need to address the lack of consistency between economic institutions. If both of these recommendations were implemented, the economic sector would become more secure and this, in turn, would lead to more stability for the entire international community. As Cédric Dupont indicates, these measures are not necessarily either going to be easily accepted by states or implemented without strong measures. However, without steps toward fulfillment of these recommendations, little more is possible in terms of stable survival when dealing with economic globalization.
According to the World Economic Situation and Prospects, 2006, published by the United Nations, world economic growth is expected to remain at around 3 percent for the duration of 2006.2 There are a number of factors that contribute to this figure, most notably the increasing cost of oil, as well as the threat of a worldwide avian influenza.3 Future economic trends will largely depend on how effectively the world manages demographic changes and migration and how it works to finalize the negotiations of the Doha Round. Policy makers are working to address these issues, which are often linked to aspects of societal security and globalization. Unemployment continues to be a challenge for states: “Unemployment in terms of actual people out of work is at its highest point ever and continues to rise. In the last ten years, official unemployment has grown by more than 25 per cent and now stands at nearly 192 million worldwide, or about 6 per cent of the global workforce.”4 The slowdown in economic growth can account for these rising numbers, and policy makers must work toward the creation of solid policies that can increase global economic growth. The United States continues to dominate growth levels. However, with increasing global economic players such as India and China, other countries are increasingly impacting global economic prospects.5 As global conflicts also drain economic resources, and reduce consumer confidence, the markets will have to work hard to maintain and increase growth in order to reduce these unemployment levels. In order to stabilize markets in the course of the upcoming months and years and “[t]o mitigate the risk of a disorderly adjustment in the global imbalances, the major economies should coordinate their macroeconomic policies over the medium run.”6 The gap between rich and poor, particularly in underdeveloped countries, will also play a major role in the coming years. Without handling these issues and the consequences of poverty and hunger properly, the world will continue to have pockets of insecurity that are created as a direct result.
As this chapter concludes, there are three major scenarios that can be anticipated and projected. While each provides a variation in the future of this sector, all of them are facilitated by some change. Dupont made clear throughout his piece that the status quo as it currently stands will not maintain itself. Either global markets will adopt policies of prudent expansion, they will maintain, as he calls it, “status quo minus” or pursue “status quo plus.” In short, either governments will agree to open up their markets and work toward furthering liberalization in sectors such as agriculture, or states will come to an agreement and conclude the Doha Round without considering agriculture and services, or there will be a situation where elements from both scenarios are incorporated into market trends. The Doha Round of negotiations will conclude with some issues still unresolved, but it will help to address some of the more pressing issues and it will indicate a serious commitment on the part of states to move forward on bilateral and regional agreements dealing in trade issues. The outlook of states, as Dupont concludes, would indicate that the status quo minus situation will most likely emerge; however, as he reminds us, markets are difficult to determine, and, therefore, various aspects of each of these elements are likely to surface in the near and long term.