Guide Structural Conflict: The Third World Against Global Liberalism

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  1. Liberal Countries: The Proprietors of Conflict
  2. NATO after the Wales Summit
  3. Structural Conflict: The Third World against Global Liberalism

The archetype of southern politics - UNCTAD - was built on polarized political blocs organized around adversarial and conflict-prone economic relations between the poor and wealthy states. In the s, however, the unity of the South's Group of 77 G77 had been severely stressed already by the rise of the newly industrialized countries in Asia which heralded the end of the third world'. The end of the second Cold War combined with the steady decline of the 'South' es a unified entity may make it easier to de-link old debates from new agendas such as climate change.

Thus, even the concepts of 'South' and 'North-South' conflict may be obsolete and irrelevant in the climate change arena. Indeed, since late , negotiations over climate change have resulted in a fractured and pragmatic set of political axes. Completely new alignments of cooperation and conflict emerged that are still fluid but no longer mirror the old North-South cleavage. Thus, in Anne Kristin Sydnes identified at least five groups from the 'South' in the climate change negotiations.

These were:. By December , the G77's unity had virtually collapsed at the greenhouse negotiations in Geneva. A breakaway Group of 24 G24 proposed that developing countries consider acting on greenhouse issues while awaiting action by the OECD. Two other southern strains also emerged in addition to the centrist G24, namely, a group of energy exporters which backed the United States in stalling agreement; and the AOSIS island states which joined the European Community, Australia, Canada, and New Zealand in calling for a strong convention.

A fourth group of still uncommitted countries emerged, including Argentina and Mexico. These divisions continued up to the signing of the Climate Change Convention in June and are reflected in its text. It is difficult to believe that the state elites of the G77 can reconstruct their solidarity while negotiating protocols to the Convention now that they have discovered that their interests diverge fundamentally in relation to climate change. The fragmentation of the South places developing countries in a weak bargaining position on the central issues of financing, technology transfer, and compensation payments that are still to be addressed in the Convention.

The greenhouse issue exemplifies a general dilemma that developing countries face in global environmental politics. Global and regional environmental predicaments present them with new demands on scarce resources for regime and national survival as well as new bargaining opportunities with the OECD states. It remains to be seen exactly how southern elites will respond to these pitfalls and opportunities in the greenhouse arena.

On the negative or threatening side of their security, environmental problems could shift the priorities of wealthy trade and aid partners away from political and social stability in the South to global dilemmas of less concern to the southern elites. They also confront new and unruly domestic social movements often aligned transnationally with powerful counterparts in OECD states.

Vulnerable states could launch ideological campaigns against environmental issues in an attempt to wrest the political initiative away from the OECD states in the international arena. Polarization around issues such as climate change between the big, poor states and the big rich states block rather than foster international cooperation.

Conflicts at a global and regional level on environmental issues could spill over into geoeconomic and geopolitical dimensions of interstate relations salient to climate change, thereby gridlocking ongoing negotiations. Big, poor states may also use environmental issues to extract concessions from the OECD states in long-standing geoeconomic and geopolitical arenas. The greenhouse issue is unique in that the South influences a global asset that is greatly valued by the North: Earth's climate.

Negotiations to date have been stalled by ideologies transposed from prior North-South conflicts into the greenhouse arena. But the elites of big, poor states have also tried to play a climate destruction card in a slow motion game of global climate change poker. This strategy may fail, however.

As Dallas Burtraw and Michael Toman have explained, most negotiations have two phases. The first phase is the bargaining over terms and content of agreement, which was partly completed at Rio.

Liberal Countries: The Proprietors of Conflict

The second phase now underway is concerned with ratifying and implementing the agreement. Due to weak administrative and market institutions, states such as India, China, or Brazil may be unable to abate in accordance with global commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions - with or without transfers of resources from the wealthy nations. In addition, poor states are more vulnerable to the economic and social impacts of climate change than wealthy states.

New citations to this author. New articles related to this author's research. Email address for updates. My profile My library Metrics Alerts. Sign in. Get my own profile Cited by View all All Since Citations h-index 54 33 iindex Professor of Political Science, Stanford University.

NATO after the Wales Summit

Articles Cited by. Ideas and foreign policy: Beliefs, institutions, and political change , Regime theory and international relations, , Review of International Studies 27 5 , , Cambridge Studies in International Relations 42 1 , , In other words, what began initially as a protest against corporate greed on Wall Street, New York City has become the global Occupy movement. In August , rioting and looting took place across London, spreading into other major British cities.

This section will consider these conflicts that are currently arising in the Western world, and how these conflicts highlight the fact that liberalism is not necessarily conducive to peace; rather, that it is a contributor to conflict.

Structural Conflict: The Third World against Global Liberalism

In light of the current financial climate in the Western world, the true hypocrisy of the quest for liberal economic hegemony becomes clear. The IMF and World Bank spent much of the s imposing structural adjustment policies on the Global South with the hope of liberalising their economies—policies that were, for the most part, extremely damaging to the working populations of those countries, as discussed previously in this essay Riddell And yet, whilst the liberal world was busy imposing economic policies on its illiberal neighbours, its own economy was gearing up to implode.

The global financial crisis is a stark example of how the liberal world has left its citizens embittered and brought about not peace, but immense opposition to the liberal regime. However, it is not just the citizens of Greece that are reacting angrily towards the liberal world. What began in September as a protest against the role major banks and the multinational corporations that have had in the financial crisis on Wall Street, has extended to become the global Occupy movement, with protests against the corporate greed of the liberal economy taking place in over 1, cities across the globe occupywallst.

Are these the actions of a contented, peaceful liberal society? Or are they the battle cries of hundreds of thousands of angry, dissatisfied citizens across the Western world whose leaders have failed them? Anger and dissatisfaction, key emotions of the Athens protests and the Occupy demonstrations, were also clearly prevalent during August in England Lewis, et al; What began as a peaceful protest in Tottenham, North London, following the shooting of local man Mark Duggan by police, soon escalated into ferocious rioting and looting across London, eventually spreading to Birmingham, Liverpool and Bristol BBC ; Channel 4 News Unfortunately, as discussed in the final section, violence, conflict, and a lack of contentment have become exceedingly common features within the liberal world itself.

The financial crisis has ravaged quality of life across the West, leading to mass demonstrations, often violent in nature as in the case of Athens across the liberal world. Moreover, the summer of saw one of the major capitals of the liberal world descend into chaos, with rioting and looting occurring across the boroughs of London and sprawling out into other UK cities. How can liberalism be expected to provide conditions for peace in the Global South when it cannot do so within the borders of existing liberal states?

And whilst a solution for a sustained global peace is difficult, if not impossible, to find, it is clear that the enforcement of liberalism is not that solution—that liberalism is not conducive to peace. The Guardian 30 December Zed Books. E, in Hinton. Rutgers University Press. Cambridge: Polity. Princeton University Press. Cultural Dynamics, 17, J, Africans: the history of a continent. Cambridge University Press.

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E, et al eds. Blackwell Publishing. East Timor: Indonesian Occupation and Genocide. Oporto University. International Security, 19 2 The Biopolitics of the War on Terror: life struggles, liberal modernity, and the defence of logistical societies. Manchester University Press. P and Franks.