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Celeste Moore – 312070454 – GOVT1105 – Marty Kear – Tuesday 2pm – Major Essay 6) Does globalisation merely represent the

reterritorialisation of the world in the economic and security interests of America? Discuss by referring to the US as a geopolitical actor.

The role of the US as a geopolitical agent in the globalised world has often been likened to that of a new imperialist power (Mabee, 2004:1359), using the international community, however complicity, to assist in advancing its agenda. At the end of World War II, the world, especially previously German-occupied Europe, was in a deterritorialised state, without definitive operational powers or a government with legitimised use of force (Easterly and Freschi, 2010). Similarly, the breakdown of Soviet Russia lead to the mass formation of new states without a pre-existing government formula. In both of these cases, the role played by the United States led to the reterritorialisation of American values under the guise of a policy of globalisation and globality (Weaver, 2003:5). In the case of World War II, the role played by American geographers, especially Isaiah Bowman (Smith, 1986:442), in dividing the map led to the integration of neo-liberalist capitalism and US-style democracy in these countries. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, the United States again reterritorialised their economic and security interests by assisting with the reformation of small, highly nationalised (Fazal and Griffiths, 2008:203) states. Deterritorialisation also occurs in the presence of weak or failed states, such as Afghanistan under the rule of the Taliban (Mallaby, 2002:2), and in these cases the US has, since the integration of the Right To Protect (R2P) principle in international law, intervened to facilitate with the rebuilding of


most reparation costs were paid in the granting of control over territory. Fearing the great cost extracted through reparations at the end of the First World War. in cases of deterritorialisation. 1995) and subsequently divided the city into four zones. and thus represents US geopolitical interests. As democratic countries have freer borders and are more likely to engage in international trade while being much less prone to violent interactions (Weart. 1998:20) it is preferable to a global power 2 . 1995). and this can be regarded as the first major democratising mission of the new American Imperialism. The division of previously German-occupied territory in Europe at the end of WWII was facilitated by US geographers. but also in terms of democracy. and annexed the Saar region. creating a further set of divisionary borders. policy and culture. The USSR used their region as a form of reparation for territory lost during the war and sought to break down the borders in order to exert greater control over the whole of Germany (Solsten. and this led to the displacement of up to 12 million East Germans (Solsten. 1995).Celeste Moore – 312070454 – GOVT1105 – Marty Kear – Tuesday 2pm – Major Essay such states. The US focussed their powers on the democratisation of Germany. The Allies declared the German state to be incapable of civil governance (Solsten. USSR. further deterritorialising a state which had already lost the legitimate use of force. The French sought to create total economic and resource control over the area. one belonging to each of the Allied powers: USA. Therefore. UK and France. not just in terms of the economy and issues of security. the United States has assisted in the reterritorialisation of states.

and due to the large percentage of non-Russian ethnicity within these states they 3 . which has since become the precedent for other secessionist movements. the US has shown the way in which its imperialist power began in the nation-building of Germany after WWII and the control of Soviet powers during this time. During the breakdown of the Soviet Union there were a vast number of secessionist movements brought to fruition in states which bordered the Russian heartland and had been “swallowed up” by the movements of the USSR. distribution and implementation of the Deutschmark and the facilitation of a united European market. Due to British debt and unwillingness of the French to engage in nation-building practices that would affect their use of German territorial resources. economic and security interests. specifically steel and coal. 1995). Through taking control of a deterritorialised state and using its hegemonic power to reterritorialise the state in terms of its democratic. the United States thus acquired majority power over Germany (Solsten. Secessionist movements in the breakdown of the USSR were utilised as deterritorialised spaces for the intervention and subsequent reterritorialisation by the United States. Lithuania. 1990). Estonia and Latvia were forcibly brought into the Soviet Union in 1940 (Parks. The US also played a crucial role in the creation. In 1947 the British and American zones of Germany merged to create the Bizone. These movements largely took place in the Caucasus region.Celeste Moore – 312070454 – GOVT1105 – Marty Kear – Tuesday 2pm – Major Essay such as the US that relies on largely peaceful and democratic globality in order to maintain both its desired world order and its power. and in 1949 the French joined this to create the Trizone.

By assisting with the development of international relations and economic security of these countries the United States secured a position of power and authority within the region of the Caspian and Baltic Seas. as opposed to communist. as well as encouraging them to fight back against the iron curtain assisted with the containment theory utilised at the time (O’Hara. the US has thus utilised the breaking down of borders congruent with globalisation in order to create a region which is supportive of both its economic and security agendas. This move towards globalisation of these countries also reterritorialised the security concerns of the United States. 2001). government. The recognition of the international legal sovereignty of these states by the United States and. later. goods and people. as developing a stronghold in these countries. Having secured diplomatic missions in the region. 2004:146). 2004:144). The breaking down of the iron curtain in order to create smaller states with more permeable borders was considered a victory for the forces of a globalised world (Friedman. a foothold in the negotiations of an oil pipeline and shares in the resources of the region (O’Hara. The need to sustain economic and security interests in the region can be seen as being dependant on Mackinder’s “Heartland” theory. was crucial to their establishment of legitimacy as sovereign nations (Bowen. the European Union. for the Caucasus is indeed the centre of Eurasia. actions prohibited under the rule of the USSR. as well as strengthening desire for a democratic.Celeste Moore – 312070454 – GOVT1105 – Marty Kear – Tuesday 2pm – Major Essay found independence though a series of secessionist movements beginning with Lithuania in 1990. 2006:34). as it allowed for the movement of money. 4 .

capitalism and American values (Jenkins. 1997). The valueladen goal of the invasion is evident even in its code name: Operation Enduring Freedom. as well as security agenda (Cooper. as arms sales in the Middle East accounts for more than half of military sales (Berr. It is in these spaces that the US has spent much of the last decade attempting to reterritorialise its values and culture. the most common instances of deterritorialised spaces are that of weak. fragile. Of crucial economic concern for the US in the region is. both serious security concerns for the US. The invasion of Afghanistan was purportedly due to the danger of sustained terrorist activities in the region and the danger of continuing to support a militia-led government. 5 . However. 2010). and it is in this exportation of democratic values that the true nature of the future of US Imperialism becomes evident (Abrams et al. oil.Celeste Moore – 312070454 – GOVT1105 – Marty Kear – Tuesday 2pm – Major Essay In the contemporary world. or failed states. 2011). whilst also assisting with domestic economic growth. of course. 2002). the invasion has been constructed by many as an attempt to forcibly gain control of the resources in the region. such as the Taliban. Securing access to the oil reserves in both an economic and a peace issue. such as Afghanistan and Iraq. First and foremost. especially in the wake of September 11. as where there is a lack of access to oil there is likely to be turmoil in the industrialised world which has the potential to become violent. In the nation-building which followed the dismantling of the Taliban government. the US has utilised its powerful military presence in the region to import democracy. shoring up the military of states bordering the conflict zone in the Middle East has created a whole region backing its security concerns.

The power of a state or ideology comes in its ability to encourage other 6 . the role of the United States as a new Imperialist power in the Middle East is evident. freedom of education and the importance of human rights to the reterritorialising venture. The US opposition to a religious government highlights the importance of the exportation of values such as freedom of speech. and as long as the US stands opposed to an Islamic government. although the associated security issues were still a major element of the mission. It is interesting to note that. Through the reterritorialisation of economic. had much more to do with the implementation of US-sympathising institutions (Al-Suwaidi. Obsession with the game has allowed Muslim women to interact with the global world through international games. such as soccer. The legitimising power of the US for any attempted Iraqi government is crucial to the rebuilding of the state. the idea of a culture which is not predicated on religion (Foer. the US-led force of globalisation has brought with it Western culture. Western culture and American values. as well as the exportation of democracy. the state will remain largely in chaos (Al-Suwaidi. 2004:8). 2004:13) than the dispersion of terrorist activity. along with democracy and concern with non-typical military action. in contrast. such as terrorism. The role of soccer as a globalising agent is crucial in terms of US legitimacy in Islamic states. exposure to capitalist media and. 2004:229). above all. even a democratic one. resource and security interests.Celeste Moore – 312070454 – GOVT1105 – Marty Kear – Tuesday 2pm – Major Essay The invasion of Iraq.

the particular power or agenda of any given country is irrelevant where there is no differentiation between failed and sustained states (Cooper. The reterritorialising agenda of the United States can be broken down into a desire to maintain a balanced world order. The need for this order accounts for the geopolitical influence of the US beyond deterritorialised states. but from the actions of China in the deterritorialised failed states of Africa. Whilst the Chinese are attempting to control the sea using American-influenced tactics and the US is attempting to control Eurasia. who believed that sea power is the key to controlling the world. builders and scientists (Michel. This movement of assets pays heed to the theories of Mahan. Without such an order. imitating the US and the Pacific Ocean during the Cold War (Friedman. the Chinese influences in these nations are encouraging an open and democratic process within the state in order to create stability. The Chinese have also utilised their military assets to exert control on the South China Sea. 2008:39) in a manner very similar to that of the US. Arguably the area in which the US exerts 7 . 2008:40). resource-rich African states in order to secure a percentage of the resources produced with the aid of Chinese engineers. On this basis.Celeste Moore – 312070454 – GOVT1105 – Marty Kear – Tuesday 2pm – Major Essay political actors to adhere to it. something which the Chinese domestic government does not promote internally (Michel. the reterritorialising power of the United States is evident. 2002). China has utilised its vast military and economic advantages over weak. particularly in terms of security interests. the true power of the US as a reterritorialising agent comes not from the US itself. In addition to this. 2008).

Therefore. usually predicated on military intervention also highlights the role of American security concerns where situations of de-andreterritorialisation exist. 2004:1372). Examining such situations. 8 . analysis of the United States as a new Imperialist power is not an unreasonable one in situations where its economic. such as Germany after World War II.Celeste Moore – 312070454 – GOVT1105 – Marty Kear – Tuesday 2pm – Major Essay most reterritorialising influence is in the industrialised First World it is crucial to elements of security (Mabee. By examining the historic and contemporary role of the United States in nation-building processes. security and democratic interests are concerned. the borders of the Russian Federation after the collapse of the USSR and Afghanistan and Iraq in the wake of terrorist insurgencies. the reterritorialisation of democratic principles and Western policy and culture is evident.

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