America’s Role in Globalization

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    • 00:12

      RICHARD MANSBACH: My name is Dr. Richard Mansbach,and I'm a professor of international relations at IowaState University.I'm going to be presenting a case dealingwith globalization.That is the growing integration, and interdependenceof people around the world, and the rapid and intense movementof things, people, and ideas.

    • 00:34

      RICHARD MANSBACH [continued]: I'm using the United States as my examplebecause it has for decades at least since World WarII perhaps, since World War I been the leading advocate forand source of globalizing economic, political, military,and social trends.Indeed, some believe that globalizationis a form of Americanization of the world.

    • 00:55

      RICHARD MANSBACH [continued]: The case involves the claim of some international relationstheorists that globalization was initiated by and depends on,and that's the key word, depends onwhether there is a powerful and benevolent global leader,a so-called hegemon, that views globalization in its interests,and fosters globalization processes, and maintains

    • 01:19

      RICHARD MANSBACH [continued]: the rules and norms necessary for an orderly world.The United States emerged from World War IIas the global hegemon a role thathad been played by Great Britain prior to World War Iand in the 19th century.And Washington fostered global economic, political, and social

    • 01:40

      RICHARD MANSBACH [continued]: institutions and practices that wereresponsible for the dramatic deepening of globalizationin subsequent decades.The global order that America imposedvividly contrasted with a disorderly erabetween the World Wars for-- highlightedby the Great Depression in which there was no global hegemon.

    • 02:04

      RICHARD MANSBACH [continued]: The case I'm going to discuss examines the questionof whether globalization is ebbing,or whether it's advancing since the financial crisis thaterupted in 2008 in the United States,and the relationship of globalization to whatsome observers perceive as America's political, economic,

    • 02:24

      RICHARD MANSBACH [continued]: and military decline, and therefore, it'sretreat from hegemony.I'll leave you to determine the answers to these questions.I'm going to be covering the following points.One-- American hegemony in globalization.Two-- is America in decline?Three-- is globalization deepening or retreating.

    • 02:45

      RICHARD MANSBACH [continued]: Four-- the return of geopolitics,and national self-interest, and America's retreatfrom interventionism.Five-- the absence of an American grand strategy.In recent decades, globalization has owed

    • 03:06

      RICHARD MANSBACH [continued]: much to American leadership.That is it's hegemony.Some observers believe that the collapse of the SovietUnion at the end of the Cold War in fact,owed much to its failure to integrate itselfinto the global economy.Some theorists who advocate what'scalled hegemonic stability believethat globalization, global institutions,

    • 03:29

      RICHARD MANSBACH [continued]: and the free movement of things, people, and ideasare linked to the leadership of whatI called earlier a benevolent hegemony, whichsince World War II as meant America,and before that meant Great Britain.Both eras contrasted with the disorderly worldbetween the wars during which globalization retreated.

    • 03:52

      RICHARD MANSBACH [continued]: These theorists fear that withouta powerful and benevolent hegemony,and it has to be benevolent, therewill be no one able or willing to foster globalizinginstitutions like the World TradeOrganization, or the International Monetary Fund,or willing to pay for collective goodslike halting climate change, and preventing human rights abuses,

    • 04:17

      RICHARD MANSBACH [continued]: or preventing the pursuit of narrow national interestsby states by intervening and enforcing the ruleslike a global Sheriff.Thus the case raises three questions, which I've indicatedearlier, is America declining?

    • 04:38

      RICHARD MANSBACH [continued]: Is globalization retreating or advancing?Does globalization actually require a benevolent hegemon?Let's turn to the first issue.The belief that US hegemony is endingstems from the conviction that the UnitedStates is in decline, but there are two versions of this claim.

    • 04:59

      RICHARD MANSBACH [continued]: So-called declinist frequently speakas though America were an absolute decline with fewercapabilities that in the past.To determine whether this is the case,one must examine whether the United States possessesfewer military, economic, and political assets,and capabilities than in past decades.

    • 05:21

      RICHARD MANSBACH [continued]: Declinist frequently speak as though Americawere in absolute decline.Others argue that claiming absolute US declineis an illusion in the sense that Americaretains immense capabilities, but appears relatively,and I emphasize the word relatively less powerfulowing not to its own loss of power,

    • 05:44

      RICHARD MANSBACH [continued]: but to the growing capabilities of others like rising China,Russia, and other countries that have historicallybeen powerful states.They point to the years immediatelyafter World War II when all major countriesother than the United States had been devastated by war.In ensuing years, however, their recovery,

    • 06:08

      RICHARD MANSBACH [continued]: the recovery of Europe, of Western Europe, of Russia,of China, of Japan, reduced American postwar dominanceto what they regard as its normal level.Still another perspective is that the perceptionof US leaders in America's declinemay actually produce that decline

    • 06:30

      RICHARD MANSBACH [continued]: by allowing an orderly world to becomedisorderly owing to America's failureto behave as a hegemony leader.Let's turn to the second issue.Globalization can and indeed historically has

    • 06:52

      RICHARD MANSBACH [continued]: gone through cycles in which it deepens or retreats.It deepened in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.It retreated after World War I, and especiallyduring the Great Depression.And advanced again after World War II, which is happening now.Well, there's no easy metric to inform us,

    • 07:15

      RICHARD MANSBACH [continued]: or to prove one or the other, but wecan look at factors that move us toward either conclusion.Events and trends that reduce barriersto the global movement of people, things, and ideas,foster globalization.Examples include, multilateral, or global trade treaties,

    • 07:37

      RICHARD MANSBACH [continued]: growing internet connectivity, growing tourism,freer movement among countries, proliferatingand authoritative international organizations,and the number of international nongovernmental organization,so-called NGOs, with a capacity for global governance.That is, helping to cope with critical global threats

    • 07:60

      RICHARD MANSBACH [continued]: like the environment, nuclear proliferation, and human rightsabuses.By contrast, events and trends thatraise barriers to impede the global movement of people,things, and ideas dilutes globalization-- pushes itinto retreat.Examples would include secessionism for example,

    • 08:22

      RICHARD MANSBACH [continued]: Scotland's failed effort in the United Kingdomto break up that country, or the collapse of the Soviet Unionand its dissolution into numerous states,and the collapse of Yugoslavia.And it would also include interstate and intrastateconflicts that harden boundaries,and magnify territorial claims.

    • 08:44

      RICHARD MANSBACH [continued]: It would include the addition of tariffs,and new non-tariff trade barriers thatreduce economic globalization.It would include barriers to the flows of refugees,or skilled migrants needed by industry or business.Others include limits on student exchanges

    • 09:06

      RICHARD MANSBACH [continued]: that globalized skilled individual,or restrictions on the internet, and indeed cyber conflict thatcauses interruptions in cyber communications,and government limitations on or obstaclesto nongovernmental groups such as those imposed by countrieslike Russia, China and Iran.

    • 09:30

      RICHARD MANSBACH [continued]: Those who believe that globalization remains robust,what I'll call the optimists, t suggests that recent years hadbeen difficult ones for globalizationbecause of the Great Recession, ,but that its main pillars remains strong,and that long-term trends beginning in the 19th centuryindicate that brief periods of disorder in global affairs are

    • 09:55

      RICHARD MANSBACH [continued]: followed by lengthy periods of order in which globalizationagain prospers and accelerates.Those who believe by contrast that globalization has slowedor retreated, I'll call them the pessimist,point to the growing political, economic, and military disorderin contemporary global affairs.

    • 10:24

      RICHARD MANSBACH [continued]: Pessimists claim that globalizationis said to be yielding pride of place true to traditional statebased preoccupations with national power, geopolitics,and national security, and with self-interested territorialissues that threaten to weaken global norms and practices,

    • 10:46

      RICHARD MANSBACH [continued]: and begin chaos once again.They attribute what they call global disorderto be associated with American fatiguewith wars in Afghanistan, and Iraq,and the administration's caution reflectedin what President Obama once said,America should quote, "lead from behind."

    • 11:09

      RICHARD MANSBACH [continued]: let's examine these claims.Perhaps, the most widely cited example of American declineinvolves Russian aggression in Ukraine,and its annexation of Crimea thatcreated the de facto border between Ukrainians pro RussianEast and its pro European West, as well as,

    • 11:30

      RICHARD MANSBACH [continued]: Russia's dramatically growing military budget.Russia's meddling in Ukraine led to American and Europeaneconomic sanctions, but not to significant economic ormilitary aid to Ukraine, not to a robust effortto restore NATO's military capabilities that had

    • 11:50

      RICHARD MANSBACH [continued]: eroded during previous decades.Others however, see Washington's caution as appropriatebecause Russia has reason to be concerned about its security,and merely seeks to regain the status it hadbefore the end of the Cold War.President Vladimir Putin aspires to restore the defunct Soviet

    • 12:11

      RICHARD MANSBACH [continued]: Union.In addition to meddling in Ukraine,which sort a future in a United Europe,Putin established a Eurasian Union of countriesformally in Central Europe and Central Asiathat had been Soviet Republics before the end of the Cold War,and that he has perpetuated what we call frozen conflicts.

    • 12:33

      RICHARD MANSBACH [continued]: That is unresolved political conflictsthat threaten violence in Ukraine,in Georgia where Moscow supports the independenceof the renegade provinces of Abkhazia and South Ossetia,in Moldova where Russian troops enablethe Moldova region of Transnistria

    • 12:54

      RICHARD MANSBACH [continued]: to remain independent.And then the conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijanover the region of Nagorno-Karabakh.All these policies, it is said, raisebarriers that impede the free movement of goods, people,and ideas.Nevertheless, globalization still matters in this case

    • 13:17

      RICHARD MANSBACH [continued]: as reflected in declining global oil prices causedby growing American energy production that didgreat harm to Russia's economy.Almost as widely cited by pessimistsare China's rapidly military and economic growth,it's territorial ambitions in the South and East China seas,

    • 13:41

      RICHARD MANSBACH [continued]: and it's bullying of neighbors such as Japan, Vietnam,and the Philippines.All these reflected what President Xi Jinpingcalls China's core national interests.What Washington called America's pivot to Asia In fact,has been largely limited to rhetoric,

    • 14:02

      RICHARD MANSBACH [continued]: the movement of minor and largelysymbolic military assets.Optimists, by contrast, point to the factthat China had once been a great power,and is merely seeking to regain its former status as the MiddleKingdom.Thus, the United States need not fear rising China,and can engage Beijing in cooperative ventures

    • 14:26

      RICHARD MANSBACH [continued]: such as, maintaining global economic prosperity,and combating climate change.Other examples cited by pessimiststend to involve the Middle East.Civil wars in Iraq, Syria, and Libyahave received much attention in Washington, but relativelylittle action.Washington refused to intervene in Syria

    • 14:49

      RICHARD MANSBACH [continued]: even after that country's president crossedwhat President Obama had called a red line in usingchemical toxic gas against its own civilians.In Egypt, Washington first supported the electionof a relatively moderate Islamic government,and then willingly went along with coup d'etat that returned

    • 15:11

      RICHARD MANSBACH [continued]: a military regime to power.Its policies therefore managed to alienate both sides.As for the predations of the terrorist Islamic Statein Iraq, Syria, and elsewhere in the region,the administration has limited its interventionto military aid, pinpoint air strikes,and has refused to allow any American soldiers to fight

    • 15:35

      RICHARD MANSBACH [continued]: on the ground.Finally, the United States has remained uninvolved in Libyaafter Muammar Gaddafi's overthrowalthough, it's earlier participation with NATOallies overthrew the Libyan dictator,and unleashed today's anarchy.Optimist dismiss this regional example

    • 15:56

      RICHARD MANSBACH [continued]: because of the sheer complexity of the conflicts.And they point out that however powerful America may be,the region's problems can only be solved from within,and that deeper US involvement will onlyalienate those involved in regional conflicts,and bug America down in endless civil wars.

    • 16:18

      RICHARD MANSBACH [continued]: Pessimists also point out that the breakdownof Palestinian Israeli talks originally sponsoredby the United States did not trigger vigorous USpolitical and economic interventionto impose a settlement.Optimists counter that this issuehas remained unresolved for seven decades

    • 16:39

      RICHARD MANSBACH [continued]: perhaps, several millennia includingthe era in which all agree America was a global hegemony.In the case of nuclear proliferation,pessimists point out that Americahas been willing to negotiate with Irana delay-- a delay in its nuclear program

    • 17:00

      RICHARD MANSBACH [continued]: rather than taking robust unilateral actionsbeyond economic sanctions, or demandingIran's complete compliance with international law.Optimists note, however, there are as good reasonnot to trust what it calls to the great Satan thatis the United States owing to America's

    • 17:20

      RICHARD MANSBACH [continued]: long-term interference in Iran's domestic affairsdating back to overthrowing Iran's government in the 1950s,and supporting Iran's Shah, that is King,after his overthrow in the 1970s.A strong and confident Iran, they claim,would stabilize the Middle East, and reduce conflicts there.

    • 17:44

      RICHARD MANSBACH [continued]: Finally, globalization pessimistspoint to the breakdown in global economic talks sponsoredby the World Trade Organization what was called,The Doha Round of negotiations.And since 2008, the revival of trade barriers,and beggar thy neighbour policies that secure nationaladvantage at the expense of others.

    • 18:06

      RICHARD MANSBACH [continued]: They recall the preoccupation with domestic eventsduring and after the Great Depression in the 1930swhen there was no hegemon to prevent the pursuitof narrow self-interest.The absence of a hegemon in the 1920s and 1930swas also apparent in the failure of the democraciesto enforce collective security, and prevent

    • 18:28

      RICHARD MANSBACH [continued]: appeasing those who sought to alter and revisethe political status quo, Nazi Germany, fascistItaly, and imperial Japan.Optimists suggest that what has happened since 2008is a pale reflection of that inter-war period.The world has recovered from the Great Recession,

    • 18:51

      RICHARD MANSBACH [continued]: and America is indeed leading that recovery.International economic institutions like,the WTO, and the IMF remain strong.Trade has recovered, and even the challenges to orderare limited, and nothing compared to those of the 1930s.Globalization pessimists respond that they interpret

    • 19:13

      RICHARD MANSBACH [continued]: the administration's caution as reflecting US decline,and they raise questions, as I noted earlier,about the credibility of America's commitmentsto friends, and allies, as well as,to maintaining an orderly world and fostering globalization.Richard Haass captures the essence of the problem.Indeed, he wrote, "with US hegemony waning,

    • 19:36

      RICHARD MANSBACH [continued]: but no successor waiting to pick up the baton,the likeliest future is one in whichthe current international system gives wayto a disorderly one with a larger number of powercenters acting with increasing autonomy, payingless heed to US interests and preferences."

    • 19:58

      RICHARD MANSBACH [continued]: Optimists including President Obama reject this analysis.In his speech to cadets at West Point he argued, in fact,he said, by most measures America has rarelybeen stronger relative to the rest of the world."Those who argue otherwise, he continued,who suggest that America is in decline,

    • 20:18

      RICHARD MANSBACH [continued]: or has seen its global leadership slipaway are either misreading historyor engaged in partisan politics.Our military has no peer.The odds of a direct threat, he continued, against usby any nation are low, and do notcome close to the dangers we faced during the Cold War.Meanwhile, our economy remains the most dynamic on earth

    • 20:44

      RICHARD MANSBACH [continued]: are businesses the most innovative.Each year, we grow more energy independent.And when a typhoon hits the Philippines,or school girls are kidnapped in Nigeria,or masked men occupy a building in Ukraine--it's America that the world looks to for help.So the United States he concludes

    • 21:04

      RICHARD MANSBACH [continued]: is and remains the one indispensable nation.Pessimists, of course, disagree with the president,and they conclude that there is an absenceof a coherent American grand strategy that brings together

    • 21:25

      RICHARD MANSBACH [continued]: all the elements, military and nonmilitary,for the preservation and enhancement of the worldlong term interests.And that America's caution in usingits formidable capabilities tense others to testAmerican resolve by pursuing selfish self-interests thatcontribute to global disorder.

    • 21:46

      RICHARD MANSBACH [continued]: Optimist respond that the world hasbecome far too complex for a single grand strategy.They point out that the Cold War reflected a relatively simpleworld, and that US strategy notably, whatwas called containment was designedto deal with a single foe, the Soviet Union.

    • 22:06

      RICHARD MANSBACH [continued]: It is then not that America lacks a grand strategy,but that the world itself has become messy,and problems are not amenable to simple solutions.Globalization may rely on the willingness of a hegemonto support it.

    • 22:26

      RICHARD MANSBACH [continued]: The United States is the indispensable nationas both Bill Clinton and Barack Obama proclaimed.Pessimists believe that Washingtonis abdicating that role while optimists believeit is meeting its responsibility,but is using sophisticated policiesto deal with growing global complexity.

    • 22:47

      RICHARD MANSBACH [continued]: And that in any event, no nation can be the world's policeman.Both sides can point to different events and trendsthat support their arguments about US leadership,and about the future of globalization.Let me leave you with several questions.First, is a benevolent hegemony necessary for globalizationto survive?

    • 23:09

      RICHARD MANSBACH [continued]: Secondly, is America in fact meetingits global responsibilities?Thirdly, has American foreign policy toward Russia, China,or the Middle East reflected a loss of will,a decline in power, or simply sensible cautionin the face of complexity?Fourth and finally, is globalization

    • 23:32

      RICHARD MANSBACH [continued]: retreating or advancing?And as you discuss the last question,site events that indicate both sides of the question.

America’s Role in Globalization

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Professor Richard Mansbach examines globalization in the post-WWII world, the connections between globalization and hegemony, and the influence of the United States as the world's police officer. He also discusses the argument about whether globalization is growing or seceding since the global financial crisis.

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America’s Role in Globalization

Professor Richard Mansbach examines globalization in the post-WWII world, the connections between globalization and hegemony, and the influence of the United States as the world's police officer. He also discusses the argument about whether globalization is growing or seceding since the global financial crisis.

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