Realist and Liberalist Perspectives of Globalization

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Why and how did globalization occur? Different perspectives have different explanations as to why and how globalization evolved. Realists argue that international trade is most effective when there is hegemony in the world market, whereas liberalists believe that it is a matter of how countries use the idea of reciprocity in their decision about trade. I agree with the realist perspective because hegemony allows the global economy to enhance and international trade functions the best when a hegemon dominates the world market.

Realist perspective explains globalization in terms of the relative distribution of power (Nau 2007, 278). In their opinion, trade and economic activities thrives “only under favorable security conditions,” and those conditions rely on the relative distribution of power (Nau 2007, 279). They believe that alliances and hegemony are the two most affirmative security conditions. “’Free trade is more likely within than across political-military alliances; and …alliances have had a much stronger effect on trade in a bipolar than in to a multipolar world.’” (Nau 2007, 279) In other words, the fewer dominating states with power there are in the system, the stronger is the alliance and its effect on trade. In a multipolar world, countries cannot trust each other in trade because alliances are rarely permanent and therefore, countries might use the gains from trade to increase its military power and threaten to cause damage to the other country. Thus, realists argue that,

…world economic expansion should be least robust in a multipolar world where countries cannot be sure of stable alliances, more robust in a bipolar world because alliances are more predictable, and most robust in a unipolar or imperia...

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...y supply and this causes the collapse in the U.S. and elsewhere (Pinnell, Lecture notes, 3/23). Consequently, countries become very protectionist to protect firms at home and international trade collapses (Pinnell, Lecture notes, 3/23). Therefore, states must make decisions with reciprocity and consequences in mind (Pinnell, Lecture notes, 3/23).

Again, the realists believe that free international trade works best when a hegemon dominates the global market. I agree because hegemony enhances the global economy by providing the relative distribution of power in several countries. Since every country has its own function in the system, the hegemonic power is mandatory to sustain the world economy and international trade.

Works Cited

Nau, Henry R. Perspectives on International Relations. 2nd Ed. Washington D.C.: George

Washington University, 2007. Print.
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