Tuesday, June 4, 2013

GEOPOLITICAL MAP

The Thomas P. M. Barnett’s spatially conceptualizes the world through the use of a variety of structural elements. The first is through the use of the globalization index thus the two characterizations; the core and the gaps. The core according to Barnett (2003) were the areas where there was a high rate of stability in governments, the people’s living standards were also rising, there were a high rate of connectivity, high rate of financial transactions, liberalization of the media as well as the high rate of security of the populace. At the gap, there was a very low rate of globalization characterized with a low level of financial transaction, political instability and low living standards for the people. The notion that there was no in between has been created when Barnett indicates that China has been moving from the gap to the core; especially due to the fact that they have increasingly embraced transparency, democracy an free trade. To the writer, China has moved to the core through changing its internal rules to those that support globalization for instance consideration of the environmental standards, protection of intellectual property and tariffs. The writer states that when a country slips from globalization, they will also sleep from the core to the gap. The other element that is stated by Barnett is the military interventions of the US, which also classifies the countries according to the notions of the core and the gap. Barnett indicates that the various interventions of the US military have been concentrated in the countries that are not globalized. The examples that were given include S. E. Asia, the Balkans, Central Asia, Middle East and various parts of Africa. According to Barnett, the US sends its forces to countries that have moved from the spirit of globalization. Barnett also notes the movement of people has a structural element that shapes his geopolitical map. He notes that due to the relative political stability as compared to instability in other areas, people have had a high tendency to travel from the politically unstable countries which are also faced with a myriad of problems such as low level of economic development as well as a lower level of human and other livelihood indices. To escape these problems which are mostly found in the gap, Barnett (2003) indicates that the people migrate towards the core countries which have a high level of stability, higher level of economic indicators as well as very favorable human development indices. This he used to explain the high migration of people to go and settle in different countries for instance, there has been a noted trend of migration from the countries that have not achieved high level of globalization especially those that are found in Africa towards the countries that had reached their peak of globalization for instance America. Barnett also used the element of target of violence to classify the world, so that it could fit to his gap and core theory. Barnett (2003) notes that, after the September 11 attack, it became very clear to the US that their main threat lay not in the countries that were at par with it but was more abstracted to those countries which were falling under the Gap (Barnett, 2011a). In giving examples Osama Bin Laden and his al Qaeda terror group were singled out, and according to Barnett, they are products of the Gap who are super empowered to make their voices to be heard; which without the terror would have not bee heard. Barnett also noted the other element as the flow of money. The countries at the core for instance china has been involved in the transfer of money to the countries that are found at the Gap especially Africa (Barnett, 2012). This transfer is in terms of the equity resources and this has been increasingly referred to as a ‘race’. There has also been a movement for the countries at the core to move from different models which did not encourage globalization for instance from centralized socialism towards oligarchic capitalism to a hybrid of big firms and entrepreneurial capitalism. This is where the world is moving and the core countries are at or moving towards it, while the Gap countries are still stuck at the centralized economic systems. The arguments advanced by Barnett to classify the world into core and Gap are important for the understanding of the world we live in. He has been able to give a clear way forwards for the understanding. The countries at the core exhibit high levels of economic development, they are also more democratic and have been hit hard by the effects of world’s insecurity. Most of the firms found in this country have adopted the MNC thinking have seriously moved parts of their operations to other countries. The exact opposite of the situation described above is found in the Gap countries. However, the argument is not conclusive as in some instances, there are countries for instance Saudi Arabia which has high income levels bur is politically unstable with centralized economic model. The political implications include the need for the countries which have been noted to be at the Gap to work more towards establishing political stability in their countries otherwise they will be increasingly under threat of attack by the core countries especially the US (Barnett, 2011b). Also, the countries could degenerate into lawlessness especially if the GDP of the country was very low and thus they would not be able to support the various operations of the state for instance pay for police services to thwart crime at the locals. Barnett’s map does however act as a rationalization of the various actions of the US, especially in line with the various military interventions that the country has been involved in. Many writers have been against the attacks by the US of different countries which have been done under the guise of eliminating the threats that these countries pose to the American state. The target of the map is the Gap countries who are forewarned that they either accept the operations of globalization or they face military action. The mapping greatly serves the interest of the industrialized countries and their military exploits (Barnett, 2011c). Most of these countries cannot survive without the operation of the world as a connected and a global village. This is due to the high surpluses that these countries have and therefore they need to transfer this to the other countries, without which their very existence will be in doubt. Examples include the huge flow of finances from the countries listed as the core to the other countries that are found at the Gap. Barnett, being military personnel, is also greatly concerned with the creation of ‘world peace’ through any possible means; including making justifications for the actions of the various countries. The countries at the gap have been classified as the haven for the world’s insecurity and thus they had to be dealt with. References Barnett, T. P. M. (2003), Blast from my past: "The Pentagon's New Map" [online] Retrieved 01/31/2012 Barnett, T. P. M. (19 Sep 2011a), The New Rules: Credit the U.S., Not the U.N., for More Peaceful World, [online] http://www.worldpoliticsreview.com/articles/10047/the-new-rules-credit-the-u-s-not-the-u-n-for-more-peaceful-world Retrieved 01/31/2012 Barnett, T. P. M. (12 Sep 2011b), The New Rules: The Rise of the Rest Spells U.S. Strategic Victory, World Politics Review [online] http://www.worldpoliticsreview.com/articles/9973/the-new-rules-the-rise-of-the-rest-spells-u-s-strategic-victory Retrieved 01/31/2012 Barnett, T. P. M. (24 Oct 2011c), The New Rules: A Look Ahead at the Geography of Global Security, World Politics Review [online] Retrieved 01/31/2012 Barnett, T. P. M. (30 Jan 2012), The New Rules: China Faces a 'Teddy Roosevelt Moment', World Politics Review [online] http://www.worldpoliticsreview.com/articles/11315/the-new-rules-china-faces-a-teddy-roosevelt-moment Retrieved 01/31/2012