Order and Change in Global Politics: Assessing the “Return of Geopolitics”

The economic crisis of 2008-2009 has signalled severe imbalances in the global economy between areas of the planet of great capital accumulation (particularly East Asia), rampant deindustrialisation masked by unsustainable levels of debt to finance private consumption in Western countries, and a large grey area substantially marginalised from any meaningful industrial development. The loss of confidence in an excessively financialised economy and in a monetary system exclusively based on fiat currency is also prompting a shift towards the acquisition of material assets and commodities which are of course physically located somewhere. This is particularly visible in one of the most important, yet little emphasised geopolitical developments of these years, namely the mass purchases of land (so called “land grab”) for agricultural purpose taking places virtually in every continent. Such development will be likely to test the effectiveness of informal control tactics, and possibly prompt the re-introduction of less informal control mechanisms in areas of limited or absent statehood.

The importance of geopolitical control in terms of economic re-organisation of the planet also appears prominent in the face of the risks inherent to an extremely complex, and equally fragile, web of economic interdependence. There are in essence two phenomena which are likely to emerge from this situation. First, the most powerful sovereign actors will intensify efforts to assert their grasp over land, seas and even populations which will enable them to defend their current status, to bargain from a stronger stance in the process of economic planetary re-organisation, and to have access to resources when scarcity will become acute, even if in decades from now.

via Order and Change in Global Politics: Assessing the “Return of Geopolitics”.

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