Thursday, November 17, 2011

Implications of Globalization: The Breivik Case

Something I left out of my paper, that I thought I'd expand on briefly...

What implications does the Breivik case have on the globalization theory?

Mass migrations of peoples across the globe have damaged the very notion of the nation-state identity in the international system. Nation-states, states for a certain ethnicity, have been the dominant force in international politics since its inception in 1648 with the Peace of Westphalia. One belonged to a state which for their ethnicity - Norway for Norwegians, France for the French, Mongolia for the Mongols etc. etc.

However, with people, ideas, and business moving around the globe in an unprecedented rate the idea of a nation-state becomes a blur. An Iraqi now lives in Norway. An American now lives in Portugal. Nation-states are losing the purpose of why they were created. Thus we come to a point, is the notion of a nation-state outdated? Supra-National organizations as the EU, AU, and the UN all serve to diminish the power of the nation-state and instead foster a collective identity. With collective identity, it means that some identity is being lessened or put on the back-burner. National heritage now becomes a shared regional heritage among a very diverse group of people. Is there anymore national heritage, in this case?

Furthermore, globalization goes to show that populations of developed countries are just as, or more, venerable as developing nations. Though developing nations have very serve problems, developed nations are now in a struggle for identity. Breivik is a perfect example. Breivik is from Norway, the West. Norway frequently takes high places in development, freedom, and living indexes as well as is known internationally for its peace initiatives. However, Breivik perceived immigrants from the MENA region as a threat to the very essence of who he was, and he framed this fear into a religious perspective. With additional prodding from far-right politicians, scholars, and bloggers, Breivik choose to commit the heinous massacres on July 22. Does religion supersede national identity in globalization cases? Is religious violence the new protest to globalization, as national identity is no longer a safe haven for those who feel threatened?

The implications of globalization is the changing paradigms of international relations and international identity. Supra-national institutions, identities, and ideas (religion) will become more prevalent than belonging to a state. Religion will be brought up to the forefront of a conflict that may be entirely secular. The role religion will play in the future may increase; an irony to the secular way of thought the world operates now.  By no means is this going to happen quickly, but it could certainly be a theme to look out for. Those who are skilled in religious peace may quickly become the newest hot commodity of globalization.

1 comment:

  1. This is a really thought-provoking post. It seems to be that a loss of national identity is what finally caused Breivik to lose control, but I've been doing a lot of research lately on male violence caused by a loss of male identity. It's really fascinating to think that this guy was brought to the breaking point by a combination of his biology, his loss of personal identity, and above all (kind of the cherry on top here) a perceived threat to national identity, which is, I guess, all that he had left in his mind. To answer your question, I personally think that national identity is going to continue on the decline as long as society keeps on progressing the way it is now (i.e. more English speakers in China than anywhere else).