The Different Views of Thomas Barnett and Michael Klare on Globalization
In the 1992 essay “The Pentagon’s New Map”, military analyst Thomas Barnett created a dichotomy between the “Core” and the “Gap”. The Core consisted of economies that were stable, interconnected, and predictable; the Gap, on the other hand, was made up of those parts of the world where institutions were weak, states failed, and violence was common. This dichotomy has been influential in both academic and policy circles.
In 2004, political scientist Michael Klare wrote an article entitled “The Coming Anarchy: How Scarcity, Crime, Overpopulation, Tribalism, and Disease Are Rapidly Destroying the Social Fabric of Our Planet”. In it, he argued that globalization was exacerbating many of the problems that had traditionally been confined to the Gap. He also argued that the Core was not as stable as Barnett had suggested, and that its continued stability depended on its ability to address the problems of the Gap.
In this paper, I will first provide an overview of Barnett’s and Klare’s views. I will then compare their views to theories of international relations and the works of other political scientists. Finally, I will draw some conclusions about their respective arguments.
2. Thomas Barnett’s view
Barnett’s view is based on the following dichotomy:
– Has functional governments
– Respect for human rights
– A free market economy
– Connected to the global economy
– Participates in global institutions
– Is at peace with its neighbors
– Lacks functional governments
– Violates human rights
– Has a non-free market economy
– Is disconnected from the global economy
– Is not participating in global institutions
– Is in conflict with its neighbors
According to Barnett, the Core is stable and the Gap is not. The stability of the Core is due to its interconnectedness; the instability of the Gap is due to its lack of interconnectedness. The Core needs the Gap for two reasons: first, because the Gap is a source of instability that can spill over into the Core; and second, because the Gap provides raw materials and cheap labor that are necessary for the Core’s continued prosperity.
The problem, according to Barnett, is that the Core is not doing enough to stabilize the Gap. He argues that the US military should be used to “help close the gap”. This would involve creating “transnational security zones” in which the US would provide security in exchange for economic reform. Barnett also advocates for increased foreign aid, as well as “military assistance packages” that would provide training and equipment to militaries in the Gap.
3. Michael Klare’s view
Klare’s view is based on the following dichotomy:
– Is economically prosperous
– Is politically stable
– Has a high level of technology
– Is culturally homogeneous
– Is environmentally sustainable
– Is economically impoverished
– Is politically unstable
– Has a low level of technology
– Is culturally heterogeneous
– Is environmentally unsustainable
According to Klare, globalization is exacerbating many of the problems that have traditionally been confined to the Gap. He argues that the economic inequality between the Core and the Gap is increasing, as are levels of political instability and violence. He also argues that the cultural heterogeneity of the Gap is a source of conflict, and that its environmental unsustainability is a threat to the entire planet. In short, Klare argues that globalization is creating a “global crisis”.
Klare argues that the only way to address this crisis is for the Core to address the problems of the Gap. He advocates for increased foreign aid, debt relief, and trade concessions for developing countries. He also calls for a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, and an end to subsidies for fossil fuels. Finally, he calls for a strengthening of international institutions such as the UN.
4. Comparison of the views
Barnett’s and Klare’s views can be compared in terms of four dimensions: their respective diagnoses of globalization, their prescriptions for addressing globalization, their normative assumptions about globalization, and their methodological approach to studying globalization.
In terms of diagnosis, both Barnett and Klare see globalization as having negative consequences. However, they differ somewhat in their assessment of these consequences. For Barnett, globalization is primarily a problem for those parts of the world that are not participating in it; for Klare, it is primarily a problem for those parts who are participating in it. In terms of prescription, both Barnett and Klare advocate for increased international cooperation in order to address globalization. However, they differ somewhat in their suggestions for how this cooperation should take place. Barnett focuses on military intervention and economic reform; Klare focuses on foreign aid, trade concessions, and environmental protection. In terms of normative assumptions, Barnett and Klare differ somewhat in their views about the desirability of globalization. Barnett is primarily concerned with the stability of the Core; Klare is primarily concerned with the well-being of those parts of the world that are being left behind by globalization. Finally, in terms of methodology, Barnett and Klare differ somewhat in their approach to studying globalization. Barnett focuses on states and institutions; Klare focuses on individuals and cultures.
In conclusion, Barnett’s and Klare’s views can be seen as two different responses to the problems posed by globalization. Barnett’s view is focused on the stability of the Core; Klare’s view is focused on the well-being of the Gap. Both views have their strengths and weaknesses, but ultimately I believe that Klare’s view is more persuasive. This is because it takes into account the negative consequences of globalization for those parts of the world that are being left behind, and it offers concrete proposals for how these problems can be addressed.