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Kaldor Essay

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  • on April 1, 2014
  • Category: History
  • Length: 3,199 words

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Below is an essay on "Kaldor" from Anti Essays, your source for research papers, essays, and term paper examples.


Critically assess Kaldor’s assertion that new wars have to be understood in the context of the process known as globalization



Global Politics & Violence














Ben Aston
05.02.05
Critically assess Kaldor’s assertion that new wars have to be understood in the context of the process known as globalization

This essay will examine Kaldor’s much lauded argument about the idea of ‘new wars’ and their manifestation within the framework of globalization which she asserts can explain the emergence of the alleged phenomenon. This essay will suggest that the fragmentation effects of globalization have not led to a fundamentally new issue of identity politics. Rather I will suggest that identity politics and resulting conflict can be understood much more satisfyingly within a traditional conceptualisation of war. Although I would concede there is terrorism and conflict that we consider to be ‘new’, I will suggest that ‘new wars’ are in fact, not new at all, that terrorism and the existence of non state actors is by no means unprecedented.

It will be prudent to first establish what can be understood by the key terms in this question, namely, ‘new wars’ and ‘globalization’ as these are both highly contestable terms in their own right. Depending on our understanding of these two concepts, we can come to very different conclusions as to the validity of Kaldor’s assertions. Whilst enormously debateable, for the purpose of simplicity, let us accept Kaldor’s understanding of globalization; “…the intensification of global interconnectedness – political, economic, military and cultural.”[1] Understanding exactly what is meant by a ‘new war’ is a much harder task – there is no clear understanding, even amongst new war theorists as to what constitutes and differentiates a ‘new’ from an ‘old’ war. We will firstly consider Kaldor’s argument of ‘new war’ and then provide a critique to this approach.

Kaldor’s central argument is that “…during the 1980’s and 1990’s, a new type...

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