Globalization and Fragmentation: International Relations in the Twentieth Century

By Ian Clark | Go to book overview

2
THE PARADOXES OF THE PRE-WAR WORLD, 1900-1914

Few periods reveal such stark paradoxes between globalizing and fragmentationist tendencies as that of the pre-war generation. Historians share a consensus that the decades around the opening of the new century experienced significant expansion in the geographical scope of the international system and also momentous increases in the intensity of interactions, and patterns of integration, within it. This was particularly so with regard to the global scope of the balance of power (and the new conceptions of it), as well as in the powerful emergence of heightened levels of economic interdependence. The faltering steps through international arbitration towards the Hague Conferences either side of century's turn, as well as the growth of intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations, pointed towards future concepts of international governance of varying degrees of formality and institutionalization. To this extent, the ushering in of the twentieth century marked the beginning of globalized international relations.

At the same time, the drift to cataclysmic war in 1914, and the competitive nationalisms and social Darwinism of the age, are collectively regarded as the final apotheosis of that fragmentationist nationalism released by the French Revolution: it was an age, more conscious than most, of the competitive nature of international relations and of the shifting balance of economic power. This more intensely divided international society was also mirrored in the new divisions within national societies engendered by the effects of industrialization and rapid social change. Indeed, national foreign policies revealed precisely the intimate connection between the seemingly more hostile international environment and the new social and political demands that pressed governments from within. This chapter will review the international relations of the pre-1914 period from this twin perspective and explore the extent to which globalization and fragmentation were dialectically interrelated, the extent to which globalization was induced by the remorseless logic of exogenous technological and economic development, or the extent to which it was related to the specific characteristics of international relations, and the policies of the individual powers, responding to the crosscutting pressures of the period.

In fact, it may be erroneous to suggest that the relationship between

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Globalization and Fragmentation: International Relations in the Twentieth Century
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Detailed Contents ix
  • Introduction 1
  • 1 - Globalization and Fragmentation 16
  • 2 - The Paradoxes of the Pre-War World, 1900-1914 33
  • 3 - The Impact of War, 1914-1919 52
  • 4 - The Fragmentation of the Inter-War Era, 1919-1939 75
  • 5 - States of War, 1939-1945 99
  • 6 - The Cold War and Globalization, 1945-1969 122
  • 7 - Eras of Negotiation and Confrontation, 1970-1989 148
  • 8 - Beyond the Cold War, 1990-2000 172
  • Conclusion 197
  • Bibliography 203
  • Index 215
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