Globalization and Fragmentation: International Relations in the Twentieth Century

By Ian Clark | Go to book overview

7
ERAS OF NEGOTIATION AND CONFRONTATION, 1970-1989

There is a fair case to be made for regarding the beginning of the 1970s as another of the significant 'punctuation' points of the twentieth century because the period was witness both to the end of the post-war Golden Age of economic growth -- to be replaced by a much more uncertain phase in which inflation, unemployment, and environmental concerns perceptibly changed the economic mood -- and also to marked relaxation in the confrontational policies of the superpowers, even if this was to be relatively short-lived and soon succeeded by the so-called second cold war. Such major upheavals in both international economic and security relations are significant in their own right, but the function of this chapter is to explore their interconnections from the distinctive perspective of their association with trends towards globalization and fragmentation in the international system. Did the period mark the end of that post-war phase wherein a particular configuration of military and political power had sustained a liberal capitalist international economy, and did this portend a return to a more unstable, closed, regionalized, and protectionist economic system? And was this the result of a wider diffusion of power and a more fragmented political order in which the cold-war blocs lost cohesion, at the same time as Third World nationalism became more assertive against both First and Second World controls?

Alternatively, does this period signify the beginning of an ongoing disjunction between economic and political trends -- the former showing remarkable resilience in a globalizing direction whatever the vagaries of cold war or détente and associated degrees of bloc cohesion, in the international political sphere? The answer to this question depends upon the explanation offered for the more unsettled economic conditions from 1970 onwards. If seen as the consequence of the passing of American hegemony, they may be taken as a kind of confirmation of the continuing political determination of economic activity; if regarded as the result of autonomous changes in the nature of the international financial system itself, they might indicate a bifurcation between economic and political trends. However, such a stark choice is clouded by the intervention of related debates about whether US power was in fact in decline, whether it persisted in a new structural form, and whether the very essence of power in international relations

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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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