Disclaimer: This is an example of a student written essay.
Click here for sample essays written by our professional writers.

This essay is not an endorsement of any political party or statement. UKEssays.com does not accept payment of any kind for the publishing of political content, it has been published for educational purposes only.

Has Globalization Created a New Type of Warfare?

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Politics
Wordcount: 3453 words Published: 18th Feb 2019

Reference this

Has globalization created an age of ‘new wars’?


With the innovations in information and technologies and the rapid developments in telecommunications and data processing in modernity or even earlier era, globalization is of interest to both researchers and policy makers since it has been recognized as a new phenomenon that leads to significant change in the social relations of warfare (Fleming, 2009: 213). Globalization, a paradoxical process of increased interconnectedness, is the escalating of global interconnectedness that faces a set of challenges of political, economic, cultural and military aspects to the modern state (Kaldor, 2001: 3). The role of globalization in the modern warfare has been rightfully noticed, particularly in Eastern Europe and Africa during the 1980s and 1990s, as a key driving factor behind the development of a new type of organized violence due to its affecting the pattern of politics and rising the term identity politics from the disintegration of state system within states (Kaldor, 2001: 70). This new violent conflict is regarded as of internal or civil characteristics and is defined as new war (Malantowicz, 2010: 52). 

Get Help With Your Essay

If you need assistance with writing your essay, our professional essay writing service is here to help!

Essay Writing Service

Across the time period of the modern welfare, it would emerge that there have been the improvements in information and technologies, especially in communication, is of process of globalization, that greatly led to the changes in contemporary of politics and economics. Furthermore, the characteristic of warfare is of influenced by this process (Malantowicz, 2010: 159). Thus, it is my point of view, as a researcher in this current study, that globalization has a tendency contributed to influence the changes in nature of violent conflicts as it causes a weak states sovereignty in their territory by political mobilization from various intra- and inter- state actors based on identity politics. And since the new wars are often characterized by the form of violence against civilian population; therefore, globalization is very likely to create the new wars era.

With these considerations in mind, this current paper has been divided into four parts. First, the differences between old and new wars theories will be briefly outlined, in order to facilitate understanding inside into the characteristics of new wars. Second, the probable link between globalization and new wars, especially Kaldor’s new wars, will be discussed, in order to conclusively demonstrate that globalization may have a numerous effect on elements of these new type of violence. Third, a case study of the ethnic cleansing in Bosnia-Herzegovina war will be illustrated, in order to demonstrate the paradigm of the new type of warfare that is of interest of multiple international actors in globalized world in which their effort is mobilized around the ethnically cleans area. Finally, the conclusion will be sum up all for the aforementioned sections.

Old wars and new wars: the differences in their logics

In order to effectively discuss how it is likely that globalization has created an aged of new war, it is firstly essential to understand the shift of logic of organized violence from earlier era to the era of globalization. The classical term of war is defined by Clausewitz as “an act of violence intended to compel our opponent to fulfil our will” (In Kaldor, 2001: 17). In other words, this war is war between states and conducted by states, in an attempt to achieve state interests by defeating enemy of state and gaining its territory through the use of national forces. On the other hand, today’s conflicts, according to new wars theories, on the whole, seek to be a part of open world in which the contexts of contemporary politics and economics are influenced by process of globalisation, thus lead to the erosion of authoritarian provoked by individual or group interests and greed (In Malantowicz, 2010: 159). Furthermore, the rapidly advancing communications and technology as part of the process of globalization is closely associated with the cause rise of identity politics in situation which, at worst, could be lead to the form of violent ethnic cleansing that directed against civilian population due to their identity (Kaldor, 2001: 78).

The contrast between old can new wars can be classified in to four main categories: aims, actors, methodologies and financial forms. Firstly, old wars were fought for democracy or socialism to strengthen state power in which the main driving forces behind states towards these wars are the geo-politics or ideology, whilst political mobilization around identity, ethnic, tribal or religious or racial, in order to claim sovereign state, is the goal of new conflicts. Secondly, the earlier wars were fought by the states’ regular armed forces whereas there are varying actors of both state and non-state, such as warlords, regular armed forces, fought in the new type of conflict. Thirdly, a regular procedure of previous once is the capturing territory through military means during the battle; conversely, in new wars, territory is captured through political means using population displacement technique. Lastly, the financial of old wars is funded by states, however, it is difficult to specify the source of finance in new violent conflicts because it is blurred categories of the purpose of financial between economic and politic (Kaldor, 2013: 3).

As Kaldor phrase it, the term ‘new’ is emphasized with an attempt to provide the appropriate approaches in order to demonstrate the shift of logic as well as characteristic of organized violence from the earlier era to the 1990s and to facilitate the understanding and interpreting of such policy-makers insight into the interrelated characteristics of these conflicts (Kaldor, 2013: 4).

The logic of new wars: the link between globalization and new wars

According to Kaldor, the term of new wars is used to interpret the development of new type of organized violence of the globalized era, particularly during the last decades of the 20th century in Eastern Europe and Africa in order to conceptualize the breakdown of binary distinctions contexts between state and non-state, public and private, external and internal, economic and political, and even war and peace which is both a cause and a consequence of violence. Various terms have been used to emphasize the concept of these conflicts. The most of new wars theorists are prevailing defined this term as civil or intra-state wars or else as low-intensity conflict (Kaldor, 2001: 2). There is however, for thinkers such as Shaw asserts emphatically that there is an interrelation with the total wars of the twentieth century and their genocidal aspects, thus he points out the term ‘degenerate warfare’ as a description of new wars in which highlights the deteriorate of national framework, mainly in the military forces aspect (In Kaldor, 2001: 2).

The emergence of industrial society during modernity period or even earlier as a consequence of the revolution in information and technologies and advancements in transport, communications and data processing resulted in a new phenomenon of transnational networks so-called globalization. Kaldor underlined in her book, New and Old Wars: Organized violence in a global era, that globalization is defined as ‘the intensification of global interconnectedness of political, economic, military and cultural’ (Kaldor, 2001: 71). This global integration process is a paradoxical process involving both homogenization and differentiation, integration and fragmentation, globalization and localization, whilst some writers such as Berdal points out that this process is mainly caused by technological change, in order to simulate a labeled growth of transactional and organizational connections across national boundaries (2003: 481). With regard to the context of globalization from the above, it is clear that process of globalization has connected the world, however, at the same time it has resulted in disconnections and alienations, thus leads to an arising out of global class based on the ability to cooperate into this process (Kaldor, 2001: 4). Moreover, the accelerating of globalization process, especially the advanced communication and transportation, is very likely leading to rapidly connect a variety of communities and supporters instantly. Thus, it is very likely that globalization may cause organized violence.  

The new type of warfare, in most cases, are typically based around the erosion of the authoritarian states as well as in some intense cases of the state disintegration, and much of pressure on such state has been caused by the process of globalization on the international boundary (Kaldor, 2001: 4). According to Kaldor, an accelerating of globalization process creates the situation in which states are strongly intervened in their political, economic and social aspects from the external forces of third party, mainly in from of foreign assistance intervention (2001: 83). Moreover, various types of actor such as states, private enterprises and military organization that are arising out in the territorial state as a consequence of globalisation are recognized as a cause of changes in economic and political contexts (Kaldor, 2001: 73). These lead to a simultaneous dramatic decline of state power and tax revenues, thus result in the situation that drives economy toward extremely collapse (Newman, 2004: 183). As regards the position in which the state has lost dominance, Kaldor explicitly asserted that it is likely to provide an environment of corruption and criminalization and political legitimacy collapse that could be led to different forms of conflict (2001: 5). At the same time, however, it could be argued that the new wars, part of the process through which globalization evolved then, are closely lead to the situation in which traditional distinctions between war and peace, organized crime and large-scale violation of human rights become blurred and disappeared as a result, the international violence is shifted from conventional conflict of primarily state-oriented to a series of internal or the war against civilian population or else as low-intensity conflicts (Kaldor, 2001: 2). From this understanding, thus, it can be assumed that a link does exist between globalization and new wars can be characterized by ethnic cleansing, genocide, terrorism as well as low-intensity conflict.

Moreover, Kaldor explicitly state a link between globalization and new wars in term of a ‘crisis of identity’ (2001: 75). For Kaldor, a significant feature of new wars is that the combatant focus on question of identity in which she has seen as these conflicts are negative consequence resulted from globalization process. Therefore, her attention is drawn to the term of identity politics. This may be because globalization influences an emerge of consolidations of networks of both state and non-state actors beyond the conventional competence territorially defined governments. In other words, the modern state structures are disintegrated due to the mixed of regionalization and transnationalization of governance in the state territory. As a result, new wars are fought by in the name of identity politics in which political elites reproduce their power. They do, however, attempt to achieve political mobilisation around identity (Kaldor, 2013: 2). Thus, in the context of these new wars regarding identity political then, the different identity is used as an instrument to control population in form of ethnically cleanse an area. Moreover, most conflict is directed against civilians. Simultaneously, however, the strong emphasis on identity within new wars means that aid distribution can easily aggravate tensions between communities.

Going back to the erosion of state system caused by negative impact of globalization, this leads to an increased in identity politics; therefore, result in the changes in type of modern warfare where violent conflicts occur in state territory in term of the wars against civilians.  Thus, it is clear that globalization may create the new wars era. In Bosnia-Herzegovina, for example, is constantly claimed by Kaldor as a model of the paradigm that globalization influencing the new type of warfare; therefore, I selected the Bosnia-Herzegovina conflict as a case study with regards to the name of identity politics influencing violent ethnic cleansing, in order to make my analysis more sectional.

The Bosnia and Herzegovina war: heralds an era of new wars triggered by globalisation

The war in Bosnia-Herzegovina is of a huge of international effort of governmental and non-governmental from both local and global sectors due to approximately 260,000 deaths from genocide (Kaldor, 2001: 31). This seems to be the reason for Kaldor’s argument that ‘the war in Bosnia-Herzegovina has become the archetypal example, the paradigm of the new type of warfare’ (In Fleming, 2009: 219).

With regards to the thesis statement mentioned above, a case study of Bosnia-Herzegovina is considered to be the most appropriate paradigm to prove that the globalization has created an aged of new wars, by it having an evidence of a link between globalization and the changes in the nature of violent conflicts. Moreover, this war also demonstrate that globalization is a root cause of the shifted in strategy on new wars where the authoritarian states no longer seek population support, alternatively they introduce the population displacement driving by politics identities in term of ethnic cleansing.

Bosnia-Herzegovina is geographically situated as a sort of convergence point of a number of different ethnicities and cultures that date back hundreds and even thousands of years. One of the characteristics of Bosnia-Herzegovina is that it is the most diverse ethnic groups, involving Muslims, Serbs, Croats, Yugoslavs, Jews, Roma and others, of former Yugoslavia. The majority different among people whose live in these republics are types of religions in which we notice as the Orthodox Serbs and the Catholic Croats (Kaldor, 2001: 32). This means, thus, that the war is more likely to took place in this area in form of violent ethnic cleansing, in order to complete their desire on establish ethnically homogeneous territories and to divide ethnically mixed Bosnia-Herzegovina between Serbs and Croats driving by their different nationalism perspectives (Kaldor, 2001:33)

In 1992, when the war began, Bosnia-Herzegovina consisted of a majority Muslim, and Serbians, with a smaller percentage of Croatians, who were predominantly Catholic, and Jews. While these people had coexisted together for quite some time, there seemed to be a degree of fear and hate that was passed down through the generations. The existence of this fear and hate may be said as the cause that made the Serbian people is easily to manipulate by the power of their political leaders and in a wave of nationalism. As a result, they set out on a murderous “ethnic cleansing” to rid themselves of the Croatians (Kaldor, 2001:33).

Nationalism, playing on the fears of a particular group of people, is what from my point of view that it is likely to be a root cause that led to the war in Bosnia-Herzegovina. This is because nationalism has been driven from different ethnic roots and has been reconstructed for political purposes (Kaldor, 2001:34). As a result, political fragmentation of Bosnia-Herzegovina gave rise to identity-based mobilization, thus leads to the violent of ethnic nationalism. Furthermore, alongside with the begin of war Bosnia-Herzegovina in 1992, the internet was still in its beginning stages. The internet was one of the driving forces that helped bring along the concept of globalization, as people from different cultures migrated around the world. Information became more readily available to more and more people from an ever increasing web that spanned the world (Čiarnienė and Kumpikaitė, 2008: 43). Thus, leads to the situation in which multiple international actors around the world could be engaged in rising of identity politics and mobilizing political purpose in the area of Bosnia-Herzegovina. Therefore, it can be also concluded that the Bosnia-Herzegovina is the new type of war in sense of a war against the civilians and civil society (Kaldor, 2001: 44).

Find Out How UKEssays.com Can Help You!

Our academic experts are ready and waiting to assist with any writing project you may have. From simple essay plans, through to full dissertations, you can guarantee we have a service perfectly matched to your needs.

View our services


To conclude, the nature of warfare has been changed across the time period due to the process of globalization as the factor driving the changes in the political nature. As rightfully remarked by Kalyvas, the critic of new wars, there are the shifted in fundamental of the warfare from the armed conflicts between states in an earlier era to internal war or the war against civilian populations, mainly focused on ethnic cleansing, of the conflicts nowadays (2001: 99). This current study has identified the link between the process of globalization and new wars, in relation to the political mobilization based on identity politics in the internal territory, which has been recognized as the characteristics of new wars, using case study of Bosnia and Herzegovina war, the violent ethnic cleansing of Bosnian. The result can be argued that nationalism and globalization lead to the political fragmentation that rising identity-based mobilization in Bosnia-Herzegovina. Therefore, it could lead to the new war caused by ethnic politics.

Globalization, the revolution of communication and technology, creates the situation in which states are strongly intervened in their politics, economics and social from the external forces of third party and multiple actors of both states and non-states, thus lead to a dramatic decline of state power, an extremely collapse of former economic and a provision of corruption and criminalization environment (Newman, 2004: 183). These situation, therefore, leads to the motivation of political mobilization, particularly based around identity politics and are stimulated by personal or group interests and greed (Malantowicz, 2013: 52). And since internal violence invoked by irregular paramilitary troops and the population movement rather than battles between armies in the traditional field are the elements which characterise the new wars (Malantowicz, 2010: 159) As a result, the impact of globalization could be led to a new type of organized violence so-called new war. However, from my perspective, as a researcher in this study, that globalization process is what will hopefully, one day, put an end to such genocide, as people continue to migrate, inter-marry, and become familiar with, and tolerant of other cultures.


Fleming, C. M. (2009) New or Old Wars? Debating a Clausewitzian Future, Strategic Studies, 32(2), pp.213-241.

Henderson, E. and Singer, J. (2002): “New Wars” and Rumors of “New Wars”, International Interactions, 28(2), pp.165-190.

Baylis, J., Smith, S., and Owens, P. (2014) The Globalization of World Politics:  An Introduction to International Relations 6th edi. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Bougarel, X. (2015) The Bosnian Muslims in the Second World War, Southeast European and Black Sea Studies, 15(4), pp.683-688.

Čiarnienė, R., and Kumpikaitė, V. (2008) The Impact of Globalization on Migration Processes, Socialiniai tyrimai / Social Research, 3 (13), pp. 42–48.

Kardor, M. (2001). New and Old Wars: Organized Violence in a Global Era (Edition), Cambridge: Polity Press.

Kaldor, M. (2013) In Defense of New Wars. Stability, 2(1): 4, pp. 1-16.

Kalyvas, N. S. (2001), “New” and “Old” Civil Wars: A Valid Distinction?, World Politics, 54(1), pp. 99-118.

Malantowicz, A. (2010). Do ‘New Wars’ Theories Contribute to Our Understanding of The African Conflicts? Cases of Rwanda And Darfur. Africana Bulletin, pp: 159-172.

Malantowicz, A. (2013) Civil War in Syria and the ‘New Wars’ Debate. Amsterdam Law Forum, 5(3), pp. 52-60.

Newman, E. (2004) The ‘New Wars’ Debate: A Historical Perspective Is Needed, Security Dialogue, 35(2), pp. 173-189.


Cite This Work

To export a reference to this article please select a referencing stye below:

Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.

Related Services

View all

DMCA / Removal Request

If you are the original writer of this essay and no longer wish to have your work published on UKEssays.com then please: