The Global Order, Tectonic Shifts, and Emerging Economies
A Blog Post by Pablo Markin.
In his paper, Cletus Famous Nwankwo has focused on the book The Fall of the US Empire: Global Fault-Lines and the Shifting Imperial Order by Vassilis Fouskas and Bülent Gökay, published in 2012, in order to explore the possibility of applying “the theory of plate tectonics to explain the historical-geographic tectonic shifts in the global political economy” (34). As this author highlights, “many scholars have argued that the international system is undergoing a kind of ‘tectonic shift’ that is drifting the hub of the world economy from the Western to Eastern geopolitical axis” (34). Furthermore, Nwankwo notes that Fouskas and Gökay (2012) suggest that “the neo-liberal, globalisation and financialisation schemes of the global capitalist system catalysed the rise of emerging economies and the consistent growth of the emerging economies which is being translated into political power” (35).
While exploring the implications of these tectonic shifts, this author has pointed out that “[c]ontrary to China’s nonconfrontational path to development, India and Brazil have played activist (mobilising coalition) and leadership roles for developing countries in the negotiation of international regimes (Hopewell, 2015; Flemes, 2007), e.g., the world trade agreements (see, Hurrell & Narlikar, 2006; Doctor, 2015; Wilkinson, 2015) and climate change (e.g., Bodansky, 2001; Vogler, 2016; Nwankwo, 2018c)” (40). In this context, Nwankwo argues that, as the international order changes, new fault-lines emerge under the impact of “factors that induced them and […] the policy options that they generated. The[se] elements can be traced to internal reforms within states that spurred external changes in international relations (Gökay & Whiteman, 2010a)” (39).
As this study delineates, “[t]here is considerable agreement among scholars that the centre of gravity of the world economy is shifting” (37). However, as this research concludes, “the implications of the changing international system are not entirely clear, but if the emerging economies continue to grow, they could wield powers that can challenge the [current] configuration of the world-system” (41).
By Pablo Markin
Featured Image Credits: Dreams of New York, February 1, 2013 | © Courtesy of Thomas Hawk/Flickr.