The Political Economy of Global Security : War, Future Crises and Changes in Global Governance book cover
1st Edition

The Political Economy of Global Security
War, Future Crises and Changes in Global Governance

ISBN 9780415479790
Published July 21, 2008 by Routledge
310 Pages

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Book Description

What are the possibilities for and conditions of global security in the 21st century?

This book provides an innovative study of future wars, crises and transformations of the global political economy. It brings together economic theory, political economy, peace and conflict research, philosophy and historical analogy to explore alternatives for the future.

Patomäki develops a bold, original and thought provoking political economy analysis of the late 20th century neo-liberalisation and globalisation and their real effects, which he describes as a 21st century version imperialism. In order for us to understand global security and to anticipate the potential threats and crises, he argues that a holistic understanding and explanation of history is necessary and demonstrates that a systematic causal analysis of structures and processes is required. Putting this theory into practice, Patomäki constructs a comparative explanatory model which traces the rise of imperialism in the late 19th century and culminated in the First World War. He argues that even a partial return to the 19th century ideals and practices is very likely to be highly counterproductive in the 21st century world and could become a recipe for a major global catastrophe.

This book will be of interest to students and scholars of international relations, globalization studies, politics, economics and security studies.

Table of Contents


Political economy of global security

Future crises and changes of global governance


Heikki Patomäki



Figures and tables

  1. Introduction
  2. Global security: learning from possible futures
  3. Explaining the First World War: learning from classical theories of imperialism
  4. The origins of the First World War: using historical counterfactuals in constructing open-system explanations
  5. The long downward wave of the world economy in the late 20th century: towards a return of the past?
  6. Global insecurity in the early 21st century: neoliberalisation and the rise of new imperialism
  7. Possible futures A: The logic of violence and war returns to the core areas of global political economy
  8. Possible futures B and C: wars, crises and peaceful transformations of global governance
  9. Conclusions: is the future of global security a tragedy, farce, or comedy?

Appendix 1: How to analyse and help to solve global collective dilemmas

Appendix 2: Layers of agency, structures and geo-historical nodal points that explain the First World War

List of references


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Heikki Patomäki is Professor of International Relations at the University of Helsinki, Finland, as well as Research Professor of Globalisation and Global Institutions at RMIT University, Melbourne, Australia.