Analyse the relationship between globalisation and the state according to the assumption of liberalism, Marxism and Realism.

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Analyse the relationship between globalisation and the state according to

the assumption of liberalism, Marxism and Realism.

What are the likely consequences of globalisation for the state and why?

  1. There are many actors in the process and structure of globalisation. Governments, Multi-National Corporations, Non-Government Organisations and International Organisations are the main actors. Each of these entities plays its own role in the Liberalist application of International Political Economy known as Globalisation and each moral paradigm has a different thesis as to the motivations of these actors

  1. Realist school of thought stresses the primacy of political structure over economic structure. Issues of national security are paramount and the economic structure must work within the framework laid down by the political superstructure. The state is the ultimate actor in the Realist application of International Political Economy. Realists believe that the world is open, but incompletely so. The relative military strength of a nation determines its ability to create markets which are to its benefits, hence Bretton-Woods system being geared so heavily toward US interests. The Realist school suggests that the US allowed Europe to exploit a loophole in GATT to create the Customs Union (later EC then EU) in order to promote a united Europe which would be a stronger force against communism – therefore achieving the US’ political aim. In the realist argument Corporations expand overseas because of government policy, eg tax laws enabling US MNCs to avoid tax by reinvesting profit abroad.


  1. Liberalist approach to IPE can be described as Globalisation. Firms, governments and International Organisations are the main players and interdependence causing peace and stability is the best means of achieving the Liberalist utopia. Technology and free-market economics are important catalysts for globalisation, the former because it makes processes more efficient and makes communication easier and the latter in order to stimulate growth and encourage competition. Liberalism is spread through markets.
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  1. Instrumental Marxism renders an unsatisfactory argument. One of its central tenets, that corporations seek profit in rich markets, does not seem farfetched in theory but in practice is in conflict with events – it cannot explain why there has been so much investment, for example, in the economies of South Asia.

  1. Structural Marxism examines the future – the past does not matter as much as growth and earnings. Corporations are motivated to act by future prospects for profit and earnings. Innovation is achieved through competition and has a trickle down effect into society giving the illusion ...

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