The Global Political Economy and its Evolution through the Decades

The Evolution of the Global Political Economy

The global political and economic system has undergone many changes over the last few decades. If the aftermath of World War 2 was to bring about the existence of two opposing camps consisting of the United States and the Soviet Union leading to the cold war, the post 1990 global political economy has been characterized by the emergence of the United States as the sole superpower with unbridled power.

However, the unipolar moment in the world for the United States was short lived as the 9/11 attacks comprehensively demonstrated that the United States could not take its preeminence for granted. Further, the financial crisis of 2008 marked the end of the hegemony of the West and ushered in an era of competing states vying for dominance in the global political economy with no clear hegemon.

From the Cold War to the 2008 Economic Crisis

The evolution of the global political economy from that of détente between the US and the USSR to the birth of the unipolar world and to the ushering of the power of the East makes for fascinating analysis. If there is a clear lesson in all this, it is that no country can take its position for granted and that the fluid and ever changing global system means that the emergence of hegemonic powers also sows the seeds for their eventual decline. The reason for such fluidity and flux is that the arrival of technology and globalization has queered the pitch for the hegemonic powers and with increasing awareness and cognizance of the happenings across the world to the citizens of the countries, it is no longer possible to contain the yearning for freedom and security.

Globalization and Global Political Economy

On the other hand, the world has become less safe as a result of the changes brought about due to globalization and the rise in the number of failed states is an indicator that whole countries are withering away wherein they cannot guarantee the security and prosperity of their citizens. Further, the fact that globalization has increased the threats to humankind has only exacerbated the situation to a point where an isolated incident in one corner of the globe has the potential to bring the global political economy to its knees. These are some of the challenges that confront the policymakers in the west and the east as they grapple with the emergence of the new world order.

Final Thoughts

Finally, it is the case that the study of the global political economy yields the conclusion that the only constant in the world is change and that unless countries around the world seize the moment for themselves and not let go of opportunities, they are likely to be left behind in the race for dominance and even survival. In conclusion, the world is not what it used to be a few decades or a few centuries ago and hence it is in the interest of all aspiring professionals in all fields to pay attention to the changing contours of the global political economy.


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Political Science