Jan 25, 2018 in Research

Globalization and the Transformation of Terrorism


The concept of globalization is international and dominant in the whole world today. In many ways, this is a phenomenon that is mainly due to the current social forces serving the specific interests. It is the phenomenon being largely driven by the interests as well as the needs of the developed world. It actually refers to the process that involves the intensification of political, economic as well as cultural relations cutting across boundaries. By and large, it is a process that transcends homogenization of socio-economic as well as political theories, all over the world.

Globalization has been beneficial in many ways, especially since it has made the world as a global village. Nevertheless, it has, on the other hand, transformed the dimension on the global security with terrorism being at its increase. In many ways, the globalization of the world has made security very complex and multidimensional. This is due to the fact that a traditional national border-setting type of security is no longer in the position of recognizing new threats going beyond the national borders. The problem of global terrorism has taken a startling and perilous dimension all over the globe, which is largely as a result of the revolution of terrorism, a direct impact globalization.

Globalization and Terrorism

The aspect of terrorism has become more and more challenging with the rise of globalization; thus, making the fight against terrorism a main concern for many countries in the Third World. Global terror and other risks that come with this century necessitate the serious cooperation for security. Terrorism is considered to be an act that is usually exercised by weak entities. In most cases, terrorists use the acts of violence to express their beliefs. Globalization has greatly contributed to the rise of terrorism. In many ways, it has assisted to make it easier for terrorists to attack. In addition, it gives them the reasons to attack. It is also worth noting that globalization has augmented the mobility as well as coordination for terrorist groups.

New Threats

From the security perspective, globalization has made the issue of security complex and multi-dimensional. This is explained by the fact that, in most cases, the conventional national border-setting types of security perceptions are not in a position of recognizing new threats that go beyond national borders (Gordon 45-49). As a result, international terrorism has become a major concern in this generation. In many ways, a globalized world has been forced to grapple with international terror.

Globalization Alters International Relations

After the Cold War era, there has been a decline in the role of state machinery as well as a change in the international relations. As a result, this has led to the rise in the number of the non-governmental organizations, leading to a change in the economic and fiscal spheres of the world financial structure (Quan 230-258). This has a big influence on the nature of states as well as the political configurations. Consequently, the decline in distinction between international and domestic affairs leads to the emergence of transnational solidarities (Quan 230-258).

Additionally, it is worth noting that globalization poses as a big challenge on the international relations and strategy. This is mainly because it leads to a disconnection between domestic and international politics. As a result, domestic issues transform into foreign affairs and vice versa. On the other hand, local issues become global issues. For instance, research indicates that a number of violent clashes that have occurred over the past couple of years have been intra-state, and so had both regional and international consequences. This turns out to be a major security issue since it affects the global security agenda (Gordon 45-49).

Globalization Leads to a Decline in State Capacity

Globalization negatively affects the capacity of the state to defend itself against terrorism. As a result, a state’s traditional security is affected. This is very instrumental in the weakening of the security apparatus of the state. In some cases, such situations have led to civil conflicts in some parts of the world, especially in Africa. In some of these regions, civil wars have threatened the security of the states; especially when the world is slow to respond. A good case in point is Somalia, where Al Shabaab, a branch of Al Qaeda took advantage of the civil conflict to entrench itself and take over the nation (Spencer 11-33). 

Additionally, the process of globalization indicates that the state is no longer in a position to manage non-physical state aspects like protecting its ICT assets. A state that cannot protect its ICT apparatus is vulnerable to the attacks of terrorists. Being in possession of a giant military power without a secure ICT system is a waste of time. Additionally, globalization has led to a weak control of the movement of ICT, particularly in the private sector. This, in turn, results in the transnationalization of a country’s defense system and a decline in the state control over the inventions.

In many ways, globalization has also been instrumental in the emergence of information based fiscal system, which lessens the impact of national industries (Cronin 30-58). For instance, following the increase in foreign direct investment, in domestic economies, a local economy is made vulnerable to global crisis, thus threatening a nation’s fiscal security. Therefore, it is imperative for states to be more sensitive to security as well as military developments in other nations. Primarily, this comes as a result of the rise in fiscal, trade as well as monetary relations (Gordon 45-49).

Diversity in Dynamics

Following the advancement in communication technology, there are several dynamics that come into play. For instance, as a result of broadcast that was made concerning mass deportations and casualties in Kosovo, it became difficult to ignore the idea of creating an international pressure for intervention. Latter is explained by the fact that the mass casualties were all over international television broadcasts (Gordon 45-49).

Additionally, there has been a transformation in nature and strategy of war. Recently, measuring, monitoring and tackling security threats have become very challenging (Cronin 30-58). After all, there could be state and non-state agents of threat, which could also be groups or individuals in the form of cults, ethnic militias, organized crime, or terrorist groups. It is also worth noting that globalization of ICT enhances extremists, criminals, terrorist as well as fundamental groups (Quan 230-258).

Globalization Has Led to the Evolution of Terrorism

As a result of globalization, states like Iran provide terrorists with minute complex, but lethal weaponry. These rogue states also support and fund terrorism. Consequently, their support enhances the striking power as well as the potential of these radical terrorist groups. Eventually, these groups are transformed into bodies similar to influential commando units (Lia 11-16).

Today, terrorism has become accessible to anybody who has scores to settle an agenda, or even a purpose. In this regard, methods of terror are easily accessible online, at bookstores, or on CD-ROMs. This gives the implication that terrorists today can rely on bomb making manuals as well as operational guidebooks, which are easily accessible commercially.

No wonder James Holmes, the Colorado Batman shooter, though having no political motives, could easily access his weapons, which he purchased online. This implies that even an amateur terrorist is able to carry out a destructive terrorist attack without depending on some sophisticated organized grouping (Kellner 15-28).

Apart from attracting amateurs, there has also been an increase in professional terrorism. This is depicted as a result of their increase in proficiency in their tradecraft of death as well as devastation. They have also become more horrifying in their competence for strategic adjustments as well as advancements in their techniques of assault (Cronin 30-58). Additionally, terrorists today are able to be in operation for protracted periods of time without being discovered, seized, or incarcerated.

The use of Nuclear, Biological and Chemical (NBC) weapons by terrorists is another aspect that has come as a result of globalization. In the recent past, terrorist organizations have intensified their acquisition of the chemical as well as biological agents (Lia 11-16). By and large, the use of nuclear weapons by terrorists cannot be ruled out in totality. Following the advent of state sponsored terrorism; this has become a possibility (Cronin 30-58).

The intimacy that these groups have with rogue states can promote, financially support and aid nuclear terrorism (Quan 230-258). Therefore, this makes nuclear terrorism a modern possibility. This means that the rogue states are able to provide nuclear radioactive material, especially due to the emergence of nuclear materials in the black market. Consequently, this increases the risk of nuclear terrorism. It was demonstrated by the seizure of plutonium as well as highly enriched uranium (HEU), which took place in Germany in 1993.

The new breed of terrorists employs the use of weapons of mass destruction, especially biological agents. Some of the weapons used are fundamentally indiscriminate, in order to mete out large numbers of arbitrary fatalities (Zimmermann 11-26). The use of these weapons is apparently meant to increase lethality of their actions. Additionally, they are meant to intimidate governments since such attacks could be spontaneous, and can be carried out without any warnings whatsoever (Zimmermann 11-26).

The components of such weapons are regrettably available in the black market, with the tools and materials required for their manufacture being easily accessible and cheap (Lia 11-16). In the former Soviet Union, hundreds of tons of nuclear material are stored in several vulnerable sites all over the region. Though such risks are overlooked, terrorists could as well use them to draw attention to their causes (Quan 230-258).

The use of advanced sophisticated technologies cannot be ruled out. In the recent past, terrorists have used advanced technology to carry out bomb blasts, which were well planned, managed, and organized to bewilder key cities in India. Such operations are usually followed or preceded by emails to media houses using hacked email accounts (Zimmermann 11-26). The Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) contain the most recent inventions of explosives that are very hard to detect.

Terrorists have also become very familiar with the use of electronic communication technologies. In this regard, they hack into servers, clone IP addresses, and expunge the track of source by executing cyber attacks on the information systems (Zimmermann 11-26). Today, these terrorists freely use mobile phones to communicate among themselves without being detected. The fact that there has been an unregulated growth, as well as diffusion of new biotechnologies, further complicates the situation (Lia 11-16).

The Crisis of Governance

Globalization has also provoked a crisis of governance in these third world countries. This is mainly because it deepens and exacerbates the crisis of production and accumulation facing the Third World countries. Apart from trapping states between the rock and the hard place, globalization has torn many Third World societies by hastening the defunding of the public sector, dismantling domestic industries, and the privatization of fiscal assets (Ukeje 4-24).

At the same time, globalization has led to the increase in unemployment, social conflicts, poverty and migration. In many ways, these are the elements of insecurity. It is also evident that globalization has taken many efforts on security and peace in many countries, in the Third World. Since, the old ways of managing these conditions have been seen to be slow and less adaptive to change (Ukeje 4-24). 

It is also noteworthy that, over the past couple of years, there has been a breakdown of traditional boundaries existing between a state and a civil society. This has greatly resulted into unpredictability of security conditions. As a matter of fact, the state-centric conception of security can no longer hold for a long time. This is mainly because the task of capturing developing complexities of new multi-dimensional global relations has become a major challenge.

Additionally, the scopes of security threats have been on their increase. This is mainly a result of several factors, which include such aspects like the population growth, energy shortage, drug trafficking, environmental degradation, transnational criminality, as well as the destruction of indigenous cultures (Ukeje 4-24). Eventually, the cumulative effect of globalization, of weak states, their low availability of information, the low development level and the low commitment to regional organizations are resulting into high levels of insecurity.

Potential Solutions to Global Terrorism

It is evident that the world is facing an evolving, global terrorist threat. It is therefore vital that the international community should work closely in order to establish global solutions that can effectively combat terrorism. One of the strategies that can be used to solve the problem is by setting international norms (Millar & Rosand 2-3). In this regard, global organizations like the United Nations should play the crucial role of establishing and monitoring the implementation of international legal frameworks. These frameworks can be instrumental in providing essential basis for cooperation between states in the fight against terrorism, as well as bringing the culprits to justice (Millar & Rosand 2-3). 

Assisting States in Capacity Building to Combat Terror

It is vital for the United Nations to play an exceptional and significant role of facilitating and offering key efforts to interconnect the regional and sub-regional organizations (Millar & Rosand 2-3). The global security against terrorism is interwoven with other nations and therefore all the countries, including the United States, have to co-operate with others to identify and sponsor counter-terrorism initiatives in every part of the globe (Millar & Rosand 2-3). In this regard, the effectiveness of the United Nations can be instrumental in leveraging the limited resources available to assist in lifting the capacity of other nations in the fight against terrorism (Millar & Rosand 2-3).

Engaging with Non-Traditional Allies

The role of the United Nations is also crucial in creating a vital forum that can assist member states to engage with non-traditional allies on a variety of issues regarding counterterrorism (Millar & Rosand 2-3). This is vital in countering the growing radicalization as well as the extremism that fuels Islamist terrorism. By clearly evaluating these solutions, it is evident that they are the best solutions in combating terror. This is because terrorism is a global problem, and therefore one nation cannot single-handedly fight it. It is therefore necessary for the international community to cooperate to succeed.


Globalization has been instrumental in the transformation and rise of terrorism over the past couple of years. This implies that it is imperative for security agencies all over the world to be dynamic in preventing, deterring, and disrupting terrorist groups. Law enhancement partners in different administrations must also undergo fundamental transformations, in order to execute pro-active intelligence driven security systems that are capable of fighting and alleviating terrorist activities. 


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