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Impact of Globalisation on Terrorism

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Politics
Wordcount: 1944 words Published: 11th Sep 2017

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While globalisation has brought significant changes in social life, the 21st century is the main gate of violence that has led to transformations from limited effectiveness to widespread or globalised effectiveness in the globe whether it was politically, culturally, economically and so on. On the other hand, amongst cultures and states, terrorism has been significantly developed and expanded in the early 21st century due to the globalisation processes. Yet, terrorism has become one of the most controversial issues in the new era of the modern world. Although it may be complicated to describe and illustrate the relationship between globalisation and terrorism, the definition of globalisation with terrorism is widely open to different subjective interpretations. However, this essay will describe and illustrate the impacts of globalisation on terrorism in the modern era of the post globalised world.

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According to Baylis, Smith, and Owens, (2014), it has been outlined four different types of terrorist groups based on the source of motivation of each group. Namely, right-wing terrorists, left-wing terrorists, ethnonationalist or separatist terrorists, and religious terrorists. These types of terrorist groups are currently acting in the world and they have different aims and ways of acting. In addition, old terrorism is vary from modern terrorism. For example, the term terrorism was first used in the French Revolution describes the use of terror and violence by government against the revolutionaries in 1789 in France (Nassar, 2010). Furthermore, it was used to describe people who were acting individually against colonial states in the eighteenth century (Neumann, 2009). In other words, according to Giddens and W. Sutton, (2013, p.1044), “Old-style terrorism is found where there are nations without states and where terrorists are prepared to use violence to achieve their ends”. However, modern terrorism is often associated with technological advances which were brought by globalisation such as the strength of Al Qaeda’s network system. This terrorist organisation has become a global phenomenon due to its worldwide activities. Although the old and modern styles of terrorism have different goals, technological advances have increased the capabilities of modern terrorism due to globalisation. For instance, Al Qaeda has received a worldwide recognition after the attack on the world trade towers on 11 september 2001 (Baylis, Smith, and Owens, 2014). As a result of the events of 2001, United States of America has invaded Afghanistan in the name of the war on terrorism. Nevertheless, Some experts argue that the attacks of 2001 were politically designed by USA as a justification for resisting the dominance of Soviet Union in Afghanistan (Nassar, 2010). According to Nassar, (2010, p.18), he identified terrorism associated with the globalisation processes as “a political label given to people who are perceived to be planning or carrying out acts of violence for political objectives”. Naturally, the most significant change between old and new terrorism is political change associated with globalisation in order to achieve worldwide political goals. Moreover, political changes associated with globalisation have become more significant alongside technological advances for terrorist organisations in which they have utilised the advantages of globalisation for achieving their aims and influencing as much people as they can by their ideologies across their boundaries in different parts of the world.

Efforts have been conducted explain the global phenomenon of modern terrorism in three different aspects namely culture, economics, and religion explanations as stated by Baylis, Smith, and Owens, (2014). Cultural explanations for terrorism indicate that terrorist groups seek to preserve their own culture and identity from western dominance such as western secular system. As a result, social changes associated with globalisation in the world have increased the process of cultural exchanges between nations. Hence, some cultures in underdeveloped countries are threatened of being exist by the western identity which provokes the terrorist’s motivation to turn to violent acts against those who seek for changes. On the other hand, economic aspects suggest that the motivation factor for terrorist groups to act violently is the lack of opportunities within their countries such as inequality in education systems. In other words, individuals who have ambitions and do not have the chances to implement their ideas due to the imbalanced systems in their countries are eventually turn to violence against their own governments to fulfill and interpret their demands. Although the dominance of western capitalist economies in the world aim to privatise the industries in order to provide opportunities and make competitive businesses available for individuals, terrorist groups believe that capitalist economies are attempting to control the global market and monopolise the opportunities in underdeveloped countries (Baylis, Smith, and Owens, 2014). Eventually, terrorist groups have inspired different terrorist organisations across the globe by these ideologies in favour of their orders (Hobsawm, 2008). However, it can be confidently said that religion is seen as the most significant motivating factor for terrorist groups, used to influence the youth of Muslims by giving them promises of rewards in the afterlife (Baylis, Smith, and Owens, 2014). In addition, terrorist groups are seeing religion as a beneficial weapon, by interpreting the word ‘Jihad’ as a holy war which creates new type of terrorists called jihadi terrorists (Nassar, 2010). Despite the word jihad according to Islamic teaching means the internal struggle for purity spiritually, radical terrorist groups have the opposite understanding of what the actual meaning says. Furthermore, social, cultural, technological and economic changes associated with globalisation have significantly created the world more interconnected. Based on these changes, the new global Jihad orders are obtaining political power, and implementing the Sharia law in the globe (Baylis, Smith, and Owens, 2014).

Although the cultural, economic, and religious aspects give necessary explanations for global terrorism, individually, they are insufficient. However, it can be assumed that the most significant impacts of globalisation on terrorism are technological advances (Neumann, 2009). According to Baylis, Smith, and Owens, (2014), technological advances have enhanced the capability of global terrorist organisations in proselytising, coordination, security, mobility, and lethality. Proselytising and Mobility are often associated with global internet and the virtual world. For instance, terrorist groups have utilised virtual methods such as the internet to spread their ideologies by promoting propagandas for their sympathisers in order to make the motivation more effective, and creating their own worldwide websites which allows them to influence as many individuals as they can in the globe. Technological advances associated with globalisation have been utilised by terrorist groups for planning and conducting their operations independently. In other words, they utilised the technology to plan their activities tactically and strategically in undercover operations to ensure the success of their missions. For example, the 9/11 hijackers used specific prepaid cards for communication during their attack on the world trade towers (Baylis, Smith, and Owens, 2014). On the other hand, terrorist organisation are characterized by their developed security systems. By creating surveillance techniques, terrorist cells can identify each other by specific codes, therefore no one allowed to recognise them. Despite technological advances associated with globalisation have developed modern terrorism capability in the modern era of the post-modern world, the most dangerous factor is the advanced weapons. The rapid development in technologies associated with globalisation have increased the terrorist ambitions to obtain mass destruction weapons and hence it would allow fewer terrorist groups to conduct catastrophic attacks in different part of the world.

Combating terrorism may be the most difficult part for experts in finding adaptive ways to resist its expansion in the modern era and most importantly in the future. For instance, one of an adaptive way by United Nation to ensure security in airlines from hijacking terrorist attacks is the adopted convention by the establish of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO). The main aim of the organisation is to ensure the safety in airlines between legal international cooperations (Baylis, Smith, and Owens, 2014). Furthermore, it has been suggested by some experts that in order to combat the global phenomenon of terrorism in the modern era and in the future, states should establish a global unification supported by worldwide governments (Guelke, 2009). On the other hand, Some experts disagree with the term (War on Terrorism) such as the conspiracy theorists (Baylis, Smith, and Owens, 2014). Conspiracy theorists however, believe that there is a link between terrorist organisations and political changes in which these terrorist organisations aim to achieve political goals (Hobsawm, 2008). Although there are disagreements in how to deal with global terrorism, Nassar (2010), indicates that war on terrorism is an ideological war. In other words, in order to combat radical Islamic terrorist groups, Islamic states should expand the education opportunities for the youth for better understanding of the religion and improving their awareness within their boundaries.

To some up, it may be difficult to predict the future international security especially when it comes with the rapid changes associated with globalisation. Moreover, it is possible to say that the rapid changes associated with globalisation have significant impacts on the modern global terrorism. Similarly, modern terrorism is more dangerous than old terrorism due to the globalisation processes. In essence, it can be possibly said that globalisation may affect the future international security to some extent, and it may increase the ability of global governments to combat the future terrorism.


Baylis, J., Smith, S. and Owens, P. (eds.) (2014) The globalization of world politics: An introduction to international relations. 6th edn. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

(Baylis, Smith, and Owens, 2014)

Nassar, J.R. (2010c) Globalization and terrorism: The migration of dreams and nightmares. Second Edition edn. United States of America: Rowman & Littlefield Publisher, INC.

(Nassar, 2010)

Giddens, A. and W. Sutton, P. (2013) SOCIOLOGY. 7th Edition edn. Cambridge: Polity Press.

Giddens and W. Sutton, (2013),

Hobsbawm, E. (2008) Globalisation, democracy and terrorism. LONDON: Abacus.

(Hobsawm, 2008)

Guelke, A. (2009) The new age of terrorism and the international political system. London: I.B.Tauris Co Ltd, United Kingdom.

(Guelke, 2009)

Neumann, P.R. (2009) Old and new terrorism: Late modernity, globalization and the transformation of political violence. Cambridge: Polity Press.

(Neumann, 2009)

Ritzer, G. (ed.) (2007) The blackwell companion to globalization. Blackwell Publishing Ltd. ]Accessed on 24 of February 2017[


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