The Logic of Convergence and the Need for a New Foreign Policy

Prof. Dr. Tarık OĞUZLU
02 February 2015
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As the dynamics of the global order have been radically changing over recent years, countries, irrespective of their size, material power capabilities and geographical locations, are being exposed to serious challenges as to how to formulate their grand strategies in general, and foreign and security policy choices in particular. This short essay is an attempt at shedding some light on the difficulties confronting many countries in this regard. Before engaging in this daunting challenge, the first thing to do would be to make sense of the emergent world order by highlighting the causes and consequences of two diametrically opposing logics of world politics, namely the logic of convergence and the logic of divergence. That is to say that the world has been heading towards two opposing directions simultaneously.

 

One the one hand, the world is becoming a much smaller place as the speed and density of global interactions have tremendously increased since the beginning of the post-Cold war era, whereas on the other hand, people of different faiths, ethnicities, languages, ideologies and nationalities have been revolting against the unifying and standardizing consequences of the globalization process. The direction toward global belongings and consciousness is being simultaneously contradicted by the opposite direction in favor of localities and particularities. The challenge facing decision makers at this juncture is how to formulate wise policies to cope with these contradictory processes.  

 

No matter what scholars call this process, whether be it globalization or integratedness, the world is becoming a much smaller place as the circulation of goods, capital, technology, ideas and people has become much easier and faster over the last decades. In today’s world, time and space are no longer impediments for people of different belongings interacting with each other. This suggests that decision makers who are elected to office through national elections have to adopt a more global and universal consciousness while formulating and implementing policies, for nowhere is out of reach today and what happens in far distant place are likely to have vital consequences at home.

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