Dr. Peter Lock
European Association for Research on Transformation e.V.

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Dr. Peter Lock
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letzte Änderung:03.01.2011
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Crime and violence: Global economic parameters

Keynote speech at the 2-day roundtable on Crime and Violence at the Goethe-Institut in Johannesburg (May 18-19, 2006)[1]

Violence, crime and social fragmentation, the latter increasingly taking forms of social apartheid, are pervasively associated with the current form of economic globalisation. The public good "security" progressively mutates into a commodity, supplied by the private sector in the form of services or as physical commodification of security. The suppliers can be regular enterprises or informal, illegal or criminal actors. Often members of the state security apparatus offer their services to paying clients, which amounts to an informal self-privatisation, while still wearing their uniform representing the state. The commodification is epitomized by the global spread of gated communities and similar schemes of social separateness. Here in South Africa there is no need to elaborate this further, because these phenomena have become a constitutive element of daily life and determine the social topography, as did apartheid before.

Our joint endeavour in this workshop to identify causes contributing to the social malaise resulting in violence and high crime rates should ultimately inform the design of better prevention strategies. My role cannot be to lecture on the situation in South Africa or elsewhere in Africa. I will instead attempt to highlight some structural factors, which are directly or indirectly linked to the current global political economy or rather the now dominant neoliberal ideology, which determines the social outcome of the present phase of economic globalisation. The globalisation of job insecurity, which over-proportionately effects the younger generations, has been caused by the "supply shock" upsetting the global labour market. It is due to the implosion of the Soviet Empire, the state-capitalist transformation of China, the economic opening of India and the imposed economic restructuring in the Third World; it made more than 500 million workers additionally available at the supply side of a progressively global labour market. This restructuring process was determined by so-called Washington consensus between the largest western industrialized countries. Jointly they command a large majority of voting rights at the International Monetary Fund. The IMF in coordination with the World Bank was instrumental in bringing the necessary pressure upon developing countries, so that they eventually cooperated in downsizing government bureaucracies and in privatising the state sector, which among others enabled them to service their excessive debt vis-à-vis western debtors a little longer, as well as in further opening their markets.

The combination of democracy and market became the agreed political doctrine, which initially was even sold as "the end of history". In reality, however, the formula "democracy and market" did not produce socially cohesive societies. To the contrary it cannot any longer be denied, that globally about half of the population remains excluded from the regular market, where the state guarantees the rule of law. ILO estimates that up to 4 billion people worldwide live in informal economic spheres, where the state does not guarantee the rule of law and other forms of regulation pertain.

The neoliberal paradigm pursues economic growth and measures success in terms of growth rates of the GNI (gross national income). Social inclusion is of secondary importance as it is assumed, that maximising growth automatically produces inclusion. The prevalent methodology in mainstream economics is averse to empirically explore feasibility of achieving social inclusion by maximising growth on the basis globally open markets. I shall argue in the course of this talk that social inclusion is unlikely to be achieved following the neoliberal recipe.

Rapid urbanisation and the formation of unruly mega-cities are a manifestation of the on-going economic restructuring and modernisation. This trend towards mega-cities comprising 50 percent and more of the population of any country appears inescapable so far and needs to be reckoned with as an important structural factor determining the parameters, in which violence and particularly economically caused violence articulates itself. Coping with security is a basic need, upon which the human existence depends. In the habitat "mega-city" under present conditions of governance the state cannot satisfy this basic need and makes room for a wide range of alternative security arrangements, which are either imposed by violent entrepreneurs, who absolutely control a certain location or which constitute exclusive identity groups, being regularly pitched against each other.

Finally, most countries in the South are struggling with a very large share of young people. The age-pyramids of most countries in the South are marked by a large "youth bulge", which means growing numbers of people seeking work in a market already oversupplied. At the same time the existing jobs are permanently threatened to be outsourced or destroyed in the course of a ruthless wage competition at global levels. In parallel the tax raising capacity of states is incessantly weakened by a "race to the bottom" as government aim to attract foreign investment.

All these factors mentioned so far are located at the macro-level. In order to better understand, how they will interact with specific conditions at local micro-levels I shall introduce a heuristic scheme attempting to simulate the current globalisation process. The point of departure is the observation that people excluded from the regulated global economy are not passive "survivalists". To the contrary there is ample evidence that they create dynamic spheres of economic exchange of different nature with increasingly global linkages. Already in the early nineties it was estimated that only about 50 % or less of intra-African trade was registered and controlled by the respective states. I believe that these alternative networks are so large and dynamic that one can justifiably identify the sphere of the excluded, probably one half of mankind, as "shadow globalisation".

A rough definition of shadow globalisation, which will certainly require further refinement in the course of debate, will precede the elaboration of a heuristic separation of the real economy in three sectors, namely the regular, the informal and the criminal sector, which is intended to improve our understanding of the complexities of real economy.

The shadow globalisation is an emerging term. It highlights our expanding understanding of dynamic interrelatedness of the diverse human living conditions of the wealthy in seemingly well-regulated western countries and the marginalized majority of the world population living in more or less destitute conditions. Terms like black or grey economy or informal sector do not capture the global nature of the coping strategies and the ensuing economic transactions the apparent losers of the neoliberal globalisation engage in to defend their livelihood.

The current globalisation is the result of deliberate transnational economic regulation enforced on the basis of the Washington consensus mainly by the IMF and, with some modifications in developing countries, by the World Bank as well. It is marked by concurrent dynamic processes of social inclusion and exclusion. By choosing economic growth calculated as GNI rather than social inclusion as its measure of success, it leaves a large part of the world population unaccounted for. Beyond the dynamic expansion of the global economy representing the regulated spheres, where states provide security and litigation of conflicts on the basis of laws, probably half of the world population lives in fragile informal spheres without access to legal protection and suffers from insecurity. These lacunae provide the operational cosmos of the criminal economy, where violence or the threat thereof replaces the market.

Concurrently with the opening of economies and the downsizing of state regulation the informal and criminal sectors also went transnational and formed thriving networks. They have an essential foothold in the developed world where they hook up with the regular economy. The economic logic demands that criminally appropriated commodities enter regular markets at some point. Symbiotic exchange with the regular economy constitutes the dynamic core of coping strategies in the shadow of the so-called regular globalisation. The dynamic growth of these shadow networks matches the regular globalisation.

Even though for obvious reasons no reliable statistics are available, it is estimated that the global criminal product amounts to at least 1500 billion US-Dollars. But this is only the crest of the human reproduction, taking place beyond the flashlights of the "regular" globalisation. The term shadow globalisation circumscribes this sphere of human reproduction. Drugs and mostly illegal migration seem to be its engines of expansion.

Though many of these illegal migrants live in precarious conditions, their remittances have become by far the largest item in the financial balance sheet of many developing countries. The IMF largely corroborates this interpretation, as its annual "Global Economic Prospects" focuses in 2006 on "Economic implications of Remittances and Migration". The conservative IMF estimate of annual remittances to developing countries arrives at a total of 160bn dollars, almost double the amount of the so-called development aid. Though not all the remittances originate in the OECD countries. South Africa is certainly a case in point, where large numbers of legal and illegal migrants from neighbouring countries as well as from West Africa seek a better life for themselves and often their families back home. One might interpret this focus as an attempt by the IMF to reign back some assets, emerging from the dynamic shadows of the "regular" global economy, into the domain of the IMF-regulated legal economy.

In short, the term shadow globalisation aims to highlight the symbiotic interrelatedness of the global human fabric in all its economic dimensions. Globalisation casts a shadow as it transforms the international economy by incessant processes of inclusion and exclusion. In this shadow dynamic global networks have emerged reflecting the coping strategies of the excluded. Unprotected by effective laws violence becomes the ultimate arbiter in the sphere of shadow globalisation, while global neoliberal regulation confines globalisation to a patchwork of interconnected geographical locations, where economic transactions are well-regulated, but which do not correspond any longer to state borders. Saskia Sassen coined the term "glocal" cities, which nicely captures the double standard of the locations forming part of the global neoliberal territorial patchwork. Global and local adds up to glocal. Glocal cities form part of neoliberal non-inclusive patchwork; at the same time they are locations, where the symbiotic exchange between the shadow economy and the brokers takes place, who manage the highly profitable infiltration of irregular commodities into the regular circulation of commodities. Furthermore illegal services at suppressed wages are appropriated and increment the welfare of the people living inside the regular sphere or rather a glocal location.

Next I will introduce a heuristic tool to interpret the current process of globalisation, I shall portray the global economy as a process, which can be separated into three sectors. The three sectors, however, interact in rather subtle ways.

The representation of economic activities in official statistics is but partial and economic policies effectively regulate only a fraction of the global economy. The daily economic endeavours of large sections of the global population to secure their survival are not fully accounted for in economic statistics, while many important productive activities are deliberately kept from public accounting, because they are considered illegal and take place in hiding. With this in mind a three-sector model of globalisation will provide a more inclusive scheme of the functioning of the current global economy. Though this model does not lend itself to a precise quantification, it helps to elucidate the social dynamics of globalisation and its linkages to various forms of social violence. Three sectors are roughly distinguished as the regular, the informal and the criminal sector.

The regular, legally operating economy: This is the only sphere properly studied and statistically fully registered by economists. Economic research is rarely concerned with a comprehensive study of all economic activities; it comprises only a much-limited part of all human productive endeavours. The older German terms for what is today the trade of economists "Nationalökonomie" (national economy) and "Volkswirtschaft" (people’s economy!) still convey a more comprehensive notion of the economy, which has largely been lost in the dominant discourses in the current academic discipline.

In relation to the reproduction of the state the customary boundary of modern economics is relevant however, it delineates the sphere of regular markets where the law protects the participants and where taxes can be levied. But taxes, it should not be forgotten at any time, form the basis of statehood, in short without taxes - no state. The state is basically a reciprocal social contract citizens join by paying taxes. But under the pressure of the prevailing neo-liberal doctrine national economies are being increasingly transformed to become part of a single global financial market. This development undermines the state-based nature of national economies and societies. One important factor fostering this trend is the fact that governments are forced to compete for foreign "inward" investments with a virtually unlimited number of other potential locations by lowering the tax rates and offering other advantages and subsidies. The ensuing downward spiral of tax revenues is structurally diminishing the regulatory capacity of states as well their capacity to provide basic public goods.

In this course of events the security sector is often weakened to such an extent as an indirect result of diminishing tax revenues, that the police and the military are not properly paid and cease to provide the stable and secure environment required for the economy to perform well. Private security services emerge as an alternative and provide islands of order and security for those, who can afford to pay for the service, including foreign owned industrial compounds. Current trends in many countries suggest that these features have reached the stage of causal circularity.

The informal economy: This term describes the extensive spheres, in which the majority of the world’s population is forced to organize its survival. This half of the world’s population lives in a state of constant legal and physical insecurity. The state monopoly of the legitimate use of force offers them little or no protection; it does not apply to their living environments. In turn these excluded social groups pay little or no taxes. The social contract between state and citizen, expressed by the payment of taxes among others, is not operational in the vast informal sectors around the world. In the ensuing vacuum, criminal groups at local levels usurp the monopoly on force, while corrupt state officials are perceived as menacing intruders. This view is based on experienced or observed violence and extortion. Victimisation surveys in various Latin American countries confirm that less than 10% of crimes are reported to the police. Security turns into an expensive commodity in what amounts to "markets of violence". Communal efforts to organise mutual security stand only limited chances to succeed against criminals, who in the long run penetrate the vacuum left by the state and impose violence-based social control, often taking the form of racket..

The informal economy generates high levels of economic migration as well as migration caused by the pervasive violence (refugees), which continuously reinforces one of the most dynamic spheres within the current process of globalisation. Migration massively manifests itself in the twilight areas of all societies and has created huge labour markets sustained by push and pull factors. These markets are illegal, but have at the same time become an indispensable, often very large part of the economy in the host societies, 12 million alone in the United States according to official estimates. They engender important remittances and are part of transnational networks, upon which many ethnic, religious or otherwise formed groups have come to depend for their collective livelihood. The ensuing international financial flows both inside and outside the regulated markets provide a convenient operational space, the manpower and the necessary cover for illegally trafficking of commodities and people.

The openly criminal economy: The criminal economy can be described as an unknown number of globally operating violence-based rather flexible networks. They are constantly extending their reach parasitically into the regular economy and are extorting protection-money in the informal economy among others. Drugs are perhaps the major driving-force of global networking in the criminal sphere. However, analytically one must confront the bitter irony that the extraordinary revenues generated in this illegal market entirely depend on the extremely costly prosecution of drug consumption. In fact from a purely economic point of view it can be argued that the drug market is the most subsidised market in the wealthy industrial nations. In the United States alone about one million persons, mostly Afro-Americans and Hispanics, are kept in prison for offences related to drugs costing the tax payer far more than the same number of university grants would require. Drug control both nationally and internationally absorbs many billions of dollars per year around the world. In the absence of objective medical indications the war against drugs amounts to an ideology emerging from fundamentalist Christian churches about one hundred years ago in the United States. Without the fundamentalist cultural zeal to suppress the supply of drugs in financial terms this market would be very small and not particularly profitable. The suppression of supply is not likely to succeed, because it serves as reciprocal incentive. At the same time little is being done to educate the consumers (demand side). An implicit collusion between the political elites in the United States and large parts of Europe and the criminal entrepreneurs controlling the drug business best describes the current situation. As already mentioned experts estimate that the global gross ‘criminal’ product (GCP) annually amounts to at least 1500 billion US dollars, about 40 % of which are attributed to drugs. The diffuse global financial markets provide the operational medium for the activities of the criminal economy, whose actors ultimately aim at laundering their unlawful profits and invest them in the regular economy, real estate being one of the favoured investment targets. The cyclical price hikes in the real estate sector in emerging economies , which regularly end in asset value bubbles, are linked to the inflow of dirty money. But laundered money flows into real estate in London, Miami, Switzerland or Mediterranean resorts as well. Not to forget the money appearing in South Africa’s casinos and the overheated real estate market in Cape Town.

In short the present global economy can be schematised as a dynamic process currently under the spell of the neo-liberal doctrine of globalisation, which is accompanied by social fragmentation and polarization. It equally provides a fertile ground for the dynamic expansion of the parallel global network of shadow globalisation, which comprises the combined informal and criminal spheres of the global economy. Internal armed conflicts articulate themselves in this environment and display the economic features discussed, namely their indispensable integration into the global shadow economy. But the connectedness to the global shadow economy is not restricted to countries suffering a recognized armed conflict on their territory. In many countries the shadow economy features prominently and sustains strong organised crime embedded in global networks as well. Shadow globalisation is a pervasive feature, which truly lives up to its name, it is in the last instance regulated by violence or the unfaltering threat of it.

Now I shall draw your attention to a second profound fragmentation in the social fabric of nations, which is causally related to the neoliberal globalisation. I call it intergenerational apartheid. As if the described systemic features were not already bad enough, the generational friction manifested in the differential access to the labour market results in various new forms of violence in the vacuum left by the retracting state under neoliberal regulation. Historically, the present time will probably be recalled as an age of global mass unemployment of young people. The economic (dis-) order that is currently unfolding in line with the neo-liberal paradigm has nothing to offer to the majority of the world’s young people when they reach working age. There is no role for them, either in the present-day ‘regular’ economy or in traditional rural structures. The latter are in the process of disintegrating all over the world under the pressure of modernisation and the imperative to produce exportable staples. Neither the modern industrial nor the service sectors can absorb the up-coming generations into the regular labour force. It is part of the neo-liberal logic of global competition that rationalized capital-intensive production methods and marketing strategies should ultimately triumph pervasively throughout the world, not withstanding their problematic social impact.

Worldwide a large part of the rising numbers reaching working age is being involuntarily driven into the no man’s land of informal economies and is thereby becoming an inexhaustible resource for criminal entrepreneurs in search of manpower. A clear example of this dilemma is provided by the present situation in Algeria. The Algerian society, like many societies in the Third World, is burdened with a youth bulge, as the phenomenon has been denominated in the sociological literature. About half the population is less than 15 years old. It is estimated that at present about 60 per cent of those looking to enter the job market for the first time remain unemployed as far as the regular economy is concerned. There is little prospect of any improvement. The young people in question (males only) are known as hitistes (‘those who prop up or lean on the wall’). They are always on the look-out for a chance to do a good deal on the trabendo circuit - casual smuggling, mostly with France - or to bolster their existence and thus also their identity, by some other means, mostly within the grey area of the informal economy or if they are lucky by rendering some criminal service. In their lifetime neo-liberal globalisation for all its growth prospects is unlikely to provide a workplace for them in the regular economy.

Increasingly young people in various countries develop a realistic understanding of their fate. The praise of violence as a means of personal advancement is a pervasive theme in local Hiphop and Rap songs around the world. In many countries, more than half of all young people belong to this excluded group. In such circumstances, devoid of any prospect of advancement, the use of instruments of force such as an automatic rifle becomes an extremely attractive proposition. With a weapon in his hand, for the first time in his life, a young man suddenly feels respected by others - even if the sentiment in question is actually sheer angst in the face of terror on the part of the persons under threat. Force exerted through an automatic rifle becomes the means of resisting social exclusion. Violence promises access to the world of industrial mass consumption - to which there is constant media exposure, even in the farthest corners of the world.

After the apparent historical end of the so-called liberation movements and the almost total disappearance of the concomitant utopian ideas of social equality, almost exclusively young males figure as violent protagonists in armed conflicts and armed violence. This is probably due in part to the fact that economic modernisation brings with it a radical devaluation of those roles in the production process that were previously assigned exclusively to men. As a reaction to this, and in the absence of culturally emancipating and economic alternatives, male identity is construed in terms of acts of violence that offer a feeling of superiority and autonomy. The lost position in the production process is replaced by participation in the social production of violence. This logic is also reflected in the crime figures and the prison population in developed countries, where young males belonging to discriminated minorities have the highest rates of violent crime and form the majority of prison inmates. As a result of ascribed roles offences involving firearms are overwhelmingly the preserve of young men.

Political wheeler-dealers with criminal economic interests, who also operate in civil-war scenarios, make cynical use of the impulsive urge of young men to take up arms to defend themselves against social exclusion, deprivation and the ensuing denial of an accepted role. Hence the phenomenon of the child soldier in the Third World has more in common with youth gangs in highly industrialized states than the mostly separate discussion of these two social pathologies would suggest. A study of children employed as armed guards by rivalling drug cartels in Rio de Janeiro shows that they are in fact child soldiers in the wars over market control in a mega-city.

The never-ending civil wars and the pervasive "regulatory" violence elsewhere are fuelled, among other things, by the total exclusion of the rising generations in the context of state collapse or social fragmentation. From the perspective of young men seeking the role of a "soldier" or a "child soldier" presents itself as an attractive option; it commands respect and income. To seek work as a ‘soldier’ or armed killer is therefore not just highly attractive to young men; in the jargon of modern economics, it is a ‘rational choice’. Alternatively they form criminal gangs as a mode of living in exclusion. The Maras in Central America are a rather visible example of such social formations, which predictably will spread, as the numbers of excluded young men are bound to significantly increase in many countries.

As a result economic chances are distributed on the basis of criminal and violent acts. Economic development in such social orders is burdened with exponentially growing transaction costs. Life in exclusion destroys the quality of human capital, which is a major element of competitiveness in the global neoliberal order.

But still more importantly the normative base of social cohesion is lost in the process, which cannot be compensated by democratic elections prescribed by the international community.

This stylised scenario provides the lens through which the majority of young people in large parts of the Third World, but in particular in war-torn countries, perceive the global order and measure their chances to succeed either individually or collectively. Economic modernisation, the replacement of self-reliant rural economies by an agriculture oriented towards export markets and the disappearance of the state as a large and secure employer combine to mark a sharp intergenerational discontinuity of social and economic roles and chances on offer. Social norms embedded in traditional economic systems are no longer a behavioural guide for the young generations, who find themselves living in urban slums with little chances to access the regular labour market. Survival in this cosmos is a permanent struggle without security beyond the immediate future. The poor strata in this cosmos make their daily living "just in time". Without access to a justice system individual saving and investment do not pay off, because the threat of violent appropriation is ubiquitous.

Young people can be expected to ask for an accepted role in their society. But democratic elections are no vehicle for the aspirations of the masses of young people either. The eligible political actors tend to be stakeholders of the older generation who are loath to enact policies of profound changes, which would enable the social inclusion of the masses of young slum dwellers among others. If then violence is the perceived means of the winners, joining them becomes an attractive option.

The lyrics of Rap and Hiphop songs are an indicator of the mood of the young people who live in social and intergenerational apartheid. On the one hand Rap and Hiphop are a global expression of youth culture, but the lyrics are mostly rather concise reflections of the local political cosmos and its marginal position in the global social ladder. They are possibly the only authentic political communication of this huge layer of the global social hierarchy, which has otherwise no political voice. The only voice they appear to have is violence. Young men in particular often see in violence the only access to livelihood, self-confidence, social recognition and the often-short illusion of inclusion by displaying "wealth". In the lyrics of these songs utopian dreams of a just, non-violent world are expressed, but they return regularly to the hard reality in which violent crime is seen as the entry ticket to the world of mass consumption.

Statistically it will take one or more generations, if ever, until the economic growth generated by the neoliberal regulation will absorb them. However, this economic truth is not transparent, if it were, it would translate into instant political ranting and raving. Currently few voices in the development discourse have the courage to confront this truth. Were the world society organised as a democracy of enlightened people, the current order would not survive a single election. By reversing this logic one cannot avoid the conclusion that the continuation of the current order and its unequal distribution of chances hinges among others on the continued political exclusion of the "huge youth bulges" in many important socially fragmented states.

How is all this now related to the issue of crime and of crime prevention in South Africa? The economics of neoliberal globalisation teach an important political lesson. Market and democracy alone are not capable of producing the social cohesion required to make democracy sustainable. The race among nations to prepare themselves to meet the challenges of neoliberal globalisation is bound to produce as many winners as losers. The problem of worldwide inclusion requires different strategies at least for two structural reasons. Firstly, by the time, when optimal growth in open markets will theoretically produce more jobs, the current masses of excluded young people will be old people at best; hence this is politically not an acceptable strategy for them. It will probably be only a question of time until their voice will be heard and possibly not through the voting booth in democratic elections. Secondly, the physical resources globally accessible, energy in particular, are not sufficient to integrate the currently excluded under the existing economic model. My straightforward conclusion from this is, that the social malaise of today can only be efficiently addressed, if political intervention in markets will be accepted again.

But even if tomorrow the economic paradigm will change and allow political intervention in markets to allow for comprehensive inclusion, the task would be far from easy. It is obvious is that any intervention must initially allow for labour intensive forms of inclusion. One often-overlooked sector for such political intervention is education and professional training on a mass scale as a means increase the human capital. The advantages are that education can absorb large numbers, it is not capital-intensive and can convey an immediate sense of belonging and societal participation. In order to produce a dynamic towards social cohesion a big initial push is indispensable, but the currently prevailing ideology of economic regulation clearly discourages such necessary political campaigns and market interventions at the national level and with international support at best.

Unfortunately many indicators point towards a different scenario.

States are confronted with "a race to bottom" as far as their capacity to collect taxes is concerned. As a result their capacity to provide public goods and above all security diminishes. The resulting landscape is a patchwork social geography of safe zones increasingly protected by the private security industry or by the appropriation of state services, which transmute into informally privatised units on the payroll of potent companies, often transnational companies in the primary sector.

The traditional function of the imperial (American) military posture to reign in malfunctioning states (from the perspective of global markets) is not any longer affordable, because rebuilding states into cohesive territorial units as in Bosnia, Afghanistan, Kosovo and mostly likely Iraq as well at a global scale is economically not feasible. The social control of the dark "shadow" patches, which represent the majority of the world population, is in today’s globally integrated world beyond the capacity and interest of the sole superpower. Whenever the private security industry cannot cope with its task to subdue disturbances, the American military will in the future be tasked to support and protect the scattered patchwork of "global locations" in seas of marginalised zones, where grey and black markets prevail. Territorial warfare in such a scenario is not any longer appropriate. It is indeed already in the process of being replaced by pre-emptive covert interventions designed to pursue perceived national interest with the lowest conceivable profile.

This trend is reinforced by another structural barrier to traditional territorial warfare, namely the rapid transformation of the human habitat, which becomes evermore interdependent and vulnerable to minor disturbances. The time frame of the elasticity of survival for the vast majority of people is spectacularly shrinking in the course of the prevailing world market integration and modernisation. This is particularly visible in the case of the mega-cities around the globe, but also in rural areas, where exportable products replace the mix of traditional crops. In this changed human habitat, which tends to become a global standard, traditional (territorial) military campaigns are bound to produce imminent humanitarian crises of yet unknown dimensions. The rapidly growing dependency on just-in-time commodity circulation and income generation is the hallmark of mega-cities, but they are just the precursors of a general global trend in the context of accelerating modernisation. Any major disruption of flows immediately translates into fatal chain reactions and ends in major humanitarian crises.

States do not take the centre stage of this strategic vision nor do human rights. Global order in this scenario is reduced to the task of guaranteeing the market access to a patchwork of global locations, which together form the skeleton of global capitalism, rather than territorial states. The notion of chaos used to describe this apparent evolution is based on the assumption that the global capitalist market necessarily relies on functioning states. Alternatively one should not totally exclude the feasibility to globally defend a tacit social apartheid by marginalising the role of socially integrated states. As opposed to nation building this doctrine is considered affordable and capable to fend off the terrorist menace and violent disturbances, which continuously tend to endanger parts of the skeleton of global capitalism by disturbing the unfettered market access to the protected global locations. In the context of this doctrine the political constitution of the global locations surrounded by oceans of informality and social apartheid does not matter any longer. One should not categorically exclude the chances of some stubborn stability of this order for some time to come.

If one opposes this worst case scenario of radical neoliberal regulation, one has to rethink the role of the state and start a collective search for a fast track to transform societies into cohesive social units, where all people gain a sense of belonging again. Social norms shunning violent conflict resolution would emerge as a natural companion of such societies.


[1] The research for this keynote is carried out within the EU-supported research network Challenge (http://www.libertysecurity.org)