tjir_v1n2gob01

tjir_v1n2gob01 - The Most Dangerous Game in the World: Oil,...

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Alternatives: Turkish Journal of International Relations, Vol.1, No.2, Summer 2002 47 The Most Dangerous Game in the World: Oil, War, and U.S. Global Hegemony Bülent Gökay* The attacks on September 11 and following American operations in Afghanistan have raised a host of questions, and touched a broad array of ongoing structural and conflictual developments about world politics. There is a fairly widespread consensus that “everything changed” on the day four airliners were hijacked and nearly 5000 people murdered. It has been claimed that “the attacks on the United States have incalculable consequences for domestic politics and world affairs” with “profound effects on the US economy as well as the world”. 1 It was described as “a wake-up call against the background of a period of indolence and self-satisfaction”. 2 “The new world order”, we were told, “is at war and everything is changed utterly – borders, cultures, powers, America, Middle East, Asia, China, Australia”. 3 “The events of September 11” were “a terrible reminder that freedom demands eternal vigilance”. 4 But, there is much less agreement about how to define the main features of this change. One conclusion drawn by Robert Keohane is “an understanding that new threats create new alliances” and that the US “has greater need for commitments from other states now than it had before September 11”. 5 A similar trend has been pointed out by Steve Smith: “the September 11 terrorist bombings will be to usher in an era where US foreign policy is more multilateral than before, an era that indicates both the essential interconnectedness of world politics and the fact that the US can neither act as world policeman nor retreat into
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Alternatives: Turkish Journal of International Relations, Vol.1, No.2, Summer 2002 48 isolation.” 6 Others put emphasis on globalisation, and claim that “the old idea of international governance is now an actual possibility”. 7 Similarly, Achilles Skordas like so many others sees a move “towards a disciplined international system of ‘benevolent hegemony’” after September 11. 8 Some others read in September 11 and the following events a clear indication of an impending crisis of the world capitalist system in general and the US power in particular. What they are seeing in the recent events is “the death throes of a dying capitalism.” 9 Yet some others are increasingly concerned with the identity questions as the main aspect of the recent events, and a “clash of civilisations” narrative of the relationship between the West and Islam has occupied centre stage. “11 th September”, in the words of Anatol Lieven, “has ushered in a struggle of civilisation against barbarism.” 10 It was described as an attack by “a fanatical group on civilised societies in general”. 11
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tjir_v1n2gob01 - The Most Dangerous Game in the World: Oil,...

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