In light of recent global trends and crises, including the hasty withdrawal of Western troops from Afghanistan and the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine, this book sheds new light on global power shifts in multiple areas of international relations between industrialized countries and emerging powers.
This book argues that “the global age” is rapidly supplanting “the modern age”, and that modernity is paving the way for globality. The events that are taking place in the 21st century can no longer be effectively described, understood or explained by the concept of modernity which originated more than 500 years ago.
Further, this book challenges the academic and societal tendency to view international power-related phenomena on the basis of a dichotomy between hard and soft power. It assumes that another power source, independent of hard and soft power, does exist. Invisible, structure-manipulating, and effectively leveraged, it is precisely this “third power” that drives and shapes power phenomena in the “global age” more intensively than either hard or soft power.
This book seeks to verify its core hypotheses by applying them to a set of selected global phenomena, particularly from the domains of geopolitics (Belt & Road Initiative, Iran conflict, war in Afghanistan, and competition for a new world order) and technology (Global Navigation Satellite Systems, 5G infrastructure, race for international standards, and ICT rivalry). Rather than systematically examining each of these issues, it focuses on extracting theoretical meanings from these cases to demonstrate the logic of globality and structural power, partly from global-horizontal perspectives, partly through a structural-vertical lens.