Volume IV, Issue 3(5), New Series, September 2014

Cultural imperialism or ”soft imperial power” in the XXIst century global order[i]

(Imperialismul cultural sau „puterea imperială soft” în ordinea globală a secolului XXI)



Mădălina Virginia ANTONESCU



Abstract. Although some of the authors of the relevant literature believe that the phrase “cultural imperialism” is a subtle, “soft” form of domination, which does not involve an open, visible or military political control (in realistic terms), other scholars maintain that this is one of the methods most commonly used by imperial policy in today’s globalist age. The connection of this term with paradigms such as “the clash of civilisations”, “the end of history” or “complex interdependencies” provides a multi-layered perspective on the postmodern world at the beginning of 21st century, a world where soft power is exercised at global, regional, transnational or infra-local level, within an economic, social and cultural framework that has not yet been regulated as such by the classical institutions of the Westphalian order.


Keywords: cultural imperialism, cultural imperial power, globalisation, culture, the end of history, the postmodern world



A definition of “soft imperialism”

The concept of “imperialism”, which comes from the Latin word imperium, according to certain authors, regards “a hegemonic relation between a state and other states, nations or peoples subordinate to its control”, as well as a policy consisting of “a deliberate projection of a state’s power beyond the area of its initial jurisdiction with the object of forming one coherent political and administrative unit under the control of the hegemony[1]”. The above-mentioned meaning is a classical one, in our opinion, since it relates to actors already considered “classical”, if not overwhelmed[2] by the various multi-connected realities, with a plurality of actors and relations in today’s global world.

From the classical perspective (if we consider it in relation to the current globalist order), cultural imperialism becomes a systematic policy pursued by traditional actors for the classical international system (modern, based on states, Westphalian order): nations, peoples, states, in the relations between them.

In line with this classical meaning, cultural imperialism could be defined as that policy of domination, by which a classical actor (state, nation, people) deliberately projects its power (here, a soft, cultural power) beyond its jurisdiction (hence the implicit reference to the Westphalian legal concept of the ”sovereign state”, ”the sovereign nation”, situated within boundaries clearly delimited from each other, between which interconnections, flows and exchanges are not conceived but which, due to their amplitude, diversity, speed and multitude, constitute the essence of today’s globalist world[3]).

The third part of the classical definition of “cultural imperialism”, within the above-mentioned meaning, requires first of all that the deliberate projection of soft (cultural) power by the classical actor (state, nation, people) be exercised “beyond the limits of its jurisdiction” (a Westphalian legal meaning, which refers to a world ordered according to the principles of international law enshrined by the United Nations Legal Order) and, secondly, that its object be “[to form] one coherent political and administrative unit under the control of the hegemonic actor” (another implicit reference to the realist paradigm, of the existence of an anarchic world where the creation of empires, following the exercise of power by a hegemonic actor, is a natural, inevitable phenomenon). But, in the case of cultural imperialism, the power exercised by the hegemonic actor is not a hard (military, political) one, but a soft one (by the use of the generic term “culture[4]”). In relation to the reality of this phenomenon and the 21st century globalist world, the term “culture” would rather refer to the meaning used by Keohane and Nye concerning “complex interdependencies” (namely to the creation, acceptance, imposition, acknowledgment by a hegemonic actor – who can also be a classical or a globalist actor, a Westphalian or a postmodern actor, a group of states or a single state, a civilisation or even international[5] organisations – of a set of procedures, rules, institutions, perspectives on a certain issue of global, regional or local interest for certain types of activities, by which the hegemonic actor regulates and controls both classical (interstate) relations and globalist (transnational) relations. These arrangements are called “international regimes”[6] by Keohane and Nye.

Beyond the two main approaches in international relations on the concept of “imperialism” (the Marxist-Leninist approach, which focuses on the connection between capitalism and imperialism, and the approach of the Realist School, which considers imperialism to be “an inevitable consequence of the anarchic, multi-state environment”), within the contemporary meaning the term generally refers to “any form of sustained domination by one group over another[7]”. This is a departure from the perspective of the traditional approach, which considers state actors to be the only ones able to exercise a form of imperialism (either hard or soft). According to certain authors of the relevant literature, the consequence of an insufficient theoretical approach of this new meaning of the “soft imperialism” (here, cultural) would be[8]  that “this term is now a political slogan so vague and wide-ranging that it is devoid of any practical or theoretical utility in the study of international affairs”. Nevertheless, it is acknowledged that cultural imperialism is used to describe “more subtle forms of relationship that do not involve overt political control[9]” (soft).

According to other opinions, imperialism is defined as “that policy pursued by a state in order to gain a direct control over foreign economic, physical and cultural resources[10]”. Therefore, it is acknowledged that cultural imperialism (the one exercised over foreign physical and cultural resources can be not only an indirect/soft one, but also a direct one – through political means aiming to gain control over foreign physical and cultural resources) At the same time, in this opinion, a distinction is made between imperialism and hegemony, since “imperialism radiates from a political centre rather than through more diffuse forms of power”. In the above-mentioned opinion, the essence of imperialism, regardless of its classification (formal or informal) is “the extension of sovereign forms of control over foreign resources”. Nevertheless, whether formal or informal, imperialism is a policy pursued by a hegemonic actor or a group of great powers to structure the international system according to their strategic projections and their specific interests[11] (which can pursue common objectives, at a certain moment in time). Thus, in a global world, there can be certain periods when the flows of information, but also the lifestyle of a society, including mental patterns and a society’s scale of values (the imperial one) are shaped and disseminated globally by a single centre of power. In this case, globalisation receives a connotation of imperial cultural policy specific to this hegemonic actor[12], becomes a means to propagate its strategic perspective on the world, on other actors, on other centres of power, up to influencing individuals’ daily lives (having become planetary citizens in a global village).

Having become a soft imperial policy, pursued by a hegemonic actor (or a superpower, during certain periods of time), globalisation is no longer the framework for an objective  technological and cultural phenomenon (in terms of the general level of evolution of the human society, attained at the beginning of the 21st century) and becomes a specific instrument used to create cultural, social, mental patterns of re-defining the world, the role of the human being in society, in relation to himself/herself and to a scale of values built and accredited by the hegemonic actor, supported and encouraged through a complex system of institutions, bodies, organisms, agencies, international intergovernmental or non-governmental organisations, associations and foundations. This network encourages, acknowledges, disseminates, rewards the way of life, the values, the mental, social and cultural patterns representing the essence of a soft imperial policy, convenient for the interest of the hegemonic actor and sanctions or deters attitudes, behaviours, actions, projects, objectives that are contrary or alternative to the imperial project of the hegemonic actor (form the point of view of the cultural dimension of “power”).

Therefore, “cultural imperialism” could be defined as a systematic policy pursued by a classical or postmodern centre of power (state or non-state actor) of domination, control and exploitation of cultural resources, including human resources, from a territory which is not officially subject to its jurisdiction.

Postmodern “cultural imperialism” (exercised in the 21st century’s global world) is different in terms of means, intensity, speed of dissemination and ability to self-support – after having been disseminated and implemented on other peoples than the one of the imperial centre of cultural power – from other types of cultural imperialisms throughout history (for instance, the ones during the periods of European colonialism). Although there were colonial empires with a European centre of power (Spain, Portugal, the Netherlands, Great Britain, France, etc.)[13], which, in their time, represented an image of the world-empire[14] built on the idea of “the civilising mission of the white man in barbarian territories[15]” (key idea and the imperial cultural objective which justified the colonial policy as such in relation to the peripheries), it is only during the Cold War (towards the end of the 20th century) that we can talk about an ideological and cultural confrontation between two civilisational blocs[16]: the Trans-Atlantic Empire and the Western world, on the one hand, and the Soviet Empire and the world ordered around it, on the other, confrontation which derived from two distinct political systems, proposing two distinct ways of relating to man, to the world, the functions of the State, to the lifestyle, mental and social patterns generated by the official ideology of the imperial bloc and which, in turn, generated prestige and legitimacy for the political bloc in question). The division of the international system between two hegemonic actors generated at the time two distinct soft (cultural) imperial policies, which were exercised within clearly delimited areas, each creating its legitimacy and prestige by opposition to the imperial cultural policy of the other bloc (through an imperial discourse minimising and overtly challenging it).

From the imperial confrontation during the bipolar period to “the end of history”

The paradigm “the end of history” (used in the literature, also containing a clear dimension of the imperial cultural policy of a hegemonic actor) derives precisely from the observation of this fierce fight between the two soft imperial powers (the Soviet bloc and the Western one during the Cold War), each of them claiming its absolute validity, supremacy over the other and the fact that “it is the only one holding the recipe for success” for a global, general way of life (claiming to express universality, the empire’s projection of power at global level).

“The end of history” becomes, in the framework of the historical fight between the two imperial cultural powers, a tool for the dissemination of the imperial prestige policy pursued by one of the civilisational blocs (the Western one) against the other bloc (the Soviet one). This paradigm, debated and advanced by certain authors of the literature on international relations[17], uses the moment of implosion of the Soviet Empire and fragmentation of its civilisational bloc, an alternative to the Western hegemonic actor (and implicitly to the cultural perspective on the world provided by it) in order to globally disseminate the idea of the supremacy of the Western model for the organisation of the world and of social relations, as compared to the model provided by the Soviet world (by “the rival imperial world”).

Therefore”the end of history” becomes a typical representation of the manner in which an empire relates to another empire and to the global world. The global world becomes a post-historical world in the strategic discourse of power made by the empire having survived the battle between the two civilisational blocs. This empire (the Western one) continues to coherently maintain around it what can be called “its imperial world” (the subsystem organised around it, controlled, dominated, influenced to different extents by a single centre of power) or “the Western civilisational bloc” (with all its allies that, although, from a geopolitical perspective, do not represent Western countries, given the scope of political and military alliances and the fact that they are seen as Western allies, they too become inherent parts of the Western imperial world, they perceive themselves and are recognised by the hegemonic actor as “elements of the Western imperial world”).

After the implosion of the Soviet Empire, there was a fragmentation of the civilisation bloc organised around this hegemonic actor (Russia), which has fuelled the discourse on “the single, victorious cultural power” of the civilisation bloc having managed to maintain its coherent, unitary status after this moment (dissolution of the USSR/1991)[18]. The Western empire is not seen anymore as being simply a surviving world, spared by the implosion inherent to any empire; its discourse has changed in terms of imperial cultural power and prestige: the moment of implosion of the rival bloc becomes “an end of history”, since it would be impossible to add or change something which proved to be “a recipe for success” (the cultural model of the Western empire, based on the cult of individualism, democracy, market economy, the rule of law, the welfare state). By intelligently using a historical moment unfavourable to the other hegemonic actor of a bilateral power system, the Western empire translates this historical moment into terms of absolute imperial power (as an empire having won a victory, having triumphed through its ideology, culture, set of values, mentalities, beliefs, way of taking action) and especially a universal one.

Although a surviving empire (not necessarily the winner, since it is difficult to say if the implosion of an empire – having reached the limit of economic focus on supporting an arms race, due to an empire’s specific need to support its prestige policy by all means and at all costs – represents a real victory for the rival empire, equally tired after this hard power race), the Western imperial world perceives itself in terms of prestige, on which it confers absolutist, universal values[19]. The consumer models of the mass democracy (the ideology of the Western imperial world) are no longer models of a bipolar, historical world belonging to the past, remaining after an inter-imperial confrontation, but they become models for success, gain an absolutist and universal value (proving their viability through their survival after the collapse of the rival civilisational bloc, they are supposed to be cultural models viable for all societies and cultural areas of the globe). This way, an imperial cultural model changes into a principle of governance and remodelling of societies, regardless of their cultural area. “The end of history” is not the end of bipolar history, of the confrontation between two imperial blocs organised around two different centres of power (here, an imperial cultural power), but represents the end of any alternative model to the supreme, absolute, universally viable model (the cultural model for the organisation of the world, generated by the Western imperial centre).

The world becomes a global village[20] and this global village is no longer divided into civilizational blocs fighting for power (in cultural, soft terms), but it is the world of the winner, of the one who has declared “the end of history”, of the bloc having survived the bipolar cultural confrontation. Thus, the global world of the beginning of the 21st century appears to be a non-confrontational, non-dual, unified world (according to the cultural pattern – including the political culture – accredited and supported by the hegemonic actor), a “universally valid” world, and globalisation becomes, under the circumstances of unipolarism, an expression of the imperial cultural power of the Western hegemonic actor[21]. The end of bipolarism results in the creation of an international system ordered around a single official, “politically correct” ideology, against which anything else becomes “barbarian, marginal, challenging, worthless[22]”. It is the world of an imperial cultural power, developed globally by a superpower[23] (here, in relation to the peak times of the unipolar period), to a level never attained before by any hegemonic actor in an international system.

The post-historical world: a single imperial cultural model for the global village. The micro-worlds. The upper world and the lower worlds.

The end of history” is in fact (interpreted in terms of the Western hegemonic actor’s discourse of cultural power) the world of a single cultural model (including from a political perspective) underlying the entire international system, namely “the civilised world” (the world having a single centre of cultural power, the Western-American one[24]). This discourse of cultural power does not allow any alternative or challenge, precisely because it claims it is based on the model having won the bipolar confrontation, automatically considered as a model viable for all human societies, regardless of the cultural area they belong to. It is precisely here, in this inflexibility (derived from any empire’s need for stability, to reorder the world according to its cultural pattern and to protect it from rival cultural models, translated into terms of an adverse, distinct, challenging cultural power) that lies the incongruence between an imperial cultural power having reached a position (unprecedented in history) of “soft global imperial power” (by transforming and domesticating  globalisation, by bringing this phenomenon in  appropriate shapes to express the soft imperial power of the hegemonic actor) and postmodernism. The essence of the postmodern (genuinely global) world lies in the alternatives to any cultural or mental patterns, as well as in the ability to combine (often impossible to conceive) the existing cultural elements, without being able to distinguish whether they belong to the empire (therefore, they are “the correct ones”) or they are generated by chaotic and oppositional peripheries.

The postmodern world is continuously generating alternative models to the single, imperial one, since it is a world of cultural relativity, of civilisational mixtures, of fluidity and simultaneity, which cannot be essentially controlled by any empire. We could rather say that, in reality, there are two types of worlds[25]: one ordered according to the strategic cultural  vision of the empire (“the official world” of the countries organised around the civic, political values of democracy, the rule of law, the welfare state, human rights, market economy – on which the lifestyle, mental and behaviour patterns of a society are based, being generated by this type of political and economic governance – and, on the other hand, profound, chaotic worlds, unordered by any hegemonic actor, continuously generated by postmodernism, worlds of complex interdependencies, where there are no hierarchies, but only mutual influences between cultures).

Thus, we are witnessing the parallel existence of two worlds: the one on the surface, ordered by the hegemonic actor of a unipolar international cultural system around its imperial values and structured according to its interests and objectives (for whose achievement even the phenomenon of globalisation becomes a tool for the dissemination of the imperial cultural model – for example, we can talk about a globalisation in the American style) and the  real, “underground worlds” (the ones underneath the imperial shell) where globalisation is acting either as a phenomenon influencing all actors without distinction (whether they are imperial or not) or represents a battle field between actors with different degrees of cultural power, for small sub-systemic orderings (tolerated by the hegemonic actor of the surface world) where different cultural models are confronting, where the imposition of different discourses of cultural power is attempted.

These “underground worlds can be regarded at the same time from two different perspectives: as chaotic worlds, never ordered by any hegemonic actor, but tolerated by the hegemonic actor of “the upper world” (the official world, structured around the hegemonic actor’s discourse of cultural power, which is not viably challenged, since we are within the victorious paradigm of “the end of history”, therefore of the end of any ideology challenging the imperial ideology[26]), but also as worlds in which the realist paradigm operates at full capacity: worlds of confrontation between various cultural actors and of the fight for power in regional cultural subsystems, therefore, as multipolar worlds, with different regional centres of power, with similar ambitions, objectives and action capacities.

If, from the level of ”the upper world”, of the “victorious, unique, unrivalled” world, “the lower worlds” are seen by the hegemonic actor as worlds of chaos, where it intervenes only on rare occasions, selectively, prudently and driven by strategic objectives (intervention through instruments of a culturally and politically justified power, such as: human rights protection, preventive action, humanitarian intervention, providing assistance for development, aid programmes and funds for poor countries), “the lower worlds” have their own rules and development trends. “The lower worlds” perceive themselves as multipolar worlds, with a multitude of hegemonic actors of subsystems, each being in conflict of regional or sub-regional, continental or transnational supremacy with the others. These are worlds undergoing complex processes, since they are worlds generated by postmodern globalisation; “the lower worlds” are, therefore, worlds in which subsystems coexist with transnational and infra-national or trans-regional networks controlled by a myriad of informal actors; they are both multipolar worlds (of state actors involved in relations of re-discussing power at regional level) and trans-polar worlds (of complex interdependencies, of miscellaneous networks, actors and mixtures of power, where the traditional poles of power are permanently subject to pressures of dislocation, dissolution, reconfiguration.

Yet, the two worlds (“the upper one” and “the lower one”) are not deeply and definitively separated, as they influence each other (state and non-state actors from “the lower world” can visibly challenge even the hegemonic actor of the “upper world”, which possesses means specially created for interventions in the “lower world”, including for strategies to prevent its challenge[27]).

The phrases ”the upper world” and ”the lower worlds” (or “micro-worlds”) do not have a pejorative connotation, but they try to capture a reality of the globalist world of the beginning of the 21st century, generated by the use by the hegemonic actor having survived the bipolar period of the paradigm “the end of history”, in the sense of the accreditation of its imperial cultural model as the only viable one (the perfect global city, the civilised world, order par excellence or Pax Americana, in other designations). The paradigm “the end of history” is subject to the transformation of the global world into a world based on a single model of soft imperial power: the one of the Western bloc, having remained whole after the implosion of the Soviet Empire and the disintegration of the oppositional civilisational bloc ordered around it. But it would be naïve to think that the global world of the beginning of the 21st century is a “uniform, unitary, coherent world, completely controlled” by its hegemonic actor (of the unipolar international system – that is post-historical, without any opposing party – of the superpower).

This “upper world” (or “perfect world”, where action is taken according to the set of values, the rules, procedures and institutions operating in a symbolic, institutional, bureaucratic and procedural system, built and controlled by the Western hegemonic actor) is simply the surface of a vivid, agitated ocean, in which “the lower worlds” are permanently moving, developing, under challenge and changing, under the action of the forces of globalisation. The hegemonic actor of “the upper world” itself must cope with the shocks of globalisation, although it has built dams in order to domesticate it, to control it and to prevent from being overwhelmed or wiped out by these chaotic and terrible forces, generated by the phenomenon of globalisation.

The upper world” is an “ordered, perfect” world, with a system of organisation specially designed to rein in these chaotic forces of globalisation and to support a post-historical international system. But in the “lower worlds” these forces of globalisation generate real underground currents, making them subject to a ceaseless transformation and redefinition. They are worlds where a myriad of actors of all kinds, with multiple levels of governance and with multiple cultural and mental patterns take action; these are worlds which interact, overlap, generating new cultural and behaviour models. “The lower worlds” generate the new system opponents and the new forms of cultures, strategies, games of power, worlds moving constantly, worlds of postmodern fluidity, which no hegemonic actor can control, domesticate or channel in any way, according to its purposes and vision.

Soft imperial power

According to certain opinions, there would be a distinction between the imperial power (or imperialism) which would radiate from a political centre (state, within the classical meaning) and hegemony (which would imply the existence of diffuse and inter-connected forms of power – especially informal ones, up to and including the distinct category of influence-[28]). Imperialism, in the age of globalisation, would be replaced by a global hegemony, of a superpower, also called a “market civilisation or consumer culture” serving the interests of a centre of power (the US), but does not radiate any longer from a political centre (so that it can be considered an imperial power in the proper sense), but it is related to a lifestyle exercised globally, a global culture with various actors. Nevertheless, the above-mentioned opinion admits that “cultural and informal forms of power contribute to a structuring of global economy according to a pattern reflecting the interests of the great powers” (therefore, these forms are implicitly acknowledged as instruments of the global imperialism, also applicable in the age of globalisation, regardless of the interpretation given to the concept of an actor exercising “great powers”, namely global or state actors within the classical, Westphalian meaning of the term).

One of the various theoreticians of the concept of “imperialism” in international relations is Edward Said[29], who brings a new perspective on the definition of this term in its relation with mentalities, the discourse of power, the culture and cultural identities. This author brings the term “imperialism” in the realm of studies on culture and mentalities, explaining how they change into a discourse of power, used to justify the policies of domination, control and economic exploitation pursued by the great powers over countries reduced to the status of periphery (including as self-perception).

Said thinks that many types of informal imperialist activities are systematically built on the idea of creating cultural identities (rather a deformation of the periphery’s cultural identity, so that it can be subject to the discourse of winner/civiliser, a hierarchical discourse of the power of the metropolis). Thus, when referring to the historical forms of cultural imperialism, Said points out that they focus on the idea of the superiority of white men’s civilisation in relation to other forms of civilisations (the oriental one, in the case studied by the author), ordered in a hierarchical, dualist model, namely the Western-metropolitan-superior one and the Eastern-peripheral-inferior one.

Said argues that Western imperial powers have systematically built a discourse of power  in order to justify their imperialist policy, based on the accreditation of an “inferior, barbarian foreigner” in opposition with the Western (imperial) “civilised world”. Historically speaking, imperialism has an informal essence of discriminatory mentality, organised around the idea of the superiority of the European civilisation compared to any other civilisation. This implicitly justifies an imperial policy of Westerners, which they do not consider to be a discriminatory, exploitative, unjust one, but, on the contrary, as a “civilising mission”, as a “burden/task/obligation of the Western civilisation to order/civilise/domesticate a barbarian area of the world and to rebuild it around Western mental patterns on the world”.

We can talk about the imposition of the Western perspective on the world and on man, starting from a series of metropolitan areas (cultural centres for the dissemination of cultural imperialism) towards the peripheries (or “barbarian areas” that need to be culturally reordered around Western values and according to the Western perception of the world, without losing its status of periphery, that is of “culturally inferior area” through this re-ordering or domestication). “The other” is ‘the barbarian, the exotic, the marginal”, “the one belonging to and emanating an inferior culture compared to the one of the great powers” (at the same time, there is built an accreditation of the idea of the intrinsic superiority of the culture of imperial peoples in relation to the ones of peripheral peoples).

Nowadays, starting from the understanding of historical forms of cultural imperialism, certain people tend to think that globalisation itself is “a process of Americanisation” (that is global imperialism in a phase of global expansion), to the benefit of the American State and corporations[30]. Moreover, one should bear in mind the neo-liberal discourse, which focuses on the concept of “global governance”[31], in which the imperialist global interests of a hegemonic actor, in the globalist age, are promoted through tools specific to an imperial cultural power (humanitarian intervention, democratisation, expansion of the welfare state), having become popular causes and assumed by the global civil society[32].

The creation of a specific cultural identity, progressively, deliberately, for the global society, according to the strategic interests of a global hegemonic actor, becomes a form of soft power and is associated with cultural imperialism, in as much as its objective is to challenge, remove, replace other cultural identity projects proposed by other centres of power as alternatives to the model of the hegemonic actor.


Cultural globalisation – a soft imperial power at global level?

 The definitions of globalisation are numerous and they express a multitude of perspectives[33] on this phenomenon, associated with the current age by the vast majority of the authors of the relevant literature (“the most pressing issue of our time” – Stiglitz, 2003). The literature insists on the distinction between globalisation (which has a transnational nature, belonging to a post-Westphalian logic) and internationalisation (inter-relations between states, according to the rules typical to Westphalian world, in which the state is the main and sovereign actor). The essence of globalisation is one based rather on “multiple interdependencies making up a super-network” (Nye, 2003), on “an interconnection of political and social units all over the world” (Holsti, 1992) or on “a process of disconnecting social relations in the traditional political (state-nation) framework and territorial geography and their unification in a super-system of social relations at global level” (the global village, the planetary citizen)[34].

Currently, there is a dispute between the realist perspective on globalisation (considered to be a stage of development which does not have any impact on the traditional international system, in which states remain the main actors, maintain their sovereignty and continue to  compete with one another) and, on the other hand, the idealist perspective (in which globalism is the last phase of the development of the international system, the states are no longer relevant, non-state actors in the system are proliferating and the international system itself is changing due to the ever growing interconnections between societies and cultures in general)[35].

But cultural globalisation is an insufficiently analysed concept (in favour of doctrinal approaches on economic, communication, technological dimensions of globalisation) or often regarded from a simplifying or unilateral perspective (globalisation as an expression of the power of a hegemonic actor of an international system having arrived at its peak time).

Cultural globalisation is not, however, a phenomenon specific to the Postmodern Age, at the beginning of the 21st century; within its meaning of “a series of trans-regional, trans-civilisational and trans-continental cultural flows and institutions[36]”, this concept also has a historical dimension (global religions, the cultures of imperial elites), closely connected to the expansion of empires. However, global cultural flows in our age are generated by new communication technologies, the emergence of the media international corporations, which exceed in intensity, scope, diversity and speed the global cultural flows in the previous ages.

Cultural globalisation involves a shifting of people, objects, ideas, meanings, information beyond the traditional borders of States, therefore its essence is a postmodern, post-Westphalian one. These flows contribute to the creation and strengthening of patterns of uniform cultural beliefs, mentalities, attitudes, behaviours (shared by the most diverse societies from the point of view of their historical, traditional cultures), which form a culture superposed over traditional cultural identities (which they do not visibly challenge). This developing global cultural super-identity is regarded by some as the result of an objective process of evolution of the society towards higher standards of development and progress (the adoption at global level of common civic and political values, but also of a consumerist, materialistic lifestyle, shaped under the influence of non-state actors, such as transnational or media corporations). Others consider it to be the result of a conscious process of the global dissemination of the set of values and cultural patterns specific to the hegemonic actor of an international system in the stage of cultural unipolarism (expressing an imperial cultural power able to distribute itself evenly in this system and to strengthen itself by using globalisation as a soft weapon to impose its goals).

We think that this latter point of view is the realist one, since the hegemonic actor will be identified with a state (classical actor) in a global position of domination (unprecedented) over the international (inter-state) system. Although subject to the pressure of globalisation, this system is far from disappearing in favour of other models of exercising power; on the contrary, there is a fierce competition between states not only in terms of hard power, but especially in terms of soft power (here, cultural).

Similarly to other historical periods, but o a different scale, cultural globalisation becomes an instrument used by the hegemonic actor to project its power at a distance and to create its own vision of a civilised world, of an ordered world, beyond which it only sees imperfect, chaotic, barbarian worlds, failed states or grey zones (nobody’s land). The flows of ideas, signs, messages, information, but also of people (cultural senders and receivers) and of objects (with cultural meanings) are (considering globalisation to be a form of projecting a soft imperial power) manipulated or even controlled by the hegemonic actor through a global supra-network of institutions for the reception, storage and transmission of information, of the most diverse state and non-state actors, all being regarded as elements of this imperial strategy of projecting the imperial cultural power (deriving from a single political centre) at global level.

Cultural imperialism can be imposed both directly, in a political and military manner (for example, by colonising the peripheries; through the forced assimilation of the conquered population; by destroying its culture through violent forms of manifestation – burning its symbols and writings which are defining for the type of culture in question, banishing the intellectual elite, destroying or abandoning monuments, museums and libraries in a periphery), but also indirectly, non-violently (by cultivating an attitude consisting of minimising, flouting, ridiculing, re-constructing the cultural expression specific to a conquered people or putting it under ban, and legally, by introducing imperial rules in the periphery or by de facto comparing the indigenous elites against the metropolitan culture, considered to be the “model of success”, by educating the peripheral population and the indigenous elites in the spirit of the imperial culture, including by using the media corporations, by the setting up and financing, by the metropolis, of education establishments in the peripheries, by granting scholarships, awards, sponsorships in the field of culture and scientific research, etc).

 The control or manipulation of the flows generated by globalisation in the Postmodern Age require expensive efforts, generating, between the hegemonic actor and its opponents (inevitable in any international system) a kind of race for information, for creating symbols and messages necessary for the policy of regional or global power or of projecting and protecting the national interest of a state. Due to the cultural globalisation translated in terms of projection of power, discourse of power, information attack/protection, new types of conflicts (information war[37], clash of civilisations[38]) emerge, pursuing the realist paradigm in other terms and with other actors  (civilisations[39], instead of states or groups of states).

Unlike other forms of globalisation throughout history, contemporary cultural globalisation is distinguished by certain features: the emergence and proliferation of transnational corporations from the industry of culture (including the media) as non-state actors competing with the nation-state, as well as the increase of their role at global scale in producing and disseminating goods and information, ideas and symbols making up the backbone of a lifestyle specific to corporations (consumerism), but also in the creation and possession of infrastructure and organisations for the production and distribution of cultural goods; the affirmation of Western popular culture and the communication between the various business environments; an increase in the intensity, speed, volume of cultural exchanges and, together with them, of all types of communications; the emergence of new global structures which encourage complex cultural interactions[40].

In the global world of the 21st century, cultural isolation has become impossible (Dasmann, 1988)[41], since today’s world, according to the contemporary globalist perspective, is conceived as a community organised around a set of values, idea, symbols, key cultural objects which can make up a supra-culture, common to all societies belonging to distinct civilisational areas.

Cultural imperialism at global level emerges when, in a certain civilisation area (for example, the West) learns how to order, control and manipulate, in its strategic interest (as a core made up of several cultural centres of power, attached to the idea of a “Western civilisation”), the global cultural flows (human resources, know-how, exchange of ideas, cultural goods, messages, symbols), dominating what can be called “global cultural markets”, in the global consumerist language. Also in the contemporary world, cultural flows continue to radiate from the imperial cultural centres of power in the Western area[42] (imposing the type of global supra-culture and is identified or claims to be identified with the phenomenon of globalisation, changing it into a tool of cultural imperialism) towards other civilisational areas of the globe.

 According to the literature on globalisation, in the world of the 21st century, global flows continue to be generated (the function of “beacon of civilisation” of a soft imperial cultural power) and controlled or manipulated (the function of active intervention and control over global cultural flows of imperial cultural power) by transatlantic (Western) centres of power and by their institutions and organisations (universities, individual opinion formers, media corporations, the film and music industries, etc.). The relevant literature admits that, within the Western civilisational area, the balance of the imperial cultural power has tilted from the European-Western core of power (Great Britain, France and Germany) to the American core of power, thus creating a global American pattern of cultural globalisation. Nevertheless, experts in global culture warn that this phenomenon must not be reduced to the imperial cultural pattern, as, it coexists and even intertwines (mutual cultural influences) with cultural flows radiating from other civilisational areas and integrating into the great current of cultural globalisation (the music, food, ideas, beliefs, literature, lifestyle from the East and South are also progressively permeating the Western cultures), creating new directions of intermixing and of cultural fracture[43].


 The current international prohibition of any form of imperialism

At the level of the international legal order, there are a series of international documents with a universal value, enshrining a general and clear legal regime prohibiting any form of imperialism (including the cultural one).

Thus, Chapter I Article 2 of the UN Charter enshrines the principle of the sovereign equality of all states, which implies a legal obligation for state actors to refrain from exercising any type of policies of domination or control over other members (nation states), therefore including soft policies (cultural or economic domination). Another soft legal obligation, which, in the 21st century can be read as a legal, universally valid, guarantee against cultural imperialism, is also the one derived from the principle of international law laid down in Article 2 point 2 (the obligation to fulfil in good faith the obligations assumed by the UN Members States according to the UN Charter).

Also, in the Preamble of the United Nations General Assembly Resolution 2131 (XX), adopted on 21 December 1965 (Declaration on the Inadmissibility of Intervention in the Domestic Affairs of States and the Protection of Their Independence and Sovereignty), the UN General Assembly refers to hard and soft forms of exercising imperial power on nation-states, listing them: “armed intervention and all other forms of (direct or indirect) interference or attempted threats against the personality of the States or against its political, economic and cultural elements”. From this perspective, cultural imperialism (although it is not expressly mentioned) is included in the category “forms of indirect interference” able to affect the sovereignty and political independence of a state (being thus in contradiction with the essence of the principle of equal rights of peoples and their right to self-determination, including peoples’ right to freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development”. This Declaration condemns all forms, both hard and soft, of domination, control and imperialism (paragraphs 1[44] and 2[45]).

Nevertheless, the approach of cultural imperialism (together with other forms of direct and indirect interference on a UN Member State) is a traditional (Westphalian) one, imposing these obligations to refrain only on state actors (without witnessing, at the beginning of the 21st century, a significant, relevant extension of the legal addressees of these obligations), although international public law begins to face more and more limitations (and implicitly to be ineffective), given the confrontation with the phenomenon of globalisation (here, cultural) and with the increasingly growing role (and unregulated internationally at the same level as states) of non-state actors (for example, transnational corporations in the field of producing and disseminating cultural goods, especially the media transnational corporations).

Moreover, an attitude destined to deter practices of “soft imperial policy” (of cultural imperialism) is also present in the Declaration adopted by the General Conference of the United Nations on the Principles of International Cultural Co-operation (4 November 1966, in Paris): Article IV (the aim of international cultural co-operation is, inter alia, to contribute to the application of the principles set out in the United Nations Declarations, recalled in the Preamble of this Declaration); the principle of mutual benefit, enshrined in Article VIII (cultural co-operation shall be carried on for the mutual benefit of all the nations practicing it); Article XI (in their cultural relations, states have the obligation to bear in mind the principles of the United Nations, making direct reference to the principle of sovereign equality of States and to the obligation to refrain from any intervention in matters which are essentially within the domestic jurisdiction of a State). This latter article is an implicit prohibition of practices of cultural imperialism in inter-state relations (in a world based on the Westphalian principles enshrined in the UN Charter, but which, unfortunately, do not have the relevance required in a world of globalisation, dominated by non-state actors competing with the nation-state and improperly regulated).

Similarly, in the Preamble of the Declaration on the Inadmissibility of the Policy of Hegemonism in International Relations (United National General Assembly Resolution 34/103, adopted on 14 December 1979), a legal definition of imperialism is mentioned together with other legal concepts (regarded as “forces seeking to perpetuate unequal relations and privileges acquired by force and are, therefore, different manifestations of the policy and practice of hegemonism”). Furthermore, it is enshrined a resolute condemnation (therefore, the legal prohibition to exercise imperialism in all its forms is introduced) of hegemonism (whose form, among others, is taken by imperialism), defined as “a form of foreign aggression, occupation, domination and interference, as well as the creation of spheres of influence and the division of the world into antagonistic political and military blocs”. The Declaration rejects “all forms of domination, subjugation, interference or intervention and all forms of pressure, whether political, ideological, economic, military or cultural, in international relations”. Therefore, we are dealing with a general, flexible legal framework, with a broad legal meaning of the term “hegemonism”, which includes cultural imperialism (the soft form of imperialism).

The same flexible legal framework (implicitly including new prohibitions on cultural imperialism) is also present in Article 1 of the Declaration on the Inadmissibility of Intervention and Interference in the Internal Affairs of States (United Nations General Assembly Resolution 36/103, adopted on 9 December 1981), which enshrines the prohibition (for states and groups of states) to intervene or interfere in any way and for any reason whatsoever in the internal or external affairs of other States. At the same time, the Declaration provides that the legal content of the principle of non-intervention and non-interference in the internal and external affairs of States includes, inter alia, “national identity and cultural heritage of their peoples”, “the sovereign and inalienable right of a State freely to determine its own political, economic, cultural and social system (…) in accordance with the will of its people, without outside intervention, interference, subversion, coercion or threat in any form whatsoever”, as well as “the right of States and peoples to have free access to information and to  develop fully, without interference, their system of information and mass media and to use their information media in order to promote their political, social, economic and cultural interests and aspirations, based, inter alia, on the relevant articles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the principles of the new international information order”.

As regards the legal concept of “new international information order”, we should not fall into the error of thinking that it is an express reference to the global order (generated by the cultural globalisation of the 21st century); on the contrary, it is a phrase specific to the Westphalian world of states, an order of states based on the principles of the UN Charter.



From the legal approach on cultural imperialism, in relation to the globalist context specific to the 21st century, it results the existence of an international legal framework of general prohibition of any form of imperialism in inter-state relations, therefore a prohibition of cultural imperialism. However, in our opinion, this general prohibition is not enough, having regard to the scope of the development of the phenomenon of cultural globalisation, the proliferation of non-state actors playing key roles in directing, manipulating and controlling, but also in generating cultural flows at global level, as well the inability of states to adopt, using the current legal framework, effective regulations to protect the principles of the UN Charter in their spirit and letter. The Westphalian international legal order is progressively separating from the coexisting, unregulated order of globalisation (here, cultural), dominated by complex interdependencies.

In this context, it is imperative to adopt regulations appropriate for the 21st century, which define cultural globalisation, acknowledge the role (beneficial or not) of non-state actors and adopt disciplinary measures if other states (among non-state actors) or even non-state actors adopt practices specific to cultural imperialism (therefore breaching the principles of the UN Charter and generating the use of global cultural flows with the purpose to exercise a cultural domination, subjugation, oppression, a transformation into “cultural peripheries” of other states, affecting their sovereignty and their right to determine their own cultural development and identity). These new international legal rules should include an international document providing a broader definition of the term “aggression”, in order to include not only the prohibition of the hard forms of aggression (Invasion of a State by the armed forces of another State[1]), but also the soft forms of aggression (economic or cultural) currently marking the “barbarian” global world (unregulated at the level of and according to the model of the Westphalian order).



[1] This paper reflects only the author’s personal opinion and does not involve any other physical and legal person.

[2] Graham Evans, Jeffrey Newnham, Dicționar de relații internaționale (The Penguin Dictionary of International Relations), translated by Anca Irina Ionescu, Ed. Universal Dalsi, București, 2001, pp. 254-255.

[3] Susan Strange, Retragerea statului. Difuziunea puterii în economia mondială (The Retreat of the State. The Diffusion of Power in the World Economy), translated by Radu Eugeniu Stan, Ed. Trei, București, pp. 21, 63. Paul Hirst, Grahame Thompson, Globalizarea sub semnul întrebarii. Economia internațională și posibilități de guvernare (Globalization in Question: The International Economy and the Possibilities of Governance), translated by Laura Dragomir, Ed. Trei, București, pp. 39-43, 55, 361-370.

[4] Other authors talk about the ”world-society scene”, where they analyse concepts such as: “the post-Westphalian world”, “global governance”, which results in an extension of the scope of the traditional concept of “international relations”, adopting a concept appropriate for the 21st century global order: “the global politics”. See Jean Jacques Roche, Relations internationales, LGDJ, Paris, 2005, pp. 227-228.

[5] Among the numerous definitions of culture, we mention a complex one, which does not reduce culture to an economic meaning (of cultural goods, of cultural producers and consumers), but one that considers culture to be “a set of meanings, values, immaterial non-objectified or objectified rules, together with all the vehicles that ensure its dynamics, as well as all self-aware individuals and all groups which make up the social and cultural world”. See Sorokin’s focus on the dimension of “meaning”, without which “the reality of culture rebecomes a natural fact”. According to this opinion, “culture forms human personality, through behaviour and meaning”. According to George Uscătescu, Ontologia culturii (The Ontology of Culture), Ed. Științifică și Enciclopedică, București, 1987, pp. 67-68. Sometimes, culture is brought to the concrete, tangible level (in Hugues de Varin’s opinion, “each object, each gesture, any environment is the representation of a culture”, or refers to the object of analysis (“the series of solutions found by man and by the group to problems raised by their natural and social environment“). Within the economic meaning, culture is a set of phenomena expressed in figures, which can be assessed in terms of money, can be sold and bought, preferring a designation of culture through its material elements (reducing culture to cultural production, hence an overlapping with the term “civilisation”). See extensively Dumitru Zaiț, Cultură și specificitate culturală (Culture and cultural specificity), in Dumitru Zaiț, editor, Management intercultural. Valorizarea diferențelor culturale (Intercultural Management. Capitalising on cultural differences), Ed. Economică, București, 2002, pp. 77-78.

[6] According to certain authors, together with the world’s globalisation in a postmodern sense, there has occurred a phenomenon of shifting the power from states to international organisations, having become econocracies (part of the decision on a certain issue – many of them of global or regional interest – is shifting towards the headquarters of supranational or international bureaucracies all over the world). According to another interpretation of this global phenomenon, the power shift from the national authorities to non-state actors (IGO – international organisations) merely hides another complex, subtle form of exercising cultural imperialism by a superpower (the United States), as “a hegemonic authority still dominating international political economy, through an alliance of American governmental agencies with the transnational economic class”. In other words, soft imperialism (economic and cultural) is exercised by a state (classical actor) through non-state actors (intergovernmental and non-governmental international organisations with global or regional action and competencies) See Susan Strange, op. cit., pp. 198-199.

[7] Robert Keohane, Joseph S. Nye, Power and Interdependence. World Politics in Transition, Little, Brown and Company, Boston, Toronto, s.a., p. 5.

[8] Graham Evans , Jeffrey Newnham, op. cit., p.255.

[9] Idem, p. 255.

[10] Ibidem, p. 255.

[11] Leonard Seabrooke, Imperialism, from Encyclopedia of international relations and global politics, ed. by Martin Griffiths, Routledge, USA, 2005, pp. 398-399.

[12] Vinay Kumar Malhotra, International relations, Anmol Publications, New Delhi, India, 1993, pp. 214-215, where the author acknowledges the existence of a cultural imperialism, when he states that “the policy of imperialism was also used to disseminate a particular religion, culture or ideology”, in order to strengthen the national prestige and the glory, or, from the perspective of the Western colonial empires, to “emancipate the yellow man from Asia, the black man from Africa, the least advantaged and poor”, in respect of which “it is for the white man to show the good things from his religion and civilisation to the retrograde peoples in Asia, Africa and Latin America”.

[13] Certain authors point out the fact that, in the contemporary age of cultural globalisation, the cultural power (as soft power) is related to the idea of empire (referring to the creation of infrastructures of cultural production, dissemination and reception and to the extent in which cultural flows and processes are institutionalised); this imperial cultural power must be mobilised and exercised with the help of and through organisations and institutions that create, disseminate, reproduce and receive cultural messages or practices. Cultural imperialism includes  training practices and policies in the spirit of the imperial culture of indigenous elites (in the peripheries) and the setting up of education establishments disseminating the imperial culture towards the peripheries. See extensively David Held, Anthony McGrew, David Goldblatt, Jonathan Perraton, Global Transformations. Politics, Economics and Culture (Transformări globale.Politică, economie și cultură, translated by Ramona-Elena Lupașcu, Adriana Ștraub, Mihaela Bordea, Alina-Maria Turcu, Polirom, Iași, 2004, p. 375).

[14] Idem, pp. 380-381, 465-468.

[15] The discourse on barbarity depends on the ability of persuasion of any empire regarding its civilising mission, having as central function the demarcation of imperial borders as asymmetrical meeting area (the cosmos delimited by the chaos; the ordered, protected, secure world, delimited by the chaotic, turbulent, insecure world), but also a division of the world between “subjects” (“the imperial”) and “objects” (“the non-imperial”), exceeding the scope of a simple discourse of power, bearing a meaning of legitimisation between the imperial subjects and the others (barbarians). They should let themselves be “de-barbarised”, in order to earn their place into the imperial space (therefore, legitimacy). See Herfried Münkler, Empires, translated by Patrick Camiller, Polity, UK, 2008, pp. 96-97.

[16] Culture is acknowledged by authors that have studied the concept of “empire” as being “one of the basic instruments of the imperial domination”. See extensively Alejandro Colás, Empire, Polity, UK, 2008, pp. 117-122.

[17] Hermann Kinder, Werner Hilgemann, Atlas de istorie mondială. De la Revoluția Franceză până în prezent (The Penguin Atlas of World History. From the French Revolution to the Present), translated by Mihai Moroiu, Enciclopedia Rao, București, 2001, pp. 505-506.

[18] David McLellan, Ideologia (Ideology), translated by Adriana Bădescu, Ed. Du Style, București, 1998, pg.103, referring to the famous article of Francis Fukuyama, The End of History/1989, reproduced in his book The End of History and The Last Man/1992. Fukuyama states that ”the unhindered victory of political and economic liberalism” (following the long confrontation between the two blocs, author’s note) was “not just the end of the Cold War or the passing of a particular period of post-war history, but the end of history as such, the end point of mankind’s ideological evolution and the universality of Western liberal democracy as the final form of human government”.

[19] Hermann Kinder, Werner Hilgemann, op. cit., p. 557.

[20] For example, according to the interpretation by David Sullivan and Howard Williams of the phrase “the end of history”, where they refer to another book of Fukuyama (Our Post-human Future, 2002). These authors point out the fact that we must see the theory of “the end of history” as an intellectual process, which is not determined by a historical event, but by one that reached its end only due to the fact that “liberal democracy is the only form of government that allows the full expression of human nature, its flowering”. But, together with the huge impetus of biotechnologies, we end up with a scenario of a “post-human future”, where history gets back on track, after the come back of certain ideologies contrary to democratic liberalism and due to the failure of democracy to express “the new post-human nature”. See David Sullivan, Howard Williams, End of history, in Martin Grifitths, ed., Encyclopedia of international relations and global politics, Routledge, US, 2005, pp.223-224.

[21] Marshall McLuhan, Galaxia Gutenberg. Omul și era tiparului (The Gutenberg Galaxy: The Making of Typografic Man), translated by L. and P. Năvodaru, Ed. Politică, București, 1975, pp. 68-70.

[22] According to the French authors, the current economic globalisation, controlled by the American centre of power, is not by far the apolitical phenomenon imagined by the ordinary citizen; at the origins of economic globalisation there is a clear political and military vision emanating from a distinct political centre, which imparts an imperial character to this system of control over the contemporary globalisation. See Emmanuel Todd, Après l’empire. Essai sur la decomposition du système americain, Gallimard, 2004, Paris, p. 95.

[23] George Colang, Adela Gavrilescu, Portretul omului contemporan. Barbarul (The Portrait of the Contemporary Man. The Barbarian), Ed. Minerva, București, 2011, p. 18-19.

[24] Justine Faure, Yannick Prost, Relations internationales : Histoire, structures, questions régionales, Ellipses, Paris, 2004, pp. 166-178.

[25] Constantin Vlad, Relații internaționale politico-diplomatice contemporane (Contemporary Political and Diplomatic International Relations), Ed. Fundației România de Mâine, Universitatea Spiru Haret, București, 2001, pp. 119-120.

[26] Other authors think that, in the age of globalisation, there are three worlds (the first world includes countries with developed  or globalised economies, namely the 30 members of the OECD, that is countries whose economies are interconnected; the second world, including countries seen as the inflection points of a multi-polar world, countries in transition, with partially globalised economies; the third world whose members are the least socially and economically developed countries, that can fall into the fourth world – includes at least a hundred countries or “the global South”, with feudal, non-globalised economies). All these worlds are ruled by a global strategic game, pursued by three empires, economically interconnected, which (due to the unprecedented level achieved by the current form of globalisation): the United States, the EU and China. According to Parag Khanna, Lumea a doua. Imperii și influență în noua ordine globală (The Second World. Empires and Influence in the New Global Order), translated by Doris Mironescu, Polirom, Iași, 2008, pp. 20-24. According to another author, the global order of the 21st century has generated a postmodern world (of developed countries that solved their problems related to security and stability, structured around the EU), a modern world (of modern traditional states, where “success is measured in territorial gains, crass nationalism, aggressive and absolute imperialism, raw geopolitical expansion”) and the postmodern world (a terra nullius, with nominal sovereignties, without any content, a space that got out of the control of state power, with failed states, generating chaos and instability). See the classification of the 21st century world by Robert Cooper, in the paper The Breaking of Nations: Order and Chaos in the Twenty-First Century (Destrămarea națiunilor. Ordine și haos în secolul XXI, translated by Sebastian Huluban, Ed. Univers Enciclopedic, București, 2007, pp. 6-11, 63-64).

[27] On the evolution of the concept of globalisation from an economic doctrine to an American national credo, an  imperial political doctrine of prestige and affirmation of the American power at global level, assumed by the American political and economic elites and adopted by transnational corporations and financial institutions, in order to make up “the natural doctrine of the global hegemony”, generating social legitimacy which, the author explains, “is necessary for the dominating party to be able to justify, facilitate and support its subordination” (since doctrinal, ideological legitimacy, used as an instrument of cultural power, of the prestige policy pursued by any empire, “reduces the costs of exercising power by minimising the resentment of the dominated ones” – hence the generation of the discourse of the American imperial cultural power starting from the 90’s), see extensively Zbigniew Brzezinski, The Choice. Global Domination or Global Leadership (Marea dilemă. A domina sau a conduce, translated by Raluca Știreanu, Ed. Scripta, București, 2005, pp. 141-143).

[28] See the entire cultural discourse structured around the imperial strategy of “global fight against terrorism”, where the term “terrorist” includes the meaning of “opponents of the imperial power”, of the hegemonic actor or the world built by it.

[29] Vasile Pușcaș, Relații internaționale/transnaționale (International/Transnational Relations), Ed. Sincron, Cluj, 2005, p.237, where influence is defined as a notion related to the notion of power; a first meaning is the one of “non-coercive dimension of power” and another meaning assimilates it with the relation of power itself.

[30] With his paper Orientalism, 1978, New York, Routledge.

[31] Bruce Buchan, Empire, in Martin Griffiths, ed., Encyclopedia of international relations and global politics, Routledge, US, 2005, pp. 214-215.

[32] Graham Evans, Jeffrey Newnham, op. cit., pp. 209-210.

[33] Leonard Seabrooke, Imperialism, in Martin Griffiths, ed., op. cit., p. 399.

[34] Among which two are worth mentioning: the characterisation of globalisation by the predominance of the economic aspect and a structural evolution of capitalism (Wallerstein, 1991; Roche, 1998, Colás, 2002; Stiglitz, 2003, quoted in Vasile Pușcaș, op. cit., p.182-183) and a common, simplifying perception, according to which globalisation would represent “homogenisation, uniformity, Westernisation and/or Americanisation” (Attiná,1999). See Vasile Pușcaș, op. cit., p. 182.

[35] Vasile Pușcaș, op. cit., p.183-185.

[36] Idem, p. 184.

[37] David Held, op. cit., p. 373.

[38] Vasile Simileanu, Conflictele asimetrice (Asymmetrical Conflicts), Ed. Top Form, București, 2011, p. 298-314.

[39] Graham Evans, Jeffrey Newnham, op. cit., pp. 76-77.

[40] Idem, p. 76. Samuel P. Huntington, The Clash of Civilizations (Ciocnirea civilizațiilor, translated by Radu Carp, Ed. Antet, Oradea, 1997, p. 28-37).

[41] David Held et al., op. cit., p. 387.

[42] Quoted in David Held et al., op. cit., p. 415.

[43] Idem, p. 415.

[44] David Held, op. cit., p. 415.

[45] ”No State has the right to intervene, directly or indirectly, for any reason whatever, in the internal or external affairs of any other State. Consequently, armed intervention and all other forms of interference or attempted threats against the personality of the State or against its political, economic and cultural elements, are condemned”.

[46] ”No State may use or encourage the use of economic, political or any other type of measures to coerce another State in order to obtain from it the subordination of the exercise of its sovereign rights or to secure from it advantages of any kind”.



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[1] United Nations General Assembly Resolution 3314 (XXIX), the Definition of aggression, adopted on 14 December 1974, Annex, Articles 1 and 2, in Gheorghe Moca, Documente de drept internațional public (Documents of Public International Law), vol. I, Univ. București, Facultatea de Drept, 1975, adopted by Adrian Năstase, in the paper Documenta Universalis I, Documente fundamentale ale dreptului internațional și ale relațiilor internaționale (Documenta Universalis I, Fundamental Documents of International Law and International Relations), 1a, edition supervised by Roxana Frailich, Regia Autonomă Monitorul Oficial, Asociația Română pentru Educație Democratică (Romanian Association for Democratic Education), București, 1997, p. 325.