Department of Politics, Languages & International Studies

The Global Village Myth: Distance, War and the Limits of Power

Professor Patrick Porter, University of Exeter

5 April 2016

 

Professor Patrick Porter speaking at his seminar

— Professor Patrick Porter speaking at his seminar.

 

According to Washington elites, revolutions in information, transport, and weapons technologies have shrunk the world, leaving the United States and its allies more vulnerable than ever to violent threats like terrorism or cyberwar. As a result, they practice responses driven by fear: theories of falling dominoes, hysteria in place of sober debate, and an embrace of pre-emptive war to tame a chaotic world.

In this seminar, Patrick Porter pushed back against the decades-old globalist fad, arguing that technology has not overcome distance, and that though the security environment around us is deteriorating, we are less powerful but more secure than we think. Greater appreciation of how 'strategic space' still constrains power can help inform a more prudent, restrained and sustainable strategy.