Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Granting Department

Political Science

Major Professor

Earl Conteh-Morgan, Ph.D.


Trade, Multilateralism, WTO, Environment, Nation-states


Many globalization theorists make the claim that the state, in its current Westphalian context, is no longer a viable unit of analysis in comparative politics or international relations. Globalists claim that in the wake of unprecedented, global integration, the state is either in retreat or on the verge of full scale extinction. In a general sense, this paper explores whether there is a sufficient amount of evidence to supports the claims of globalists that the state is dying. Moreover, the paper looks at the specific issue areas of international trade, multilateralism and the environment to determine what effects globalization has had there and if traditional state activity and autonomy have been replaced or eroded by the forces of globalization. The paper takes a realist view and therefore seeks evidence that globalists are incorrect in their assumptions. Through the use of primary and secondary sources this thesis seeks evidence of state autonomy and state centered strength relative to the force of globalization. Additionally, the paper reviews the principalglobalization literature and juxtaposes the globalist thesis with what is actually happening in the world, i.e., current trends and events. Ultimately, the goal of this paper is to address the question of whether realist or globalization theory best represents the state of world events. The major conclusion presented here is that, particularly in the west, realism and state sovereignty continue to prevail in the issue specific areas of trade, multilateralism, and the environment.