Muqtedar Khan's Column on Global Affairs

  GlocalEye is an analytical column on global affairs. 
It seeks to understand the  simultaneous political
impact of globalization and localization.

Editors: This is a self syndicated column.  If you wish to publish this column in your newspaper, magazine, journal or on your websites please click here: Syndicate

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Dr. Muqtedar Khan is Assistant Professor of Political Science at Adrian College in Michigan.  He earned his Ph.D. in International Relations, Political Philosophy, and Islamic Political Thought,  from Georgetown University in May 2000.

Dr. Khan's column has appeared in The Wall Street, Dawn International (Pakistan), Daily Times (Pakistan), Outlook India (India), The Muslim Gazette (India), Nagasaki Post (Japan), The Daily Telelegraph (London), Manila Times (Philippines), Jordan Times (Jordan), Aljazeera (Qatar), The Daily Telegram, San Francisco Chronicle, San Francisco Examiner, Detroit Free Press, Detroit News, Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, Muslim Democrat, I,, Arabies Trends (France), Al-Mustaqbal (Lebanon), Lebanon Daily Star, and many other periodicals world wide.

For a comprehensive resume click here: Resume

Recently Posted Articles

I am happy to announce the publication of my first book -- American Muslims: Bridging Faith and Freedom For more details about the book go to: Book


1. Islam in America
2. American Muslims and American Politics
3. American Muslims and American Foreign Policy
4. American Muslims and American Society
5. American Muslim Perspective
6. Reflections on Islam and Democracy
7. The Attack on America ands its Aftermath
8. An American Muslim Perspective of the Muslim World


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American Muslims:
Bridging Faith and Freedom

January 20, 2003

Washington's Nuclear Policy: Moral Clarity or Double Standards

Dec. 31st, 2002

Global Shift to the Right?

The Threat of American Wahhabis 




Muqtedar Khan, PH.D.

Article was featured in San Francisco Examiner (Dec 23, 2002) and
Foreign Policy in Focus (November 19, 2002) and Moving Ideas Network (November 27, 2002).   

The ideological orientation of the world is undergoing a slow but definite shift to the right. Compare recent elections in some key countries to those in the mid and late nineteen nineties and this global shift becomes clearly discernable.

In the mid nineties when globalization was at its peak, nations were generally doing well economically and felt confident in strengthening the welfare state. Thus Bill Clinton in the US, Tony Blair in UK, and Muhammad Khatami in Iran came to power. All of them were clearly left of center on economic and social issues. Their major electoral strategy was to redefine the welfare state to accommodate the rapid growth of the global economy. Their winning constituency was a combination of women and center-left combine.

But in November 2002 alone we have seen a significant swing of the pendulum in the opposite direction.  In the US, the right (Republican Party), has not only strengthened its hold over the House in Congress it has now recaptured the Senate.  It has also made advances in the gubernatorial races indicating that the shift to the right is not limited to national issues connected with security and the war on terror but is now percolating to sub-national issues too.  

In Turkey the pro-Islamist Justice and Development Party (AKP) has unexpectedly come to power with a massive majority of seats capable of amending the Constitution. While the AKP maybe liberal economically, focusing on issues of social justice, in its political outlook, social issues and foreign policy, it is more likely to lean towards the right than the left.

Riding a wave of popular anger over American anti-terrorist operations in Afghanistan and Pakistan, an alliance of six conservative/religious parties captured power in two of the four provinces in Pakistan. The United Action Forum, whose platform is clearly hostile to the United States, also posted significant gains in the Parliament (National Assembly), emerging the third largest party and will play a decisive role in the coalition government that will be formed.

It is possible to connect the electoral outcomes in the US and Pakistan directly to the aftermath of the attacks on the US on September 11th.  The global feeling of insecurity and apprehension as a result of the rhetoric of war and counter violence is the primary cause for this global shift to the right. It is also interesting to note that along with the shift to the right comes the resurgence of religious influence on politics. One can see this vividly in the heightened political significance of the Christian Right in the US and the success of pro-Islamist parties in Turkey and Pakistan.

What does all this mean? It means that security will trump trade and economics on the global agenda. Developmental and infrastructural spending will give way to security spending, increased defense budgets and more investment in military technology and intelligence related assets. Fear of international terrorism has already created tension between states and non-state actors. States will now place more restrictions on the free flow of people, ideas, capital and technology across border. In other words the pace of globalization will significantly retard perhaps may even see some reversal. Immigration and refuge procedures will come under greater scrutiny and in spite of the call for cooperation against terrorism; states will increasingly take unilateral actions against real or perceived threats to national interests within their borders and overseas. The fear of violence and the overwhelming national security environment that always accompanies the right will continue to threaten civil liberties and democracy in several key nations.

The global shift to the right may or may not prove to be durable. But it is definitely going to cause significant restructuring of domestic economies and the nature of international trade and merits close monitoring. 



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