Globalization and Hegemony Shift: Are States Merely Agents of Corporate Capitalism?

35 Pages Posted: 5 Jun 2013 Last revised: 4 Nov 2014

Date Written: May 25, 2013


Since the advent of state sovereignty with the Peace of Westphalia, powerful Western nations have determined and applied international law in a manner that advance their national interests. In short, the international legal process has been a mechanism of hegemony, and powerful Western nations have been hegemons through this process over less-developed countries. Since the 1990s, however, the fall of the Soviet Union, the spread of technology, and the advent of multinational corporations have led to a new order wherein corporate capitalism has become a primary force in international law and states mostly serve corporate interests. This new order was seen in action in Libya, where Muammar Gaddafi was recently overthrown by rebels who received aid from Western organizations, mostly because of Gaddafi’s unreliable history of partnering with Western corporations.

Keywords: international law, international legal theory, globalization, history of international law, international economic governance, law of war, international humanitarian law, human rights, international politics

JEL Classification: F1, F2, H2, H4, H7, K3, K4, L1, L3, N2, O1, P1

Suggested Citation

Acharya, Upendra D., Globalization and Hegemony Shift: Are States Merely Agents of Corporate Capitalism? (May 25, 2013). Boston College International and Comparative Law Review, Vol. 54, No. 3, 2013; Gonzaga University School of Law Research Paper No. 2014-1. Available at SSRN:

Upendra D. Acharya (Contact Author)

Gonzaga University - School of Law ( email )

721 N. Cincinnati Street
Spokane, WA 99220-3528

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