International politics

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Information about International politics

Published on December 28, 2007

Author: Edolf


INTERNATIONAL POLITICS:  INTERNATIONAL POLITICS Negotiating relations between nation-states Nation-State:  Nation-State The primary unit of political organization. Dates from 1648 and the Treaty of Westphalia. Napoleon also contributed to emergence of the modern nation-state, by appealing to nationalism – pride in being French – to get men to volunteer for his army. Historic systems:  Historic systems City-states (such as Athens, Sparta & Rome) Empires disintegrating by end of 19th century many disappeared after WWI (e.g., the Austro-Hungarian & the Ottoman). Nation-state defined:  Nation-state defined State: A sovereign government within an established territory. Nation: A community of people who identify with one another because they share important attributes: language, history, religion, race, culture, common political values. Nation-State:  Nation-State Explosion of new states in the 20th century: In Middle East after World War I In Indian subcontinent, Pacific rim & parts of Africa after World War II In Africa after 1960 In former Soviet Union after 1990 Sovereignty :  Sovereignty The supreme governing power of a state. A powerful force in international relations. Even the smallest nations claim to have sovereignty. It has 2 components: Power over internal affairs with freedom from external interference. Political and legal recognition by other nations. Models of Analysis in IR:  Models of Analysis in IR Dominant models: Political Realism Liberal Idealism Emerging models: Environmental Feminist Models of Analysis in IR:  Models of Analysis in IR Political Realism - Nation-states seek power to advance their own self-interest. Power defined in terms of military strength. Morality is irrelevant in international relations. Ideas of Machiavelli (The Prince, 1532) Melian Dialog from The History of Peloponnesian War by Thucydides (416 BC) Models of Analysis in IR:  Models of Analysis in IR Melian Dialog (416 BC) Generals of the mighty city-state Athens confronted the Council of Elders of the island of Melos demanding that the island surrender to Athens. Did the Council of Elders do it? What happened? Models of Analysis in IR:  Models of Analysis in IR Liberal Idealism - Morality important in IR. Values of peace, justice & human rights. Nation-states interdependent and have incentives to work together through international organizations, such as UN, to resolve disputes rather than go to war. Security not based on military but on human factors (e.g., health and education). Models of Analysis in IR:  Models of Analysis in IR Environmental - Traditional national security focus is too narrow; needs to be broadened to include threats to global survival such as global warming, acid rain, loss of rainforests, oil spills. Such threats cross national boundaries and need international or regional responses. Models of Analysis in IR:  Models of Analysis in IR Feminism – Traditional approach excludes female perspectives in IR. Military power ignores important gender-related issues such as rape as state policy, as occurred in Bosnia, or state policy stripping women of human rights, as under the Taliban. Old approach sees these as private crimes with no impact on international politics. Global politics in 19th century:  Global politics in 19th century Balance of power system: military power was distributed in such a way that no one nation or group of nations was strong enough to threaten others. Peace thus secured. But with hardening of alliances & arms races, WWI exploded the old system. Global politics in mid-20th century:  Global politics in mid-20th century Cold War - the period when tensions between U.S. & U.S.S.R. were high; 1945- 1990. Brief alliance during WWII against Hitler. By 1945, they were the only super-powers. Both with nuclear capability, so no direct military confrontation. Instead, sent aid to multiple small wars around globe (proxy wars). Global politics in mid-20th century:  Global politics in mid-20th century Source of the Cold War Tension in the U.S. Soviet Army did not leave once large sections of Europe liberated from the Nazis. USSR seeking atomic & space technologies on par with the US. After decades of fighting in China, Mao successful in 1949; People’s Republic of China established. This heightens US fears. U.S. Cold War Strategies:  U.S. Cold War Strategies Containment - policy started in 1947 to ‘contain’ the spread of communism, that is, expansion of USSR. Communism seen as a monolithic bloc, and any left-wing or socialist government a client state of Moscow. Policy drove U.S. involvement in the Korea (1950 -54) and Vietnam (1964-72), as well as military & nonmilitary actions in parts of Africa, Asia, Latin America & Caribbean. U.S. Cold War Strategies:  U.S. Cold War Strategies Marshall Plan - a massive foreign aid package to rebuild the war-torn economies of western Europe after WWII (even Germany and Italy). U.S. believed these countries had to recover economically and politically as a bulwark against Soviet expansionism. U.S. Cold War Strategies:  U.S. Cold War Strategies North Atlantic Treaty Org. (NATO) – Military alliance in Europe & North America to block Soviet expansion into western Europe (est. 1949). Soviets and East Bloc set up Warsaw Pact in response. NATO still exists after Soviet break-up, but new members include some nations once part of the Warsaw Pact. Russia suspicious of NATO’s role today; that view may be softening. Contemporary global politics:  Contemporary global politics Today, the world can be seen as Unipolar, with US the only superpower Multipolar, with many countries having strong economies, especially with emergence of strong regional alliances like the European Union Contemporary global politics:  Contemporary global politics Is the world safer today than it was during the five decades of the Cold War? Why or why not? Contemporary global challenges:  Contemporary global challenges Rise of ethnic and religious nationalism is leading to increasing tensions & civil war: Former Yugoslavia (Bosnia) Rwanda & Burundi Contemporary global challenges:  Contemporary global challenges Spread of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) – nuclear, biological & chemical. Threat of unpaid nuclear workers in Russia and the Ukraine selling nuclear grade material on the global black market in order to survive. Contemporary global challenges:  Contemporary global challenges International terrorism. Groups small, fluid, difficult to infiltrate. Weapons inexpensive to construct. Goal to destabilize and terrorize civilian population & adversely impact political & social system. International community has no global police force, but national police cooperate through Interpol. Also, new International Criminal Court has authority to try individuals for such crimes. Contemporary global challenges:  Contemporary global challenges A map of terrorist strikes globally shows that the world really did not change after 9/11, except for making Americans more aware. Asia & the Middle East the most active areas. The area with the least terrorist activity since 1998: Latin America. Mixed records: Africa, Eurasia, North America. Contemporary global challenges:  Contemporary global challenges Pandemics Spread of infectious diseases such as HIV/AIDS, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa. The U.N. reported in Dec. 2004 that almost 40 million people had AIDs worldwide, 2.2 million children. 5 million new HIV infections in 2004, 640,000 of them children. AIDs deaths: 3.1 million, with half a million of them children. Contemporary global challenges:  Contemporary global challenges Pandemics – “a global outbreak of disease that occurs when a new … virus appears in the human population, causes serious illness, and then spreads easily from person to person worldwide. Different from seasonal outbreaks … caused by viruses that already circulate. Pandemics are caused by subtypes that have never circulated among people … or have not circulated for a long time. Past influenza pandemics have led to high levels of illness, death, social disruption, and economic loss.” - Center for Disease Control Contemporary global challenges:  Contemporary global challenges Potential new threat posed by avian (or bird) flu which could trigger a pandemic with millions dead if not effectively addressed by international community. Contemporary global challenges:  Contemporary global challenges Cross-boundary environmental problems. International community tries to regulate pollution through bilateral and multilateral treaties such as Kyoto Accords, Rio Declaration, Climate Change Convention & Biological Diversity Convention. But few mechanisms to ensure compliance. Contemporary global challenges:  Contemporary global challenges Actions of nation-states & individuals have global environmental costs, such as: Emission of toxins into the atmosphere Disposal of spent nuclear rods Exploding global population (nearing 7 billion) Damage from warfare, such as when Iraq set fires to Kuwaiti oil fields after the Persian Gulf war in 1991. Contemporary global challenges:  Contemporary global challenges International wars: armed conflict between nation-states. At least one party is an aggressor - wanting access to something (more land, a year-round port, oil fields), wanting to punish another state, or wanting to preempt or block an expected attack by someone else. Contemporary global challenges:  Contemporary global challenges Civil war, in contrast, is a conflict within a state, pitting one faction against another. Most wars since 1945 have been civil wars; in fact, all current military conflicts are. But this line is increasingly blurred. For example, Serbian violence in Bosnia could be considered either civil or international. Contemporary global challenges:  Contemporary global challenges Refugees – displaced populations from wars and ethnic cleansing. Currently, almost 20 million in the world. UN High Commissioner for Refugees tries to coordinate international response to refugee problems. Goal to help everyone seek asylum and either stay safely in another state, resettle there, or return home. Contemporary global challenges:  Contemporary global challenges But what happens if refugees cannot go home and the host country cannot let them settle permanently? For example, 140,000 Somalis live in makeshift refugee camps in Kenya after 13 years; they face food & water shortages, overcrowding and malaria. Extremist politics have growing appeal. Contemporary global challenges:  Contemporary global challenges Globalization of the world economy International trade programs & agencies: e.g., World Trade Org., International Monetary Fund. Great disparities in global wealth. Of the top 100 economies in the world, 51 are corporations. Millions live in poverty without access to public water or basic sanitation, much less health care or education. How are challenges being addressed?:  How are challenges being addressed? Multilateral action. Economic, legal, military, and psychological advantages over unilateralism Non-governmental organizations International governmental organizations Regional governmental organizations The United Nations:  The United Nations Formed in 1945 after WWII by 50 member states.

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