POLA84 - Global Issues CHAPTER 1&2

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Political Science
Waldemar Skrobacki

Global Issues: Challenges of Globalization [Chapter 1] FROM INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS TO GLOBAL ISSUES  International Relations is the relations among the world’s state governments and other actors o Modern state emerged in Western Europe in 1648, following the Peace of Westphalia, the treaty that concluded the Thirty Years’ War in 1648.  International relations, international policies and world politics focus on states as the main actors  State is a legal and political unit that must be internationally recognized, be politically organized, and be a populated geographic area that has sovereignty o Sovereign – the ability of a state to be independent and free from the control of another state  The United States is composed of diverse populations and is based on primarily an ideology – a system of values, beliefs and ideas.  A nation is generally defined as a group of people who identify as a political community based on common territory, culture, and other similar bonds  International relations focuses on three main questions: o What are the contexts in which states operate, and how do these contexts shape or influence the decisions governments make? o What are the major objectives and interests of states in international politics, and what strategies do they employ to achieve them? o How are the choices made by states explained?  Power is defined as the ability to get others to do things they would not ordinarily do or to behave in ways they would prefer to avoid o Interactions among countries are characterized by a struggle for power  State-centric model – the view that world politics is dominated almost exclusively by state actors  All fields of study are concerned with theory, which predicts how humans behave or how things work in the real world under specific circumstances o All theories provide conceptual frameworks and simplify complex realities PLURALISM AND INTERDEPENDENCE  Pluralism and interdependence mark the transition from traditional international relations to global issues o Takes nonstate actors – organizations that are not formally associated with governments and play a crucial role in setting the international agenda – into consideration o Main concern is with how human activities are intertwined and interconnected across national boundaries o State failure and the inability of governments to effectively address a wide range of global issues reinforce this transformation of international relations  The violence and the threat of violence that accompanied the emergence of modern stated led to the pervasive emphasis on military power as the highest priority of states o In addition to terrorism, economic competition, the global financial crisis, population growth and migration, organized crime, drug trafficking, environmental problems, poverty, inequality, the globalization of diseases, piracy, and ethnic conflicts are among the threats to security  Human security is a concept of security that deals with the everyday challenges humans face that don’t involve military issues which focuses on seven categories of threats: o Economic security o Food security o Health security o Environmental security o Personal security o Community security o Political security  The transition to post international politics is characterized by greater attention on interdependence and globalization, and a stronger emphasis on global politics and global issues o Global politics – political issues and activities that have implications for most of the world o Global issues – encompass traditional international relations and worldwide politics  The concept of global politics inadequately portrays how economic, cultural, environmental, and demographic factors, are creating a society with global norms (i.e. a basic set of values that are increasingly common to human societies) o Stressing global issues indicates a recognition of how globalization intertwines many aspects of human activities and how essential it is to adopt a interdisciplinary approach in order to understand our world and its impact on our daily lives THE GROWTH OF THE MODERN STATE  Power played a pivotal role in the emergence of the state  The spread of humanism strengthened individualism and critical thinking o Humanism is a system of thought that centers on human beings and their values, capacities, and worth  Humanism was accompanied by the Renaissance – the humanistic revival in Europe of classical art, architecture, literature, and learning – which evolved in Italy in the 14 century and marked the transition of the Middle Ages to modern times o The Renaissance centered on the individual, self-consciousness, creativity, exploration, and science.  The combination of ideas, technological developments, ambition, the quest for freedom, and the constant struggle for power radically altered accepted practices, institutions, and patterns of authority  The Catholic Church became the target of advocated change following the decline of the Roman Empire. As the Church’s influence eroded, queens, princes, and kings in Europe attempted to enhance their own power by promoting national consciousness and territorial independence o Assisted by the Protestant Reformation o European monarchs formed alliances with merchants to weaken the Catholic Church and Roman Empire o Small political units made it difficult to engage in profitable trade and other economic transactions beyond their limited boundaries. Larger political systems were beneficial to businesses because of uniform regulations and fewer taxing jurisdictions  Towns of Europe were dominated by castles which symbolized not only military strength but also the political and economic independence of local barons  Religious, cultural, political, economic, and technological developments ultimately led to the outbreak of the Thirty Years’ War in 1618 SOVEREIGNTY  The interaction of the power of ideas and change is demonstrated by Jean Bodin and his major contribution to the modern idea of sovereignty o He was a French social and political philosopher and lawyer o Conflicts between Roman Catholic and Huguenots (French Protestants who were th followers of John Calvin) caused severe disorder in France during the last half of the 16 century o Bodin believed order could be restored through a combination of greater religious tolerance and the establishment of a fully sovereign monarch and stressed in his book that the state, represented by the king, was sovereign  Universal Catholic laws were replaced by international law which was a system of rules created to govern the interaction of states and to establish order o Articulated by Hugo Grotius, who was a strong advocate of natural law and the father of international law. He stressed that sovereign states were governed by natural law because they were composed of human beings who were ruled by nature and because it was in the interest of sovereign states to support an international legal system o Second component of international system was diplomacy where diplomats, their possessions, and their embassies were extensions of the sovereign states and accorded extraordinary legal protections o Third component of the system for maintaining international order was the balance of power, which attempted to prevent a state or group of states from becoming strong enough to dominate Europe o The new international system would rely on common cultural values and family connections to avoid disorder  There are four types of sovereignty: o International legal sovereignty, which focuses on the recognition of a state’s independence by other states and respect for its territorial boundaries o Westphalian sovereignty, which focuses on the exclusion of other states from the affairs of the government that exists within a given territory o Internal or domestic sovereignty, which refers to the rights of the government or formal organization of political authority within a state to exercise a monopoly of power over social, economic, political, and other activities within its borders o Interdependence sovereignty, which reflects the realities of globalization. It is concerned with the ability of governments to control or regulate the flow of people, money, trade, environmental hazards, information, and ideas across national boundaries THE DECLINE OF SOVEREIGNTY  Information and technological revolutions and the ease of international travel are contributing to the erosion of a state’s control over its population as well as to the decline of citizens’ identification with the state  The internet has eroded secrecy of all kinds, including government secrecy  Many governments are perceived as mere salesmen, promoting the fortunes of their own multinational corporations in the hope that this will provide a core prosperity that keeps everyone afloat THE EUROPEAN UNION: REDEFINING SOVEREIGNTY  European states voluntarily relinquish some of their sovereignty to achieve political and economic objectives  With expansion eastward, Europeans began to believe that excessive sovereignty and nationalism were leading causes of wars that engulfed the Continent and destroyed the most basic aspects of security and independence  Statesmen such as Jean Monnet and Robert Schuman of France and Paul Henri Spaak of Belgium were visionaries who believed that a united Europe, in which traditional sovereignty would be redefined, was essential to preserving peace and security and preventing another European holocaust o Controlling coal and steel would ultimately result in the reconciliation of Europe  In 1957, France, Germany, Italy, Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg signed a treaty that led to the creation of the Coal and Steel Community, the first major European institution  The Europeans signed the Treaty of Rome in 1957, which established both the European Economic Community and the European Atomic Energy Community  Since then, in many areas of political and economic life, power has been gradually transferred from the state level to the European Union and its various institutions o i.e., the European Court of Justice has powers that are similar to those of the U.S. Supreme Court THE RISE OF NONSTATE ACTORS  Nonstate actors, or nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), are organizations that are no part of a government or associated with structures of states, although they often cooperate with the government to achieve their goals  Types of NGOs include o Economic organizations, such as transnational corporations; o Advocacy organizations, such as Greenpeace and Amnesty International o Service organizations, such as the International Red Cross and Doctors Without Borders  Nonstate actors have four main roles: o Setting Agendas: NGOs often force national policymakers to include certain issues on their agendas o Negotiating Outcomes: NGOs work with governments and business groups to solve global problems o Conferring Legitimacy: Organizations, such as the World Bank, and transnational corporations derive legitimacy from the support or approval of various NGOs o Making Solutions Work: Many governments and intergovernmental organizations rely on NGOs to implement their decisions in areas such as humanitarian relief and economic development. The Catholic Church  When Pope John Paul II addressed lawmakers and national leaders, it was the first time a head of the Catholic Church made an appearance in the Italian Parliament  When the Lateran Treaty was negotiated between the Vatican and Italian government, it recognized Vatican City as fully sovereign and independent, and the Vatican recognized the Italian government  The Catholic Church reached out to countries under communist rule and condemned the proliferation of nuclear weapons in the United States, Russia and other countries and opposed America’s military action against Iraq Transnational Corporations  A multinational corporation (MNC) is generally defined as a national company that has many foreign subsidiaries that are basically self-constructed, making what they sell in a particular country, buying their supplies from that country, and employing that country’s citizens  A transnational corporation is organized as a global entity where planning, research, finance, pricing, marketing, and management are conducted with the world market in mind  The Dutch West India Company was granted a charter that allowed it to make agreements and alliances with leaders of conquered areas, to construct fortifications, to appoint and discharge governors, to raise armies, to provide administrative services, and to maintain order o The British East India Company was the government of British-controlled areas in India INTERDEPENDENCE AND GLOBALIZATION  Interdependence is a political and economic situation in which two states are simultaneously dependent on each other for their well-being o I.e., a war in Iraq drives up the price of gas here  Globalization is the integration of markets, politics, values, and environmental concerns across borders o Implies a significant and obvious blurring of distinctions between the internal and external affairs of countries and the weakening of differences among countries CAUSES OF GLOBALIZATION  Human desire to explore, to gain greater physical and economic security, to be creative and curious, and to move from one place to another are some causes of globalization o Improvements in transportation helped to speed up migration and made it easier to conduct trade over long distances and to colonize new areas  Advances in military and medical technologies allowed for expansion of commerce and acquisition of territories o i.e., nuclear weapons, weapons of mass destruction  Commerce and finance provided the foundation for many of these advances. o Financial market expansion was the global expansion of national markets which encouraged more economic interactions, innovation, entrepreneurship, and development of new technologies. o New technologies made it easier to conduct trade, migrate, conquer territories, and resist disease  Global communications have been facilitated by the spread of the English language around the world during an earlier period of globalization o The communication revolution is regarded as the major cause of globalization because it directly affects economic, financial, military, cultural, environmental, and criminal globalization FORMS OF GLOBALIZATION  Economic globalization – free trade, open markets, and competition in the world economy o Intensified with the emergence of new technologies and their diffusion to major parts of the world. o Economies around the world the world develop greater capability to produce and export goods as they obtain capital, technology, and access to distribution networks o As trade increases, competition intensifies, leading to lower prices and the elimination of companies that can’t effectively compete in the global market o Also includes the movement of people and the exchange of ideas.  Multinationals usually have training camps that help to create a common corporate culture  Financial Globalization – financial problems spread across the world almost instantaneously, reflecting how revolutions in telecommunications and computers have linked financial institutions o Four basic developments drive financial globalization, leading to the expansion and deepening of global finance  The consolidation of financial institutions – local banks were largely locally owned and operated  The globalization of operations – evident everywhere as banking conglomerates extend their reach by forming strategic alliances with similar institutions in different countries  The emergence of new technologies – money moves across national boundaries  The universalization of banking – growing competition in financial markets, increasing irrelevance of national borders, and increasingly complex relationships among businesses have contributed to a blurring of bank and nonbank financial services o In 1944, the United States, Britain and other countries held a conference to determine international financial order and established the Bretton Woods System, which required that the currencies of other countries to have an exchange rate fixed to the dollar, with the dollar fixed in terms of gold at $35 an ounce.  This gave U.S. significant influence over the international money supply  Set up the World Bank and created the International Monetary Fund to implement rules of international financial system and help countries experiencing short-term ba
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