Sample Essay: Global Institutions Challenge Rather Than Defend National Interests

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The concept “nation-state” appeared in the system of international relations in the XVII century, after the Thirty-years war in Europe. The state was identified as the political institution of some ethnos, and the process of transferring sovereignty from the monarch to the people began. The main category, which is in the possession of the state in the realm of international relations, is the national interest. It may be envisaged as a complex of economical, political, cultural, geopolitical, social values, which are relatively constant and which define the foreign policy of the state. National interests express the social, political, and economic motives a nation-state pursue in order to improve its influence and the quality of life of its people. Critical questions when considering national interests include the maintenance of a nation’s sovereignty and the preservation and growth of its identity. The main interests are: the national security, the accumulation of force and the economic development (Tsygankov P., 1996). But in the contemporary world the cooperation among the states is compulsory for such reasons:

1) there are the problems, which require the common settlement, because the efforts of the single state are insufficient (for example, ecological problems, division of the rare natural resources, the problem of keeping peacefully relations among the states);

2) the modern hierarchy of the states puts some of them higher, some – lower, but in accordance with the principles of international law the interests of all the states must be taken into consideration, and the supranational bodies can embody the mechanisms of doing it;

3) the international organisation can also provide the implementation of the general human rights and liberties, and then follow for their inviolability.

So, the validity of global institutions is proved, and their establishment starting from the early XIX century (“the Holy Alliance”) and particularly in the XX century was a most significant feature of the global policy in the last century (Easton D, 1965). The international organisations, from one hand, provide more effective means of pursuing of national interests – this applies particularly to the national security and economic development – (Torkunov A, 1999), and from another hand, their activity impedes the third of the main national interests – the accumulation of force, because the very quintessence of the international bodies is in the restraining of the powerful and the supporting of weak states. But I can present a hypothesis, that the force is a category, which allow to the state to defend itself, have an influence on another institutions, provide its own economic development without the support of international organisations, hence, this interest is the major and dominating. Another aspect is the rightfulness of this state. When the powerful state isn’t undergone to some restrictions (for example, the commitment before the signed treaties), it can concentrate in its hands all the power, all the resources and define the development of the entire world (Aron R, 1984).

We must take into account, that there are two approaches to the envisaging of the category of international organisations and the international relations, order in general: the political realism and idealism. The former direction present the global policy as “a jungle” (Charles d’Egolle), a place, where the national interests of various states contradict one another, and there is a constant struggle of “all against all” (Tomas Gobbs). The idealism tries to persuade, that the international organisations are established for providing collective security, keeping peace and facilitating the international economic cooperation.

Concerning the idea of this essay we can study the conception of the “universal actor” by M. Kaplan. This concept represents a supranational organisation, which aims are the providing of security, peace and mankind’s development. This system supposes a relatively high level of political homogeneousness of international actors and bases on the solidarity of national actors and universal actor. Good-developed system of integration in the economic, political, social, cultural realms is also required. The wide competences are in the hands of universal actor, and the most significant among them is the right to define status and support some states. The states-members of this organisation are due to transfer some part of their sovereignty to the “world government”. The international relations function on the base of the rules, principles of international law, and the responsibility for their executing lies on the universal actor (M. Kaplan, 1957).  As we see, the authorities of the “nation-state” are positioned lower than the interests of the universal actor. UN with some expenses can be defined as a universal actor in the contemporary world (M. Kaplan, 1957). But we must also admit that UN isn’t a “thing in itself”, because its activity and aims are the aims of the entire world, the world community. So, the global institution is a representative of the mankind’s interests (M. Kaplan, 1957). This conclusion is the principal for understanding the sense of the conflict “international organisations – national interest”. We can envisage this conflict as an opposition of ideas “global, mankind’s interest – national interest”.

The concept “national interest” doesn’t contain the providing of human rights, democracy, though these categories are worth being the major in the international private law and in the human consciousness. For another hand, the state independence and state sovereignty are the main values of the principles of international public law. If some state breaks principles of democracy, the “universal actor” (UN) must punish it, of course, breaking the principle of sovereignty (Rosecrance R., 1963). What is more, even if the state hasn’t broken the rules, it has an interest in accumulating the force, which also contradicts to international law. This paradox has no means to settle, except the idealistic one – to establish the conditions of international cooperation, in which the nation-states haven’t the necessity to accumulate the force. I saw this prospect in the forming world community, which will be united together by the common economy (that is possible), common values (that is harder to represent) and the world government – “the universal actor”, in other words.

Hence, contradiction between the global interest and national interest is inevitable, that support the main idea of this essay. The growing volume of activity of international organisations is really a “challenge” to many states, particularly to the powerful or to the “rogue states”. But in a human science it isn’t enough to deliver a fact; it must be also estimated. So, the realists affirm that the principle of sovereignty and struggle among nations prevails, and idealists envisage the democracy, the peace and the good as major values. What is important, that this issue must be resolved in one way for all the states, because the world order (a system of international relations) can exist or not exist – two variants only. Hence, these contradictions must be resolved in various ways in different cases, because both these systems of values (idea of sovereignty and democracy) are worth dominating in the human consciousness and world practice. What is more, the principle of state sovereignty is an ingredient of the global democracy (White W., 2001).

Bibliography

  1. Kaplan M. – “System and process in international politics”, 1957.
  2. Aron R. – “Peace and war among nations”, 1984
  3. Tsygankov P. – “The international relations”, 1996.
  4. Torkunov A. – “Modern international relations”, 1999.
  5. Easton D. – “System analysis of political life”, 1965.
  6. Frankel J. – “International politics. Conflict and harmony”, 1969.
  7. White W. – “The role of regional and global institutions in crisis prevention and management”, 2001.
  8. Rosecrance R. – “Action and reaction in world policy”, 1963.

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