Key concepts in Global Politics
Sovereignty was established from the Treaty of Westphalia 1648 (this was the dismantling of
the Holy Roman Empire after many unsettled wars due to how the empire should be run as there were
different religious groups.) Sovereignty is the central concept for power within a nation state.
If a nation state has sovereignty they are recognised by the international community and
they can make decisions and policies without interference from outside forces.
Sovereignty can be broken up into different types such as: Military, economic, Political,
internal, external and legal sovereignty.
Is sovereignty still important?
1. According to Realism, 1. Globalisation and the dependence on trade to maintain economy, has meant that
governments will only base many nation are losing sovereignty in order to maintain relationship with other states.
decisions on the security (E.g. even though the USA and Saudi are ideologically opposed USA has to work with
and needs of the nation them because they are dependent on them for oil.)
state, not based on an 2. Institution such as the WTO, EU, IMF ensure that nations have to abide by certain
international consensus. regulations, thus undermining their own needs e.g. expenditure on liberalising economy
2.Historically nations want rather than social policies.
to preserve their identity 3. The USA and other dominant nations can manipulate other state governments, i.e.
and maintain individual LEDCs who may have to abide by MEDC desires due need for foreign direct investment
power: The USA in Iraq and lack of political power.
3.Symbolically: UK 4. A shrinking world ensures that nations are now more interested in helping other
rejecting the Euro nations as events in one part of the world effects people from all around the world.
4.Rise of nationalism (pride Therefore MEDCs can be seen as now helping LEDCs i.e. through aid, investments and
of country's) development programs.
5.Reaction to 5. Issues such as the environment as well as terrorism are factors in the current world
supranationalism which lead to state sovereignty becoming less relevant in politics.
6. increase in military intervention in Bosnia, Kosovo, Iraq
Define Nation state
A state is a coherent political entity that is sovereign. A nation is an expansion of a tribe with
cultural, language, religious, ethnic qualities in common that provide an element of cohesion.
This allows them to a national identity.
Nationalism is a belief that a nation, or all Nations, should be self governing.
Define foreign Policy
A policy is a plan of action pursued by a government. The fact that the plan is foreign shows
that it is designed to deal with states relations with other states. E.g. Britain's policy is to
maintain strong relations with the USA. However, the UK chooses to have a more hostile
relationship with the Zimbabwean Government led by Robert Mugabe.
Has American foreign policy drastically changed in the post Cold War order?
Before/During Cold War After Cold War
-Political values: Democracy, freedom, -Political values are the same (liberal
anti-communist democratic values)
Other pages in this set
National Security: arms race, `war on drugs', -National security is still paramount `war
supported states that opposed or fought on terror' instead of on communism
communism e.g. proxy wars Vietnam similar rhetoric
-Trade: with nations which supported -Now has out right wars e.g.
Criticises realism for being too pessimistic, as Plato recognised the political ideals were
impossible to achieve
Explains that states can function and relate to each other in a cooperative and unselfish
manner without a world government
States should work with one another with the goal of providing justice for all nations,
regardless of a nation's power
States should seek to achieve international goals such as reducing poverty, limiting
Globalisation is a feature of an interconnected world.
World Power since 1945
One state having control over another, through military, cultural, resources, economy,
geography, history and political status.
Hard power: The use of military or economic power/force in order to exert influence
over other political bodies
Hard power describes a nation's ability to coerce or induce another nation to perform a
course of action. This is using military and economic means to influence the behaviour or
interests of other political bodies.
Trade for political and military reasons, e.g. trading with Saudi Arabia means they
gain oil and secure military bases. The US dollar is also used for trade.
Polarity/World Order/Global politics
Polarity: power structure and distribution of power in the international system
Distribution of power in which one state has most of the cultural, economic, political and
military influence in the world: international relations are dominated by a single state.
The suspicion and mistrust between nations may hinder world stability
Could invade countries to spread their sphere of influence a state is forced to accept a
particular type of government e.g. Eastern Europe during Cold War and so their sovereignty
International institutions such as the UN can become ineffective e.g. during the Cold War
when the USA and USSR would veto issues simply out of rivalry.
The US can cripple smaller economies e.g. Thailand Unpopular foreign policy: e.g. 500,000 child deaths
25% of its exports go to the USA and it was unable to after the first gulf war; Iraq war was strongly opposed by
develop cheaper HIV drugs as the US wanted Thailand many nations.
Technologically well developed Highly dependent on trade from the USA and for
Has foreign trade worth $851 billion energy and raw materials due to limited supply
Highest growth rate of GDP in the world Does not have capacity to deploy military force
Has defensive advantages due to the size of its outside of East Asia
Economic globalisation has also led to cultural globalisation e.g. McDonald's
-International bodies have been created to provide a framework for globalisation e.g. WTO
but are dominated by the US and so poorer nations can be discriminated against
-Lowering of trade boundaries means that people can be exploited as economies are
-Countries still have political sovereignty e.g.
Maintain peace and security internationally
-Involves helping countries which have come out of conflicts re-stabilise
-Assisting conflicting parties to implement peace treaties
-Peacekeepers involve soldiers, military officers, police and civilian personnel
-Prevent destruction of economic and social life of entire populations and control conflicts
essentially by monitoring
History and missions
-Israel was the first UN peace keeping mission 60 years ago
-Sierra Leone (end civil war, disarm combatants), Congo, (monitor elections and maintain
peace after civil war), Middle East (monitor elections and monitor borders)