GOV&POL JUNE 2016 3D

State sov. in decline?

Intro - State sovereignty refers to the ability of the state to act independently and autonomously in global politics and also implies that states are legally equal and remain politically independent and in control of their own territory (Treaty of Westphalia, 1648)

1st - Globalisation, in all of its forms, has led to deeper levels of interdependence and interconnectedness. State borders are increasingly porous and sovereignty has declined in significance. E.g. Ryan Giggs cheating scansdal

2nd - The emergence of non-state actors, such as transnational corporations and nongovernmental organisations, have created a level of bodies which seem, at times, to be able to operate outside the traditional constrains of sovereignty. Arguably terrorist organisations have eroded state sovereignty too?

3rd - A trend towards regional/global governance also appears to have altered the traditional concept of state sovereignty. The creation of international judicial bodies such as the ICC and the growth of human rights awareness and humanitarian intervention all appear to have eroded the significance of state sovereignty also.

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Great powers vs. superpowers

Intro - In the current international system, both great powers and superpowers coexist. An example of a great power could be the British Empire in the 20th century, and a superpower could be the US after WWII.

1st - A great power is a state deemed to rank amongst the most powerful in a hierarchical state-system. Neo-realist Kenneth Waltz distinguished great powers by their economic strength, their economic power, their global, and not merely regional, spheres of interest, and their ‘forward’ foreign policies. Great powers were oringally used to describe the combarants of the Napoleanic wars; Austria, Francem UK, Prussia and Russia. 

2nd - The term superpower was coined in the aftermath of WWII to indicate a power that is greater than a traditional great power. The term tends to be used specifically to refer to the USA and the Soviet Union during the Cold War period, and to the USA alone in the post-Cold War period. A superpower possesses great power ‘plus great mobility of power’. Superpowers typically possess a global reach, a predominant economic and strategic role within their respective ideological bloc or sphere of influence, and preponderant military capacity, especially in terms of nuclear weaponry. The US, for example, domineers global GDP with $20.20 trillion (2018)

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Criticisms of G8

Intro - The G8 emerged with the inclusion of Russia in the G7 in 1997. The primary objective of G8 was to ensure the overall coordination of the system of global economic governance. It has been criticised for several reasons

1st -  Can exercise tremendous influence on global stage due to economic, military, and diplomatic power and influence. Thus G8 has great influence on the policies and decisions of the UNSC, WTO, IMF, World Bank. However, the G8 has no permanent staff. For those negatively impacted by the policies of G8/G7, and for countries excluded from its deliberations, no one can be held accountable.

2nd - Shift in world economy towards emerging economies has undermined legitimacy of G8 and ability to make meaningful decisions. The exclusion of Russia, as a consequence of its involvement in the 2014 Crimea crisis in Ukraine, led to a reduction to 7 members and a decision to meet as the G7 group of nations. 

3rd - Unrepresentative. G8 is accused of representing the interests of the super rich elite. Moreover, China, India, Africa nor Latin America are representated. It is a Western-dominated organisation, with 50% of the vote in World Bank/IMF. Furthermore, the G8 cut social programmes, taking away space for gender equality, gay rights and disability rights.

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To what extent is hard power dominant [45]

Hard power = use of military and economic means to influence other political bodies. Joseph Nye: “the ability to use the carrots and sticks of economic and military might to make others follow your will.” Carrots = inducements e.g. reduction of trade barriers/allaince/military protection. Sticks = threats e.g. coercive diplomacy/military intervention/economic sanctions. Contrasts with soft power. Hard power = traditional currency. Argued no longer dominant.

Realist theorists would argue that war is endless and that military power remains the only sure guarantee of a state’s survival and security. The evidence of this is the continued arms expenditure and the horizontal proliferation of nuclear weapons (N.K). The security dilemma means that fear and uncertainty will always persist in international affairs and the evidence is that states, on the whole, prefer to retain a military capability. E.g. N.K, War on Terror, Pentagon sending US troops in South Asia to counter Chinese influence. Clash of Civs suggests military power is not outdated. Economic sanctions are routinely used e.g. N.K.

In contrast = ‘complex interdependence’, globalisation bringing states closer together in terms of trade in particular. Consequently, it can be argued that use of hard power is far less likely. he spread of a western-style liberal democracy has also been argued to have reduced the likelihood of conflict between states as suggested by Fukuyama. (USE: N.K sanctions are futile, China's influence is still growing, War on Terror is futile, globalisation)

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