Monday, August 24, 2009

Impact of International systems on political and economic stability, living standards and social /cultural interaction between different societies.

The aspects of globalization has influenced different states of the world to be interlinked operating as one in terms of economy, politics and environmental stability .This essay is going to discuss international systems and it’s various components if they function effectively focusing on their impact on political and economic stability, living standards and social and cultural interaction between different societies.

International system has become very imperative in the world we live in as globalization is at its peak, globalization has led to the creation of international systems they operate within the globe. Globalization according to Baylis and Smith (8:2005) it is a process of increasing interconnectedness between societies such that the events of the world more and more have effects on peoples and societies far away. According to Spiegel, Taw, Wehing and Williams (7:2005) the “international systems” is a comforting expression which assumes that international relations can be described according to a single unifying logic which inspires the actions of well –identified action. The international system comprise of various actors that perform different functions they are certain procedures and behavioral tendencies that the actors must adhere to or follow because any action is of global concern.

According to Rourke (57:1993) an international system is comprised of various aspects, the Nation State which is a state with a territorially based political organization that claims and is generally accorded sovereignty, the supranational actors which are composed of individual countries as members, have organizational authority at least theoretically supercede the sovereignty of it’s individual members an example of the high international order. Examples of these supranational actors or intergovernmental actors they are the General Purpose Universal Organizations like the UN and Regional Organization like the AU and Alliances like the NATO and lastly the transnational actors MNCs (multinational companies) and non intergovernmental actors the NGOs. These actors play a vital role in influencing the political, economic, living standards and cultural interaction between societies.

Various actors of the International systems have shown to a greater extent that they have their benefits and disadvantages in their operations. The existence of these actors such as the supranational actors, composed of regional organizations which are also called General Purpose Universal organizations, the UN in particular which was founded in 1945 has adequately managed to function and address the concerns of citizens from all parts of the globe. This organization according to Baylis and Smith (406;2005) which is composed of various countries with a number of 192 countries in its membership thus like all the countries in the world, in the international system the United Nations has managed to function effectively in terms of international politics. This can be noted by the global peace that prevails. According to Baylis and Smith (406:2005) the objectives of the United Nations are to maintain international peace and stability develop friendly relations among nations, cooperate in solving international problems, promoting respect of human rights and harmonizing the actions of nations.

These objectives have been fully achieved maintenance international peace and stability universal goal has been achieved for example the war in Liberia, Somalia and DRC the United Nations has managed to send peacekeeping forces and humanitarian aid. According to Baylis and Smith (115:2005) international forces are used in defiance of sovereignty of a state in order to protect humanitarian standards. The United Nations specialized agencies UNICEF, WHO, ILO, FAO and WTO to mention just a few have managed to function effectively to being sanity through out the world.

The most objective that have been more effective politically is to influence the policy decision making in the different states they by solving the international problems the Millennium Development Goals which were fully adopted by the countries show how this international actor has been successful in combating the international problems. According to Baylis and Smith (118; 2005) the effectiveness of the United Nations can be fully recognized in solving problems such as rebuilding failed states, supporting democratization, promoting human development, addressing HIV/AIDS and poverty and disease have made UN an indispensable resource, this has been good in enforcing homogeneity of polices which allows regional and international integration in strategic goals formulation.

Nevertheless of the positive impact of the intergovernmental actors politically they have brought the weakness in terms of the state operations according to Rourke (67; 1993) individual states policy no longer counts as policy homogeneity is now being followed by all the countries of the world. The failure of the international actors to control the USA national interest when they invaded Iraq in 2003 show how ineffective these international actors are, powerful states like the USA and Britain still control the world countries which is the creation of a bipolar system according to Baylis and Smith (406; 2005) the failure to get UN security Council authorization for the war in Iraq in 2003 shows how the UN is ineffective in dealing with international matters that affect the global peace and stability. In addition Rourke (442; 1993) the states sovereignty is now eroded as domestic economic including employment, inflation and overall growth, is heavy dependent on foreign markets ,imports of resources ,currency exchange rates, and a variety of international economic factor. The rise of free trade promoted by the intergovernmental organization is both a cause and result of international economic interdependence. This has been caused by the UN objective of promoting free trade and relations. Whilst the global peace and stability is begin threaten by civil conflict, humanitarian emergencies, human rights violations, poverty and inequality and tribal wars like those which led to Rwanda genocide the United Nations seems to be nonexistence as they are no permanent solution to these problems yet.

Economically the supernatural actors have contributed a lot to the international systems the World Bank and the IMF (international monetary Fund) which is a specialized agency of the United Nations according to Wittkopf and Kegley (153; 2000) the IMF purpose is to stabilize international monetary exchange rates it does so by influencing currency values and permitting members experiencing financial crises to recover by drawing foreign exchange from the IMF. Third world countries usually face economic problems and they are still developing in terms of infrastructure and economic growth the natural factors of droughts, famine and diseases make they operations of the economies so difficult that financial assistance will be of vital importance to upgrade the standards of the people so IMF and the world Bank act as the lender of the last resort when on country is threatened by economic melt down.
These actors have managed to improve the standards of living and to increase global participation and interaction of different cultures of the world through implementation of better policies initiated by all states for instance the Millennium Developmental Goals. Free Trade within the world has led to economic boost of other nations like Singapore and China according to The world Book Encyclopedia (233:2004) the world Trade Organization (WTO) aims to encourage the free flow of raw materials components finishened, finished products and services between countries. This has resulted in democratic relations between States hence the interaction between states.

The other intergovernmental are regional organizational actors such as the SADC, AU, EU and OAS are very much influential in maintaining regional peace and cooperation politically they have managed to address the problems of security, trade and democratization. This can be noted by the pivotal role played by SADC in the DRC civil war and the mediation of the conflict of political parties in Zimbabwe they by trying to bring peace and stability in the region and the world as whole as bad practice of politics can affect economy of the world. They help to promote regional economic development and economic integration among member states.

The ineffectiveness of the intergovernmental organizations economically and to the living standards can be noticed by the influence of this organizations in policy decision making that affect the countries negatively in their operations according to Rourke (67; 1993) the distribution of assets of power has not yet been achieved as power assets are the components of the national power that help to determines the country’s strength. The neo imperialist dependency created by these international actors have negative impacts to the third world countries as they are likely to suffer economically as the powerful states like the US control the world economy the recession of the 2009 originated form the USA so the strength of an individual states has shown how the intergovernmental organization are ineffective as they also depend of these powerful nations in their operations.

The threat to the existence of the nation state is now invertible due to the existence of the intergovernmental organizations. The failure to address the issues of the poverty and famine in the third World, with strict laundering policies of the World Bank and the IMF and heavy interests changed on the loans has worsened the situation of developing countries which in long term accumulated huge debts to these intergovernmental financial institutions, poor nations have not yet benefited form the functions of the international governments but have been left worse off with droughts turning into famine.

The nation state actors have been eroded their sovereignty as the international systems have dominated in the operations of the world politically, economically and socially according to Rourke (57:1993) a nation state actor is a territorially based political organization that claims and is generally accorded sovereignty. The weaker states have been left out in decision making and policy implementation intergovernmental actors are fueling the recolonization of the weaker states.

The non governmental organizations on the other hand have effectively addressed the concerns of the citizens from all parts of the globe politically they have managed to fight for women rights, human rights ,environmental protection, disarmament. Non governmental organization according to Baylis and Smith (435;2005) it is any group of people relating to each other regularly in some formal manner and engaging in collective action, provided that the activities are non-commercial and non violent and are not on behalf of a government. NGOs such as the Red Cross and Amnesty International have influenced the various governments across the world to have policies that are beneficial to human existence the living standards of the people around the world have been improved by NGOs humanitarian aid to war torn countries such as Somalia and the economic devastated counties of the world such as Zimbabwe the NGOs have distributed food, shelter, medication and water to the victims of the world devastated areas. Above all the non governmental organizations have been a source of link to supernatural organization such as the UN for its specialized agencies to take action.

The existence of the nongovernmental organization has according to Wittkopf and Kegley (162;2004) the NGOs have shaken the sovereignty of states governments over their foreign policies ,this has been severe in fragile of falling states where the revolt of NGOs has led to the collapse of the state and even led to the devolution of the central government power. NGOs in many states have been involved in the internal affairs of the states they have influenced regime change in states were government refuse to follow their policies. In addition according to Wittkopf and Kegley (162:2004) NGOs are making the borders porous and vulnerable both to external pressures and challenges from within their boundaries led to erosion of the state sovereignty.

Transnational actors have led to the development of infrastructure in the states they operate in led to economic growth and creation of employment in third world countries hence the improvement standards of living better housing, roads and health. According to Wittkopf and Kegley (173:2004) multinational companies advocates for liberal free trade and are active contributors to the globalization of the world. Transnational companies such as Shell, BP and Anglo American have been major facilitators of economic growth is the countries they host their operations. Transnational actors have many attributes that benefit the state they host their operations mostly of these transnational actors are located in the third world countries according to Baylis and Smith (433:2005) companies have their own interests of expanding their production ,rising the market share and maximizing their operations this will be accorded to the governments economic growth and employment.

Transnational Banks and MNCs according to Wittkopf and Kegley (173:2004) redistributes wealth in the world economy ,contributing to economic development in some states and stagnation in other they mainly focus on the development of the rich states by spreading the negative rewards of globalization of inequality and inequitably wealth distribution.

The negative impact of the transnational actors have mainly been on culture and political grounds Held and McGrew (198:2000) the world states culture have been eroded and promotion of westernization, McDonaldization and Coca colonization have been a way of influencing culture homogenization through out the world this has led to states losing their identity and historical background. The issue of sovereignty has been crucial as the states are losing their control in decision making and policy implementation. According to Baylis and Smith (430; 2005) two of the most important attributes of sovereignty, control over currency and control over the currency and control over foreign trade have been diminished due to the presence of these transnational actors. The governments have to loss sovereignty over economic issues and development.

As many of the transnational companies are owned by the west and the US this have led to the powerful states extending their national interests in other states this can be shown by the control of oil reserves in the Middle East by the US government through their transnational companies. According to Baylis and Smith (431:2005) the US control of TNCs leads to extraterritoriality by which the governments attempts to exercise it’s legal authority in the territory of another state with the use of domestic law to control the global activities. These transnational companies can be involved in illicit trading of arms, drugs, stolen goods and exploitation of women they have operations that maybe illegal like the environmental degradation due to the lack of government policies on environmental protection in favor of economics growth objectives.

Despite that they have been a great concern in national politics and international politics on how the international systems operate, with the negative impact of their operations in individual sates and internationally. The international systems have functioned well to strengthen economies of the countries and increasing interaction between countries as well as political relations among states and improving the living standards of the people through out the world due to these international systems the globalization process possible.

Tendai Mazingaizo


Baylis J and Smith S 2005 The Globalization of world Politics 3rd edition Oxford University Press USA

Held D. and McGrew A. 2000 The Global transformation Reader Blackwell Publishers Inc USA

Rourke J T 1993 International Politics on the world stage 4th edition The Duskin Publishing Group Inc USA

Splegel S.LTaw J.M, Welting F.L and Williams K.P: (2004) :Reading the world of Politics A new Era: Thomson Learning Inc USA

The World Book Encyclopedia: 2004: World Book Inc USA

Wittkopf E.R and Kegley C.W Jr: 2004: World Politics trend and Transformation: Thomson Learning Inc USA


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