Conflict Management Collective Security's Affect on State Essay

Pages: 4 (1348 words)  ·  Style: MLA  ·  Bibliography Sources: 3  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Government

Conflict Management

Collective Security's Affect on State Sovereignty:

Implications for the Past, Present, and Future

Is collective security a way for nations to protect themselves against common enemies, or is it just colonialism repackaged to look appealing? This is a question that can only be answered in two ways: through historical exploration and future speculation. To some, collective security agreements represent a progressivism that is transforming states into coalitions, a positive phenomenon that will change the scope of international relations for the better. To others, collective security agreements are simply another example through which large states exploit smaller ones. In the tradition of imperialism and new imperialism, these people suggest that smaller nations that sign collective security agreements are at the mercy of larger nations. After a brief identification of the term collective security and its relevance, as well as exploration of both historical examples and future complications, one can easily see that today's collective security agreements do not pose a threat to sovereignty, although future collective security strategies may not be able to claim this feat.

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TOPIC: Essay on Conflict Management Collective Security's Affect on State Assignment

According to Stromberg (2008), collective security "may be defined as a plan for maintaining peace through an organization of sovereign states, whose members pledge themselves to defend each other against attack" (para 1). Thus, by definition, collective security is a conglomeration of "sovereign states," or states who perpetuate their own governance. Collective security agreements are probably the most famous examples of hard power multinational conflict management in recent history. While states often use soft power methods of multinational conflict management, such as forming informal alliances, launching media campaigns to increase a state's popularity within a region, and arranging meetings among sovereign leaders, collective security agreements, which are formal and legally binding, are most often relied upon as a means of hard power exertion.

Much like any other treaty, a collective security agreement simply requires states to give up some benefits to receive other benefits. This concept is known as opportunity cost. For instance, a trade agreement between two countries may stipulate that one country refrain from doing business with another, perhaps a state that is not acting in the best interest of one of the countries joining the treaty. Thus, in this case, the two countries entering a treaty give up some benefits to receive others for a cost, but this does not mean that they have lost sovereignty. While collective security agreements are like other treaties, however, their components are often different. For instance, collective security agreements require the use of military personnel and launched offensives that may cost a state lives, political power, and eventually render them losers in a major conflict. For this reason, some suggest that smaller, less powerful states are being exploited when it comes to multinational conflict management, or collective security agreements.

Although nations in many forms (states, feudal kingdoms, tribes, etc.) have sworn to protect each other throughout history, the concept of collective security was conceived during WWI, and was practiced for the first time in the aftermath through the League of Nations, United Nations, and NATO. The actual term "collective security" was not coined until the 1930s, when the public had high hopes that the League of Nations would curb the aggressive states that eventually became the Axis in WWII (Stromberg 2008, para. 2).

Collective Security and Sovereignty in History

Throughout modern history, collective security agreements have been a mixture of success and failure. The success and failure of these collective security treaties and institutions has had a direct link to the sovereignty that the member nations have enjoyed. The first example of a collective security agreement since the concept was conceived, Woodrow Wilson's League of Nations, was, obviously, unsuccessful.

Though it was eventually dissolved, it not only informed the world of social problems, but also laid the foundation for the UN ("League of Nations: Background"). An idealist, Wilson hoped that the collective security agreement would prove successful in terminating all wars. In fact, collective security agreements are often championed by idealists as… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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