Research Paper: Power, Interdependence, and Nonstate Actors

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Power, Interdependence, And Nonstate Actors in World Politics

Power, Interdependence, and Non-state Actors in World Politics

In the late 1970s, new approaches emerged concerning international relations. Although the constituents of the new approaches appear in numerous literatures, several political scholars combined the themes in the various literatures to develop a competitor to realism, which later led to the formulation of neo-realism. This model was first discussed in Power and Interdependence; however, this approach is currently popular and referred to as neo-liberal institutionalism. After three decades since Power and Interdependence, numerous studies suggest that this new model has gained significant international relations. On the other hand, After Hegemony, which is core to the neo-liberal model, provided the most compelling theoretical support for the existences and role of international institutions in global politics (Milner and Moravcsik, 2009).

Since the advancement of the neo-liberal, approach is now apparent in numerous works including Legalization and World Politics, The Rational Design of International Institutions, and Delegation and Agency in International Organizations. The works provided are typical examples of how chief ideas of neo-liberal institutionalism approach push them into new areas of study. In addition, they affirm to the continuing theoretical power of the approach. The approach has also proven that it is empirically fit. For instance, globalization has made the globe connected as Power and Interdependence as seen in the past. Among other issues in world politics, such as non-state actors, and international institutions, globalization has made neo-realism, a less potent explanation of global relations and has raised the significance of neo-liberal approach.

Some of the areas addressed by the neo-liberal approach emphasize on non-state actors, including international institutions on forms of power besides military force and threats, the role of interdependence, anarchy in the global system, and on the significance of cooperation including conflict in global politics (Keck and Sikkink, 1999). Although these factors show variations with some elements depicted in realism and neo-realism, some scholars have utilized many aspects, which they have advanced significantly. Notably, neo-liberal institutionalism shares some similar aspects with the approach it greatly contests, neo-realism. However, neo-realism and neo-liberal institutionalism foster for a systematic theory, which will address international politics.

Additionally, systematic theorists suggest that an international system has a significant impact on states; the setting limits and shapes them powerfully. Due to this, the theorists comment that it is important to consider the external forces in any theoretical explanation concerning global relations. Failure of considering the external factors would lead to confusion on variables that they would utilize to offer explanations on a systematic outcome. Neo-realists perceive anarchy and the balance of capabilities as the primary factors, which pose substantial impacts on states. On the other hand, although neo-liberal institutionalisms suggest that the factors are important, they also think that the effects of anarchy result from mutual interdependence and the current nature of modern poetics.

While the both agree that systematic-level theory is the most appropriate approach, there is a need to agree on norms, rules and decision-making procedures, which the involved must align or work in line. This is mainly because there are numerous state practices that are institutionalized in ways that norms, rules and principles exist, which serves as references to state's behaviors in certain issues, in particular areas. For neo-liberal institutionalism, world politics is a form of institutionalism, but to varying degrees in various issue areas and states. In the current era, almost every sector concerned with global cooperation is formalized into either a global institution or an actual organization. Although this was the case, some scholars felt that powers vested upon institutions mattered, and integration of power and interdependences would combine to establish institutional change (Haglund and Hawes, 1990).

Statement of the problem

One of the most popular elements of the international political system in the twenty first century, there has been a significant surge concerning the importance of non-state entities. In addition, with the development of interdependence and communication among the numerous global societies, this has seen to the establishment of various organizational structures, which operate on regional and global basis. The primary problem comes in because of the rise of these transitionally organized non-state actors, and their substantial inclusion in global politics because they do challenge the assumptions of traditional models to international relations, which assume that all states are the only significant aspects of the international system. Additionally, it also raises a problem because some scholars recognize that these non-state actors and their activities have contributed to significant changes in global politics, but other scholars comment that it is possible to treat the international system based on inter-state relations.

Literature Review

Sources of Power in World Politics

Globalization does not only change the economy of a country, but also the power relations, cultures and environments. It has the capacity to alter the power relations; in the context of international relations, it changes the power of the developing nations in the already developed states. On the other hand, in the context of domestic relationships, it alters the power relations among governments, business, and the civil society. For instance, in the period until the late 1980s, the power of rich states has increased greatly when compared to other states. This is the main contributor to the widening gap apparent between many states, in terms of wealth and poverty.

During the period, some rich nations paved way or allowed new members, especially non-western to their countries. Although Japan became a global power, the global institutional architecture adopted during the period, was unsatisfactory, and gives inadequate influence to developing states. During the third wave of globalization, it is apparent that economic power shifted from industrial states for the first time in over a hundred years. Economies of the new globalized states are developing at much faster pace compared to economies of OECD member countries, but China and India are gradually becoming significant political powers, arising from their economic control in the globe (Keohan and Nye, 2001).

In addition, numerous developing states have shown the desire in the development of world architecture mainly because it decreases the inequality of power. The third wave globalization has seen to the significance of developing states in the world politics arena because of their contribution in the world economy. In addition, their growing presence is evident in the power relations within several global institutions including WTO, UN Security Council, World Bank and IMF. Notably, globalization does not confine the independence of state governments in some contexts, but they must have some freedom to manage between trade, capital flows and labor, including the freedom to manage culture and their environments.

Power refers to the ability to achieve the desired outcomes, but it can also involve the altering of behaviors of others to achieve the results. However, to achieve the desired outcomes, a state must possess resources including population, territory, natural resources, economic stability, military, and policy stability. In the international context, there exist two types of power, which are realistic and structural power. Realistic power has the traditional sense of state power as an international actor, whereas structural power refers to the capacity to make decisions concerning safety, knowledge, production of goods and services, and provision of money in forms of credit.

Other scholars define power differently. Some define power using three categories, which are: i) military power, which possesses the highest amount of power in politics, ii) economic power, which submits to the power possessed by the military. Economic power aligns towards the desires of the state, iii) power on the opinion, which refers to the art of convincing or persuasion as in the case of politics. On the other hand, some elements found in the national power include Geography, Natural Resources, Industrial Capacity, Quantity, and Quality of the military forces. The military force was traditionally the affirmation of great power, but currently the grounds of power has changed due to the emerging of economic power (Nye, 2005).

Early studies suggest that an overview of the concepts of economic power, calls for the need to consider the economic aspects when introducing an economic approach to international policies. This is because some politically powerful nations can use their economic power in international relations to rule over other nations, especially those that are yet to develop. This suggests that it is important to differentiate between economic strength and economic power. A simple overview of the two: economic strength is the medium in, which may or not apply as a power to influence other countries.

On the other hand, economic power is that force, which some states may use to dominate or control. Therefore, the capacity to affect the decisions of other nations is influence and power refers to the use of physical means to influence the decisions. Using the information provided it is apparent that economic power has gained prominence in recent decades, and now it is a very important aspect in military power. This arises from the fact that the international political plan has achieved peace and constitute of subjects concerned with… [END OF PREVIEW]

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