THE TRANSITION OF INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS, THE CASE OF AFRICA ... (Part I)
8/7/2012 11:41:18 PM -
International Relations (IR) is a discipline that involves the study of relations among nations.
It aims to have cooperative, united and peaceful nations around the world. International Relations intends to seek a better international community by analyzing and formulating foreign policy and securing the welfare of all states around the world.
Diplomatic act is a means International Organizations employ to avoid igniting world wars,thus the need to establish a unified International organization (League of Nations).
After the war, IR emerged as a formal academic 'discipline' in 1918. In the past century we have seen the role of International Relation to maintain and develop welfare among nations to nations. It involves a diverse range of issues on international community. The principle of the study of International Relation is based on world history and used it to prevent states to engage in war for the welfare of the world.
The League of Nation was established to have an economic development among states and it didn't succeed, United Nation was established to show how to maintain peace and welfare in the international community as well as economic cooperation. The diversity of United Nation as an international organization is very helpful to secure and protect lives, resources, peace, security, market, territory and promote development among nations.
It must be emphasized that UN is a tool that prevents nation to nation conflicts that may lead to world wars. It is near to impossibility to maintain peace and welfare in the world based on our history but International Relations have proven that it is not impossible to secure welfare around the world.
B. The Ancient Era
In old world expansion of empires is everywhere, Ancient Greece, Roman Empire, China's Dynasties etc. The Old World comprises Africa, Asia, and Europe (collectively known as Afro-Eurasia), plus surrounding islands (or at least those parts which were known to classical geography before the 15th century). It is monarchical rule and territories gain through wars. Basically, empires are group of kingdom and with one ruler, the emperor. International Relations are a lot different back then, messengers are sent not to prevent war but to warn kingdoms to join their ruling or they will engage in war.
Religion is one of the factors to expand a territory, like in Holy Roman Empire, Constantine reuniting Rome with Christianity and able to expand his territories. In China's history Qing dynasty has the hugest territory and the last. In reality, Chinese history is not as neat as is often described and it was rare indeed for one dynasty to end calmly and give way quickly and smoothly to a new one. Dynasties were often established before the overthrow of an existing regime, or continued for a time after they had been defeated. Rulers gain their respect with other empire by means of how large their territory is. In the world history there are many well known individuals for expansion of their territories, and the best example I will give is Alexander 'the Great'. By the age of thirty, he had created one of the largest empires in ancient history, stretching from the Ionian Sea to the Himalayas. He was undefeated in battle and is considered one of the most successful commanders of all time. In old world of ancient world, the International Law was non-existent, the natural state between foreign nations was universally considered to be war. Peace could only exist as the result of express treaties. Nations were enemies or allies; there was, in theory, no middle ground. The development of any system of international law during a period of this character was impossible.
C. Wars and Diplomacy (1648-1914)
During the Medieval Period, wars were inevitable, in 1648 the Thirty Years War ended and that was, unequivocally, one of the most devastating war of religion. In 1900's another war shocked the world and a true devastation and destruction to the world. The World War I started in 1914 and ended in 1918, and this war produced many genocides, revolutions and unreasonable killings. In the 19th Century, the major European powers had gone to great lengths to maintain a balance of power throughout Europe, resulting by 1900 in a complex network of political and military alliances throughout the continent. Many had died around the world in this war, but an ideology of maintaining the welfare of the world emerged.
Introduce by Woodrow Wilson, the League of Nation was established on Paris Peace Conference and by the Treaty of Versailles the League of Nations was established on 28 June 1919. The league was intended to introduce international welfare by using diplomatic acts instead of violence.
Economy is one of the major reasons why the league is established. The First World War had a lasting impact on social memory and this war brought International Relations as a discipline.
D. The Birth of International Relations (1919-1939)
After the establishment of the League of Nations in 1919, the economy of the world became vigorous and trade & cooperation were done around the world. Industries rose all around the world and the effect of globalization was felt. The birth of International Relation arose, by Woodrow Wilson, showing the political ideology of Idealism can fit into the international community. Diplomatic act was being used to maintain peace and prevent war. IR was the key to achieve cooperation and to trade with other nations. This era was the peak of industries around the world, and by the help of the League of Nation (LON) many countries had experienced dramatic development on their economy. Institutionalizing diplomacy was the foundation of LON and as being introduced as a field of academe study. But the league didn't last, in 1939 the league failed to prevent another war from emerging. The World War II happened and the league was abolished. The ignition of war came from the conflict in the Europe, especially in Italy with the fascism leader Benito Mussolini.
E. Hot and Cold War (1940-1993)
The World War II was, to some extent, the result of the failure of League of Nation, another devastating war to the world. The war was ignited by the Pearl Harbor Attack in Hawaii, the largest naval base of the United States in 1941 of December. The war waged on the western and south, many have died and many nations suffered, even till now. The World War II was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nationsincluding all of the great powerseventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis. It was the most widespread war in history, with more than 100 million military personnel mobilized. In a state of "total war," the major participants placed their entire economic, industrial, and scientific capabilities at the service of the war effort, erasing the distinction between civilian and military resources. Marked by significant events involving the mass death of civilians, including the Holocaust and the only use of nuclear weapons in warfare, it was basically war of political ideology.
The leadership of Adolf Hitler of Germany killed many civilians as well as Josef Stalin in USSR/Russia, of Benito Mussolini in Italy, and other leaders that created genocides.
The Cold War emerged after the World War II and it was between the wars of 'ism'-The mass production of nuclear weapons of USSR as well as with Cuba for their security reason and the political ideology that is contrary to the ideology of USA, communism/socialism versus democratic form of government. It was cold war because there were no mass killings; it was only a rivalry of who is the world power. The Cuba was being embargoed as a sanction for collaborating with USSR to produce nuclear warfare. The war of ideology came to an end and John F. Kennedy successfully managed not to engage into war.
The Cold war end in 1993, and Cuba and USSR stopped producing nuclear warfare.
F. Environment and Human Rights
The impact of Globalization has consequences, the environment degeneration. That's why United Nation does not only focus on maintaining order and welfare to the world. UN forms an international organization to protect and preserve our resources in our environment and also human development. UNEP or United Nation Environment Programme intends to promote the protection for environment and UNICEP or United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund focuses on the welfare of children around the world. As we see the impact of globalization, has a huge effect on our environment and the degeneration of our environment affects the food supply that is chain to the health of every human in the world.
Having these two international organizations would remind the world that we must act now for us to have a sustainable development.
International Relations has come to a bigger picture after it was established, promoting the total welfare of the world is its advocacy.
By PRINCE OWUSU ATTAH
Watch Out for Part II !