CHILD SOLDIERS: A SCAR QUESTIONING OUR VALUES

One of the most alarming trends connecting children and armed conflicts is the incorporation of young children as soldiers. Children as young as 8 years of age are being forcibly recruited, coerced and induced to become combatants. Manipulated by adults, children are drawn into violence being too young and vulnerable to realize the ethical and moral consequences that are connoted and inability to resist.

Recent researchers sent in Myanmar, where the rates of child soldier recruited have skyrocketed, argue that the children most likely to become soldiers are from impoverished and socially fragmenting backgrounds and suffering from separated away from their families.

A long healing process

Some are conscripted, others are kidnapped, and still others are forced to join armed groups to defend their families. Recruits are seized from their homes, stripped off their lives, or even from schools, when armed militia, police, paramilitiary groups or army cadres roam the streets. Hunger and poverty trigger and lead parents to consider offering or trading their children for service and armies in some cases pay quite extravagant amounts necessary for the family’s wellbeing.

Children become soldiers simply to survive. A military barrack, base, unit can be something of a refuge, serving as a surrogate family. Children may join if they believe that this is the only way to guarantee regular meals, clothing or medical attention.

While children may follow different functions and occupations during their attendance of military service they do very dangerous hindering their health. Reports tell of forces deliberately killing even the youngest children with the excuse of being dangerous. Girls are forced to provide sexual service. While children of both sexes might start out in indirect support functions, it does not take long before they are placed in the heat of the battle, where their inexperience and lack of training leave them particularly vulnerable.

The issue requires a well-coordinated and fully-encompassing solutions. 

Refugee and displaced persons camps should be designed to improve security for child soldiers. These child soldiers and tormented souls should be involved in all aspects of camp administration but especially in organizing distribution and security systems. Increased numbers of child personnel should be deployed to the field as protection officers and counsellors.

All humanitarian responses in conflict situations could emphasize the special reproductive needs of women and girls, including access to family planning services, care during pregnancy as a result of rape, sexual mutilation, childbirth at an early age or infection with sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV/AIDS. Equally important are the psychosocial needs of mothers who have been subjected to gender-based violence and who need help in order to foster the conditions necessary for the healthy development of their children. The treatment of rape as a war crime must be clarified, pursued within military and civilian populations and punished accordingly. Appropriate legal and rehabilitative remedies must be made available to reflect the nature of the crime and its harm.

 

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David and Goliath

We are all familiar with the story of David and Goliath.

Thousands of years ago a shepherd was the only one willing to duel a giant, surprisingly the boy came out on top illustrating that victories that are improbable can happen. Imagine yourself with a single rock up against a giant warrior. Well, for David it was a reality. The rock found Goliath right into the center of his head and he crushed into earth. They played a zero-sum game- a winner takes all game- and the one who had the internal strength and braveness changed the dynamics of the game in one only second!

Such examples of bravery exist even today and they remind to us the power of human expression!

So when they say that “but why should I be the only one to change my habits or to change my actions” remember this example which is evidence of the fact that if humans set their mind decisively then nothing can stop them. Irene Orwell once said that if you can change a classroom you can change a community, if you can change many communities you can change a country and then… the world.

The analogy of David and Goliath is pertinent throughout the ages.

Conga is a billion gold and copper deposit company located in Cajamarca province in Peru. Newmont proposed developing Conga in 2010 near its existing Yanacocha project, Latin America’s largest gold mine. The project would threaten 4 mountain lakes in these arid Andean steep locations and consequently received opposition from the local community. Mine construction was suspended in late 2011 after lengthy protests. Those lengthy protests were coordinated by a brave woman: Ms. Maxima Acuña de Chaupe. She became known throughout Latin America for her inspirational courage in standing up against a multinational mining company.

Ms. Acuña de Chaupe gained international support for her struggle to maintain control of her land in the face of legal threats and violence from Newmont’s subsidiary, Minera Yanacocha, and its hired security forces.  Máxima and her family live on an 18 acre plot of land near Laguna Azul, one of four mountain lakes critical to Newmont’s development of the Conga project.

Maxima Acuna’s protest was initiated when in July 2012, four people died in clashes with the police in the Cajamarca region, where the mine is located. An ongoing protest by Maxima Acuna de Chaupe, a local farmer, over land ownership in the mining area garnered her the 2016 Goldman Prize for grassroots environmental activism. A subsistence farmer in Peru stood up for her right to peacefully live off her own property, a plot of land sought by Newmont and Buenaventura Mining to exploit the resources and develop the Conga mine.

Máxima Acuña and her husband bought the plot of land in a remote corner of Peru about twenty three years ago. They built a small house on the property and lived a peaceful life raising their children. The family lived off the potatoes and other crops they grew, and kept sheep and cows for milk and cheese. She would travel to the nearby town to sell vegetables, dairy, and woolen handicrafts to make a living. Acuña never learned to read or write, but she understood “that the land was her lifeblood”.

They lived a peaceful life until one day… Goliath interrupted their peaceful coexistence with nature.

The mining company came to the Acuñas’ door, demanding that she leave her land. When Acuña refused, she was met with brutality. Armed forces came and destroyed her house and possessions, and beat her and one of her daughters unconscious. The ruthless persecution continued. The company sued the family in a provincial court, which found them guilty of illegally squatting on their own land. Acuña was sentenced to a suspended prison term of three years and pressed financial fines and sanctions.

Acuña sought legal help from NGOs in Peru that were representing local community members in cases against mining companies. She began gathering documents such as her land title that proved she held legitimate property rights to the land claimed by the mining company.

The legal appeal and the day that hope shined bright at Acuña and her family.

Her prison sentence was overturned in 2014 and justice face smiled. She won the legal appeal and Conga mine along with Newmont has been unable to move forward with any mining in the area around Cajamarca region.

However, the race continues relentlessly… 

Acuña continues to face threats and harassment from the mining company and its militarized security contractors. The mining company has built a fence around Acuña’s land, restricting her ability to move about freely. They destroyed her potato crops, and prevent her from expanding her land by maintaining a daily-basis watch on her property. The legal fight continues to play out in the Peruvian Supreme Court, with more appeals and lawsuits a near certainty.

Despite the trauma and exhaustion, Acuña maintains a remarkable sense of optimism in her continued fight for justice. The Conga mine has not moved forward. The community has rallied behind Máxima and her victory has brought new life to the struggle to defend Cajamarca’s land plots, water supplies, resources and people from the threat of large-scale gold mining.

A LIMBO BETWEEN GLOBALIZATION AND PROTECTIONISM

Globalization has brought about changes in the shape of the contemporary society. However, especially after the financial crisis of 2008, we observe a moving away from the liberal internationalist political approach towards isolationism and skepticism. Examples such as the British voting for Brexit, and the election of Mr. Trump as the president of the United States, show a follow-up on this seclusionist mentality. This is evidenced by Mr Trump’s campaign, advisory team and republican party which are considered extremely conservative. The effects of the application of economic and political isolationism can be devastating, at least for countries that rely on foreign help and foreign direct investment and extensive loans for their survival.

Economic Consequences

Negative emergency omens of moving away movements from world trade began seven years ago, as governments have made efforts to shield their fragile economies after the economic crisis/Great depression of 2008. The concomitant recession in the global economy, the public dismay, the unemployment, created the foreground for the states move from free trade to protectionism measures. Apocalyptic is a report of the WTO on measures against free trade policies adopted by the G20. There are recorded 1671 protective measures from the 20 most economically powerful nations of both developed and developing world. Out of the 1671 protectionist measures only 408 were decided not to be implemented. These measures in remain at alarmingly high levels and increase the pressure on governments to cope.

Moreover, equally alarming is the declining percentage of the WTO profit results, which recorded a slower growth in development and trade particularly after 2009. It is the first time in 15 years that the ratio of the increase in world trade in terms of global GDP growth is lower than 1:1.

As a result, the contribution of international trade to the strengthening of global economic activity will be reduced. Long-run economic trade increased about 1.5 times faster than global Gross Domestic Product. In contrast to the past, with a specific focus at the 1990’s, global trade expanded at double the pace of world GDP. However, let’s not neglect that back then the global community was in favor of internationalism.

The Politics of Fear  and Isolationism

Protectionism measures such as tariffs, import-quotas, extensive agricultural subsidies (such as the ones provided by the EU towards EU farmers) have been fueled by a climate of pessimism because of the low growth rates that exist today. Several fronts have contributed to this international relations blenders and passivity. For instance, the high volatility of the Chinese markets, the political crisis in Brazil, and of course the referendum on the Brexit are only a few examples that attest to this truth. All in all, in the heart of protectionism lies the great distrust and discontent particularly of the developed world citizens for the increasing trend of unemployment and the influx of refugees, which renders economical growth of a country within almost impossible.Employment, influx of investment, equity, social inclusion, raise of income, stabilized economy are only a few of the benefit of healthy economic growth that are jeopardized for the fear that isolationist policies and mentality bring.

In Greece, the refugee and economic crisis makes the future of our society clouded and ominous, when these problems are addressed in a climate of disbelief and isolationism. It almost creates a historical parallel with the Weimar Republic which was led to its downfall and loss of votes in the Reichstag due to the mistrust and loss of business confidence from the public. Apart from that, the terrorist attacks in Brussels, Paris, and Berlin exacerbate the flaming situation by increasing introversion in northern European countries that were up to now a popular destination for many refugees and economic immigrants. Given that societies reacted with xenophobia symptoms, governments became more conservative forcing them to respond to the demands of their citizens, the efforts for a multilateral, tolerant, visionary and unified management of the refugee crisis accepted a heavy blow. The confrontational relationship among the members of the European Union, in which Greece is the recipient of an often unjust and excessive criticism, will worsen.

Given the religion of the vast majority of those entering or seeking to enter Europe, many will rush to link migration with Islamic terrorism. Extreme (mostly rightist) voices and behaviors, will be strengthened. Extreme political measures cultivate violence. For example Greece is a country that benefits politically and financially by its relationship with the European Union’s members. Greece’s financial situation is heavily impaired by the strengthening of scepticism and a wave against every form of solidarity and tolerance is already apparent.

In this environment of fear and tension, the limited flexibility and durability of Greece is going to resolve to breaking point.  Greece, as it is right now being economically impoverished and polarized, bureaucratically purged, politically unstable, crumbling in the secondary sector, and socially vulnerable, risks to fall victim of destabilization and uncertainty. But Greece is not the only example of the consequences of isolationism.

Besides the radical US choice to elect Donald Trump as the next US president, European countries feel the need for self-preservation of themselves. At the EU Summit in late October, the European Commission invited the leaders of the EU member states to “use protective measures in their full force,” as stated by its chairman, Jean-Claude Juncker. The EU represents 15% of imports in world trade, but protective measures are imposed only in 0.21%. “Thousands of jobs have been lost by some EU industries We can not remain inactive, “added Mr. Juncker, referring indirectly to the effects of the European steel industry from Chinese imports. The WTO believes that free trade is the antidote for employment and living up to the high standard of living.

A dispute between protectionism and globalization is underway, while Donald Trump announced that the US will withdraw from the new Pacific Partnership agreement (TPP) when he assumes the presidency of the country on January 20 confirming some of the fears about moving US away from free trade. Among the 12 Pacific countries participating in the TPP there are Japan, Mexico, Australia and Canada, which all together represent the 40% of the global economy. Which means that it is already several disgruntled leaders and entrepreneurs of the world even before officially taking Mr. Trump president of IPA.

Overall, it is a grave need to realize NOW that closing borders, isolating, allowing legal limbo to become reality for refugees and denying hospitality is unethical !!! However, accepting everyone will inevitably lead to economical, social, and moral catastrophe. The solution was and always is equilibrium: to find the right balance and host as many foreigners as a country can without affecting the quality of the lives neither of its own citizens nor of the people who try to adapt to the environment of their new home.

 

 

A Smoking Volcano Dispute

We are going to address the case of investor-state dispute over Plain-Packaging Laws and International Investment Law. The debate is settled on the framework of tobacco plain-packaging laws such as those proposed by Australia and Uruguay who have violated countries’ obligations under their respective Bilateral Investment Treaties. Plain-packaging laws violate typical BIT obligations. These laws mandate that tobacco products be sold in generic, simple packaging without any branding BUT often with explicit health warnings.

All in all, the regulations regarding plain-packaging have been challenged as unfair by multinational tobacco manufacturers not only in domestic courts, but also in international arbitration tribunals. Many of the states attempting to implement plain-packaging laws are also parties to Bilateral Investment Treaties which obligate them to respect certain protections of foreign firms’ property rights – including respect for trademarks and other forms of intellectual property.

Firstly, the issue of expropriation not only of the rights of companies but also of intellectual property is violated. Secondly, we are going to explain why plain-packaging is a series of unreasonable measures. Thirdly, the use of “fair and equitable treatment ” standard is a must for companies newly introduced to market structures and competitiveness and that, on the other hand, plain-packaging is an unfair disadvantage for the growing business sector and investment confidence. This means that its use can work as a deterrent for foreign investment. Eventually, the Reconciling Investor Rights and Investment Law guarantees those rights

The example of Philip Morris International in case against Australia, we clearly see the following:

Keeping plain-packaging tobacco means amounts of unlawful expropriation of investor and intellectual property without compensation are illegal. It also signals that the company fails to provide “fair and equitable treatment” to investment in Australia and that it breaches Australia’s international obligations in relation to investment by violating TRIPS (The Agreement on Trade Related Intellectual Property Rights), the Paris Convention for Protection of Industrial Property Aspects and WTO Agreement on Technical Barrier to Trade.

Moreover, on the point of expropriation of intellectual property rights under Phillip Morris International-Australia Bilateral Treaty. Using this example, firstly we acknowledge that a government has sovereign right of host state to promote and protect public health of the population and of citizens. BUT this does not mean that governments can abuse and manipulate that right and then evoke it as pretext while they are disregarding companies legal rights. On the same side of spectrum, it is obvious that by not following process requirements and not accepting compensations, governments are violating the Bilateral Treaties. Another aspect associated with the argument is that pictographs on packages depict health effects of smoking in an exaggerated way and they do not serve their purpose. Because they present highly shocking images designed to invoke repulsion and horror and they are so offensive that operate to denigrate products, to affect and diminish companies goodwill and to cause trademarks to be deprived from commercial value. Statistically, 80% warnings prevent usage of trademark and this deprives companies from right to trademarks. Lastly, the requirement of states to make payment is violation NAFTA(North American Free Trade Agreement) clause 110 because the prices would go so high that would neutralize cost advantages and would prevent small companies from offering meaningful price competition.

Plain-packaging allow for the implementation of unreasonable measures and that is why it should not be utilized. On the contrary, Bilateral Treaties prohibit the adoption of unreasonable or discriminatory measures that impair the management, maintenance, use, enjoyment, or disposal of foreign investments. By “unreasonable” we mean: unfair and state regulatory measures violating companies rights and importance of trademarks. By “reasonable” we mean: logical, consequential, and well-founded measures reflecting good cooperation with governments and companies. Our expectations are not unqualified or illegitimate. This means that use of trademarks is legal and applicable. By prohibiting use of colors to identify and to lead to differentiation of brand packs, a breach of prohibition against unreasonable measures under the BIT is created. However, it also arbitrally reduces the number of available products varieties without any rational public justification.

Lastly, let us not forget that companies have also concern of public health and that is why messages of public health can be passed without the hyperbole of 80% warning. The public policy objective for the empowerment and the wellbeing of citizens can be achieved with narrower measures.

The cry to the international community

By definition the word “citizen” is related to a person who has rights and responsibilities alike in the framework of a specific community as well as outside of it. To be real citizens people ought to promote their personal, social and political rights and pay respect to the rights of others within the borders of their social and ethnic communities as well as in the international community, which is created by globalization and ecumenical culture.

At the same time one can perceive that modern world is not unified. It presents a number of social and cultural contradictions that are set by people and can simultaneously affect them. Modern World is divided between democratically governed states and authoritative regimes. Even within democratic regimes, however, people are divided into certain categories due to fallacies that are developed within the borders of democratic governance. Given the above limitations, I will try to present my views on the power that the voice of citizens in the Modern Western World as well as in countries of the so-called developing world holds in the international community.

Why is it important for citizens to voice their opinion? This is because it is a way for isolated or less powerful individuals to be able to participate and contribute to political decision making. Sometimes the upper social class is ignorant of the ailments that the low social class has. So by voicing their opinion, members of these groups are in a position to cast light to the problems that exist in those kind of communities. Furthermore, less powerful individuals gain greater power by expressing needs through coalition, formation and organization of action. These groups express their needs in such way that alters power relationship and thus be harder to be ignored. If an individual is not organized and does not act within the framework of a team or of an organization, his/her effort is not always recognized and sometimes there is a danger to be ignored. For an individual to be heard, he has to reach extremes and be physically harassed. We have the living example of the ‘’Lady in the Red Dress in Turkey’’ where the authorities are hosing her down with tear-gas and pepper spray. Another example is the environmental groups in the US have formed coalitions to gain political voice and influence policy making. Different unions have used collective bargaining to gain leverage in labor policies and contracts.

Sometimes individuals cannot find a way to express their views and their voices may not be heard from the rest of the society. They should speak louder, have patience and be more persistent to their goals. There is always a good way to reach our purposes and achieve social equality and political improvement not by using violence but through constant stamina and perseverance. Characteristic is Gandhi’s peace-building process. Although he was not an anonymous citizen, his example teaches that patience is the best ally in helping people to attain their goals. The theory of non-violence that he promoted led India to development and educational flourishing and taught the rest of the world that change can be achieved only with the awareness of problems, the notification to the international community through fruitful dialogue and through different opinions which lead to the solution of problems.

It becomes obvious that dialogue is the remedy and the answer to violence. People can participate in discussions and in personal, social, political, ethnic and international levels. There is no knowledge without dialogue. Only through constant discussions and participation in international organizations such as UN, UNESCO, Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, we are aware of global issues and we can strengthen our voice and our protest against maltreatment of citizens and political corruption. People can give power to their own voice, if they reveal that no politician or mass media can manipulate them and exercise propaganda in order to prevent them from free speech and act. Citizens can avoid misleading only if they are active and place obstacles to those who have interest against social and political developments. Characteristic is the example of the year’s Nobel Prize winners Malala Yousafzai, a 17-year-old Pakistani girl of Pashtun origin who was shot by the Taliban for advocating women rights and education in Pakistan, and the Indian child rights activist Kailash Satyarthi who both fought with their struggle against the suppression of children and young people and for the right of all children to education.

Kailash Satyarthi, maintaining Mahatma Gandhi’s tradition, has headed various forms of protests and demonstrations, all peaceful, focusing on the grave exploitation of children for financial gain. He has also contributed to the development of important international conventions on children’s rights. 60-year-old Satyarthi runs an NGO in India, the Bachpan Bachao Andolan, which has been in the forefront of rescuing children from forced labor and trafficking.

Despite her youth, Malala Yousafzai has already fought for several years for the right of girls to education, and has shown by example that children and young people, too, can contribute to improving their own situations. She has done this under the most dangerous circumstances. Through her heroic struggle she has become a leading spokesperson for girls’ rights to education.

She has since then become a worldwide symbol for the fight against oppression of women and the right to education. Malala is a symbol of hope and inspiration for many girls worldwide because of her staunch support of women’s rights and education. So, once again this demonstrates and emphasizes the huge need for citizens to voice their opinions. Therefore, education is the cornerstone for the freedom of thought and speech. Citizens can voice their opinion freely through education. In the past, aristocrats manipulated lower classes because the latter could not protect their rights because of the lack of education. Consequently, they were exploited because without education they were ignorant of humanitarian issues. As a result they were unable to voice their opinion and instead they were led in aggressiveness and in riots. However, the aristocrats were the power holders so the results were devastating for the weak.

Another example of the positive results of education in the strengthening of people’s voice is the Greek Revolution, which is deeply rooted to the principles of Enlightenment. In addition, lets focus on an example from Modern History: The Siege of Leningrad. And eventually all these struggles through time show us that the best way to deal with conflicts is to educate people and teach them how to present their problems and suggest solutions either with coalition groups, organizations and NGO bodies and this is a way to eliminate conflict between nations.

One more way to enable people to express their views is through freedom of press and this can and will be achieved only when the mass media is deprived of economic interests. We have the example of Turkey where the government banned Twitter. Twitter is considered to be one of the most popular means of communication that offers the opportunity to its users to voice their views, to stay informed about international news to different developments that take place around the world. With this movement, what the government is actually doing is creating citizens who are unable to exercise freedom of expression to understand principles of open governance and the universal rights of persons.

THE TRIPOD OF ECONOMIC STABILITY AT ODDS WITH CENTRALIZATION

The world is in constant evolution. A catalytic role in this change portrays the information revolution “spillover”, which is based on rapid technological advances in computers, softwares, communications and transportations. Many times it is associated with globalization but that sector is different because it is an on-going process, presented before the 21st century, that involves global exchange of political, economic, social and cultural ideas. Therefore, what dimensions has globalization and information revolution taken and what are their affects on the global scale?

Exploring the concept of information revolution and this impact of Bretton’s System (1944) we have to examine how it has formed today’s international political economy. We see that there are political and cultural differences between the states and this creates high stakes but now the information revolution facilitates the integration of political economy. This is best justified by recent examples, which show that states are in a need of control and are willing to create and utilize institutions, multilateral and bilateral agreements that reduce economic hardships, raise interdependence, form rules in international economy. The creation of World Bank, WTO and the SAP’s of IMF is proof of eagerness to reach broader consensus. Rooted in the idea of liberal institutionalism supporting the functionalist’s opinion when states cooperate they start from basic things, from concrete ideas and reach afterwards more experience and broader cooperation, this revolution affects the creation of institutions, handling economy, promoting a nonzero sum game for states.

Information revolution has a deep influence also in the economic development for countries, which distinguishes the EDC’s from the LDC’s and has roots on dependency theory supporting that the North Hemisphere has the powerful and developed countries compared to the South. The criteria are economic diversification, stable currency, limited reliance on primary products, strong human and technological infrastructure, domestic order, an effective government and access to international market and investment including FDI and FPI. According to economic nationalists, who view the world through a realpolitik prospect, when there is high demand in the global market and a country is willing to invest more, then this raises competitiveness and the strong country pre-domains. Economic Internationalists argue that competitiveness sets barriers to cooperation in global economy, which should be a non-sum game and propose lowering tariffs.

Information revolution influenced the capital development. Loans is one of the categories of capital and source of hard economy which is utilized by states to finance their development needs by borrowing heavily from external resources. It’s standard measurement to states ability to meet debt payments. Econ. Internationalists believe LDC’s (and not only) are in a minor position because not only, if they are in risky position, they have high interest rates but also because it increases inflation, unemployment and lowers currencies. (Rouke 414)Greece of 2015 is an example of a country facing major debt burdens and loans provided by the EU or the IMF, accounting to 60% and 10% respectively, haven’t resolved the problem but deepened it into €420 bn.

Same situation is with the FPI and the Private Investment in Argentina where destabilization of currency and economy is caused by short-term investments and flow. Trade and foreign aid are other ways to reach capital but again econ. internationalists disagree on behalf of disadvantaged LDC’s, who receive 8% of net flow and 3% of world total, that since product instability and price weakness are created, next step is overdependence of EDC’s to LDC’s. (Rouke 412-13)

Since this revolution has such a stimulus over economic issues the same applies for political issues. On the one hand, starting from 1960’s, this revolution had a centralizing effect for democratic countries, than in the age of local press, because information was widespread. Unlike democratic governments, totalitarian ones were able to suppress information. Computers enforced central planning and empowered surveillance measures. Government dominated the news. Even today governments, like in China, have increased their efforts to control cyberspace because central databases computers can make identifications, surveillance easier and commercialization has altered libertarian culture and usage of Internet. On the other hand, information revolution made decentralizing effects to overweight centralizing. Because of communication diminishing costs and information distribution, world politics will not be sole province of sovereignty and governments. So, we get multiple views over the determinant role of this revolution on world politics, which brings up 4 important issues of discussion: power relations among states, significance of transparency, sovereignty issues, empowerment of non-state actors and complexity of interdependence.

Realists believe that diminishing communication costs, wireless communications, well developed community infrastructure of information revolution has brought decentralizing and leveling effect in world politics. Over the first statement one question arises: “Has the revolution equalized power among states?”. Some expected that barriers of entry into global market should reduce power of large states and increase power of small ones. Here the realists’ claim: “Size Matters” fits. Even with barriers to entry, economies of scale remain. This is because, in competitive markets, the outburst of information is polarized by the powerful states. Since information is considered public good, new information, especially in technology sectors, matters tremendously. Large states empower even more since the collection of information technology means military power benefit.

On the other side of spectrum, liberals affirm that states will be the basic units of politics but information revolution will increase the role of democratic states, producing prospects of Kantian Democratic Peace (NYE 293). They construct their case over the free-exchange of information. Authoritarian governments like USSR(especially during Cold War period but even now), China, North Korea and Syria show evidence of their willingness to control access to Internet by controlling services, content providers, by monitoring and censoring users. Liberals believe that these countries not only run the risk of losing their legitimacy and power but also losing creative workforce which the scarcest resource in competing information economy. Moreover, the issue of transparency and credibility is a key for economies seeking investments. Governments who aren’t transparent reflect selective and biased information and aren’t credible for investments.

As for the constructivists, who have intellectual roots in Scottish philosopher David Hume, believe in relativism where there are no absolute truths and people’s understanding of the world is based on their interactions and experiences. They argue that soft power will rise rapidly and influence deeply politics. They say that dependence of debts will bring renegotiations on the table and all lengths of inequality might keep developing countries to be exploited by rich ones.

Additionally, the troubling issues of sovereignty and empowerment of non-state actors bring questions like how are states centralized and how there theirs functions are altered. Leaders, who resist any option that diminishes their national autonomy and sovereignty, tend to worry about UN’s increasing political role. But leaders have to face many problems like of national security that make difficult the control of sovereignty inside borders.

 

Recalling Naim’s statement over the 5 major wars of globalization we see that flows of illegal immigrants, drug busts, smuggled weapons and arms trafficking, loss of intellectual property and money laundering are listed. Unfortunately, Naim adds that governments have lost most of these wars. Reasons for this matter are that crimes, such as illicit trade of arms and uprising terroristic attacks like ISIS attacks of 2014, are not geographically bound. Other causes are the loose identification of traditional notions of sovereignty, the tensions between principle of states sovereignty and human rights and networks emergence as enforcement of organized crime. Examples who illustrate that are Al Qaeda network, which attacked US on 9/11/2001, and ISIS, which doubted Syrian government’s sovereignty and authority and recognized itself as a state. (Article Moises Naim “The 5 Wars of Globalization”)

This brings us to the last urging issue, which is the empowerment of non-state actors through realists’ complexity of global interdependence and its asymmetrical nature (NYE 266-7). IGO’s like the UN and the Hague System make their policies stronger and international control stronger by addressing issues of awareness and creating bounding laws. In this way increased their power. Therefore, we can see that interactions across state borders outside the central control of foreign policy organs, the migration of population, the rapid transfer of capital from country to country and stocks and markets create this shift in international system and leads to the development of non-states actors who can exercise influence and at some point be more efficient than states. An example could be the oil crisis of 1973 when governments were unable to decide if the prices should go up or down. Then, there is “de facto transnational coalition” related to small Texas oil producers, oil producers in consumer countries, and many Arab countries of OPEC (NYE 300-1). It globally illustrated the increasing number of actors in world politics and the complexity of their interests. (NYE 280-1)

NGO’s have gained power as well because of global conscience by promoting broad public interests, by pressing governments and business leaders to change policies, by increasing their soft power using media and widespread information. All that makes government share the stage with non-state actors. Liberals affirm that NGO’s, like Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, Doctors across Borders are more effective because states cannot always control borders and they have little concern over issues, such as environmental, something that NGO’s don’t neglect and through channels of communication and official delegation they become the new agenda settlers. Lets not forget that when government isn’t effective there are protests, like the Arab Spring Uprisings 2010, which show that mounting public rage and need for political change can empower non-state actors.

In conclusion, it is certain that information revolution has had great impact to politics and society but it brought a “Paradox of Plenty” which means that there is plenty of information but scarcity of attention. Constructivists believe that those who can distinguish valuable information will gain more and more power.

BALANCE OF POWER CHESSBOARD

FROM THE END OF WWII TO THE CLASH OF TWO TITANS IN COLD WAR

By the end of World War II, US and the Soviet Union emerged as the two strongest allied nations, or “Super Powers”. They both struggled to diminish each other’s power. US directed all the Capitalist Countries. Soviet Union led the Communist Countries. Undeniably, the competition between the Super Powers led to the Cold War but many scientists and historians argue that this was only one reason for the outburst of Cold War. We need to examine holistically the causes of conflict focusing on different levels of analysis and on its effects on the interstate and civil wars.

Firstly, we need to focus on the individual levels of analysis. How did the leader’s actions and idiosynthesis brought tension during and after Cold War? During the Cold War, leaders of the Super Powers influenced the interstate conflict. On the hand, F.D. Roosevelt was an advocate of liberal trade system through which he believed interstate wars could be resolved but he was also an ambitious man, seeking the best for his nation through faith in institution of UN and insurance of Stalin’s reduction of power. By the end of the War, Harry Truman, preceded by F.D. Roosevelt, had an active-negative leader’s scale. This means that he was an active leader but feared US isolationism. On the other hand, Sov. Union’s totalitarian leader, Stalin believed in the power of communism, and in tightening domestic control. His dogmatic, audacious personality and persistence in communism caused not only interstate conflict with US but also intrastate tension in Greece (Greek Civil War1946) and in Yugoslavia, Poland, Bulgaria, Rumania, Hungary. Therefore, comparing the periods during and after the war we see that leaders at post-war era not as influencing as those during. We also see that leaders’ actions have more impact on creating intrastate war. This statement is best-justified by the major civil conflicts created in 1970’s-1980’s in Central American states like Angola and Cambodia when during their elections leaders would stoke nationalism in order to benefit from it. The escalation of nationalism led to civil war. Lets not forget in 1949(declaration of hostilities) the building of Chinese Communism led to 10years civil war.

Furthermore, in a state level of analysis, one of the major causes of the Cold War is the differences in political culture of the two superpowers. US have as its milestone the principle of Democracy. Soviet Union was considered totalitarian with communism and authoritarianism prevailing meaning that foreign policy is centred in a narrow segment of government. Moreover, comparing each states goals we observe that war was in high probability. US was interested in intangible goals like the containment of Sov.Union or simply the prevention of their expansionist maneuvers. On the other side of spectrum, Sov.Union, weakened by WWII, even during the post war era was interested in tangible goals and followed an expansionist’s path by claiming Germany and Poland and by refuting US’s view of global order. This means that the prospects for an interstate war were increased since these two different political cultures were clashing.

 

Focusing in the political culture of the US, one could support that the idea of “Detterence” was one of the causes of Cold War. US was always increasingly suspicious of Russian communist leader Stalin and Nikita Khrushchev’s political but mostly strategic tactics. The Cuban and Caribbean Missile Crisis of October 14–28, 1962 was one of the most frightening and unstable patterns introduced in the history of interstate wars which corroborated the idea that Sov.Union’s hostility should be met since Khrushchev decided to agree to Cuba’s request to place nuclear missiles in Cuba.

 

Crisis and instability of a state have great impact in the outburst of a war. For instance, the rising crisis and instability in many states like Korea, Sov.Union and the Latin American states is considered a factor attributing at the conflicts during and after the war era. The crisis instability in Korea led to a civil war in 1949-1953 concluding to a catastrophic armed conflict of North and South Korea. The instate wars continued from 1955with Sov.Union struggling to keep communism ideologies in priority since US campaigns and soft power, including ideas, culture, values, evaded communism. Russians started to realize communism was not the wave to the future so this created civil conflicts and revolutions during 1950’s and 1960’s. Even in the 1970’s and 1980’s intrastate wars were produced in the Latin American regions causing the death of millions of people.

 

Furthermore, historians, like Waltz, believe that some of the deep causes that led to the interstate wars during the post-Cold War period were the communism’s loss of legitimacy and the decline in Sov.Union’s economy. This is reflecting diminished ability of Sov.Union central planning system to respond to change in world economy. But communism’s lost of legitimacy started many years ago with the White Movement and continued by the US who spend a lot of money to campaigns in order to be reduced.

 

Others focus on another side of the causes of post-war period and specifically at the intermediate causes of this period of hostility. Such causes are that US containment worked and they met Stalin’s expansionist’s aggression. Also, the imperial overstretch of Sov.Union would at some point collapse. This means that empires expand until over-expansions absorb their empire’s internal strength and at the same time Sov.Union used more than ¼ of its economy to defense and foreign affairs and probably this led to an overstretch of Sov.Union’s power.

 

 

Additionally, we should examine how the concept of militarization, of not only the superpowers but also of many states, caused interstate and intrastate wars during Cold War period. At the beginning of Cold War there was fear between the superpowers. One reason was US’s rising technology and the other was USSR’s usage of WMD’s (Weapons of Massive Destruction). Accordingly, this brings a change of the political calculus. When technology increases then the ability to kill increases too and the spectrum of coercion is also affected. But the appearance of WMD’s created much more fear and death than any one could have expected. Realists consider WMD’s not only a way to maintain cooperation of adversary states in bipolarity but also a way of demonstrating power and keeping equilibrium of power or “balance of power” but liberals believe that they should have been eliminated. So, firstly the biological and chemical WMD’s were designed end they became very popular during Cold War because they were cheap, easy to make and deliver, they could slow down enemies by injuring dozens of them. These were initially presented in the Hungarian Crisis in 1956. Then, during the second-half of Cold War and after it the Nuclear Weapons were introduced and were proliferated the Cuban and Caribbean Missile Crisis of October 14–28, 1962 demonstrated globally for the first time how the “Arms Race”, which was Soviets’ large research of nuclear weapons, led to major military build-up and to gaining parity in nuclear weapons. This were only some of the interstate conflicts which were resolved by bringing international constitutions to negotiations for peace. The biggest and most risky conflicts were created inside the framework of states where fractions were fighting each other. For example, the Papua Civil War which divided Papua in Papua, West Papua and Papua New

Guinea in 1961, the Afgan Civil War still present since 1978 and the Ugandan and Somali Civil War in 1987 and in 1991 are only some evidence which shows what problems were formed due to arms transfers and arms acquisitions from Latin American states and African states.

Bureaucracy is another reason that led to escalating Cold War. The Lend-lease aid program was abruptly stopped by 1945 and economic leadership between US and Soviet Union was strained. US bureaucracy followed liberalists’ ideologies and focused more on US capitalism, which concluded in transforming US into an autonomous economic area and an economic hegemony. On the side, Sov.Union’s leaders, policy makers and bureaucrats decided to follow realists’ ideologies and focused on increasing defense-spending and getting new heavy missiles.

Regarding the intrastate conflicts, wars during the Cold War era and post-Cold War reveal that this kind of armed conflicts provoked externalization of their conflict to the international community. Therefore, interstate wars during post-war era were caused when established mechanisms of states for mediating conflicts break down, when there is inability of governments to mediate conflict which occurs in aftermath of collapsed empires like for example the collapse of Austro-Hungarian empire and Yugoslavian statehood leading to Guerrilla War.

Last but not least, the system analysis explains some of the most important causes of this war. According to the realists’ point of view the anarchic system of states is a major cause. States are strategic and self-regarding and also calculating. This means that they will do anything and use any kind of force, even WMD’s in order to immunize their prosperity and act in a self-help system. This could be justified as a cost-benefit analysis in order to increase their own power. An example of an interstate and intrastate war that could solidify such a claim is Berlin Crisis. The interstate war between Sov.Union and US led Soviets expansionist’s spirit to believe that they could benefit from conquering Germany so they intervened into Berlin’s issues and created the 25kilometers Berlin Wall in order to check the immigration from Eastern Berlin to Western Berlin and this concluded with a civil conflict and separation of eatern and western Berlin during the Fourth Phase of 13 August 1961.

This allows us to examine one more cause of war which is state’s nature of intervention into other states issues. In order to justify this statement the illustration of El Salvador’s, Cuba’s, Yugoslavia’s examples are needed. In Yugoslavia’s example we see that Sov.Union’s intervention managed to weaken ability of central government to mediate ethnic conflict and headed to an intrastate war in 1991 with break up of formal federation and in 1998 with ethnic fights in fractions of Serbs, Muslims, Croats, Yugoslavs. In El Salvador’s example we observe US’s intervention through economic aid during and after Cold War and during the Vietnam War we see both US intervention to Cuba with economic and military assistance and Soviets military aid to Cuba and Nicaragua(1955).

Another last contributing cause of Cold War is the rapid changes in distribution of power. On the one hand, the end of WWII leaves with the concept of bipolarity with two superpowers predominating and controlling world’s politics: Sov.Union and US. Small States were under close rein. This demonstrated that not only there was reduction in communication between the states but also there were few alliance shifts and this created uncertainty. On the other hand, we observe that by the End of Cold War unipolarity of US was standing as the only power superpower since Sov.Union weakened. At the same side of the spectrum economic patterns such as gaps in resources like need for additional oil, land and water play an important role in relations between states and in their interactions.