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Foreign Policy Essay

This paper seeks to analyze and discuss American Foreign Policy in relation to globalization. This paper will include a review of the history behind the issue being debated and its relevance to American foreign policy and will be followed by a summary of the arguments in favor of the American foreign policy and the last will attempt to make on personal opinion or conclusion on the issues discussed. 2. Analysis and Discussion 2. 1. Review of History on American Policy and Globalization It may be stated that the primary historical process that has affected international relation in the recent past is globalization.

Globalization is not a new development; it has been progressing for most of human history Globalization is the integration of human activity across geographic space. This covers many areas of human activity including, social and cultural contact, environment, and economics. (University of Arizona, 2007), It is a process and not an event as it continues to take place across time. It is also multidirectional and not smooth as it could progress and retreat as may be seen by the fact that some areas are more affected than others.

However, it affects all actors in international relations, but with different consequences. Globalization in the modern era, for purposes of simplicity is divided into several categories as follows: economic, social, cultural, military, and environmental (University of Arizona, 2007) As a result foreign policy which a realm in politics affects and is affected by all these areas. It may also be observed that all five areas are driven by technology. As communications, transportation, and production technologies improve it becomes easier to interact across geographic space.

This could be illustrated or observed in the industrial revolution spread a new form of production that has made transportation and communication easier via rail and water transport. This also caused the creation of control of particular resources that are vital for military security such as in the case of coal, iron, and others (University of Arizona, 2007). Global integration has accelerated in fits and starts for the past 150 years with the World Bank having focused on economic integration and which has identified three “waves” of globalization.

The first wave covers the period 1854 to 1914 and is characterized by: (a) industrial revolution and colonialism both economically and militarily thus causing the integration of the global economy that came from the integrated colonial systems under European, the US and Japanese domination and (b) economically integrated world as felt today in terms of capital transfer and movement of persons. University of Arizona, 2007) The period between 1914 to 1945 may be considered an interregnum due to a few world wars and a depression.

It must be stated however that the IMF was born on December 27, 1945 to address the 1930’s depression. The IMF was later found to assume more rules in globalization waves after World War II. The second wave therefore is from 1945 – 1973, where the following are observed: (a) economic integration resumes, but under divided conditions; (b) integration of Soviet bloc in a command economy system and of US bloc under the Bretton Woods System; and (c) integration of the Western bloc causing it to become generally market-driven (University of Arizona, 2007).

The third wave of globalization is the post 1973 era ,where the following events could be observed: (a) the East-West division which started strongly and only to fade in the mid 1980’s and to fall apart by the 1990’s; (b) material and big changes in production and communications technology and economic integration. The shift towards more global integration may be seen with more states opting to adopt the Western Institutions which may be explained as follows: The mid 1980’s saw the tide turning to the US in the Cold War; and (b) more freedom was made possible as the US block has become very free.

This particular wave is characterized also by the emergence of market-driven integration, hence one could see the integration of the global economy spreading further to a much larger part of the world, and thus accelerated after the Cold War ends (University of Arizona, 2007). It is from this wave that the World Trade Organization came into existence on the basis of the conduct of its negations through the so called rounds as the Uruguay Round has commenced in September 1986 and has continued until April 1994. WTO’s current works basically started from these negation and there were subsequent ones and have until today.

2. 2 Summary of arguments in favor of globalization Democracy presupposes free enterprise and free enterprise could only be back bone of globalization hence for US to support globalization it must support democracy not only in its country but also all over the world. Given this theoretical frame, it is not hard to appreciate the consistency of the US in supporting democracy all over the world. Even today many will readily see how the US states are showing its support for democratic nations since this best support US national interests.

It could therefore be argued that for the US, democracy is the one national interest that will help to secure all the others. Democratically governed nations would have their governments decided by the right thinking citizens as against the whims and caprices of dictator and this would likely “secure the peace, deter aggression, expand open markets, promote economic development, protect American citizens, combat international terrorism and crime, uphold human and worker rights, avoid humanitarian crises and refugee flows, improve the global environment, and protect human health.

” (Washington Post, 2006) . The US support for democracy could be appreciated from the words of Former President Bill Clinton saying: “Ultimately, the best strategy to ensure our security and to build a durable peace is to support the advance of democracy elsewhere. Democracies don’t attack each other. ” (Clinton, 1994) It is believed by many that democracy is also good for business since nations that embrace political reforms using democratic principles are more likely to pursue economic reforms that improve the productivity of businesses.

This could be evidenced by the fact since the mid-1980s, an increase in levels of foreign direct investment going to emerging market democracies relative to countries that have not undertaken political reforms has been recorded (Childs, 2007). The United States has maintained by its declaration about its support for democracy and human rights through several means although its commitment to human rights is doubted and questioned by human rights organizations (Satter, 2007).

As regards to those who oppose globalization, it may be asked: “If globalization is not promoted or supported, what could be the possible alternative? Could countries isolate themselves? ” One could see what happened with North Korea. At the guise to trying to show to the whole world that it cannot be made to submit to stop its nuclear program, it recently made a declaration for its need of help such as oil from the other countries and so the US was willing to lend a hand. The WTO is one of the organizations that would help promote globalization.

It has the stated goal of improving the welfare of the peoples of its member countries, in bringing down trade barriers as well as promoting trade negotiations as it main mission is has to do with ensuring smooth and predictable trade flows This main mission is further specified in certain core functions serving and safeguarding five fundamental principles, which are the foundation of the multilateral trading system (Lowenthal, Abraham ,1991), which include (a) overseeing the execution, administration and operation of the covered agreements; (b) providing a forum for negotiations and for settling disputes.

(c) reviewing the national trade policies, and to ensure the coherence and transparency of trade policies through surveillance in global economic policy-making (World Economic Outlook, 1994). WTO assists developing, least-developed and low-income countries in transition to adjust to WTO rules and is a center of economic research and analysis and cooperates closely with the IMF and the World Bank under the principles of the trading system which may be considered to promote globalization.

Since the WTO also establishes a framework for trade policies but not to define or specify outcomes, it must be concerned with setting the rules of the trade policy games and part of these principles include: First is nondiscrimination which includes two major components — the most favored nation (MFN) rule, and the national treatment policy. Although these components are part of the main WTO rules on goods, services, and intellectual property, their precise scope and nature still manifest variability on different e areas.

The MFN rule necessitates a WTO member to apply the same conditions on all trade with other WTO members. When one grants someone a special favor to someone and the said country must have to do the same for all other WTO members, too. National treatment on the other hand requires that imported and locally-produced goods must be treated equally, which must start after the foreign goods have entered the market at the minimum (Wold, 1996).

Another principle is reciprocity which reflects both a desire to limit the scope of free-riding that may arise because of the MFN rule, and a desire to obtain better access to foreign markets. This must be done as requirement in terms of reciprocal concessions in order to ensure that the gain from doing so (from multilateral liberalization is better r than the gain available from unilateral liberalization; intend to ensure that such gains will materialize.

The person objecting to the benefits of globalization may find it hard to contradict the existence and application of these principles and alternatives available could not be as good as asserted. Another challenging question that may be posed against the opponents of globalization is this: “How the problem of the environment could be solved with out a world effort that could be best helped by globalization? ” It may be argued that globalization promotes not only economic interactions but also social and environmental ones.

Global warming is never a national problem alone. It has become a global problem that requires global attention (Gardiner, 2004). With countries forming their alliances and organizations they also make rules to protect the environment. An isolationist has therefore no place in this globe. 3. Conclusion Globalization is a phenomenon. It was not made by America. Rather it has been a natural phenomenon that the expansion of knowledge has brought to mankind. Even early philosophers may have seen it birth long time ago and it still continuing.

It could be reduced into simple proposition “no man is an island”. By the same analogy it is hard to see a country isolating itself from other countries. This could be seen in the history of mankind it self. Even those countries which were at war are now trading partners because there are more tendencies to help each other and live than killing its other. For the US therefore to go against globalization in its foreign policy would be the most inconsistent and absurd thing to happen since allied with globalization are its other interest which must also be attained.


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