International Relations Question 1 essay



Thereadings from the course have largely expounded on the impact ofhuman-made structures in promoting as well as constraining the commongood. First, the course materials have made a clear definition of thecommon good. The common good is a collection of conditions in sociallife that allow members of social groups to access resources to theirfulfillment. It is comprised of a set of institutions and systemsthat benefit all people. Therefore, the promotion of common goodcalls for individuals to accept modest sacrifices. Besides, itrequires an equal participation of all individuals within a givenjurisdiction. For example, to keep a park free of litter, individualsmust be personally responsible not to drop litter on the ground(Velasquez, 2014).

Thepromotion of the common good requires the unity of ideas on what isworthwhile for human beings. The integration of ideas can solve theproblem caused by the pluralistic society that constitutes differentviews on what is worthwhile. Consequently, it is much easier todecide on the appropriate type of institutions, social systems aswell as environments to benefit all the human beings(Velasquez,2014).

Thecourse materials have pointed on the various structures that haveconstricted the development of the common good. The common goodprovides access to people that choose not to do their part inmaintaining the services. Such a system leads to a free riderproblem. When there are too many free riders in the provision of thecommon good, the system becomes a burden to those willing tocontribute. Besides, the culture of individualism serves as aconstraint to the delivery of the common good. Individualism providespeople with the freedom to do as they wish without the interferencefrom others. Consequently, people are unwilling to forego theirrights for the provision of the common good (Engler, 2007).


Minutemenand the Tea Party Movement are examples of reform movements. Themovements have asimilar goal that entails changing a particularaspect of the community. Besides, the movements are organized byactivists that are against some of the activities carried out withinthe social structure. The Minuteman project was a group of Americancivilians that aimed at stopping the illegal immigration of peopleand drugs. The movement managed to stop illegal immigration byshaping the direction of the political debate. Although the leaderswere arrested due to criminal charges, the movement led states suchas Arizona and Alabama to pass strong anti-illegal immigration laws(Naples &amp Mendez, 2014).

Similarly,the Tea Party Movement is a political movement that calls for thereduction in the federal budget deficit as well as the national debtby reducing the level of government spending to enable lower taxes.The members of the movement were against government-sponsored healthcare and sponsored multiple protests (Naples &amp Mendez, 2014).


Borderdispute is a disagreement over the ownership and control of landbetween countries. It occurs when two or more neighboring statesdispute the areas within their boundaries. The conflict arises wheneach contending state publishes a map that includes the recognizedborders of competing countries. In contrast, an open border allowsthe free movement of people from one country to the other. Theborder can be open because of intentional legislation and allows forthe free flow of people and goods across the border (Globalization101, n.d.).

Thereexists a controversy on how globalization can flourish without thefree movement of goods, services and people. The open border policyis one of the arguments for globalization to allow the free movementof goods, foster integration as well as development. It is observedthat an open border policy can result in increases in internationaltrade by 75%. Besides, open border policies are a very practicalapproach for the developed countries to assist the developingcountries. Through an open border, developing nationals can benefitinform of education as well as employment in the developed countries.Consequently, the issue of globalization would become more apparentif there were open borders. In contrast, open border disputes arisewhen political leaders desire to control territories that containsymbolic values, natural resources, cultural or historical factors.Consequently, border disputes are a factor against globalization dueto the high possibility of regional war. The conflicts createenmity, wars and therefore, hinder the free movement (Globalization101, n.d.).


Thecommon good is a set of general conditions that are equally availableto everyone`s advantage. Some of the examples include an accessibleand affordable public health care system, an effective public safetyand security systems,peace, justice, legal and political systems, aflourishing economic system and an unpolluted natural environment.Some of the barriers to the provision of common goods entail apluralistic society that lacks the unity of ideas on what amounts toa common good. Consequently, people fail to support the ideasprovided by others due to their differences in opinions (Velasquez,2014).

Secondis the free rider problem where people enjoy free items withoutsacrificing for their maintenance. Third is individualism where thereis a high value on individual freedoms. The rights to do as onewishes provides a difficulty in convincing others to contribute tothe provision of a common good. Finally is the problem of unequalburdens to facilitate the common good (Velasquez, 2014).


Engler, M.,(2007). Defining the anti-globalization movement. Encyclopediaof Activism and Social Justice.Retrieved from

Globalization101, (n.d.). A project of Suny Levin Whatis Globalization? RetrievedMay 06, 2016,from

Naples, N.A., &amp Mendez, J. B. (2014).&nbspBorderpolitics: Social movements, collective identities, andglobalization.BookstoreNote. NY press.

Velasquez,M.,Andre C.,Shanks, T., and Meyer, M., Santa Clara MarkkulaCenter for Applied Ethic. (2014). TheCommon Good. RetrievedMay 06, 2016, from