POLITICAL SCIENCE 1
Q1: Of the fivetheoretical approaches to security, which do you think our foreignand defense policies should be formulated upon?
There are fivetheoretical approaches to security, namely, national, international,regional, transstate, and global. Among these approaches, our foreignand defense policies should be formulated upon the global securitytheory.
The globalsecurity theory seeks to address the problem of insecurity using acomprehensive approach. For example, this approach extends beyond thepolitical and military factors of conflict. In this respect, theglobal security theory encompasses issues such as social development,economic prosperity, and protection of the environment. This approachalso prioritizes the safeguarding of human rights.
The country’sdefense and foreign policies should adopt this approach since itportends several advantages. First, the global security approachstaves off conflict and war. It also limits the incidence of coercionand the subversion of sovereign powers. Participating in wars placesa heavy burden on the taxpayers. The money that is expended on warscould be used productively to finance national programs ofinfrastructure and health care. The global security approach alsoensures cooperation and peaceful coexistence among nations.Cooperation is essential since no country is self-sufficient withregard to production capabilities.
Besides, theglobal security theory can help to improve the country’s reputationamong international circles. As a global superpower, the countryexercises leadership in various fields. Other nations look up to theU.S. to take the lead in international peacekeeping missions.Therefore, pursuing peace with other countries shows reasonablenessand reliability. The global security theory seeks to examine thereasons behind emerging crisis. For example, the country’s foreignand defense policies would address the reasons behind high oil pricesbefore sparking war with any country in the Middle East (Klare,2012). This example highlights the importance of adopting a globalsecurity approach.
Q2: Thedocumentary Beyond Our Differences makes the case that the world istoo largely focused on the negative aspects of contemporary religion,particularly the Western tradition, and not enough on the positive.Did you agree or disagree with this essential message of the film andwhy?
I agree with thefundamental message of the documentary. Contemporary religions havebeen misjudged and sidelined in Western tradition. The phenomenon ofLiberal Christianity highlights the negative views of contemporaryreligion. In this regard, Liberal Christianity undermines thedifferences between Christians and non-Christians. It also makes amockery of religious doctrines by seeking common ground amongChristians, Muslims, Jews, Hindus, and Buddhists. Liberalism alsoundermines contemporary religion by ridiculing common doctrines thathave been passed over the centuries (Mead, 2006). For example,Liberal Christians disagree with the notion of original sin.Therefore, they harbor prospects of a peaceful world brought about bythe efforts of international institutions such as the World Bank andthe UN (Mead, 2006). On the other hand, all forms of contemporaryreligion hold that humans are inherently flawed and that God wouldintervene in world affairs. Such an intervention would see theannihilation of unrepentant sinners and the blessing of obedient,righteous humans. However, Liberal Christians detest having to live alife of obedience to divine commands and statutes.
In the Westernworld, many non-religious persons consider devotees aspsychologically immature (Carroll, 2003). Religion is also viewed asan important source of divisiveness in the world. For example, in the17th century, Catholics and Protestants engaged inreligious conflicts. Perhaps the event that contributed the mostnegative views about religion was the 9/11 attacks in the U.S. thatwere conducted in the name of Allah (Carroll, 2003). Suicidemurderers from terrorist groups such as Al-Qaeda and Hezbollahjustify their use of violent absolutism by appealing to divinestatutes.
The U.S alsotypifies the notion of existentialism whereby the country considersitself divinely selected as the ultimate nation. In a similar manner,natural Jews have invoked God’s will in claiming land in Gaza andthe West Bank. Some Muslims have also rehashed past instances ofanti-Semitic violence and discrimination so as to prove the harshtreatment of Jews in the name of religion (Carroll, 2003). Anotheraspect concerns the divisive nature of present-day nationalism(Barber, 1992). Therefore, the documentary presents valid viewpointsabout the negativity associated with contemporary religion.
Q3: Explain whichof Keohane and Nye’s globalization is the most significant.
Globalizationrefers to the integration of cultural, political, and economicsystems. Robert Keohane and Joseph Nye defined several forms ofglobalization such as economic, military, social and cultural, andenvironmental. However, the most significant of these is economicglobalization. The flow of capital, goods, and services acrossinternational boundaries leads to interdependence among the world’seconomies. Global markets are influenced by the conditions existingin different regions. For example, the credit crunch that hitAmerican banks in 2008 led to a global economic meltdown. The GreatDepression of the late 1930s also had a similar global impact. Modernglobalization is assumed to have arisen through the formulation ofliberal democracies (Wolf, 2005).
Internationalinstitutions such as the IMF and the World Bank have also fosteredthe spread of economic globalization. For example, the World Bankshas advanced financial aid to countries so as to support theirindustrial development agenda. Nevertheless, such aid is accompaniedwith conditionalities. Donor organizations require recipient nationsto implement particular policies before receiving financial aid fromthese institutions. In this manner, donor organizations seek toensure the globalization of economic models that favor privatization.Consequently, some countries have had to privatize nationalinstitutions so as to receive financial aid.
Economicglobalization is also reflected in the movement of labor amongdifferent countries. Some countries have higher per capita income dueto increased levels of productivity among a lesser population.Therefore, workers have been enticed to move to countries that havenot only more jobs but also offer better pay. Also, some corporationshave established subsidiaries in other nations as they seek toexploit larger markets and develop brand loyalty. However, economicglobalization has been cited as the principal cause of insecurity,unfair trade, and growing inequality (Naim, 2009).
Q4: Pleaserespond with your thoughts on the film we have been watching, The Endof Poverty, which takes a critical view on the process ofglobalization. What would proponents of unfettered globalization sayin response to this presentation? Did this film expand yourunderstanding of the concept (positively or negatively)?
The End ofPoverty highlights the mind-boggling increase in poverty despite thegrowth of national and individual wealth. The gap between the richand the poor continues to grow wider with each passing year. Thefinancial resources in the world could ably support the entire globalpopulation. Nevertheless, progressively fewer individuals controlmore resources in the world. Corruption and greed are primary factorsthat contribute to the increase of poverty even while technologicaldiscoveries keep progressing.
Nevertheless,proponents of unfettered globalization would understate the impact ofcapitalism on the incidence of poverty. In this regard, they may citethe situation in some countries where leaders stash national cashreserves in offshore bank accounts. Some countries also experienceregular periods of anarchy and civil unrest. During such periods ofupheaval, the economy of a country descends into free fall.Consequently, unemployment rises while living standards plummet.Therefore, proponents of unfettered globalization may scoff at thesuggestion that policies formulated at Wall Street would beresponsible for all economic meltdowns.
Also, proponentsof unfettered globalization may ridicule the supposition that thirdworld countries financed the prosperity of Western countries. In thisrespect, they may cite the fact that Western nations contributedlarge sums of aid to developing countries. The film expanded myunderstanding of the concept of globalization in a positive manner.For example, I appreciated the concept of wealth redistribution to ahigher degree than before. The wealth accumulated by one person wasalmost always done at the expense of another. Therefore, a highnet-worth individual acquired his status only after someone descendedinto poverty. Consequently, wealthy people felt obliged to offset thedeficiencies of other people. Such a situation also accounts for thecase whereby developed countries felt compelled to provide financialaid to developing nations.
Q5: Discuss thefilm In Whose Interest? How would you respond to the question fromthe film: is acting in our national interest, against a broader humaninterest, even in our interest?
Acting innational interest is tantamount to quashing the rights of othercountries. For example, the phenomenon of existentialism hasemphasized the divine selection of the U.S as the model country. Inthis respect, many Americans consider their nation superior to othercountries. In fact, other sovereign states are expected to acquiesceto the needs and requirements of the American government.International organizations such as the World Bank have hadpredominantly American leadership. Therefore, they foster policiesthat favor the commercial interests of the U.S. at the expense ofother nations. Many recipients of financial aid are compelled toadopt foreign policies so as to benefit from Federal funds.Furthermore, countries that fail to conform to the American agendaare almost always hit with sanctions and other debilitatingembargoes.
Another aspect ofconflict occurs in the supposed war on terror. The 9/11 attacks onthe World Trade Center in the U.S. were a significant turning pointin the country. Strict legislations were enacted in an attempt toprotect the country against future attacks. For example, the PatriotAct was formed to implement security procedures to buttress thecountry against further attacks. Also, the Federal government decidedto launch war in Middle East countries such as Afghanistan and Iraq.The attacks were justified as an expedition to uncover weapons ofmass destruction harbored by the Iraqi regime.
The effects ofthe war on Iraqis and Americans show the extent to which acting innational interest causes widespread harm. For example, thousands ofinnocent Iraqis died as a result of the American invasion. Also, manysoldiers perished in the clashes. Significant amounts of taxpayermoney were also spent so as to finance the war. Ultimately, thesupposed weapons were never found in the Middle East. The fruitlessand profligate nature of the Iraq war highlights the fallacy ofacting in national interest.
Carroll, J. (Summer 2003). Why religion still matters. Dædalus,9-13.
Klare, M. T. (2012, Mar. 13). A tough-oil world: Why high gas pricesare here to stay. Common Dreams. Retrieved fromhttp://www.commondreams.org/views/2012/03/13/tough-oil-world-why-high-gas-prices-are-here-stay
Mead, W. R. (Sep/Oct 2006). God’s country? Foreign Affairs,24–43.
Naim, M. (2009, Sep. 30). Think again: Globalization. Retrieved fromhttp://foreignpolicy.com/2009/09/30/think-again-globalization/
Wolf, M. (2005). Why globalization works. New Haven: YaleUniversity Press.