UN has been useless in implementing a doctrine of humanitarian intervention during and after the cold war
The purpose of this research paper is to carry out a critical assessment on how UN has been useless in implementing a doctrine of humanitarian intervention during and after the cold war. The paper focuses on the impact of humanitarian intervention on the international political affairs. It utilizes both secondary and primary sources to assess the subject matter. It is observed that the salient differences between political features of the contemporary international relations are far diverse as compared to what the Cold War world was. During the Cold War period, the global political/economic atmosphere could be described as divided with distinct cultures, only 8% of the countries having free markets and stressing on the power of nations. On the contrary, the humanitarian intervention age came with integration of nations, economies or markets and technologies.
A global paradigm shift has been evident since the end of Cold War towards the close of 80s. During the Cold War period, the global political/economic atmosphere could be described as divided with distinct cultures, with only 8% of the countries having free markets and stressing more on the power of nations among other characteristics. On the contrary, the humanitarian intervention age came with integration of nations, economies or markets and technologies (Garrett & Geoffrey 1997). While it is evident that the world in the age of humanitarian intervention is different from the pre-humanitarian intervention world, humanitarian intervention has had a lot of impact on the international economic operations, political relations, cultural aspects and environmental issues (Edgar & Dauvergne 2005).
Humanitarian intervention is used in context such as processes, perspective and more so in outcomes. It is expressed in various dimensions e.g. from political, economical and socio- cultural point of view. These various ways of expressing humanitarian intervention has led to a lot of controversies on the clear difference between it and internationalization (Gultang, 1997). The study of UN and humanitarian intervention tries to examine its ubiquitous nature basing on the economical point of view. Humanitarian intervention has different meaning when expression is made in conjunction with higher education where humanitarian intervention concerns with convergence of the educational systems which is directed to catering for the needs of world knowledge. According to education systems, internationalization defines the divergent approaches within the various contexts of convergence (Smith, 2000).The literature examines original investigations, other literature reviews, peer reviewed academic literature, research databases, reviews, journals in various academic fields and original manuscripts. These form the secondary and primary sources upon which the backbone of this research paper is anchored.
UN implementation of Humanitarian Intervention after the Cold war
Benjamin & Virginie (2003) note that the integration of different isolated national markets, cultures and political standards takes variety of forms as it tries to distinguish itself from myth, phenomenon or outcome. One school of thought among economists (e.g. Garret 2000) postulated that humanitarian intervention is relativistic in nature as it takes variety of forms. Humanitarian intervention has therefore been viewed as a myth due to its questionable validity in global leadership consensus. Its history has also depicted features that are related to mythical stories as current global economy is considered (Aglietta 1998). The fact that most transnational corporations are no longer under the control of most nations reveals some characteristic of myth. European Union which is a form of regionalization of global zones has the features of humanitarian intervention such as integration and harmonization of diverse regions. Strategies have been put forward by many nations to eradicate dissent in the international business operations while promoting consensus in governance. This indicates that economic and like minded leaders can respond positively to matters concerning nation-state autonomy. The leaders should be in position to relinquish certain powers for the collective benefit of many nations in terms of business efficiency and mutual political good. The European regional global zone, EU has attracted other international organizations found in the Central and Eastern Europe. The impositions that EU has had on members’ qualification are another pressure on the global business operations.
Some scholars have different perspective on humanitarian intervention. Some view free trade and economic rationalism as the basis for humanitarian intervention and that evolutionary advancement in the economic sector aids humanitarian intervention. The economy of nations is the basis of efficient humanitarian intervention across the globe. The multilateral agencies are in the front in designing international regulations that are governing international business operations. Some of the major agencies which greatly influence the international business operations and humanitarian intervention s are World Bank, International Monetary Fund and World Trade Organization. These organizations are designed to protect the economies of nation states and other inter-governmental regions. These agencies have stipulated regulations and leaders whose responsibility resembles that of head of most nation states. The institutionalization of international regulations is quite paramount and that most nations should comply with these in order to enhance efficient humanitarian intervention.
There is a clear link between diverse political dimensions of humanitarian intervention and post-modernity as revealed through spatialization of social theory which commence with feudalism to capitalism to socialism. The inhuman objects are the central theme of humanitarian intervention and it constitutes contemporary networks in the current global economy. Urry stated that computer networks, associational opposition and modes of citizenship are some of the contemporary networks that have had a lot of impact on the process of humanitarian intervention (quoted in Barnet 2000: 93). Some scholars have also postulated that there exists a link between the economic dimension of humanitarian intervention and capitalism and development. It is summed up that cultural dogma of consumerism dominates the economic undertakings; global development can be achieved less effectively. Social democracy is far much better than capitalism if efficient humanitarian intervention is to be achieved. Intrinsic nature of human agency and the norms they have adopted over time has to be modified if humanitarian intervention is to be efficient in the national markets and this calls for constant changes in the policies that are used in day-to-day business and that stakeholders should at all times accept the change of identities. These ideologies have led to rise of controversies and variations of utopianism. Some of the early analysts such as Thurow suggested that capitalism cannot implode in the same manner as communism but that success and prosperity of global business depend on a shift from consumption to builders’ ideology (Thurow’s L. C. 1996) The Future of Capitalism, quoted in Emmeriji 2003, p. 97).
These ideologies contrast with cultural dimension of humanitarian intervention which has the effect of underpinning the influences of cultural imperialism. Clark argues that spread of modernity and resistance to the hegemony of westernization drives humanitarian intervention to fragmentation (quoted in Benjamin & Virginie 2003). This forces most multilateral organizations to adopt protectionist strategies due to the forces of fragmentation. The intellectual difference, then, of forces such as humanitarian intervention and disintegration makes it difficult for much of the world to incorporate into a particular, homogenized world. Many economists have argued that humanitarian intervention has positive impact to economy and especially to international business investors. The major positive impact of humanitarian intervention is that it has led to liberalization of international trade. Expansion of FDI has also been enhanced and cross border financial flow has been made possible. The fact that there is enhanced flow of ideas across border has led to intense competition in the international markets. The combined efforts of different countries in the national markets have resulted in good relations among diverse cultures. These in turn lead to greater competition. Policy decisions concerning diversified cultures have also been achieved through humanitarian intervention and this has enhanced reduction in national barriers that may hinder international economic transactions. Cost is the major concern of all business organization. Humanitarian intervention is effective in the sense that flow of information has been made possible hence cost of moving information has been vastly reduced. Flow of goods and capital across the globe has reduced dramatically. This has eased transactions in the national markets.
Cost reduction is the main benefit that companies derive from participating in shared efforts. Companies also benefit from more efficient compliance efforts that aid in the efficiency of the company which in turn increases the revenue. The efficient compliance of efforts has enables most companies to incur less costs in production due to reduced head count. Humanitarian intervention has also lead to improved quality controls in the organizations. Humanitarian intervention has a lot of shortcoming and hence firms investing the international markets are faced with: Alignment of global culture may be very challenging to the concept of humanitarian intervention. This can be seen from the way different societies react for example through a common quote “westernization,” “alienation” among others (Panayotou 2000). The major problem faced by many firms as they globalize is the difficulty in maintaining the original corporate culture. Maintenance of the cultural identity in the global markets is quite difficult. Firms which are globalizing through joint ventures and partnership led firms are forced to adopt the culture of the native and cultures of the diverse people where their clients operate (Finnermore, 2000). In the same manner, political views are as diverse as the cultural views are. Aligning the political views to reach a balance may not be easy and that is partially why the UN and international bodies like ICCJ face great challenges in the discretion of their sanctioned functions. International firms are faced with the problem of uncertainty on the extensibility of their business strategies and management networks. They are also faced with the problem of inability to solve problems that concerns project in the new areas (Barber & Jihad, 2000).
Impacts of UN Policies on Economic Performance and Living Standards after the Cold war
Humanitarian intervention has a lot of impact on the economic performance in countries which are participating in the international business. Living standards of the people is affected directly due to changes that occur in economic performance in the region. Some of the impacts of humanitarian intervention include increased competition, new technologies, intensive innovation which accompanies changes in technology and specialization in efficient industries. It has also brought about more economic growth which had stagnated especially in most undeveloped countries gets to a point of economic transition. Lastly, there has been a rise of global elite resulting from widening of income gaps due to inability of other countries to attract humanitarian intervention drivers like FDI. The concept of international politics and humanitarian intervention is two issues that are controversial in nature when political scene is considered (Emmeriji 2003). Some liberalism school observed that humanitarian intervention is the same as internationalization and that social labour division in global business environment is quite imperative in most competitive environments. On the other hand pragmatism school argues that humanitarian intervention will give rise to closer interdependence of universal social relationships. This leads to building up of relationship between economy and international politics. Relationship between foreign affairs and domestic affairs should also be established for efficient international business operations and exchange of cultural values. The diverse expressions of the relationship between economy and the international politics does not have any effect on the strategies that international investors should take to ensure smooth running of the business operations.
Humanitarian intervention and international politics are becoming core issues as it determines international relationships that are necessary for international business operations. Different authors have tried to give different interpretation of the implication of globalized international politics which have a lot of impact on the international business. Some points out that international politics and international relations bring impacts on global business operations (Barber & Jihad, 2000). International politics have great influence on the operations of international business. The influence of any political change on international business is no less significant that the influence that are attributed to the individuals. Politics affect the operations of international businesses, interchange of cultural values, free cross-border movement of individuals in the global village (Daniels, 1996). International investors ought to be careful when dealing with long term assets in the global markets due to the risk of expropriation of these assets whenever there is a change in government. The impact is also felt when the existing government make a lot of changes toward foreign investment. Currency has been a challenge to international business. Currency conversion is so hectic if global markets do not adopt one currency conversion method. The idea behind the inability to convert local currency into hard currency has posed a lot of challenges to international business. All these are in the hands of the government at any given time. The stance toward hard currency transfer in a nation might be influence the proper business operations (Cerny, 2001). Political changes that follows transition of government leads to shortfall in the national currency exchange. New government might introduce laws that lead to changes in currency transfer hence infringing the normal business transaction in the national markets (Corbridge, 1999)
International politics affect international business through sanctions that some other states might impose on other countries. It is in relation with this that most developed countries impose sanctions on the third countries in the international markets. Political violence that accompanies national elections affects international business operations. This depends on the site of business operations. If in case sites where international business operations are affected by internal conflicts of the country, then there are chances that the facilities are damage leading to interruption of normal business operations. This is sometime abrupt that no measures have been put in place to offset such crisis. These are very dangerous to international companies as it can lead to stoppage of business operations if substantial resources are damage during the time of violence. The place where the national markets are located should be a country of political stability to foster efficient and effective business operations. The diversity in the political structures that are presented by different countries also affects international business operations (Corbridge, 1999).
International politics can also affect international business operations by imposing sanctions on the new market entrances for new business organizations that are still venturing on new markets. The amount of capital that a company should have at hand for it to participate in the international markets hinders new entrance in the international business (Anton 2000). Most companies are not in position to participate in international business due huge capital that should have. These lead to reduced competition in these international markets hence few companies enjoying monopoly which might least to exploitation of consumers (Barnet, 2000).
International traders are at all time cautious on their business operations. United Nation has a lot of limitations that has a far reaching influence on their operations. Doing business with international countries can lead to downfall of the operations due delays by most governments to settle bills in time. When a government is a buyer, there are a lot of inefficiencies associated with it. United Nations influence international business operations of a country i.e., it can impose an embargo on countries. This limits their ability to import goods hence markets for the global market goods are reduced. If for example a trader had exported goods to a government, but he later realized that embargo has been impose on that government, it has no option other than to cancel the export license of that trader.Most governments have limitations in that wrongful calling of on demands guarantees occurs often. Political change leads to political risks that have direct impact on the international operations. Having carried out the research through careful evaluation of literature, it is justifiable to conclude that whereas United Nations brought a different world after the cold war, it carries both positive and negative impacts and politically, socially, environmentally and economically.
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