International Relations: Worldviews/Voices

1. Is American Empire a good idea for global stability and security? What is right for america is right for the world! Is this really our only option for world order? Hobbes: Yes, an American Empire is a good idea for global stability and security. America should use its position as a powerful state to keep the world and its citizens from plunging into lawlessness. Since America, as in the case of the sovereign, is a dominant and powerful state, its interests will be also be dominant and what is good for America will also be good for the world.

Grotius: No, an American empire will be a major obstacle for weaker states from participating in decision-making on an equal footing with the U. S. Instead, we should promote a world order where the interests of weaker states are represented through multi-lateral organizations. Kant: No, global stability and security cannot be brought about by America’s imposition of its notion of what is good on other states. Peace and stability can only be achieved if all states act ethically and cooperate with each other to pursue common interests.

Morgenthau: Yes, an American empire could be our only option for world order. America could use its military and economic power to pursue security and instill law in a world threathened by the nuclear arms race of emerging nations. Since America already possesses what most of the world wants and needs in terms of power and status, the only way by which war would be kept at bay and for the survival of the human species to be ensured would be for America to dominate the world.

Axworthy: Global stability and security can only be achieved by balancing national and human security concerns, which cannot be addressed by establishing an American empire based on unilateral decision-making and military action. It has become increasingly clear that the shift towards the implementation of international humanitarian standards has challenged the traditional notion of security that is based on the “state-based balance of power of the Cold war era. ” Tickner: Stability and security cannot be achieved by simply imposing the whims of a powerful nation on others and in the process contributing to their marginalization.

Security must be defined not through the traditional notion with “heavy emphasis on militarily defined security,” as this “does not ensure, and sometimes may even decrease, the security of individuals as well as that of their natural environments. ” Marx: Given that America is dominated by capitalist interest, an American empire would only mean a world order that is based on exploitation of the majority of the working class. Galtung: Establishing an American empire means that America will serve as the center while the other, weaker countries will serve as the collective periphery.

The center and the periphery do not necessarily share common interests, such that what is good for the center usually puts the periphery at a disadvantage both politically and economically. An American empire will therefore exacerbate existing inequalities between the center and periphery. Machiavelli: Yes, an American empire is necessary to achieve world peace, stability, and security. It is the duty of a powerful state such as America to employ all means necessary to keep the world in order at whatever cost. 2. Some 1. 2 million people struggle to survive on $1 a day.

About 10 million children under 5 will die this year due to hunger and disease. These are the real issues that cause violence in the world and we have a duty to respond. Is there a way out of this situation? Hobbes: Widespread hunger, disease, and death are but a natural result of human’s innately evil and selfish characteristics which cause them to come into conflict with each other over food and resources. Grotius: States should employ their political power to eradicate the issues of hunger, disease, and death especially in the domestic arena.

Being representative of the people, governments should work with their constituents to achieve solutions to these problems. Kant: Hunger and disease will be addressed if “people act according to their principles rather than according to their needs or fears. “ These actions must be based on the “universal ideals for human rights and goodwill toward others. ” Morgenthau: The root of hunger and disease is selfishness which breeds competition and conflict. This is due to man’s irrational lust for power and it is the state’s responsibility to restrain this.

The kind of selfishness for basic needs, however, has its limit and can be easily appeased by the state. Axworthy: A basic understanding of how “security issues affect the human condition” including its direct or indirect contribution to hunger and disease is necessary to seriously address the human security agenda and achieve this broader, global role” wherein we continue working in partnership with civil society and not just state as main actors to eradicate poverty and improve the lives of individuals.

Tickner: Hunger and disease are only among the “many forms of insecurity in the contemporary world [that] affect the lives of individuals, including ethnic conflict, poverty, family violence, and environmental degradation. ” (Tickner 1992) Poverty and hunger also victimize more women and their children who are rendered invisible and have often times been neglected in policy-making and reforms due to their low status in the social hierarchy.

Thus, these issues must be addressed first by “exposing these different social hierarchies, understanding how they construct and are constructed by the international order, and working to denaturalize and dismantle them. ” Marx: The root of hunger and disease is the greed and exploitation of the capitalist class of the labor of the working class which keeps the former rich and the latter to be impoverished. The only way out of this situation is for the proletariat to unite in class struggle to establish a world order that is free from capitalist exploitation.

Galtung: Hunger and disease are symptoms of the “structural violence” by which inequalities in power between the center or the powerful countries dominate and exploit the periphery or the weaker countries. This inequality is marked by the increased gap in living conditions between the powerful state which possess both economic and military force and the periphery nations which is often exploited by the former while its dependency is maintained on the powerful country.

Machiavelli: Hunger and disease arise from the weakness of the state itself in providing for its citizens. 3. The most important aspect of globalization is the spread of capitalism. This will bring stability, peace and prosperity to the entire world. The enemies of success in a capitalist system are neomercantalism and socialim. Is globalization beneficial for all or is it predatory? Hobbes: Globalization is beneficial for all as long as it serves to maintain the dominant system that works.

Grotius: Globalization is beneficial for all as it promotes the involvement of both non-state and state actors in the pursuit of “the good life” for its citizens. Kant: Globalization is beneficial for all if it promotes a society that is based on justice and founded on universal human rights. Morgenthau: Globalization is simply another manifestation of man’s quest for power, only this time it is done through subtle means. States will always act according to their national interest and the only way by which peace, however uneasy, can be achieved is through the politics of accomodation and compromise.

Axworthy: Globalization is beneficial as it emphasizes the interdependence of both state and non-state actors and opens up a variety of avenues for engaging in dialogue to work out solutions to common problems and similar interests. Tickner: The spread of capitalism does not ensure stability, peace, and prosperity especially for women who continue to be at the margins in terms of access to resources. Globalization will only strengthen the dominant relation of inequality between genders in the economic, political, and cultural spheres.

Marx: First, it is wrong to assume that spreading capitalism will bring stability, peace, and prosperity to the entire world. Capitalism will only bring stability and prosperity to the ruling capitalist class who owns and controls the forces of production at the expense of the proletariat. Spreading capitalism will only be beneficial for the capitalist class but will mean an intensified struggle between rich countries and poor countries whose labor and resources the former exploits to further its capitalist interests.

Thus, globalization is predatory as the spread of capitalism also means spreading the system of exploitation of the working class of both poor and rich countries. However, it is necessary in the development of the world as the intensification of the class struggle will also mean that socialism is inevitable. Galtung: The prevailing capitalist world order is one that is marked with structural and cultural violence of the powerful where the political, economic, and cultural hegemony of one or two nations acting as centers systematically predates upon the resources of the weaker and more dependent nations or the periphery.

Globalization will only widen the gap between the center and the peiphery, which means it will be beneficial only to some but predatory for the majority. Machiavelli: Globalization could be judged beneficial only if it is effective in bringing peace and curtailing the wickedness of men.

Works Cited:

Algosaibi, G. (1965). The theory of international relations: Hans J. Morgenthau and his critics. Background,  8(4): 221-256. Axworthy, L. (2004). A new scientific field and policy lens. Security Dialogue, 35(3): 348-349. Galtung, J. (1971). A structural theory of imperialism. Journal of Peace Research, 8(2): 81-117