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Relevance Of Foreign Policy In Interdependence Politics

Essay add: 9-11-2017, 10:36   /   Views: 6

Nowadays, the importance of foreign policy has seen as a mechanism for cooperation among states in which they could create alliances and get into arrangements to promote not only economic and political issues, but also social issues. However, some transformations, that takes place on international scenario, become more complex the global relations, such as, the emergence of NGOs as a consequence of the virtual information age and globalization. Fortunately, Foreign Policy "has proven to be very adaptable to changes in the international system and in the discipline of international relations" (Stuart, 2008, p. 577). After analyzing the changes on the foreign policy perspective, the multilateralism will be the focus as an alternative to manage the challenges of the global affairs. And finally, it is analyzed the cases of countries that adapt their policies to new tendencies, new technologies and new variables in the system structure.

There are factors that change the Foreign policy's perspective due to the numbers of actors interacting. Global network allows new non-governmental institutions to gain a lot of influence to pursue their international specific objectives in areas such as human rights advocacy, and environmental protection, among others (Aronson, 2005). Therefore, transactional contacts will increase among states and non-states actors taking into account global approaches without neglecting internal issues. (Baylis & Smith, 2005). However, it could be complicated for countries to take national policy decision unilaterally when the problems are global (Aronson, 2005). For instance, one of issues that are relevant on the international agenda (WTO) is the environment's defense that makes them intervene indirectly on national policies of countries that are against it. This is the case of China; this country is the second largest emitter of carbon dioxide in the world. This contamination is caused mainly by its industries and the high energy demand, according to the World Bank. [] This situation induces the international community reacts, so China's government should respond taking control measures. However, the reality is that for countries like United States and China the most important issue is their economic developments (Chitra, 2003).

Another factor that alters the Foreign policy's perspective is the much power that transactional movements and global issues have, compared to the governance of each country. National regulations are less effective when dealing with international approaches and transactional movements (Aronson, 2005). Even United States, that has a highly influential position in the international system due to economic and military developments, cannot address or solve many of the foreign policy issues that it faces today (Jentleson, 2010, p. 578). This characteristic led to an alteration (though not complete) in the United States behavior: Multilateralism, this concept involves cooperate with other states in order to control the challenges of security, peacekeeping, disease control, human rights violations, migration, trade, terrorism and pollution among others "Obama is now the global rock star for a new era of multilateralism" (Nau, 2010, p. 45) reflecting the proximity to this approach as a different way to achieve leadership instead of using a competitive role (Lahneman, 2003).

Furthermore, the benefits that involve multilateralism relations are the possibility of interacting with developed countries, such as China, the European Union, Brazil because those powerful nations have been outstanding progress in different areas (Powell, 2003).

Analyzing the international relations of China has significant characteristic in its Foreign Policy progress. Before 1840, In order to protect its culture, China was a closed country with West's nations. The reason was due to Opium production and importation; but after several tries of the European countries, China was forced to trade by Great Britain in the Opium War (Vallejo Mejia, 2009). Since that moment China has progressively interacting with western values, which was reflected in some changes since the reform in 1978; for example, in the economic scope, it passed from a planned economy to a market economy under governmental regulation; on the other hand, in the political scope, it passed from isolationism to active participation in the international community. Those transformations brought the rising in different realms. Recently China is emerging as an economic power: a solid globalized economy, not only by its internal factors as the government, party and electoral systems, culture and the great amount of population (cheap labor force), but also because the systemic forces as the interdependence or international investment and relative power in comparison with other countries (Hao & Hou, 2009). In China, leaders do not worry about Foreign Policy because there is a leading nucleus that constitutes its key factor in foreign policy making, but whatever the policy makers are, with "China's continuous integration into the world, it is rational to believe that Chinese foreign policy making will continue to change gradually along the lines of pluralization, institutionalization, and professionalization" (Hao & Hou, 2009, p. S140), up to now, many people think about the possible behavior of China in the international system according this new trends, but it is expected that the country continues the way to economic consolidation (Yinhong). The objective of China is to be part of a Western society, not only by increasing its low cost exports, but also importing materials, or having good state-to-state relations, or improving relations with NGO's that protect the environment or the labor force ( U.s Department of state, 2010).

Until now, it has been said how mainly internal decisions, history and resources influence Foreign policy, but also the relevance in the world, the adaptation of policies to new tendencies, new technologies and new variables in the system structure. In the previous case was described the process of China regarding its own conditions, but the next case is the assessment of how regional integration deals with foreign policy and which its role is.

As well CARICOM as the European Union are types of regional integration in two different levels, but both have the common strategy; they have clear that through multilateralism, they manage to create different organs to deal with the main issues of a common Foreign Policy as a unit, even when countries also maintain its individual decision-making process regarding this topic (Latin American and the Caribbean in the World Economy, 2004). In the Caribbean, the COFCOR (Council for Foreign and Community Relations) is an organ of CARICOM that has as objective "to be responsible for determining relations between the Community and international organizations and Third States" (Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Secretariat, 2011) and as general task the council has to promote goods and services, production, transportation and trade, technology, sustainable development, and coordinate policies to improve the external economic and trade relations of the Community (Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Secretariat, 2011), with this step towards integration the community has a body that plays a vital role in the negotiation of international agreements as COFCOR but it works with the aid of the OTN (Office of Trade Negotiations, before known as CRNM, Caribbean Regional Negotiating Machinery) in order to create strategies to follow a unique direction in trade and general foreign decisions (Nicholls, Birchwood, Colthrust, & Boodoo, 2000). In brief, this kind of processes allow countries (and much more to small countries as the Caribbean Islands) to have a compact behavior in the international system when each of this state does not have the enough power to make sound its proposals; besides, it is a space to create a joint development in a planet characterized by constants interaction and interdependence, therefore, when they create common foreign policies to face the world in a more solid basis as a block the region tries to gain power and to maintain good relations with neighbors and other countries.

Considering Europe, it has the same purpose that CARICOM by facing the world in some issues as a solid block, but the difference here, is that this region has in general a more develop economic capacity of most of the countries, hence, the integrations looks to created a concrete international actor to gain political status; the "EU has created its own foreign and security policy; this enables it to speak - and act - as one in world affairs" (European Union, 2011).

In the European Union, the institution responsible for formulate an unified foreign action is the CFSP (Common Foreign and Security Policy) together with the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, it purpose is not only involved with co-ordination of the European Union Foreign Policy based in European values, but also regarding a diversity of themes as human rights, spread of democracy, defense and international cooperation (Council of the European Union), showing the relevance of manage the complex actual international reality. The relevance of this European intergovernmental model is that "Member States have created a unique and historically unprecedented system, within which each Member State continues to pursue its own national foreign policy alongside the common foreign policy of the Union" (Strömvik, 2009, p. 27), even, after a history full of wars between states. These European relations have been gradually changing and lately the acceleration of the process towards a vaster integration is due to the globalization and interdependence.

Europe is composed by a great number of states characterized by economic strong presence and, with the union they manage to accomplish a greater international position and a more strong internal development, including secure political goals, to face the external international scheme and, as it happens in CARICOM with this common decision-making small countries gain access to a global complex structure, to improvement, assistance and global voice.

In conclusion, in all cases states above it can be remarked that the current trends lead countries to new integrative approaches in order to cope with the international reality and to be part on a world that each day becomes more interconnected by new bonds and the Globalization and trade and the advanced telecommunications and new actors and new issues. All items that become relevant when, what happens in one country really affect the others, when humans rights or Global Warning concerns NGO's and most of the countries in the world; in this era of communications and technology states realized that its needed a different behavior, that global forces push everyone to being related with the other "make it possible for those at the top and those at the bottom of society to interact in new ways" (Baylis & Smith, 2005, p. 630) and that, in a world characterized by interdependence and constant interaction foreign policy, either individually or jointly, is required to be linked to this actual context in the international system.

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