Conflict and Security in the Term Paper

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This was in keeping with the Marxist principle of a classless society. In the United Nations, the United States has had an equal standing with other nations such as Britain, France, and the Soviet Union. The United States has participated in United Nations actions and made a show of being a part of the international community while maintaining its superpower status outside of the United Nations' walls. In light of new global political conditions that emphasize global cooperation and governance, rather than government (Baylis & Smith, 13), the United Nations still has an important role to play, and the United States has a role to play in it.

While the United States continues to be a member of the United Nations, it is no longer really a true team player. The United States, while still making a show of belonging to the United Nations, now more closely follows the principle of realism in its practices. The United States now openly acts in its own self-interest and toward its own security, as the theory of realism predicts nations will do. The interest of the United States in the affairs of other nations, the economic sanctions it enacts against nations whose policies it does not like, and its rejection of proposed international policies such as the Kyoto Protocol are all indicative of a nation following its own self-interests, and of a nation that believes that there is no international authority greater than its own sovereignty. This is a nation following principles of realism.

The United States also, more recently, seems to be operating under an assumption of maximal realism. With the collapse of the Soviet Union and the end of the Cold War, the United States has been left as the only world superpower the "hegemon" of maximal realism. Because it is a superpower, and the only one, the United States seems to be assuming that it can be heavy-handed in its policies and that the other nations of the world will still rally around it because it is the hegemon. And, for a time, this may have been true. However, with the United States adopting increasingly unpopular policies and interfering ever more deeply into the affairs of other nations, the theory of minimal realism appears to be taking over, where other countries band together against the overbearing hegemon in order to protect their own interests from being swallowed up by those of the hegemon. Only time will tell whether maximal or minimal realism will prevail in the international arena.

Of course, liberalism has also played a part in the foreign policies of the United States. The national culture and character of the United States, its internal values and traditions, have helped shape its international policy as much as its status as a superpower has. From the policy of detente adopted by a war-weary nation after the Vietnam War to aid given to foreign nations after disasters because of a national spirit of charity to the Middle East policies of today brought about by a nation on the alert for terrorism, liberalism has also shaped the foreign policies of the United States and likely always will in some way or other. In a government of the people and for the people, the character and values of the people will always play some part in the foreign policy adopted by that government.

Bibliography

Baylis, J & Smith, S 2005, The Globalization of World Politics, Oxford University Press, Oxford.

Hirst, P 2001, War and Power in the 21st Century, Polity Press, Cambridge.

Janis, Irving 1982, Groupthink, Houghton Mifflin, Boston.

Kaldor, M 1999, New Wars and Old Wars: Organized Violence…

Sources Used in Documents:

Bibliography

Baylis, J & Smith, S 2005, The Globalization of World Politics, Oxford University Press, Oxford.

Hirst, P 2001, War and Power in the 21st Century, Polity Press, Cambridge.

Janis, Irving 1982, Groupthink, Houghton Mifflin, Boston.

Kaldor, M 1999, New Wars and Old Wars: Organized Violence in a Global Era, Stanford University, Stanford.

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