Modern linkages between different countries are so difficult that it led to emergence of new international actors. Now not only states or international organizations have an impact on international relations but also multinational (MNC) and transnational (TNC) corporations change international regimes in pursuit of their goals. It is impossible to underestimate the role of new powerful actors since they are the economic institutions. Although policy is the main sphere in each country, the economy rules the world. Those countries that have money have the power. Those actors who have such opportunities keep leverage on the situation.
MNC and TNC struggle for the power in pursuit of changing international regimes. It is not beneficial both for countries and citizens since the main goal of those new actors is not to set fair rules or foster the development of countries but to earn a lot of money. One cannot ignore the power of MNC and TNC on the international area, so they will have the right to change international regimes in order to make it more suitable for them despite all arguments against. In this case, the role of state and international organization, which represent interests of citizens, is diminished.
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Although, the role of multinational and transnational corporations is growing, they have not still enough power to change regimes completely. They can only influence the decisions. International regimes are basically created to safe environment or maintain peace between the nations. Such regimes can limit the activity of TNC and MNC since they ban to use not eco-friendly technologies or, for example, collect resources on such forbidden territory like Antarctica. Getting the right to change international regimes by TNC and MNC is dangerous for humanity. There are many global problems which are in some way regulated by such international regimes. So, when those regimes do not protect humans and environment, the situation in the world will worsen.
International regimes have evolved during many years. They include conventions or international organizations. Here are some examples: the Basel Convention (reducing the movements of hazardous waste), the Mediterranean Action Plan (preventing the pollution from ships), the Bretton Woods system of monetary management (ruling for commercial and financial relations among independent states, then it evolved into IMF and IBRD), CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna), the U.S.-Canada Great Lakes water quality regime (restoring and protecting the water), the global nuclear regulatory regime (“achieving the worldwide implementation of a high level of safety at nuclear installations” (The International Nuclear Safety Group )), the International Atomic Energy Agency (promoting the peaceful way of using nuclear energy), and the Antarctic Treaty System (ban of military activity on the continent).
To conclude, international regimes play very essential role in modern society. They regulate relations between nations and limit different countries and companies in use of dangerous technologies. Due to the emergence of new international actors such as TNC and MNc international regimes can evolve in worse direction. States and international organization who represent human rights and interest should struggle for limitation of TNC and MNC power in pursuit of maintaining the international peace.
One Global Economy vs Many Independent Economies
It is a well-known fact that the economy of each country is the main feature to determine its power. Some experts say that there is only one global economy and every country plays its role in this entire system. Another point of view is the opposite one: there are many independent economies which become connected only in case of trade. To my mind, the first point of view is the right one and here are the reasons why.
Globalization is the main feature of modern global society. It is the emergence of a global society in which economic, political, environmental, and cultural events in one part of the world quickly become significant for people in other parts of the world. Moreover, it leads to the growing of economic linkages between businesses and governments. Globalization also involves the growth of multinational and transnational corporations. Here is a quote from Stephen Harper, the 22nd Prime Minister of Canada “We got into a recession because the global economy went into the recession and we're a big exporting nation.” Nowadays a global crisis has an irreversible impact on each country. Even crisis in a single country can influence the other ones which are connected economically with this single state. The example is an American crisis in 2008, which is even called the global one. Consequently, it led to reduction of business, higher unemployment, and a loss in government revenue.
Despite all those facts some people think that economies of each country are independent. This opinion is not popular. It is even hard to give an example of experts who have the same point of view. For instance, Michael Gove is a British conservative politician. Before Brexit he criticized the opponents of it. “I think Britain will be more prosperous if we end our connection to the euro project” – Michael Gove commented on. Great Britain was a member of European Union. There were several advantages of it: single European market, entrance to the market of 27 countries with a population over 500 million people, high, value of national currency free circulation of labor force, right to vote in municipal elections in other European countries, easy travel within the EU, and great influence. British citizens thought that they are strong enough to make their own way. They considered that breaking of economic connections would increase British development. In other words, Great Britain is a bright example that each country is tightly interconnected with the others, and it is hard to break those linkages.
There is no doubt that Brexit has a negative impact on Great Britain. After the referendum many supporters of exit from EU changed their point of view. On the one hand, Great Britain is a strong state with a high-developed economy. This “crisis” is not long-term, so in several years Great Britain can overcome its negative consequences. On the other hand, Great Britain has not fully gone out from the EU yet, so even experts are not acquainted with all the consequences. In addition, the results of Brexit will even worsen since now Great Britain still use some privileges of its former membership. So, breaking or establishing relations between the countries cannot be provided without certain consequences, especially in economy.
One more evidence is sanctions. Their imposition is harmful both for the country which impose it and for the country against which those sanctions are imposed. The sanctions against Russia can serve as a good example here. The United States of America, the European Union and other countries were forced to impose the sanctions against Russia since this country-aggressor committed a crime against Ukraine and Syria. No doubt, those restrictions have much bigger impact on Russia rather than influence on imposing countries. However, sanctions are certain limitations in trade. Breaking economic linkages leads to economic stagnation. Many European countries maintained economic relations with Russia: exported and imported goods. By breaking their relations, they were forced to search for new markets for both sailing and buying. It requires more expenditures and time.
Hegemony is the domination of some country. Although the modern society is rather developed, it is still unequal and it will probably never be fair. Some countries depend on others. Besides, there are always one or several leading countries present in the world. In its essence hegemony can be different. There are three types of it: monopolar, bipolar, and multipolar world systems. According to the first system there is one superpower which can influence the others. Nowadays this supreme country is the United States of America. Bipolar system is characterized by two main countries which resist with each other. The example is USSR and USA from 1945 to 1991. The next one is multipolar system where there are several powerful regions to rule over weaker countries. Not superpowers have to decide which party they want to join.
Admittedly, mercantilists did the important investigation in hegemony. They were first who structured the main criteria of economic success. They established the connection between the foreign policy and the goal to strengthen the national status. Mercantilists argued the role of trade policy as the main criteria of economic success. “The important thing is to run a balance of trade surplus. It is particularly useful to run a surplus with major foreign rivals, as the outflows of metals from the rival countries can weaken their economies at the same time as it strengthens the domestic economy”. So, according to the followers of this economic theory the country can be successful despite not so efficient foreign trade.
Liberalism is mainly based on the theory “do well by doing good”. The country-hegemon is supposed to help other countries in the region. The main goal is to foster economic development of weaker countries. It will lead to economic growth of the main state. Liberalists believe that single country cannot be successful without cooperating with other high-developed economies. Here is the main difference between liberalism and mercantilism. Liberalists suggest that every country plays an important role, while mercantilists do not take into consideration ordinary countries, they only emphasize the influence of supreme state on the region. So, liberalism is more complex studying.
Structuralism in its turn denied the idea of global economy. There are several systems in the world. Each region or system has its hegemon – the most developed country which is an economic and political leader of the country. Other states are forced to obey the supreme country in order to achieve a progress in development. According to structuralism, those different systems do not have linkages between each other. They are just like separate worlds. Unlike structuralism, mercantilism and liberalism take into consideration the whole world and each country, even the smallest ones, plays its own role. So, mercantilism is the idea of gaining more property, liberalism is the idea of developing the supreme country by developing other countries in the region, while structuralism differs since there are several supreme countries which influence different regions.
The USA is the country-hegemon in today’s society. The country is leading in four main positions: military forces, economic development, culturally spread, and information means. There is no doubt that the USA is the supreme country although many countries disagree with this position. Recently the experts make an emphasis on declining US leader’s position. It is thought that China or Germany can become a new hegemon. Nevertheless, if the USA loses its position, it will not be in few years. “U.S. hegemony is now as firm as or firmer than it has ever been, and will remain so for a long time to come” (Babones). The United States of America is developing steadily each year. It creates new technologies which are not accessible for such countries like Germany and, especially, China. Thus, USA is the supreme country which has a great impact on all the states in the world. Its position has been very strong and powerful during the last several decades, and it would remain so in the nearest future.
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