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International Relations

Question 11: Role of UN in relation to human rights?

One of the primary objectives of the UN is the emphasis on the need to integrate the rights of humans into its activities. UN focuses on upholding and championing for human rights. This is evitable through the numerous UN human rights procedures and mechanisms that are aimed at protecting and promoting human rights. Some of the mechanisms and procedures implemented include:

Human rights treaties: one of the greatest achievements that have been attained by UN is the formulation of global people rights. It has been able to mediate and help negotiate over seventy human rights declarations and treaties, most of which focus on minority and vulnerable groups such as young children, women, the old, the indigenous people and persons with disabilities. Through the creation of these declarations and treaties they have managed to establish a ‘culture of human rights’ across nations, offering an essential component in promoting as well as protecting human freedom. Furthermore, through the treaties they have been able to set body committees that may respond to allegations, come up with amicable decisions and publish the adopted decisions along with the recommendations and criticisms.

Summits and World conferences: UN has been able to organize international conventions where it has formulated standards which have then been reinforced through plans and declarations. These conventions and covenants create real forums in deciding international and national policy focusing in global issues such as human rights, the environment and economic environment. Some of the global conventions where important international laws were formulated include: the global convention on people freedom of 1993, global convention on education of 1990, the global convention for social enhancement of 1995, millennium convention of 2000, world conference on women (1995). All these conventions aimed at championing for human rights, specifically the world conference on human rights placed a lot of precedence on human rights of children women and minority groups.

There are other mechanisms that have also been applied by the UN in enhancing human rights. For instance, the UN continuously monitors human rights records of all UN member countries. The treaty body continuously receives logistical, technical as well as monetary aid from UN. The body is charged with the responsibility of protecting and promoting full realization and enjoyment by every one of human rights. Moreover, UN appoints processes to tackle broader issues and particular national issues. In most cases UN also appoints human rights experts such as titled reporters, independent or representative experts to address specific human rights problems and issues and to submit recommendations and reports. Some of the procedures include mostly those that revolve around child-specific mechanisms and procedures to manage children human rights. In children for instance, UN has established a special procedures that limit certain activities such as having a special rapporteurs on child prostitution, sale of children, child pornography as well as the representation of assistants’ influence on kids. Most of the broader procedures furthermore place precedence on children’s rights with regards to their mandates. Some of such procedures include right to education, on issues on extrajudicial, women violence, extrajudicial, right to religion, xenophobia and racial discrimination.

Question 9 Washington consensus

Economists and scholars over the years have been trying to establish policies as a unique form and pattern to guarantee continuous growth and development. The ‘Washington Consensus” was one such attempt. It was presented by John Williamson. It was established in 1989. Typically, it entails a set of policies that are recommended to developing countries by the western organizations and governments. The international monetary fund is one such organization that makes recommendations to the developing nations who are often in financial crisis and are always seeking for financial support from the IMF and pay back as a loan obtained from an international financial market. These developing countries are often at risk of defaulting these loans. Most of these policy recommendations results in positive economic impacts and outcomes for the developing nations. Despite majority of the policies resulting on positive impacts, some of the policies can be negative environmentally, economically or socially. The Washington consensus puts forth ten recommendations which were primarily set to liberalize low income countries. the recommendations were; the fiscal policy control, a moderation on the interest rates imposed, a change in the use of public funds in regard to primary education, setting of competitive rates, indulging in tax reforms, liberalization of trade as well as imports, privatization, deregulation for market restriction and entry in competition, liberalization of international direct investment and focusing on profitable local ventures and finally the property rights policy.

The fiscal policy emphasized on the need to have a balanced budget to show how money will be spent to ensure accountability. Public expenditure priorities policy was aimed to redirect wrongly spent funds to areas that accrue greater returns or more useful areas such as defense, education, health or administration. The tax reform focuses on increasing government revenues and ensures proper taxations. The forth policy is financial liberalization and Williamson in this policy recommended the reliance on market-determined interest rates. Exchange rates are the fifth recommendation where nations are advised to have a single unified exchange rate that is competitive in order to induce a quick growth in exports. Under the trade liberalization, Williamson states that quotas should be replaced by tariffs. The seventh policy recommendation is the foreign direct investment and states that barriers impede flow in firms and foreign capital need to be abolished and all firms be allowed to compete equally. The other policies included privatization policy, deregulation and property rights. The aim of William in setting these policies and recommendations and also drifting towards the free trade would accrue a lot of benefits to a developing nation and the world at large. These policies set in this Washington consensus were embraced by many economists and many nations across the world implemented these recommendations. Most developing countries embraced it as a formula to gain a trajectory economic growth through free trade and international trade. The consensus was formulated to ‘stabilize, liberalize and privatize’ developing nations and counseling political leaders. These policies have also been pushed by the world trade organization. They have been thriving at the creation of liberalized trade environment and encourage and push forward undeveloped nations by supporting their involvement and integration into the global trading system.

Short essay

Question two: why is ‘security’ difficult to define? How has the definition of security changed and why

Coming up with a definite definition of security has proven to be a challenging task by scholars as well as academicians. This is mainly due to the ever changing concerns of security strategists. Similarly, security entails a lot and it has been hard in assessing what needs to be incorporated in the definition and what not to include in the definition. Despite the difficulties in defining security, some scholars have been able to come up with different definitions however; most of the definitions have been criticized not to be comprehensive. The college dictionary defines security as a state or feeling of being safe and secure, having the freedom from anxiety, fear, doubt and danger. Scholars define it as defense or protection against interference, attack and espionage. Academicians defined security as something that assures or gives safety, certainty and tranquility. Similarly, it can also be defined as the procedure to provide defense and protection.

Question three: what are Huntington’s main arguments in clash of civilizations?

Huntington in his published an article to the Foreign Affairs ministry which he termed as ‘the clash of civilizations’. In the article he argues that human beings are divided into cultural lines. He stated some of the cultural lines as Islamic, Western, Hindu and many other cultural lines. He argues that there is no single universal civilization, rather he fathoms that there are cultural blocks each of which have their unique and distinct values. Further, he argued that the Islamic civilization is the most challenging. He states that majority of the Arab communities do not easily share their superstitions regarding the western world. Arabs mainly places precedence to their religion. Moreover, Huntington states that Arabic culture is inhospitable to particular liberal ideals such as individualism, pluralism as well as democracy. He added that the Arab regime were fragile and could easily be affected by their unemployed young men. In regards to Muslims he stated that they have bloody borders. He also said that the Muslims have a lot of tensions and wars with other civilizations.

Questions 8: How does IMF and World Bank work together?

The IMF and World Bank were both established in 1944 with the primary goal being to establish a framework for economic development and cooperation and thus have a lot of correlation. They jointly work together to create a prosperous and more stable global economy. However, due to the evolving new economic challenges and developments they have slightly made their roles slightly different. For instance, the IMF is primarily mandated to promoted international cooperation as well as providing technical assistance and policy advice to assist countries to establish and maintain strong economies. whereas, the world bank mainly focuses on promoting long term economic enhancement and reducing poverty by providing financial and technical support to assist nations to reform specific sectors or establish and implement particular projects such as provision of water and electricity, building health centers and schools, protecting the environment or fighting diseases. Both the World Bank and IMF regularly collaborate at many levels to help their member countries work together on different initiatives.

Question 10: Are norms relevant in IR?

Typically, norms are the shared values that are accepted by the members. Norms are very relevant to international relations. Despite international relations lacking shared values it is essential to consider the domestic political systems and values. International relations involve working with people from different nations whom of which have different ideologies and perceptions that govern their way of life. Therefore, in order to ensure successful implementation of international relations activities and programs it is important to have detailed information regarding the country under focus. Different aspects such as their religious beliefs, cultural activities, and their political systems are among other aspects of the region under focus. Understanding these aspects helps in integrating international programs and new technologies into all local nations.

Question 5 how Marxist perspective is relevant to current IR

The Marxist perspectives are not very essential to the learning of IR. They provided a firm foundation for the current international relations. Marxist places a lot of precedence to how the world is organized. It discusses the separation of different classes. Focus is also placed on the economics of a specific country. Economics is the point of focus and not any other aspect of civilization. Furthermore, most of the theories stipulated by Marxist such as idealism and realism are egocentric theories that only justify the inequalities around the world by the economic elites. The current world’s population is much more enlightened and understands their rights and champions for them. Today most economies focus on equity, for instance provision of minimal wages deters the economic elites from coming establishing policies that only fit a particular economic class. Current economic elites thrive at ensuring that the economy is stabilized and that there is no big marginal difference between the rich and the poor thus ensures equity.

Question7: What can IR contribute to our understanding of security?

The study of international relations contributes significantly to our understanding of security issues. Typically, IR involves evaluation of different aspects of nations, the state of security being key among them. Furthermore, IR also incorporates contemporary debates on what security entails the role of political programs and processes in international relations. A study of security issues is important as it creates awareness of what security entails thus increases understanding of security. Consequently understanding the state of security in a nation helps in knowing how to go about international relations programs and activities without fear of security. When IR professionals are enlightened of the state of security in a country they can easily help in combating and mitigating the security issues thereby improving the state of security in the country. They also make recommendations on what measures can be implemented to improve the overall state of security

Question 6: Describe a current international issue from a realist perspective

The realism perspective typically embraces a pessimistic view of state relations, world politics and the possibility of having peace. Over the recent years, there have been numerous issues that are affecting the entire world. One such international issue is the current effect of global warming. Global warming is affecting has been on the rise due to the increased exposure of harmful products into the atmosphere that is depleting the ozone layer and thus exposes the world to the risky sunlight rays which have detrimental impacts on human life. This global issue has affected the peaceful coexistence of humans thus in line with the realism perspective. For instance, it has resulted in a reduction of the amount of rain received. Rain is essential for agriculture and life sustenance. Thus has affected the overall well-being of human life.

Question 15: Impact of WTO and UN on national sovereignty

The concepts of freedom and sovereignty are among essential concepts of public discourse. Similarly, one of the most important objectives of the United Nations is to champion for independence and sovereignty to have the ability to depend on their own. The world trade organization on the other promotes the national sovereignty of different nations by promoting and finding markets for the products produced by a country. Therefore, both the UN and the WTO advocate for the independence of their members by providing the necessary support to help them meet their needs. Moreover, by countries being able to engage freely in the community of sovereign states and also have the rights to implement their own legislations within their boundaries.

Questions : Do you think that “just war theory” can be described as ethical?

The just war theory in my view is ethical. This is because it puts forth that taking a person’s life is wrong which is true because every person has a right to live and in cases of misconduct other disciplinary actions can be employed to correct the bad behavior (Pevehouse & Goldstein, 2015). It is also ethical in the sense that it fathoms that the state has a primary obligation to defend justice and defend their citizens. Moreover, it adds that in situations such as where there is urgent need to protect people’s lives or defending national values and morals, it is at this point that force needs to be applied to correct the behavior. Therefore, the just war theory is within the confines of the law and thus ethical. War is just and thus brings a notion that war is actually, however, this is not right. Furthermore, it attempts to reconcile

Question 17: Does the state have a particular responsibility to its citizens or a universal one to the community?

Yes, the state has a lot of responsibilities to its citizens. Every state has the sole responsibility of ensuring the well-being of its citizens in all aspects of their lives. It is tasked with the responsibility of ensuring that its citizens get the best healthcare, proper and quality education, ensure total security for all its citizens and people within the country, provision of social amenities such as proper roads, water, and electricity that are necessary for the daily operations of humans. If every country can ensure the wellbeing of every person in the country, it will be indirectly upholding the humanity and the entire world will be exercising humanity.

Question 19: importance of WTO and as to IR

WTO borrows a lot of ideologies from the international relations. Thus their activities easily blend. World trade organization is important to IR as it also deals with many and diverse countries thus they also understand the way of life of different countries. Their deep insights about the diverse cultures can be essential for international relations practitioners as they also seek to understand the way of life of a country before engaging in IR activities. Consequently, the international relations skills learned are also useful in knowing how to approach and tackle a foreign issue.

Question 14: Who are the main actors of international relations?

The structure of IR is made up of several actors. Some of the main actor’s include the nation which comprises of a group of community that believes they are unique about ethnicity, history and language, the non- state actors which includes religious institutions, universities, ethnic groupings, trade unions and community organizations. Other actors include the non-governmental organizations and multinational corporations.


Pevehouse, J. C., & Goldstein, J. S. (2015). International relations.