- All Best Essays, Term Papers and Book Report

The Challenges of Implementation of Policies in the International Community

Essay by   •  August 11, 2013  •  Research Paper  •  1,359 Words (6 Pages)  •  4,467 Views

Essay Preview: The Challenges of Implementation of Policies in the International Community

Report this essay
Page 1 of 6

In international relations, states have been considered as the main actors in world politics. Several modern states comprise the international community today wherein every state has its own type of government, people and interest. Every state pursues its own national interest in order to preserve its existence. Also, in terms of politics and strategy, states are interdependent. There are instances that a state's interest collides with the interest of another state which cannot be prevented thus policies among individual states must be created in order to avoid conflict within competing states. In order to maintain the harmonious relationships among states, every government must have its own foreign policy.

Foreign policy has been defined as the means and instruments of a certain state in pursuing its goals and national interests with regards to other states. Many factors or combination of factors are influencing the foreign policy making of a certain state but due to the diversity of states it is difficult to generalize those factors. Activities beyond a state's border and other global influences such as the number of great powers and the pattern of alliances among states sometimes affect the choices of decision makers. Meanwhile, in the domestic level, influences focuses more on the internal characteristics of states such as the type of government, the level of economic development, varying military capabilities, organizational processes and most importantly the individual level influences which focuses on the personal characteristics of the leaders who govern different states.

The distribution of power among states and the geographical position of every state are among the international sources of foreign policy. It has been evident, even in the course of history, that power can be diffused among several states. The term polarity is known to refer to the distribution of power among members of the state system (Kegley & Raymond, 2012). A single state that have the sole hegemony of power is referred to as a unipolar system while bipolar system when power is divided among two states and multipolar system when the power is equally divided and possessed by many states. Polarization on the other hand refers on how and which states cluster together with the powerful one. This could entail to alliances among the superior and inferior states. Decisions of the superior states directly affect the decision-making process of inferior states particularly in forming their respective foreign policies.

The impact of polarity and polarization is connected with the strategic geographical position of a certain state. The location and physical terrain is of great importance in considering a state's foreign policy such as in the case of Switzerland, where its mountainous physical structure particularly on its borders that also serves as a defensive topography has made neutrality a reasonable foreign policy option. According to Sir Halford Mackinder (1919) and Nicholas Spykman (1944), both geopoliticians, aside from the location of the state, the topography, size of territory and population, climate and the distances among other states are also of important determinants of the foreign policy of individual states. It has been also claimed by Alfed Mahan in 1890 that "the control of the seas shaped national power" and states that has extensive coastline and ports are advantageous (Mahan, 1890).

Military capabilities, economic conditions and organizational processes and politics are mainly the domestic factors that influence the foreign policy-making of a state. The military might of a certain state definitely give options on what kind of foreign policy it should adopt. It is evident that the stronger the military of a state, the wider the variety of options it has when it comes to formulating a foreign policy. Given for example is the foreign policy of the United States that was adopted by the Obama administration in 2011 wherein US troops in the Middle East particularly in Afghanistan will be toned down and redeployed in the Asia-Pacific region aiming to have a 60-40 balance of forces by the year 2020. This foreign policy of the U.S. seeks to protect its interest in the Asia-Pacific region and ensure peace and stability as territorial



Download as:   txt (8.4 Kb)   pdf (108.5 Kb)   docx (11.5 Kb)  
Continue for 5 more pages »
Only available on