Category Archives: Politics

How does US government work?

This video gives quick overview over the division of power in the US government. It may explain why Barack Obama awaits congress approval to intervene in Syria.

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Why international powers are so interested in the Arctic?

Arctic riches

Global Warming makes the Arctic more accessible to tourists and, more importantly, to resource exploitation machinery. According to the US Geological Survey, the Arctic, supposedly, has 13% of world’s undiscovered oil and 30% of its undiscovered gaz. The value of these resources increases as the supply for them decreases and as the demand for them rises.  In addition, the tension over the Arctic is magnified by the fact that there is no state that owns the Arctic region. As a result, political powers that surround Arctic try to push their boarders toward the Arctic resource treasury, while increasing their military presence in the Arctic region in an effort to secure their part of Artic resources.  Those powers are Canada, Denmark, Russia, Norway, and the United States. These countries search to maximize their control over some Arctic regions which lead, in some cases, to diplomatic conflicts. For example, in 2007,  when Russian scientists planted the Russian flag at the sea bed of North Pole, Canada’s Foreign Affairs Minister immediately described this action as inacceptable because, even though, it has not been proven yet, the North Pole is a part of Canadian territory and, therefore, its property. Needless to say that the Arctic question will generate more international conflicts in the future for it is clear that political powers will not miss the chance to acquire Arctic resources and, consequently, significantly shift the balance of political power on their side.

Liberalism

Liberalism is the paradigm that suggests that peace and cooperation is possible in the world politics.

Russel Bova in  How The World Works

Realism

Realism is a paradigm used by political scientists to understand international politics. This paradigm is based on the assumption that international politics is struggle for power among sovereign states.

Important points that summarize realist perspective

1. Anarchy exists in the world of international politics.

  • This sentence means that there is no organization in the world which is able to enforce rules and norms of behavior for sovereign states

2. States are sovereign

  • The government of a state has a supreme authority over its state answerable to no higher authority.

3. States are unitary rational actors

  • States behave accordingly to their interests

4. Security of state requires self-help

  • States are responsible for their own security. They protect themselves through the accumulation of military  assets and        alliances.

5. War is inevitable

  • War is considered by the state as a tool in achieving their interests when other options fail or can’t be applied.

6. One nation’s security means another’s  nation insecurity

  • Rise of military power of one state for its protection is considered as rise of threat for the state neighbor.

7. Power trumps justice

  • The strongest is right.

Those points are often used by political scientist who uses realist paradigm. However, you should not be deceived by the word realist because it doesn’t necessarily mean true in the context of political sciences. (The final article)

Quote Rational choice the…

 Rational choice theory describes individuals as rational actors whose primary commitment is to the advancement of their own interests. (How the world works by Russell Bova)