GeoFinal Notes-- Nations and Globalism

GeoFinal Notes-- Nations and Globalism - Final Examination...

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Final Examination Review Notes N. Nations and Globalism 1. To what extent is the state still a locus of power, and to what extent has its role diminished in the contemporary era? Summary. I think we can dismiss the idea of state devolution, in other words that states will dissolve into ministates or that civil society—voluntary organizations like Amnesty—will compete with or replace the state. Nonetheless, the political scene is more complex than it was 100 years ago, when there were no levels of political activity aside from the state. Now, the state has been joined by the regional associations, which, at least in Asia, are getting more prolific all the time, and by multilateral organizations like the WTO. Note, however, that both the regional organizations and the political organizations are economic entities, designed to open wider and wider fields to economic activity. The multilateral political organizations, like the United Nations, have succeeded much less well, and the regional organization that developed to the point of political union, the EU, stopped on the threshold. International economic cooperation, the opening of larger markets and increased prosperity, is much easier to accomplish than actual sharing of political power. In other words, despite the bold claims of the new medievalism, of the evolution of the single level of political power typical of the Westphalian era to the multiple levels of power more typical of pre-Westphalia, the state will be with us for the foreseeable future. 2. To what extent does the basic structure of the UN resemble that of the League of Nations? What does this resemblance tell us about the possibility of creating an effective suprastate entity? The League was organized in two chambers, an Executive Council that was supposed to consist  of the five victorious allied powers, the US, Britain, France, Italy and Japan, and a Body of Delegates consisting  of all the member states; in this its structure closely approximated that of the present-day United Nations, with its  Security Council and General Assembly.  The League was supposed to have the power to mobilize the armies of  its member states to punish aggression if the Executive Council unanimously agreed to do so.     I want you to realize just how much the problems of the United Nations today were  foreshadowed by the League of Nations.  The League of Nations, having proved its irrelevance, went out of  business during World War II, but the impulse to create a rule of law in international affairs, to develop some  means of preventing aggressor nations from going to war, was if anything stronger after World War II than after  World War I.  More than that:  the vileness of World War II, the mass murders, the concentration camps, the  enslavement of whole populations created demand for both the recognition of basic human rights that no state 
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This note was uploaded on 01/06/2009 for the course GEOG 21 taught by Professor Acker during the Fall '08 term at Berkeley.

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GeoFinal Notes-- Nations and Globalism - Final Examination...

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