• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month
Page
  1. 1
    1
  2. 2
    2
  3. 3
    3
  4. 4
    4
  5. 5
    5
  6. 6
    6
  7. 7
    7
  8. 8
    8
  9. 9
    9
  10. 10
    10
  11. 11
    11
  12. 12
    12
  13. 13
    13
  14. 14
    14
  15. 15
    15
  16. 16
    16
  17. 17
    17
  18. 18
    18
  19. 19
    19

The study of international or rather global politics, seeks to provide an account of politics in the broadest domain.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

1. Introduction The study of international or rather global politics, seeks to provide an account of politics in the broadest domain. The domain of international politics in the twenty-first century is characterised by the increasing number of actors pursuing common and personal interests. It is largely due to the globalised, interdependent nature of the current international political environment that the concepts of sovereignty and power deserve further evaluation. The exercise of authority and power are facts as old as time, throughout the ages men have tried to explain and understand how and why political authority is organised. Sovereignty is a concept used to explain political power, to attempt to understand the complex interactions that take place as man strives towards the most effective and efficient form of societal organisation. The purpose of this discussion is to attempt to provide a clearer interpretation of the terms power and sovereignty and to gain an insight into the relationship between these important concepts which advance our understanding of the organisation of political authority. 2. The emergence of sovereignty Porfessor Hinsley, in his book aptly titled Sovereignty (1986:1), calls sovereignty a concept and not a fact, a theory or assumption applied to political power. He says that the term originally expressed the idea that there is a final and absolute authority in the political community (Hinsley 1986:1). The concepts of sovereinty and state are intertwined and "the concept of sovereignty emerges in the wake of the rise of the state" (Hinsley 1986:17). While the emergence of the state is a necessary condition for sovereignty it is not sufficient. Hinsley explains, "A community and its government must be sufficiently distinct, as they are only when the government is in the form of the state, before the concept of sovereignty is relevant. But the appearance of the concept is still delayed until the community and its government, society and state, remaining necessarily distinct in some respects, have integrated to a certain extent in others. ...read more.

Middle

The existence of a common power is a precondition for the existence of law and the need for a common authority is based firstly on "the need to direct actions for common benefit" and secondly to compel men to order in fear of punishment. Hobbes, like Machiavelli, has a very cynical approach to the nature of mankind and he believes that force is a very important tool of governance. "Covenants, without the sword, are but words, and of no strength to secure a man at all. The bonds of words are too weak to bridle men's ambition, avarice, anger, and other passions, without the fear of some coercive power". Hobbes' view was that the only way to create a common power to "defend them from the invasion of foreigners, the injuries of one another, to secure them and their own industry so that they may nourish themselves and live contentedly", is to confer all power and strength to one man or an assembly of men. As Sabine (1973:433) explains, "Security depends upon the existence of a government having the power to keep the peace and to apply the sanctions needed to curb man's innately unsocial inclinations. The effective motive by which men are socialized is the fear of punishment, and the authority of law extends only so far as its enforcement is able to reach". This covenant between subjects and the authority is the key to the creation of a sovereign state. This covenant involves a transfer of power and a certain sacrifice of personal liberties, from the individual to a central, common authority and in exchange for submitting to the will and power of the sovereign, the individual gains security and order. According to Sabine (1973:432), the power of the state and the authority of the law are justified only because they contribute to the security of the individual, and there is no rational ground of obedience and respect for authority except the anticipation that these will yield larger individual advantage than their opposites. ...read more.

Conclusion

Hinsley believes that the purpose of these efforts is not the establihnment of a higher political authority and the dissolution of the sovereignty of states, but rather that "they are exercising their sovereignty to bring about an agreed re-definition of their rights and duties within the international system" (Hinsley 1986:229). In Robert Gilpin's analysis of change in world politics entitled War and Change in World Politics, he discusses political change as a product of changes in power relationships. He explains that "those actors who benefit most from a change in the social system and who gain the power to effect such change, will seek to alter the system in ways that favor their interests. The resulting changed system will reflect the new distribution of power and the interests of its new dominant members" (in Viotti & Kauppi 1993:147). In other words, the political system changes to reflect shifts or is changed by shifts in interest and power. 8. Conclusion Much the same as in post-medieval Europe, there was a re-evaluation and re-organisation of political authority, there is scope for philosophers and theorists to question the continued existence of sovereignty and the ability of a sovereign to exercise power. The concepts of sovereignty and power are so closely tied to each other and dependent upon one another, that a re-organisation of political authority will in fact lead to a complete change in the language of politics. The sovereign state has been a characteristic of the international political order for the past three hundred years and has evolved out of a necessity or propensity for order. A sovereign excerises its power through the creation and maintenance of order and the provision of security. The power of the state to act as a sovereign is continually being challenged by forces such as globalisation, terrorism and regionalism and the continued existence of a sovereign nation-state lies in its effectiveness as an actor and its ability to be an actor in the international community is dependent upon the power structure of the international arena. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Political Philosophy section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Political Philosophy essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    "Explain And Discuss How The "Ideologies Of Welfare" Explored In This Module Can Be ...

    3 star(s)

    Conservatism agrees with slow, evolutionary change is best, not rapid change based upon revolution, which would be associated with socialism, which Mrs. Thatcher was indeed against. Laissez-Faire, translated to 'let things alone' also referred to as classical liberalism, in economics, policy of domestic nonintervention by government in individual or industrial monetary affairs.

  2. What are the main advantages and limitations of the trait and type approaches to ...

    Nevertheless, the theory had been criticised by Schneider and Hough on the grounds that it is too simple and concluded that the time had not yet arrived to review the model as an adequate taxonomy. Hough thought that it needs to be expanded nine factors and remains a description of

  1. Does the mass media have a direct effect on British Politics?

    it does not subscribe to the view that the media influences what people think, but it does stress the fact that the media have a significant amount of power in being able to set the agenda in politics. It must be remembered, however, that the newspapers still have a responsibility

  2. Does democracy bring peace?

    Even the much lesser internal conflicts in smaller non-democratic nations have been deadly. The list is long and sad, including El Salvador (during its non-democratic periods), Colombia, Haiti, Sri Lanka, Syria, Iraq, Iran, Vietnam, Cambodia, Mongolia, Pakistan, Afghanistan, the Czar's Russia, Hungary, Rumania, Yugoslavia, and Uganda.

  1. Liberalism Notes

    the largest possible British share of world trade. RADICALS * Radical reformers - at different times, interwoven with or opposed to Whig tradition - influence on both liberalism and socialism. Radicalism a broad term, with different connotations for different periods, yet huge influence on British liberalism and 19th century Liberal party.

  2. An analysis of the Marxist perspective on religion

    People produced goods for others and received monetary benefit in return. Therefore, they still were alienated. It must be noted that alienation, according to Marx, is not a simple psychological condition in which people feel alienated. Rather it is where they are alienated.

  1. Can feminism be thought of as a theory of law or, otherwise, fundamental in ...

    within which they have arbitrarily confined themselves."20 In this sense it is the ideal method for women to promote and execute the installation of their female legal theory. As it would not only tolerate an amendment in the law to integrate women into existing law, but more than this it

  2. Nationalism is a recipe for peace and international order. Discuss

    It is because of this profound belief that it can be argued that liberal nationalism looks beyond the nation to ideas of internationalism. Liberal nationalists uphold the principles of natural harmony and apply it to the nations of the world.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work