• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Who other than the governments of state, do you consider to be significant actors in the contemporary international system?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Who other than the governments of state, do you consider to be significant actors in the contemporary international system? There are many actors in the modern international system ranging from major international political organisations such as the UN and NATO to less sizable, yet in their own way no less important, institutions such as Greenpeace and other pressure groups. In this essay I hope to identify the political groups that have played a part in recent global politics and then evaluate any potential claim to being a 'significant actor'. United Nations After the treaty of Versailles in the aftermath of the First World War an organisation called the League of Nations was established. This was a largely ineffectual organisation that had the intentions of preventing major world conflict occurring again. It stood by powerless in the pre-Second World War years when it allowed Germany to pursue its expansionist aims, leading to the start of the first total war. In the final days of the Second World War at the San Francisco conference the United Nations was established in the hope of preventing another major world conflict between members by connecting them in almost a 'world government'. It acts on a 'multi-layered system of governance sometimes working with states, sometimes alongside them, and sometimes apart form them.' ...read more.

Middle

(Heywood, 2002). The level of economic, political and now with the introduction of the single European currency, monetary union that is present within the EU results in one of the, if not the, most important bodies in the international system. The laws passed in the European Court of Justice override any laws in the member countries and the ECB (European Central Bank) makes decisions regarding interest rates that directly affect every member state of the single currency. Both of these elements show that unlike the UN, the EU can act independently of its member states, demonstrating greater decision-making power due to the lack of constrictions in place. The greater assertiveness on the world stage, embodied by the creation of a European rapid reaction force, is even threatening to 'lead to a realignment in its relations with other major powers' (Heywood, 2002) on the world stage. NATO NATO or the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation is an intergovernmental body that was formed in April 1949 when eleven European countries joined with the US to create a military alliance. The North Atlantic Treaty basically states that if any of the member countries who at this present time are Belgium, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Turkey, UK and the US are attacked then all of the members would respond to the attack together. ...read more.

Conclusion

These groups are often dismissed as a nuisance but serve many important roles in society. In the case of promotional groups they serve to promote an idea to people and the political authorities in the hope that they can influence policy and implement changes. An example of such a group would be Greenpeace or Friends of the Earth. These groups generally don't ally themselves with any political parties for fear of being shunned by the others and therefore can attempt to influence far more people. They tend to be quite influential with the previous examples having millions of members worldwide and playing large parts in bringing about important issues that governments would choose to ignore. They also provide governments with a means with which to test prospective ideas or policy changes. Protectionist groups have much more power compared with promotional groups however. Protectionist groups, one's that represent their members i.e. trade unions, generally have powerful sanctions that they can implement to directly influence the mood of the public or to get themselves noticed, as is currently being demonstrated by the fire fighters strike. Because these groups normally represent valued sections of society their influence is large and can result in a shift in public opinion, which is more often than not followed by government action. While these groups are more powerful than promotional groups, they don't tend to represent international membership though. Because of this they cannot really be considered a significant factor in the current international system. ...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 European Union 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 European Union essays

  1. A clear explanation of key underpinning economic theories relevant to the EU.

    Boots in-order to prevent this, had to train its staff and change labelling of the prices and the displays in-order to make the customers life easier. The change has effected Boots as large amounts of money is being used to carry out the above procedures.

  2. Explain how groupthink and groupshift affect group decision-making with reference to contemporary management research

    As groups begin to reach a high level of cohesiveness, there is a strong tendency for the members to become euphoric, to believe that the group is all-powerful and all protective. Highly risky decisions can be made without seriously considering alternatives and consequences, largely because the group has boundless confidence in its luck.

  1. The Institutional Consequences of Domestic Politics on Africa's International Relations and Regional Cooperation.

    This group, which met at the invitation of President William Tubman on The 12th of May 1961, was a more conservative ideologically oriented group. The second group which emphasized socialist orientation was made up of Ghana, Guinea, Mali, Morocco,

  2. Why are developing countries unhappy with the global arrangements under the Bretton Woods system?

    Critics have highlighted the importance of ensuring that macro-economic growth remains controlled amongst developing nations in order to reduce the risks of economic declination and unemployment (Maloka, 2004:4). Similarly, other neo-liberalist ideologies such as the neo liberalist concept of privatization would adversely impact many people as privatized services will not serve the poor on our continent (Maloka.

  1. Free essay

    Finnish Party System

    However, starting in the 1970's the Coalition has reformed its program somewhat to become more liberal. "Traditional values" are not emphasized as much, and the party has become more open towards welfare policies which involve transfer payments. However, the Coalition regards private ownership and a free market economy as the foundations of economic development.

  2. Free essay

    Has British Politics been Europeanised

    The EU influences much of the tactics and strategies that Britain undertake, and furthermore, ones that they should adopt due to Britain's positioning as a member of the Union. The Union itself is highly present within Britain, such as it plays a predominant role in the "...allocation of resources and

  1. THE STATE OF GLOBAL GOVERNANCE ON TERRORISM

    2). To this end, it is noteworthy to put an emphasis on the specific obligations of the international policies. Since 1963, The UN member-states have established international anti-terror legal framework with twelve international conventions combating terrorism and referring to the broad variety of issues.

  2. The EU's CFSP and the Iraq Crisis: A Catalyst for Change?

    But it is yet one additional complicating factor in a long list of challenges. Resourcing CFSP One final area challenging CFSP is the resourcing of CFSP activities. In terms of financing, the Maastricht Treaty established that CFSP financing would be determined by the Council on a case by case basis.

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