Why study nonstate actors as a field of international politics?
How might nonstate groups like terrorists, resistance groups, criminal organizations, and protest movements capitalize on the decline of state sovereignty and the rise of globalization? Give specific examples identifying specific strategies of actors in this context.
An undercurrent theme of this course is that the political economy of globalization has provided a structural change to actors in international society. How?
What theme, concept, or idea from the class was most significant for you and that you will take with you into the remainder of your academic career? Be specific.
Course Number and Name
Sovereignty is the supreme authority over all things. It is also the state of making laws and
controlling resources without permission/consultation from other nations. As learned from the
lecture, State sovereignty involves making the most powerful state a legitimate political unit. In
addition, the state chooses a dominant religion to become the principal consultant during
governance. It made the sovereign state the legitimate political unit. Finally, the state acquires all
rights to all its activities within its territories without any restrictions. For example, during the
days, Westphalia had set standards based on the three sovereignty faces (autonomy, states, and
State sovereignty in the past 10-30 decades, e.g., in 1776, 1789, and 1917, the sovereignty
of a state was acquired by nations through battles, heroic deeds, debates, speeches, and
compromises. All these ways brought about new governing rules, new political authority, and new
principles in those ages. Today, sovereignty exists independently within a nation as the new actors
such as United Nations and European Union enhanced. It is facilitated mainly by the existence of
citizenship, subjects, rights, and state responsibility.
Recently, state sovereignty has experienced changes since the end of the cold war.
Nowadays, national governments are sharing powers through political, social, and security roles.
Nations are also engaging in economic agreement among themselves or even with private
organizations. Sovereignty has shifted from war studies to non-traditional security studies involves
famine, terrorism, health crisis, etc. All these changes are being brought about by the rising effect
of the new global public domain, which focuses on embedding governance systems based on social
capacity and agency.
Lecture Notes: Culture and Society in International Perspective; Lecture 1 – Foundations of
International Society; Lecture 2 – Does The State Matter? Sovereignty and its Alternatives
Philpott, D. (1995). Sovereignty: An Introduction and Brief History. Journal of International
Affairs, 48(2), 353Ã¢â‚¬â€œ368. http://www.jstor.org/stable/24357595
Cultural Studies Question
Cultural Studies Question
What forms of power might non-state actors have at their disposal? Does this rival or
replace state power?
Non-state actors are all those actors that do not belong to the state representatives. It
entails the individuals and organizations that are not directed or funded through the state
government. They include private financial institutions, corporates, and armed resistance groups.
They operate at the international level and are potentially necessary to international relations.
The non-state actors have various powers, including aiding in opinion building in international
affairs like the Human Rights Council. The Formal international organization also depends on
the non-state actors, specifically the NGOs, when implementing partners in the national context
(Tucker, 2020). The non-state actors also act as a regulating institution to all other banks in a
state where it functions. They give coins of the country where it operates and also banks notes or
money bills. In international relations, non-state have the power in foreign policymaking. They
also have the power over formal international law-making processes, especially in implementing
and enforcing international instruments.
This does not replace state power since state power represents the government. The
state’s power is to protect human rights through respecting and protecting them. The non-state
power impacts the state power. However, some non-state actors tend to challenge the nation-state
sovereignty over internal matters through advocacy for issues in the society like the environment
and human rights issues (Krasner, 2009). The non-state actors also function without the state’s
control and get involved in trans-border and internal conflicts. Sometimes both state and nonstate actors combine to implement projects. Their powers may sometimes rival various
international relations matters.
Krasner, S. D. (2009). Power, the state, and sovereignty: essays on international relations.
Tucker, D. (2020). Appendix B. Information and the Power of Nonstate Actors. In The End of
Intelligence (pp. 195-198). Stanford University Press.
Importance of International Organizations in Global Politics
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Importance of International Organizations in Global Politics
International organizations can be either governmental or non-governmental. They are
mainly formed to uphold values and ideologies that determine behavior. These organizations are
important in global politics in the following ways. According to Annan (2014), international
organizations help modernize world institutional architecture to reflect the changing balance of
power. He uses Antonio GramsciÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s words to state that a new world cannot be born while failures
by the old world are still visible. These organizations have helped in technological developments
that help solve major world problems like health, famine and drought, and many more in past
The international organizations also promote global initiatives by helping reduce gender
inequalities. During World War 1, these organizations helped close the gender inequality gap by
helping the women in Europe create peace movements that drew up proposals and initiated talks
of peace that would end the war (Tickner et al., 2018). The organizations have continued to
support feminism through the above initiative by ensuring that women are actively involved in
decision-making and international relations forums. Women have also gained the right to vote
actively and participate in political activities.
According to (Bexell et al., 2010), these organizations are important through expanded
participation by indirectly representing actors as their designated agents. They act as a catalyst
for the formation of coalitions and facilitate cooperation and coordination amongst member
states. Through all the above initiatives, many non-governmental organizations have been
formed and devoted themselves to advocacy and representation of individuals that cannot speak
out on their behalf (Eizenstat, 2004).
Annan, K. (2014). New world disorder. Challenges for the UN in the 21st century.
Bexell, M, Tallberg, J, Unhlin, A. (2010).Democracy In Global Governance. The Promises and
Pitfalls of Transnational Actors. Brill.
Eizenstat, S. E. (2004). Non-governmental organizations as the fifth estate. Seton Hall J. Dipl. &
Int’l Rel., 5, 15.
Tickner, J. A., & True, J. (2018). A Century of International Relations Feminism: From World
War I Women’s Peace Pragmatism to the Women, Peace and Security Agenda.
International Studies Quarterly, 62(2), 221-23
Strategies and Goals of Terrorism
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Strategies and Goals of Terrorism
Terrorism is commonly defined as using violence by non-state actors against civilians to
achieve their political objectives. According to Kydd et al. (2006), these objectives are
conceptualized in several ways, approximated into five objectives by Thomas Thornton:
disorientation, provocation, morale building, elimination of opposing forces, and advertising.
Which later on was elaborated by Martha Crenshaw, who identifies provocation and advertising
as direct objectives along with enforcing obedience to the targeted population, outbidding, and
incapacitating the government (Kydd et al., 2006). David Fromkin described provocation as a
terrorism strategy, and Edward Price stated the terrorists inflict costs on occupying groups and
nullify the regime. He also identifies advertising, kidnapping, provocation, and assassination as
terrorist schemes. According to Kydd et al. (2006), five strategies drive the terrorist campaigns:
Spoiling, Intimidation, Outbidding, Provocation, and Attrition.
Terrorist goals have varied through time, but five goals are essential: policy change, regime
change, maintaining the status quo, social control, and territorial change (Kydd et al., 2006).
Therefore, according to the above analysis on the goals and strategies of terrorism, I agree with
the strategic approach to control or avoid terrorism. However, more research has to be done in
light of altogether avoiding terror attacks; knowing the goals and strategies of terrorism will help
create ways to stop terrorism and give a clear vision of what can be done to control the attacks.
Kydd, A. H., & Walter, B. F. (2006). The strategies of terrorism. International Security, 31(1), 4980. The MIT Press. https://www.jstor.org/stable/4137539
The Global Governance
In today’s world that is multipolar and globalized, non-state actors play a crucial role in
national and international governance. In the old days, the world was dominated by governments
until the beginning of the 21st century. Non-states actors. Today, non-state actors such as
Gazprom, Transparency International command, the World Bank, Huawei Technologies, AlQaeda, and others command headlines the same way states do (Ryngaert, 2017). However,
several non-state actors indicate several ways in which they impact global affairs. Moreover, the
issue starts with the fact that this non-state is a catch-all word lacking obvious delimitations.
Major examples of these actors include private military organizations, non-governmental
organizations, multinational corporations, labor unions, media outlets, terrorist groups, criminal
organizations, lobby groups, and academic institutions. This study will focus on developing a
clearer view of the influence and roles of NGOs on global governance.
The need to understand the Non-State concept
Each group has a unique reason for its establishment of formation. As a result, some
contribute positively to stability and security, whereas others have the opposite impact. However,
the idea of whether or not a particular group has a positive or negative impact entirely depends
on an individual’s perspectives. Conversely, some groups are undisputedly good for better
intentions to the populations they serve (Ryngaert, 2017). Therefore, understanding each group is
vital since it allows us to understand their motives and their impact on the world. Reviewing
numerous historical events that have been experienced, it is clear that these groups have gained
importance internationally in significant ways.
Background of NGOs
Non-governmental organizations (NGOs) were first heard or introduced in Article 71 in
the Charter of United Nations in the year 1945. While this group does not have a formal or fixed
definition, there are commonly defined as non-profit organizations independent from
governmental influence. However, the government is their main source of funds (Ruhlman,
2019). As one can tell from this definition, there is a slim difference between non-profit
organizations and NGOs. It is worth noting that the term NGO is not only applied to United
States-based non-profit organizations. This term is given to entities’ operations on an
international level. Despite that, some nations refer their civil society organizations as NGOs.
NGOs’ operations include, but are not limited to, social, environmental, human rights, and
advocacy works. They function to promote political and social change on a wide scale or locally.
How NGOs shape Global Governance
Non-government Organization is a non-state actor that has a great influence on global
governance. It matters due to its contribution or the roles it plays in modern society. NGOs have
a clearer connection to guiding purpose, the greater good. This group takes up the responsibility
of fulfilling a social and moral need that would have been the government’s role. The NGOs hold
a belief that giving or helping out someone is accompanied by more happiness than receiving
(Scholte, 2018). The major contribution of NGOs is that they have facilitated the development of
communities across the globe and formed a partnership with many governments. World Bank
explains NGOS is a private organization that strives to provide basic social services, protect the
environment, relieve suffering, undertake community development, and promote the interest of
the poor. Even though NGOs are independent of the government, there are more than 37,000
known groups. The motive of their establishment differed but usually falls under two categories:
infrastructure and economic development (26%) and research (24%).
NGOs have many opportunities that can be utilized to support their activities. One of the
opportunities is the availability of many offerings and grants provided by different organizations
and governments. Also, some for-profit organizations have started merging with different NGOs
to perform humanitarian works. Another opportunity that can be taken advantage of is today’s
advanced technology (Scholte, 2018). NGOs can use these technologies, such as social media, to
communicate their ideas or messages. They can also use these platforms to inform people about
their rights and expectations from them and their government. They can also benefit from them
by reaching those in inaccessible regions, especially in Africa.
One of the challenges faced by NGOs is the question of representatives. In this regard,
most of the representatives of these groups come from developed countries. As a result, they may
fail to understand which population or region that needs help. This is the main reason we find
one stratum of society is contemplated by many NGOs while there are others that are more
neglected (Scholte, 2018). In some cases, these representatives are aware of where resources
should be focused, but they choose to turn a blind eye since they (representatives) are not
affected in any way. This implies that transparency and egocentrism are other challenges
Another possible challenge that may affect NGOs is the lack of enough funds to perform
their activities. At some point, the government may cut off its contribution to focusing on other
serious issues affecting the country (Scholte, 2018). Despite receiving donations from people and
other organizations, without governments, contributions can interfere with the effective
operations of NGOs. People’s different cultures and beliefs are another challenges experienced
by NGOs. This is most common when a particular culture supports something regarded as wrong
by law. For example, NGOs have failed to stop Female genital mutilation since it is supported by
those it is trying to protect.
The Future of NGOs in Global Governance
The new challenges that result from complex interdependence and the resulting
development of transitional flows involve the need to rearrange the political framework of
decision-making. Studying it, hence, implies being concerned with how NGOs operate through
Civil Society. This should not be viewed as a mere government object but as a subject. In this
concern, NGOs will be required to perform a supporting role in designing and implementing
state policies. They will ultimately acquire observer status in the main interstate and government
agencies (Kahler, 2018). In such a situation, they will need to inspect decision-making processes
and the choice of policies. They will also be required to monitor the accountable investments of
public funds and the progress and results of their implementation. Being involved in government
policymaking and the implementation process will confer much legitimacy and transparency on
the initiated program.
NGOs will offer technical roles where they will provide relevant information to explain
policies. This will happen either at the time of formulation or after implementation to ensure that
the actions are effective. NGOs will be able to carry out these activities since it not being linked
to any state; hence they will easily avoid hindrances of political nature (Kahler, 2018).
Additionally, NGOs might be involved in providing assistance to needy portions of the
population to have appropriate access to the juridical instruments granted to them. This will be a
great change since the public members will participate willing and help in achieving NGO’s
objectives. Also, by involving members of the public in the struggles, the governments will take
their suggestions seriously.
Conclusion. Today, non-state actors play a significant role in global governance. Each
group has a unique reason for its establishment or formation and might positively or negatively
affect a particular group of people. Like any other non-state actor, NGO is a non-profit
organization independent from governmental influence. NGOs are more concerned with the
welfare of the people as they fight for their rights and provide material aid to the deserving
population. These groups can take advantage of several opportunities such as technology and
various organizations offering grants and partnerships. However, NGOs experience some
challenges such as a lack of accountability from their representatives and withdrawal of
Kahler, M. (2018). Global governance: three futures. International Studies Review, 20(2), 239246. https://doi.org/10.1093/isr/viy035
Ruhlman, M. (2019). NGOs in global governance. In Routledge Handbook of NGOs and
International Relations (pp. 46-62). Routledge.
Ryngaert, C. (2017). Non-State Actors in International Law: A Rejoinder to Professor Thirlway.
Netherlands International Law Review, 64(1), 155-162. https://doi.org/10.1007/s40802017-0083-4
Scholte, J. A. (2018). Civil society and NGOs. In International organization and global
governance (pp. 351-364). Routledge.
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