It is increasingly difficult to escape blame for climate change. Culpability lies in the land we allocate to urban development, in cars we drive, and even in many of the manufactured goods we enjoy. Culpability is also not specific to the developed world. China and India do not trail so far behind the U.S. and the EU in the share of global emissions toxic to the environment. We must recognize that climate change is something to which many-if-not-most people around the globe are contributing. However, as scholars like David Victor have pointed out without tire, universal “solutions” drawn up through the conventional international institutions are unable to provide us with sufficient climate governance. Instead, a looser framework relatively lacking in universality and binding institutions seems more likely to succeed in reducing the risk calculus for world-wide, climate change-induced disaster.
The World Trade Organization is the only international trade organization at present. Since its creation in 1995 it has brought positive effects on international trade by providing surveillance on state trade-related practices and by providing grounds for diplomatic negotiations. It is also the defender of important principles of trade liberalization, including the Most-favored Treatment and National Treatment. Critics, however, point out to the failure of the Doha Round to reach any meaningful agreement as evidence to the decline of the World Trade Organization. However, recent successes of the WTO seem to indicate otherwise. Continue reading World Trade Organization, A Still Relevant Factor in the International System
This week’s readings have lent themselves—quite well, might I add—to the notion that not much has changed on the international stage in terms of power relations. Granted, many of the more ostentatious trappings of the Cold War are now gone. Our palate of key actors has seen some considerable transformations as well. And many of the issues we now confront are arguably inherent to a world of more globalization, more accessible information, and more powerful non-state actors. Nonetheless, our work this week has strong-armed me into recognizing that international organizations are indeed competing with the age-old politics of balances-of-power. Furthermore, these same international organizations may be proving inflammatory to those politics. Continue reading Nothing New to See Here: Questioning Today’s Major Power Relations –Anthony DeSantis
As years pass and states develop, the idea of sovereignty is a controversial issue to address. Many historians, like Arnold Toynbee and Richard Grove, have debated the importance of a state’s power over others and its impact to international affairs. In similar matters, Stephen Krasner, Professor of International Studies, and deputy director of FSI, published “Think Again: Sovereignty”, in which he explains the misconception of sovereign states and how international institutions have evolved. He answers critical questions concerning the well-being of sovereign states and their citizens around the world. In his work, Krasner acknowledges an evolution in sovereignty instead of a decline in the system. As well, he points out how powerful states work together in order to maintain an international stability for the benefit of its people. Continue reading Sovereignty: TRUTH OR MYTH? – Ilka Vanessa Walker-Vera