Thursday, July 15, 2010

Impact of Globalizing Issues

Globalizing issues have effects on four major areas of international relations theory and practice.

First, the interconnectedness of the plethora of sub-issues within health, environmental, and human rights issues affect international bargaining. When states choose to go to the bargaining table, a multiplicity of issues is often at stake.

Many issues are fungible; states are willing to make trade-offs between issues to achieve the desired result. For example, in the aftermath of the 1973 oil embargo and in the face of supply shortages, the United States was willing to negotiate with Mexico on cleaning up the Colorado River. The United States built a desalinization plant at the U. S. Mexican border and helped Mexican residents reclaim land in the Mexicali Valley for agriculture.

To win an ally in the supply of petroleum resources, the United States made this major concession and also accepted responsibility for past legal violations.

Other issues, however, are less fungible, particularly if key concerns of national security are at stake. The United States was unwilling to compromise by signing the Antipersonnel Landmines Treaty-a treaty designed to prohibit and eliminate the use of land mines-because of the security imperative to preserve the heavily mined border between North and South Korea. Supporters of the treaty framed the argument in human rights terms: innocent individuals, including vulnerable women and children.

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