Aug 05, 2017

what are the most important sources of international conflict and why?

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Discussion Board: Page 60 of your Rioux&Redekop textbook

So hello This is the 3rd discussion board as follows by other order number "00020829" This time is a little different, I want you to look at Seminar 1 Slide, Read it, Refer to that, also and Read the Mzur Chapter 5 and Rioux & Redekop Chapter 4 "International Conflict" . That`s the only source you need to refer to, Just like other ones Show Page number" Try To intract with proff and students as much as you can" I will upload other discussion also by tmrw so you can refer to other ones as well" Like I agree with Peter or Sam etc.." The question on the Title of the Discussion board is : In page 60 of your Rioux & Redekop Textbook is a table of sources of conflict. In your opinion, what have been the most important sources of international conflict and why? Keep in mind underlying and intractable levels of conflict structures we discussed in seminar 1.---------- So I will Upload the Readings that you are required to read, in order to answer this question. I will also upload Seminar 1 "Intractability Slides" Also Look at Page 60 as the Discussion board question stated. Goodluck Thanks DISCUSSION BOARD : In page 60 of your Rioux & Redekop textbook is a table of sources of conflict. In your opinion, what are the most important sources of international conflict and why? Keep in mind underlying and intractable levels of conflict structures we discussed in seminar 1. Toral: Using the information provided in the chart of page 60 I can formulate that the most important sources of conflict internationally are environmental protection, democratic governance, and humanitarian aid. All of these international conflicts deal with multiple levels of government in states and all effect globalization. In terms of conflict, environmental protection has been an ongoing struggle for decades. Treaties and promises have been made but both have been left unfulfilled. In terms of democratic governance, the two most hegemonic states (China and U.S) have that difference. China remains a communist country and is still surviving and the U.S tries to convert every country into a forced democracy. In the textbook Introduction to Conflict Studies, on page 61 it mention how the U.S forces its democratic governance on Islamic countries. Lastly, humanitarian aid is needed around the world in almost all countries whether they are developed or not. However, there is no such thing as real international law but the U.N seems like the only institution that acts on an international level. Therefore, providing humanitarian aid around the world is difficult because there is no real international law. These are the main and most important international conflicts that have reached a level where negotiation is not simple. Lisa: Based on the information provided on the chart and within the chapter itself, it is my opinion that one of the major sources of international conflict would be a combination of environmental issues i.e. global warming, population migrations, and underwater resources exploitation. There is increasing tensions between developed and developing nations in regards to global warming, where the latter tends towards opposing measures to restrict carbon dioxide emissions so as to not hinder their economic development. The current environmental conditions are also leading to increased tensions in areas where water is becoming scarcer and/or the seas are rising and swallowing up islands; this leads directly to mass migrations of people to other nations which in turn tends to cause chaos and strife. Lastly, underwater resources exploitation is becoming a contentious point for many and is obvious in the current situation involving China and Japan`s fight over the Senkaku Island, where regional interest in the oil/gas resources that may lie under the island fuels the dispute Patrisha: Firstly, I believe that it is very difficult to isolate a single problem, or a few problems that are conflicting on an international level, seeing as it is almost impossible, at least in the society that we live in, to agree universally on something without disagreement or objections from at least some parties. That said, I think that Religion, Human Rights, Arms Control, Environmental Protection and Democratic Governance are the current most problematic situations creating conflict around the world out of the list given on pg 60. The problem of religious disputes, while not directly causing international conflict, indirectly does, as extremist groups from various religions lead to disquiet, terrorism and subservience of human rights in many countries, something which then leads to international action taking place, as was seen by the consequences of 9/11 on the following occupation and wars waged. Furthermore, Human Rights are a large concern of conflict around the world, as differences in cultural, religious and traditional practices make what may seem perfectly normal seem inhumane in other nations. Arms control has always been a source of international conflict, affecting not only the countries battling for control and development of nuclear weaponry, but also countries that may be allies of theirs, as can be seen in India and Pakistan, North and South Korea and was previously seen between the USSR and the USA, an incident which almost lead to the destruction of the known worth. Environmental protection is another source of conflict between many nations, particularly in developing nations where Globalization, cheap labour, exploitation of resources by NGOs etc leads to breaches in environmental protection, but eventually may lead to an increase in economic growth. Finally, Democratic Governance is also a source of conflict since, as mentioned by Torel, not every country in the world has a democratic government, and this can lead to conflicts in ideology. Daniel: While keeping in mind the different underlying and intractable structures that exist in an instance of conflict, the demand for resources and differences in ideology can be ranked to be the most important sources of conflict in any given era. As mentioned by Rioux and Redekop, the need for acquisition of resources has been a determining factor of any instance of conflict. This is made obvious by considering all the different eras from the early hunter-gatherer societies until the post-industrial/information age. It is crucial to consider that although the majority of the conflict-cases in contemporary societies seem to revolve around trade, commerce, and politics; resource-acquisition and resource-management are common underlying features that exist in all of these areas. Ideology is also an underlying feature of almost all occurrences of conflict, and they include most contemporary occasions of conflict that involve clashes in values. Democratic governance, as mentioned by Pratishtha and Toral, maintain a significant amount of post-World War II conflict-cases (both violent/non-violent), but it is important to consider that they should be categorised under the more underlying and intractable dispute of ideology. Hence it can be maintained that resource-acquisition and ideology are the main ingredients for conflict. Ji Chun: What seems as the most important source of international conflict is the construction of good future achieved by concrete settlement of ideologies. I focused my analysis of the table on the drastic change in the wants and needs over time. Looking at recent sources of conflict and comparing them to those of age-old, I think countries compete for the better future than the present, which used to be the priority. After all, conflicts arise because there are intractable divergences regarding what is mutually significant to the parties involved. As the mutual significance is shifting, the focus of conflicts shifts as well. Rioux & Redekop point out “the complexity of intertwined concerns and interests involved in modern international conflicts” (page 60). Relatively tangible values like resources and territory used to be the sources because they were the criteria for determining the power of a country`s sovereignty. In the modern era, where the technological advancement since the industrial revolution has been brought up to a remarkable level, countries seek to compete for things that are more than the lands or the resources. They place more importance on political ideologies like democratic governance or social ideologies like women`s rights and humanitarian aid or scientific ideologies like far-away exploration. On one hand, it seems that countries have shifted from being very self-centered and self-developing to being prone to mutual growth and global cooperation. On the other hand, they are perhaps finding rigorously, more than ever, their own place in the closely knit global society by leveling with the global criteria of a “good” country. Chantell: In my opinion, the most important source of conflict would have to be religion. One reason why religion is an important source is because it generally falls under the idea of intractable conflicts, which are “conflicts that stubbornly seem to elude resolution, even when the best available techniques are applied” (Burgess and Burgess, 2003). Any conflict concerning religion generally cannot get solved through problem solving techniques. An example is the Thirty Year`s War. The Thirty Year`s War was largely a religious war against the Protestants and the Catholics in the Holy Roman Empire. After thirty years, the bloody fighting came to an end only because if it did not it would have destroyed Europe. Religious wars are very hard to resolve simply because many people will not back down from their beliefs. Also, something to note on why it is an important source of conflict is stated by Rioux and Redekop, “However, religion is now playing a bigger role in state affairs with some arguing that states in which particular religion is in the majority should be subject to certain laws, principles, and customs of that faith. Some of these advocates use violence to support what they believe to be a higher calling”. When a religion comes to oppose or challenge the dominant religion of the country it is that moment when conflict will arise and not stop until ultimately one religion destroys the other. Edwin White: The most important source of conflict that can be found internationally is power because it can be found in most cases of conflict and as well as encompass other sources as well. Let me begin with an example, the Cold War. The Cold war was a perfect example of a security dilemma (Herz, 1951). Rioux and Redekop state that, " nations do not want to appear too weak in the eyes of potential rivals, but they worry that high defense preparedness may lead others to increase their own military resources in turn" (56). The U.S.A. and Soviet Union created a large amount of nuclear weapons in order to look powerful in front of the other nations of the world which resulted in conflicted in between the two countries and their allies. Mazur discusses that hypothetical argument that if the Soviet Union had the ability to destroy the other nations` nuclear weapons," they would have the power to dictate terms by threatening a second strike" (111). This would give the Soviet Union the upper hand and possibly could have become the super power instead of the states. This illustration of power politics is also accompanied with an underlying aspect of values. The clash of these values or ideas is a result of the states being a democracy and the Soviet Union being communist. Another example of international conflict is the carbon emissions from nations. At first glance, the issue looks like it solely for environmental protection, reduce carbon emissions to save the earth, right? A careful analysis on the other hand shows that this would restrict the developing world from creating factories in order to better the economy (Rioux and Redekop 61). The reason they want to better the economy is because they want more power so they can become equal on the international playing field. The list could go on to continue many other empirical examples, the point being that the power is the most important source of conflict. Amy: In my opinion, power has been the most important source of international conflict. Although, this is considered an “Age-Old source of Conflict”, power is something that will always be desirable to nations. To avoid fear, states build up their military power because they do not want to appear weak nor do they want other states to increase in strength as well (p. 56). This process leads to a dangerous arms race which undoubtedly adds to the instability of international crises. With power, a nation has the ability to cause many other conflicts. For example, when power is primary in the hands of the United States, Joseph Nye stated that the world submitted to their authority (p. 73), however China competing to take over. Yes, the use of force in world affairs is slowly decreasing, but power will always be a priority. The powerful nations have more control over valuable resources like oil and water, they are able to take over territories, impose their ideologies etc. To conclude, power is a prevalent and important source of international conflict because it is intractable. The world will never be satisfied with how power is distributed, and that is something that cannot be resolved. There will always be a power imbalance between nations. Jeef: This list gives us a great selection of conflict sources, all very feasible, all backed by empirical evidence, and just downright easy to see. But what`s the most import and why? My interpretation of the word `important` leads me to the most potent/evident sources of international conflict: Ideology, Resources, and Human Rights. I find this compilation a strong trifecta, for they play off each other to huge effect. Look at this way; the ideology of any forward thinking state will look towards resources to help in said positive development, often enhancing or making worse the human rights situation in given state. This will prompt conflict from all sorts of areas, but for the sake of this discussion let`s delve into the international scope. Take for example the very relevant and recent conflicts in Mali. Insurgent groups in Mali have been combating the government, demanding greater power in the northern states of Mali. Simply put, the minority group boasts an ideology of `more power and land for us, because we are different and have an agenda` and the non-compliance of the government has lead to conflict. The resource here is the physically tangible prospect of land, and the higher function of autonomy or power. The human rights issue here is obvious isn`t it? The blatant and brute violence, not to mention the seizing of main cities by rebels etc... This has lead to action by the international community, through a process of deploying foreign ground troops. This story is the same in almost every single conflict story in recent history. Party A has an ideology (this can include the other things mentioned in the list: religion, honour, glory and fame, women`s rights, democratic governance etc...) -> they then want to propagate this ideology through the capture of resource (whether physical resources like oil, water, land or latent like spread of language, culture, or religion) -> Party B cannot see it through, and conflict ensues, threatening human rights leading to involvement from the international community. "Regional problems have repercussions on global issues." (60) Rioux & Redekop write about this very phenomenon, how even the most regional of issues can make its way into the international sphere, and it is important to realize almost all conflicts follow the Ideology -> Resource -> Human Rights model. Sarah: When I first came across the "Sources of Conflict" table, I had the idea that the "Age-Old Sources of Conflict" were the most important sources of international conflict because they inevitably branched out to other sources of conflict. "Power and domination" could be seen as the basis for "democratic governance" as well as "human rights", etc. However, "[a]merican culture stresses social equality" and so this didn`t seem like an intractable conflict (Mazur, 102). After having read chapter 4 of "Introduction to Conflict Studies", I found that "mass migrations and immigration" was an important source of international conflict as it "raise[s] issues of criminality and terrorism, multiple citizenships and divided loyalties, economic development, employability, disease transmission, and so on" (Rioux and Redekop, 61). The source involves many international organizations, including religious perspectives and the mixture of ideologies. On the levels of conflict that we discussed previously in seminar one, this source includes conflicts that would deal with all 4 levels and end up on the path of becoming a crisis. I do agree with Pratishtha`s point that it is hard to isolate single problems as the most important, but with evidence from the texts I suppose that my opinion becomes a bit biased towards "mass migrations and immigration" as an important source of conflict. PROFESSOR SAYS: REFFERING TO JI CHAN : This is an interesting take. Is this akin to the differentiation that Ingelhart pointed to in the previous chapter on large scale societal conflict and old versus new generational values? PROFESSOR SAYS: REFFERING TO EDWIN : states` search for power is what makes international conflict unavoidable. this is exactly what realist scholars of international relations would say. yet, what is power? how do we measure it? by number of nukes, arms, economic wealth or human development index ratings? KAYLA: The most important sources of conflict are always ones that relate back to deep-rooted emotional and value-based issues. Identity is the fundamental element that encompasses these qualifications. Many of the other important issues that become sources of conflict can be seen as expressions of identity. For example, identity is an intractable factor that can extend to religion, territory, ancestry, ethnicity, history, memory of conflict with `others`, etc. Group identity is a common thread in conflict studies, discussed by both Redekop/Rioux and Mazur as a major factor in the incentive for war, conflict or dispute. Furthermore, many of the sources of conflict listed in the chart on p. 60 can be traced back to identity, in addition to those listed above already. For instance, honour, glory and fame are expressions of identity in cultures where those are valued characteristics. Ideology, belief in the value of human rights, women`s rights, humanitarian aid, and environmental protection, while having economic implications, are also all expressions of identity as characteristics deemed important to the culture you`re a member of or value system you subscribe to. Identity can be threatened when a growing economic power challenges the hegemony of international affairs, as with China threatening the United States` identity as the leading global economic power. It can be threatened when an ethnic group is upheaved from its ancestral homeland by political territorial disputes, eg. Kashmir, India and Pakistan (R & R p. 55). It can be threatened when contestation arises over domestic gun control (no reference needed here). I agree with Pratishtha that it is difficult to isolate one source of conflict in a world with increasing complexity in the nature of conflicts (R & R, p. 61), which is why I argue for identity as being the most important. The qualities of intractability, diversity of issues through which it is expressed, and influence on group cohesion and adherence to values make it so. PROFESSOR : Amy, I liked the reference to Nye. I would ask you this now: is the world safer from say a WWIII if only one state has most of this power? a single hegemon like the US or China? can it keep the world safe because no one can compete against the dominance of its power? does it matter who this hegemon is? Should it be a democracy or is an autocracy ok as well?
I concur with Rioux and Redekop on the issue of sources of international conflict that major sources of international conflict are as a result of struggle for resources & power, and the modern contentious issues. To start with, various conflicts are resulting from national rivalries as well as territory misunderstanding, control of resources as well as the power of becoming prosperous and more prestigious. In the current times, the struggle for political power and resource control has led to the emergence of terror groups, which have accelerated tensi...

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