The Importance of Interdependence and International Cooperation

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The Importance of Interdependence and International Cooperation

We are not a nation alone in the world. We do not make up the beliefs, developmental status, and environment of the entire globe. To act as if there is no interdependence within states is not only ridiculous, but also dangerous. Professor Squibwell draws attention to this issue, and while his views may be a little extreme in the statement that “the world functions as a single integrated unit,” he is accurate in suggesting that we “collaborate with other states, strengthen international organizations, and support the humanitarian and educational activities of international civil society.”

International relations are dictated, to a large degree, by a set of norms. While some states may, at times, disagree on what actions should be considered “normal,” the majority of nations recognize the mutual benefits that can be attained through cooperation on generally accepted “rules”. Some examples of norms include peaceful settlement of disputes and respect of national borders. These expectations are adhered to by most state leaders and are somewhat institutionalized by international organizations (IOs) such as the United Nations and the International Committee of the Red Cross. Whether they be humanitarian, economic, environmental, or any other form of focal group, each of these organizations is in charge of regulating different standards of behavior. With anywhere from 2 to 100 members, IOs would not exist if there was not a need for nations to lean on each other for a regulation of norms or assistance. The creation and ongoing existence of such groups proves that Professor Squibwell’s call for the collaboration of states is valid.

Another trend in world politics that gives legitimacy to Professor Squibwell’s viewpoint is the importance of trade. Annually, close to $5 trillion of trade takes place internationally, making up 15% of the globe’s economic activity. (Goldstein, 351) While mercantillists take the standpoint that it is not the pl.ace of international organizations to set up plans for mutual gains in terms of trade, liberalists hold more practical views on the issue. They believe that states should not be looking at their own, short-term gain as if in competition with the rest of the world, but instead that states should find ways in which to fulfill the long-term, mutual gain of nati...

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... that cannot be ignored is the communication and information roles that are creating supranational relationships. Telecommunications have advanced so much in recent history, and is advancing further as we speak. These improvements are bringing people in different states, cultural groups, and mindsets together more closely than the world had ever imagined. While there are still great rifts in beliefs and cultures, common people are able to quickly and easily hear the voices of the people from whom they are so incredibly dissimilar. A sort of global culture is beginning to emerge. Supporting integration of this form would not be putting down the notion of diverse cultures, but rather be adding a sense of understanding and the identification of individuals as human beings as well as members of national groups.

As you can see, interdependence is a fact of political, economic, and living life. The world now needs to cooperate to solve pressing problems. With communications and political coordination abilities of today’s global society, it is necessary to take a forward stance on issues, bringing states together in order to relish in the vast benefits that are available to all of us.
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