CSS Solved International Relations Past Papers | It is argued that democratic countries pursue peaceful foreign policies. Support your answer with concrete examples.
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In this question, the examiner has asked about the democratic countries that pursue peaceful and successful foreign policies. You have to explain the question with arguments about why democracy is more suitable for successful foreign policies. You also have to give examples of countries that are democratic and have good foreign policies or autocratic countries states and their aggressive and unsuitable policies to support your answer.
2- Foreign Policy
- ✓ Determinants of Foreign Policy
- ✓Characteristics of Democracy
- ✓Democracy Index 2023
- ✓Second summit of Democracy
4-Successful foreign policies directly proportional to good democracies
- ✓Case Studies
6- Critical Analysis
Answer to the Question
A strong and successful foreign policy enhances a nation’s prestige and power in the concord of nations. It also gains increase in a government’s credibility externally as well as internally. It became one of the most important core fields of international relations. A good foreign policy is determined by several factors i.e general, objective and some external factors. One of the core determinants of good foreign policy is democracy. Democratic nations are more likely to secure peace, expand open markets, deter aggression, promote economic development, support and protect citizens, uphold human and worker rights, combat international terrorism and crime, avoid humanitarian crises and refugee flows, protect human health and improve the global environment. With the rise of autocracy everywhere people are bemoaning democracy’s prospects. News headlines warn about rising Russian meddling, Chinese authoritarianism, and democratic backsliding around the globe. But to seize these efforts and swing the pendulum of history back toward democratic rule, we must disintegrate the wall that separates democratic advancements from economic developmental work and clearly illustrate what democracies can deliver for their people.
A foreign policy or external policy of a state is an interaction of its objectives and activities concerning other states, other political entities, and unions, whether bilaterally or multilateral platforms.
According to Hartmann, “Foreign policy Is a systematic statement of deliberately selected national interests.”
Whereas Schleicher defines foreign policy as “It refers to the actions of government officials to influence human behaviour beyond the jurisdiction of their own.
Rodee added,“Foreign policy involves the formulation and implementation of a group of principles which shape the behaviour pattern of a state while negotiating with other states to protect or further its vital interests.”
Every state decides its course of action in international relations in the light of its means and ends. Then it conducts its foreign relations and behaves at the international level and regulates the behaviour and action of other states according to that action plan. This is what a nation’s foreign policy means.
- ✓ Determinants of Foreign Policy
Foreign policy is determined by several factors. The set determinants or factors can be categorized into three groups:
- The general or objective group includes Sovereignty and Integrity of the Slate, Interdependence of States, Promotion of National Interest and Internal and External Conditions.
- Specific or subjective or internal determinants include geography, history, population, natural resources, economic factors, development, ideology, National and Military Capacity, Public Opinion, decision-Makers and Domestic Instability.
- External factors involve International Organizations, World Public Opinion, Reactions of other States and other world conditions like the Cold War etc.
Democracy is defined as a form of government in which the people rule, they have the authority to decide and deliberate legislation, or choose governing officials to do as per the choice of people. Why democracy is important and needed at the time? Democratic nations are more likely to secure peace, expand open markets, deter aggression, promote economic development, support and protect citizens, uphold human and worker rights, combat international terrorism and crime, avoid humanitarian crises and refugee flows, protect human health and improve the global environment.
- ✓Characteristics of Democracy
Some of the main characteristics of democracy are:
- Civic participation
- Rule of law
- ✓ Democracy Index 2023
The world’s eight billion people live in a range of cultural and political environments. The Economist Intelligence Unit’s (EIU) Democracy Index assigned a score to nations based on their follow-up of democratic principles. This survey ranks democracy among 167 countries based on five principles – electoral processes and pluralism, political participation, government functioning, democratic political culture, and civil liberties. According to the 2023 assessment, Norway is the most democratic, while Afghanistan is the least democratic. The EIU recorded a reduction in the average global score from 5.37 to 5.28 in this year’s report, the worst dip since 2010.
- ✓ Second summit of Democracy
On March 29-30, 2023, President Joe Biden co-hosted the Summit for Democracy with the governments of the Netherlands, Costa Rica, the Republic of Korea, and the Republic of Zambia. It assembled the world leaders in a virtual, plenary format, followed by meetings in each co-host capital with representatives from governments, civil societies, and other private sectors. They showcased the progress made by Summit partners on commitments made at the first Summit for Democracy hosted by President Biden in December 2021, and planned collective action to address emerging flaws and challenges to democracy. At this Summit, it was also announced that the Republic of Korea will host a future, third Summit for Democracy.
Successful foreign policies directly proportional to good democracies
Everywhere people are bemoaning democracy’s prospects. News headlines warn about rising Russian meddling, Chinese authoritarianism, and democratic backsliding around the globe. Despite the resilient autocracy in China and Russia, and the downfall of democratic success stories in places such as Turkey, Hungary and Venezuela, the long-term future of democracy is much brighter than most imagine.
The so-called modernization theory is proving correct, e.g. Economic development brings distended levels of information, education, travel, and other unique experiences that enhance human knowledge, intelligence and awareness. This “cognitive mobilization,” as some researchers call it, inspires and empowers people to act with purpose and think for themselves, rather than accept received authority and wisdom. Development, in short, brings value change that is highly conducive to the emergence and persistence of liberal democracy.
- ✓Case Studies
When populist parties with antidemocratic and xenophobic tendencies gained momentum in nascent democracies, the world’s autocracies emboldened, as in the case of Russia. Russia clamped down on dissent at home and encouraged authoritarianism abroad through disinformation campaigns, election interference and the actions of its paramilitary Wagner Group.
The previous year 2022 proved to be a high-water mark for authoritarianism. Russian President Vladimir Putin’s ambitions to subjugate and dominate Ukraine failed miserably and this was all because of the unwavering resolve and courage of the democratic Ukrainian people.
The root causes of Moscow’s disastrous failure are numerous, but few bear the hallmarks of authoritarianism. According to Samantha Power graft has rotted the Russian military from within, with increasing reports of soldiers selling weapons and fuels on the black market. Russian commanders have taken massive risks with the lives of their soldiers, to avoid upsetting their military leaders, they have supplied overly rosy assessments of their ability to conquer Ukraine, leading to self-deception.
Undemocratic Russian foreign policies of ghastly conduct in Ukraine have left Putin more isolated than at any time since the end of the Cold War. Other European countries that are in a race to decouple their economies from Russia, Finland and Sweden are on the verge of joining an expanded NATO. According to Pew Research Centre, public opinion of Russia and its government has plummeted in countries around the world.
The past few years have also demonstrated the shortcomings of Beijing’s model. In 2021, Chinese officials claimed that the response to COVID-19 around the world demonstrated the superiority of their system. They regularly took potshots at the United States for its high COVID-19 death toll. Unquestionably, the US and other democratic states made major mistakes in handling COVID-19, but unlike Chinese citizens, liberal and dissatisfied voters in respective countries were able to elect new leaders and consequently change their governments. On the other hand, Beijing withheld vital data from the WHO (World Health Organization), refused to work with other nations in the development of a vaccine, and stuck with its harsh “zero COVID” policy until late 2022.
Elsewhere, public support for populist parties, leaders, and anti-pluralist attitudes has dropped significantly since 2020, in part because of how populist-led governments mishandled the pandemic and the fallacies of their foreign policies. Between mid-2020 and the end of 2022, populist leaders saw an average decline of 10 percentage points in their approval ratings in 27 countries. In the same time frame, prominent leaders with autocratic tendencies lost power at the ballot box. And American democracy has proved resilient; the U.S. Congress passed meaningful electoral reforms and held powerful public investigations of unlawful acts and forces.
After years of democratic regress, the world’s known autocrats are now playing the defensive. But to seize these efforts and swing the pendulum of history back toward democratic rule, we must disintegrate the wall that separates democratic advancements from economic developmental work and clearly illustrate what democracies can deliver for their people. We should also re-intensify our efforts to counter digital surveillance and false information while upholding freedom of expression. And we must update the traditional democratic assistance playbook to help our partners respond to ever more sophisticated campaigns against them. Only then can we beat back antidemocratic forces and extend the reach of freedom.
Democracy is not declining, rather, it is under attack. Under attack from within by forces of division, repression and ethnonationalism. And from the outside, it is pressured by autocratic governments and world leaders who seek to exploit the existing vulnerabilities of open societies by undermining election integrity, spreading disinformation and weaponizing corruption to strengthen their grip on power. More worse is that these autocrats increasingly work in coalition, sharing tricks and technologies to suppress their populations within and weaken democracy abroad.
To fend off the coordinated assault by autocratic leaders, the world’s democracies must also work hand in hand. This was the main reason behind the March Coalition 2023 where the Biden administration hosted its second Democracy Summit. This summit was held simultaneously in Costa Rica, the Netherlands, South Korea, the United States, and Zambia—where the world’s democracies took special efforts and put forward new plans for democratic renewal.
The democratic trend all around the globe, over the past 120 years reflects the success of modernization and liberalization which is steadily making more information, awareness and knowledge available to ordinary people. Such commitment to emancipative values has increased and also empowered the modern mass public to demand and defend freedoms. Since these groundbreaking empowering trends are spreading and accelerating, the long-term odds are tilted in favour of democracy and unconstrained foreign policy despite the recent headlines in Myanmar, Hong Kong, Belarus, and elsewhere.
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