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Global Politics: International Cooperation

Humanity and human society cannot be regarded as indivisible unity, since even Earth is divided, though, artificially, into the hemispheres by equator. Thus, there are two hemispheres: Northern and Southern. This division may be of great use for those who deal with international relations and global politics as the division of the Earth into hemispheres almost coincides with the division of the countries into the rich countries and the poor countries. Kegley and Raymond state that “the disparities are profound and in many places appear to be growing” (109). Thus, there are two terms that operate in the sphere of international relations: Global North and Global South. Global North stands for the wealthy and industrialized countries that are mainly situated in the Northern Hemisphere. In its turn, the term Global South stands for the less-developed countries, which are mainly located in the Southern Hemisphere (Kegley and Raymond 109). Though socio-economical and political inequality corresponds with geographical division of the countries into hemispheres, these divisions do not entirely coincide, for instance, Australia is the developed country. Though poverty, inequality, and subordination have always existed, nowadays the international situations may be characterized by unprecedented proportions of inequality that demand special attention. In the light of the world financial crisis the less-developed countries deserve special attention (Foreign Policy and The Fund for Peace 80). The consideration of reasons for the historically fixed division of more than two hundred states and the ways to bridge the gap between Global North and Global South need immediate consideration as well as the tools that may be used for that.

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The essence of the gap between Global North and Global South consists in the following: the enormous gap in income of the citizens, the difference of economic specialization of the countries, the gap in the state of health and education, the difference of political influence of the countries. The key criterion of the determination of the “fragile countries” is the level of poverty. “The Rankings offered by “Foreign Policy” state that Somalia is the leading country in the rating of the less-developed countries that is characterized by the highest demographic pressure, economic decline, etc. (Foreign Policy and The Fund for Peace 83). The countries of the Global South are characterized by high level of inflation as it is stated by Djavid Salehi-Isfahani concerning the situation in Iran: “inflation doubled in annual terms from 15 to 30 percent in 2008” (85). However, if inflation decreased in 2009, the level of unemployment became higher (Salehi-Isfahani 85). Thus, unemployment is one more problem of critical importance for the countries of Global South. Though unemployment is the problem that is typical of the majority of developed countries as well, its greater danger for the less-developed countries is evident. The same author states that the rate of unemployment in Iran is about twenty percent, “with three out of four unemployed Iranians under the age 30” (Salehi-Isfahani 85). High level of unemployment together with extreme poverty, which may be illustrated by the fact that a lot of inhabitants of less developed countries spend less than a dollar on living, are the evidence of the critical situation in the Global South.

The difference of specialization of the countries that belong to the developed and the developing countries is evident. The North specializes at the manufacturing of goods and the rendering service that provide great level of profit for these countries. The services offered by those countries are based on high technologies developed in the countries. In turn, the developing countries serve as the sources of raw materials and commodities. This specialization cannot provide high income level of the countries, especially, if we take into account Roubini’s idea that “Commodity prices, which already fell sharply in the second half of 2008, will face further price pressure in 2009” (par. 23). Kharas also stresses the dependency of the poorest countries on commodities: some, like Sudan, export commodities and this factor makes the country vulnerable. Others, like Bangladesh, suffer from a lack of commodities and have to import them, the availability of the commodities for the population at market prices explains the weak situation of countries like this one (Kharas 85). Extreme poverty and poor economic state of the countries of Global South are responsible for the poor state of health and education in comparison with the developed countries. Finally, as for the place on the international arena, the developing countries have far less influence than developed countries.

On considering the essence of gap, it is necessary to tackle the reasons for the striking inequality of the countries of the two hemispheres. These reasons include the consequences of colonialism, the instability of government, brain drain, lack of attention to the development of free trade, etc. It is worth mentioning that a lot of developing countries share colonial past. Nowadays it has the consequence of the counties inability to develop indigenous technologies that would correspond to their resources, this is why the countries still depend greatly on multinational corporations on the First World and simply serve as the sources of raw materials. On the whole, these counties are mostly agricultural countries, this is why such problems as water issue may also cause the aggravation of economic crisis in the countries that may be already observed by the example of Pakistan and India (Faris 92).

Historical and geographical reasons are important, but so is the failure of the state to provide development of the country. Brian drain is one of the reasons and the consequences of the gap between countries. It is caused by high level of unemployment and the absence of demand for efficient specialists, especially in the spheres of high technologies, because of the above mentioned undevelopment of these technologies in the developing countries.

Dickinson mentions “corruption and mismanagement” among the reasons of poor state of the developing countries (90). A lot of the countries of the Third World may be characterized by “failed state” (Rotberg 91). He defines these states as those that “no longer serve their people”, because “they deliver low quantities and qualities of political goods to their citizens, and they have lost their monopoly on violence” (Rotberg 91). As for Somalia, the author even resorts to the term “collapsed” government (Rotberg 91).

The seriousness of the critical situation in the Global South demands immediate actions that will improve economic, social, and political state of the country. In response to above mentioned brain drain, the improvement of the educational situation is needed. The acquisition and nurture of self-sufficiency should also become the first consideration of the states, because the roots of the problems go back to the mentality of the citizens of those states. They consider themselves the citizens of backward countries, thus, changes should be made on the level of mentality. However, economic development should be fostered by the governments, and free trade should develop in the countries. The countries should head for the development of export-led industrialization.

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Among the ways of solving the problems with Global South is the establishment of cooperation between the countries of the Third World. However, international assistance is also needed. The involvement of UN and NGOs into the process of development of the countries will foster their progress. UN main functions are the maintenance of international security, economic development and the guarantee of human rights. As it is stated above, all these criteria are being violated in the countries of Global South. UN activity may be supported by the activity of NGOs, such as the World Trade Organization in Geneva. The active activity of the UN and NGOs will ensure the spread of globalization in Global South, which will provide the developing countries with trade, capital flow, and technological development. Thus, globalization is needed by developing countries despite controversial views on it (Sen unpaged). These ideas correspond to the theoretical grounds of liberalism, which presupposes the relations between states not only on political basis, but on economical basis as well, though activity of non-governmental organizations.

It may be stated that if developing counties choose to resist globalization and choose politics of nonalignment that was typical of them, it will create additional difficulties for them. In case of policy of nonalignment, the countries will remain powerless on the world arena. In the light of the seriousness of global problems, such as global financial crisis, climatic problems (Levi 92) and threat of natural disasters (Flynn 2), the need of cooperation between developed and developing countries is evident.

Drawing a conclusion, it may be stated that the seriousness of inequality of the countries is evident. Contemporary situation in the world that is determined by the global financial crisis and climatic changes has increased the need for cooperation of all countries in the world. Globalization may be seen as the way that will bridge the gap between the countries of Global north and Global South. UN and NGOs may be considered effective tools of globalization.

Works Cited

Dickinson, Elizabeth. “Blame game.” Foreign Policy. (2009): 90.

Faris, Stephan. “The Last Staw.” Foreign Policy. (2009): 92-93.

Flynn, Stephen E. “America the Resilient.” Foreign Affairs. 87.2. (2008): 2-8.

Foreign Policy and The Fund for Peace. “Portraits of Instability.” Foreign Policy. (2009): 80-83.

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Kegley, Charles W. and Gregory A. Raymond. The Global Future: A Brief Introduction to World Politics. NY: Cengage Learning, 2009.

Kharas, Homi. “The Whiplash Effect.” Foreign Policy. (2009): 85.

Levi, Michael A. “Copenhagen’s Inconvenient Truth. How to Salvage the Climate Conference.” Foreign Affairs. 88.5. (2009).

Rotberg, Robert I. “Disorder in the Ranks.” Foreign Policy. (2009): 91.

Roubini, Nouriel. “A Global Breakdown of the Recession in 2009.” Forbes. 2009. Web.

Salehi-Isfrahani, Djavid. “Trouble in Tehran.” Foreign Policy. (2009): 85.

Sen, Amartya. “How to Judge Globalism.” The American Prospect. 13.1. (2002).

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