CHAPTER TWENTY-SEVEN MULTINATIONALISM on the MAPAt every turn we are reminded of the interconnectedness of nations, states, and regions, yetseparatism and calls for autonomy are rampant. Presently, we appear to be caught between theforces of division and those of unification.Despite the conflicts arising from these contradictory forces, today hardly a country exists that isnot involved in some multinational association. Why has this become a necessity for mostcountries?
SUPRANATIONALISMThe phenomenon of interstate cooperation goes back to ancient Greece. Thiscooperation is at unprecedented levels, involving international associations in political,economic, cultural, and military spheres. Why would a political geographer viewparticipation in multilateral associations a good thing?
INTERNATIONAL SANCTIONSThese days we hear a great deal about international sanctions designed to induce statesto change their behavior. How are they used and explain the effectiveness of thesesanctions (provide examples). What has to happen for sanctions to be effective?
THE LEAGUE of NATIONS The modern beginnings of the supranational movement came with the conferences that followed the end of WWI. The concept of an international organization that would include all the states of the world led to the creation of the League of Nations in 1919. Did the U.S. join? Why or why not? Was the organization successful? Explain.
THE UNITED NATIONS At the end of WWII a new organization was formed to foster international security and cooperation: The United Nations. Did the U.S. participate? As of 1998, how many countries are members? Participation in the UN also serves to commit states to internationally approved standards of behavior as embodied in the UN Charter. If a country violates the UN Charter, what can happen to it?
All UN members have representatives in the General Assembly, where countries candiscuss issues, bring grievances, and recommend actions. The power in the UN lies in theSecurity Council, which has 15 members, five permanent and ten that rotate from theGeneral Assembly. The Security Council investigates potentially threatening situationsand can vote to impose sanctions or to take military action.
Among the UN’s numerous functions, peacekeeping has become a costly and controversialresponsibility. Describe the peacekeeping operations of the UN. Has this roleincreased? Since 1994, what part(s) of the world have needed peacekeepers? Hasthe U.S. been involved?
The UN also provides aninternational forum for statelessnations. What does UNPO mean?What is its goal?
THE LAW of the SEAAnother arena which the UN has accomplished much is the law of the sea. In what yearwas an international agreement reached? National claims to adjacent waters originatedin Europe many centuries ago: First formal proposal?; The first criteria?; Did allstates agree to consistent areas? How did some countries attempt to broaden their maritime jurisdictions during the 16th and 17th centuries? What did the Soviet Union propose after WWI? Explain the Truman Proclamation and its significance.
THE UNCLOS PROCESSEconomic motives have been the driving force behind the maritime expansion ofcoastal states. Explain the UNCLOS process & its key provisions, including:The Territorial Sea; The Exclusive Economic Zone; Mineral Resources.
An international political dilemma wascreated by the question: What happens whencountries lie closer than 400 nautical miles toeach other, so that neither can have a full200-mile EEZ (E. Asia; the North Sea)?Explain how the median-line principle worksto solve this proximity dilemma. Whatfactor can present problems with thisprinciple?
REGIONAL MULTINATIONAL UNIONS THE EUROPEAN UNION The first major experiments in interstate cooperation were taken in Europe following WWII, in an effort to accelerate post-war reconstruction. Coupled with the famous Marshall Plan, the effort proved enormously successful, paving the way for the European Union.
The European Union evolved from the earlier Common Market and European Community.The EU is the manifestation of a series of unprecedented economic reforms that changesthe way countries/people interact. In short, the EU creates a “United States of Europe.”Currently 27 European countries belong to the EU, with expansion likely in the future.What would be the political benefits for Europe?
The EU will create a single market of more than 400 million people, generate economicproduction that will rival that of the United States, and ….
…. it establishes a singleEuropean currency and centralEuropean bank.
With the EU, nationalistic trade barriers (tariffs) will topple and a European parliamentwill enjoy more authority to regulate membership trade and political issues.Problems confronting the viability & effectiveness of the EU include:•Centuries-old rivalries hinder genuine cooperation•Different levels of economic development in the region, including potential newmembers•Countries are reluctant to surrender sovereignty to the more potent Europeanparliament
SUPRANATIONALISM ELSEWHERE NAFTAEconomic motives also lay behind the formation of the original North American FreeTrade Agreement (NAFTA), formalized on January 1, 1994, which linked Canada, theU.S., and Mexico in an economic community. How is NAFTA different from the EU?
OTHER FORMS of SUPRANATIONALISMOften, the formation of one supranational union stimulates the creation of another.Economic supranationalism in Europe was paralleled by the formation of a militaryalliance, NATO. This, in turn, led to the creation of the Warsaw Pact.
The expansion of NATO into theformer Soviet sphere is of majorconcern to Russia – why?The U.S. puts a positive spin onNATO expansion by emphasizingthat expansion better ensuresfuture peace in Europe, as morecountries become part of the sameorganization.Russia, although not a NATOmember, has been given a seat on anon-voting committee to serve as anobserver and advisor.
Like economic unions, military alliances come andgo (Warsaw Pact). To survive following the endof the Cold War, NATO is struggling to re-define itself.As part of its new post-Cold War mission, NATOhas been heavily involved in Europeanaffairs, including military action againstperceived despots (Milosevic) and peacekeepingmissions (Bosnia, Kosovo, and Macedonia).Currently, NATO is a major player inAfghanistan.
The latest challenge confronting theinternational community is terrorism. Terroristattacks, led by Osama bin Laden’s Al Qaedaorganization, have unified many countries towage war on terrorism.There is a recognized reality that it will requirean international effort to contain and/or win thewar against terrorism.