Monthly Archives: April 2012

The United Nations is nothing more than an arena for inter-state power politics.

In the aftermath of the Second World War, the United Nations reflected the hope for a just and peaceful global community. It is the only global institution with the legitimacy that derives from universal membership. However, in the last decades there is still the debate about the role of this organization in International Relations; this essay will discuss: The United Nations is nothing more than an arena for inter-state power politics.

In order to answer this question correctly is believed two concepts most arise beforehand.

First, The United Nations: which is an international organization founded in 1945 after the Second World War by 51 countries committed to maintaining international peace and security, developing friendly relations among nations and promoting social progress, better living standards and human rights. The work of the United Nations reaches every corner of the globe. Although best known for peacekeeping, peacebuilding, conflict prevention and humanitarian assistance the organization works on a broad range of fundamental issues, from sustainable development, environment and refugees protection, disaster relief, counter terrorism, disarmament and non-proliferation, to promoting democracy, human rights, governance, economic and social development and international health, clearing landmines, expanding food production, and more, in order to achieve its goals and coordinate efforts for a safer world for this and future generations.[1]

Second, Power politics: is essentially a way of understanding the world of international Relations: nations compete for the world’s resources and it is to a nation’s advantage to be manifestly able to harm others. It prioritizes national self-interest over the interest of other nations or the international community.[2]

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El Arco Mediterráneo: una megarregión en construcción

La comprensión de las actuales sociedades capitalistas supone un rango de complejidad sin precedentes. La existencia de nuevas realidades multidimensionales definidas por el constante cambio y la multiplidad de interrelaciones ha devenido en un nuevo paradigma relacionado al territorio, que se manifiesta en la conformación de espacios geográficos que se extienden, en muchos casos, más allá de las fronteras nacionales. El concepto de megarregión fue desarrollado en respuesta a esta creciente interdependencia de las redes económicas y sociales del mundo, abordando temas claves como la competitividad de las ciudades en una economía globalizada, identidad territorial, desarrollo sostenible, infraestructuras, equidad social y justicia espacial, entre otros. Sus partidarios sostienen que las megarregiones están mejor posicionadas para soportar el desarrollo económico y la inversión en infraestructuras de gran escala con impacto entre regiones y espacios transfronterizos (Carrier, 2011).

El Arco Mediterráneo, objeto del siguiente trabajo, es una megarregión en proceso de construcción. Su planteamiento se inició en 1973, con el nacimiento de la Conferencia de las Regiones Periféricas Marítimas, y posteriormente, se consolidó en los documentos previos a la Estrategia Territorial Europea. Estos documentos defendían la idea de que Europa debía estar estructurada por figuras económico-geográficas que sirven de contrapeso a la dorsal norte-sur de la megalópolis centroeuropea (Brunet, 1989); y es que en términos de área geográfica, peso demográfico y dimensión económica se puede considerar el Arco Mediterráneo como una autentica megarregión aunque no exista como tal. No existe desde el punto de vista administrativo o burocrático, pero si cuenta con bases económicas reales, flujos de intercambio demostrables e intereses geoeconómicos compartidos (Boira, 2003).

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What role do pressure groups play in the British political system?

In the last years the role of pressure groups in the political process have been broadly discussed as the groups roles today seems to be unclear and the level of influence is difficult to measure. This essay will discuss. What role do pressure groups play in the British political system? Why are some groups more influential than others?

As a common definition: pressure groups are voluntary organisations formed to advance or defend a common cause or interest. Therefore they are unlike political parties in that they do not wish to assume responsibility for governing the country; rather they seek to influence those who do so. [1]To some extend, pressure groups do not aspire to govern the country and are concerned with a relatively narrow range of problems; is has been argued that much of their work is non-political but as much as their concerns and aspirations are affected by government they seek to have an influence over the conduct of public policy. Another view is “Pressure groups seek to influence rather than power, yet pluralist argue that power is effectively dispersed through the widespread influence of countless groups on government and policy making”. [2] Additionally, groups seek to defend and advance their own interest or cause, and government policy or specific decisions may affect them adversely or beneficially. Therefore they have a strong motive to seek to influence government, especially as power in the British political system is concentrated with the core executive. However, the universe of pressure groups now requires more systematic subdivisions. The problem at once encountered is that the traditional ways of doing it hardly seem adequate. The oldest classification in the technical literature is the one introduced in 1935 by Harwood Childs of Princeton University[3], who distinguished between those groups “whose community of interests is based on such fundamental differentials as age, sex, occupation and race, from those existing merely to further special ideas or groups of ideas. Furthermore, because their concerns are liable to be affected by government decisions, they need to be organised in order to influence ministers and respond to what they propose. “In Britain the tendency is to use the term ‘pressure groups’ and then to sub-divide them into different categories. The world ‘pressure’ has an unfortunate connotation and many groups operate without resorting to any degree of coercion”.[4] In both case and its simplest; pressure groups are not counting political parties that influence or attempt to influence the public authorities, mainly the central government and they traditionally operated at four main levels, seeking to influence the Executive, the Legislature, the Judiciary and the public at large. In Britain and Europe, they tend to be more closely associated with government.

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