What Is the Purpose and Significance of Such International Economic Organizations as the IMF, World Bank, and WTO, and International Political Organizations as The United Nations? What Was the American Role in Creating Those Institutions?
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is a global organization that supervises the worldwide financial system by tracking macroeconomic policies of member states, especially with an influence on the payments’ balance and exchange rates (Woolf, 2004). The main aim of the organization is to improve living standards of member states. Its purposes include facilitating the balanced growth and expansion of global trade, promoting the stability of exchange and global monetary cooperation, offering technical assistance and policy advice to enable member countries maintain strong economies (Woolf, 2004). The IMF also provides loans to aid member states. The World Bank, on the other hand, focuses on the promotion of long-term poverty reduction and economic development. It does so by offering financial and technical support to assist nations’ execute specific projects, like building hospitals, schools, as well as environment protection etc. (Woolf, 2004).
The World Trade Organization (WTO) is a global body with the purpose of promoting the free trade via persuading nations to eradicate import tariffs, as well as other barriers. It is quite necessary, because it is the only global body charged with the mandate of setting international trade rules, organizing trade negotiations and settling trade disputes between various governments (Woolf, 2004). The United Nations is a global organization whose purpose is to maintain the global security and peace, develop friendly relationships amongst all countries in the world, and work together in solving global humanitarian, cultural, social and economic problems. It also promotes the respect for basic human rights and freedoms (Woolf, 2004).
The United States play a dominant role in the creation of above institutions. Being a superpower, America has a strong influence and power within the above mentioned institutions. The creation, structure, location and mandate of these organizations are to a significant extent determined by the United States. It is vital to mention that America has over one third of the voting power in every one of these institutions, and no decision can be passed without first considering the opinion and approval of America.
Of The Three Approaches To Development, Which Do You Feel Would Be The Best For Developing Countries To Follow? Support Your Answer.
There are three main approaches to the development, namely: top down, growth pole and bottom up approaches (Genest, 2004). The Top Down Approach is associated with the development of large-scale projects and the centralization of the decision-making. It argues that large companies and wealthy persons are the driving force of economic growth. This approach holds that the wealth created by the rich and successful people and economy trickle down naturally to benefit everybody (Genest, 2004). Consequently, to promote the development, nations should make sure that the environment is right for the rich people and leading companies to flourish through measures like lack of regulation and low taxation.
The Growth Pole Approach, on the other hand, focuses on the development of the growth pole, or core region, resulting in spread effects that benefit the entire country. Growth pole is either planned or unplanned, for instance, the development of a particular location via agglomeration (Genest, 2004). This approach encourages the development of propulsive industries that stimulate growth, such as the Automobile industry etc.
The aim of the Bottom Up approach is to lift persons out of poverty through helping them directly i.e. assisting them to help themselves. This is done via identifying needs of the poor people and coming up with long-term sustainable solutions based on those needs (Genest, 2004). This approach encourages the local participation in the decision-making. There are numerous applications of this approach all over the world in projects, such as the supply of water and sanitation, improving farming via the utilization of proper technology, the healthcare improvement, education, as well as family planning (Genest, 2004). Other solutions include providing micro loans for the development of local businesses and industries, providing access to the latest technologies, such as the Internet, mobile phones etc., access to markets, improving marketing and reducing bureaucracy, among others.
Developing countries refer to countries, which are still in the developing process. Their social and economic systems have not developed well to supply needs of their inhabitants adequately (Genest, 200). From the description of the above development approaches, the Bottom Up Approach would be the best for developing countries to follow. This is because a majority of people in developing countries are poor, and establishing long-term projects that are customized to their needs is the best way to alleviate poverty and encourage growth. By providing the above solutions, such as providing loans for developing businesses and industries, the provision of water and sanitation etc., the local people are empowered to do something to improve their living standards, and when everyone in the country is committed to such projects, the economy of the whole country is bound to improve.
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Discuss Mead’s Analysis of the Relationship that the Evangelical Community in the U.S. Has in Influencing our Foreign Policy. Does Mead See it as a Net Positive or Negative? Do You Agree or Disagree with Him?
According to Mead (2006), religion has remained a key force in American culture, politics, identity and policy. Religion influences the character of the nation, forms ideas of Americans of the world, and impacts ways they react to foreign events. Though, not everyone concurs with this argument, a majority of Americans believe that religion has a deep impact on how the nation behaves both at home and abroad.
In a recent article that appeared in the Foreign Affairs magazine, Mead made a logical claim that the Evangelical community in the United States is contributing positively to the foreign policy of the country. He claimed that the American Evangelicals are increasingly turning into a powerful force in issues concerning foreign affairs, and are exerting increased political influence (Mead, 2006). In recent years, the American Evangelicals have overwhelmingly cast their votes to Republicans, thus have helped to place Conservatives at the U.S. foreign policy helm. According to Mead, Evangelicals are continuing to mature politically, and are showing interest in a wider range of foreign policy issues, such as global warming (Mead, 2006). Mead mentioned that Evangelicals were the dominant force in politics of the United States during the 19th and 20th centuries, and their current participation is just their return to power, which he feels has reinvigorated the tired and ineffective foreign policy (Mead, 2006).
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According to Mead, evangelicals mainly support issues, such as religious freedom, human rights etc. Examples of evangelical support of American foreign policy include the 1998 passing of the International Freedom Act, which was largely supported by the evangelical community. In addition, Bush’s policy of giving aid to Africa which entailed up to 15 billion USD to fight HIV and AIDS was also supported by a majority of evangelicals (Mead, 2006).
According to Mead, the relationship that the evangelical community in the U.S. has in influencing the nation’s foreign policy is positive. This is because, evangelicals constitute a large population of the nation, and therefore, it is imperative that their opinions be considered in decision-making in matters that concern them. In addition, they fight for human rights and religious freedom, which is an admirable thing for all Americans. I totally agree with him, because the United States is home to all its citizens, including the evangelical community. The constitution gives evangelicals the right to express their opinions freely, and since the U.S. foreign policy affects all U.S. citizens, they have a right to support or reject it.
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What Two Theoretical Forces Does Krauthammer See As “Converging” In The Contemporary Era? Do You Support His Logic Of Supporting Undemocratic Dictators?
The two theoretical forces that Krauthammer sees as ‘‘converging’’ in the contemporary era are democratic globalism and democratic realism. The United States of America, being the world’s superpower, has been committed to abolishing tyranny throughout the world, being led by its presidents (George Bush and Clinton). In an attempt to attain its democratic project, America has been supportive of both autocracies (e.g. Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and Pakistan) and totalitarians alike (Krauthammer, 2005). For instance, the American invasion of Iraq, which was portrayed my many as hypocritical. Arabs particularly, doubted the sincerity of the United States, claiming that they were after the oil in Iraq. However, according to Krauthammer, American desire to democratize the whole world is genuine and universal; it is not only a preserve of the Westerners.
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According to Krauthammer, winning the hearts of dictators necessitates that the United States forms a temporary alliance with the dictators, supporting them until they are mature enough for democratization (Krauthammer, 2005). This is evident by the way Americans have consistently supported Iraq, even sending U.S. troops to Iraq to offer security, despite knowing that it is ruled by dictators. Finally, the American effort has paid off because the democracy of Iraq has matured and they can now rule themselves. This was evident by the last withdrawal of the U.S. troops from Iraq by the Obama administration. I totally agree with his reasoning because if the United States were to condemn these dictator countries, it will affect how America relates to them, which may hinder the democratization process.
Explain in Your Own Words the Ideas Presented in the Short Documentary The Ecological Footprint. What Sort of Solutions Presented in the Video Seems Plausible for Americans to Carry out?
The Ecological Footprint: Accounting for a Small Planet is a thirty-minute documentary in which Dr. Mathis Wackernagel, the co-producer of the film, paints a picture of the present global situation. He mentions that due to the growing human population and economy, there has been a faster rate of consumption of the ecological resources of nature than the earth’s renewal capacity, and consequently, the ecological resources have become limited because of depletion (Wackernagel, 2005). He introduces a resource accounting tool; the Ecological Footprint that measures the amount of natural resources that human beings require to support their expenditure on earth. Pointing to the present over-expenditure of ecological resources, Wackernagel, gives an explanation how the Ecological Footprint can be instrumental in avoiding ecological bankruptcy. According to the documentary, avoiding depletion of the ecological resources necessitates that humans track their ecological assets, to allow them to make informed choices regarding their ecological expenditures (Wackernagel, 2005).
This is a highly informative and entertaining film that I would not hesitate recommending to be used for teaching in an environment class, or viewed by persons with an interest in global affairs and environmental concerns. However, I do not consider any of the solutions presented in the documentary can be implemented by the Americans currently. This is because not everybody in America supports environmental conservation, and therefore, it will be hard to convince people to employ solutions presented in Ecological Footprints. I highly suggest that extensive and thorough civic education be carried out on the documentary prior to launching the tool.