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Geo Politics Environment &

International Business
• Geo Politics: The analysis of the geographic influences on power
relationship in International Relations.

• A study of the influence of such factors as geography, economics,

and demography on the politics and especially the foreign policy of a

• Geopolitics is the study of the effects of Earth's geography (human

and physical) on politics and international relations.

• geopolitics is a method of studying foreign policy to understand,

explain and predict international political behavior through
geographical variables.
• The word geopolitics was originally coined by the Swedish political scientist Rudolf Kjellen about
the turn of the 20th century, and its use spread throughout Europe in the period between World
Wars I and II (1918–39) and came into worldwide use during the latter.
• In contemporary discourse, geopolitics has been widely employed as a loose synonym for
international politics.
• Arguments about the political effects of geography—particularly climate, topography, arable land,
and access to the sea—have appeared in Western political thought since at least the ancient Greek
era and were prominent in the writings of philosophers as diverse as Aristotle.
• The Industrial Revolution brought in new dimension to the Geo-Politics.
• Geopoliticians sought to understand how the new industrial capabilities of transportation,
communication, and destruction—most notably railroads, steamships, airplanes, telegraphy, and
explosives—interacting with the largest-scale geographic features of the Earth would shape the
character, number, and location of viable security units in the emerging global international
Understanding Critical Geopolitics:
• The critique of geopolitics is as old as geopolitics itself but as
humanity grapples with the prevailing chaos, proliferating risks and
pervasive disorder of a turn of a century condition, it is vital that we
develop a critical perspective on the seductive simple mindedness of
geopolitics and its dangerous counter-modern tendencies.
• Geopolitics can be described as problem-solving theory for the
conceptualization and practice of statecraft. A convenient label for a
variety of traditions and cultures of theory and practice, geopolitics
sees itself as an instrumental form of knowledge and rationality.
• It takes the existing power structures for granted and works within
these to provide conceptualization and advice to foreign policy
• critical geopolitics seek to recover the complexities of global political
life and expose the power relationships that characterize knowledge
about geopolitics concealed by orthodox geopolitics.
• Eschewing explicit interest in providing 'advice to the prince', critical
geopolitics critiques the superficial and self-interested ways in which
orthodox geopolitics 'reads the world political map' by projecting its
own cultural and political assumptions upon it while concealing these
very assumptions.
• Geopolitics, critical geopoliticians argue, operates with a 'view from
nowhere', a seeing that refuses to see itself and the power relationships
that make it possible.
• As an unreflexively eurocentric and narrowly rational cultural practice of 'experts'
in powerful Western institutions (from universities to military bureaucracies to
strategic 'think-tanks'), geopolitics is not about power politics: it is power politics!
Critical geopolitics strives to expose this power politics to scrutiny and public
debate in the name of deepening democratic politics.
• For critical geopolitics, the notion of 'is' is always an essentially contested
perspectival notion. Knowledge is always situated knowledge, articulating the
perspective of certain cultures and subjects while marginalizing that of others.
• Its 'we' is a transnational community of citizens skeptical of the power
concentrated in state and military bureaucracies, and committed to an open
democratic debate about the meaning and politics of 'security‘.
• During the Cold War, the contrast between the orthodox geopolitics
of both East and West and critical geopolitics was stark and clear.
Orthodox Cold War geopolitics peddled dangerous simplifications
about world politics while justifying the potentially catastrophic
militarization of the European continent and other regions.
• The practical critical geopolitics of the European peace and
environmental movements opposed the Manichean reasoning of
both East and West, and the militarization of the planet it made
• Since the end of the Cold War, the irredeemable complexity that
critical geopolitics always asserted but orthodox geopolitics tried to
repress has become even more undeniable.
• Critical geopolitics has long taken the dynamics of globalization,
informationalization and 'risk society' seriously, recognizing that a
new modernity of 'and' (ambivalence, multiplicity, simultaneity,
globality, uncertainty, formlessness and borderlessness) is exploding
in our inherited modernity of 'either-or' (calculability, singularity,
linearity, nationality, certainty, dimensionality and [b]orders).
• As an approach, critical geopolitics begins by arguing that 'geopolitics'
is a much broader and more complex problematic than is
acknowledged in orthodox understandings of the concept.
• To claim that geopolitics is the study of the influence of 'geography'
on the practice of foreign policy by states is not to specify a narrow
problematic for 'geography' has a multiplicity of different meanings.
• All states are territorial and all foreign policy strategizing and practice
is conditioned by territoriality, shaped by geographical location, and
informed by certain geographical understandings about the world.
Environmental Geo Politics:
• Rising concerns about climate change and the growing realization that humanity
has become a geological agent shaping planetary systems have led to the adoption
of the term Anthropocene as an overarching term for the current period of
planetary history.
• The growing disjunction between traditional geopolitical specifications of
territorial and spatial categories of politics and the new geological circumstances
require a reconsideration of the material context for politics. Having taken our fate
into our own hands, governance mechanisms have to grapple with novel matters
of production and energy challenging modern assumptions about an autonomous
humanity playing out its political drama against a stable natural background.
• While governing climate is generating new spatial categories of politics, it is far
from clear that these devices can reassemble the human and natural systems into a
sustainable configuration for the next period of the Anthropocene. One of the key
dichotomies that structures modern thinking, the division between human and
nature, is no longer tenable. We are literally making our own future, and the
consequences of these reconsiderations are profound for politics in general and
security in particular.
The Case Study: South China Sea
• The South China Sea disputes involve both island and maritime claims
among several states within the region.
• -The People’s republic of China,
• -Taiwan
• -Malaysia
• -Indonesia
• -Philippines
• -Vietnam
• -Brunei
• An estimates US$ 3.37 trillion worth of global trade.
• 1/3 of trade
• 80 % of china’s energy imports and 39.5 percent of China’s total trade
passes through the South China Sea.
• -Rich in mineral, oil and natural-fishing resources.

• The disputes include the islands of Spratly Islands, Paracel Islands,

Scarborough shoal and other boundaries of Guld of Tonkin.
• During the world war II- used by Japan as military base.
• Historical proofs of France rule and control of islands of South China
• 1951 Treaty of San Fransico- did not specify the sovenarity of any
country over the islands.
• 1954 the Geneva Accord after Indo-Chinese war gave the rights to
Vietnam of the islands of South China sea.
China’s ‘One Belt, One Road’ Initiative
• The ‘one belt and one Road’ initiative is a Chinese economic and strategic
agenda by which the two ends of Eurasia, as well as Africa and Oceania are
being more closely ties along the two routes –one overland and one
• The supporters suggests that the initiative permit new infrastructure and
the economic aid to be provided to the needy economies.
• Critics claim that it facilitates Chinese economic and strategic domination
of the countries along these routes.
• One Belt and One Road initiative provides a global context for China’s
growing economic links with Australia.
• The term One Belt and One Road initiative is a foreign policy and economic
strategy of the people’s Republic of China.
• The term derives from the overland “silk Road Economic Belt’ and ‘21st
century maritime silk road’ concepts introduced by the PRC.
• These are the two major axes along which China proposes to economically
link Europe to China through Eurasia and the Indian Ocean.
• The OBOR(One Belt and One Road) initiative also links Africa to Oceania.
• In March 2015, the PRC issues an action plan for realising this initiative.
• The initiative envisages the building of six major economic cooperation
corridors and several key maritime pivot points across Eurasia.
• On land the plan is to build a new Eurasian land bridge and develop
economic corridors of China-Mongolia-Russia; China-Central Asia; the
China-Indochina peninsula; China-Pakistan; and Bangladesh-China-India-
• On the seas, the initiative will focus on jointly building smooth, secure and
efficient transport routes connecting major sea ports along the belt and
OBOR emphasis five key areas of cooperation:
• coordinating development policies
• forging infrastructure and facilities networks
• strengthening investment and trade relations
• enhancing financial cooperation and
• deepening social and cultural exchanges.
• The overland ‘Belt’ involves the creation of an economic and trade
corridor extending from China’s west through Central Asia, and finally
to Europe.
• The ‘Belt’ initiative calls for the integration of the Eurasian land mass
into a cohesive economic area.
• For the maritime ‘Road’, China’s development of ports and hubs
across the Indo-Pacific is a key aspect of the initiative.
• Foremost among the key projects which have been promoted as focal
parts of the OBOR initiative are the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor
which provides China’s western provinces with access to the Indian Ocean
through the Pakistani port of Gwadar, and the Bangladesh China India
Myanmar Corridor, which will give Yunnan Province access to the Bay of
• Funding for the initiative is a key issue. China’s policy banks are
providing massive funds for Chinese enterprises to operate along these
axes, while further funding will be provided through the Asian
Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), funded by countries globally. The
AIIB was created precisely to service projects under OBOR.
• Hong Kong is also being tapped. A ‘Hong Kong Belt and Road Summit’ was
also convened in May 2016 to allow Zhang Dejiang, Chairman of the
Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress, to outline ‘Hong
Kong's Four Unique Advantages’ as a hub for OBOR projects
• Singapore is also essential to promoting offshore economic activities
by Chinese entities. The China Construction Bank signed an MOU with
International Enterprise Singapore in April 2016, providing S$30
billion in financial support to Singaporean and Chinese companies
jointly investing in OBOR projects.

• While China claims that OBOR will ‘include 65 countries, 4.4 billion
people and about 40 percent of global GDP’, the current realities are
much more pedestrian. China has reportedly established 75 overseas
economic and trade cooperation zones in 35 countries as part of the
OBOR initiative.
China’s other OBOR interests:
• It is clear that China has broader uses for the increased influence it hopes
to enjoy through the OBOR initiative.
• The Bank of China has clearly noted that OBOR is intended to make the
Renminbi the main trading and investment currency in the countries
involved. The expansion of Chinese banks into new OBOR markets to serve
the globalisation of the Chinese economy is also being promoted. . OBOR is
further intended to facilitate online retailing and the collection and use
of big data across OBOR countries.
• The expansion of China-controlled telecommunications networks is an
important aspect of OBOR.
• Mining and energy projects are also central to this endeavour, with China
widely purchasing mines as well as generation and transmission projects
across OBOR states.
• Reactions to the OBOR proposal have varied globally. Ethnic Chinese
business figures in Southeast Asia and their political representatives have
generally been enthusiastic about the business possibilities. Malaysia has
been active in accepting and promoting the idea.
• Pakistan and Sri Lanka have also been particularly welcoming of Chinese
capital and infrastructure projects, as have the various Central Asian states.
• Vietnam, meanwhile, has expressed grave doubts about the initiative. With
few exceptions.
• India has been stridently suspicious of the overall OBOR initiative and has
repeatedly expressed its concerns about China’s growing economic and
strategic power being pursued through OBOR.
• Russia needs funding assistance for developing its resources and appears to
see OBOR as an avenue for this.
• China is simultaneously pushing for an EU-China FTA that would make it
easier for PRC companies to invest in European markets.
• Central and Eastern Europe are a major focus for OBOR programs, with
the Czech Republic, Serbia and Poland receiving major financial inputs.
• Within Australia, enterprises, banks and law firms are promoting the
OBOR initiative as an economic opportunity for the country and, with
Chinese endorsement, an Australia-China OBOR Initiative has been
established to promote Chinese engagement in the Australian
• ---
• Not all reactions to OBOR have been enthusiastic. Former World
Trade Organization chief, Supachai Panitchpakdi, has stated that the
OBOR initiative and, specifically, its projects along the Mekong River,
all serve China’s own interests.
• On the economic front, China has been criticised for using its massive
financial assets to dominate smaller economies through long-term
control of infrastructure, natural resources and associated land
assets, and through offering less than desirable credit terms for
infrastructure loans.
• Despite the claimed economic nature of the OBOR agenda, critics see
the initiative as being simultaneously a strategic program. China
clearly portrays OBOR as both being premised on and further
validating China’s claims to the islands of the South China Sea, while
on the other side of the Indian Ocean,
• Broader concerns relate to the longer-term aims of China, with the
possibility that the OBOR agenda is aimed at creating a Eurasia-wide,
China-led bloc to counter the US.
• At the June 2016 Shangri-la Dialogue in Singapore, Professor Xiang
Lanxin, director of the Centre of One Belt and One Road Studies at
the China National Institute for SCO International Exchange and
Judicial Cooperation, spoke of OBOR as being an avenue to a ‘post-
Westphalian world’. As such, some see this initiative as a profound
challenge to the current global political and economic status quo.

The Case Study on Syria

• A peaceful uprising against the president of Syria almost eight years

ago turned into a full-scale civil war. The conflict has left more than
360,000 people dead, devastated cities and drawn in other countries.
How did the Syrian war start?
• Even before the conflict began, many Syrians were complaining about
high unemployment, corruption and a lack of political freedom under
President Bashar al-Assad, who succeeded his father, Hafez, after he
died in 2000.
• In March 2011, pro-democracy demonstrations erupted in the southern
city of Deraa, inspired by the "Arab Spring" in neighbouring countries.
• When the government used deadly force to crush the dissent,
protests demanding the president's resignation erupted
• The unrest spread and the crackdown intensified.
How many people have died?
• The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a UK-based monitoring
group with a network of sources on the ground, had documented the
deaths of 367,965 people by December 2018.
• Meanwhile, the Violations Documentation Center. It had documented
191,219 battle-related deaths, including 123,279 civilians, as of
December 2018.
What is the war about?
• It is now more than a battle between those who are for or against Mr
• Many groups and countries - each with their own agendas - are
involved, making the situation far more complex and prolonging the
Who's involved?
• The government's key supporters have been Russia and Iran, while
Turkey, Western powers and several Gulf Arab states have backed the
• Russia - which already had military bases in Syria - launched an air
campaign in support of Mr Assad in 2015 that has been crucial in
turning the tide of the war in the government's favour.
• The Russian military says its strikes only target "terrorists" but
activists say they regularly kill mainstream rebels and civilians.
• Iran is believed to have deployed hundreds of troops and spent
billions of dollars to help Mr Assad.
• Thousands of Shia Muslim militarymen armed, trained and financed
by Iran - mostly from Lebanon's Hezbollah movement, but also Iraq,
Afghanistan and Yemen - have also fought alongside the Syrian
• The US, UK and France initially provided support for what they considered
"moderate" rebel groups. But they have prioritised non-lethal assistance
since jihadists became the dominant force in the armed opposition.
• A US-led global coalition has also carried out air strikes on IS militants in
Syria since 2014 and helped an alliance of Kurdish and Arab militias called
the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) capture territory once held by the
jihadists in the east.
• Turkey has long supported the rebels, but it has focused on using them to
contain the Kurdish militia that dominates the SDF, accusing it of being an
extension of a banned Kurdish rebel group in Turkey. Turkish-backed rebels
have controlled territory along the border in north-western Syria since 2016.
• Saudi Arabia, which is keen to counter Iranian influence, has armed and
financed the rebels, as has the kingdom's Gulf rival, Qatar.
• Israel, meanwhile, has been so concerned by what it calls Iran's "military
entrenchment" in Syria and shipments of Iranian weapons to Hezbollah that
it has conducted hundreds of air strikes in an attempt to thwart them.
How has the country been affected?
• As well as causing hundreds of thousands of deaths, the war has left
1.5 million people with permanent disabilities, including 86,000 who
have lost limbs. At least 6.2 million Syrians are internally displaced,
while another 5.7 million have fled abroad. Neighbouring Lebanon,
Jordan and Turkey, which are hosting 93% of them, have struggled to
cope with one of the largest refugee exoduses in recent history.
• The government has regained control of Syria's biggest cities. but
large parts of the country are still held by opposition armed groups
and the Kurdish-led SDF.
• The last remaining opposition stronghold is in the north-western
province of Idlib and adjoining parts of northern Hama and western
Aleppo provinces. It is home to an estimated 2.9 million people,
including a million children, many of them displaced and living in dire
conditions in camps.
Will the war ever end?
• It does not look like it will anytime soon, but everyone agrees a
political solution is required.
• The UN Security Council has called for the implementation of the
2012 Geneva Communiqué, which envisages a transitional governing
body "formed on the basis of mutual consent".
• But nine rounds of UN-mediated peace talks - known as the Geneva II
process - since 2014 have shown little progress. President Assad
appears unwilling to negotiate with the opposition. The rebels still
insist he must step down as part of any settlement.
• Russia, Iran and Turkey have set up parallel political talks known as
the Astana process. But they have also struggled to make headway. In
December 2018, the three countries failed to meet a deadline to form
a committee to draft a new constitution after the UN said a list of
participants they submitted was neither credible nor inclusive.
Crisis in the Crimea:
• There’s nothing like an invasion to shake up the world order. Russia’s take-over of
the Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula and the West’s inability to stop the annexation
reveals the limitations of the current balance of power.
• The confines of America’s power are certainly on display as the U.S. tries all it
can to encourage Russia to leave the Crimea. Starting sanctions against Russian
businessmen did not yield any results. Neither did not allowing Russia to attend
the G-8 meeting.
• More serious options, such as a military option or further sanctions against more
players, are not being undertaken in hope that a diplomatic solution can be found.
• Globalization influences the underlying causes and the impact of the invasion as
• This analysis will examine the role of international law, energy and international
trade and investment in the Russian annexation of the Crimean peninsula.
International Law

• First, there is debate whether Russia’s invasion of the Crimean Peninsula is

legal under international law. Russia claims it is legal because:
1) the interim government is not legitimate since it was the result of a
coup d’état(unconstitutional seizure of power),
2) the human rights of Russians living in Ukraine were threatened by
the nationalist agenda of the interim government,
3) a humanitarian crisis was taking place on Russia’s border,
4) the Russian constitution guarantees the rights of its citizens living
beyond their boundaries, and
5) President President Yanukovich and the Prime Minister of the
autonomous Republic of the Crimea asked Russia to help stabilize Ukraine
(Deeks, 2014).
• Others claim it is illegal because Russia is part of the United Nations,
whose charter explicitly states that there should be no trans-boundary use
of force (Woolf, 2014).
• The invasion is also in contravention of the Budapest Memorandum.
• The Budapest Memorandum is a diplomatic document signed by Russia
that requires Russia, United Kingdom, and the United States to respect
Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity in return for the de-
nuclearization of Ukraine.
• Ukraine has fulfilled its obligation and so the diplomatic document should
be valid.
• The Budapest Memorandum is binding under international law.
Unfortunately, there is no enforcement mechanism (Synovitz, 2014).
• Second, many question the legality of the March 16th referendum by the
Ukrainians living in Crimea who voted to become part of Russia.
• Some argue it was illegal because the referendum was held after the
Russian invasion, thus tainting the results (Woolf, 2014).
• Others argues that the referendum was legal under Article 1 of the
UN International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (1966), which
gives all people the right to self-determination (Faruqi, 2014).
• The legality of secessionist movements is often determined on a case-
by-case basis. In this case, the international community has not
blessed the use of the referendum.
• In fact, the UN General Assembly passed a resolution calling the
referendum illegal. This resolution though is not binding (Blitz, 2014).
• Arguing legality though does not really change facts on the ground. The international
community is now dealing with a new reality: the instability of one of the world’s major
energy suppliers.
• Russia has 67 billion barrels of conventional oil in its reserves and 80 – 140 billion barrels of
shale oil in Siberia. The oil flow out of Russia on a daily basis is about 10 million barrels
(Kramer and Jolly, 2014).
• Russia is also the world’s second largest producer of natural gas and provides 30 percent of
Europe’s natural gas, most of which travels through pipelines running through the Ukraine
(Surowiecki, 2014).
• European dependence on Russian gas has softened the European response in the short-term.
• For the moment, it seems like business as usual for Russian oil and natural gas producers.
• Total, the French energy giant, has not cancelled its negotiations with Lukoil, one of the major
Russian gas companies, to jointly develop shale oil resources in Sibera.
• Statoil and Shell, other Western oil giants, are also still exploring joint ventures to develop
Russian shale resources as well (Kramer and Jolly, 2014).
• The long-term impact of Russia’s impact though is not as rosy.
• Moody’s is considering downgrading the credit rating of Russian
state-run companies, Gazprom and Rosneft. Gazprom is the world’s
largest producer of natural gas and Rosneft is Russia’s largest crude oil
producer (Carroll, 2014).
• A downgrade could really hurt the Russian economy in the long-run.
Furthermore, across Europe, many countries are re-thinking their
energy plans and are looking for ways to decrease dependence on
Russian energy.
• Paths include increase liquefied natural gas imports, development of
European shale gas, further support for energy efficiency and use of
renewables (Cunningham, 2014).
• These long-term changes will require a different attitude towards
domestic fracking, which is currently not supported by many
European countries (Kramer and Jolly, 2014).
International Trade and Investment
• International trade and investment are part of the cause and can serve as
part of the solution to the Crimea Crisis.
• Since Ukraine gained independence in 1991, its economy has been
increasingly under control of oligarchs.
• The Orange Revolution of 2004 failed to produce any major economic
growth and Yanukovich, a pro-Russia candidate secured the presidency.
• In the last few years, Ukraine had been seeking to forge closer trade ties
with the European Union, though Yanukovich decided not to pursue
closer a trade association agreement with the EU due to Russian
• This decision led to the Euromaiden protests in late 2013 and
Yanukovich’s invitation to Russia to help get the situation under control
(McMahon, 2014).
• Russia feared Ukraine’s efforts to forge stronger ties with Europe and the West
and wanted to bring Ukraine into its own Eurasian Union whose members
would likely include Kazakhstan, Belarus, and Armenia.
• In addition, 80 percent of Russia’s natural gas flows through pipelines located
in the Ukraine and Ukraine is a major market for Russian gas.
• Ukraine’s ports also serve as an important buffer for the Russian military.
These factors make Ukraine’s ties to Russia extremely important and are one
of the main reasons why Russia annexed the Crimea (McMahon, 2014).
• Many pundits argue that trade sanctions are one of the key policy options
available to the West to combat Russian aggression.
• Stronger trade relations between Europe and the U.S., as realized in the Trans-
Atlantic Free Trade Agreement (TAFTA), could also help Europe wean itself off
of Russian oil and gas.
What’s next?
• The West is trying to use every tool available to them, except force, to
punish Russia and make it leave the Ukraine.
• Most analysts feel that Ukraine matters to Russia more than it does to
the West, so in this game of chicken, Russia is most likely to succeed.
• Success though, as pointed our earlier might only be short-lived as
Europe finds alternatives to Russian gas and oil.
• This is probably healthier in the long-run for Europe as Russia uses
access to energy resources as a means to force countries to acquiesce
to Russia’s demands.
• Former Eastern Bloc countries are particularly vulnerable to this
• Pundits around the world inquire if the response to Russia will impact
other crises around the world, such as Iran’s effort to secure nuclear
weapons or conflicts between North and South Korea.
• It’s hard to predict though how other countries will respond in to
future crises. Each one is unique and the lack of military response in
this situation does not mean that the U.S. will not use force in future
• The Russian annexation of the Crimean Peninsula was so unexpected
and is incomprehensible to many in the West.
• Putin is a conundrum. Trying to understand his motivations and
actions and his next move is not easy, if not impossible.
• It will be interesting to see if this annexation results in major energy
and trade policy changes on both sides of the Atlantic. If so, this act
may have reverberations for years to come.
North American Free Trade Agreement
• The North American Free Trade Agreement, or NAFTA, is a three-
country accord negotiated by the governments of Canada, Mexico,
and the United States that entered into force in January 1994.
• It eliminated most of the tariffs on trade among Mexico, Canada, and
the United States.
• Numerous tariffs particularly those related to agriculture, textiles and
automobiles were gradually phased out between 1994 and 2008.
• Its objective is to accelerate trade among the three major economies
of North America.
Why was NAFTA formed: About ¼ of all the US imports, such as
crude oil, machinery, gold vehicles, fresh produce livestock and
processed foods, originate from Canada and Mexico, which are the
united States second and third largest suppliers of imported goods.
• In addition, approximately one-third of U.S. exports, particularly
machinery, vehicle parts, mineral fuel/oil, and plastics are destined
for Canada and Mexico.
• GDP NAFTA: 24.8 US$ trillion
• GDP Percapita: 50,700 US$
• The NAFTA trade which was US$ 290 billion(1993) increased to 1.1
trillion in the year 2016.
• NAFTA trade covers trade across all the commodities, products and
sectors including intellectual property rights, dispute settlement
procedure, phytosanitary measures.
• Through NAFTA US seeks to support higher-paying jobs in US and to
grow the US economy by improving US opportunities.
• NAFTA has been successful in reduction of trade barriers and has
been beneficial for number of sectors except for a small percentage of
industrial workers.
• President Trump campaigned on a promise to repeal NAFTA and other trade
agreements he deemed unfair to the United States.
• he announced a new trade deal with Mexico to replace it. The U.S.-Mexico Trade
Agreement, as it was called, would maintain duty-free access for agricultural
goods on both sides of the border and eliminate non-tariff barriers while
encouraging more agricultural trade between Mexico and the United States, and
would effectively replace NAFTA.
• The new agreement is:
USMCA—The United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement
The three countries signed the agreement on Nov. 30, 2018.

USMCA will give our workers, farmers, ranchers, and businesses a high-standard
trade agreement that will result in freer markets, fairer trade, and robust economic
growth in our region.
It will strengthen the middle class, and create good, well-paying jobs and new
opportunities “.
• NAFTA was supplemented by two other regulations: the North American
Agreement on Environmental Cooperation (NAAEC) and the North American
Agreement on Labor Cooperation (NAALC).
• NAFTA did not eliminate regulatory requirements on companies wishing to trade
internationally, such as rule-of-origin regulations and documentation
requirements that determine whether certain goods can be traded under NAFTA.
• The free-trade agreement also contains administrative, civil, and criminal
penalties for businesses that violate any of the three countries’ laws or customs
NAFTA's Impact
• From the beginning, NAFTA critics were concerned that the
agreement would result in U.S. jobs relocating to Mexico, despite the
supplementary NAALC.
• NAFTA affected thousands of U.S. auto workers in this way, for
example. Many companies moved their manufacturing to Mexico and
other countries with lower labor costs, although NAFTA may not have
been the reason for those moves.
• Under the USMCA, those concerns, like NAFTA, may be history and
the problems would be sorted.
OPEC: Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries
• The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) was founded
in Baghdad, Iraq, with the signing of an agreement in September 1960 by five
countries namely Islamic Republic of Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and
Venezuela. They were to become the Founder Members of the Organization.
• These countries were later joined by Qatar (1961), Indonesia (1962), Libya
(1962), the United Arab Emirates (1967), Algeria (1969), Nigeria (1971),
Ecuador (1973), Gabon (1975), Angola (2007), Equatorial Guinea (2017) and
Congo (2018).

Ecuador suspended its membership in December 1992, but rejoined OPEC in

October 2007.
• Indonesia suspended its membership in January 2009, reactivated it again in
January 2016, but decided to suspend its membership once more at the
171st Meeting of the OPEC Conference on 30 November 2016.
• Gabon terminated its membership in January 1995.
• However, it rejoined the Organization in July 2016. Qatar terminated its membership on 1
January 2019.
• It is currently a 14 member group organization.
• The purpose of OPEC for members is to "coordinate and unify the petroleum policies of
its Member Countries and ensure the stabilization of oil markets in order to secure an
efficient, economic and regular supply of petroleum to consumers, a steady income to
producers and a fair return on capital for those investing in the petroleum industry."
• OPEC members collectively supply about 43.5% of the world's crude oil production.
• Together, OPEC members control about 81.9% of the world's total proven crude reserves.
• OPEC member countries monitor the market and decide collectively to raise or lower oil
production in order to maintain stable prices and supply.
• The purpose of OPEC for members is to "coordinate and unify the
petroleum policies of its Member Countries and ensure the stabilization of
oil markets in order to secure an efficient, economic and regular supply of
petroleum to consumers, a steady income to producers and a fair return on
capital for those investing in the petroleum industry."
• OPEC members collectively supply about 43.5% of the world's crude oil
• Together, OPEC members control about 81.9% of the world's total proven
crude reserves.
• OPEC member countries monitor the market and decide collectively to
raise or lower oil production in order to maintain stable prices and supply.
• A unanimous vote is required on raising or lowering oil production.
• Each member country controls the oil production of its country, but
OPEC aims to coordinate the production policies of member
• Oil and energy ministers from OPEC member countries usually meet
twice a year to determine OPEC's output level. They also meet in
extraordinary sessions whenever required.
Organization Of Arab Petroleum Exporting Countries
• What Does OAPEC Mean?
• Organization Of Arab Petroleum Exporting Countries (OAPEC) is an
inter-governmental organization based in Kuwait. OAPEC fosters
cooperation among its 11-member Arab oil-exporting nations.
• OAPEC was established in 1968 by Kuwait, Libya, and Saudi Arabia.
Its other members include Algeria, Bahrain, Egypt, Iraq, Qatar, Syria,
Tunisia, and the United Arab Emirates.
• Although they have several members in common, OAPEC is a
separate and distinct entity from OPEC (the Organization of the
Petroleum Exporting Countries), the 12-nation cartel that plays a
pivotal role in determining global petroleum prices.
• OAPEC sponsors joint ventures for its member countries to promote
the effective use of resources and the economic integration of Arab
North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO)
• NATO (the North Atlantic Treaty Organization) is an international alliance that
consists of 29 member states from North America and Europe. It was established at
the signing of the North Atlantic Treaty on 4 April 1949..
• It includes the United States, most European Union members, Canada, and Turkey.
• The North Atlantic Treaty Organization was created in 1949 by the United States,
Canada, and several Western European nations to provide collective security
against the Soviet Union.
• NATO was the first peacetime military alliance the United States entered into
outside of the Western Hemisphere.
• NATO is an acronym for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.
• NATO's 28 members are:
• Albania, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia,
France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg,
Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Turkey,
United Kingdom, and the United States.
• On December 1, 2015, NATO announced its first expansion since 2009. It offered
membership to Montenegro making it 29 members.
• Russia responded by calling the move a strategic threat to its national security.
• The United States contributes three-fourths of NATO's budget.
• During the 2016 presidential campaign, Donald Trump said other
NATO members should spend more on their military.
• Only four countries reach the targeted spending of 2 percent of gross
domestic product.
• They are the United States, the United Kingdom, Greece, and Estonia.
• NATO summit, President Trump requested that NATO nations
increase their defence spending to 4 percent of GDP.
• In 2017, the United States spent 4.5 percent. That's $886 billion in military
spending divided by $20 trillion in U.S. GDP.
• Trump also criticized Germany for asking the United States to protect it from
Russia while importing billions in natural gas from it.
• Trump has accused NATO of being obsolete. He argued that the organization
focuses on defending Europe against Russia instead of combating terrorism.
• Member countries worry that Trump's criticism of NATO and praise of Russia's
leader, Vladimir Putin, mean they can no longer rely on the United States as an
ally in case of attack.
Purpose :
• NATO's mission is to protect the freedom of its members. Its targets include
weapons of mass destruction, terrorism, and cyber attacks.
• NATO approved new steps to contain Russia. These include two new
military commands and expanded efforts against cyberwarfare and
• It also contains a new plan to deter Russian aggression against Poland
and the Baltic States. Trump agreed to these measures.
• On July 8, 2016, NATO announced it would send up to 4,000 troops to
the Baltic states and eastern Poland. It increased air and sea patrols
to shore up its eastern front after Russia's attack on Ukraine.
• On November 16, 2015, NATO responded to the terrorist attacks in
• It called for a unified approach with the European Union, France, and
• That would be a formal declaration of war upon the Islamic state group.
France preferred to launch air strikes on its own.
• Nato’s Article 5 states, "an armed attack upon one... shall be considered
an attack upon them all."
• The only time NATO invoked Article 5 was after the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
• NATO responded to U.S. requests for help in the War in Afghanistan.
• It took the lead from August 2003 to December 2014.
• If the stability is threatened, NATO would defend non-members. On
August 28, 2014, NATO announced it had photos proving that Russia
invaded Ukraine.
• Although Ukraine is not a member, it had worked with NATO over the
Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC)
• Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), political and economic alliance of six Middle
Eastern countries—Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar,
Bahrain, and Oman.
• The GCC was established in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, in May 1981.
• The purpose of the GCC is to achieve unity among its members based on
their common objectives and their similar political and cultural identities,
which are rooted in Arab and Islamic cultures.
• Presidency of the council rotates annually.
• Arguably the most important article of the GCC charter is Article 4, which
states that the alliance was formed to strengthen relations among its
member countries and to promote cooperation among the countries’
• The GCC also has a defense planning council that coordinates military cooperation
between member countries.
• The highest decision-making entity of the GCC is the Supreme Council, which meets on an
annual basis and consists of GCC heads of state. Decisions of the Supreme Council are
adopted by unanimous approval.
• The Ministerial Council, made up of foreign ministers or other government officials, meets
every three months to implement the decisions of the Supreme Council and to propose new
• The administrative arm of the alliance is the office of the Secretariat-General, which
monitors policy implementation and arranges meetings. GCC agreements typically focus
on either security or economic coordination.
• In terms of security coordination, policies have included the creation of the Peninsula
Shield Force in 1984, a joint military venture based in Saudi Arabia, and the signing of an
intelligence-sharing pact in 2004.
• The first significant deployment of the Peninsula Shield Force was in 2011 in Bahrain to
guard government infrastructure against an uprising there during the Arab Spring protests.
• While membership of the GCC remained consistent throughout its first several
decades, changes in regional relationships sometimes led to speculation on
changes in membership.
• Expansion appeared possible when the interests of Gulf countries aligned with
those of other Arab states. Jordan and Morocco, two other Arab monarchies, were
invited to join the GCC in 2011, in the midst of the Arab Spring uprisings.
• Morocco declined, while Jordan’s application remained delayed because of
internal GCC disagreements.
• Conflicting interests at times led to rifts. Egypt and fellow GCC members Saudi
Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Bahrain instated a blockade against Qatar
in 2017.
• In December 2018 Qatar’s head of state skipped the GCC’s annual summit and
sent an envoy instead.
The Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC)
• The Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) is the second largest inter-governmental
organisation after the United Nations, with the membership of 57 states, covering four
• The OIC is the collective voice of the Muslim world to ensure and safeguard their
interest on economic socio and political areas.
• The OIC has Institutions, which implement its programmes.
• Its Headquarters is in Jeddah, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.


• The Islamic Summit includes Kings, Heads of State and the Governments of Member
States, and is the OIC's supreme authority.
• It convenes once every three years to deliberate, take policy decisions, provide guidance
on issues pertaining to the realization of objectives and consider other issues of concern
to Member States and the Ummah.
• The Council of Foreign Ministers meets once a year and considers the means for
the implementation of the OIC's general policy by adopting decisions and
resolutions on matters of common interest in the implementation of the OIC's
objectives and general policy, and reviewing progress in the implementation of
decisions and resolutions adopted at previous Islamic Summits and Councils of
Foreign Ministers. The CFM considers and approves the programme.

• The General Secretariat is the OIC's executive organ and is entrusted with
implementing the decisions of the OIC decision- making bodies. It is led by the
Secretary General. The General Secretariat is composed of several departments
that enhance the day-to-day operations of the OIC.
Defining Borders, Borderlands and Frontiers
• In order to discuss these issues it is useful to present somewhat general
definition of these terms.
• Boundary- a demarcation indicating some division in spatial terms
• Border- an international boundary line; when a border is seen as a zone it is often
called a borderland or the borderlands
• Frontier- a zone of contact with or without a specified boundary line

• The term borderlands straddles the distinction between frontier and border and is
often used as a synonym for frontier as a zone.
• The contemporary concept of a border as a sharp, precise line stems from two
sources. First is the Peace of Westphalia (1648), which established the modern
nation-state system under which a state had full sovereign control of the lands and
peoples within its borders.
• The second source is the development of private property as a concept, in which
one individual, or state, had exclusive rights to land or territory. While in the early
twenty-first century these conditions are taken as "normal" or "natural".
• Rather, the idea of a border as a precise line grew out of the needs of states to
define boundaries.
• In premodern times, that is, approximately before the sixteenth century, land was
most often thought of as a resource to which individuals, or more typically
groups, had rights to use.
• In many non state societies, if the individual or group did not use the land—
usually for a considerable time—then they lost their use rights.
• From the development of the first states some five thousand years ago until the
early twenty-first century, though abating somewhat since the Peace of Westphalia
(1648), land could be, and often was, seized by conquest.
• To be ethical, such seizures often needed some sort of justification, such as a "just
war," reparation for previous harm done, or evidence of illegitimate use by those
from whom the land was seized. states did develop a territorial sense and became
concerned with boundaries, borders, borderlands, and frontiers.
• A primary concern, however, was control, mainly political and economic but
sometimes also social and cultural. Even constructed barriers, such as the Great
Wall of China or Hadrian's Wall in northern Scotland that marked the edge of the
Roman Empire, barriers that did constitute explicit boundaries, were primarily
used to control movements of peoples and goods.
• They were seldom intended as absolute barriers.
• Such walls and other barriers were often constructed with military and control
functions in mind. They served to regulate interactions between the state or empire
and the surrounding groups, whether those were other empires, states, or nonstate
Frontier as Membrane
• These sorts of considerations led the historian Richard W. Slatta to describe
frontiers as membranes. This is a singularly appropriate metaphor for frontiers
and to somewhat lesser extent for borders, borderlands, and boundaries.
Membranes are differentially permeable with respect to what may pass through
them and what is blocked.
• Their permeability often is different for opposite directions. That is, some goods
are allowed to pass, say horses entering China from the central Asian steppes and
silk leaving. Other things, such as armies, are not allowed to pass.
• Horses came into China but seldom left, unless mounted by soldiers seeking
retribution for raids; silk left China but seldom came in. Membranes have
thickness. When viewed from a distance they seem thin, almost like lines. When
viewed up close they are zones through which objects, people, and ideas may
Borderlands and Frontiers as Zones of Ethnic
• Because borderlands and frontiers are zones between different human
organizations, they are also zones of intense interactions of objects, peoples,
and ideas.
• These interactions can range from very peaceful, mutually beneficial
relationships to incessant warfare. Oftentimes, several types of interactions
along the range from peaceful to warlike can occur simultaneously.
• For instance, along the northern frontier of Spain (what is now the
southwestern United States) various indigenous groups would have peaceful
trading relationships with some Spanish villages while they were raiding
others. short, frontiers are zones of intense interactions, often of several
types at the same time.
• These interactions can change rapidly with local circumstances. This locally
variable volatility is a special characteristic of frontiers and borderlands.
The Puzzle of Borderlands and Frontiers

• These complications give rise to yet another, enduring aspect of

borders, borderlands, and frontiers.
• On first glance they all seem the same or certainly similar. But with
closer examination, each border region seems unique.
• This puzzling aspect of frontiers has fascinated and frustrated scholars
who study frontiers comparatively.
• The location, extent, duration, and changes in any specific frontier
zone entail a complex mixture of factors external to the frontier zone
and local factors, all mediated by the actions of the peoples who live
in the frontier zone.
• The broad similarity among frontiers derives from the small number of factors, in the
following example numbering five, that shape most frontiers:
• the types of groups that come into interaction (three types: nonstate, tributary [or
ancient] states or empires, or capitalist [or modern] states);
• the type of boundary involved (four types: local economic, political or military, long-
distance economic, and cultural);
• the types of nonstate groups (three types, such as those conventionally labeled bands,
tribes, or chiefdoms);
• the type of frontier (four types: buffer, barrier, internal, or external); and
• the type of ecological environment (four types: steppe, sown, hill, or valley).
• These few factors, when divided into only a few basic categories, will
generate 576 different types of frontiers.
• This immense variety—which could easily be expanded with finer
categorization—explains why each specific frontier seems unique.
• The point of this example is not the specific list of factors north number
of specific categories into which they are divided.
Borders, Borderlands, and Frontiers as Sites of Social Change:
• Because of the various complex interactions that occur along borders, in
borderlands, and on frontiers, such places are very fertile areas for
studying how social, political, economic, and cultural changes occur and
how individuals and groups both shape and are shaped by those changes.
• They are zones where the local and the global interact very intensely and
hence exhibit processes that are rarely, if ever, seen in more central areas.
• This is another reason why the study of borderlands and frontiers is often
so fascinating to scholars.
Borderlands and Frontiers as Metaphors
• No discussion of borders, borderlands, and frontiers would be complete
without some attention to the metaphorical use of these terms.
• Most readers of English are familiar with such phrases as "the frontiers of
medicine," "the frontiers of science," and "space, the final frontier."
• Behind these metaphors is a state-centered view of borders, borderlands,
and frontiers in which such areas mark a zone of transition from well-
known territory under control of the state to little-known territory not
under control of the state.
• This metaphor breaks down, however, if pushed too far. Spatial frontiers
most often had residents on the other side who were obviously not
unknown to themselves.
• Indeed, at first contact, from each side (and there often are or were
borders or frontiers with more than two sides) the other side(s) seemed
unknown and were seen as strange or mysterious by the other side
• Thus concepts of borders, borderlands, and frontiers seem at first glance
straightforward, simple, and clear.
• Yet when examined more closely, they are mysterious, complex, and
• This is why they are often regions of such fascination to scholars and
thinkers in many disciplines.
• Also because of their transitional qualities, they are often excellent sites
to study a wide variety of social, cultural, political, and economic change.

Politics of Globalization
• Traditionally politics has been undertaken within national political systems.
• National governments have been ultimately responsible for maintaining the
security and economic welfare of their citizens, as well as the protection of
human rights and the environment within their borders.
• With global ecological changes, an ever more integrated global economy, and
other global trends, political activity increasingly takes place at the global
• Under globalization, politics can take place above the state through political
integration of schemes such as the European Union and through
intergovernmental organizations such as the International Monetary Fund, the
World Bank and the World Trade Organization.
• Political activity can also transcend national borders through global
movements and NGOs.
• Civil society organizations act globally by forming alliances with
organizations in other countries, using global communications systems, and
lobbying international organizations and other actors directly, instead of
working through their national governments.
• A backlash against globalization has led to widespread political movements
hostile both to economic integration and to existing political institutions
throughout the advanced industrial world.
• Openness to the movement of goods, capital, and people has had important
distributional effects.
• These effects have been particularly marked in communities dependent upon
traditional manufacturing, some of which have experienced a downward
spiral from the direct economic effects of foreign competition through
broader economic decline to serious social problems.
• Political discontent has been central to the globalization backlash.
• Dissatisfaction has taken the form of large increases in voting for extremist
political parties, the emergence of new parties and movements, and challenges
from within existing parties.
• Large numbers of voters have rejected existing political institutions, parties, and
politicians, often in favor of “populists” of the Right or Left whose common
themes include skepticism about economic integration and resentment of ruling
• In the United States, both Bernard Sanders and Donald Trump ran on programs
that were openly hostile to international trade, investment, and finance; Trump
also campaigned in favor of tighter controls on immigration.
• A substantial and growing literature seeks to clarify how the distributional impact
of globalization affects politics.
• The general conclusion is that groups and regions harmed by greater
exposure to the international economy are more likely to vote for
populist and extreme political parties and candidates, and for
measures to reduce globalization.
• Most studies emphasize the impact of trade in manufactured
products, especially with low-wage developing countries, for it is this
trade that is expected, both theoretically and empirically, to have 5
the most prominent negative effects on workers in North America and
Western Europe.
• Increased exposure to Chinese imports into Western European countries is
associated with more nationalistic voting, and more votes for extreme right-wing
parties (Colantone and Stanig 2017).
• In France specifically, regions more affected by low-wage import competition
from developing countries were significantly more likely to vote for the National
Front, an extremist party hostile to both globalization and European integration,
and this effect has grown over time.
• In the United Kingdom, exposure to Chinese import competition has been
associated with a rise in authoritarian values, especially aggression born of
frustration (Ballard-Rosa et al. 2017).
• Voting on the referendum to leave the European Union (“Brexit”) was also
affected by susceptibility to trade.
• While some supporters of Brexit saw it as freeing the UK from the
European Union’s strictures on economic activity, surveys indicate
that a substantial proportion of Brexit voters saw it as a way to limit
economic ties with the rest of Europe, including immigration.
• In fact, areas harder hit by trade competition, in particular from China,
were more likely to vote to leave the EU.
• Many regions in the United States have experienced job losses and
reduced wages due to the China Shock, and more generally to low-
wage imports from developing countries.
• These regions have become more politically polarized since 2000.
• More generally, and importantly, job losses due to trade have twice as
large a negative impact on votes for incumbent politicians than job
losses for other reasons.
• Americans often blame globalization for job insecurity, due largely to the employment
effects of low-wage foreign competition.
• At the same time, it is also common for Americans to blame globalization for the
increasing disparities between the middle class and the top 10 percent or 1 percent of
American society.
• Bankers, corporate executives, and professionals in the internationalized segments of the
American economy are seen as having taken great advantage of their global ties, while
leaving the middle and working classes behind.
• Skill-biased technological change certainly has put downward pressure on the earnings of
unskilled and semi-skilled workers, and (probably fruitless) debates continue over the
relative importance of trade and technological change.
• Nonetheless, technological change is not typically a policy variable, while trade and other
international economic activities are; in addition, a focus on trade appeals to many –
including many politicians – because it appears to push some of the costs of globalization
onto foreigners.
Trans-Atlanic Alliance
• Transatlantic relations refer to the historic, cultural, political, economic and social
relations between countries on both side of the Atlantic Ocean.
• The United Kingdom has played a key role in strengthening the transatlantic alliance.
• Sometimes it specifically means relationships between the Anglophone North
American countries (the United States and Canada), and particular European
countries or organizations, although other meanings are possible.
• There are a number of issues over which the United States and Europe generally
• Some of these are cultural, such as the U.S. use of the death penalty, some are
international issues such as the Middle East peace process where the United States
is often seen as pro-Israel and where Europe is often seen as pro-Arab, and many
others are trade related.
• The current U.S. policies are often described as being unilateral in nature, whereas
the European Union and Canada are often said to take a more multilateral approach,
relying more on the United Nations and other international institutions to help solve
• There are many other issues upon which they agree.
• Transatlantic relations can refer to relations between individual states or to
relations between groups of states or international organizations with
other groups or with states, or within one group. For example:
• Within a group:
• Intra-NATO relations
• e.g. Canada–NATO relations
• Between groups:
• EU - North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) relations
• European Free Trade Area (EFTA) - NAFTA relations
• Transatlantic Free Trade Area (theoretical)
• CARIFORUM - European Commission (Economic Partnership Agreements)
• Between a group and a state:
• Canada–European Union relations
• United States–European Union relations
• Canada - EFTA Free Trade Agreement
Trans Atlantic Alliance-Current Scenario
• The transatlantic alliance, a pillar of the post-World War II international
order, is living through difficult times.
• Many of the current tensions between the United States and Europe —
though certainly not all — have been caused by US President Donald J.
Trump’s statements and policies.
• By considering the withdrawal of the United States from NATO, imposing
tariffs on European imports, calling the European Union (EU) a “foe,” and
reneging on his commitment to keep US troops in Syria, Trump has not
only sparked tensions between the United States and its European allies,
he has also triggered concerns over whether he would honor
Washington’s security commitment toward them.
• These have lost trust of large parts of the European public to do the right
thing on the international stage.
• In the wake of these developments, some Europeans are debating
whether the EU and its member states should pursue a path of
strategic autonomy, which would include greater independence from
the United States in its foreign and security policies.
• An October 2017 commentary in the liberal German paper Die Zeit
called for a “post-Atlantic” foreign policy.
• A year later, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas advocated for
reforming Europe’s relationship with the United States, including
acting as a counterweight when the United States crosses red lines.
Anti-Americanism of Europe
• Anti-Americanism (also called anti-American sentiment and
Americanophobia) is a sentiment that espouses a dislike of or opposition to
the American government or its policies, especially in regards to its foreign
policy, or to Americans in general.
• Political scientist Brendon O'Connor of the United States Studies Centre in
Australia suggests that "anti-Americanism" cannot be isolated as a
consistent phenomenon, since the term originated as a rough composite of
stereotypes, prejudices, and criticisms evolving to more politically-based
• French scholar Marie-France Toinet says use of the term "anti-Americanism"
is "only fully justified if it implies systematic opposition – a sort of allergic
reaction – to America as a whole."
• Discussions on anti-Americanism have in most cases lacked a precise
explanation of what the sentiment entails (other than a general disfavour),
which has led to the term being used broadly and in an impressionistic
manner, resulting in the inexact impressions of the many expressions
described as anti-American.
• Author William Russell Melton described that criticism for the United
States largely originates from the perception that the U.S. wants to act as a
"world policeman.“
• Negative or critical views of the United States' influence are widespread in
Russia, Serbia, the Middle East, Cuba, Venezuela, and North Korea, but
remain low in Vietnam, Israel, the Philippines, Sub-Saharan Africa, South
Korea, and certain countries in central and eastern Europe.
• In a poll conducted in 2017 by the BBC World Service of 19 countries, four of
the countries rated U.S. influence positively, while 14 leaned negatively, and
one was divided.
• Anti-Americanism has risen in recent years in the European Union, mostly in
western, northern and southern Europe; it remains low in certain countries in
central and eastern Europe.
Some of the most common criticisms of the United States involve:
U.S. foreign policy
• American wars and perceived imperialism, especially in connection with the
2003 invasion of Iraq and the Vietnam War
• Selectivity in resolving various global problems (global warming, disease, wars
in Africa)
• The refusal of the United States to sign various international treaties including
the Kyoto Protocol, the Ottawa Treaty on landmines, and some proposed
agreements to limit the weaponization of space
• Support for military dictatorships and totalitarian governments during and
after the Cold War such as that of Augusto Pinochet in Chile.
• Criticism of American economic sanctions and embargoes toward various
countries, including Cuba and Iran, whilst maintaining commercial relations
with countries such as China.
• Selective preferences given to allies of the United States in international
institutions, especially involving issues like nuclear proliferation and Israel
• American exceptionalism regarding international institutions such as the
International Criminal Court and international law, together with domestic
anti-terrorism laws.
U.S. domestic policy
• American policies which diverge from those of other developed countries,
including the health care, public education, illicit drugs, and gun control
• American social problems, including high rates of imprisonment and
• The continued use of capital punishment, or, conversely, excessive leniency
towards criminals.
• Claims of continued high levels of racism and discrimination in American
Economic issues
• Perceptions that the United States was the key inspiration for globalization
and neo-liberal free trade policy
• Criticisms of the ethical standards of certain American corporations
• A lack of social welfare and income redistribution policies relative to other
industrialized nations
Unit. II
Geo Politics of Mid Eurasia
• Central Asia and New Silk Road
• Commercial traffic between Europe and Asia took place along the Silk
Road from at least the 2nd millennium BC.
• The Silk Road was not a specific thoroughfare, but a general route used by
traders to travel, much of it by land, between the two continents along
the Eurasian Steppes through Central Asia.
• The route was used to exchange goods, ideas and people primarily
between China and India and the Mediterranean and helped create a
single-world system of trade between the civilisations of Europe and Asia
• The New Silk Road was an initiative of the United States for Central Asia
and Afghanistan, which aimed to integrate the region and boost its
potential as a transit area between Europe and East Asia.
• The initiative was announced by U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in
2011 in a speech in Chennai.
• The New Silk Road initiative would have linked Central and South Asia
in four key areas:
• Regional Energy Markets, Trade and Transport, Customs and Border
Operations, Businesses and People-to-People.
• However, the initiative never got off the ground.
• The term "New Silk Road" is now commonly used by journalists to
refer to China's Belt and Road Initiative.
• The Eurasian Land Bridge, sometimes called the New Silk Road, or
Belt and Road Initiative is the rail transport route for moving freight
and passengers overland between Pacific seaports in the Russian Far
East and China and seaports in Europe.
• The route, a transcontinental railroad and rail land bridge, currently
comprises the Trans-Siberian Railway, which runs through Russia and is
sometimes called the Northern East-West Corridor, and the New Eurasian
Land Bridge or Second Eurasian Continental Bridge, running through China
and Kazakhstan.
• As of November 2015, about 1% of the $600 billion in goods shipped from
Asia to Europe each year were delivered by inland transport routes.
• China's rail system had long linked to the Trans-Siberian via north-eastern
China and Mongolia.
• In 1990 China added a link between its rail system and the Trans-Siberian
via Kazakhstan. China calls its uninterrupted rail link between the port city
of Lianyungang and Kazakhstan the New Eurasian Land Bridge or Second
Eurasian Continental Bridge.
• In addition to Kazakhstan, the railways connect with other countries in
Central Asia and the Middle East, including Iran.
• With the October 2013 completion of the rail link across the Bosphorus
under the Marmaray project the New Eurasian Land Bridge now
theoretically connects to Europe via Central and South Asia.
• Proposed expansion of the Eurasian Land Bridge includes construction of a
railway across Kazakhstan that is the same gauge as Chinese railways, rail
links to India, Burma, Thailand, Malaysia and elsewhere in Southeast Asia,
construction of a rail tunnel and highway bridge across the Bering Strait to
connect the Trans-Siberian to the North American rail system, and
construction of a rail tunnel between South Korea and Japan.
• The United Nations has proposed further expansion of the Eurasian Land
Bridge, including the Trans-Asian Railway project.
Geo-Political Value of Afghanistan
• Afghanistan is no stranger to conflict. It has suffered numerous civil, regional
and cross-regional wars over the past three millennia
• The security and defence of the country depended on militias for a long part of
its history but started to develop its formal military in the tenth century, during
the Ghaznavid Empire.
• By the 1980s, Afghanistan had a small, but strong military.
• As a landlocked and mountainous country, it depended heavily on its air force
for transport, reconnaissance and close air support.
• It had more than 400 aircraft, including around 240 fixed-wing combat aircraft,
150 helicopters and perhaps 40 transport aircraft.
• In August 2003, NATO took command of the International Security Assistance
Force (ISAF), mandated by the United Nations (UN).
• Over the following decade of ISAF’s deployment, building up the Afghan
national security and defence forces became an increasingly important part its
• As a landlocked country neighboring China, Pakistan, Iran and Central Asian
countries, Afghanistan has significant geostrategic and geopolitical
• It is the only country in the region which gives open access to the United
States and NATO Allies.
• The Khyber Pass, located between Afghanistan and Pakistan, has long been
one of the most important trade routes and strategic military locations in
the world.
• Moreover, the Silk Road passes through Afghanistan.
• This ancient network of trade routes, 4000 miles long, is known as the
cultural crossroads of the Indian, Persian and Chinese civilisations.
• Insecurity and instability in Afghanistan would destabilise the region and
provide fertile ground for terrorist groups, posing a threat to Allies and
• Afghanistan also faces immense economic and development challenges.
• The country is rich in natural resources, gas, minerals and oil (worth more
than a trillion US dollars according to some estimates).
• But insecurity and war has limited opportunities to explore and extract
these resources, and Afghanistan remains among the poorest countries of
the world.
• Combined with insecurity, lack of economic opportunities are driving many
Afghans to flee the country.
• According to the office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, more
than a quarter of the one million refugees and migrants who arrived in
Europe in 2015 were Afghans (coming second after Syrians).
• Helping Afghanistan establish peace and to grow its economy could help
stem the flow of refugees, which represents a brain drain for Afghanistan
and also risks destabilizing the European Union.
• So, it is well worth sustaining investment in the development of
Afghanistan as well as its security forces.
• NATO’s upcoming summit meeting in Warsaw in July 2016 is an
opportunity for NATO and its partners to renew their commitment to
long-term support for the further development of the Afghan security
• It is in the interest of both the Allies and Afghan people.
Pathan Homeland: Durand Line
• Pashtūnistān meaning the "land of Pashtuns" is the geographic historical region
inhabited by the indigenous Pashtun people of modern-day Afghanistan and
Pakistan, wherein Pashtun culture, language, and national identity have been
• Alternative names historically used for the region include "Pashtūnkhwā" and
• For administrative division in 1893, Mortimer Durand drew the Durand Line through
Pashtunistan, fixing the limits of the spheres of influence between Afghanistan and
British India and leaving about half of the Pashtun territory under British rule.
• This Durand Line forms the modern border between Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Roughly, the Pashtun homeland stretches from areas south of the Amu River in
Afghanistan to west of the Indus River in Pakistan, mainly consisting of
southwestern, eastern and some northern and western districts of Afghanistan, and
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and northern Balochistan in Pakistan.
• Afghanistan was considered by the British as an independent state at the time
although the British controlled its foreign affairs and diplomatic relations.
• The Durand Line left about half of the Pashtun homeland under British rule.
• In 1901, the Pashtun-majority North-West Frontier Province was formally created
by the British administration on the British side of the Durand Line, although the
princely states of Swat, Dir, Chitral, and Amb were allowed to maintained their
autonomy under the terms of maintaining friendly ties with the British.
• The Waziristanis and other tribes, however, continued to resist British occupation
even after Afghanistan had signed a peace treaty with the British.
• The single-page agreement, dated 12 November 1893, contains seven short
articles, including a commitment not to exercise interference beyond the
Durand Line.
• A joint British-Afghan demarcation survey took place starting from 1894,
covering some 800 miles (1,300 km) of the border.
• Established towards the close of the British-Russian "Great Game", the
resulting line established Afghanistan as a buffer zone between British and
Russian interests in the region.
• The line, as slightly modified by the Anglo-Afghan Treaty of 1919, was
inherited by Pakistan in 1947, following its independence.
• The Durand Line cuts through the Pashtunistan and Balochistan
regions, politically dividing ethnic Pashtuns and Baloch, who live on
both sides of the border.
• It demarcates Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Balochistan and Gilgit-Baltistan
of northern and western Pakistan from the northeastern, eastern, and
southern provinces of Afghanistan. From a geopolitical and
geostrategic perspective, it has been described as one of the most
dangerous borders in the world.
• Although the Durand Line is internationally recognized as the western
border of Pakistan, it remains largely unrecognized by Afghanistan.
• The Heartland Theory
• Definition - In 1904, Sir Halford Mackinder published the Heartland
theory. The theory proposed that whoever controls Eastern Europe
controls the Heartland. Whoever controls Heart Land controls the World.
It also supported the concept of world dominance
• Explanation - A more revised version explains that whoever controls the
heartland, controls the world island. Whoever controls the World Island,
will soon rule the world.
• In other words, the group or nation who dominates the heartland, can
then extend its domination over a far wider area.
• The heartland has primarily Central Asia, the high seas, and Eurasia. Which
is inaccessible.
• He divided the World into three Zones:
• World Island: Asia, Africa and Europe: Resource Rich, most populous
and largest regions of the world.
• Offshore Island: The British Isles and Japanese Islands
• Outlying Islands: North America and South America and Australia.
3. The Heartland Theory

• Example - The Nazi party was in favor of the concept during World War
• The idea was very popular with the party, and they sought to achieve it.
• Also, the theory was accepted by the Soviet Union during the Cold War.
• Each nation made great territorial strides toward the heartland.
5. The Rimland Theory
• Definition - In 1942, Nichols. J. Spykman created a theory which
countered Mackinder’s Heartland theory.
• Spykman stated that Eurasia’s rim land, the coastal areas, is the key to
controlling the World Island
• ER: West Europe, Middle East, Asiatic Areas
• Explanation - The rim land contains the Heartland. Whoever would
control the rim land, would eventually control the World Island.
Whoever would control the World Island would soon control the world
• The Reason being the theory: The Eurasian Rim controls the World
• Power does not come from Heartland.
• 6. The Rimland Theory
• Example - His theory was influential mainly during the Cold War.
• The Soviet Union desired to control the rim land around them. If
accomplished, the Soviet Union would control the heartland, rim
land, and the World Island

• The Reason behind the theory:

• The theory was created during post world war.2 and pre cold war.
• Three super powers at time included US, Russia and China.
• Predicted that 50 years from 1938 the world would have EU united.
• Would have US, India, China and USSR as big world powers.
The Pros of the theory:
• It proves the spykman was ahead of time.
• It is accurate in world’s current economic trade/ways.
• Suggested sea power is more valuable for success/trade in countries.
• Proved states with both land and sea had less security and more
• China is successful because of land and seas access and being part of
Two Contradictory Theories:

• Theorist Mackinder said that any country in Eurasia can own power.
• Spykmen believed whoever contributed Rimland of Eurasia controlled
The Caucasus:
• The Caucasus or Caucasia is an area situated between the Black Sea and the
Caspian Sea and mainly occupied by Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia and
• It is home to the Caucasus Mountains, including the Greater Caucasus
mountain range, which has historically been considered a natural barrier
between Eastern Europe and Western Asia.
• Europe's highest mountain, Mount Elbrus, at 5,642 metres (18,510 ft) is
located in the west part of the Greater Caucasus mountain range.
• The Caucasus region is separated into northern and southern parts – the
North Caucasus (Ciscaucasus) and Transcaucasus (South Caucasus),
• The Greater Caucasus mountain range in the north is mostly shared by
Russia and Georgia, as well as the northernmost parts of Azerbaijan.
• The Lesser Caucasus mountain range in the south is occupied by several
independent states, namely, mostly by Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia.
• The Ciscaucasus contains most of the Greater Caucasus mountain range.
• It consists of Southern Russia, mainly the North Caucasian Federal
District's autonomous republics, and the northernmost parts of Georgia
and Azerbaijan.
• The Ciscaucasus lies between the Black Sea to its west, the Caspian Sea
to its east, and borders the Southern Federal District to its north.
• The two Federal Districts are collectively referred to as "Southern
• The Transcaucasus borders the Greater Caucasus range and Southern
Russia to its north, the Black Sea and Turkey to its west, the Caspian Sea
to its east, and Iran to its south.
• It contains the Lesser Caucasus mountain range and surrounding
• All of Armenia, Azerbaijan (excluding the northernmost parts) and
Georgia (excluding the northernmost parts) are in the South Caucasus.
• Up to and including the early 19th century, the Southern Caucasus and
southern Dagestan all formed part of the Persian Empire.
• In 1813 and 1828 by the Treaty of Gulistan and the Treaty of Turkmenchay
respectively, the Persians were forced to irrevocably cede the Southern
Caucasus and Dagestan to Imperial Russia.
• In the ensuing years after these gains, the Russians took the remaining part of
the Southern Caucasus, comprising western Georgia, through several wars
from the Ottoman Empire.
• In the second half of the 19th century, the Russian Empire also conquered the
Northern Caucasus.
• In the aftermath of the Caucasian Wars, an ethnic cleansing of Circassians
was performed by Russia in which the indigenous peoples of this region,
mostly Circassians, were expelled from their homeland and forced to move
primarily to the Ottoman Empire.
China Russian Relations:
• China–Russia relations, also known as Sino-Russian relations, refers to
international relations between the People's Republic of China and the
Russian Federation.
• Diplomatic relations between China and Russia dramatically improved after
the dissolution of the Soviet Union and the establishment of the Russian
Federation in 1991.
• With the collapse of the Soviet Union, that de facto US–China alliance
ended, and a China–Russia rapprochement began.
• In 1992, the two countries declared that they were pursuing a "constructive
partnership"; in 1996, they progressed toward a "strategic partnership"; and
in 2001, they signed a treaty of "friendship and cooperation."
• The two countries share a long land border which was demarcated in 1991,
and they signed a Treaty of Good-Neighborliness and Friendly Cooperation
in 2001.
• The two countries have been enjoying close partnership militarily, economically,
politically and culturally, while sharing the same stance and supporting each other in
numerous global issues.
• China and the USSR were rivals after the Sino-Soviet split in 1961, competing for
control of the worldwide Communist movement. There was a serious possibility of a
major war in the early 1960s; a brief border war took place in 1969.
• This enmity began to lessen after the death of Mao Zedong in 1976, but relations
were poor until the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991.
• In 2001, the close relations between the two countries were formalized with the
Treaty of Good-Neighborliness and Friendly Cooperation, a twenty-year strategic,
economic, and – controversially and arguably – an implicit military treaty.
• The PRC is currently a key purchaser and licensee of Russian military equipment,
some of which has been instrumental in the modernization of the People's
Liberation Army. It is also a main beneficiary of the Russian Eastern Siberia – Pacific
Ocean oil pipeline.
• Policymakers in both countries have actively tried to strengthen trade ties in
recent years.
• And it's no coincidence that this surge in Russia-China trade has come at the
same time that the US has tightened sanctions on Russia and concerns about the
US-China trade war have intensified.
• By 2019, both nations had serious grievances with the United States. For China
the issues were control of the South China Sea, trade policies, and piracy of
American technology.
• For Russia, the main issue was severe Economic penalties imposed by the US
and Europe to punish its seizure of Crimea from Ukraine.
• China and Russia differ on some policies.
• China does not recognize Russia's annexation of Crimea, and Russia does not
support China's claims in the South China Sea.
• Nevertheless, China and Russia pulled together on the best terms since the late
• There was no formal alliance, but an informal agreement to coordinate
diplomatic and economic moves, and build up an alliance against the United
• Though there is no overt ideological alignment between Russia and
China today, the two governments share a hostility to dissent, deep
suspicion of Western interference and a strong desire to impose tighter
controls over their own societies.
• China was inspired by Russia’s legislation cracking down on
nongovernmental organizations, while Russian officials have expressed
admiration for China’s comprehensive internet censorship and “social
credit” plan to rank citizens based on their loyalty and behavior.