Free «Peacekeeping Through Economic Development» Essay
Peace can be described as a quality that defines a state of a society that is devoid of animosity or the existence of restored tranquility as far as socio-economic welfare is concerned . Peace is hard to exhaustively define and determine but it may be categorically classified as rhetoric or reality. Instances of rhetoric peace may be exemplified by a country or society being in a state of absence of war albeit there is more lacking. That is a also a case of negative peace. It is a pointer that there are things of paramount importance that are lacking in that particular community or nation that have not been given precedence. Positive peace is the only way that negative peace can be eliminated. Achieving this would cement a concrete status quo to replace negative peace which is a volatile one. Positive peace is not established by use of firepower to take charge of a war torn country such as when the Nigerian took charge of Liberia in 2003. It peace encompasses economic development of a society/nation. Other elements that would require an absolute overhaul is a change in the political and social fundamentals in the affected country (Boulding, 2007).
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The employment of incentives is more likely to yield voluntary in behaviour of an individual. This is converse to the use of force that compels the one subjected to it to unwillingly alter his/her behaviour. This is when an economic pact comes into play especially if the nexus of the conflict was an economic one. Such pacts play a vital role in averting the reiteration of violence as they create a sense of pecuniary security in the minds of the populace. It is therefore indisputable that economic development is a powerful tool that can effectively install, maintain and sustain the healing process in a country in the wake of positive peace. This approach can effectively annihilate structural violence to yield unprecedented tranquility in the hardest hit nations across the globe ( Coulomb, 2006).
Positive identification of economic incentives that can be used to maintain positive peace is a task that should be executed meticulously. Both interstate and intrastate peace is important and none should be ignored. One of the ways to achieve this is by establishment of equitable economic ties between countries. A cordial economic relationship tends to coalesce interests of different parties and has a cohesive effect based on their common interests. Violation of these expectations is tantamount to instigating war or elevating structural violence to a full scale war. There have been conflicting reasons for the U.S invasion into Iraq. The most salient and prominent of the reasons among the speculated ones is the desire to have control over the economic asset in Iraq: crude oil. Therefore, the nature of economic relationship between nations with a common interest would either avert prospects of war or instigate the phenomenon (Coulomb, 2006).
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One-sided economic relationships are inevitable bound to spark animosity and antagonism by the marginalized party. The marginalized party becomes disgruntled and feels shortchanged when the other party gets the lion’s share of the benefits. This is regardless of what the marginalized party gets as long as it is not an equal share to that of the exploitative side in the economic tie. Instances of exploitation or even a modicum of such a perception of this nature can profoundly disrupt peace in a society. This can be aggravated if the victim of these circumstances experiences absolutely no gain from such a relationship. The inherently unfair economic relationship compels the victim to seek non diplomatic avenues to address the issue. They would therefore resort to violent means that would guarantee the obliteration of the exploitative pact. Their motivating factor in this case is that they stand to lose nothing when the economic ties collapse (Collier, 2005). The worst people to be up against are those who stand nothing to lose. They would relentlessly antagonize their enemy and indoctrinate the young generation on the essence of the war they are fighting. This would develop a chain reaction akin to the war in Somalia that has lasted for decades. The benefactor in this relationship would be put under extreme duress if the international community weighs in on the matter. This would give impetus to the disgruntled party and they would impart internal pressure by escalating the level of violence. They do this when they come to knowledge that the exploiters are insecure. This would all be desperate attempts to break free. The exploiters are then forced to use a lot of resources to protect their interests. They end up launching a costly campaign that strains their resources and may include the deployment of soldiers in the country in question. It makes their venture an expensive one and the ramifications are more than it meets the eye. This can be exemplified by the US invasion into Iraq. Another example of this scenario is the reason behind the revolution that saw the inception of the United States of America. The revolution was holistically motivated by the economic exploitation(Polacheck, 2008).
The presence of a symbiotic economic relationship would compel both parties to painstakingly put effort in preserving this beneficial relationship. There would be no cause for antagonism since either party is not only satisfied but also complacent. Self interest will provoke either party to formulate modalities that can bolster their relationship. This is an amicable way around the quagmire that is mostly plagued by the greed of dominant nations. It has been proven to be a less costly way that fosters unity and cohesion attributed to the mutual flow of gains on either side. Such a relationship may be subjected to international criticism and accusations leveled against one party. In such cases, the other party would avail incentives that they would use to alleviate the pressure in lieu of exacerbating it. Both parties are bound to feel secure as the necessity to incur additional expenses and employment of effort to maintain the status quo would be automatically eliminated. In addition to this, any misunderstanding between the two nations would be swiftly, meticulously and amicably resolved in order to protect their interests (Polacheck & Seiglie, Another way of maintain and restoring peace is by laying emphasis on economic development. Impoverishment and disillusionment of the populace can be categorically described as a fecund ground for the flourishing of violent conflict. Since the Second World War, there have been over 120 wars that have been recorded in the annals of history. It is astonishing that almost all of them transpired in developing countries. These are nations that are crawling with impoverished citizens who languishing in a miasma of agony and disillusionment. Such a populace is vulnerable to manipulation by demagogues. These people are desperate and desperate situations call for desperate measure: violent conflict is a probable outcome. Such people are capable of wanton destruction bearing in mind that they virtually own nothing in their own country. On the contrary, a country boasting of a majority of an opulent population is highly unlikely to delve into conflict. This can be attributed to the fact that such a population would unwillingly trade their affluence for pointless losses and destruction. It is therefore imperative to lay emphasis on inclusive economic development that encompasses every facet of the country without any discrimination (Stiglitz, 2002).
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In the same breath, economic development is a strategy of high efficacy as a way of fighting terrorism. Terrorists are constantly working on ways and means of expanding their networks. To successfully do this, they need to solicit support and have more operatives to support their cause. These operatives will come in handy to manage terrorist cells, perpetrate the horrendous acts of violence and train in different areas of specializations. In order to succeed in the recruitment exercise, the terrorist group needs to be financially stable but not necessarily wealthy. The recruits may not be necessarily poor but most preferably they should be economically challenged. This is because the terrorist need to recruit their operatives on a basis: a cause that they will indoctrinate the recruits to the point of pledging allegiance to the organization. They manipulate and twist their fallacious cause to make it appear to be a patriotic one (Coulomb, 2006).
They therefore make the recruits believe that their actions gravitate towards the liberation of a certain underprivileged group of people in the society. Another cause is service to a higher power that demands a certain set of conditions to be met by its adherents. On the former reason, the recruits are therefore made to believe that they are avenging the injustices the unprivileged people were subjected to. This is a rallying cry that can even convince the educated in the society. This is how such terrorist networks manage to recruit skilled people who manage the logistics and any technical operational functions of their networks. They perceive themselves as the voice of the paupers, the downtrodden and feeble members of their society. This is how they believe that they are executing a divine charged responsibility on the chosen few. Such recruits are deluded to the point of inflicting harm on innocuous members of the public in the name of perpetrating their cause (Coulomb,2006).
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The only way to vanquish this incentive is to eliminate the marginalized in the society. Economic empowerment through economic development will mitigate the effects of poverty in a society. The living standards of the masses will rise and the quality of life will generally improve on a nationwide scale. The diminishing numbers of impoverished people will translate to a shrinking affiliation to such a group. This will ultimately annihilate the cause for which the terrorists are fighting for. It will then become a lot harder for such groups to recruit people since they lack a concrete reason as to why they should join them. In addition, the support base for the terrorists will suffer a great blow. When people are in a better political and fiscal status, they become less aggressive. They also tend to find better avenues to address any contentious issue that infringes into their comfort. This means that they are more diplomatic and harder to incite to take part in terrorist activities. They would need stronger incentives which may not be political or fiscal reasons. The terrorists are left with very few options and they are practically paralyse in their operations. Economic development can therefore effectively nip in the bud the potential terrorists. It would also curtail support from any sympathizers of terrorists who were willing to offer it to them(Coulomb, 2006).
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Economic as well as political empowerment is the only effective and non violent way that can seamlessly address the issue of terrorism. Its effectiveness comes from the manner in which it approaches the issue from the crux and deals with it comprehensively. This is achieved through directly addressing the sentiments of the public, marginalization and any form of indignation that expedite the growth of terrorist networks. It is imperative to appreciate that it is a more strategic approach against terrorism as opposed to violence and torture of suspects who may be innocent victims of circumstances. The beauty of it is the subtle, imperceptible and non-violent way it fights terrorism (Stiglitz, 2002).
In synopsis, material development is the only way to improve the lives of people in developing nations. Without effectively addressing this issue with the urgency it deserves, there will is hope for the war torn countries in such state of economic affairs. Steps made to achieve this will efficiently inhibit and antagonise terrorism whilst strengthening incentives to steer clear from conflict. The same strategy is another way of realising positive peace as well as exterminating structural violence (Stiglitz, 2002).
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The fight for non-renewable natural resources is another epicenter for war. This stems from the belief that the economic security of the interested party is at stake. The lack of economic security escalates this fear to the point of intrastate or interstate. The prospect of monopoly over the resource and therefore economic autonomy is the underlying reason why such a war is hard to put to an end. A good example is the Northern and Southern Sudan conflict that has lasted about three decades. The two halves of the once united nation are both fighting for the control of crude oil. Each faction is interested in being autonomous once it gains absolute control over the oil reserves in the country. It is the same reason that led to the several rebellions and uprisings by natives against colonialists in the past centuries. Some advanced nations of the time went to war in a fight for control of mineral and oil rich colonies (DeSousa, 2002).
Minimizing the ecological stress on land is the only way to avert war whose genesis is from a fight for natural resources. It is unfortunate that natural resources do not recognise political boundaries as mankind. The same is true to environmental degradation and pollution. These two factors can lead to interstate conflicts owing to the effect on the economies of the countries affected. The perennial effect of acid rain that ensued the Chenrobyl disaster is on of them. The antagonism faced by the U.S for opting out of the Kyoto protocol is another relevant example (Abramovitz, 2001).Last year, the Copehnagen conference on climate change was a battle field. The battle lines were drawn between developing and developed countries. The developing countries were attributing their economic miseries to the effects of carbon emissions by developed countries. They demanded monetary compensations since their countries were facing droughts, famines and deforestation (environmental degradation) as a result of environmental pollution (personal communication, 2010).
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Trans-border pollution has managed to raise the political temperatures between countries. Although it has never resulted in war, it has led in severing of diplomatic ties between nations. An example is the effect of polluting waters of another country. This leads to interference with the number of tourists they would receive as well as affecting their fishing industry. If the country is highly dependant of tourism and fishing, there is a cause for conflict with the neighbouring country. Another way this can occur is when countries overfish in the waters of other countries affecting their fish supply. Japan is notorious for such acts. The consequences have been conflicts between them and several countries but not to the point of war (DeSousa, 2002).
There are a number of ways in which ecological stress can be minimized. One way is by the utilization of natural resources in an efficient way. This means that the renewable resources are continuously replenished and the non renewable ones are used sparingly. There is need to recycle materials accrued from non-renewable resources so as to reduce pollution levels as well as conserve the little remaining deposits of the same. The modification of systems that utilize energy to improve their efficiency will go a long way in saving our energy resources. Incorporation of innocuous sources of energy will alleviate the ecological stress on the environment (Dumas, 2006).
Secondly, there should be development of technologies and mechanisms that are more environmental friendly during the exploitation of natural resources. When such technologies are implemented, they abate pollution and curtail the effects of global warming. These technologies assist in facilitating the filtration ant treatment of such wastes. It also allows for removal of the waste currently in the environment. In addition to this, there is provision for the utilization of less ecologically harmful methods of production. The technology is akin to that of the natural systems. The effluent from one stage is readily utilized as the source of energy for the next step of production by another technology. When renewable resources are continuously replenished, there is an infinite supply of energy and materials. Therefore, there will be an indefinite supply of energy and this will relieve pressure on the ecology. Another effect of this change is to create a sense of security that will remove the necessity of conflict in sub-nation factions or interstate conflict(Titus, 2007).
There is also need for a paradigm shift in the approach to economic growth especially by developed countries. This can be monitored by observing the qualitative aspect of the goods produced and eventually consumed by a country’s citizens. Viewing economic growth from this economic lens will alter the perception of developed nations. It will in turn effectively reduce the country’s appetite for resources that are not renewable. This will create an assured and infinitely sustainable growth for the nation. This will require them to give precedence to qualitative instead of the traditional quantitative growth of the economy. The levels of pollutions will plummet easing the ecological pressure on the environment. The change will also avail ample room for the production of goods that are required by developing nations. This would be freely done at a quantitative level due to the large demand for such goods in these nations (Dumas, 2006).
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The current economic activities go against the grain of environmental conservation. Since they are not in tandem, the result is exertion of unwarranted ecological stress on the environment. The ubiquity of this predicament is imperceptibly making the nations on earth dip into conflicts that would be hard to resolve in future.
In order to solve and avert conflicts in the current world, the economic approach is the most effective way. It is the most affordable, reliable and effective way to end war without firing a single shot. The use of force to install peace yields negative peace. A form of peace that is volatile and very fragile. Peacekeeping requires diplomatic economists more than soldiers. The sobriety employed to solve wars is the only determinant on the longevity and type of peace that is achieved in a given nation (Boulding, 2007).
Peace is therefore a delicate and dynamic quality whose backbone is largely economic development and equitable distribution of resources. Once world leaders realise this, there will be no nee of peacekeepers. In lieu of this, amicable solutions concerning economic issue would be drawn as soon as the bone of contention is singled out. Developing countries will only achieve peace if they are assisted to manage their resources and raise the income per capita level of their citizens. Financial aid will never solve the problem or resource distribution and raising the living standards of poor nations. This is the only way countries like Sudan, Iraq and many others will achieve lasting peace. There should also be stringent measures set to ensure balanced trade relations between countries regardless of how much clout one party has. This is a new age, an age of solving conflict using economic strategies instead of firepower.