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    Just wanted people's thoughts:

    What were the implications of Bipolarity for Global Order?
    Why is it difficult to ensure that states accept international law?
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    1. It depends who you ask. Some claimed that it was good for stability, since everyone was certain which side everyone else was on and the overwhelming power of both sides meant that a direct confrontation between the two superpowers was highly improbable. Others suggested that a bipolar order was too rigid, and that it forced almost everyone to take sides and make diplomacy a less useful tool in resolving or preventing conflicts.

    2. Because there is no authority higher than states to enforce international law. In practice, international law can only be enforced by the very states it's supposed to restrain.
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    (Original post by mellow-yellow)
    Just wanted people's thoughts:

    What were the implications of Bipolarity for Global Order?
    Why is it difficult to ensure that states accept international law?
    If you go to Edexcel's site and download the PDF of the Examiners' Report for Jan 2006, you'll find their definitions of these two points (and a lot of other goodies too.)

    If you can't find them, send a post here or PM me.
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    (Original post by liamb)
    If you go to Edexcel's site and download the PDF of the Examiners' Report for Jan 2006, you'll find their definitions of these two points (and a lot of other goodies too.)

    If you can't find them, send a post here or PM me.
    Yes I found them before I posted but just wanted to know what other people might think about when answering the questions.
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    What were the implications of Bipolarity for Global Order?
    Well it made life simpler. Basically a 2 power (or power bloc) world should lead to detente - especially if both powers are roughly equally balanced.
    With such a system you have an all-or-nothing peace. Any peace should be stable and (relatively) predictable. Any war will be widespread and extreme. So peace prospers but war is a remote yet very fearful threat.

    Another problem with such a set up is if one power declines or significantly overtakes the other - or is perceived to do so. The weaker power may be tempted to launch a pre-emptive strike. Decline and a degree of openness were essential - especially on the part of the stronger power.

    A Multipolar world is more unstable because of changing alignments - but minor countries can play off powers against each other (this is more difficult in a bipolar world.) It could be argued that history teaches us that sooner or later a multipolar system slides into a bipolar one (i.e. Alliance Systems or weaker powers declining).

    Why is it difficult to ensure that states accept international law?
    Hobbes might have the answer here - there isn't a higher power to force compliance. Moral force only really works on states who are largely ethical in the first place. Bigger states are needed to enforce International Law and yet often transgress it anyway. This was just as true with the League of Nations as it is today. Often it is non-state organisations and networks (including the dreaded markets) that force the 'big boys' to play by the rules.

    I look forward to your comments.
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    No idea on the first one, but I'd say a lack of a world controlling body for the second. And the global organisations that do exist are not fully effective, decision making takes forever, or they have little real power such as military. Also, there aren't any organisations in which all the world's countries are members (as far as I know, but someone may prove me wrong). Examples to use would be Iran and nuclear technology, and how UN trade sanctions are a fairly weak force against their determination in this area.
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    (Original post by love2learn)
    No idea on the first one, but I'd say a lack of a world controlling body for the second. And the global organisations that do exist are not fully effective, decision making takes forever, or they have little real power such as military. Also, there aren't any organisations in which all the world's countries are members (as far as I know, but someone may prove me wrong). Examples to use would be Iran and nuclear technology, and how UN trade sanctions are a fairly weak force against their determination in this area.
    Partof the problem with acceptance of International Law is the those who need it most (smaller nations) have the least international weight. Those who can abuse it most easily (the 'powers') are the very nations who should really be setting an example. If you look at the League of Nations in the 20's and 30's - as well as the UN - this pattern seems to hold true.
    For International Law to be effective, the mighty and the meek must have equally in the face of it and be equally bound by it.
 
 
 
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