Midterm Examination Kaplan and Katzenbach’s four variables utilized in the description of historical systems is applicable, however differs from the examination of the nature and structure of the current international system. According to the article, international systems explored comprise of the separate models balance of power’ which pertains to the international politics of 18th and 19th centuries, and loose bipolar system’ which pertains to the article’s present day (mid 20th century) international political sphere.1 Kaplan and Katzenbach’s balance of power’ international framework examines the role of nations as members of main focus in international societies which formulate unity or agreement among its citizens.
Nation-states were and continue to be preservers and defenders of the values, and physical and economic wellbeing of its citizens, in which the nation wholeheartedly is dependent on its sole responsibility to survive.2 The external successes nations endure (i.e. unification, prosperity, national expansion etc..) significantly benefits its internal societies including its citizens. Kaplan and Katzenbach signify that nations in relation to other nations are naturally competitive, instrumental and distrustful of one another, with the agenda of driven self-interests (i.
e. security).3 Kaplan and Katzenbach demonstrate that the international system denotes various relations with international law, in which conceptions, widely held beliefs and practices of international law varies across decades and generations. The structures of international law examined by both authors reveal elements of international law from eighteenth to twentieth centuries. Based on the analysis and application of such variables, the current system significantly differs from the historical systems examined in Kaplan and Katzenbach’s in the balance of power’ and loose bipolar’ models, and Thucydides conception of morality and power. The historical comprehension of eighteenth, nineteenth, and twentieth century international politics are grasped within each period’s underlying conception and definition of international law. Traditional understandings of international law convey the systemic laws and rules that initially governed nation-states. Such definitions of international law were exclusionary of a wide selection of international communities and broader international political spheres and its subjects. The international political sphere embodies an organizational framework of structures, rules, and values designed to regulate international affairs relating to international organizations, nations, and states. The contemporary model or system of international law encompasses both intrastate and interstate activities, and decision-making procedures. International law functions in the contemporary world for the purpose of providing stability, power and morality throughout the operations of trade, environmental management and control, and basic human rights discourse. The stability of state affairs enforced by international law is reliant on the constraints and restructuring of conduct regarding the cooperation and relationships between various parties and subjects of international law.4 The international political system is apparent in today’s international administrations (e.g. UN), national courts, state governmental organizations, and foreign divisions. These spheres of international law acknowledge the role of internal law and exemplify responsibilities and importance to protect and uphold the legalities of such fundamental principles and the objectives in which law transcends above state operations. The sustenance of stability and the safeguarding of state peace in the affairs of international law, is reliant on transformative, implementational, and practical enforcement sanctions with the intention of diminishing state conflict and exercising the regulation of governmental conduct.5 The flexibility of international law in contemporary societies is attributable to indefinite and varied state obligations and rights that introduces state uncertainty. According to Kaplan and Katzenbach, conditions required for the preservation of stability in the Balance of Power System includes a framework of balances and checks, while the Bipolar System recognized the preservation of balance and checks through ongoing opposition between the USSR and the US.6 In today’s international community, active actors include states which represent a significant position in the formation of international law, regarded by independent governments and constitute established territory. Other kinds of international actors in the contemporary world include international or intergovernmental organizations which comprise of thousands of groups engaged in global cooperation, and are individually organized or devised by the cooperation of two or more state governments which create decisions on the basis of votes. The United Nations represents a multipurpose and multidimensional system of networks consisting of legislative, judiciary and executive branches. In the current internal political sphere, the United Nations currently consists of the General Assembly, Secretariat, Security Council, and International Court of Justice. Among the United Nations organizations, UN agencies (I.e. World Health Organization) are existent for the purpose of countering specific international matters while limiting the presence political arrangements and commitments. With regards to the function of such international members, their functions are reflective of the current practices and ideologies of law. In the reduction of complete state sovereignty globally and militaristic driven ambitions, a growing number of states have transformed into commercial actors.7 In today’s current international discourse, the Syrian Civil War reveals the conditions under which international actors function, in which the war is fought by Syrian Armed forces, Syrian government and its global allies, rebel groups, terrorist organizations, and a multitude of other groups which led to the deaths of hundreds of thousands of citizens and the displacement of nearly 2 million people. Such conditions which influenced war consist of present-day government corruption, increased unemployment and unsuccessful economies. The abuse of state security is relevant as a key factor in the ongoing Syrian Civil War. According to Kaplan and Katzenbach, conditions required for the preservation of stability in the Balance of Power System included a framework of balances and checks, while the Bipolar System recognized the preservation of balance and checks through ongoing opposition between the USSR and the US. Kaplan and Katzenbach demonstrate four systemic variables that pertain to balance of power models, including the kind of members, conditions members work under, functional roles international actors perform, and conditions required for the stability of each system. Kaplan and Katzenbach’s historical assessment of kinds of members acknowledges the role and position of nation-states which are conventionally responsible to sustain and protect nation values, principles, economic affairs, and the physical health, welfare, and success of people that occupy the nation. Nations are representative of an autonomous entity with a host of cultural identities and organizations that are separated territorially. From the balance of power perspective, nation-states seek out survival throughout the means of acquiring independent certainty and security for the establishment of necessary coalitions and alliances. An equitable and fair power system is necessary for the collective operative systems of international law. Well-adjusted systems of power and control sets the stage for international stability. Among nation-states, Katzenbach and Kaplan signify the role of restricted victory in which the interests, laws and principles of international law members (i.e. nation-states) are conserved. An adequate number of dominant, influential and prevailing nation states precedes international political spheres of stability and sustenance among balance of power’ politics. Since Thucydides identifies state systemic frameworks as intrinsically competitive and anarchic, in the current international system, states collaboratively interacting proceeds an environment of security, strength, behavioral regulation, and stability.8 In the current international system, strategies are utilized by states to predict general conduct, reactions and actions of other states for the advancement and operations of international law and state systems.9 Thucydides’ reasoning on morality and power concerning the narratives of Peloponnesian war signifies the pinnacle and successes of Greek civilization and the influence that appears in today’s contemporary societies. He addresses the morality and power exemplified in contemporary societies from the perspective and role of human rights. Morality, power and stability recognizes the acknowledgement of the fundamental rights and needs of individuals dispersed on an international scale. According to Thucydides, power and morality are inevitable truths that significantly shape the broader international political spheres. The story outlined by Thucydides which demonstrates political societies, demonstrates contradictory perceptions of law regarding legal positivism and legal realism.10 Such opposing explanations signify the relationship between morality, power and stability. In today’s contemporary world, power politics is perpetually exemplified and sought out in cases in which influential and authoritative nation-states have misused their power, demonstrated irresponsible practices through political affairs and matters and insufficiently acknowledge and assess the risks and possibilities associated with state security imperatives. Such conditions place states in a constant series of conflict, and divergence. Legal idealism is apparent in conditions of advancing human rights and individual freedoms of people across a multitude of states. Human rights are beneficial in the protection of individuals from the potential distresses and mistreatment inflicted by states with regards to legal, social, economic or political rights. An example of today’s abuse of human rights is evident in the ongoing Syrian War. The preservation and practice of human rights is contingent on state leadership, management, and responsibilities to uphold equitable and balanced power, morality and stability. In the contemporary world, our fundamental human rights are intended for preservation, reassessment, establishment, and communication by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the United Nations Charter and its agencies, and through various covenants and established conventions.11 Utilizing the historical works and interpretations of Kaplan, Katzenbach, and Thucydides provides an important framework of analysis of the existence of international law across varying time periods in which elements of state behavior can be studied across Balance of Power Systems, Loose Bipolar Systems and Contemporary systems of international law. In today’s international political sphere, existing systems of law lack perfect stability, however favors a state of homeostasis and stabilized equilibrium.