Professor Stephen Walt from Harvard
University gave an interview to MUNPlanet platform in which he presents a brief
overview of intersection between theory and practice in International
relations, together with how he envisions this field in the future and to what
todays IR students will need to adapt to because of globalization and existence
of social networks. However, by far the most interesting answer was in regards
of Ukrainian crisis and conflict between Realism and Liberalism and
Conflicts that are often present in the mainstream media are usually connected to some sort of post cold war issues that were left with ambiguous conclusions. The crisis in Ukraine could be the best example of modern conflict between the East and West. However, this article points out that tensions were not completely disappeared, and that differences in political and social ideologies cause and accelerate conflicts. Big empires such as European Union, United States of America, Russia and China face trade-offs that sometimes can’t be efficiently done because of divergence in their ideologies.
We see that Western countries that found solution for the economic crisis from the end of last decade, used trade and market openness to create faster circulation of money and resources. Following this example EU and USA continued implementing liberal ideas to change social norms hoping that creating more open, liberal and understanding society could bring better life and welfare to their people. However, on the other side of the world, empires such as China and Russia believe that conservative politics could create more secure and stable social network that could bring recovery to the economies. Because of these differences, territories that are in between usually need to decide on what side they want to be. This shows how ideologies are used in today’s international relations to get more countries supporting these ideologies.
The fact that both sides tend to be invasive with spreading their moral, ethical, social and political views makes them more ‘imperialist’ than ‘realist’ or ‘liberalist’. Even though Western and Eastern countries advocate better development, they are also creating supportive safety network of smaller countries. If the political situation could be compared to economics, then we could compare US, EU, Russia and China to oligopolists trying to get smaller producers (in this case small countries) to produce for them. In some way this system represents new colonial system.
Examples of countries deciding on their future path can be found throughout Europe. Baltic countries, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, needed to decide whether to stick with Russia and Eastern block after they left Soviet Union or to enter EU. Other example is conflict between Serbia and Kosovo, where many usually say that Serbia needs to choose either Kosovo or EU integrations.
Fighting for rights of small economies and politics that could be marginalized by huge empires will be the key issue UN is going to need to solve in future.