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International Politics and Security Discussions

International Politics and Security Discussions


  • Security Dilemma in International Relations: The security dilemma is a concept in international relations that describes a situation in which one state’s efforts to increase its own security are perceived as a threat by other states, leading to a cycle of competitive and often escalating security measures. This concept is rooted in realist theories of international relations, which assume that states are primarily concerned with their own survival and security.

    In the Global South, the security dilemma plays a significant role in shaping the international security environment. Several factors contribute to this:

    • Historical Conflicts: Many countries in the Global South have a history of conflicts and territorial disputes. This history creates a legacy of mistrust and insecurity, making it more likely for states to view their neighbors’ actions as potential threats.
    • Resource Scarcity: Some regions in the Global South are characterized by resource scarcity, such as water and arable land. Competition over these resources can exacerbate the security dilemma, as states may feel compelled to secure access to vital resources.
    • Power Asymmetry: Power imbalances are often pronounced in the Global South, with some states having greater military and economic capabilities than others. This power asymmetry can lead weaker states to adopt defensive measures or seek alliances to counterbalance stronger neighbors.
    • Proxy Conflicts: The Global South has been a battleground for proxy conflicts during the Cold War and beyond. Major powers’ involvement in regional disputes can intensify the security dilemma, as states fear being drawn into larger conflicts.

    Overall, the security dilemma in the Global South can result in arms races, military build-ups, and a lack of trust among states. This can hinder efforts at cooperation and conflict resolution, perpetuating instability and insecurity in the region.

  • Role of the United Nations (UN) in Peaceful Dispute Settlement: The United Nations is a central institution in contemporary international relations, and it plays a crucial role in promoting the peaceful settlement of disputes among nations. Here are some ways the UN serves as a platform for such settlements, along with relevant examples:
    • Negotiation and Mediation: The UN often acts as a mediator in conflicts, facilitating negotiations between conflicting parties. For example, in the Iran nuclear deal (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action or JCPOA), the UN Security Council played a key role in brokering talks between Iran and the P5+1 (the United States, United Kingdom, France, Germany, Russia, and China), leading to a peaceful resolution to the nuclear dispute.
    • Peacekeeping Operations: The UN deploys peacekeeping missions to conflict zones to monitor ceasefires, separate warring factions, and create conditions conducive to diplomatic negotiations. An example is the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS), which aims to support the peace process and protect civilians in a conflict-ridden region.
    • International Court of Justice (ICJ): The ICJ, often referred to as the World Court, is the principal judicial organ of the UN. It settles legal disputes between states based on international law. For instance, the ICJ resolved a long-standing territorial dispute between Nicaragua and Honduras in 2007.
    • Diplomacy and Conflict Resolution: The UN General Assembly and Security Council provide forums for states to engage in diplomatic dialogue and address disputes. Resolutions passed by these bodies can exert diplomatic pressure on states to seek peaceful solutions. For example, UN Security Council Resolution 242 played a pivotal role in the resolution of the Arab-Israeli conflict by emphasizing the principle of “land for peace.”

    In summary, the United Nations serves as a platform for peaceful dispute settlement through negotiation, mediation, peacekeeping, and legal mechanisms. It plays a vital role in preventing conflicts and promoting international cooperation, contributing to global peace and security.

International Politics and Security Discussions



1. What is meant by the term ‘security dilemma’ and how does it impact on the current international security environment specifically in the Global South?

2. The United Nations is prominent in contemporary international relations. discuss how the UN is used as a platform for the peaceful settlement of disputes in international affairs. Provide relevant examples.

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