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Foreign Policy

Foreign Policy

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Foreign Policy

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  1. Foreign Policy A plan of action that guides a government’s decisions about its official relations with other countries Also called foreign or external affairs Set by leaders in absolute monarchies, dictatorships and military juntas Set by government but influenced by citizens in democratic states

  2. Shrinking the World Since WWII, globalization has impacted the way foreign policy is made: multinationals and international business, labour and humanitarian groups have had more of a say Some believe that these changes have blurred the lines between domestic and foreign policy This was illustrated in 1982, when the separate Cabinet ministries of Foreign Affairs and International Trade were merged into one department

  3. How to Foreign Policy While foreign policy changes when governments change, the uses of it remain the same: • Promoting Peace • Peacekeeping • International Law • Foreign Aid

  4. Promoting Peace Peace and economic stability go hand-in-handso countries may develop foreign policy that encourage struggling nations to become economically successful and self-supporting Economic sanctions are sometimes used to try to promote peace

  5. Economic Sanctions The action of cutting off trade with a country in an effort to force it to follow a particular course of action These are controversial and are often ineffective because allies may step in to help get around the sanctions As well, people argue that it hurts a state’s citizens rather than its government

  6. Peacekeeping When the UN was formed, leaders knew it had to be more effective that the League of Nations One way of ensuring this was by having military force to back up its decisions When any country joins the UN, they must agree to support the actions of the Security Council, as well as to have armed forces available for the Security Council to use All of this is in an attempt to increase collective security

  7. Collective Security The condition of protecting all members of a group or collective from danger The UN tries to ensure the collective security of all member states This happens when all countries in the collective undertake the same or similar methods of security

  8. Lester B. Pearson & Peacekeeping 1956 – An international dispute over control of the Suez Canal erupted Canada’s Minister of External Affairs, Lester B. Pearson, suggested that the UN ask countries not involved in the dispute to contribute troops to an emergency force to keep peace in the area while the dispute was negotiated This became a model for future UN peacekeeping missions, and Pearson was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his idea

  9. When’s and How’s of Peacekeeping Peacekeepers are sent to areas of conflict only after a ceasefire is in place Their role is to establish a buffer zone between the warring groups, and observe and report on what happens They also carry out agreements reached by the UN and the governments involved in the negotiation of the ceasefire agreements They protect those involved in humanitarian efforts They may provide security, but can only use force in self-defence There are three basic guidelines peacekeepers must follow: Consent – respect the sovereignty of the host country Impartiality – don’t take sides Self-Defence – use force only to defend yourself

  10. Does it Work? Most peacekeeping missions are successful, but some failures in the 1990s raised questions about the effectiveness of peacekeeping 1992 – Bosnia 1994 – Rwanda Limited numbers, lack of military power and orders to avoid using force bound the hands of the peacekeepers sent to the regions Some critics cite these failures as a need for peacemaking as opposed to peacekeeping, while proponents point out that there have been over 50 peacekeeping missions since 1956, and these are the only two that have not been successful

  11. International Law International law is based on international treaties, agreements and conventions, UN resolutions, and widely-accepted international practices It is interpreted by the UN International Court of Justice (World Court), which tries to settle disputes peacefully Some countries refuse to acknowledge its authority or abide by its decisions because they do not want to give up their right to make decisions based on their national interests Example: The US has refused to accept the authority of this court since 1986, when the World Court found they had broken several international laws by helping rebels trying to overthrow the Nicaraguan government

  12. The Law of the Sea Sets out the rules of the high seas, which are waters beyond the territorial waters of any country Sets the definition of territorial waters as those extending 22km from a country’s coast, and giving coastal countries the exclusive right to control fishing, mining, and the environment up to 370km from shore It has been controversial as countries try to argue that continental shelf is part of a country, and therefore countries should have access to waters extending 22km beyond the shelf Canada is one country trying to prove this as it impacts the Grand Banks of Newfoundland, where European countries have contributed to overfishing by fishing in waters Canada claims as theirs even though they extend beyond the 22km allotted by the Law of the Sea

  13. The Arctic Summer 2007 – Russia began exploring the Arctic for resources, then announced that its expedition had dropped a capsule containing a Russian flag 4200m below sea level at the North Pole Canadian, Danish, Norwegian and American governments challenged the Russian claim Under the International Law of the Sea, this region is international waters because it is beyond the 370km limit of all five countries All of these countries are now fighting to prove that their continental shelf extends into the waters; preliminary hearings about this were held in the fall of 2010, with future court dates on the horizon

  14. Foreign Aid Delivering foreign aid is one way to promote internationalism Billions of dollars are spent on this every year Examples? It is most effective when countries coordinate their foreign aid policies as then the countries giving and receiving the aid can make decisions about how the money can be spent most effectively, it can eliminate duplication of services, and it can prevent delays caused by debating where the money should go Corrupt officials sometimes impede the benefits and distribution of foreign aid, and sometimes tied aid muddies the waters

  15. 0.7% Solution 1969 – former PM Pearson challenged the world’s richest countries to spend 0.7% of their gross national income To date, Denmark, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway and Sweden are the only countries to meet – and often exceed – this target Some people believe Canada needs to increase its spending on foreign aid, while others believe the aid needs to be delivered more effectively

  16. Tied Aid Help that is given with strings attached May include agreements that the recipient country buy goods and services only from the country or organization supplying the aid Often criticized as donor countries may not give the best goods at the cheapest price

  17. Balancing National Interest and Internationalism This balance can be tricky Events like 9/11 or natural disasters can change the world and governments rapidly, causing foreign policy to shift rapidly in response