Isolationism, Neutrality, Deglobalization or Globalization – 05/19/2014

Decisions, decisions, decisions…….
We all tend to “wing” it, to “kick the can down the road”, but we are getting entangled in our previous choice options, “isolationism”, “neutrality”, “deglobalization”, or, “globalization”, and they tend to exclude each other, with the exception, maybe, of “isolationism”, “neutrality”and “deglobalization”………
“Isolationism is a category of foreign policies institutionalized by leaders who asserted that their nations’ best interests were best served by keeping the affairs of other countries at a distance, as well as a term used, sometimes pejoratively, in political debates. Most Isolationists believe that limiting international involvement keeps their country from being drawn into dangerous and otherwise undesirable conflicts. Somestrict Isolationists believe that their country is best served by even avoiding international trade agreements or other mutual assistance pacts.
Two distinct and unrelated concepts that are occasionally erroneously categorized as Isolationism are:

  1. Non-interventionism – is the belief that political rulers should avoid military alliances with other nations and to avoid interfering in wars bearing no direct impact on their nation. However, most non-interventionists are supporters of free trade, travel, and support certain international agreements, unlike isolationists.
  2. Protectionism – Relates more often to economics, its proponents believe that there should be legal barriers in order to control trade and cultural exchange with people in other states.”

“The history of isolationism in the United States reaches as far back as the first President. In his farewell address, George Washington advised as follows:

The great rule of conduct for us in regard to foreign nations is in extending our commercial relations, to have with them as little political connection as possible. So far as we have already formed engagements, let them be fulfilled with perfect good faith. Here let us stop. Europe has a set of primary interests which to us have none; or a very remote relation. Hence she must be engaged in frequent controversies, the causes of which are essentially foreign to our concerns. Hence, therefore, it must be unwise in us to implicate ourselves by artificial ties in the ordinary vicissitudes of her politics, or the ordinary combinations and collisions of her friendships or enmities.

—Washington, George.”Washington’s Farewell Address 1796.” Yale Law School Avalon Project, 2008. Web. 12 Sept 2013.”
Switzerland has been neutral in foreign relations since the Battle of Marignano in 1515. Switzerland did not participate in either of the World Wars and it joined the United Nations as late as 2002, leaving only the Vatican City as the last widely recognized non-UN member at the time of joining. Switzerland is not a member of the European Union or the European Economic Area and the general public remains opposed to full EU membership. In February 2014, Swiss voters narrowly approved a referendum to restrict immigration and reintroduce quotas on foreigners originating from the EU.”

“A neutral power in a particular war is a sovereign state which officially declares itself to be neutral towards the belligerents. A non-belligerentstate does not need to be neutral. The rights and duties of a neutral power are defined in Sections 5 and 13 of the Hague Convention of 1907. Apermanently neutral power is a sovereign state which is bound by international treaty to be neutral towards the belligerents of all future wars. An example of a permanently neutral power is Switzerland. The concept of neutrality in war is narrowly defined and puts specific constraints on the neutral party in return for the internationally recognised right to remain neutral.
Neutralism or a “neutralist policy” is a foreign policy position wherein a state intends to remain neutral in future wars. A sovereign state that reserves the right to become a belligerent if attacked by a party to the war is in a condition of armed neutrality.”

“Neutrality is the tendency not to side in a conflict (physical or ideological), which may not suggest neutral parties do not have a side or are not a side themselves. In colloquial use “neutral” can be synonymous with “unbiased.” However, bias is a favoritism for some side, distinct of the tendency to act on that favoratism.
Neutrality is distinct (though not exclusive) from apathyignorance, indifference, doublethink, equality,agreement, and objectivity. Double think being a potential antonym defending multiple (contradictory) views. Objectivity siding with the more reasonable position (except journalistic objectivity), where reasonableness is judged by some common basis between the sides, such as logic (thereby avoiding the problem of incommensurability). Neutrality implies tolerance regardless of how disagreeable, deplorable, or unusual a perspective might be. Tolerance here must be defined as personal inaction, or, if defined as a social philosophy requiring a proactive advocacy for the inaction of others, it ceases to be neutral, because it begins to act and engage the issues.
In moderation/mediation neutrality is often expected to make judgments or facilitate dialog independent of any bias, putting emphasis on the process rather than the outcome. For example, a neutral-party is seen as a party with no (or a fully disclosed) conflict of interest in a conflict, and is expected to operate as-if it has no bias. Neutral Parties are often perceived as more trustworthy, reliable, and safe.
Alternative to acting without a bias, the bias of neutrality itself is the expectation upon the Swiss government (in Armed Neutrality), and the IFRC(in Non-interventionism).

Globalization (or globalisation) is the process of international integration arising from the interchange of world views, products, ideas, and other aspects of culture.[ Advances in transportation and telecommunications infrastructure, including the rise of the telegraph and its posterity the Internet, are major factors in globalization, generating furtherinterdependence of economic and cultural activities.”

“Many in developing countries see globalization as a positive force that lifts them out of poverty.Those opposing globalization typically combine environmental concerns with nationalism. Opponents consider governments as agents of neo-colonialism that are subservient to multinational corporations. Much of this criticism comes from the middle class; the Brookings Institute suggested this was because the middle class perceived upwardly mobile low-income groups as threatening to their economic security.
Although many critics blame globalization for a decline of the middle class in industrialized countries, the middle class is growing rapidly in developing countries. Coupled with growing urbanization, this leads to increasing disparities in wealth between urban and rural areas. In 2002, in India, 70% of the population lived in rural areas and depended directly on natural resources for their livelihood. As a result, mass movements in the countryside at times express objections to the process.

“Deglobalization is the process of diminishing interdependence and integration between certain units around the world, typically nation-states. It is widely used to describe the periods of history when economic trade and investment between countries decline. It stands in contrast to globalization, in which units become increasingly integrated over time, and generally spans the time between periods of globalization.
The term of deglobalization has derived from some of the very profound change in many developed nations, where trade as a proportion of total economic activity went down between 1914 to 1970s. This decline refers that their economies become less integrated with the rest of the world economies in spite of the deepening scope of economic globalization.
While as with globalization, it can refer to economictradesocialtechnologicalcultural and politicaldimensions, much of the work that has been conducted in the study of deglobalization refers to the field of international economics.
Periods of deglobalization are seen as interesting comparators to other periods, such as 1850–1914 and 1950–2007, in which globalization had been the norm, given that globalization is the norm for most people and thus even periods of stagnant international interaction are often seen as periods of deglobalization. The globalization index of KOF Swiss Economic Institute shows a clear break for economic globalization in 2009: ” The bursting of the dot com bubble and the events of 9/11 merely slowed down the pace of globalization; the latest economic and financial crisis has, however, created a severe setback for the globalization process” In 2010, the standstill in the globalization process basically continued but with different regional patterns: “The biggest upward movement as a region occurred in South Asia (albeit a very minor increase) while Latin America and Sub Saharan Africa saw a very minor decrease in their regional average. High income countries and in particular OECD countries continue their trend of stagnation which has started even before the current crisis.””


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