Friday, July 12, 2013

Day 13: Sanctions and More

It was just another ordinary day; the Roman scorching sun was blinding and the Italian dry wind was blowing on my face. It was soon time to go to the open-air market to examine the globalization of the different products being sold. Walking through the vibrant open-air Roman market is a down-to-earth, Italian experience. You get to see a different part of Rome perhaps the less touristy side. Nonetheless, I kept thinking about the sanctions and boycott strategies we learned in class today and thinking how these principles could be applied on a micro level of practicality. 

I am aware that the idea of sanctions is a type of foreign policy based in economic incentivization. However, could these principles be applied at a smaller domestic level such as an open-air market in Rome? Perhaps; but, to begin creating specific scenarios would be a long and complicated process. However, there might be some overarching principles that can apply to almost any situation, whether it is on a state level or a just small open-air market in Rome. 

Globalization has restricted states’ ability to sanction effectively. The globalized and mostly liberalized economic market has opened numerous opportunities for states and industries to trade on a wider range. In addition to opening open the world market, globalization has also brought about international organizations such as the World Trade Organization which have further limited sanctioning. While globalization may have rapidly increased since the industrial revolution, let us not be na├»ve and believe that globalization or sanctions have not already existed for millennia. The amazing Roman monuments and buildings are testaments of extreme globalization as many were made by slaves from other regions or were brought by back to Rome after foreign conquests.

In the ancient world, Rome primarily used their military might to influence others. Today, states often use more subtle methods to influence such as sanctions. I have yet to form a solid opinion about the value of sanctions, but I would like to share some thoughts with the readers of this blog. In terms of recent sanctions, how productive have they been? When I think of North Korea, the sanctions have not removed North Korea’s repressive and erratic leaders or forced a rollback of their nuclear and missile programs. For all the international pressure on Syria’s Assad, the regime is getting more ruthless, not less, and the policy debate in Washington has moved on to possible military intervention. Last, but not least, the sanctions on Iran have failed to stop Iran from proceeding with its goal of enriching uranium. 

As we progress in Professor Knight’s course, I’m sure I, along with the rest of the Global Scholars cohort, will learn and grow to more fully understand the complex world of the global political economy and the various tools states use to reach their goals such as sanctions.

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