Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Groupings of Nations

Got my mock back last week and I think it is safe to say that my development short answer questions didnt go quite as well as they should have done! It also seems that I was not the only one; with many struggling with the questions focusing on international groupings.... so for those out there, like me, who didn't do to well, here is a post of positive and negatives of groupings, with examples! Enjoy!
First up, some groupings we should be aware of - there are others but these are the ones I am planning on using!

APEC = Asia=Pacific Economic Cooperation
- loose grouping of countries bordering the Pacific Ocean (21 members including USA and China)
- pledged to facililate free trade amongst themselves and developing countries by 2015
- created in 1989 in responseto EU and each member has a separate economy
- recently China signed bilateral free trade deals with a number of APEC countries
- criticised as failed to clearly define themselves for a purpose and have yet to really achieve anything
- posess 40% of world's population, 54% GDP and 44% world trade

NAFTA = North American Free Trade Agreement
- Canada, Mexico and USA
- formed in 1994 to have free trade but also co-operation, invest  in each other and promote competition between each other to a degree that would boost industrial output
- trade between the 3 members tripled between 1993 and 2007
- TNCs and FDI has relocated to Mexico (= Maquiladora towns), causing unemployment in USA
- NAFTA is the largest trade bloc in terms of GDP
NAAEC = North American Agreement on Environmental Co-operation
NAALC = North American Agreement of Labour Co-operation
- Brazil, China, India, Mexico, South Africa etc
- emerged during 2003 Cancun meeting on world trade
- powerful group which is starting to challenge the EU and US regarding trade negotiations
- insisting rich countriesmake concessions on agriculture before there will be any service or tariff reducions on manufactured goods
= 60% world population
= 70% of world's farmers
= 26% of world exports
Group of 77 (now actually 130 members!)
- all LDCs, forming the largest intergovernmental organisation
- gives voice to LDCs in world issues, promoting South-South co-operation for development
- China is an ally but not an offical member
- walked out of the Copenhagen 2009 climate negotiations
AU = African Union
- aiming to achieve democracy, peace, security, integration and human rights throughout Africa
- intervened in 2003 in Burundi and sent 7000 peacekeepers to Sudan since the Darfur Crisis started
- adopted a number of new documents including AU Convention on Preventing and Combating Crime in 2003
- future considerations include creation of a free trae, single market, central bank and a comment currency (AEC) by 2023
- nominal GDP of $1.627 trillion but measuring GDP by PPP, collectively AU totals $2.849 trillion, ranking it 6th after Germany

EU = European Union
- 1957 Treaty of Rome created EEC with 6 members
- now EU has 27 members with over 500 million citizens = 3rd largest
- single currency exists between 16 members
- 22% of world's total economic output
- EDF directs aid to developing countries and ERDF to members
- 178 out of 500 largest corporations have headquarters in the EU
* Has EU grouping only worked as countries allowed to join are located close to huge global markets, thereby enabling them to develop? Therefore AU would not work as they have no developed countries to 'feed off of', no global market to exploit and no model for development.....also there is the huge issue of peace. The EU was initially created to promote intercontinental peace and without peace Africa will not develop as a continent.
* Eurasian Union??? Groupings could become dangerous when global climate change makes life challenging and Russia could be a good place to move to. So would a Eurasian Union be a could idea???

What impacts do groupings have on development?
Although the contemporary world is increasingly globalised, groups of nations are still viewed as one of the best approaches to development; which is the process of social and economic advancements that allows for improvements in peoples quality of life and general wellbeing. Whilst most global groups share a common aim they are all slightly different; with the WTO set up as a liberalising organisation by capatialist countries to organise world trade, the EU developed after WW2 to integrate economies and thus power to prevent intercontinental conflict and the G-77 designed to give poor nations a voice in the international affairs of this money driven world - with these just three examples. In theory these global groupings should help all members achieve economic and social development, as a consequence of eased movement of goods, people and knowledge, but, in reality, not every member always experiences the benefits with some groupings collectively failing to make any progress towards achieving the ultimate goal of globally paralled development.

+ spread of knowledge and culture = multicultural society which has aided globalisation
+ less social segregation and better understanding/appreciation of others = increased chance of peace as removes psychological barriers to integration.
      >EU = worked!
      >AU = NO! Due to inherent cultural differences which have not been seen to such a degree anywhere else ---> link to colonialism
+ European warrnat arrests has permitted increased global crackdon on crime e.g arrest of Bosian war criminals

- loss of indentity and culture
- some social tensions

+ single currency removes costs of business transactions
+ unemployment solved due to migration (However, money often moved away from country) which helps remove demographic constraints on development i.e Polish migration to UK (population case study from AS)
+ structural funds help poor countries and those within groups e.g EDF and ERDF
+ increases trading within blocs and TNCs attracted to regions to avoid trading tariffs

- debt defaulting
- market flucuations affect everyone in the group
      > Eurozone crisis at present is best example as vulnerability is accentuated by single currency

+ greater overall democratic function
+ greater awareness of dictatorhsips and violations of human rights i.e NATO and Libya
+small nations given a voice in world affairs
* Groupings of nations could help form a more collective effort to mitigate climate change and adapt to coming changes???

- potential for conflict to escalate
- pressure to adopt centralised legislations i.e CAP and CFP!

+ sustainability kept and grown within groups
+ collective effort to protect environment with funding set aside for this purpose

- unintended consequences of CFP

+ Brain gain/ Brain drain
+ migration solving demographic constraints on development i.e Europe's ageing populations

As you can probably tell, I started to run out of ideas for environmental and demographic. These are just a few examples and if you can think of any really good ones for environmental and demographic then please let me know!

Keep you requests for topics to be covered coming in and don't forget Millie's live revision workshops on Wednesdays at 19:30 - if you have missed any you can catch the replays on her blog!

1 comment:

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