Sample International Relations Essay Paper on International Law, International Relations, and Globalisation

International Law, International Relations, and Globalisation

International law is a body of rules that govern relations between sovereign states and the rights and duties between citizens of these states. International relations is the study of interactions between actors in international politics like United Nations and the World Bank. One characteristic of the international system is that every state is not answerable to a higher authority but sovereign in the system. Globalization is the process of linking people, cities, regions and countries more closely than before (Baylis, John, Steve, and Patricia, John, Steve, and Patricia, 2013). There had been increased trade and continued exchanged of cultures which has connected people from all over the world. Working internationally enables businesses to explore potential markets, obtains resources from where they are and grow in scope. To countries, these businesses provide employment opportunities and revenue to the government which contributes to the growth of their overall GDP. For Example in 2013, the US foreign trade accounted for 9.4% of GDP (Thomas ,2013)

A good example of a business working at international level is Apple. Apple is an international company which designs, manufactures and markets electronics ranging from mobile devices to personal computers to services and accessories. It ships components from all over the world for manufacturing. The company operates in segments of America, Europe, China, Japan and Asia Pacific. Its products and services include iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, the range of accessories and support offerings among others. Apple Company has incorporated objectives on what it aims to do to accomplish its goal. It aims to continue producing more products through increased invention, establish a chain of Apple stores globally, achieve and maintain a premium pricing at the same time gaining a good market share, and finally, build demand for its new products. Apple is the world second most valuable company after Exxon-Mobil (Chan, Jenny, Ngai, and Mark, 2013). Some companies list Apple as the most valuable brand twice the value of Microsoft. Chan et al. (2013) assert that in 2015, Apple reported revenue of 74.6 billion and $18 billion profits in one-quarter which ranked it the biggest earning company. This success has been precipitated by fulfilling its role at international level. Apple ensures that it attends to the needs of its customers globally by bringing new and better-enhanced products in the market, providing high-quality products, and ensuring customers get service for their products (Dissanayake, D. M. R., and Thushan, 2015).  The company also ensures it maintains good leadership at all levels of the business.  It is also an equal employer committed to inclusion and diversity. All these principles are required by international bodies that coordinate the operation of international businesses. For example, Apple is a member of United Nations and therefore guided by its aims and principles.

The aims of UN body which set conditions for its members are, to maintain peace throughout the world, developing good relations between nations, working together towards international problems and finally enabling UN in the achievement of these aims. Among UN principles include having sovereign equality for every member, ensuring state members obey obligation in good faith, enhancing peaceful settlement of disputes, obligation towards non-members and not interfering with internal matters of countries.  The UN has also made covenants in the International Bill of Human rights and adopted principle treaties to elaborate on these rights. Some of the conventions include preventing and prohibiting abuses like torture and protection of vulnerable groups like refugees, enhancing equality through prevention of racial discrimination and upholding political rights of women. Every member of UN is expected to abide by this convention in all its dealings. Like every other business operating globally, the international law affects business dealing such that they do not exploit countries and people. It also affects conflict by bringing a favorable resolution of business disputes. In 2012, Apple had got in a dispute with the international law upon breaking the employment act. Public investigations revealed that the company’s employees were subjected to long working hours, paid salaries below the requirements and lacked quality safety standards. These claims were attended to by the Independent Fair Labour Association (FLA).According to Garside’s article from “the Guardian”, the FLA revealed the conditions of the Foxconn factories in China where iPhones and iPad are assembled annually. FLA had discovered that most of the employees worked for more than 11 days without rest. Also, almost half of employees had reported seeing or having accidents in the factories. The FLA set prescriptions which Apple and its supplier Foxconn agreed to. It further adhered to verifying the factories progress which would be reported publicly. Apple went a step ahead to appoint independent audits to manage their firms according to standards of international law (Von, Gerhard, and James, 2015).

Approaches to World Politics

            There are various approaches to world politics for example liberalism and Marxism. Liberalism is a family of doctrines where principles and institutions are recognized by certain core traits like individual freedom and equality of opportunities. The main guiding principle of liberalism is upholding the importance of individual’s freedom. The families have four shared commitments. First is, for a liberal country, citizens are protected by law in having equality and other fundamental rights like freedom of expression. Secondly, liberalism is sovereign on its own meaning, and it had independent legislation deriving its authority from the electorate and exercising it free from any restrain except the requirements of basic civil rights. Thirdly is that economy of a country recognizes private property in various forms of economy like capitalism and mixed economy. Finally is that economic decisions are made by the supply and demand forces both at the state level and international level. These decisions are also free from bureaucratic controls.  Liberal doctrines and practices are well established in the west. For example in America, liberals support the right of the woman to do whatever she wants with her body like abortion. Liberalism has so far being made a project by most countries in the world with the main significance of applying the liberal ideas and practices at the international level through human rights instruments established by the United Nations. The aim is to promote acceptance of these practices globally.

Marxism is an economic and social system of socialism where the government has control over the means of production, distribution, and exchange. Marxism approach is defined by Karl Marx theories. Karl asserts that a class is defined by how its members relate to the means of production. Karl Marx developed the idea of socialism from his study of capitalism and developed a theory that Marxism is the opposite of Capitalism where instead of private ownership of means of production, a state under this approach is largely controlled by the government where there is public ownership of property. China is a good example of Marxist state because the government manages and controls its economy. China citizens find life less stressful as compared to capitalist countries like Americans. This is because Marxist governments take social and economic factors into considerations and improving them is their core value and at the same time beneficial.

Comparing liberalism and Marxism, they both have relationships with the political, social and economic aspects of a country. Marxism focuses on improving the social and economic condition of the society while liberalism provides and protects individuals’ freedom. The two political approaches deal with the state of living of individuals in a particular society. One main distinction between the two is that Marxism focuses on creating classless society, but liberalism is a movement advocating for freedoms of individuals (Walt, 1998). I find liberalism approach best because it accommodates the changing needs of individuals’ today like the desire to own property and wealth without government interference. The idea of strict government controls is also increasingly being disregarded. This kind of environment can be obtained under liberalism.

Globalisation

As stated earlier in the paper, globalization is the process of linking together regions through interactions like trade making the world economies to become more interdependent. The various characteristics of globalization include extensive trade of goods and services between countries and greater transfer of capital including investing directly in foreign countries as well as the transfer of wealth. Globalization continues to be influenced by the rapid development of infrastructures like transportation and technology advancement and reduced international restriction like reduced tariffs which encourages trade. The growth of multinational companies like Apple and global trading unions like European unions have helped reduce national barriers and this continues to encourage globalization. Other potential causes of globalization include improved mobility of labor and capital and media exploration. All the different economies in the world namely the developed, developing and emerging countries participate in globalization.

Developed countries have the most advanced economy. Their markets are highly developed with high liquidity levels, they have well established regulatory bodies, large capitals, and highest per capita income. Examples of developed states are North America and Western Europe. Developing countries have a slow rate of industrialization and are characterized by low per capita income. Examples of developing economies include India and Iraq. Emerging countries, on the other hand, are those in the process of rapid development with less mature capital markets as compared to developed countries and with low per capita income. Examples include Portugal and Greece. Developed economies focus on maintaining their development levels and progressing them to high levels while developing and emerging markets look forward to attaining the advanced economies. International trade has best worked at achieving these aspirations as countries can obtain all types of goods by importing them at a lower cost thus saving themselves from high production costs. International trade also enables countries to specialize in producing commodities which they have a comparative advantage over. The high returns of these products help in developing their economy. International trade, however, has its own limitations like the tendency of underdeveloped countries depending on developed ones for economic growth which may lead to their exploitation and importation of harmful goods like drugs which affects the well-being of people.

The benefits of international trade are what attract countries and companies to trade overseas. Apple, for example, is attracted by large and diversified market all over the world and low cost of production in foreign countries due to easy access to raw material and other factors like cheap labor .Transnational companies take full advantage of these benefits because they are powerful; they manufacture, market and distribute their products around the world. Apple is one of the most successful transnational company globally. Apple created iPhone in 2007 in California, and the product has evolved to currently being produced on a global scale. Apple started developing the product of iPhone in the US and upon obtaining recognition went ahead to open a factory in China where iPhone was produced at lower cost. iPhone is no longer produced in California (Bashir, Adeela, and Sehrish, 2015).As Transnational Corporation , Apple obtains material used to manufacture iPhone from around the globe like Japan, China, Sitzerklandf and Taiwan (Al-Debei, Mutaz M., et al., 2014).The manufactured components are taken to Shenzhen factory where they are assembled ready for sale to all over the world.

Conclusion

Trading globally is a key component to the development of any country’s economy and growth of businesses in particular. This is because the world consists of wide range of resources and diverse market where every commodity produced from anywhere has demand and every demand can be fulfilled from anywhere. Also, trade operations are guided by principles outlined by international bodies which ensure trade is conducted upholding good living conditions of societies. The global economy is the reason a person in China or Europe can go to a nearby store and by goods produced in America while Americans get goods produced from Europe and China within their locality. This interdependence has enabled countries and business to be linked through the flow of goods, services, and information leading to increase in production of export goods. Businesses’ growth has therefore been enhanced by this flow. This impact is more effective for businesses that abide by international law because through that they build their image and avoid any misconduct that might ruin their reputation. In addition respecting domestic laws in countries where they operate helps businesses be absorbed within the countries’ trade scope. Respecting laws of the country of operation is a strategic way of ensuring the business appeal to that country and to the culture of the market which determines its operation.  For every business trading globally, in order to be successful, it must incorporate all the factors dictating its operation both at international and domestic level.

References:

Al-Debei, M.M., Aloudat, A., Al-Lozi, E. and Al Asswad, M.M., 2014. The Role of Value Networks in the Design of Mobile Platforms: The Case of Apple iPhone. In Approaches and Processes for Managing the Economics of Information Systems (pp. 123-137). IGI Global.

Bashir, A. and Aqeel, S., 2015. The Rapid Success of Apple’s IPhone 6 and the Challenges.

Baylis, J., Smith, S. and Owens, P., 2013. The globalization of world politics: an introduction to international relations. Oxford University Press.

Chan, J., Pun, N. and Selden, M., 2013. The politics of global production: Apple, Foxconn and China’s new working class. New Technology, Work and Employment, 28(2), pp.100-115.

Dissanayake, D.M.R. and Amarasuriya, T., 2015. Role of brand identity in developing global brands: a literature based review on case comparison between apple iPhone vs Samsung smartphone brands.

Garside, J., 2012. Apple’s Factories in China are Breaking Employment Laws, Audit Finds. The Guardian, 30.

Thomas, D., 2013. How the US economy benefits from international trade and investment. Business roundtable, at URL: http://businessroundtable. org/sites/default/files/legacy/uploads/general/BRT_State_Studies_-_US_Total. pdf.

Von Glahn, G. and Taulbee, J.L., 2015. Law among nations: an introduction to public international law. Routledge.

Walt, S.M., 1998. International relations: one world, many theories. Foreign policy, pp.29-46.