In the traditional perception, the state plays the leading role in international relations. However, after the World War , with the rise of communications technology, the deepening of international division of labor and the expansion of global trade, a good deal of international organizations was established. The international environment was changed due to globalization. It becomes easier for states to communicate with each other, which influence international political, economic, military and culture to a great degree. The increasing number of these organizations is parallel to the increasing levels of political, economic, military and cultural transactions between individuals, societies and states. These kinds of non-state actors challenge the “state- centric” perception. Therefore, in this essay, three sections will be used to discuss whether the state is still the most important actor in international relations. Firstly, it will cite two theories about the role of the state plays in contemporary international relations. Following this, it will give an account of whether the position of the state in international relations will be replaced because of globalization. Finally, it will illustrate the role of the state plays in international economy, politics and climate.
There are two prevailing theories about the role of the state in international relations. Neorealism emphasizes the state plays the most important role in international arena. On one hand, the state possesses sovereign power to insure domestic security. On the other hand, neorealism also stresses the state influence economy in international relations. Neoliberalism not only indicates that the state is the main behavior body in international system, but also affirms the role of non-states, such as international organization, transnational organizations and other kinds of social organizations. As a by-product of intensified globalization process, these kinds of organizations have become more significant determinants of foreign policies of the state (Ataman, M., 2000).
Globalization influences the position of the state in international relations
By looking at globalization, the proliferation of non-state actors is gaining international influence and position. Non-state actors can be divided into international intergovernmental organizations (IGOs) and transnational or international non-governmental organizations (NGOs) (Ataman, M., 2003). International intergovernmental organizations are created by states. They have official document of government agencies. On the contrary, transnational or international non-governmental organizations are established not by the state, but by some group of businessmen, individuals and other societal units. They have no legal connection with the state, so they are genuinely transnational (Oyugi & Walter O., 2004). But the state can restrain the activities of these kinds of organizations.
There are a number of powerful organizations such as the European Union, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and the United Nations. Though these organizations own strong power in the international relations, they are entire operate by states.
Along with the intensification of globalization??the growth of so many kinds of non-state actors is bound to influence the status of the state in international relations. But they can not substitute for the state. The state is still the most important actor in international relations.
The role of the state in the international economy, politics and climate
Globalization can be found everywhere, such as economy, politics and climate (Clapham and Christopher, 2002). Whether the role of the state in international relations can be replaced due to globalization, it will be discussed as follows:
Globalization has brought about the biggest influence to the economy. Globalization can run businesses, business also can run globalization. That is to say, if a boss of any company wants to make a profile, he has to deal with the government of the state. The state can suspended any operating company. Under this circumstance, the state proves to be the most important actor in international relations on account of it has a right to determine whether a new company can turn into the country business.
International politics is very important to coordinate international relationships, safeguard the world peace and make successful businesses. The state is responsible for international politics.
The peace of the world is an eternal theme in the international politics. How do the state and the world peace affect each other? The world peace is not able to be achieved only by one state. This utopian goal is only brought out by the endeavor of the whole world. Even though most of international organizations are making great efforts to prevent chaos caused by war, the state is also play the major role in international relations. The United Nations calls on every country should work together to fight against warfare. The relationships between peace and development are interdependency, interrelationship and inter-advance. It requires the state to play the leading role to coordinate the world circumstance, protect the world peace and then promote common development of the whole world.
Global warming is gradually become a significant topic in the world due to climate globalization, it persecutes nearly everybody. Because Global Warming could lead to glaciers melt, and sea level rise. Therefore, people are starting to take actions to deal with this problem. For example, in order to protect the environment, an international agreement “the Kyoto Protocol” is formulated. The purposes of the Kyoto Protocol are to cut down pollution and prevent greenhouse effect. However, the Kyoto Protocol is not formulated by individual or international organization, but drafted by states. It further proves the state play the most important role in international relations.
In conclusion, the state is still the most impotent actor in international relations. There are several strong points can be listed to get this conclusion. First of all, international organizations govern the globe, and these organizations consist of states. The state influences and powers over international organizations. Following this, globalization changes the international environment and lead to many kinds of non-state actors spring up. To a degree, these non-state actors are gaining status and influence in global economy, politics and climate, but it impossible to replace the position of the state in international relations. Any international affair is not a problem of one state but of the whole world. Taking into account the whole of these reasons, it can be concluded that the state is still the most important actor in international relations.