პარასკევი, ივნ 14, 2024
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Nodar Pkhaladze: USA—NATO Relations in the 21st Century

Nodar Pkhaladze: USA—NATO Relations in the 21st Century


It is widely believed that military alliances are created in response to a hostile party. Because of that, many of them might not last longer than a decade. There is however one successful example that has survived for 70 years. The North Atlantic Treaty Organization has been created during the Cold War with a clear objective to safeguard the Euro-Atlantic area from any potential adversary or aggression. As such its role has never expired, but on the contrary become more intense against the new challenges that became more prominent in the 21st century. From historical stand point, it can be said that the organisation, (up until last two decades) was predominantly under the US leadership. And despite the fact that many of the leading European countries today play major role in NATO, it can be said that America still presents the main pillar. As such this is no surprise that the US decisions play very crucial role in the NATO operations. Naturally, however, there have been several disagreements or different views on certain issues between the US and European allies. Some thinkers argue that the current timeline showcases that divide in stronger colours, ever since Donald Trump became the president of the United States.


The Effects of Privatization by Bretton Wood Institutions in Developing Countries

The Effects of Privatization by Bretton Wood Institutions in Developing Countries

Author: Nodar Pkhaladze

The World Bank and the International Monetary Fund are the two strongest institutions in the sphere of global trade and finance. Together, those two organs represent the Bretton Wood system. Bretton Woods was founded in 1944, with the mission to help rebuild the damaged economy of European countries after the WWII and to promote international economic cooperation. Since the creation they have been supporting developing countries in the world by providing aid. In exchange for their aid, the developing countries are usually required to complete a concrete set of criteria. These criteria are called "SAP", which stands for Structural Adjustment Programs. One of the components of this vast package is the privatisation of state-owned enterprises.

The process of privatization can be one of those many steps that should help the developing country to successfully transform into a successful economy. The problem is, that those processes not always result in success. One of the main criticisms of the Bretton Wood Institutions is the belief that they are, in reality, destabilizing the economies of states that are undergoing the transitional period. The purpose of this paper will be to look into those problems by arguing whether or not the process of privatization harms those countries. For this reason the paper will look into two separate cases, where the process of privatization was a failure (case of Guinea) and where it was a success (case of Czech Republic). As for the theory, the events will be analysed by the perspective of Friedrich List.


Has the NATO Outlived its Usefulness?

Has the NATO Outlived its Usefulness?

Author: Nodar Pkhaladze

Throughout history, military alliances were created in order to combat a mutual threat, or to bring the balance of power back to the equilibrium. Once the main mission was completed the alliance would become obsolete and cease its existence. The primary goal of the NATO, since its creation, was to ensure the peace and stability of the North-Atlantic Region. As a military alliance it is based on the principle of collective defense as well as military and political cooperation between its member states. Naturally, because of the time period, the main threat for the west was none other than the Soviet Union. Many thought that after the collapse of the USSR, the role of the alliance was fulfilled and therefore, its existence was no longer required. However, that was not the case.


Fukuyama vs Huntington

Fukuyama vs HuntingtonThe end of the Cold War was one of the most important events of the 20th century, which marked the beginning of a new era. In 1989, famous political scientist Francis Fukuyama, wrote an essay "The End of History?", the main focus of which was to argue about the developments that would take place in the post-Cold War world, as well as about the role of liberal democracy. In his paper he advocates liberal democracy, as the only legitimate type of government, and also supports the idea that by westernizing the world, conflicts based on ideology would cease to exist. Naturally his paper received both arguments in favour, as well as criticism. The most notable form of opposition his theory faced was from Samuel Huntington's "The Clash of Civilizations?", an essay that was a direct response to Fukuyama's work. Huntington, being one of the most noteworthy political scientists, contradicted his former student's (Fukuyama's) theory, arguing that conflicts would continue to exist in the world, however they would be based more on cultural and religious basis. However, in order to understand Huntington's arguments, it is crucial to examine the theory of Fukuyama first.

Fukuyama starts off, by mentioning the conflict between the communism and democracy that was present throughout the Cold War . By indicating the loss of communism with the fall of an Iron Curtain, he sees liberal democracy as the winner in this ideological war. He draws parallel to Marx, arguing that while Marx viewed communism as the ultimate and final step in the evolution of government, it would turn on the contrary. Fukuyama sees the final form of government in liberal democracy, saying that it is the only way that would lead a country towards modernization. Therefore he argues that when the liberal democracy will spread in the whole world, conflicts will cease to exist and countries will live in harmony.


European Refugee Crisis

European Refugee CrisisThe year of 2015 was one of the most difficult ones for the Europe. It was the year the ongoing refugee crisis took place. As a result of the war that plunged Syria in chaos, this processhasbecomeone of the hot debated topics. Because of the war, poverty and persecution,countless people are forced to leave behind their home and seek shelter in Europe. To do so they often use illegal ways of crossing borders within and into Europe by crossing the Mediterranean, or being smuggled through various means. It is the reason, the desperate search for the shelter often results in a tragic death for many refugees. Leaving aside the sheer number of Syrians entering Europe, the crisis is further fuelled by the fact that Europe (the EU especially) is not united in solving this problem. To say the least, not every European country is willing to accept refugees and some of them go as far as closing borders and imposing very strict border and migration control to prevent them from entering the country. The reasons for their actions are different.


Nodar Pkhaladze: "The Shadow of the Past, or the War That Never Ended: The Second Cold War"

The Shadow of the Past, or the War That Never Ended: The Second Cold WarThe 2014 Russian aggression towards Ukraine has created major concern in the Western society. Since then the officials and experts have been debating on yet another relationship deteriorations between the West and Russia, trying to draw parallels from the history and possibly explain the Russian goals. Most frequently the parallels are made with the situation during the Cold War. Through progress of time, there emerges the fear that the new Cold War is escalating, if it had ever finished. There are different concept views on this subject: some think of the current events as the 'New Cold War' or 'Cold War II', while the others claim that the Original Cold War had never ended and the present tensions are another phase of it. Of course, it also means that there are people who oppose idea theXXI century Cold War in any form. The primary indicators, that prove the existence of serious tensions between the West and Russia, are expressed in the following key characteristics: the concepts of the "Russian World" and "Sovereign Democracy"— both of which indicate the ideological contradiction between the factions; the idea of the Eurasian Union, as an economic aspect; spheres of influence expressed by "Policy of Privileged Interests"; and military forces as instrument of spreading influence in neighbouring countries.

In order to understand the reason behind the fears of the New Cold War, it is necessary to look at the timeline of certain political events.It must be noted that there are several views on the 'declaration' of the New Cold War. The most widely-spread assumption states that the conflict in Crimea is the starting point, however, should the events before 2014 be carefully observed, then it becomes obvious that the'sparks of tension' had started even earlier. Those were the following factors: August War of 2008 between Georgia and Russia;Russian President's Vladimir Putin's speech during the 2007 Munich Security Conference; and the 2004 NATO enlargement. From all the mentioned cases it is Vladimir Putin's speech regarding the issues of global security that is possible to presume as the 'declaration' of the New Cold War.In his speech he stated the following:" NATO expansion does not have any relation with the modernisation of the Alliance itself or with ensuring security in Europe. On the contrary, it represents a serious provocation that reduces the level of mutual trust". He then proceeds to accuse the NATO in being the one building the next "Belin Wall", as well astrying to substitute the UN with the NATO and the EU as a global security organization. Putin's whole speech itself questions mission of the NATO since the disbandment of the Warsaw Pact, pointing that it is the West that wishes to re-create the Cold War era tension with the Russian Federation.


Nodar Pkhaladze: "Concept and Classification of the Terrorist Organizations"

Concept and Classification of the Terrorist OrganizationsTerrorism is considered by many as an unauthorized use of violence in order to instill fear in population. Because of its broad concept, it is mistakenly often classified as only the instrument of political violence, while in reality it is the manifestation of all types of violence. Unfortunately, many journalists and politicians today tend to address every act of violence to terrorism without properly mentioning the right subtype. Not only that but many scholars (especially the representatives of the orthodox terrorism studies) address to terrorism as a new concept which (according to their theory) first took place during the September 11 attacks. This is the clear result received from the lack of information, reliance on the secondly sources as well as failure to undertake primary research. Unbeknownst to them, these actions make goals of many terrorist organisations less difficult, as not merely the false sense of security amongst people is spread, but also the enemy is given the element of surprise attack, that itself is the best way of creating terror. The worst part, however, is the fact that not everyone views them as enemies. Many people (youngsters mostly) even consider them as "freedom fighters" as they are unable to find threats in the enemies' ideology. The root of all the problems is the fact that first of all, locals are not informed about them and eventually are easily susceptible to the fear of unknown.Naturally here arises a question: What do the terrorist organisations represent exactly? Are they merely organisations consisting of several individuals? A fragment of certain movement?Alarge network that has international level?Or an ideology? To answer these questions, first of all one must define and characterise them.

According to the National Advisory Committee on Criminal Justice Standards and Goals, there are six distinct types of terrorism. All of them share the common traits of being violent acts that destroy property, invoke fear and attempt to harm the lives of civilians.


The Point of No Return, the Capital Punishment

The death penalty has been a part of human society and its legal system for centuries, regarded one of the most widely-spread ways of punishing criminals.1 However, later on this type of punishment came to be regarded as a crime against humanistic ideals by many, and its validity in the legal system has been questioned2. As the time passes by, one thing becomes more evident: that capital punishment is more of an entertainment for the public, rather than effective punishment and therefore it must be abolished. While countries like Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and almost all of the European have already abandoned capital punishment, China, the US, Iran, Belarus, and some others still maintain it.3 In most cases, death penalty is used to punish criminals for war crimes, or serious crimes associated with physical injury or drug usage and transportation. The latter one is the serious issue in countries like Malaysia, Thailand and Singapore.4 The actual history of death penalty is almost as old as the history of mankind. Though serving the same purpose, the death sentence methods have been different thorough the history.

The earliest mentions of the usage of the execution as the form of punishment, date to the Code of Hammurabi.5 The name of the term "capital punishment" is derived from the Latin "capitalis", meaning "head"6, which is self-explanatory, considering the fact that most common form of execution was beheading. However, as the history progressed, newer methods had been applied, involving burning, hanging, drowning, crucifixion, boiling to death, electrocution, firing squad, gassing – the list can be continued. The choice of a particular method in Europe in the Middle Age, for instance, depended on the social status of the condemned. Painless and respectable ways were reserved for the aristocracy; and more painful for the common people, such as hanging or breaking on the wheel. In other cases, the choice of the method was warranted by the time of crime: witches and heretics had to be burned at the stake. The French Revolution introduced a more "humane" execution method – the guillotine. Death sentence was once used on the wide variety of crime, including petty theft, even if nobody was physically hurt. As mentioned before it is death penalty is one of the controversial topics and the matter of debate.