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Blog Analysis

Blog Analysis

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Blog Analysis

International development is a broad notion that deals with the degree of progress of various key areas at an international scale. It is the foundation for international categorizations for instance, first and third world countries, as well as developing and developed countries. Analyzing the pertinent literature concerning international development particularly their main focus, the author’s perspective and the similarity with classroom discussions. The first material for discussion is “Reaching Our Development Goals: Why Does Aid Effectiveness Matter?” by Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development covers the progress of the aid reform effort initiated by the Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness (Herfkens & Bains 2015). This agreement is one of the significant efforts that guide the activities of different stakeholders at the international level as the engage in the outlined goals. In the international system, implementing a regulation, directive or even campaign demands additional effort when compared to ordinary domestic initiatives (Pearce, 2013). This is because of the challenges caused by the absence of an overall authority that can coordinate and regulate state activities effectively. Various international organizations such as the United Nations rely heavily on instruments such as agreements to implement their goals in different states. In the article, OECD discusses the way in which different actors handle the commitments concerning economic development, environment conservation and other goals (Herfkens & Bains 2015). From the discussions in the article, it is fast becoming evident that developed countries cannot assist their less developed counterparts. This realization also throws into question the level of effectiveness of such assemblies and agreements in the first place. From the classroom discussions as well as sections of the OECD paper on the Paris agreement, a similar trend is emerging (Herfkens & Bains 2015). Less developed countries are increasingly being forced to seek out new ways of fostering development within the boundaries (Logan, 2004).

It is rather unrealistic to expect that developing countries will take the lead in guiding change. Previous discussion within the classroom have revealed that these countries struggle with a wide range of deep-seated and interconnected issues that limit their capacity to effect change. From corruption, illiteracy, inability to amass capital to poorly defined public institutions and disharmony in the public-private relationships, the problems plaguing these countries cannot allow them to spearhead the development process. The rationale behind this proposal is that countries are the best judges of their current economic, political, and social situation. However, awareness alone is hardly a reason (Kingsbury, 2012). Compared to the classroom discussion on the same issue, it is clear that this approach will not yield substantial results. It is possible to explore other opportunities rather than relying on an option that has a low probability of working.

The second article under discussion is The Nature and Role of Regional Agreements in International Environmental Politics: Mapping Agreements, Outlining Future Research by Jörg Balsiger, Miriam Prys, and Niko Steinhoff. This paper discusses the emerging role of regional agreements in international politics. According to Balsiger et al. (2012), regional agreements have a central role to play n informing and coordinating different environmental efforts. In their paper, much emphasis is placed on increasing the dominance and authority of global agreements as the preferred tool for introducing change across the different actors. In their arguments, previous efforts at restoring regional environmental governance have been ineffective making it necessary to reassess their role. They also sought to analyses the workings of intergovernmental treaties. In this paper, the perspective is maintained at a macro level for the greater part of the analysis. In this way, they were able to bring out the relationships among different actors easily. It is necessary to change the focus of such discussions to the state level rather than dwelling in international arguments. The reason for this lies in the fact that states are the primary actors in the international system (Attfield, 2006). Consequently, they are responsible for the implementing the different agreements made in conferences.

In the classroom context, the discussion has covered, on several occasions, the failure of these agreements to effect meaningful change. Part of the reason is probably that the lesson was guided by the reality on the ground. The paper diverges in several ways from the discussion held in the classroom. The approach adopted by Balsiger et al. (2012) may be limited to guiding future research within the field but it is an indicator of the direction being adopted by most actors. However, it is also idealistic in nature since most of the core topics involved proposing the best way to perceive and study regions and regional agreements. The concept of regionality took precedence in the discussion on agreements (Bull & Bøås, 2010). Within the same paper, there was a tendency to rely on quantitative methods to collect data on different aspects that influence the agreements such as regional environmental cooperation, the number of signatories, main topics and global distribution (Balsiger et al., 2012). While the outcomes of the study will guide future research, the classroom discussion on the same subject pointed towards the qualitative nature of different aspects. In other words, while Balsiger et al. (2012) took on a sharply scientific angle, the school curriculum and the instruction in class focused on the impact of different actors within the international system, an approach that was extremely qualitative.

 

References

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Attfield, R. (2006). International justice and the Third World: Studies in the philosophy of development. London: Routledge.

Balsiger, J., Prys, M., & Steinhoff, N. (2012). The nature and role of regional agreements in international environmental politics: Mapping agreements, outlining future research. Hamburg: GIGA.

Bull, B., & Bøås, M. (2010). International development. Los Angeles: SAGE.

Herfkens, E., & Bains, M. (2015). Reaching Our Development Goals, Why Does Aid Effectiveness Matter. Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development.

Kingsbury, D. (2012). International development: Issues and challenges. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.

Logan, B. I. (2004). Globalization, the Third World state and poverty-alleviation in the twenty-first century. Aldershot (GB: Ashgate.

Pearce, D. (2013). Sustainable Development: Economics and Environment in the Third World. Routledge.Bottom of Form

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