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Political Science: International Relations

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Meaning of International Relations
1.2.1 International Relations and International Politics
Changing Nature of International Relations
Why Study International Relations?
Scope of International Relations
1.6.1 Traditional Approaches : Realism, Idealism, Neo-Realism
1.6.2 Scientific Approaches : BehaviouralIScientific approaches of International Politics
1.6.3 System Theory
1.6.4 Game Theory
1.6.5 Integration Theory
1.6.6 Dependence Theory
1.6.7 Feminist Approach
Let Us Sum Up
Key Words
Some Useful Books
Answers to Check Your Exercises.


After going through this unit, we will be able to :

grasp the meaning and changing nature of International Relations;
understand the utility of the study of International Relations;
comprehend its scope;
identify and explain the traditional approaches to study of International
Relations; and
explain major scientific approaches such as Systems Theory and the Game


The study of relations among nations has fascinated scholars for several centuries.
However, the term international was first used by Jeremy Banthanl in the latter part
of the eighteenth century, although its Latin equivalent intergentes was used a
century earlier by Rijchare Zouche. Both of them had used this term in respect of that
branch of law which was called law of nations, which later became 'International
Law'. During the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, international relations have
grown rapidly. Today nation-states have become far too interdependent; and relations
among them whether political or those related to trade and commerce, have
developed into an essential area of knowledge. In this unit, we are mainly concerned
with the political relations among sovereign societies called nations, or nation-states.

After the Second World War, the interdependence of sovereign States has grown
immensely. Meanwhile, in the present jet age travel has become so fast that distances
have teen considerably reduced; and with the revolution in the field of
Understahding Internatiollal Relations communication, today's satellite era has brought peoples so close to each other that
international relations have assumed unprecedented importance both as a 'condition'
and as a 'discipline' (see the section trelow).
- - -


The term International Relations (IR) may be used both for a ' condition' and a
'discipline'. Qllincy Wright, for example, makes such a distinction. The official
relations between sovereign countries are described as international relations, though
accotding to him, " ............ the word interstate would have been more accurate
because in political science the state came to be the terms applied to such societies.'
%ewed thus, international relations as 'condition' refers to the facts of international
life, that is to say, the actual conduct of relations among nations through diplomacy
based on foreign policy. It also includes actual areas of cooperation, conflict and war.
According to Wright, IR should tell the "truth about the subject" i.e., how such
relations are conducted and as a discipline IR should treat them in a systematic and
scientific manner.

In other words, IR should focus on the study of all relations-political, diplomatic

trade, ,academic among sovereign states which constitute the subject matter on
international relations. The scope of IR should include study of "varied types of
groups-nations, states, governments, peoples, regions, alliances, confederations,
international organisations, even industrial organisations, cultural organisations,
religious organisation" etc. which are involved in the conduct of these relations.

While Quincy Wright distinguished between international relations as a 'condition'

and ayiscipline', there are other scholars like Palmer and Perkins who doubted its
status as a discipline. They argued that History and Political Science are the
disciplines from which international relations has emerged. Writing abouf 40 years
ago. Palmer and Perkins had opined : "Although international relations has emerged
from its earlier status as a poor relation of political science, and history, it is still far
from being a well-organised discipline. "

One of the earlier scholars of international relations, Professor Alfred Zimmern had
written before the Second World War that : "International Relations ..... is clearly not
a subject in the ordinary sense of the word. It does not provide a single coherent body
of teaching material ..... It is not a single subject but a bundle of subjects ..... of law,
economics, political science, geography, and so on ....." International Relations,
according to Palmer and Perkins, was too subjective in character and content. In its
early stages even E.H. Carr had described it as "markedly and fkal~klyutopian." But
the failure of the League of Nations and its collective security system led Carr to
remark that it had become possible to embark on serious and critical analytical
tholught about international problems." This has been vigorously pursued by a number
of scholars after the Second World War. Today, it will not be proper to describe
Intbrnational Relations as 'Utopian or deny' it the status of an independent subject of
study. National interest is an important concern of every state. Planners and makers of
foreign policy - cannot ignore correct perception of their country's national interests
which must be protected at all costs. Hartman defines International Relations as a
field of study which focuses upon the "processes by which states adjust their national
intlerest to those of other states." Since national interests of different states are often in
conflict, Morgenthau concludes that international politics, like all politics, is a
struggle for power. Therefore, power is the means through which nations promote
their national interest.

1.2.1 Intprnational Relations and International Politics

The first Chair in International Relations was established at the university of Wales
. (U.K) in 1919. The first two occupants of the chair were eminent historians,
Professors Alfred Zin~mernand C.K. Webster. At that time, International Relations as ~ r . S t l l d rJnkmatiollal Relations?
Scope and Approaches
a subject was little more than diplomatic history. During the next seven decades this
subject has changed in nature and content. Today the analytical study of politics has
replaced descriptive diplomatic history. The term International politics is now used
for the new discipline that has been emerging since the second world war. It is more
scientific, yet narrow, as compared to International Relations.

The two terms are even now sometimes used as synonyms. But, they have two distinct
areas, or content, of study. Hans Morgenthau believes that "the core of international
relations is international politics", but a clear distinction between the two is to be
made. International Relations, according to him, is much wider in scope than
International Politics. Whereas politics among nations is, as Morgenthau says,
struggle for power, international relations includes political, economic and cultural
relations. Harold and Margaret Sprout opine that international relations include all
human behaviour on one s ~ d eof a national boundary affecting the human behaviour
on the other side of the boundary. ~nte*n&nal politics, on the other hand, deals with
conflicts and cooperation among nations essentially at political level. As Padelford
and Lincoln define it, international politics is the interaction of state policies within
the changing pattern of power relationship. Palmer and Perkins express similar
views when they say that international politics is essentially concerned with the state

Since international relations includes all types of relationships between sovereign

states, it is wider, and international politics is narrower in scope. As students of IR,
we shall indeed examine political conflicts and cooperation among states. But, we
stiall also study other aspect of relations among nations as well including pconomic
inter-action and role of the non-state actor.


The context and nature of IR have undergone major changes after the Second World
War. Traditionally, world politics was centered around Europe and relations among
nations were largely conducted by officials of foreign offices in secrecy. The common
man was hardly ever involved, and treaties were often kept secret. Today public
opinion has begun to play an important role in the decision-making process in foreign
offices, thus, changing completely the nature of international relations. Ambassadors,
once briefed by their governments, were largely free to conduct relations according to
the ground realities of the countries of their posting. Today, not only have nuclear
weapons changed the nature of war and replaced erstwhile the balance of power by
the balance of terror, but also the nature of diplomacy chanqed as well. We live in the
jet age where the heads of state and government and their foieign ministers travel
across the globe and personally establish contacts and conduct international relations.
Before the First World War a traveller from India to Britain spent about 20 days In the
sea voyage. Today, it takes less than 9 hours for a jet aircraft to fly from Delhi to
London, telephones, fax macknes, teleprinters and other electronic devices have
brought all government leaders hi direct contact. Hotline communicat~onsbetween
Washington and Moscow, for example, keeps the top world leaders in constant touch.
This has reduced the freedom of ambassadors who receive daily instructions from
their governments.
Decoloni$ation has resulted in the emergence of a large number of sovereign states.
The former colonies of the European Powers, including India, have become important
actors on the stage of international relatioh. They were once silent spectators. Today,
they participate in the conduct of world politics. The disintegration of the Soviet
Union has created 15 members of the United Nations, instead of the previous three.
Some of the very small countries like Nauru may have no power but they also have, an
Untlentnndine International Relatiolls equal voice in the General Assembly. Four very small countries viz. Liechtenstein,
San Marino, Monaco and Andorra were admitted to the U.N. during 1990-93. The
total number of U.N. members has gone up from 51 in 1945 to 185 in 1997. Thus,
international rclations are now conducted by such a large number of new nation-
states. Besides, many non-state actors such as multinational corporations and
transnational bodies like terrorist groups have been influencing international relations
in a big way. With the collapse of the Soviet Union as a Super Power, the United
States has emerged as the supreme monolithic power and can now dominate the
international scene almost without any challenge. The Non-Alignment Movement
((NAM) still exists but with the dismemberment of one of its founders (i.e. :
Yugoslavia) and the disappearance of rival power blocs, the role of the 'Third World'
has changed along with that of NAM.

Check Your Progress 1

Note : i) Use the space below for your answers.

ii) Check your progress with the model answer given at the end of the unit.

1) Distinguish between international relations as a 'condition' and as a


... ................................................................................................................

2) Explain the meaning of international relations.

3) What is the distinction between international relations and international



4) Describe briefly the changing nature of international relations.

Why St~~cly

International Relations (IR), is closely related with several disciplines. These include
History, Political Science, Law, Econonlics, and Geography. What is the utility of the
study of IR as a separate subject'? You know that no country in the World can live in
isolation. Even when means of transportation and colnmunication were primitive or
much less developed than today, sovereign states did interact with each other. They
cooperated at times, and had frequent conflicts which often led to wars. Relations
among those states were generally studied by Historians and Political Scientists.
Diplomatic History was usually studied for understanding relations anlong sovereign

During the second half of the twentieth century, revolution in the means of travel and
comnlunication has not only changed the nature of international relations, but made .
its study essential for every enlightened qerson.

We are today living in an interdependent state - system. It is essential for all of us to

have a clear idea of wlht is happening in the world. Political events are important,
but even economic developments, trade, commerce and activities of actors like
multinational corporations are no less significant. We live in an age of growing
international cooperation. Therefore, not only do the activities of the United Nations
and its numerous agencies affect all the nations and their peoples, but regional
organisations like the European Union, South Asian Association of Regional
Cooperation (SAARC), Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the '

Organisation of African Unity (OAU) also play important roles in our lives.
International terrorism has been a concern for the humankind and economic
institutions like the World Bank and the World Trade Organisation (WTO) affect
international relations. The study of International Relations has therefore become
highly useful and enlightening for students and others alike.



Beginning with the study of law and diplomatic history, the scope of international
relations has steadily expanded. With growing complexity of contacts between
nations, the study of international organizations and institutions attracted the I
attention of scholars. The outbreak of the Second World War gave a strong stimulus
to area studies and strategic aspect of foreign policy. This led to efforts to understand
better the dynamics of national liberation struggles and anti-colonial movements.
The foundation of the United Nations during the war encouraged thinking about
post-war restructuring of the relations among nations. The study of cooperation
became important even as the study of conflict remained central. The immediate
aftermath was marked by a constructive outlook. This is reflected in titles of books
like Swords and Pldughshares written by Inis Claude. New topics like ideology and
disarmament assumed unprecedented importance in the era of cold war. So did the
system of alliances and regionalism. Contemporary international relations embrace
the whole gamut of diplomatic history, international politics, international
organisation, international law and area studies. Writing about the contents of
international relations, a few decades back, Palmer Perkins had said that the then
international relations was a study of "the world community in transition." This
conclusion is largely true even today. The transition has not reached a terminal point.
While the underlying factors of international relations have not changed, the
international environment has changed and is still changing. The state system is
undergoing modifications; a technological revolution h s taken place in a very big
way; new states of Asia and Africa are playing increasi gly importaqt roles. India, in
particular, is in a position to assert and take a rigid stand, as in 1696 on the question
of signing the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT). There is also a "revolution of 11
- -

Understanding Internntional Relations rising expectations." Thus, as Palmer and Perkins wrote, "old and new elements must
be interwoven" in the contemporary international relations. "The focus is still the
nation state system and inter-state relations; but the actions and interactions of many
organisations and groups have also to be considered."

The scope of international relations at the end of the twentieth century has become
very vast indeed. The world has virtually become a "global village", as
interdependence of states has increased manifold. Economic relations between states,
the role of international institutions like the World Bank, International Monetary
Fund ahd the World Trade Organisation today influences econonlic activity all over
the worlld. The United Nations and its various agencies are engaged in numerous
socio-economic and political activities. International terrorism is a cause of serious
concern for the human existence. Multinational Corporations (MNCs), wlzo are giant
companies operating the world over, are important non-state actors of international
relations. Thus, the scope of international relations has become vast, and, besides

.Yonr Progress
international politics, it embraces various other inter - State activities as well.

Note : i) Use the space below for your answers.

ii) Check yonr progress with the model answer given at the end of the unit.

1) Briefly describe the utility of the study of international relations.

2) What is the scope of contemporary international relations?

2 +


There are many approaches to the study of international relations. The traditional or
classical approach treated History as the laboratory from which meaningful
conclusions could be drawn. Two of the main schools of the traditional approach are
Realism and Idealism. Whereas the Realism School considers the struggle for power
as the central point of all international relations, the Idealism School believes in the
inherent goodness of man. Realists like Morgenthau do not attach much importance
to means, or morality. For them national interest is the aim that must be served with
the help of power. The idealists, on the other hand, feel that the ideal of world peace
is attainable with the help of reason, education and science. In recent years, Neo-
Realism has appeared as another approach to the study of international relations.
1.6.1 Traditional Approaches : Realism, Idealism and Neo-Realism Wh~Sh1d~InternrtiolllReln~o~?
Scope nnd Appronches
The two most important variants of the traditional approach of international relations
are Realism and Idealism. Taking inspiration from Kautilya and Machiavelli, the
leading twentieth century realists George Kennan and Hans Morgenthau argued that
the struggle for power is the central point of all international relations. Individuarls
believe that others are always trying to attack and destroy them, and therefore, they
must be continuously ready to kill others in order to protect themselves. This basic;
human instinct guides the States as well. Thus, the realists argue that rivalry and
strife among the nations in some form or the other are always present. Just as self:-
interest guides the individual's behaviour, similarly national interest also guides tbe
foreign policy of nation-states. Continued conflict is the reality of international
relations and realists attribute this to the struggle for power. Thus, national interea,
as defined in terms of power, is the only reality of international relations. The
realists do not attach much significance to means, for them national interest is the
end, and it must be promoted at all costs.

Hans 1. Morgenthu's influential book "Politics among Nations" (1972) carried the
torch of realism far and wide. For the realists, distribution of powers among states is
all thatis there to explain in IR. Given a particular distribution of power, the realists
claim that, it is possible to explain both the characteristics of the system and the
behaviour of the individual states. The idealists firmly believe that the essential
goodness of human nature will eventually pre ail and that a new world order would
emerge which would be marked by the absen e of war, inequality and tyranny. This
new world order would be brought about by the use of reason, education and science.
Idealism presents a picture of future international relations free from power politics,
violence and immorality. Idealism argues that an international organisation
commanding respect of nation-states would pave the way for a world free of conflicts
and war. Thus, the crucial point on which the realists and idealists sharply differ is
the problem of power. St. Simon, Aldous Huxley, Mahatma Gandhi and Woodrow
Wilson a;e among the prominent idealists. Morality is vital for them as they aim at
international peace and cooperation.

An analysis of Realism and Idealism will show that both have their validity provided
they give up their extremism. The approach that takes a middle position between
"idealistic utopianism" and "cynical realism" is called Eclecticism. It has been
described as a sort of synthesis of the 'pessimism of realism' and 'optimism of
idealism'. Eclecticism tries to use the best in both realism and idealism. The former
has been described by Quincy Wright as a representative of short-run national
policies whereas idealism represents long-term policies of intearnationalism. Realists
have been called 'Children of darkness' and idealists the 'children of light'. Neibuhr
regards the children of darkness as evil and wicked and the children of light as
virtuous. But, on the basis of another cirterion, he says, the realists are wise as they
understand the power of self-will, and the idealists are foolish because they under-
estimate the risk ~f anarchy in the international community. Both have something to
learn from this.
Neo-Realism, also known as 'Structural Realism' is one of the current approaches to
the study of international relations. Waltz, Grieco, Keohane and Joseph Nye are
among the prominent neo-realists. Neo-Realists believe that might is right in a system
which is essentially Hobbesian (full of strife) in nature. The great powers are engaged
in permanent rivalry. The structure has, more or less, remained one of anarchy though
the prominent actors have been changing. The term 'structure' has been referred to
"how the actors in a system stand in relation to each other." The present structure
being anarchical (challenges to state domination are rampant), one finds powerful
states are most interested in trying to prevent others froin improving relative
capabilities. Keohane and Nye add that with the increasing r o l w f non-state actors, I
U~ldemtandinghlternatiollal Relations the structure has become even more complex and unpredictable. In short, neorealism
belleves that the nation-states still remain the most important actors in world politics:
behaviour of the states can be explained rationally; states seek power and calculate
their interests in terms of power. (All these they share with the scholars of realism).
Hdwever, the neorealists add, the international system is characterized by anarchy and
emerging 'multi-centric' activities emanating from sources other than state. This
complexity is further compounded by international terrorism, religious war-fares,
increasing incidence of civil wars and emerging competitive multinational

In the post-cold war years, international arena has assumed a new form. Nation-states
are being threatened by divisive and secessionist movements. Many of the conflicts
have assumed deadly proportions. According to John Stremlau "prevention has
become a buzz word among diplomats seeking to stem anarchy in Africa. the Balkans,
the new states of the former Soviet Union, and elsewhere." In 1992, for example, out
of 30 conflicts across the world as many as 29 were military actions taking place
inside states. One can refer to such examples to show that more military actions are
being taken recourse to inside states rather than outside and among them. The ethnic
conflict in erstwhile Yugoslavia (conflict between Serbs and Croats, and between
Serbs and Bosnians), insurgency within Afghanistan, the conflict in Iraq regardiag
Kurds, chaotic conditions inside Somalia, the conflict in Sri Lanka, Mohajir Quami
Movement (MQM) related conflict in Palustan and terrorist activities i n northern
Indian States of Jammu & Kashmir and Punjab, are some of the ongoing military or
paramilitary actions within nation-states. In the post-cold war conflicts, 90 per cent of
casualties have been of civilians, not of the soldiers. Thus, neo-realism stresses the
struggle for power not only between states but also intra-state struggles in an
'anarchic' world.

It will not be out of place here to mention that at a socio-political level, domestic
determination of foreign policy options was not an important consideration with the
realists who preferred states to remain confined to diplomatic, military and strategic
sources of power. (See the box below). The post-cold war realists believe that peace
was made possible in the world during the cold war period (1945-89) owing to stable
bipolarity, balance of terror and a belief that nuclear war could be suicidal. With the
end of the cold war, the realists hope for lasting peace to result out of the rules of
conduct (for international relations) to be enforced by the United States which has
virtual mondpoly of powers. Realism today recognises the role of the United Nations,
Internatiphal Monetary Fund and World Trade Organisation yet they are still
considered to be subordinate to the wishes of the powerful states. The realists do net
want proliferation of nuclear weapons so that monopoly of the American power is
maintained in that sector. Thus, realists (and neo-realists) still believe in promotion
of national interest as expressed through State power. Despite international
organisations, reg'rqes and non-state actors, power continues to dominate
international relations, the realists still maintain.

It may be of interest to students to note that Realism and Neorealistic approaches are
mostly confined to,$ studies in USA and Europe. Bbth stress on state power systems
and inter-state relations. An important difference between the two is, however, one of
degree and focus.

Neorealism (which appeals more widely in USA and Europe) in IR differs from
Realism by virtue of its lesser concern with the diplomatic, military and strategic
sources which maintain or disturb the balance of power and more pre-occupation
with the political and economic concerns which need to be addressed for a
sustainable international system. Most of the neo-realists therefore have been
students of international political economy. IR studies began focussing on the
developing countries after neo-realistic approach came to vogue. They are more
concerned with issues of dependence and development as against the state-centered why study I~~ternational
Scope and Appronclles
approaches espousing the cause of "hegemonic stability" (that is to say, uneven
distribution of power with one or a few states holding superior power to ensure
stability in the world). As behaviouralists like Prof. James Rosenau often
complained, concerned Third World students of IR often tend to be attracted to
"dependency theory" (see below). This perspective posits that the Third World has
been historically exploited by rich nations of the developed West.

1.6.2 Behavioural/Scientific Approaches of International Politics

Behavioural approaches to study of IR are often claimed by their western adherents to
be scientific because they are based on quantitative calculations.

They made us nlore aware of the complex nature of conflicts and provided many
valuable insights into decision r making. The ultimate objective of the behaviouralist
scholars is to develop a general theory of international relations. The traditional
approach was rooted largely in Political Science and drew heavily from Law, History
and Philosophy. With the help of the behavioural approach, a discipline of
international relations is at last beginning to emerge which is devoted to behavioural
studies in IR.

There are several theories which may be lumped together under scientific/behavioural
approach. Some like Systems Theory are more comprehensive than others like
Bargaining and Game Theories. We will in this section briefly deal with only two of
these behavioural scientific theories viz., the System Theory and the Game Theory.

1.6.3 System Theory

A system is defined as a set of elements interacting with each other. Another
important feature of the system is that it has a boundary which separates it from the
environment, the latter however, influences the system in its operations. Generally
speaking, a system may be either natural (e.g. solar system), or mechanical (a car, a
clock or a computer), or social (e.g. family). The social system itself may be related
either to "society, or economy, or politics, or international systems."

The general concept of an internationat system, and of international systems, formed

the basis of work for many 'major scholars, Karl W. Deutsch and Raymond Aron
being among the most prominent. As Aron observed, there has never been an
international system including the whole of the planet. But in the post-war period,
"for the first time, humanitfr is living.(in) one and the same history, and there has
emerged some kind of global system". It is greatly heterogeneous but not to an extent
that scholars may fail to hold them together in a discipline. As a matter of fact,
Stanley Hoffman's working definition of the discipline was sufficient. "An
international system", according to Hoffman "is a pattern of relations between the
basic units of world politics which is characterized by the scope of the objectives
pursued by these units and of the tasks performed among them, as well as by thg
means used in order to achieve those goals and perform those tasks". (System and
Process in International Politics, 1957).
Among others, Prof. Morton Kaplan is considered the most influential in the
systems theorizing of IR. He presented a number of real and hypothetical models of
global political organisation. His six well known models were (i) balance of power
system, (ii) loose bipolar system, (iii) tight bipolar system, (iv) universal actor
system, (v) hierarchical system, and (vi) Unit Veto system. The first two are
historical realities; the rqmaining four are hypothetical models. Although Kaplan did
not say that his six systems were likely to emerge in that order, yet it was expected
that the Super Power being very powerful, non-aligned countries were Likely to lose
their status and become partsxf one or the other power blocs, leading to a tight
bipolar world. With the collapse of the former Soviet Union in 1991, the erstwhile
Understanding Illterllntionnl Rel;~tiola bipolarity phenomenon ended. Wh~lcthe Uniled States emerged Inore powerful than
other countries, many countries like Germany and Japan a l m e r g e d as major
economic powers. Thus, depending upon how one analyses the emerging global
order, it may be characterized as a unipolar or a multipolar world. The present
situation does not however fall strictly within any one of the six-models of Morton
Kaplan which are described briefly below :
1. The Balance of Power System : This system prevailed in Europe during the
eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. In this system some powerful states seek to
maintain equilibrium of power individually or in alliance. Usually there is a
'balancer' - a state which assists anyone who is likely to become weaker than others
so that balance is not disturbed.
2. The Loose Bipolar System : This was the situation during the days of cold war
politics. Despite bipolar division of the global power scene, some countries refused to
align with either block. They hang loose in an otherwisc stratified global order.
Examples : Non-aligned countries (NAM).
3 . The Tight Bipolar System : Think of a situation where the international actors
like NAM countries are forced to align with either block, the result is-one of the tight
bipolar system.
4. Thk Universal Actor System : In this system, an international organisation or 1
actor commanding universal allegiance becomes the centre of power. Whether big or
small, all states will accept the superiority of a universal actor like the United
Nations. Thus, without giving up their sovereignty, nation-states will strengthen the
United Nations and generally abide by its decisions. This may eventually pave the
way for a world government.
5 . The Hierarchical International System : In this system one country will become
so powerful that all other states will be virtually dictated to by that one Supreme
Power. This situation may be described as a 'Unipolar World Model'. The U.N. may
still exist, but there will be no true non-aligned country and even the U.N. will not
have enough power.
6. The Unit Veto System : Morton Kaplan's Unit Veto System in international
context resembles the 'state of nature' as defined by Thomas Hobbes. Each state will
be the enemy of every other state, because almost all the countries will possess
nuclear weapons. Thus, all the international actors will be capable of using nuclear
weapons against their enemies.
These six models were later supplemented by Kaplan himself by some other models.
Meanwhile, other scholars have also suggested some other models. Thus, Couloumbis
and Wolfe endorse Kaplan's six models, but add three more. These three are
a) multibloc (or interregional) model, b)hhe national-fragmentation (or multipolar)
model, and c) the post-nuclear war mddel.
The multi-bloc model portrays a world divided into five to seven mutually exclusive
spheresof influence. Each of these spheres would be controlled by one major power,
thus giving rise to a multipolar world.
The National Fragmentation Model will be the outcome of political and territorial
disintegration. Ethnic, tribal or racial separatist movements may cause many of the
large states to disinteg;ate into small fragmented units. Examples : the former Soviet
Union, former Yugoslavia and former Czechoslovakia which have split into several :
sovereign states.
The Post-Nuclear War Model : is the world after a catastrophic nuclear war. If suchh
a war takes place, its aftermath would be ghastly. In such a situation, only the most
tyrannical regimes would be able to maintain orderly distribution of food, shelter and
medicink. A new order will have to be found out to overcome such chaotic
conditions. - r
1.6.4 Game Theory Why Study hternational Relations?
Scope and Approaches
Game theory attempts to provide models for studying world politics, especially in
highly competitive situations when outcomes of the actions are difficult to anticipate.
This has led scholars to create the game theory for a more scientific study of the
calculation of probabilities in an uncertain situation. Game theory was created almost
in one shot with the publication of Theory of Gamcs and Economic Behaviour
(Princeton, 1994) by the mathematician John von Neumann and the economist
Oskar Morgenstern. Karl Deutsch and Martin Shubik are among influential
theorists who followed them. Though the economists were the first to adapt it to their
purpose in recent years it has been applied to many other fields with suitable
In its slmplest version, the game theory is the model of a zero sum game which
describes the situation of conflict/competition i n which one party's total loss is
exactly equal to the other adversary's total gain. This explains the name - the sum
total of gain and loss is zero. For the study of IR, game theory model however is a
multiparty non-zero-sum game. This is because as J.K. Zawodny reminds us, "we
must recognize that some types of international conflicts today can be resolved only
by s~tuatloilsin which neither side loses and in which sometimes both sides may

As you must have already understood, isolated, coinpletely independent states, are
not affected by what other states do. They however are affected and interact through
mutual dependence for some benefits. States play games to have maximum gains out
of such a situation of inter-dependence.

The two most important kinds of game that have been suggested are the "Chicken
Game" and the game of "Prisoner's Dilemma". In the chicken game situation two car
drivers are going in the middle of the road towards each other from the opposite
sides. Unless one of them stops on the side and gives way to the other, there is a
possibility of serious accident which may even result in the death of one or both the
drivers Any one who gives, way to the other will suffer a loss of reputation but
accident will be avoided. Nations often face such a situation. Generally, none wants
to suffer loss of reputation. The underlying idea of chicken game is that inspite of not
being able to know the intention of its opponent, a country's foreign policy - makers
can adopt such a course as would ensure its own interest only if it does not mind the
other country also benefiting from that course of action. A country standing on its
prestige may suffer heavy losses.
The situation in prisoners dilemma is different. A nation, like a prisoner, often faces
dilemma without having the slightest idea of its opponent's intentions. In this model
two persons, charged with murder, are kept in two cells and they can neither see nor
talk to each other. The prison-in-charge tells both of them separately that if one of
them confesses to murder, and the other does not, the one who confesses will not only
be set free but rewarded, and the other prisoner will be hanged. If none of them
confesses, both will be freed but without reward. But if both of them confess, they
both would be given serious punishment. The game suggests that everyone wants
reward or advantage, but may land in serious situation as it does not know the mind
of the other.
1.6.5 Integration Theory

The theory is associated with the names of Charles Kegley and Wittkopf. In an
essay published in 1993, they rejected the realist view of human nature. They argue
that human beings have diverse make-ups, and that human action is based on
voluntary choice influenced by environment. The liberals reject the view that
international relations are anarchic. They argue that the international system today is
based on transnational interactions which create areas of interdependence. Societies
-I . - ,
: i :Z . : : I and gox~ernnlefitsare being knit together by growillg cultural holllogeneity alld
economic and social interdependence. Various international agencies and regimes
like the World Trade Organisation promote integration: The Liberals emphasise the
g r o v h g role of non-Site actors like NGOs, regional organisations etc, i n proGoting
regional and global interdependence.

The liberals do not accept the view that the world has,become unipolar. They feel
1113t in the post-cold war years the world is movibg in the direction of multi-polarity.
A: thi: same time there is increasing inter-state cooperation to reduce mistrust and
tension in order to promote peace. Global interdependence has led to a growing
coilcern anlong all governiilents about nuclear proliferation, global recession, ozone
depletion, climatic changes and AIDS. These common concerns indicati:
interdependence and need for the scholars to examine these problems in the context
of integration. The liberals, therefore, insist on the study of these and other
orgzlnisations. They believe that expanding the U.N. System promotes
iutdrdependence. To sum up : the liberal concern for interdependence is related to
inultipolarity in the post-cold war period. increasing role of U N. and other non-
governmental and regi2qal organisations, and consequent integration under the
nnfluence of western industrialised countries.

1.6.6 Dependency Approach

Where,- the realists argued for 'hegemonic stability' and the liberals for
interdeper~~,,~ie among the states, concerned scholars of the Third World however
always argued that the main basis for the contemporary, international relationships
should be found in their 'under-development'. It has not been a big formal theory but
the 'dependency approach' which originated from Latin America challengcd the
dominant myth that the solutions for the ills of the underdevelopment i n the Third
Vvi~rldlay in following the modern, realist prescriptions from the West. In the field of
international relations, scholars from the Dependency School argued that (i) the
present conditions of dependence in the periphery largely are due to the past
exlaloitation by developed countries that from in the 'core' now, (ii) relations among
nations therefore are essentially asymmetrical and (iii) such an ssylnmetry is not
merely confined to State-to-State relationships (because international relations/
trflnsactions involve a host of ties among groups and classes between, within and
across the nations). Arguments centred around'structures of dependence-both of the
past and the prcscnt and emphasis was laid on factors and forces which were not of
prin1al-y concern for either the realists or the neo-realists or even the liberals.
Inspired largely by Marxian influences, politics among nations has been considered
largely as an expression of global forces and currents of development in all their
uhevenness throughout history that continues through the present also. Profs. F.H.
Cardoso (later the President of Brazil), Raul Prebisch and his colleague, Andre
Gunder Fr nk are some of the well-known names associated with this approach
which is enjoying widespread appeal even among the W~sternscholars.

1.6.7 The Feminist Approach

As the name suggests, this 1s a-recent but influential approach whiek&elieves that
international relations are competitive, power-oriented and exploitative mainly
because of male domination in politics. The argument is that international relations
would be mQre balanced and effective if women were given their due share in politics
through several ways. Liberal feminists believe that education, political mobilisation
and change will bring about the desire tegults. But radical feminists feel
that capitalism is the main cause of gender inequality and therefore, adoption of
socialism will hasten the process of gender equality, which in turn will ensure peace
in the world. It is argued that it is man's gender bias imposed by western philosophy
also which needs to be overcome. Thus, the feminist theory traces all problcms of
international relations to gender inequality and domination by men. Critics however W h y Study IntemntlonalRelaUona7
Scope an&Appr~~ehos
point out that gender diffirertces are natural, rooted in biology, and it is not men but
the society in which we grow which is to be addressed for remedies. Cynthia Enloe
and Spike Peterson are among some important names associated with the Feminist
Check Your Progress 3

Note : i) Use the space below for your answers.

ii) Check your progress with the model answer given at the end of the unit.
1) Describe briefly the theories of Realism and Idealism.

2) What is Neo-Realism?

3) Explain briefly Kaplan's six models of systems theory.

4) What is the LiberalIInterdependence Theory?
In this unit we have introduced the learners to international relations. The discipline
began to develop when the first Chair in International Relations was established in
1919 at the University of Wales. From diplomatic history to the present, the scientific
study of international relations makes a fascinating story. International Relations as
a 'condition' rekrs to official relations between sovereign states; as a 'discipline' it
is systen~aticknowledge of such inter-state relations. As a subject of study,
International relations is focused upon the "process by which states adjust their
national interest to those of other states."
A distinction between International Relations and International Politics is both
desirable and essential. While international politics deals only with official and
diplomatic relations between nations, international relations is wider in scope as it
includes political, economic, geographic, legal and cultural relations. In a way,
international politics is a part of international relations. The nature and content of
international relations has undergone a big change particularly after the Second
World War, thanks mpinly to revolutionary technologies of communication. Secret
diplomacy has become a thing of the past. Summit and conference diplon~acyhas
changed the nature of international relations. Its scope has widened and includes not
only official political relations, but also such diverse activities of like cultural,
scientific'and economics. The roles of universal actors like the United Nations, IMF
World Bank, WTO the inter-state actors such as the SAARC, ASEAN and the non-
state actc:.- like nlultinational corporations, NGOs etc. also constitute the scope of
international relations.
Several approaches have been adopted by scholars (from time to time) to study
international relations. The traditional approach depended heavily on Law, Hlstory
and Political Science. Two of these approaches are Realism and Idealism. Rea1'u m
~nsistson the importance of national interest and power and considers all
international relations as struggles for power. Idealism believes that power is a
passing phase, and world peace can be made possible with the help of education,
science and reason. The Behavioural approach which became prominent after the
Second World War is interdisciplinary in nature. There are theories like systems and
Game Theories which offer new behavioural models of international politics. In this
unit, we have briefly dealt with the Systems Theory and the Game Theory. The Unit
ends with brief discussions on two other approaches in International Politics, viz.,
Dependency and Feminist Approaches.

Discipline A systematically developed branch of
Condition Actual state of affairs
Behavioural : Pertaiding to obsefvable behaviour.
Classical : Long-skanding and rooted in history.
Game : A situation of do~fipetitionwhere the outcome
is uncertain but the probability of behaviour
can be rationally calculated for gains.
Idealist One who believes in ideal aims and moral
principles in,the conduct of international
One who believes in reality of selfish interest,
inevitability of c o h i c t s and disputes and role
of power. Moral princvles are less important.
Scientific : Based on objective, empirical method of Why Study h~ten~atiollal Relatiola?
Scope n ~ l dApproaches
System A set of elements in functional interaction
with each other. It exists in an environment
and is composed of parts which through
interaction are related to each other.


Morgenthau, Hans : Politics Among Nations : The Struggle for
Power and Peace.
Knorr, K. & Rosenau, J.N. : Contending Approaches to International
Claude, Inis Power and International Relations
Mc Cllenland, Charles A. : Theory and International Systems
Kaplan, Morton : systems and Process in International


Check Your Progress 1

1) As a 'condition', the actual official relations between sovereign states - their

disputes and conflicts and cooperation between them. As a 'discipline' it is
systematic study of such inter-state relations which need not always be
confined to state-to-state reIations.

21 Study of all inter-state relations. Primarily, political relations constitute.

international relations, but it also includes economic relations, trade and
cominerce and even inter-state matters pertaining to industrial, cultural and
religious spheres.

3) International Relations is wider in scope; International Politics is concerned

with interaction of state policies within changing pattern of power
relationship. It deals with factors and forces influencing relations among

4) It is no more limited to European states; has become actually international

after decolonisation; techriological revolution in travel comnlunication and
nature of weapons and war all have changed the na& of International
Check Your Progress 2

1) Living in an interdependent state - system where distances have been

reduced and contacts, conflicts and cooperation among states affect o w lives,
study of International Relations is very useful.

21 It includes the study of inter-state political and economic relations. Role of

organisations like UN, World Bank, IMF, WTO and numerous multinational
corporations is also yithin the scope of International Relations.
Check Your Progress 3

11 Realis111takes into account the dominant role of power in international

relations. National interest is vital and nations protect it through the
UnderstanJlng I n t e r ~ ~ a t l o ~Relatiolls
~al medium of power. Politics is struggle for power. Idealism insists on
application of moral principles, regards power as a passing phase, seeks
world peace through education, reason etc.

2) Neo-realism, also known as structural realism, believes that international

relations are marked by international anarchy. Anarchy results since non-
state actors have come up. Examples : international terrorism, religion and
competitive multinational corporations - MNCs, NGOs, multilateral
agencies like World Bank, IMF, WTO and above all, the UN system.

3) Kaplan's scientific study of international systems suggests : balance of power

system, loose bipolar system, tight bipolar system, universal actor system,
hierarchical system, and Unit Veto System.

4) It rejects the view that international relations are anarchical. For them, the
international system is based on transnational iilteractions which create
interdependence. This approach believes in relations based on mutual
dependence of nation - states and consequent integration of the world.
2.2.1 Meaning of Imper'ialism
2.2.2 Developlnent of Imperialism
2.2.3 What is Colonialism?
.2.4 Neo-Colonialism
2.3.1 The Concept of Nationalism
2.3.2 Stogzs of Nationalism
2.4.1 Esselltial Features of Fascism
2.4.2 Fascism in Italy, Germany and Spain
2.4.3 Mussolini - From Socialist to Fascist
2.4.4 Causes of the rise of Fascism in Italy
2.4.5 Neo-fascism in Europe
2.5.1 What is a Revolution?
2.5.2 Some nlajor Revolutions
Let Us Sum Up
Seine Useft11 Books
Answers to Check Your Progress Exercises


After going through this unit, which discusses four important concepts, we will be
able to :
analpse the concept of impprialisin;
relate colonialisn~with international relations;
explain neo-colonialism which is the contemporary form of imperialism;
describe the significance and meaning of nationalism:
recall various kinds and stages of nationalism:
explain the nleaning of Fascism;
recall the causes that were responsible for the rise of fascism after World War I.
analyse the meaning and significance of revolutions; and
describe some of the major revolutions like Industrial revolution, French
Revolution and the Bolshevik Revolution.


The term imperialism denotes domination of one political system over another.
Inlperialisln is a phenomenon which grew out of capitalism and decisively influenced
the course of international relations. Essentially, imperialism is a consequence of the
econonlic and political processes of our times that at least twice led to world wars in
the 20th centurq..
IJlltlersk1lldb~ is one of the most important concepts. Nationalism is a feeling which
binds a people together. It enables people to fight for their freedom and for protection
of the national interest of their state. Modern nation-state is the result of vigorous
nationalism. Today, every state talks of national aspirations, national hopes, national
fear and national conflict Nationalism has been described as the master key for the
understanding of international relations.

Fascism, as political theory is associated with Mussolini, the Italian dictator of the
inter war period. Unlike most other political doctrines such as Marxism and
Individualisn~,Fascism was more a prograinme of action than an ideology. It
emerged mainly as a reaction against injustice alleged to have been done to Italy and
Germany. While Germany felt humiliated by the terms of the Treaty of Versailles
signed at the Peace'Conference at Paris, Italy was disappointed that it was not
sufficiently rewarded for all the contribution it had made to the war on the Allied
side. As a result, people in these two countries wanted their governments to follow a
inore aggressive policy which was pursued by the fascists. Fascism is totalitarian in
approach. It is against the principles of democracy, socialism and even ~ndividualism.

Revolution is a sudden break from the existing system. It is a concept of social

change indicating over-all change of the system. The Illdustrial revolutioil in Britain,
brought about significant changes in that country's socio-economic structure and
gave birth to capitalism. It also had far-reaching impact on countries of Europe who
begail a race for colonialism. It was, indirectly, responsible for rapid growth of
imperialism. The French and the American revolutions brought into focus
democracy, liberty and equality. The Bolshevik Revolutioll of 1917 changed the face
of Russia and brought into existence the socialist system.

In this unit we will briefly read about the concepts of iillperialism, nationalism.
fascisin and revolution.

Palmer and Perkins write that it is almost impossible to give a generally acceptable
definition of imperialism. They say : "Imperialism can be discussed. denounced,
defended, and died for, but it cannot be defined in any generally acceptable way."
Imperialism was regarded by the Western countries as essential in terms of the
"White Man's Burden". But, it was universally condemned in the countries of Asia
and Africa who were victims of inlperialism. Political domination and econon~ic
exploitation of one county by another clearly explains the meaning of imperialism.
Despite Palmer and Perkins' views about definition of imperialism, we find different
scholars giving different, often divergent, definitions of impcrialism.

2.2.1 Meaning of Imperialism

According to Moritz Julius Bonn, "Imperialism is a policy which aims at creating,
organising and maintaining an empire; that is, a state of vast size con~posedof
various more or less distinct national units and subject to a single centralized will."
Charles A Beard wrote : "Imperialism is ..... employnlent of the engines of
government and diplomacy to acquire territories, protectorates, and/or spheres of
influence occupied usually by other races or peoples, and to promote industrial, trade,
and investment opportunities ...." A clear yet crisp definition was given by P.T. Moon.
He wrote, "Imperialism .... means domination of non-European native races by totally
dissimilar European nations." Thus, Moon clearly indicates domination of coloured
peoples of Asia and Africa by the Europeans who considered themselves superior and
their colonial administration as burden on the white man. Though Beard excludes all
economic motivations, the history of imperialism definitely points to economic
exploitation as a primary drive in expansion of the empire by the 'western countries.
Morgenthau, the eminent realist scholar who considers all politics as struggle for Some Concepb :Impertalismn,
Nationalism, Fasdsm, Revolution
power, scraps the condition of,economic motivation. He defines imperialism in terms
of expansion of a State's power beyond its borders. Schumpeter regards imperialism
as a force "ancient in inception, decadent and self-conscious in an age of rationalism,
yet still powerful enough to lord it over its rival, the upstart capitalism." The Marxist
writers do not agree with the view that in~perialismis a rival of capitalism. For them,
as Lenin said, imperialism is not only entirely economic, but also a rather precise
stage (the highest) in the development of capitalism.
Motivation for imperialism has generally been economic in nature : to gain economic
advantage from exploitation of a colony. It invariably resulted in empire building,
though some western writers prefer to separate economic motivation from desire for
a vast empire. Palmer and Perkins attempt to explain, what they call good and bad
in~perialisms;though from the point of view of the Third World countries, there
could never be a good imperialism because exploitation cannot be good to anybody.
The apparent victory of capitalism and eclipse of socialism in Eastern Europe do not
suggest that imperialism has become less exploitative and more beneficial to these
new den~ocracieswhich were born in these circumstance. Further, many studies
carried out by international organizations like ILO, FAO, WHO (of the UN) and even
by World Bank, IMF etc. present data which clearly show that there has been capital
transfcrs and decline in standards of living among the people in the Third World
countries indicating that "the imperialist exploitation and domination of these
countries is more through than ever". All these have however been possible owing to
an adverse international political economy in which the Third World countries were
subjected to unequal terms of trade, ever-expanding transnational corporations and
the external debt trap.
In an influential study (Imperialism - A Historical Survey) Harry Magdoff has
concluded that the phenomenon of imperialisin as represented by the hegemony of
inoi~opolycapital and the aggressive capitalist nation-state (Lenin) continues
unabated: the structures and forms of exploitation only have changed. Magdoff
observed three major changes which have recently come up in the imperialist
exploitation :
1. the integration of military production with the dominant industrial sectors.
2. the rising importance of the multi-national corporations which drive towards
world-wide control of the most profitable and newest industries in both the
peripllery and the advanced countrics; and
3. the priority of the interests of the military multi-national industry in the
affairs of the state
These new changes in imperialist exploitation are noteworthy since if anything, the
exploitation of the countries in the periphery (the Third World) has only intensified.
It is definitely not the other way. The end of the Western colonialism gave such
forn~ulationswhich may be summed up as "end of imperialism".
John Strachey, Michael Barratt Brown, Hamza Alavi, among others, argued in favour
of inlperialism diluting its thrusts of exploitation. In point of fact, all these
arguments are more ideological than real as was demonstrated by Paul Sweezy in his
famous article on "Imperialism in the 1990s". Responding to Alavi's opinion of a
"new imperialism" which does not export capital (considered an essential feature
of Imperialism) but remains confined to the control of the world market, Sweezy
demonstrated that, beginning in the 1960s, "multi-national corporations moved their
man~~facturing facilities to lower-wage countries". In other words, the MNC control
of the Third World economy is not confined to the latter's markets only; it is there in
all areas of production and financing as well.

The recent wave of globalization and other economic reform me;) Ires with focus on
further liberalization, bear out this new form of imperialism whi :. has emerged in
the wake of eclipse of socialism, its main challenger. Imperialism has not ended, it
has only taken a new form, a new route bui for the same goal : exploitation of the
poor and dependent countries of the Third World.

Check Your Progress 1

Note : i) Use the space below for your answers.

ii) Check your progress with the model answer given at the end of the unit.
1) Define imperialism.


2) Identify new changes in inlpcrialist exploitation.

2.2.2 Development of Imperialism

History reveals that the world has gone through many stages of development. We
know that the history of humankind is related to the development of society and
social structures. Capitalism generally developed out of feudalism, and was
responsible for cqlonialisation and imperialism.

Feudalism prevailed before the 16th-17th Century. In Europe, feudalism was

generally associated with medieval states based on aristocracies (run by Kings and
nobles) who controlled the ecoilomic and political power of the State. The Church too
had an important role in the functioning of the feudal state. Feudalism as a system
began to decay in different parts of Europe, beginning from England in the thirteenth
century. The industrial revolution, the growth of towns, inter-feudal wars etc. led to
this decline. Social life in Europe thus began to change. This also involved a change
from the feudal type economic organisation to a different one where the control was
no longer with the land owning aristocra 'es. Independent groups of merchants and
traders began dominating the economy. This meant, thus, the growth of new classes
which formed the basis for mercantile capitalism. The latter was a transition from
feudalism to capitalism, which was prevalent between the 16th and 19th centuries.
The kind of transformation made by each nation out of feudalism differed. For
example in England capitalism grew faster than in any other European nations.
France followed this transition and later Germany, Russia and others did the same.
Thus each transition was a unique experience. Industrialization in Europe led the
capitalists to look for raw materials and markets outside Europe. This search fueled
imperial penetrations into Asia and Africa.
Capitalism can be defined as a system in which goods and services are produced for Sonle Concepts : Imperialism,
Fnschn, Revolution
exchange in the market so that profit is made. The form of capital in the capitalist
system is different from that of the feudal system where merchant capital was
dominant. Under capitalism productive capital dominates, that is capital invested in
labour power. Labour power is what the worker has to sell in exchange for money in
order to survive. This labour power is then organised in the production process to
produce new commodities for making more profit. Thus the capital of the merchants
' and financiers (banks, money-lenders, etc.) circulated and is invested for commodity
production. The function of this merchantlfinance capital is determined and based on
the need of productive capital. Labour power thus becomes like a commodity which
can be bought and sold according to market prices.

The growth of capitalism had an important effect on the social and political life of
people and social systems just as it had on their economic life. Capitalism brought
about the formation of two large c l h s -the capitalist class (bourgeoisie) and the
working class. In addition to these there also grew a number of smaller classes. It
also gave rise to new political systems wherein besides landed aristocracies, other
classes al& shared State power as in England. Similarly it led to the overthrow of the
French landed aristocracy and brought into being the French Republic. Thus with
capitalism began an era of private enterprise in the economic sphere and popular
participation in the exercise of State power in the political sphere.

2.2.3 What is Colonialism?

An important element in the developn~entof capitalism was the need for its
continuous expansion. So, even as feudalism began to decline and the transition to
capitalism began to take place, the emerging states were constantly looking for new
sources of revenue. This search for revenue and profit led to the search for and the
seizure of wealth from other societies. This necessitated state sponsored discoveries
of new lands parts of the world unknown to the European empires. Thus for instance
Marco Polo's and Christopher Columbus's search for India, the discovery of the
Pacific Islands, the Americas, the entry into the Indian Ocean and China seas. New
sea routes took the explorers to re-xh New Zealand and Australia. The discovery of
sea routes around the world led to a remarkable circle of exchange of goods.
Unimagined wealth from these new lands such as precious metals, spices, silk, etc.
entered the European markets. This flow of wealth had many results : Europe could
live in a style of great luxury. Capitalism got a push or impetus of growth from
'outside' (new regions); the rush for plunder, conquest and colonisation of the pre-
capitalist or agrarian societies of Asia, Africa, and America reached a climax. The
need to find, capture and control settlements which were later declared as colonies
was an important task of individual entrepreneurs. companies and states. Thus the
16th century saw the expansion of European states, led by explorers and merchants.
Also active in this field were wayward entrepreneurs who were active in plundering
goods from the East for sale in the European markets. Many merchants built
armouries and raised battalions for their own protection and f?r exploiting the new
colonies. For instance the Portuguese traders even sold "protection services" to others,
for sailing in the sea undisturbed. All these led ultimately to the establishment of
colonial rule over many lands I n Latin America, Caribbean Islands, Africa, Asia.

Colonialism is an important characteristic~ofthe new capitalism which was

developing at a fast pace. The wealth arising out of colonial exploitation was
different from the wealth which came from feudal imperial gains. Whereas in the
latter case, living was wasteful for few and unproductive for many, the former was
engaged in promoting productive relations of capitalism which generated more
wealth for enjoyment of many. Colonialism implied a specific relation between the
colonised country and the colonising power, whereas conquest which was the basis of
feudal imperial gains (e.g. for the Mughals, Ottomans etc.) meant only sheer
annexation without any obligations on the conqueror. It meant a relationship of both
IntenlntiollalRelatio1ls political and economic control by the colonising country over the colony. The
countries which were colonised and those which were colonisers were themselves at
different stages of development. For example, when Spain and Portugal colonised
Latin America, they were feudal societies. When Britain, France, and Germany were
colonising Africa (towards the end of the nineteenth century), they were industrial
capitalist countries.

In modern times, most of the empires except for the Chinese and the Japanese were
under the European colonial control. How did the Europeans come to dominate Asia
and Africa? ,This could largely be possible because of better technology, better
firepower and discipline which enabled the Europeans to take on the people in the
far-off lands. These colonial empires had a peak period dnring 1880-1940, when the
colonial empires were established. The colonisation phenomenon in Asia was fueled
by n~otivationsfor trade in luxury goods of the orient, to begin with. But over the
years, expansion of markets to sell their industrial prodccts went hand in hand with,
exploitation of natural resources and cheap human labour, thus colonial expansion
took place. After World War I, the German colonies were distributed anlong the
Victorious Allies as "mandates" whereas World War I1 saw the Italian Colonies in
Africa being placed under the British as "trust territories". Similarly, the Pacific'
islands held by Japan were annexed by the USA. Only Namibia remained under the
white rule as the last colony till it attalned independence on 21st March 1990.
Otherwise, Portugal can claim to be the first and about the last among the European
powers in this colonial race.

The structure of the world and the nature of international relations underwent a
complete change after World War 11. The war had destroyed the European economies
and shaken up their very foundations. The break-up of the British, French, Belgian
and the Dutch colonial empires had begun an8-theG-complete disintegration became
inevitable. These once 'great powers' were shaken to the roots and they lost their
earlier importance. Their place was quickly taken over by the United States of
America which became the dominant international capitalist power after 1945.

Imperialism began taking on a new form. Before the war, United States capitalism
had shown its 'dominant' imperialist character towards the countries of Central
America and the Caribbean as also in the Philippines and some Pacific Islands. After
the emergence of new ex-colonial states in Asia and Africa, which were politically *
independent but economically weak, American economic, political and military
activity started extending to these areas.

The instruments of foreign policy that the US employed were economic aid, political
and military support to the regimes allied to US. These regimes were often dictatorial
in character and opposed people's movements inside. The USA extended willing and
active support to regimes, or movements which suppressed or opposed 'leftist' or pro-
communist movements and governments. Economic aid doled out by USA, and the
US - dbminated World Bank was to ensure policies that fell in line with US foreign
policy. World Bank policies encourage mainly private enterprise and were against
nationalisation of enterprises. These policies exerted by the USA confirmed its role
as the main power in a new form of imperialism - an imperialism without colonies or
direct control'. This came to be known popularly as 'neo-calonialism.

Neo-colonialism was also called 'economic imperalism' which meant that

economically powerful states could, through economic leverage, control other less
developed countries on the basis of aid, trade, and international economic policies.

Neo-colonialism has acquired new and more threatening dimensions after the cold
war. During the cold war period there was some sort of competition between the two
super powers in regard to economic and military assistance given to the countries who
were subjected to a new type of imperialism. Two important developments have taken Some Concepts :Imperialism,
Nationalism, Fascism, Revolutlon
place in the last decade of the twentieth century. The cold war had ended, -theformer
Soviet Union disintegrated, leaving the united States in the unique commanding
position. Secondly, a number of countries, including India and China, have embarked
upon the policy of economic liberalization, Russia and East European countries have
adopted the system of market economy. In this scenario, capitalist and developed
countries of the West are more vigorously pursuing the policy of neo-colonialism
such as economic and military assistance, and multinational corporations are being
openly used to establish domillation over the developing countries.

Economic liberalization has weakened the hold of the state over economies. The
Soviet concept of planning is being diluted and market forces encouraged to regulate
and control economic development. Multinational corporations have entered the thud
world countries in a very big way. Foreign banks in India offer much better service
attracting affluent people and adversely affecting the domestic banking institutions.
MNCs with large funds at their disposal attract even common man, to buy their
products, through massive advertisements. As more and more people get attracted to
the products of MSJCs, many local companies are being eliminated. Closure of
domestic ~ompaniesincreases foreign strangle hold over local economy.

Third world countries who take frequent loans from the World Bank and countries
like USA, Germany and Japan have to accept the conditionalities imposed by them.
As the temptation to develop on borrowed money increases, developing countries get
into debt-trap subjecting them to a new ty$e of imperalism or neo-colonialism.

The state controlled economic development process has failed in most of the
countries. After-the eclipse of socialism in Russia, people are rushing for western
goods and western style of living causing unprecedented inflation. If the former
Soviet Union and erstwhile socialist countries of eastern Europe were forced to allow
the operation of market forces, the developing countries of the South could not avoid
economic liberalization. But liberalisation has encouraged domination by western
countries and MNCs which is an important cause for concern. This is because the
developing countries have to compromise with their, sovereign right of decision-
making and accept the conditions imposed upon them. The large amount of money
which is paid every year as interest on the foreign and World Bank loans further
aggravates the situation and neo-colonialism continues to grow even as political
leadership keeps on talking of independence and sovereignty.

We may conclude with the classic definition of neo-colonialism given by one of Africa S
leading fingures of independence, Kwame Nkrumah, the founder President of
Ghana. In Nknunah's own words :

"The essence of neo-colonialism is that the state which is subject to it is, in theory,
independent and has all the outward trappings of international sovereignty. In
reality, its economic system and thus its political policy is directed from outside.
The methods and form of this direction, can take various shapes. For example, in an
extreme case, the troops of an imperial power may garrison the territory, of the neo-
colonial state and control its government. More often, however, neo-colonialist
control is exercised through economic or monetary means. The neo-colonial state may
be obliged to take the manufactured products of the imperialist power to the exclusion
of competing products from blsewhere. Control over government policy in the neo-
colonial state may be secured by payments towards the cost of running the state, by
the provision of civil servant in positions where they can dictate policy, and by
monetary control over foreign exchange through the imposition of a banking system
controlled by the imperial power." (Neo-colonialism : The Last Stage of
Imperialism, 1965).
Understanding International Relations Check Your Progress 2

Note : i) Use the space below for your answers.

ii) Check your progress with the model answer given at the end of the unit

1) Trace the development of imperialism.


2) What was the role of capitalism in the process of colonialism?

3) What is Neo-colonialism?



The terms 'nation'; 'nationality' and 'nationalism' are used most commonly but not
always with a clear understanding of their meanings. As Carlton J.H. Hayes said :
"So much is nationalism a common place in the modes of thought and action of the
civilised populations of the contemporary world that most men take nationalism for
granted."People imagine that it is the "most natural thing in the universe." But, the
concept of nationalism is far from being clear to most of us who use this term. Every
state considers its national interest as paramount; and all the struggle for power is for
protection and promotion of national interest. Nationalism usually promotes
patriotism. For dependent peoples, as we were before 1947, nationalisnl is the spirit
which enables struggle for freedom against foreign rulers. But, sometimes
nationalism takes precedence even over moral beliefs as was the case in Hitler's Nazi
Germany. Nationalism in Germany was interpreted to mean expansion of the Third
Reich and expulsion of Jews; in Israel it meant struggle for survival in the face of
Arab opposition; and Pakistani nationalism is essentially confined to anti-India
tirades particularly on Kashmir.
2.3.1 The Concept of Nationalism Some col~cepts:hl~perialis~l~,
"For students of international politics", wrote Sharp and Kurk, "an understanding of
nationalism is as indispensable as the possession of a master key to a person seeking
to enter all the various doors in a building." Thus, for Sharp and Kurk, nationalism
is the master key for understanding of international politics. The total behaviour of
state system today is largely explained "in terms of niltionill hopes, national fears,
national ambitions, and national conflicts." Since nlodern state is a 'nation-state', it
seeks to promote nationalism as its leaders might interpret. As Palmer and Perkins
point out. "In its most virulent form it has commanded virtually the total allegiance
of men and some of the most inhuman acts of this age have been wrapped in the
.mystical and religious trappings of nationalism". Thus, nationalism may be used as a
tool for noble cause to unite a people for common good or it nlay be misused, as by
some of the dictators to commit even the most inhuman acts like genocide. Namibian
nationalism against South Africa's imperialism prior to 1990 lalls in the first
category; whereas Hitler's policy towards Jews can be safely put in the second

In the limited space available in this section, the concept of nationalism can be
explained very briefly. The term nation may be understood before nationalism can be
fully conlprehended. One of the most satisfactory definitions of nation was given by
Ernest Barker. He wrote : "A nation is a body of filen, inhabiting a definite territory,
who normally are drawn from different races, but possess a common stock of
thoughts and feelings acquired and transmitted during the course of a coillmon
history .. .." Barker mentioned common religious belief and common language as
generally binding forces, but what is more important is that they "cherish a common
will, and accordingly form, or tend to form, a separate State for the expression and
realization of that will." Such a State, if formed, is known as a 'nation-state'.

In conlmon usage the terms state and nation are often used interchangeably. That is
how we use the term international, rather than inter-state. But, as most of the
political units that now exist have become nation-states, the distinction between
state and nation has narrowed down. Hans Morgenthau suggests, "the nation needs a
state. 'One nation - one state' is thus the political postulate of nationalism, the nation
state is its idea." Natioilality is one of the main courses of nationalism. It implies
either national character and the spirit of belonging to a nation or a group of people
possessed of such a spirit. So, then, how can we explain the concept of nationalism?

Among the most prominent students of nationalism are J.H. Hayes and Hans Kohn.
Nationalism, according to Hayes consists of "a modern emotional fusion and
exaggeration of two very old phenomena - nationality and patriotisn~."Thus,
nationality which is a feeling of being bound together and patriotism constitute
nationalism. Kohn says that "nationalism is first and foremost a state of mind, an act
of consciousness." Today, this state of mind, a common bond coupled with
patriotism, an act of consciousness is the core of the concept of nationalism.
Nationalism has become conlnlon form of political life all over the world, and
relations among nations is the content of international relations. But, as Kohn wrote
"everywhere nationalism differs in character according to the specific historic
conditions and the peculiar social structure of each country. As the concept of
nationalism has, the individual has begun to be counted less and nation-state
has become all powerful. "

The concept of nationalism implies a feeling of oneness among a large group of

section of people. Professor Snyder wrote that it was not easy to define nationalism
in simple language, yet he describes the following explanation of nationalism as the
least objectionable. He wrote : "....... nationalism, a product of political, economic,
social and intellectual factors at a certain stage in history, is a condition of mind,
feeling, or sentiment of a group of people living in a well-defined geographical area
. ..." Commenting adversely on the concept Snyder wrote that nationalism "is neither
wholly logical nor rational. Its roots lie in the illogical, irrational and fantastic world
of the unconscious." In simpler language, natioilalism is a conditioned sentiment
uniting people in a common bond.

2.3.2 Stages of Nationalism

Nationalism has been variously classified by different western Scholars. It has been
described as "good" and "bad"; "constructive" and "destructive"; and "material" and
"spiritual". These descriptions are based on quality of nationalism which is very
difficult to justifiably explain. However, different stages of nationalism were
suggested by many, including Quincy Wright. He discussed successively medieval,
monarchical, revolutionary, liberal and totalitarian nationalisms. He did not give
much attention to cultural or humanitarian nationalism. But, Hayes has dealt with
"economic factors in nationalism" in detail. Four stages of nationalism were
described by Professor Snyder. He called them integrative nationalism (1 8 15-187 1);
disruptive nationalism (1 87 1- l890), aggressive nationalism (1900- 1945). and
contemporary nationalism (since 1945). During the first stage, nationalism resulted
in integration or reunification of Germany and of Italy. During the secoild stage,
subject nationalities as within Austria - Hungary sought their nation-states. Snyder
says that the two world wars were the result of aggressive nationalism of the third
phase. During the early period of fourth stage Asian and African colonies of
European Powers secured their independent nationhood.

Modern nationalism is said to have originated in the seventeenth and eighteenth

centuries in Western Europe, and America. It became a general European movement
in the nineteenth century particularly after the Napoleonic era. The early nationalism
has been described as monarchical. It was the French revolution which introduced
the concept of popular democracy resting on the will of the people and of the "rights
of man and of the citizen." The nationalism which Napoleon generated among his
enemies has been described by Hayes as "traditional nationalism". Similarly, Czar
Alexander of Russia who emerged in 1815 as "the great hope of traditional
nationalism" championed a Holy Alliance for a better world for peoples and nations.

The liberal nationalism of nineteenth century achieved the unification of Germany

and of Italy. Other European countries such as Belgium and Greece won nationhood
after national uprisings. Nationalism was till then regarded as an European
phenomenon. It soon spread to Asia and Africa. Palmer and Perkins wrote
nationalism during "greater part of nineteenth century" was linked with other
movements such as democracy, romanticism, industrialism, imperialism and
liberalism. Liberal nationalism declined by the beginning of the twentieth century as
great power rivalry became common and eventually resulted in the First World War.

It was argued that nationalism was both cause and product of the First World War. As
Sydney B. Fay wrote : "nationalism paved the way of statesmen and prepared the
minds of peoples for the World war .... Its immediate cause was the murderous
activity of a secret nationalistic society of Jugoslavs .... Its most obvious immediate
result was the triumph of the principles of national self-determination in central and
eastern Europe . ..." After the First World War, "the facade of internationalism"
proved ineffective and totalitarian nationalism took over in several countries. It was
led by men like Hitler, Mussolini and Franco. In the post-second World War period,
national liberation movements, a new form of nationalism shook the foundations of
imperialism and resulted in acceleration of the process of decolonization. Most of
the Asian, African and Latin American countries threw away imperialism, and
nationalism based on democracy, popular will, liberty and justice resulted as over 100
new nation-states came into existence.
Check Your Progress 3 Snn~eCnncepts :I~~~perialisni,
Natiollalism, Fascism, Revolution
Note : i) Use the space below for your answers.

ii) Check your progress with the model answer given at the end of the unit.
1) Describe briefly the concept of nationalism.



2) Mention various kinds and stages of nationalism.





Fascism, as mentioned in the introduction to this unit, does not represent an

ideology. It was a theory based on certain programmes of action adopted in Italy by
the Fascist Party under the leadership of Mussolini. Later, similar programmes were
adopted by Hitler's Nazi party in Germany. The term 'Fascism' has its origin in the
Latin world 'Fasio' which means a 'bundle of sticks'. In the ancient Rome, 'bundle of
sticks and axe' were the symbols of state authority. 'Bundle of sticks' indicated
discipline and unity, while 'axe' symbolised power. Thus, the principal objective of
Fascism was restoration of lost glory and honour of the nation through military
power and potential. Massive rearmament became the most important means of
achieving the objective of national honour. Let us briefly mention the major features
of Fascist programme.
2.4.1 Essential Features of Fascism
Fascists were strongly nationalist in their outlook. They wanted to make Italy as
powerful as she was in the days of ancient Roman Empire. But their nationalism was
narrow. They advocated war and imperialistic expansion and a powerful state to
realise these objectives. According to Fascism, state and nation are the ultimate
moral beings. Thus, aggressive nationalism was the most important creed of
Fascism was against parliamentary democracy. It considered democracy as a weak
form of government, incapable of handling the complicated economic and political
problems. Fascists did not tolerate any opposition. They wanted total obedience to
the party and the leader Mussolini was declared their I1 Duce, the leader. Nothing
could be done against him or contrary to his wishes. In other words, Fascism,
believed in one party totalitarian regime.
Fascists were strongly opposed to socialism of all variety. They hated the
communists and wanted to free the world of "Communist menace". They advocated
free enterprise. Their programnlc was supported by the capitalists. But Fascists did not
support individualism. or laissez faire, either. They did not want individual to be in a !
position to challenge the state. They did not want a powerless state. The Fascist state,
therefore, was absolute, omnipotent and all comprehensive.

Fascists were against internationalism or world order. Their nationalism was of

extreme type. B~ implication, the League of Nations did not deserve the support of
Fascist Italy. However, Mussolini maintained the facade of faith in the League until
his Ethiopian adventure in 1935-36.

Fascists advocated war. They had no faith in disarmament. Wars can be successfully
fought only through armaments. War was, thus, glorified. Mussolini wrote : "Only
war carries human energies to the highest level and puts the seal of nobility upon
peoples who have the courage to undertake it." Thus, both Mussolini and his German a
counterpart Hitler expanded territories of their countries by wars.

Thus, Fascism has no clear-cut ideology. As a theory, Fascism advocated 'militant

nationalism'. It believed in the use of force, pron~otionof irnpcrialism and 4
colonialism and massive rearmament. It rejected democracy : ~ w dpeaceful means of
settlement of international disputes. Fascism was a 'conservat~vereaction' against the
rising tide of socialism. Fascism was a creed of totalitarianism, which Mussolini 1
defined as : "All in the state, nothing outside the state, nothing against the state."

2.4.2 Fascism in Italy, Germany and Spain

Fascism first appeared in Italy when Mussolini organised and led the Fascist Party to
power. Italians were disgusted with the performance of their post-World War I
governments which could not protect the national honour and failed to promote
national interest. The country, on the other hand, was torn by labour unrest
engineered by the leftists. In this situation, Mussolini prepared a large force of
volunteers, gave them military training and aroused the nationalistic sentiments of
the people. The Fascist programmes for internal peace and external glory appealed to
people. They rallied behind Mussolini, who threatened to seize power. In this
situation, king Victor Emmanuel I11 asked Mussolii~ito form a cabinet, which he did
on October 31, 1922. He soon destroyed all opposition and assumed dictatorial
powers. Fascism remained at the helm of Italian affairs till 1943.

When we discuss rise of Fascism we generally limit ourselves to Fascism takeover of

Italy. But in Germany and Spain, groups with similar kind of ideas and programmes
of action came to power. National Socialist Party (or, Nazi Party) led by Adolf Hitler
came to power in German in the early 1930. Nazism was the product of German
. humiliation by England, France and their allies at the Paris Peace Conference. Like
the Italian Fascists, Hitler's Nazi party also advocated rearmament, war and revision
of peace treaties. Nazis, like Fascists, were against parliamentary democracy,
socialism, League of Nations and peaceful settlement of disputes.

Soon after Hitler's dictatorship was established in Germany, strong signs of similar
adventurism were noticed in some other European countries also. In France, in 1935-
36, conditions resembling those in Italy (before the advent of Musssolini) prevailed,
and animosity between the leftists and the rightists was so acute that there was a
clear possibility of emergence of a dictatorship. The situation was saved by a timely
action by all democrats, leftist groups, socialists and even communists who formed
the Front Populaire, which won the elections held in April - May, 1936. The Front
formed a government under the Prime Ministership of Leon Blum.

In neighbouring Belgium about the same time, a Fascist group led by Degrelle
introduced violence and vulgarity in public life. It opposed Belgium's alliance with
France, on the ground of the latter's alliance with Communist Soviet Union. Under
their influence, Belgium announced that it was reverting to its former status of a
neutral state. This was regarded as a 'defection' by Belgium from the Locarno Some Concepts : hlperiallsm,
Nationalis~iqFascism, Revolution
Alliance. Although Fascism could not seize power in Belgium yet it did make a
significant bid.
In Rumania, a fascist party, known as the Iron Guard, was formed under the
leadership of Corneliu Codreanu. This party was a reaction to prevailing economic
crisis in the country and total mismanagement by the Rumanian Government. Like
Italian Blackshirts (Fascists) and German Storm - troopers (Nazis), the Rumanian
Iron Guards organised attacks on parliamentary politicians, Jews and the working
classes. King Carol of Rumania failed to crush the Fascists and finally established
his own dictatorship.
In Poland, also there were clearly visible signs of Fascism. In 1937, the Government
of Poland was organised, on the Fascist model, as a Camp of National Unity. An
open conflict emerged between the government on the one hand and peaG7nts and
workers on the other. A civil war was averted only when the government promised
electoral reforms. Due to growing threat from Germany, situation was saved and
reconciliation bruught about.
Spain, however, could not save itself. A dictatorship was established by General
Primo de Riveira in 1923. But there was such a state of lawlessness in Spain that
Riveira resigned in 1930 out of sheer desperation. Next year, King Alfonso XI11
abdicated and a republic was proclaimed. But, even the elected government failed to
restore order in the country. Spain like France, voted for a Popular front (leftist)
government in 1935. This precipitated a crisis in the country. A large number of
military officers openly threatened the government saying that unless general
disorder was stopped by the Government of President Azana, the army would seize
power to restore order. Fearing trouble, Azana retired a number of officers and
transferred many others to far off places. One such officer was General Franco who
was sent to Canary Islands.
A policeman was murdered by Spanish Fascists on July 12, 1936. In retaliation the
country's top Fascist leader Calvo Sotelo was killed by the Policemen. This was the
signal for the outbreak of a civil war in Spain. General Franco arrived in Spanish
Morocco a few days later and proclaimed mutiny in Spain.
Fascist Italy and Nazi Germany provided massive financial and military assistance to
rebels led by General Franco, and Soviet Union gave help to the Central government.
The civil war which went on for nearly three years ended in March 1939 with
decisive victory for the fascists under the leadership of General Franco. Thus Spain
joined the Fascist camp of Italy and Germany.
Thus, at least three ~ u r o p e a ncountries actually adopted Fascism during the inter- '
war period. However, Italy was the pioneer and its leader Mussolini was the first
advocateof Fascism. That is why rise of Fascism is generally associated with Italy
and Mussolini:
2.4.3 Mussolini - From Socialist to Fascist
Benito Mussolini was born in 1893. He was initially influenced by his father'e
Socialist views. He went to Switzerland and later to Austria. But due to his radical
activities he was forced to leave these countries.
After coming back from Austria, Mussolini, for some time, kept on propagating
socialism. When war broke out in 1914, Mussolini supported neutrality of his
country. By 1915 he gave up his socialist ideas and started supporting the demand for
*Italianentry in the war.
Mussolini became a strong critic of the Peace Treaties. He called a meeting of his
friends and ex-servicemen and all those who had during 1914-15 pleaded for Italian
intervention in the war. He now organised them in the Fascist party and gave a call
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ n t ~ l l d i n g ~ ~ ~ t ~ n u t i ~ ~ lor
~ ~ asl eR e~l~n tr ii justice
~n*g~ ~ s for Italy and getting rid of socialists, communists, and the weak
government. '

Most of the Fascists caille from rich propertied class. young sons of businessmien.
unemployed ex-soldiers and discontented professionals and a large number of student:
became ardent supporters and followers of Mussolini. Fascists were totally opposed to
communists. They were financed mostly by capitalists. During 1920-2 1 aln~ostcivil
war coi~ditionsprevailed in the countq. The government was a silent spectator as
Mussolini led the masses to believe that their future lay secure only with him and his
party. Premier Giolitti was lorccd to resign in July 1921. He was replaced by Luigi
Facta, who was as weak as his predecessor was.
2.4.4 Causes of the Rise of Fascism in Italy
You have read about the meaning of Fascism. You have also understood the
prograinme of action adopted by Fascists in Italy and Germany. We have stated that
Fascism lacked ideology. It was reaction to certain circumstances. We have wry
b~.icJlydiscussed 11ow and Fascisnl was adopted by Italians and later by Germans.
In this section we will understand the carlse of rise of Fascism in Italy and its
doiilestic and foreign policies.
Italy had joii~cdDual Alliance of Gerniany and Austria-Hungary in 1882, thus
converting the Dual A l l i a n ~into the Triple Alliance. It was a conibination against

Russia and France. But, ltd'jr yi not k e e n e p e r n ~ a n e n t l yassociating itself with
Austria-Hungary with whom it zkcortain border disputes. Italy had the ninbition of
bringing Libya, in North Africa intol~erempire. When France assured Italy that it
\\.auld not opposc Italy-in it designs on Libya, Itilly promised Francc in 1902 that it
\vould not figlit against France in case of a Franco-German war. But Italy did not
l~rmallydisassociate itself from the Triple Alliance. When the World War I broke out
Italy declared hcr neutrality. Howcver, fair amount of disagreement dc4elopcd ainong
the ltalians 011t l ~ equestion of intervention in the War. The socialists, who had 80
~ncnibcrsin the Italian Parliament, supported the government's decision of neutrality.
But, there \\,ere many, capitalists, inanufacturers of armaments and right-wing
political groups, who favoured intervention. Finally. Italy entered the war on tlie side
of Allies against the Central Powers. The Alli-espromised Italy that certain territories
at the cost of Germany and Austria-IIungary would be given to her in the cvcnt of
Allied victory. The territories pronlised to Italy included South Tyrol upto the
Brciiner pass, Tricsts, Fiunle, Garicia and several ~ a l m a t i a nIslands. Thus with an
expectation o l licr territorial cspailsion Italy defected from the Triple Alliance and
entered the war on May 23, 1915.
Italy emerged victorious after the war. Towards the final stages of the war Italians
had made a notable contributioi~to tlie Allied victory. However, Italy discovered soon
altcr the war that the cost of war was far more exacting than they had anticipated. It
was estimated that about 70,00,000 Italian soldiers were killed in the war and about
1,000.000 \\ere \\70unded.Her econoinic losses \ v c r ~also disturbing. In these
L II cnrnstanccs thc last hope of Italians was the Paris Peace Conference. They
c,\pcctcd to get all the proniised territories. But that did not happen. Wilson's
i d c n l ~ stood
s ~ ~ ~in the way of renlisafion of her dreams. Italians blamed England and
France for betrayal They \Itere enlotionally disturbed when they found that they were
being denied even Fiun~e.Thus ~ v l ~ ithe l e Paris Conference was still on, Italian poet
G:lbriclc d' Annunzio organised a coup, and led a band of young men (black shirted
volunteers) in a chartered boat and captured Fiume. This was strongly resented by the
Paris Conference. Prime Minister Orlando who failed to secure justice to Italy at the
Pcacc Conlerence, was replaced in 1920 by Giolitti. The new Prime Minister did not
approve of the ultra-nationalism of t l ~ epoet Giolitti concluded a treaty at Repallo in
1920 with Yugoslavia. and rcturried Flume to Yugoslavia. This action of the Giolitti
goverlllneilt 111ade it v e n unpopular in the country, and became an important cause of
the rise of Fascisni
Another issue which made the Giolitti Government unpopular was the Albanian Some Concepta :hilperfalisnt,
Nationalisnl, Fascism, Revolution
problem. Albania, a small country just across the Adriatic Sea, has two important
neighbours-Greece and Yugoslavia. Albania was occupied by the Allied troops
during the war. After the war, Italy wanted to rule Alhazia ,s a mandated territory.
Paris Conference did not accept this demand. Even the proposal to divide Albania
between Greece, Yugoslavia and Italy was rejected. But Italian Army continued to
occupy Albania by the middle of 1920 there were so many internal problems in Italy
that Prime Minister Giolitti was forced to withdraw his troops from Albania which
annoyed the Italians.
Besides, most of the territory in the Near East, promised to Italy in 1915 by England
and France, was either given to Greece or was allowed to be retained by Turkey. In
Africa, mandates were established over several former German colonies by Britain,
France and Belgium. Italy did not get any colony. She merely got some extension of
her colonies of Libya and Somaliland. Italian people felt frustrated at this
mismanagement of country's foreign claims. The prevailing mood in Italy was best
expressed by the phrase, 'mutilated victory'.

Economic situation of Italy was also chaotic. Millions of men were retrenched from
the armed forces. Unemployment, budget deficit and prices of essential commodities
were increasing rapidly. This situation was conducive to the rise of socialist forces.
In the 1919 parliamentary elections the socialists secured 156 seats. But they often
voted against government measures, creating parliamentary staleate. Comn~unists
and their sympathisers, on the other hand, frequently organised agitations and
demonstrations. During 1919 and 1920 as many as 35,00,000 working days were lost
due to strikes, lockouts and agitations.

Government was unable to handle these crisis. If parliamentary democracy failed to

solve the problems, communism could not offer an alternative while it provoked
general unrest in the Italian society and economy. In these circumstances of
transition, Fascist leadership could convince the people that Italy needed a
government that would by strong, effective, nationalistic and not committed to
Marxism. It was in this background that Benito Mussolini 'seized power' and
established the Fascist regime in Italy.
2.4.5 Neo-Fascism in Europe
Towards the end of the cold war, the Fascist and Nazi forces had began to raise their
heads once against. This time they are not rigid in dogma as they were during the
inter-war years. Fascism had been an "extreme and desperate attempt of the nation
state" and of parasitic connected to it .... by imposing totalitarian regime and
exalting nationalism." This comment by the 'Federalist' was made in 1994 to
highlight the dangers of a neo-fascist movement in Italy and elsewhere. Fascism has
been described as a crude and tribal ideology. Neo-Fascists have been trying to
organise as a political force of extreme right. For the first time since the Second
World War, some members of neo-fascist party called 'Allenanza Nazionale'
(National Alliance) were admitted to the Italian Government early in 1994. The
Allenanz Nazionale denies being a neo-fascist grouping, yet its essential component
is 'Movimento Sociale Italiano' (Italian Social Movement) which was founded in the
post Second WorId War years on clear Fascist policies, though it has always been
divided into 'hard-line' and 'respectable' wings. After joining the government neo-
fascists strongly emphasized their moderate nature. In the post-cold war united
Germany has also experienced the rise of neo-nazis though they have not been able
to gain entry in the German Government. Fascism was originally founded on the
negative values of man's oppression of man, of national hatred and intolerance. It
was led by a charismatic leader who had aroused the ultra-nationalist sentiments of
the people in the 1920s on the basis of alleged injustice done to Italy by the peace
makers at Versailles. In the post-cold war years, neither are there charismatic leaders
Ullderstanding hlternational Relations of extreme right in Italy or in Germany, thus not justifying ultra-nationalism.
However, neo-fascism cannot be easily dismissed. It may once again raise its ugly

Fascism thus emerged in 1922 as a response to the declining political institutions of

Italy and hence represents a set of programmes for action, rather than an ideology. It
is useful however to remember that almost every European country developed at least
one fascist party or movement, which still continues to be the case. These
experiments at fascism, whether old or new, only show that there is hardly any case
for a "generic fascism" though one may more accurately speak of 'fascist-style
regimes'. The Nazi Germany was definitely modelled on Italian fascism but many
would disagree to put them together under fascism'. How little these two fascist
regimes had in common can be had from the instance of quick failure of their union
during World War 11. The Nazi variation however provicied then and continues to
provide now ideological fodder (racism, violence, brutality) to various fascistic
experiments old and new. A fascist party or movement is thus experimental in nature
and does rigidly follow any given ideology, though sharing some characteristic
features in common with such experiments undertaken in Italy, Germany, Spain,
Rumania and other countries.

Check Your Progress 4

Note : i) . Use the space below for your answers.

ii) Check your answer with the model answers given at the end of the unit.

1) Mention three essential features of Fascism.

2) What were the causes of rise of fascism in Italy?

Revolutions have influenced both domestic and international politics on different
occasions. A sudden and total change in the social order in a country is called a
revolution. Thus peaceful events like the Glorious Revolution of England of 1688 as
well as the .violent outburst, as the French Revolution of 1789 have had a reaching
impact on politics -both national and international. The revolutions have had
political, social as well as economic dimensions. Thus, a revolution may mean a
sudden, fundamental and major transformation. As Carl, J. Friedrich says, in its core
meaning, revolution "constitutes a challenge to the established political order and the
eventual establishment of a new order radically different from the preceding one".
But, the real problem ingiving a precise definition of revolution is that the term
revolution is often interchangeably used I o r upheaval, coup 'dl etat, rebellion, revolt, Some Concepts :In~periaUsn~,
Fascism, Revolution
etc. Each one of these terms has a specific meaning which is different from the term
revolution. We cannot go into the meaning of terms other than revolution in'this
2.5.1 What is a Revolution?
It is universally believed that 'profound change' in social order constitutes the basic
idea of revolution. But it is not easy to describe what is meant by profound change,
and how widespread the change should be to qualify to be called a revolution. It is
suggested that Martin Luther's movement against the Pope was a 'religious
revolution', because it introduced Protestantism, which caused profound change in
the Christian Society. Similarly the famous 'industrial revolution' changed the basic
structure of British economy as the era of feudalism was replaced by the new socio-
economic order called capitalism. These revolutions left no segment of society
untouched. Writing about widespread change Barbara Salvent says: "Events such as
the Chinese Revolution, that introduce changes in everything from the educational
system to the land tenure pattekns clearly qualify as revolutions ...." There is a
general belief that revolutions involve force and violence. This is ge.nerally true, but
not an absolute condition.
Revolution to the French Scholar, Mounier means "a combination of rather far
reaching changes intended virtually to erase the r'@,illness of a society that has
reached an impasse ..... The result is what counts?hot how romantic or how
restrained the language is." Thus, what is important is the end, not the means.
Mounier adds : "It is enough to know the operation is a major and vital one, bound to
meet violent resistance, which in turn provokes counter - violence." This definition
of revolution implies that the real illness of the society must be erased, and the
process of curing the illness is often violent. This is what happened during the
French Revolution, the Russian Revolution and the Chinese Revolution. It is
generally believed that revolutions are caused mainly by socio-economic
considerations, yet there are scholars like Bertrand de Jouvenel who insist that
revolution is essentially a political event.
Revolution has been variously defined. Samuel P. Huntington says that revolution is
"a rapid, fundamental, and violent domestic change in the dominant values and
myths of a society." In the words of Hannah Arendt, the concept of revolution is
inextricably bound up with the notion that history suddenly begins to adopt a new
course. In fact, revolution is a transition from one epoch to another. The above
definitions and views en~phasisethat values, social structure and institutions undergo
a total ~hange.Besides, power is transferred from one group of people to another by
legal means or through violence. But, the Marxism view of revolution emphasises
change in class domination.
2.5.2 Some Major Revolutions
The above discussion on meaning and definition of revolution brings us to conclude
that a revolution is an activity that is aimed at replacing a system which has outlived
its utility and the change becomes acceptable by virtue of its necessity. Revolution,
we have ;aid, cause profound change. So it is not a limited reform. Besides,
revolution brings about sudden, not gradual change. The means applied to achieve
such a sudden change vary from purely constitutional or non-violent to those totally
violent. The means applied to achieve such a sudden change vary from purely
constitutional or non-violent to those totally violent. The world has witnessed many
revolutions in different societies. They vary in nature and scope.
Certain revolutions may be classified as liberal or democratic revolutions. Thus, the
French Revolution of 1789 brought about widespread change in the relationship
between individual and the state. It enlphasised liberty, equality and fraternity and
proclaimed the right of man.
U l l d e r s t ~ ~ ~ 1 i n g I ~ t e n ~ t i o n ~ R e l aBefore
1789 France was an absolute monarchy. The kings were all powe~fulpeople
who did not enjoy any rights. There was no separation of powers. Dlscontentment had
reached a climax. The revolution began in Paris where a mob stormed the ,city,
overpowered the guards and set the prisoners free. They shouted "liberty", "equality"
and "fraternity" as rallylng slogans. Soon the old order was replaced and a new
revolutionary government was set up. Several constitutions were drawn up during the
next decade, but all Frenchmen were given right to vote. The electors even acquired
the power to issue formal instructions to their elected deputies. It inaugurated liberal
democratic traditions in France.
Earlier, when the people of 13 colonies in America rose against their British colonial
masters and issued the famous Declaration of Independence in July, 1776. a
democratic revolution was ushered in. They overthrew the British rule after a bitter
struggle, framed their own constitution and created the 1 Tnited States of America in
1776. The American Revolution was thus a liberal revolution which established
democratic government in the United States.
The glorious revolution of 1689 in Britain was a bloodless, yet profound change from
monarchy to democracy. After the death of Charles I1 in 1685, his younger brother
James I1 became the King, but he ruled only for three years. He assumed the power to
veto the bills without the consent of Parliament, which displeased the leaders of
Parliament. Prince William of Orange was encouraged to wage a war against
England. When he invaded England with a huge army, James I1 fled to France after
realising that he had been isolated. Thus a glorious, bloodless, revolution was
achieved in that country. William and Mary became the rulers of Britain and they
accepted the Bill of Rights as proposed by the Parliament. It was agreed that the
King would not impose any taxes without the prior coilsent of the Parliament, that
the monarch would summon the Parliament at least once a year, and that no army
would be maintained without the prior approval of the Parliament. The three above
mentioned revolutions changed the pattern of governance and the people concerned
acquired rights and power to rule over themselves.
The Bolshevik Revolution of 1917 falls in a different category. It did not merely
change the rulers of Russia; it introduced real, widespread and profound changes in
the social order of that country. The rule of the Czar was autocratic and totally
undemocratic. Economy was in the hands of feudal lords and, to a lesser extent, the ,
capitalists. Economic exploitation of workers and peasants was the common feature
of pre-revolutionary Russia. People were underfed and most of them were not even
literate. The Russian Duma (legislature) had forced the Czar to abdicate in February,
1917, but did nothing to satisfy the aspirations of the people. The Provisional
Government set up by the Duma decided to continue with the war even as the soldiers
were not in a position to fight In this background, Lenin led the Red Guards on
October 25, 19 17, and seized power. His Government ended the war with Germany,
and introduced massive changes in the socio-economic structure. Power was acquired
by the Bolsheviks on behalf of the working people, and a dictatorship of the proletariat led
to the creation of first socialist state. Unlike liberal revolutions, the Bolshevik Revolution
completely changed the Russian social, economic and political systems.
The Chinese Revolution of 1949 was another example of the socialist revolution. But,
unlike the Russian Revolution, the Chinese Revolution came after a bitter and
prolonged civil war against the corrupt regime of Chiang Kai-shek. The Chinese
Revolution was brought about as a result of active participation of peasants, workers,
soldiers and intellectuals. Mao Tse-tung led the revolution which paved the way for
'profound change' in Chinese economy as well as politics.
Some people describe even Hitler's seizure of power in Germany as a revolution of
sorts. The so called Nazi revolution was actually a negative
democracy and led to the establishment of Hitler's dictatorship.
brought abaut had negative outcomes.
To conclude, a revolution may be described as a process in which the power is Some Concepts : Imperialisn~,
Nationalism, Fascism,Revolution
transferred from a discredited regime to an authority that enjoys support of the
people. It means change of socio-economic and political order in such a widespread
manner that an entirely new order emerges in place of the old order. A revolution i~
not an isolated event; it is a series of events. It is not merely concerned with the
overthrow of an established order; it is equally concerned with the establishment of a
new order. The process is often violent, but profound change can be brought about
even without the use of force.
I Check Your Progress 4

Note : i) Use the space below for your answers.

ii) Check your answer with the model answers given at the end of the unit.
1) Explain the concept of revolution.



In this unit you have read briefly about four important concepts. The term
In~perialismrefers to domination of one country over another. In the early stages
imperialism was known as colonialism. In practice, imperialism meant, as Moon
said, domination of nowEuropean people by totally dissimilar European nations.
Colonialism meant economic exploitation of colonies by the capitalist countries of
the West. Colonialism has been described as international expression of Capitalism,
or as Lenin said, imperialism is the (highest) stage in the development of capitalism.
After the Second World War, process of decolonisation began in a big way, and
almost all the erstwhile colonies gained independence. But, even now capitalist
countries are maintaining their exploitative hold over newly independent countries.
This new form of Colonialism is known as neo-colonialism.

Nationalism has been described as the master key of international politics.

Nationalism is a feeling created by oneness of those who feel bound by the link of
common religion, race, language, culture or tradition. In a country that is not
independent, nationalism unites the people in their struggle for freedom. But, in
independent societies, a common bond coupled with patriotism, is the core of
nationalism. Modern nationalism is said to have originated in the seventeenth and
eighteenth centuries in Europe and America. Nationalism has been misused at times
by rulers like Hitler to arouse people's sentiments against certain other countries.

Fascism was a theory based on certain programmes of action. It does not have a
defined ideology. Its approach is generally negative. It originated in post First -
World War Italy; and was later adopted by Germany in the name of Nazism. It
subscribes to ultra-nationalism. It is against socialism, democracy, disarmament and
even individualism. It does not reject religion. It praises war and projects one person
as supreme leader. Fascism was largely responsible for the Second World War.
IJllderstaalfil~Illtenl~tioalalRelati0~ls Revolutions have influenced both domestic and international politics on different
occasions. A revolution implies profound change in social order. Revolution can be
defined as a rapid, fundamental, and violent change in the dominant values and myths
of a society. Revolution is a transition from one epoch to another. Revolutions have
been both peaceful and violent. Some of the revolutions that have brought about
'profound change' include the Glorious Revolution, industrial revolution, the French
Revolution, American Revolution and the Bolshevik Revolution of Russia.


White Man's Burden : European countries which had established their

colonial empires said that the colonies of Asia
and Africa through burdens on the (white)
imperial Powers, still they actually enjoyed
governing them.

Domination : Total control of some states over the other less

developed countries.

Rationalism : Based on reason and science, free from tradition

and superstition.

Capitalism : A system in which goods and services are

produced for sale in the market so that maximum
profit is earned.

Multi-National Corporations : Giant sized companies usually incorporated in

one or the other Western capitalist country. They ;
operate in several developing countries; motive
is maximum profit; in the process economies of
developing countries are adversely affected.

Cou d' etat : Sudden military take over of power.

Impasse : Situation of unresolved disagreement; no

decision is possible due to hard attitudes of
persons or groups.


Lenin, V.I., : Imperialism,the Highest State of Capitalism

(in Selected Works)

Owen, Roger and Bob Sutcliff : Studies in the Theory of Imperialism.

Carr, E.H. : Bolshevik Revolution.

Moon, Parker, T., : Imperialism and World Politics.

Hobson J.A. : Imperialism, A Study.

B q e s , Carlton, J. : "Nationalism" in Encyclopaedia of Social


Palmer and Perkins : International Relations.

Some Colacepts :hnperialisln,
Natio~talism,Fascism, Revoltttion
Check Your Progress 1

1) Imperialism is a system of domination by one country over the others;

domination of non-European people by European states; expansion of state
Power beyond its borders. For Lenin, it was a precise stage of capitalism.

Harry Magdoff s identification of three major changes.

Check Your Progress 2

1) Feudalism began to decline with industrial revolution in England, growth of

towns and inter-feudal conflicts. Capitalism that replaced feudalism spread
out its wings in search of raw materials and markets outside Europe. T h s was
responsible for development of imperialism as colonialists acquired political

2) Colonialism was a direct outcome of capitalism. Wealth arising out of

colonial exploiption was further turned into capital and coloniz+g countries
established both political and economic control over the colonies. Capitalism
had a direct link with colonialisn~.

3) Imperialism in a new form that emerged after Second World War is called
neo-colonialism. It is economic exploitation, and consequent political
domination, of independent and sovereign Afro-Asian countries by Western
capitalist countries.

Check Your Progress 3

1) A feeling of oneness among a large section of people; a production of

political, economic and social and cultural factors leading to condition of
mind, or feeling, for unity. It is a conditioned sentiment uniting people in a
common bond.

2) Snyder suggests four stages : integrative nationalism, disruptive nationalism,

aggressive nationalism, and contemporary nationalism. Its kinds are : good
(Indian freedom struggle) or bad (Hitler's) constructive and destructive,
material and spiritual.

Check Your Progress 4

1) Any three features : Ultra - nationalistic; totalitarian; against socialism, anti-

democratic; against disarmament; supports war as an institution; against
individualism; believes in one nation, one party, one leader.

2) The Italians believed that injustice was done to them at Paris Peace
Conference; post - First World War governments were weak, and sacrificed
national interest; communist activitics brought economic progress to a halt;
lawlessness could not be checked by government.

Check Your Progress 5

1) Revolution is sudden change in social, economic and political order. It is

often violent, but force is not always used. It brings ab~&'~rofoundchange'
in values and myths of a society.

3.0 Objectives
3.1 Introduction
3.2 State System
3.2.1 Features of State System
3.2.2 Evolution of the State System
3.3 Power
3.3.1 What is Power?
3.3.2 Elements of Power
3.3.3 Measurement of Power
3.3.4 Methods of Exercising Power
3.3.5 Management of Power
3.4 National Interest
3.4.1 Definition of National Interest
3.4.2 National Interest - The Core of Foreign Policy
3.5 Security
3.5.1 Security and National Interest
3.5.2 Security and Nuclear Weapons
3.6 Let Us Sum Up
3.7 Key Words
3.8 Some Useful Books
3.9 Answers to Check Your Progress


In this unit four important concepts of international relations are discussed. After
going through this Unit we should be able to:
explain the meaning and importance of the state system;
trace the evolution of the contemporary sovereign nation state system;
define power and explainits dominate role in international relations;
identify and explain various elements of power;
describe various methods used for exercise of power;
analyse balance of power gnd collective security as means of management of
explain the importance of national interest for any nation-state;
analyse the relationship between national interest and foreign policy; and
define security and explain the role of security in the protection of national
interest and exercise of power.

The 'State' in its modern sense of a territorial nation-state emerged as a result of
momentous developments in Europe between the fifteenth and seventeenth centuries.
In today's world, there are around 185 states which constitutes the international
system. International relations and politics are generally understood as a set of Some Concepts :State System, Power,
actions, reactions and interactions between sovereign states, through the medium of Natlonal Internst, Secudty
their foreign policies. As the most authoritative political institution, the state can
mobilize all domestic resources needed to carry on international interactions in the
form of war, or the pursuit of dipIomacy and peace. In this unit we will discuss the
evolution of state system and its relevance in contemporary international relations
and the world community.

Power is the capacity that enables a person to exercise control over the minds and
actions of others. In respect of the sovereign stlltes, power has been defined as the
ability of state 'A' to influence the behaviour of state 'B' and other states. A powerful
state can ensure that the powerful countries act in the manner that the former would
like them to behave. Depending on the power that a state possesses, it may be
described as a Super power, Big power or Small power. It is very difficult to exactly
measure the power of a state, but power is often measured in terms of its elements.
Some elements of power are tanable like the size of the territory, topography and its
location; population of a state; the size of the armed forces; and possession of natural
resources. There are a number of intangible elements also that determine power.
These include quality of leadership and morale of the people and the armed forces.
The state exercises power through methods such as persuasion, rewards, punishment
and force. Those who possess power, which is like money, manage it by different
means. Most prominent of these means are balance of power and collective security.

International Relations are often identified with foreign policy. This is not wholly
correct, yet foreign policy is a vital tool of nation-states. National interest is the key
concept in foreign policy. Foreign policy makers have to start with proper
understanding of the country's national interest. National interest has been described
as indeed the last word in international politics.

Primary objective of foreign policy makers is to ensure security of the state. In fact
security is the most essential component of the national interest. Security is not
merely the protection of territorial integrity and sovereignty of the state. It is also
vitally concerned with the economic development, which in turn enables a country to
increase its power and to use it to secure a place of respect in the world community.
Thus, the four concepts that we will discuss in this unit are closely interrelated and
their understanding is essential for proper appreciation'of international relations.


The world community is organized into over 185 sovereign states. The organization
of humankind intg sovereign states is now called the state system. Palmer and
Perkins define .what is variously described as Western State System, the nation-state
system or (sovereign) state system as: "It is the pattern of political life in which
people are s'eparately organized into sovereign states that must manage to get along
together." Sovereignty and a definite territory are two of the essential attributes of a
state. Of course, there should always be, as Garner said, a community of persons,
having an organized government. Each state acquires coercive power to ensure
compliance. The state system has evolved during the last three and a half centuries.
It is the dominant pattern today. International Relations, infact, are relations and
interactions among the states who constitute the state-system.
3.2.1 Features of the State System
Certain features of the state system are essential conditions, without which the state
. system cannot exist. These features have been described by Palmer and Perkins as
corollaries. They are the concepts of nationalism, sovereignty and power. Nationalism
is that psychological or spiritual quality which unites the people of a state and " gives
ullderstancling Illtenlatiolad Relatiolls them the will to champion what they regard as their natlonal interest." sovereignty is
the concept of unlimited powers. A group of people who are territorially organized
are called sovereign when they possess both internal and external freedom to do what
they wish to do. National power is the might of a state which enables the state to get
things done as it would like them to be done. Power is a complex of many tangible
and intangible elements.

We have studied about the concept of nationalism in unit 2, and the Goncept of power
is analysed in detail in the next section of this unit.The concept of sovereignty is
briefly dealt with below. You will notice in every modren state, such as India, Britain,
Russia, the United States, Pakistan or Egypt, there lives a community of numerous
persons who possess a government which is generally obeyed by the people and which
does not obey any external authority. Such a state is situated within a definite

Sovereignty, in simple terms, means the supreme power of the state both internally
and externally. It is the attribute of sovereignity which distinguishes the state from
other associations or organisations.

One of the earliest definitions of sovereignty was given by the French philosopher
Jean Bodin (1 530-1596),who defined it as "supreme power over citizens and subjects,
unrestrained by law." However, Bodin's main object was to strengthen the position of
the French Monarch who was then facing civil war and chaos.

Thomas Hobbes (1588-1679), elaborated on the concept of sovereignty, shifting the

emphasis from the person of the king to the abstraction called government or state.
- Hobbes equated the sovereign with the state and government.

A useful distinction is made between internal and external sovereignty. Internal

sovereignty concerns the supreme and lawful authority of the state over its citizens.
External sovereignty, on the other hand, refers to the recognition by all states, of the
independence, territorial intergrity and inviolability of each state, as represented by its
government. Hugo Grotius, (1583 -1645),the Dutch jurist defined sovereignty as "that
power whose acts are not subject to the control of another." For him, sovereignty was
manifested when a state, in dealing with its internal affairs, remained free from the
control of other states. Thus defined, sovereignty has become the cornerstone of the
modern international system. It is this external sovereignty that we are concerned with

This concept of sovereignty was for the first time recognised and institutionalized in
the Treaty of Westphalia in 1648. It provided that : (i) only sovereign states could
engage in international relations; (ii) for the purpose of recognizing a state as an actor
in international relations, it nust have a geographical t e r r i t o j ' w a definite
population, land and effective military power to fulfill international obligations; and
(iii) all sovereign states are equal in international law and international relations.

3.2.2 Evolution of the State System

The signing of the Treaty of Westphalia in 1648, after the Thirty years war, is
identified as the beginning of the state system in its modern form. States did indeed
exist before Westphalia, and they conducted relations among themselveqbut that was
quite different from modern state system. In the ancient world there existed small city
states in Greece, India, Egypt and Italy. Athens and Sparta in ancient Greece, and
Indraprastha and Hastinapur in India were some s u ~ city-states.Then,there
h had been a
succession of sprawling dynastic empires. The world had also known the vast Roman
Empire which enconlpassed the entire civilised Western World. But there had heen no
nation state with sovereignty.
The Thirty Years War had resulted out of the Protestant-Catholic conflict The Sol~reConcepts : State Syste~a,Power,
struggle did not establish any dominant religion, yet it ended the undisputed authority National Interest, Security
I of the catholic church. It resulted in a spirit of mutual toleration which has not yet
I been threatened. It laid the foundation of the nation state system. Palmer and Perkins
write : "In spite of enormous destruction, the wrecking of the universal Church, and
the fragmentation of Eurape into well-defined nation-states, the resulting peace of
Westphalia (1648) paved the way for a semblance of European stabihty."

The culnlination of the Thirty Year War in the Peace of Westphalia marked the
starting point for new norms governing the behaviour of states in their relations with
each other. The medieval conception dominated by the image of a Euro-centric
christlan commonwealth gave way to a new concept of an international system based
on the co-existence of sovereign states. Territorial states emerged as the sole
legitimate players in the new international system. Only sovereign states could either
wage wars, or enter into treaties. or alliances with each other.

A corollary to the principle of state sovereignty was naturally the principle of state
equality. As Vattel puts it in his celebrated argument ,"a dwarf is as much as man as a
giant is. a small republic no less a sovereign state than the most powerful kingdom.

This was at least the juridical position. Reality, however, was quite different. State
equality was practically limited to the great powers of Europe namely France, Great
Britain, Austria and Russia. The so-called "anti-hegemony norm"embodied in the
concept of a "just balance of power" was the exclusive privilege of the Great powers.
The non-European states however, did not figure in the actual scheme of t h i n 6 that
emerged after the Westphalian peace.
I! Rather, the international norms of thls period were based on the then extant dynastic
concept of state. The principle of sovereignty meant that the dynasties ruling the
territorial states of Europe recognized each other as rightful, independent and
sovereign. The post-Westphalian system thus developed its own hierarchies.

International relations between peace of Westphalia and the Treaty of Utrecht (17 13)
were marked by the attempts of Louis XIV to establish French hegemony, and rivalry
among Britain, Francs, Holland and Spain. Eventually, France suffered heavy losses
by the Treaty of Utrecht. France promised that Spain and France would never be
united. Unification of Prussia was encouraged leading to a new balance in Europe.
Sweden, Russia and Poland could not take any decision without involving west
Europea? countries.

The mutations within the Westphalian system and its further elaboration was seen in
the system that emerged after the Congress of Vienna (1815). This system was still
Eurocentric with 22 of the 23 member states being European and the last being the
B United States. Yet in a sense, it was a global system in that it lald the norms that were
to affect every part of the world. The backward countries became the battleground for
the resolution of the conflicts of great powers. The system that emerged after the
Vienna Congress was a system of great-power hegemony and known as the Concert of
Europe. It was somewhat of a prototype of the collective security system that we see
today. Five great powers, namely, Britan, France, Prussia, Russia and Austria took
upon themselves the responsibility of maintaining international order. The concert of
Europe rested on the assumption that world order could not be maintained without the
exercise of special rights by these great powers.

The rise of nationalism and thereby the emergence of new norms led to what has been
termed, the updating of the Westphalian system, following the Congress of Vienna
(1815). The concept of a sovereign state was not challenged, but its basis shifted from
royalty to nationality. Thus merged the concept of the state with nationhood which
laid the basis for the modern nation state. Subsequently, the Paris Treaty which ended
Understandhlg International Relations the Crimean war recognized the principle of national self-determinatioq. Gradually,
therefore, the right of each nationality to become an indepW,ent political actor on an
equal footing a key principle of international r e l a h s .

1914, the system's membership reached 4 3 . For the first time the hyopean
exOlus~venesswas affected. There were 17 States from Latin America, 3 Asia,
one from Africa and one from the Middle East. Though the prototype of modelq
diplomacy was established much earlier at Westphalia, Vienna and Paris, it was ohly
in the second half of the nineteenth century that regular international conferences
siirted taking place for adopting conventions regarding the behaviour of states. The
subjects covered by these conventions included the rules of diplomacy (rank, protocol,
procedure and privilege), the principles of maritime law, neutrality, blockade and
contraband, free navigation and international water ways, copyrights and patents,
and rules of warfare.

In contemporary international re1ations;the principles of sovereign equality of all

states and non-interference in the internal affairs of states are paramount in the
formal conduct of states towards one another. In the absence of any superior legal
authority, the present system functions in which each state is at liberty to act to secure
its own interests. Though it is largely true about some of the Great Powers, the above
characterization is somewhat of an exaggeration. Rules, conventions, procedures that
evolved over hundreds of years do have some sanctity. The United Nations, which
succeeded the League of Nations, though it has often failed to restrain powerful states
from committing aggression at will, still enjoys a certain degree of legitimacy.
With the process of decolonisation having become complete after World War 11, the
focus on Europe changed to include newly independent states in Asia and Africa.
A rapid scan through recent developments in the international system reveals new
trends which suggest that the Westphalian system of territorially sovereign nation-
states is on decline.
Though formally sovereign yet vast majority of nation-states try to adjust to a highly
hierarchical international system that has emerged. The resulting world is
characterized by "super-powers" "satellites", and the UN system's various operations,
arm-twistings of super power(s), conditionalities of the International Monetary Fund's
and activities of multinational corporations with budgets greater than many states
GNPs etc. Due to globalization in various spheres, the state seems to be losing its
power. The inter-dependence of world economy and the growing importance of
supra-state international authorities like IMF, (GATT) WTO, World Bank points to
curtailment of autqority. In the post-cold war phase, such curtailment of authority
does not however apply to the United States of America whose state has become, if
anything, more powerful and domineering.
Check Your Progress 1

Note : i) Use the space below for your answers.

ii) Check your answer with the model answers given at the end of the unit

1) What is meant by the state system?

2) Describe three features, or corollaries, of the state system. Some Concepts :State Systenq Power,
,I Nntionnl L~terest,Security

I Trace the evolution of state system since the Peace of Westphalia.


3.3.1 What is Power?
I Power is a phenomenon of all relationships, and political relationship is no exception
to this rule. Power has been defined by Hans Morgenthau as "Man's control over
minds and actions of other man." But, as minds cannot be seen, power can be
determined by the behaviour of individuals and states. In a very broad sense, power
has been defined "as the ability or capacity to control others and get them to do what
.one wants them to do and also to see that they do not do what one does not want
them to do." In international relations, power is the ability of a state to make its
will prevail and to enforce respect and command obedience from other states.
This is how Professor Mahendra Kumar has explained power of the states. Simply
speaking, power is an ability which may not be exercised. But, when exercised, this
P ability enables a state to control the behaviour of other states.
The concept of power was discussed by Kautilya, the master of statecraft in ancient
India, in fourth century B.C. He interpreted power as "the possession of strength"
derived from three elements, namely knowledge, military might and valour (Gyan,
Sainya bal and Shaurya respectively). Morgenthau has been described as a realist
descendant of Kautilya. His entire approach is based on power. As pointed out in
Unit 1, he describes all politics as struggle for power. Therefore, international
politics is struggle for power among states. Robert Dahl explained power by
saying:'A' has power over 'B' to the extent that it can get 'B'to do something that
'B'could not otherwise do. Thus, every state has power in respect to certain other
states. Smaller powers like Nauru may not be able to get things done as.they want,
but most states possess power of ensuring that their wishes prevail. However, the
quantum of power varies. The ability to get things done of US4 is far more than that
of India. Thus, USA has more power than India. In turn, Jndia has perhaps more
. power than Nepal or Indonesia. Strength of power may be demonstrated in several
ways. For example, in 1996, The Conference on disarmament (CD) at Geneva could
Ul~dcmtanding 11ltcnl;ltiollal Rdatiolls not adopt CTBT (Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty) because India refused to sign it.
That proved India's power even as against the U.S.A.

Power can be easily compared to money. Power plays some role in international
politics as money plays in economy. Most people get money so that they can get what
they require. But, for some people, money becomes an obsession. They seek money to
accumulate it. For most people money is a means, for others it is an end. Similarly,
power is a vital means of states. However, it is very often an end in itself. For, every
state desires to be more and more powerful. That is why, Vernon Van Duke wrote :
Power is both "the capstone among the objectives which the states pursue and the
cornerstone among the methods which they employ." He meant that power is the
highest of objectives and aims of states, and it is also the basic means which they use
to serve the& national interests.

Power is the most central concept of international politics. But it is not always easy to
define it. Still definitions have been given. Couloumbis and Wolfe define power as
"an umbrella concept that denotes anything that establishes and maintains the control
of Actor A over Actor B." This definition widens the meaning of the concept of

Power has three important ingredients. They are force, influence and authority.
According to Couloumbis and Wolfe, authority means voluntary compliance by Actor
B of the wishes of Actor A, out of respect, affection, etc. Influence has been defined
as use of instruments of persuasion, short of force, by Actor A to get its wishes
accepted by Actor B. Finally, force implies coercion by Actor A of Actor B in pursuit
of political objectives of Actor A. This, power is a combination of authority
(voluntary compliance), Influence (Compliance through persuasion) and force (use of
coercive methods).


Authority InCuence
3.3.2 Elements of Power
A country acquires power through serveral elements. There is no absolute condition
that makes for power. Different elements, in different situations, can make for power.
The same elements in another situation may not provide power. A combination of
certain elements in one situation may give more power to a country than the same
combination provides to another country. The elements may be broadly divided
between tangible and intangible elements. But, from another angle the elements of
power may be classified as of quantitative and qualitative value. William Ebenstein
stressed upon the importance of qualitative elements. He wrote :

"In the field of intern'ational relations, the central problem of the strength of a nation
is essentially a problem of qualitative judgement and measurement, as national power
is more than the sum total of population, new material and quantitative factors. The
'alliance potential' of a nation, its civil devotion, the flexibility of its institutions, its
technical 'knowhow', its capacity to endure privations - these are but a few
qualitative elements that determine the total strength of a nation."

Elements of power are briefly discussed below :

Tangible Elements : Population can be easily couitte8. Therefore, it is a tangible

element. It is generally believed th?t states with large population are more powerful.
Large population enables a country not only to have strong armed forces, but to have
manpower for various economic activities also. But, it is not essential that large
population will make for power. China, during nineteenth century, had much less
power than Britain which is a less populous state. Contemporary Israel with less than
50 lakh people has proved to be an effective power. She has even acquired nuclear Some Concepts :State Systen~,Power,
capability. Thus, as Couloumbis acd Wolfe say, "A population that is healthy, well- National Interest, Security

fed, unified, evenly spaced, well inforilled .... is likely to be much more powerful than
a population that is badly nourished, diseased, overcrowded, illiterate, disunited and
Territory is the second tangible element of power. Some writers refer to geography
as an element, and include territory within 'geography'. Most important among this
element are size of a country, its climate, topography and its location. Normally, it is
believed that a country large in size would be more powerful than smaller states. A
large size not only enables the country to have vast areas under agricultural
production and to have industrial growth, but also provide scope for a defensive army
to manoeuvre and retreat, allow enemy to enter, then hit it back, encircle it and
defeat it. But, a smaller state may at times becomes more powerful. Mere
measurement of area is no guarantee of power to a state. Israel is a striking example
of a small state that has demonstrated a disproportionately large amount of military
power. On the other hand, Canada with its frozen waters and Brazil with its jungles
have never been big powers.
Climate of a country also influences its power. Thus, frozen Antartica and the
deserts of Sahara are obviously not suitable for power, although with the potential of
uranium for nuclear power, even deserts where uranium is found have assumed
importance. A lot depends on the location and topography of a country. Foreign
policy - makers find Iocation to be a key determinant. Topographic features
determine boundaries between nations. Whereas artificially created boundaries, as
between India and Pakistan or Germany and France, can weaken the position; the
natural frontiers such as high mountains and sea help the power of a state. This
again is not an absolute condition.
Natural Resources constitute another element of power. Possession of natural
resources such as oil, uranium and various minerals add to the power of a state.
Today, importance of oil-rich Gulf has increased. Besides those possessing items like
coal and iron can enhance their power. Nations can improve their power, if on
account of their natural resources, they can give rewards in the form of minerals,
agricultural products or manufactured goods.
The fourth tangible element of power is that of agricultural capacity. Such capacity .
is considered crucial in the sense that countries capable of feeding themselves,
especially during the course of a long war, will be relatively more powerful. Self-
sufficiency in food is considered critical in this regard.
The fifth tangible element of power is that of military strength. This relates to the
conventional notion that power is backed by military force. The military strength of a
given nation-state can be measured in terms of funds expended for defence and
security purposes. A related factor is lbcation outside its territory. Such military
mobility hinges on the nation-state's ability to sustain military aperations on land,
sea and air. The ultimate success of the nation-states, however, would depend on
intangible factors such as preparedness, training, leadership, morale, etc. which
affect the performance of armed forces in a given situation.

The discussion of tangible elements of power brings out clearly that such elements
are necessary to generate capability of the nation-states in a sovereign state-system.
But this is not sufficient to ensure that capabilities would lead to the overall strength
of the nation-states. We need to specify the intangible elements of power that
contribute in a most critical way to the overall capability of the sovereign state.
Intangible Elements of Power : The intangible elements (attributes) of power
include leadership, bureaucratic-organisational efficiency, type bf government,
societal cohesion, etc. Although such elements cannot be measured or concretely
specified, they are critical in terms of the overall power of a sovereign state.
Relations Leadership constitutes the most critical intangible element of power. Its significance
relates to the ability of the leader of a sovereign state to motivate its citizens to realise
foreign policy objectives of the state. Although we cannot accurately measure this
variable, the latter is significant in terms of its impact on the sovereign country's
conduct in inter-state relations.

The second intangible element of power refers to bureaucratic-organisational

efficiency. The underlying reasoning here is that states, having eff~cient
bureaukracies, can implement their domestic and foreign policies in an effective

The third intangible element of power refers to the type of government. It is difficult
to specify and measure the effect to different types of governance of national power in
genkal and specific situations. All we can suggest here is that governmental
decisions in foreign policy matters must be quick and adaptable to the changing
external environment as well as domestic needs of the nation-state. Further, they
must be accountable in terms of the checks and balances characteristic of democratic
regimes. It ensures efficiency and credibility to the fordign policy of a given
sovereign state.
The fourth intangible element of power is that of societal cohesion. Here the
assumption is that internally unified nation-states are stronger. Chronic terrorism,
recurring strikes, civil war - these are some of the indicators which point towards
internal instability and disruption within the confines of a sovereign state. Such a
state will not be capable of sustaining its strength in the sovereign state-system in
the longer run.

Lastly, national morale is one the of the most important of intangible elements of
power. If the morale of the army is high it is difficult for any enemy to defeat the
country. In peace time also, people's morale enables a country to be effective and
powerfpl. If morale goes down people do not work with enthusiasm. and army tends
to loose the battle. Thus, high national morale can overcome shortcomings of various
The above discussion on intangible elements of power shows that despite inability to
measure, these elements are equally (if not more) important as the tangible elements
3.3.3 Measurement of Power
Mere possession of elements of power does not make a country powerful. Thus, huge
deposits of minerals and possession of raw material and having huge manpower does
not make for power. The resources must be properly utilised. Secondly, a distinction
is sometimes made between Capability and Power. Mere possession of elements of
power may be called capability, and mobilisation of this capability for actual use
is power. Thus, potential to be powerful is capability and mobilisation of capability is
An imnortant question that you may ask is how can we measure the power of a
country. It is almost impossible to be able to measure the power. It is to be examined
in relative context. Thus, country A may be more powerful than C, but less powerful
than B. This is because A cannot get things done according to its wishes, as far as B
is concerned, but can have its way in regard to C. However, Ray S. Cline has
suggested a very useful method of measurement of power. For Cline, power is
important i n the sense that it is perceived both by its wielders and by those over who
it is exercised. He has suggested a formula for measurement of power though it may
not give us exact results. If PP is 'perceived power', it can be measured as under :
Here C means critical mass, which includes population and territory; E stands for Soii~eCoilcepts : State Syste~n,Power,
economic capability, M for military capability, S for strategic purpose, and W means, National Interest, Secr~rity

will to pursue national strategy. Whereas C, E and M are tangible, S and W are
intangible elements. Thus Ray S. Cline places very important value on strategi;
purpose and the will to pursue that purpose.

Robert Dahl offers another suggestion for measurement of power. According to him,
"A has power over B to the extent that he can get B to do something that B would not
otherwise do". But, even this formula is far from satisfactory and measurement of
power remains a very difficult exercise.

3.3.4 Methods of Exercising Power

If power is the ability to get things done, what are the methods that can be employed,
by those who possess power, for securing compliance with their wishes. Four methods
are generally employed for the exercise of power. These methods are : Persuasion,
reward, punishment and force. These methods may also be called instruments of
the exercise of power. Persuasion is the easiest of the four methods. In this country A
tries to influence the beha~fiourof country B by persuading the latter to change its
decision. In fact, most of the times diplomacy is based on persuasion. This method is
free from use of coercion or even threat of use of force. Another method of exercise of
power is offer of reward. In this method, attempt is made to influence the behaviour
of other state by promise of reward, which may be material, economic or political.
The reward may take the shape of offer of a territory, or military aid in the form of
weapons, bases or training facilities. The reward may be in the nature of economic
aid or loan. It may be political if support, or a favourable vote, is promised in the
United Nations or other organisations and agencies. The third method of power is
Punishment. It may take various forms. For example, stoppage of economic or
military aid, or even a threat of such a withdrawal amounts to punishment. A threat
of unfavourable action also implies punishment. Similarly, punishments include
unfavourable propaganda, political support to the opponents or enemies, and
imposition of unfavourable terms of trade and transit. Thus when the U.S. promises
support to Pakistan or seeks to vote in her favour against India's wishes it amounts to
US punishment of India. ~ a s t l ~ , ' w h ethe
n threat of punishment is actually carried
out, it is called use of force. In other words, punishment is a threat, and its
implementation is force.'

It must be mentioned that only a short or a narrow end view looks at threat and force
as ultimate form of power. As Prof. Kenneth E Boulding observes that there has been
a remarkable expansion in the area of stable peace among independent nations from
the mid-19th century onwards. This always meant abandonment of military threats as
a means of changing frontiers. Arguments against 'threat as the sole basis of power'
have two interesting developments from India and China coming up during the 20th
century. Gandhiji's experiments with organised non-violence leading to achievement
of political independence attracted many leaders engaged in nationalist struggles
elsewhere (including 1989 happenings in Eastern Europe). Similarly, China
syndrome conveys its remarkable capacity to convert its conquerors into Chinese
ways of thinking and doing Further, improvements in the means of destruction has
often diminished the power of threat. As Prof. Boulding observes, "It was the
invention of the effective cannon that made the feudal castle and then city wall
obsolete and created the nation-state with its relatively wide-spread areas of internal
peace. Similarly, the nuclear weapon and the long-range missile have probaly done
for the nation-state what gun-power did for the feudal baron." There hangs a hope
for a stable world community of peace-loving people.

3.3.5 Management of Power

Each nation-state tries to mange power for its own advantage in a world of uneven
powers. Broadly, two strategies are followed.
Underqtanding International Relations Balance of Power : The term balance of power normally implies existence of a rough
equilibrium of power among various nations, which means power should be more or
less equally shared by different states. However, when we say that balance of power is
favourable to such and such country, we mean that there is preponderance of power in
favour of that country.

The operation of balance of power requires the existence of five or six big powers
who try to maintain equilibrium among them and avoid preponderance of power with
any one country. @f course besides the big powers, there may also be several medium
and small powers. According to Quincy Wright, there are five main assumptions of
balance of power. Firstly, he says, it is assumed that states are committed to protect
their vital interests by all possible means. Such vital interests generally include
security, territorial integrity, political independence and economic resources. Second
assumption is that vital interests of the states are, or may be, threatened. Unless
interests are threatened why would any state try to protect them. The third assumption
is that balance of power helps the protection of vital interests by threatening other
states with committing aggression, or by enabling the victim to achieve victory in
case an aggression takes place. In other words, a future aggressor will resort to war
only if it is sure of superiority of power The fourth assumption is that relatlve power
position of various states can be measured so that it may be managed in one's favour.
The last assumption is that leaders formulate foreign policy on the basis of an
intelligent understanding of power consideration.

Based on these assumptions, it can be concluded that management of power to protect

vital int~restsof a country (which were threatened) is balance of power.

A balance may be brought about through the use of one or more of the following
ways. One of the most important means is amassing of armaments. Since war is the
ultimate instrument of resolution of disputes, countries try to increase military power
to secure advantage. But once one country acquires new weapons, the opponents also
begin to compete. Alliances are often concluded to secure a favourable balance of
power. Counter alliances are then concluded to upset the preponderance of power of
some against the others. Nations always try to make, abandon and remake alliances.
Balances of power becomes effective if there are a number of big powers who often
exercise choice of making alliances and counter alliances. Thirdly, in order to
maintain a favourable balance of power, or to secure preponderance of power, nations
often try to seize territory. This increases the power of the nation concerned. This
method was very common during the period of imperialism. Even in 1990, Iraq seized
the territory of Kuwait though later she had to vacate it. Earlier, several Arab
territories were seized by Israel. Fourthly, a nation may acquire and maintain power
by setting up buffer state between two large and unfriendly countries. For example, at
one time Poland was a buffer between Russia and Germany and Tibet was set up as a
buffer between China and British India.

Intervention is another method of ensuring favourable balance of power. It often

happens that a big power tries to regain a lost ally or pick up a new ally by intervening
in the internal affairs of a smaller country and set up a friendly government there. For
example the United States intervened in Vietnam, Dominican Republic, and others,
the Soviet Union intervened in 1979 in Afghanistan. Lastly, there is a method of
altering the existing balance of power by detaching allies from the opposite side
compellimg them to become neutrals or winning them over as allies. All these
methods have been used again and again to secure or upset a balance of power.

At times a laughing third party, or balancer, plays vital role. This means a third
party, uninterested in rivalry between two nations or two power blocs, may help a
weaker nation to secure better balance of power. Britain has traditionally been a
balancer, or a laughing third.
Collective Security : Collective security is another device of management of power. Some Concepts :State System, Power,
It is also said to be one of the most promising of all approaches of peace. Power National Interest, Security

should be so managed that an aggression is collectively repulsed by the international

community. It is a better device than balance of power as it does not involve alliances
and counter alliances, race for armaments and political manipulations. The concept of
collective security implies "Security" as the goal and "collective" as the means. It has
been defined as "a machinery for joint action in order to prevent or counter any attack
against an established order" (Schwarzberger). There are two basic assumptions of
collective security. First, that war is unavoidable and it is likely to occur, and second,
that it can be defeated (or prevented) by an overwhelming power. As Inis Claude
says, it is not the elimination of Power, but the management of power. It is a middle
position between balance of power and the world government. Collective security
operates through a system of international organisation - The League of Nations and
the United Nations. It is different from collective defence because in the collective
security system the principle that applies is one for all, and all for one. The rock
bottom principle of collective security is that an attack on any one state will be
regarded as an attack on all States. An attack on any one Member Nation of the UN is
regarded as an aggression against all, and if the Security Council identifies the
aggressor and calls upon all other countries to apply economic andlor military
sanctions, all the states are expected to stand together and fight the aggression. Thus,
the aggressor is not identified in advance. It can be anyone against whom collective
action is taken. Collective defence, on the other hand, is an arrangement through
alliance system. Here an opponent is identified in advance and others are committed
only against that one enemy. It is not one for all, and all for one.

The system of collective security was enshrined in the Covenant of League of Nations
and was given a trial by the League. It is also accepted as a device of maintaining
international peace and management of power in the present United Nations system.

Check Your Progress 2

Note : i) Use the space below for your answers.

ii) Check your answer with the model answers given at the end of the unit.

1) Explain the concept of power.

2) What are the tangible elements of power?

I Discuss the intangible elements of power.

Desctibe briefly four methods of exercising power.


.................................... ..............................................................................

' ..................................................................................................................

What is balance of power and what are the devices, of balance of power?
............................................... ..................................................................


Explain the concept of collective security.

.A .................................................................................................................
Some Concepts :State System, Power,
3.4 NATIONAL INTEREST Nntio~talInterest, Security

The concept a f national interest is of central importance in any attempt to describe

and explain the international behaviour. It is almost universally believed that the
primary justification of state action is national interest. President Wilson of the U.S.
was one of those rare idealists who differed with this belief (see below). National
interest is regarded as the 'key concept' in foreign policy. As Hans Morgenthau wrote :
"As long as the world is politically orgalised into nations, the national interest is
indeed the last word in world politics." It is the only legitimate and fundamental
cause of national policy. Lord Palmerston had once said in the nineteenth century:
"We have no eternal allies and we have no eternal enemies. Our interests are eternal
and those interests it is ou; duty to follow." It is not only difficult to define national
interest, but it is also difficult to understand how different world leaders explain
away all their actions in the name of national interest.

3.4.1 Definition of National Interest

What exactly is national interest? Nepoleon had said that he was acting in the
interest of France when he initiated his campaign against Russia, and later when he
launched his desperate battle at Waterloo. Adolf Hitler justified his expansionist
policies, including annexation of Austria and breakup of Czechoslovakia, in the
name of Germany's national interest. "Friendly socialist" governments were installed
in Poland and other East European countries by Stalin in the name of Soviet Union's
national interest. President Bush was acting in America's national interest when he
led the war against Iraq on the question of Kuwait's annexation by Iraq. Benazir
h hut to thought that it was in Pakistan's national interest to destabilise the Indian State
of Jammu and Kashmir. Thus, all actions, howsoever, wsong are taken in the name of
national interest. We must now try to find an acceptable definition of national interest.

The idea of national interest is singularly vague. It assumes variety of meanings in

different contexts. The concept of national interest has not been objectively or
scientifically defined. However, Padleford and Lincoln observe : "Concepts of
national interests are centred on the core values of the society, which include the
welfare of the nation, the security of its political beliefs, national way of life,
territorial integnty and its self-preservation." According to Robert Osgood, national
interest is "state of affairs valued solely for its benefit to the nations." Morgenthau
maintains that the main requirements of a nation-state is to protect its physical,
political and cultural identity against threat from other states. But, Joseph Frankel
writes about aspirational and operation&aspects of national interest. Aspirational
(what one expects) aspects include the state's vision of good life and an ideal set of
goals to be realised. Put into operation, national interest refers to sum total of its
interests and policies actually pursued.
3.4.2 National Interest - the Core of Foreign Policy
Foreign policy - makers can never ignore their state's national interest as they
perceive it. At times leaders like Hitler, intoxicated of power, led to disaster in the
name of national interest. But, normally the good of the state is the sole concern of
foreign policy. This good of the state, or national interest, remains the core of the
foreign policy. The idealist (US President) Woodrow Wilson, however, felt that
national interests can be legitimately subordinated to morality and interests of the \
mankind. He said : "It is perilous thing to determine the foreign policy of a nation in
terms of national interests .... we dare not turn from the principle that morality and
not expediency is the thing that must guide us. We have no selfish ends to serve." But
this idealist approach of morality has never succeeded in areas of foreign policy.
Wilson's views were totally at variance from what the first U.S. President George
Washington had said. According to him, "No nation, no matter how lofty its ideals
Understaldu~g I~~tetenlatio~~al
Relatiolls and how genuine its desire to abide by them, can base its foreign policy on
consideration other than its own national interest." He had opined that no prudent
statesman or politician will venture to depart from it.
What then are the components of national interest of a state? Security, economic
development and a peaceful world order are the objective of a modern state. All
countries desire and search for national security, political independence and
maintenance of territorial integrity. In other words, defence of the state is naturally
the primary concern of foreign policy. Secondly, promotion of economic interest,
including securing favourable conditions of trade, is a vital objective of foreign
policy-makers. Thirdly, most modern states are also concerned with maintenance of
international peace, respect for international law, pacific settlement of international
disputes and strengthening of the system of international organisation.

When India, under Nehru's leadership, decided to adopt the policy of non-alignment
that was in India's national interest as well as being an instrument of world peace.
The Non-Aligned Movement initiated by Nehru, Nasser and Tito was also meant to
promote the ideal of peace in a world then divided into two hostile power blocs. If
India had aligned itself with one of the power blocs our economic development would
have glot linked only to one ideology. There are some world leaders who believe that
their foreign policy must be committed to a certain ideology, such as propagation of
Fasri.srn or communism or the containment of communism. mt, realist statesmen
emphasise only the national interest. Consequently, the role of ideology has lately

Check Your Progress 3

Note : i) Use the space below for your answep.

ii) Check your answer with the model answer given at the end of the unit.

1) What is the importance of national interest in foreign policy-making?


3.5.1 Security and National Interest

~ d concept
e of security is directly related to national interest. The entire state system
is the product of the desire of man to protect himself against threats from various
quarters. Security of the state is the objective of every government. We have said in
section 3 . 3 . 5 above about two of the methods of security. The idea of management of
power is to regulate power in such a way that security of the state is protected and
that none should have preponderance of power so as to be able to threaten security of
other' states. Whenever security of the States has been seriously threatened, man has
begun to think and device new means of security of political independence and
territorial integrity of the states. We have seen (3.2) that the state-system was largely
an outcome of the Peace of Westphalia which ended the thirty-years war. When
. Napolean was defeated, the suffering states of Europe, after the Congress of Vienna,
created the Concert of Europe. The idea was to ensure security of the evolving state
When the Russian ~ z a r ' t o o kthe initiative for the Hague Conferences (1899 and Solnc Co~lcepts:State Systenq Power,
1907), security was again the objective. The Hague Co~lfcrencesprovided for peaceful Uatics~rrlInterest, Security
settlement of international disputes maiilly through arl>ilrationand constituted a
Court of Arbitration at the Hague. When international law and morality became
victims of unprincipled warfare during the First World War, scholars and statesmen
alike initiated the process of setting up a League of Nations to maintain peace and
security in the post-war pcriod. The preamble of the League of Nations clearly spelt
out the objectives of the new organisation. It said that the High contracting Parties
(Member - Nations) had agreed to the Covcnant "ln order to promote international
co-operation and to achieve international peace and security, by the acceptance of
obligatioils not to resort to war ...." The League made several attempts for
international security, but eventually it failed. The Charter of the United Nations also
declares : "We the peoples of the United Nations determined .... lo unite our strength
to maintain international peace and security .... that armed forces shall not be used,
save in the common interest . . . . I t Thus, the international concern for security has
been consisteiltly expressed.
3.5.2 Security and Nuclear Weapons
Nuclear weapons have altcred the security perspective of nation-states. But, even
before such deadly weapons were produced, nations-were always coilcerned with their
security. For that purpose they often entered into alliances and couater-alliances, and
race for armaments was vigorously carried on After the First World War, a victorious
France was so inuch scared of defeated Germany that she insisted on her, security in
the Paris Conference, in the League of Nations and outside it. French seaith of
security dominated many of inter-war years. Having been dissatisfied with the
security provisions of the League Covenant, France sought guarantees from various
quarters including an abortive joint Anglo-American Guarantee, the Draft Treaty of
Mutual Assistance (l923), the Geneva protocol 1924 (both failed to take off), the
successful Locarno Pact (1925) and the Pact of Paris (1928) for the renunciation of
war. Before as well as after the Second World War also search for security has been
the principal concern of numerous countries.
Alliances like NATO, SEATO. Baghdad Pact and Warsaw Pact were all aimed at
security either against the Soviet Union or against the United States. Besides,
military bases and assistance to several countries, including Pakistan, were in order
to satisfy their quest for security.
When the United States manufactured and dropped the first two atom bombs at
Hiroshima and Nagasaki (August 1945). to secure surrender 01Japan, the whole
nature of war changed. With that the conceril and nature of security also changed.
For four years, till 1949, the United States was the only nuclear power, which placed
the security of entire world at her mercy. Nobody was sure of one's security. Even
Soviet Union remained in constant fear as it was not known whether the US had
another bomb or not, and whethei she had any intention of targeting Moscow in its
ongoing ideological conflict. Once Soviet Union tested its first nuclear device in
1949, the race for nuclear weapons began. Britain, France and finally China became
nuclear powers. Since then at least three inore countries have-acquired nuclear
capability. These are India, Pakistan and Israel. Together they are known as
"threshold countries". India insists that she will use nuclear power only for peaceful
purposes. There are many other countries that can acquire nuclear capability.

In the nuclear age security of nations requires not merely amassing of traditional
weapons and coilclusion of alliances. Seeking nuclear umbrella also became objectiye
of many. The cold w8r expressed concern for security and nations sought even '
nuclear missiles and military bases from Big Powers. The disaster that nuclear
weapons can bring about is unprer~dented,and as Max Lerner says, we are living in
the period of "overkill", for nuclec - weapons that nations now possess can destroy the
whole world several times over. T1.s war in nuclear age is no more limited to the
armed forces. Civilian targets are aimed at even by non-nuclear, traditional bombs. In
such a situation the conhrn for security has assumed alarming concern.
Relatio~ls Check
Understanding laternntiu~~d ' Your Progress 4

' Note : i) Use the space below for your answer.

ii) Check your answer with the model answers given at the end of the unit.
1) Highlight the relation between security and national interest.

2) What the reason for the concern for security in the nuclear age?

- - - - -


In tHis unit we have dealt with four concepts : state system, power, national interest
and security. In the ancient period there did exist states, but these were mostly city -
states in Greece, India, etc. Then there came into existence huge empires such as the
Holy Roman Empire. The modern state-systembegan to evolve after the Peace of
Westphalia (1648). It is after the Congress of Vienna that the concept of sovereign
nation-states developed. The emergence of several nation-states after First World War
was a welcome development in international relations. The state-system today
consists of territorial entities which enjoy both internal and external sovereignty. The
state system represents a clear advance over the previous international system. It is
basad on the key concept of equality of all states. Present international system has its
foundation in nation-states.
Power is the ability to control the minds and actions of others. In international
relations it means ability of states to control the behaviour of other states. Power is
like money in market economy. Like all politics, international politics, is struggle for
power. There are various elements of power - some are tangible which can be
measured, and others are intangible which cannot be measured or quantified. Yet
they are critical in terms of overall capacity of sovereign states. The tangible
elements include population, territory (its size, climate, topography and location)
natural resources, agricultural capacity, and military strength. None of these elements
is absolute as their p~sitionis relative Intangible elements are equally important. They
include quality of lea\qership, type of government, societal cohesion and national
It is only a very short-ruiq view which looks at threat and force as the ultimate forms
of power. Such a view ov$rlooks vast areas of stable peace among independent
nations built over years, subcessful strategies of organised non-violence etc. It is not
easy to measure the power oqa state. It depends on many factors. There are four
recognised methods of exercise of power : Persuasion, reward, punishment and force.
Peace has become a gfeater need today than ever before. It can be made possible Some Concepts : State System, Power,
National Interest, Security
through proper management of power. Three common methods of management are :
balance of power, collective security and world government (the last mentioned is still
a dream). Balance of power has been practised for a long time to ensure that no state
acquires preponderance of power. Balancer often plays important role, and is called
"the laughing third". National interest is a concept of central importance in
understanding international behaviour. The concept is difficult to define, yet it is the
core of every foreign policy. It includes welfare of the nation, security of its political
beliefs, security of the state and its territorial integrity. Primary objectives of national
interest are security, economic development and a world order that is stable and free
of serious disputes.,

Security is the primary concern of every state. It is, as mentioned above, the primary
concern of every state and objective of national interest. Power is exercised to
promote national interest in general and ensure security in particular. Security in the
nuclear age is generally threatened and has acquired greater importance.


Sovereignty : Supreme Power of the state subject to no internal

or external limitations.
National-State : The form of state based on ethnic identity of its
peoplk. People feel united by common bond, and
are territorially organised under a government
that is independent.
International System ,: Independent political entities - states, nation,
empires are variables of a worldwide system,
together called international system.
Power : AMty or capacity to get things done as one would
llke others to do. It also ensures that others 90 not
do what one does not want them to do.
Tangible Elements : Elements like population and territory that can be
measured or quantified.
Intangible elements Elements that are not visible and cannot be
Coll+tive Security : Method of ensuring security of nations through
collective economic and military action against
the aggressor.


Henz, John H : The Nation-State and the d i s i s of World
Morgenthau, Hans : Politics Among Nations
Deutsch, Karl W : he Analysis of International Relations
Palmer & Perkins International Relations
Martin Wright : Systems of States,Eeicester, 1977
Kenneth E,Boulding Three Faces of Power, California, 1989
Understandu~g hlten~ationirlRelations
Answcrs to Check Your Progress 1

1) A system in which sovereign nation-states interact with each other throngh the
nlediurn of their foreign policies A state is a cotnmunity of persons.
territorially organiscd with an independent government and enjoying
sovereignty Nation-states are units of present international system.

2). Three prominent features of state systenl are (i) nationalism - a psychological
quality that binds people; (ii) sovereignty; (iii) national power, the capacity to
get things done according to its wishes.

3) Territorial states based on nationalisin: Euroceiltric systenl with about 22

states; nation-states after the First World War: and multiplication of states
after decolonisation after 1945.

Answers to Check Your Progress 2

1) Power is ability to control the behaviour of others. It is man's control over

minds and actions of other men. In international relations capacity of state to
get things done. as desired by a powerful state.

2) Elements that can be quantified : population; territory - its size, climate,

topography etc. natural resources, raw material. industrial units, armed forces

3) Elements that cannot be measured; quality of leadership; burcaucratic

efficiency; type of go~xxnrne~it,
societal cohesion and national nlorals.

4) Persuasion, Reward, Punishment and Force

5) A system i n which about half a dozen states enjoy more or less equal power,
check each other so that none acquires preponderance of power; often a
'balancer' ensures equilibrium Devices . alliances, arinainents, buffer states,
intenlention, etc.

6) International security is the aim, collective is the means. Aggressor has to face
the collective might of world community. 'One for all and all for one' is the
principle; operates through international organisation like the U.N.

Answcrs to Check Your Progress 3

1) National interest seeks to protect core values of the society including welfare
or tlie nation, economic prosperity, security of political beliefs, sovereignty,
territorial integrity and national honour. National intcrest is a key concgpt in
foreign policy; it,is the starting point as well as a goal offoreign policy.

Answers to Check Your Progrcss 4

1) Security is the main objective of every government. Foreign policy is the

instrument through which national interest is protected. Thus, if security is
not ensured, national interest is sacrificed.

2) Nature of weapons. and of war, has changed with the corning of nuclear
weapons. It is an age of overkill, aiid nuclear n7eaponscan endanger security
of entire mankind due to their capacity of total destruction.

4.2.1 Economic Rivalriw
4.2.2 Colopial Disputes
4.2.3 Conflicting Alliance Systems
4.2.4 Rising Nationalist Aspirations
4.2.5 The Outbrgk'of War
Sequence of Events of the War
4.3.1 ~uropeanPhase of the War
4.3.2 Global Phase of the War
4.3.3 Endofthewar
Consequences of the War
4.4.1 Paris Peace Conference The Treaty of Verdles Minor Treaties
Impact of the War
4.5.1 ImpactonEurope
4.5.2 Impact on the World
Let Us Sum Up
Key Words
Some Useful Books
Answers to Check Your Progress Exercises

This unit deals with the First World W& (1914-18). After studying the unit you will be
able to:
trace the causes of the wai
narrate the sequence of events of the war
discuss the consequences of the war, and
. analyses the impact of the war.

The First World War, broke out in the third quarter of 1914. Initially it was confined to
Europe. Afterwards the war spread all over the world It continued for more than four
y e . . The world experienced an unprecedented holocaust. Established dynasties
collapsed, Europe began to decline and America started to dominate. The war generated
new ideologies, founded new institutions and gave birth to new leadenhips in the world.
The world, indeed, was transformed at the termination of the war.
This unit examines the circumstances leading to the breaking out of the First World
' War, proceedings of the war and how it conditioned the developments and future of .
idernational relations.

,The.war broke out in the wake of the assassination of Archduke Francis Ferdinand, the
/heir apparent to the Hapsburg throne. He bas assassinated by a group of Bosnian radical
Inter-War Period nationalists on 28th June 1914. The assassination, however was not the real cause of
the war. It was just the pretext. The causes of the war may be found in the politico-
economic developments that lud been taking place in the international arena since the
Franc-German War (1870). There arose econom!c rivalries, disputes over colonies and
the conflicting alliance system in Europe. The growing nationalist aspirations in the
subject peoples in Europe added fuel to the fire.

4.2.1 Economic Rivalries

Throughout the last quarter of the 19th century and the early decades of the 20th
century most of the European powers had been locked in tariff wars and had been
engaged in competition for overseas markets. There had been tariff wars between Italy
and France, Russia and Germany, Austria and Serbia and so on. Besides these tariff wars,
there arose stiff competition among the powers in general, and between Germany and
Great Britain in particufar for overseas markets. Throughout the 19th century, Britain
had been the supreme economic power, backed by a powerful navy and army. Germany
suddenly emerged as a competing great economic power in Europe after its principali-
ties unified as a nation state. Gennany's emergence as the economic super power made
it a stiff competitor for overseas markets too, where other European powers including
Britain had great stakes. This competition had far reaching political repercussions. It
created an undending tension in the relations between these states. These relations got
further embittered when the competing countries started building up strong navies for
safeguarding trade routes and merchant shipping. Germany which already had a big
army, devoted its full energies for building a large navy and achieved the goal within a
short period. Gennany's emergence as an economic power backed by a strong navy and
an army became intolerale for Britain and the other powers hostile to it. Hence rivalries
intensified and a flare up became inevitable.

4.2.2 Colonial Disputes

The European powers, in order to ensure protected markets for their surplus capital and
industrial products, got involved in conflicts for overseas colonies. Gennany was the
youngest in the race for colonies. With its emergence as a super economic power it
became very aggressive in the demand for the overseas colonies which could provide
markets for its growing economy. It was a general cry in Germany that the country must
have a "place in the sun". In its struggle for acquiring colonies, Germany found Britain
as the stumbling block. Britain was condemned as a selfish, "dog in the manger". The
disputes for a "place in the sun" were not confined to Gennany and Britain alone. All
major powers were engaged in the scramble for dependencies in the years preceding the
first world war. There were in Africa and in Asia between the European powers
for colonies. These made relations between European states.

4.2.3 Conflicting Alliance Systems

The struggle for colonies in different parts of the world between antagonistic powers led
to the formation of conflicting alliances. Germany showed the way. It signed the Dual
Alliance with Austria-Hungary (1879). This Aliiance aimed at strengthening Germany
against a possible French attack for recovering Alsace-Lonaine. The Alliance was also
designed to protect Austria-Hungary against Russia with which the former had prtt€iacted
clashes in the Balkan region.'The alliance became the Triple Alliance in 1882, when
Italy joined Austria-Huqgary 'and Germany, seeking their support in her struggle for
colonies against France.

The parhers of the Triple Al-ce attempted to maintain the status quo in the
continent. Others however, saw this as an attempt to dominate Eumpe and to isolate
other states from each other. They, therefore, took steps to form counter alliances. France
and Russia entered into an entente (1893). This entente was aimed at countering the
Triple Alliance and also containing Britain, against whom both France and Russia had
outstamkg disputes ovq the colonies. In the course of time, however the disputes ,
between France, Russia and Britah were resolved peacefully. They now entered into
c h (1904) was signed and then the Anglo-Russian
alliances. First, the ~ n ~ l A - ~ r e nentente World War I :Causes,
entente (1907) was formalised. These two ententes were transformed into the Triple Events and Consequencer
Entente. Eumpe was thus divided into two conflicting alliances which added fuel to the
already embittered international relations which were aggravated by economic and
colonial rivalries.

4.2.5 Rising Nationalist Aspirations

There were subject minorities in different regions of Europe. These subject minorities
remained hostile towards their respective imperial rulers. The growing nationalism of
these peoples made them restless against foreign rule. They were demanding the right of
self-determination. The French people in Alsace-Lorraine were hostile to German rule
over their territory. The Hapsburg Empire, ruled by the Austrians and the Hungarians,
had been facing growing discontent by the subject peoples. Italians, Romanian, and the
Slavic peoples living within the Austro Hungarian empire awakeped and initiated
demands for self-determinationor unification with their brethren in the neighbowing
states. The rulers however tried to suppress the nationalist awakenings. The nationalist
movement within empires transformed into militant revolutionary movements. Secret
radical and militant organisations sprang up in different places in the Balkan region.
One such organisation named Black Hand which was founded by the Bosnian Serbs in
Belgrade, the Serbian capital, in 1911, hatched the conspiracy to kill Archduke Francis
Ferdinand while he was on an official tour in Serajevo, and assigned the job of assassinating
him to Gavrilo Princip and his comrades. Princip carried out the assassination.

4.2.5 The Outbreak of War

At the assassination of the Archduke, Austria issued a stiff ultimatum to Serbia on 23
July 1914. Serbia had little knowledge about the conspiracy to kill the Duke. Serbia,
however, politely replied to the ultimatum, agreeing to comply with a l l but one of the
demands. The ultimatum included, among others, the demands for apologies, suppression
of anti-Austrain movements, and participation of Austrian officials in the enquiry for
fixing responsibility for the murder. Serbia refused to include Austrain officials for
conducting the inquiry. Austria declined to accept the Serbian reply and declarkd war
against Serbia of the 28th July, 1914. Russia joined the fiay in favour of Sda on 30th
July, Russia's involvement brought Germany into the war, Gennany declared war against
Russia and France on 1st and 3rd August respectively. The German strategy to attack
France byg-v Belgium annoyed Britain. Britain declared war on 4th August.
Thus the war broke out in full scale between the two blocs, consisting of Austria-Hungary
and Gerrmmy on one side and Frauce, Britain and Russia on the another. The former
bloc came to be known as Central Powers and the latter became famous as the Allies.

Check your progress 1

Note: i) Use the space given below for your answers.
ii) Check your answer with the model answers given at the end of this unit.

1) Identify the root causes of the frrst World War.

2) Who constituted the opposing.parties in the War7

lar Period
of the war it was presumed that the war would be a brietencounter and
At Would
Outbr? b a victorious party. These presumptions pmved to be wrong. The war was
prolonged for more than four years and caused an unprecedented toll of men and
material. Both the winners and the losers suffered almost equally from the war. Though
the Allies won, but it cost them faf dearly. /'

4.3.1 European Phase of the War

The war continued till the beginning of 1917, aad was essentially an European affair.
War was being fought over European issues and their control over the colonies. E q e
had been the .main theatre of the war. The German strategy was to end the war in a
month or so. Gennan forces, accordingly, attacked France by ovemuming Belgium.
Gennan soldiers, within a few days, reached the vicinity of Paris. The Germans,however,
failed to sustain this victory. The French army forced them to retreat to the Aishe River
bank, which was considered the natural defence lime. The warring parties failed to make
much headway in either direction during the next three years. A deadlock resulted. The
.war took heavy causalties at this front. The casualties during the first four months alone
were 700,000 Germans,850,000 French and 90,000 Britishers.

On thk Russian and Balkau foronts, however there had been decisive battles. On the
Russian front the Russian soldiers could not invade East Prussia 'and on the Balkan
front, Austrai faced humiliating defeats. The Serbians drove away the Austrians. Turkey
joined the Cenral Powers in Navember'l914. Turkey closedthe supply line and at-
tempted to stop the Allies from sending supplies to Russia through sea routes.

Conse!quently, the combined Austro-German armies inflicted humiliating defeats 'upon

the Russian forces in the middle of 1915. With these defeats the decline of Tsarist
Empire began. Meanwhile, Bulgaria joined the Central Powers and enhanced their
strength and striking capabilities. Now, Serbia fell to the central powers. At,this juncture
Italy was persuaded to intervene in favour of the Allies. Italy's intervention however
failed to influence the come of the war. The Central Powers won important victories .
and the whole area from Hamburg to the Persian'Gulf w e under their cmtml.
In February 1961 the Central Powers launched an all out attack against the Allies. Their
startegy was to inflict a decisive defeat on the Allies and to dictate peace tenns for
termhating the war. Thismategy failed. G e m y suffered from heavy losses both in
men and mat-. Russia defeated the Austrians. Now Romania joined the Allies and
soon Greece broke her neutrality and intervened in favour of the Allies. Now the joint
offensive in the Balkan front against the Cetrtral Powers hocked Bulgaria out of the .
war. The Germans were defeated on several fronts. They opened unrestricted submarine
warfare at sea, to block the ships carrying supplies to Britaia Though this strategy paid
off handsomely, it forced America to intervene in the war in fixvour of the Allies. The
war thus entered into a global phase.

The war now entered the fourth year. Europe incurred heavy fosses both in pms of
human life and in terms of wealth. Eueope was on the verge of collapse. Mow peace
became a general demand. The German Reichstag passed a peace resolution in July
1917. Many important personalities appealed for peace in order to save European
civilization But worse was still to come.

4.3.2 Global Phase of the War


The intervention of USA in the war and the successful conclusion of the Russian
Revolution in 1917 completely changed the complexion of the war: which was now
transformed from&eing an hmpean affair into a world affair. The US intervention and
the Russian revolution also brought into fore Wering ideologies. While the Russian
revolution unleashed revolutionary ideologies, the USA sought to make the world safe
for democracy and peace. President Wilson of the USA came out with his famous
fourteen Point programme.
I The war contributed largely to the downfall of the Tsarist regime in Russia. The
Bloshevik government, installed in power after the fall of Tsar, signed the Brest-Litovsk
Treaty in March 1918 with Germany and opted out of the war. Thus war between
World W a r I :Causer,
Events and Consequenca

Germany and Russia ended. USA had maintained strict neutrality since the $be- of
the war. She broke this neutrality for several reasons which included amo,-
Germany's &restricted submarine --- attack on merchant ships, America's huge economic
involvement in the war and the military preparedness within USA.

In April 1917 USA intervened in the war in support of the Allies. After joining the war
President Wilson declared his famous Fourteen Point Programme which was proclaimed
as the war aims of the US. The 14 points included amongst others, open c o v ~ t of s
peace istead of secret pacts, freedom of the seas, removal of barriers to international
trade, reduction of arrangements, justice to colonial peoples, right to self-determination
to the various subject minorities of Europe, and the establishment of an international
body to maintain peace in the world.

4.3.3 End of the War

i The partikipation of America sufficiently enhanced the striking power of the Allies. The
USA sent' both men and materials. By July 1918 the number of American soldiers in the
I different fronts rose to more than 300,000.The Central Powers had no hope of getting
! fresh supplies. So they failed to bear the Allies' offensive. Consequently they surren-
dered during the latter half of 1918, one by one. Bulgaria surrendered in September and
Turkey in October. The Hapsburg empire disintegrated and Emperor Charles abdicated
in November. The Germam had now no way out. Emperor Kaiser William JI abdicated
1 and Germany surrendered in early November. The war thus ended with the victory of
the Allies.
The war had continued for four years and three months. Thirty states from Ebrope,
America, Asia and Africa were entangled in the war which overthrew four dynasties and
brought into existence seven new states. The war.ki4led more than 18 million people
and the total cost was.nearly $ 333 billion..


Check your progress 2

he: i) Use the space given below for your answers.
ii) Check your answer with the model answers @en at the end of the unit.

1) Spell out some of the more important events and development during the
European phase of the war.

2) What are the reasons for the intervention of the USA in the War?

3) Why did Russia opt out of the War?

Inter-War Period
The war consumed an unprecedented number of men and materials. Europe's supremacy
in the world began to decline and the USA began to emerge as a super power. Japan
established its supremacy in the East. The war was terminated through a series of five
separate treaties between the Allies and the individual states of the Central Powers. Thesc
treaties were the Versailles Treat with Germany, St. Germain Treaty with Austria, NeuiIly
Treaty with Bugaria, Trianon Treaty with Hungary and Severs Treaty with Turkey.
While the first four were signed in 1919, the last-me was signed in 1920. The salient
features of these' treaties included amongst others the foundation of the League of
Nations; the application of the right of self-determination in Europe only, and the non-
application of the doctrine in the colonies of the European powers in Asia and Africa.

4.4.1 Paris Peace Conference

Wars are normally terminated and peace is restored after the signing of peace treaties
bemeen waning states. The First World War was also terminated through peace treaties,
mentioned earlier. Win the war entered into the decisive phase, the Allied powers
started considering the plans and proposals put forward by different quarters for a lasting
peace in the world. At Germany's surrendering and signingaf the instruments of
Armistice the Allies took effective steps for holding a peace conference. The conference
was ultimately called in Paris in January 1919. It continued for about six months. Th@
two countries, consisting primarily of the Allies, participated in this conference. The
gathering was impressive, because most of the world leaders were present. This was the
firstotime, in a conference like this,that non-European powers - the USA, Japan, etc.
attended. Russia did not attend because it had earlier withdram from the war. None of
the Central Powers was invited to participate in the deliberations. The conference was
mainly conducted by the Big Three -the USA, Great Britain and France. But they
could not totally ignore the others. However, the conflicting and narrow national
interests, petty and unjust claims, and tendencies of scrabbing colonies dominated the
proceedings of the conference and overshadowed President Wilson's idealism, enshrined
in his Fourteen Points. The conference was called upon to tackle, many c o d e x issues
which included among others the growing national aspirations of the erstwhile subject
nations in Europe, the secret pacts signed during the war, the demands for compensation
for the losses suffered by the European Allied pow& and the redressal of the wrongs
comnided by Germany during the war. Germany was held responsible for the
declaration of the war and the huge destruction of lives and property.

The peace conference in Paris, after its formal inauguration, appointed committees of
experts and diplomats to study the different problems and issues and to make suitable
recommendations to deal with them. In the context of the conflicting demands, aims
and objectives of the participating countries, it was not easy for the conference to b e
at an objective and rational conclusion. President Wilson had to yield to the pressure of
the European powers who were bent upon taking revenge on Gennany. After protracted
deliberations the conference came out with a peace treaty containing very stiff terms
and conditions. It was offered to Germany for acceptance in total. Gennany objected on
the ground tlmt the country was given an understanding when it had surrendered, that it
would be dealt with as per the principles, contained in Wilson's Fourteen Points. It
alleged that the peace ternis had contained little of the 14 points. Germany's objections
were brushed aside and she was asked to sign the treaty or face the consequence.
Germany.had to swallow the humiliation which later led to a desire for avenging the
insult. The treaty, thus, sowed the seeds of another war. The Treaty of Versailles

The Versailles Treaty was signed between the Allies and Germany. It was the most
important one in the five treaty series. The treaty contained 440 articles. It dealt
comprehensively with the territorial. military and war guild of the Central Powers and
the economic, political and other related aspects of the peace settlement. Germany
which was accused for initiating the war, was dealt with severely. Emperor Kaiser
William II was accused of having committed crimes against humanity and was blamed
The war contributed largely to the downfall of the Tsarist regime in Russia. The World W a r I :Cauns,
Bloshevik government, installed in power after the fall of Tsar, signed the Brest-Litovsk Events &d Connquencea
Treaty in March 1918 with Germany and opted out of the war. Thus war between
Germany and Russia ended. USA had maintained strict heutrality since the $b-e of
the war. She broke this neutrality for several reasons which included amo,-
Germany's udrestricted submarine attack on merchant ships, America's huge economic
1 --A

involvement in the war and the military preparedness within USA.

In April 1917 USA intervened in the war in support of the Allies. After joining the war
President Wilson declared his famous Fourteen Point Programme which was proclaimed
as the war aims of the US. The 14 points included amongst others, open covenants of
peace istead of secret pacts, freedom of the seas, removal of barriers to international
trade, reduction of amngements, justice to colonial peoples, right to selfdetennination
to the various subject minorities of Europe, and the establishment of an international
body to maintain peace in the world.

4.3.3 End of the War

The partikipation of America -ciently enhanced the striking power of the Allies. The
USA sent! both men and materials. By July 1918 the number of American soldiers in-the
different fronts rose to more than 300,000. The Central Powers had no hope of getting
fresh supplies. So they failed to bear the Allies' offensive. Consequently they k-
dered during the latter half of 1918, one by one. Bulgaria surrendered in September and
Turkey in October. The Hapsburg empire disintegrated and Emperor Charles abdicated
in November. The G e m s had now no way out. Emperor Kaiser William II abdicated
and Germany surrendered in early November. The wai thus ended with the victory of
the Allies.

The war had continued for four years and three months. Thirty states from E w e ,
America, Asia and Africa were entangled in the war which overthrew four dynasties and
brought into existence seven new states. The war.kiiled more than 18 million people
and the total cost was.nearly $ 333 billion.

Check your progress 2

Note: i) Use the space given below for your answers.
ii) Check your answer with the model answers gven at the end of the unit.

1) Spell out some of the more important events and development during the
European phase of the war.

2) What are the reasons for the intervention of the USA in the War?

3) Why did Russia opt out of the War?

The ww consumed an unprecedented number of men and materials. Europe's supremacy
in the world began to decline and the USA began to emerge as a super power. Japan
established its supremacy in the East. The war was terminated through a series of five
sepmte treaties between the Allies and the individual states of the Central Powers. Thesr
treaties were the Versailles Treat with Germany, St. Germain Treaty with Austria, Neuilly
Treaty with Bulgaria, Trianon Treaty with Hungary and Severs Treaty with Turkey.
While the first four were signed in 1919, the lastbone was signed in 1920. The salient
features of these' treaties included amongst others the foundation of the League of
Natiow; the application of the right of self-determination in Europe only, and the non-
application of the doctrine in the colonies of the European powers in Asia and Africa.

4.4.1 Paris Peace Conference

Wars are normally terminated and peace is restored after the signing of peace treaties
behyeen warring states. The First World War was also terminated through peace treaties,
mentioned earlier. Wfrprl the war entered into the decisive phase, the Allied powers
started considering the plans and proposals put fonvard by different quarters for a lasting
peace in the world. At Germany's surrendering and signingnf the instruments of
Armistice the Allies took effective steps for holding a peace conference. The conference
was ultimately called in Paris in January 1919. It continued for about six months. Thirt~
two countries, consisting primarily of the Allies, participated in this conference. The
gathering was impressive, because most of the world leaders were present. This was the
firstotime,in a conference like this,that non-European powers -the USA, Japan, etc.
attended. Russia did not attend because it had earlier withdrawn from the war. None of
the Central Powers was invited to participate in the deliberations. The conference was
mainly conducted by the Big Three - the USA, Great Britain and France. But they
could not totally ignore the others. However, the conflicting and narrow national
interests, petty and unjust claims, and tendencies of scrabbing colonies dominated the
proceedings of the conference and overshadowed President Wilson's idealism, enshrined
in his Fourteen Points. The conference was called upon to tackle. many c o d e x issues
which included among others the growing national aspirations of the erstwhile subject
nations in Europe, the secxet pacts signed during the war, the demands for compensation
for the losses suffered by the European Allied powers and the redressal of the wrongs
committed by Germany during the war. Germany was held responsible for the
declaration of the war and the huge destruction of lives and property.

The peace conference in Paris, after its formal inauguration, appointed committees of
experts and diplomats to study the different problems and issues and to make suitable
recommendations to deal with them. In the context of the conflicting demands, aims
and objectives of the participating countries, it was not easy for the conference to arrive
at an objective and rational conclusion. President Wilson had to yield to the pressure of
the European powers who were bent upon taking revenge on Germany. After protracted
deliberations the conference came out with a peace treaty containing very stiff terms
and conditions. It was offered to Gennany for acceptance in total. Germany objected on
the ground that the country was given an understanding when it had surrendered, that it
would be dealt with as per the principles, contained in Wilson's Fourteen Points. It
alleged that the peace terms had contained little of the 14 points. Germany's objections
were brushed aside and she was asked to sign the treaty or face the consequence.
Germany had to swallow the humiliation which later led to a desire for avenging the
insult. The treaty, thus, sowed the seeds of another war. The Treaty of Versailles

The Versailles Treaty was signed between the Allies and Gennany. It was the most
important one in the five treaty series. The treaty contained 440 articles. It dealt
comprehensively with the territorial, military and war guild of the Central Powers and
the economic, political and other related aspects of the peace settlement. Germany
which was accused for initiating the war, was dealt with severely. Emperor Kaiser
William I1 was accused of having committed crimes against humanity and was blamed
for the holocaust caused by Uic war. Germany was asked to surrender nearly 40,000
square kilometres of territory with more than seven million people. With the loss of
three territories Germany was deprived of the natural resources which were essential for
its economic development. In addition, Germany was told to pay huge reparations,
andWar I : Causes,

which after prolonged negotiations were fixed at $33,000 million. German colonies were
taken away and were described as "Mandated territories of the League" which France,
Britain, and Japan distributed among themselves. Germany was militarily weakened by
cutting the size of its army and navy. It was not allowed to raise an air force or to have
a modern merchant navy. The Rhine was dimilitarised for 50 kilometres East of the
river and the Allied Commission was appointed to supervise the execution of the
disarmament clauses. Germany and Austria were barred from uniting. In sum,the treaty
was designed to cripple Germany and to perpetuate its subordination to the Allied
powers. Belgium, Poland, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, etc. were recognised as independent
states. The Treaty of Brest-Liwosk, signed between Germany and Russia, was rendered
irrelevant. ,

The Treaty of Versailles created for the first time in the world an international
organisation, called the League of Nations, with the aim to maintain peace in the world.
The treaty also founded for the first time in the world another international body,
known as the International Labour Organisation, to look after the welfare of the
labouring people. The Treaty evolved a system of government for the mandated
territories. Minor Treaties

The Versailles Treaty was followed by four minor treaties. The St. Gennain Treaty was
signed between the Allies and Austria. It recognised the independence of Hungary,
Czechoslovakia (now Chezch and Slovak, two independent republics), Poland a d
Yugoslavia. Austria had also to cede large tracts of temtories. Her empire had disinte-
grated. Her population was reduced. She was reduced to a small German speaking state
from being a vast multilingual empire.

The Neuilly treaty was signed between the Allies and Bulgaria. Bulgaria had to cede
again part of her coast to Greece and some strategically important areas in the West of
the country to Yugoslavia. Bulgaria's military was reduced and she was made to pay $
50 million as war indemnity to the Allies.

The Trianon Treaty was signed between the Allies and Hungary. As per the terms of the
treaty, Hungary was reduced in size and population. It had to give up Transylvania to
Romania, Croatia to Yugoslavia, the Banat to Romania and the Slovak districts to

The Severs Treaty was signed between the Allies and Turkey in August 1920. The treaty
stripped Turkey of her empire. The treaty was revised in 1923 when Turkey declared
itself a Republic. The new govenunent signed the revised treaty with the Allies at
Lausanne. It had then come to be known as Treaty of Lausanee. Turkey now renounced
her claim to the Arab lands. Turkey was not forced to pay war indemnity nor was she
debarred from hiiving a military as per her own requirements.

Check your progress 3

Note: i) Use the space given below for your answers.
ii) Check your answer with the model answers given at the end of this unit.

) What are the main the terms and conditions of Versailles Treaty?
Inter-War Period 2) Name the minor treaties concluded at the Paris Peace Conference.


4,5.1 Impact on Europe

The war had weakened Europe so much that it could not reemerge as an economic and
political force. It lost ground to the United States of America. Europe faced economic
decline, suffered from political crises one after another and lost her prestige in the eyes
of the colonial peoples. Europe had been the leading economic power in the world. The
source of Europe's economic prosperity was her vast colonies. She depended largely
upon the huge income which was being earned from her massive overseas investments.
The war had cut off this source considerably. Britain lost more than 25 per cent of her
pre-war foreign investment, France nearly 34 per cent and Germany lost almost all.
Europe yielded much of her ground to the USA, with which her economic relationship
reversed from a creditor to debtor. Europe no longer remained the banker and the
workshop of the world, which she had been till the beginning of the war.

The political impact of the war on Europe was also far-reaching. President Wilson's 14
points and the successful conclusion of the Bolshevik Revolution in Russia unleashed
new revolutionary ideas. Consequently, everywhere in the continent the old order came
under severe attack. In Europe even the known democratic states had been continuing
with restricted franchise. The war changed the scenario. Women who had so far no
voting rights in many countries, got the right to vote. The war also initiated the process
for the emancipation of women. Despotic kingdoms were wiped out from the map of
Europe. m e basic rights of the working people began to be included in the statute
books of different countries. Last but not the least, was the loss of prestige of Europe in
the colonies. Inlro-European contradictions and cleavages got exposed. The block pitted
one against another and damaged their own prestige irreplaceably.

4.5.2 Impact on the World

The impact of the war on the world was all pervading. One of the most significant
effects of the war was the emergence of the USA as the super power. The war gutted
Europe but made the USA affluent. USA, after the war, almost became the banker and
the workshop of the world. Factories and workshops mushroomed spectacularly to meet
the almost unending war-time demand for manufacturing goods. The USA, which had
been once the debtor country and owed nearly $4 billion to European states, now
became the creditor country. By 1919 Europeans owed to the USA more than $ 3.7
billion and the debt increased to $8.8 billion in 1930. The USA became the highest
inanufacturing country in the world, the industrial output even surpassed the industrid
outputs of all the European nations taken together. USA's contribution to the world's
manufacturing goods rose to 42.2 per cent in 1930. Alongwith economic supremacy, the
USA had also established its supremacy in other fields.

The impact of the war b8 the other parts of the world was no less. The war destroyed
the Tsarist regime in Russia. The repeated setbacks on the war fronts lowered the
prestige of the Tsar which expedit'ed the impending Bolshevik Revolution and wiped
out the ancient Tsar dynasty from the map of Russia. The impact of the war in the
middle east was also all-p&ading. The defeat of the Ottoman Empire in the war and
the stripping from Turkey of her colonies hastened the revolution in the land. The
revolution ended the despotic rule of the Ottoman dynasty, modernized the ancient state
and founded democratic Turkey under the inspiring leadership of Mustafa Kemal.
Efforts were also made in Persia (now Iran) to modernise on the lines of Turkey. World War I :Causes,
Progress was made any fields although Persia did not match the modemisation efforts of Events and Consequences
Turkey. The country was industrialised to a large extent Many factories, including
textile mills, cement plants, sugar refineries, etc, were founded. In East Asia, Japan
emerged as a super power. Japan joined the war in support of the Allies with the intention
of capturing foreign territories as far as possible. Soon Japan took the German islands in
the Pacific and the German holdings in the Shantung Peninsular. The Treaty of
Versailles almost approved the Japanese demands. The treaty transferred from Germany
the leased territory of Kiaochow in Shantung to Japan, who was.also given the mandate
to administer Germany's North Pacific islands. This emboldened Japan, which gradually
became an imperialist power. China entered the war in 1917 with the hope of regaining
her territories. But the peace makers did not pay heed to the Chinese demands. China
refused to sign on the treaty and wild demonstration broke out throughout China
against Japan in particular and against foreigners in general. The movements reoriented
the Chinese national movement with radical thoughts and activities. In India the
repercussions of the war were also far-reaching. During the war the British government
promised to grant advanced forms of administrative reforms after the war, in exchange
for India's support to British war efforts. The British did not honour their promise.
Consequently the ongoing national movement in India took a different course which
ultimately forced the British to accord freedom to the subcontinent.

Check Your Progress 4

Note : i) Use the space given below for your answers.
ii) Check your answer with the model answers given at the end of this unit.

1) HOWdid the war affect world (other than Europe)?

..a. .....................................................................................................................


The first World War broke out in 1914 and continued upto the last quarter of 1918. The
world reached an explosive situation because of economic rivalry, disputes over
colonies, and conflicting alliance systems between the European countries. The growing
nationalist aspirations of the subject peoples and the high military preparedness of the
big powers added fuel to the fire, which ultimately engulfed the world on the pretext of
the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand, the heir apparent to the Austrian throne. War
was terminated when the warring countries lost everything. Peace Treaties were negotiat-
*ed and offered to the vanquished. The tams were humiliating and contained the germs
of much bigger flare-ups in the future. Europe got devastated and declined as a great
power. The USA emerged as the super power. Japan became a big power. Turkey was
modernized and was declared a republic. Despotic rulers made way for democracy in
Europe. Colonial peoples including India and the dependencies of the Europeans,
though receiving a raw deal in the hands of the peace makers in Paris, got enthused
because of the revolutionary ideas unleased by the war, and were encomged to launch
more vigorous national hieration movements.


Tariff : Taxes imposed on the goods imported or exported from one
country to another.
Franco-German War : It was fought between France and Germany in 1870-71.
France was defeated and the unification of Germany was
achieved. The war sowed the seeds of the First Worlds War.
Inter-War Period Russian Revolution : In 1917 Russia experienced a series of revolutions which
culminated in t&e e s t a b l i i e n t of a socialist state named
Union of Soviet Socialist Republic (USSR) under the
leadership of V.I. Lenin.


David Thornson, 1974,Eumpe Since Napoleon, Middlesex, England.
L.S. Stavrianos, 1983, A Global History : The Human Heritage, New Jersey.
H.W. Baldwin, 1962 : World War I : An Outline History, Oxford.
William Woodroff, 1981 : Tlie Struggle for World Power 1500-1980: London.


Check Your Progress 1
1) The root causes of the war were the economic rivalries, disputes over the colonies,
conflicting alliance systems and the growing militarism in the big powers, and the
developing nationalist aspirations in the subject people. The assassination nf
Archduke Ferdinand was the immediate cause.
2) The powers were grouped into two blocks - the Allies and the Central Powers.
Germany, Aushia-Hungary, Bulgaria, and Turkey constituted the central powers,
and France, Britain, Italy, Russia the USA aad many others were the members of
the Allies. The Allies and the central powers were the opposing parties in the war.

Check Your Progress 2

1) Initial victories of the central powers, failure of German strategies. Defeats of
Russia. U ~ u d c t e dsubmarine fare. Russia's opting out of the war, the USA's
intervention of the War,heavy casualties, etc.
2) Unrestricted submarine welfare of Germany, US investment in Europe, US military
preparedness, etc.
3) Russian Revoluticm and the downfall of the Tsar.

Check Your Progress 3

1) The Paris Peace Conference had prepared the terms and conditions of the treaties
which terminated the F i World War. Only the Allies attended the Conference
which continued from January to June 1918. It recommended the foundation of
the world bodies League of Nations and the lntemational Labour Organizations.
It offercd an insulting trcaty to Germmy and sowed the seeds of another war.
2) Jt was designed to cripple Germany and to perpetuate its subordination to the
Allies. The Gaty also founded the world bodies.
3) There were four minor treaties - St. Germain Treaty, Neuily Treaty, Trianon Treaty
and Severs Treaty which terminated the war bctween the Allies and Austria,
Hungary, Bulgaria and Turkey.
Check Your Progress 4
1) Europe was weakened. Despotic rule in Europe ended. Europe progressed towards n
more democratic system.
2) The USA e~ncrgedas the world super power. Japan extended its influence in the
east. Turkey was modernized. Revolution in Russia was hastened. The national
liberation movenlent in the colonial countries became more vigorous.

Bolsheviks and a New System of International Relations
5.2.1 Peace Initiatives of the Bolsheviks Government
5.2.2 Bolsheviks renunciation of special privileges in the neighbouring countries
Bolsheviks and Anti-colonial Struggles
5.3.1 Spread of Socialist ideas in the East
5.3.2 Unity of nationalist and socialist forces in the East
5.3.3 Intensificationof national liberation movements
Rise and Growth of Coqununist and Workers' Movements
Let u s sum Up
Key Words
Some Useful Books
Answers to Check Your Progress Exercises

The Unit deals with major changes that came about in international relations as a result
of the Bolshevik revolution, the first socialist revolution in the world. It also discusses
the impact of Bolshevik revolution on anti-colonial struggles and workers and peasants
struggles throughout the world. After going through the unit the students would be able
to :
explain the nature of the Bolshevik revplution and its impact on international
discuss the various steps taken by the new Soviet state to create a new system of
international relations based on peace and non-aggression, free of exploitation and
comprehend the impact of the Bolshevik revolution on anti-colonial struggles. ..
evaluate Bolshevik contribution to international communist and workers

Capitalism and industrialization q i d l y advanced in Russia after the emancipation of
the serfs in 1861 and the defeat of Russia in the Crimea war (1856-59). The needs of
mti@ng itself as a strong continental power prompted Russia to undertake industrial-
ization on a large scale. This was accomplished by the state playing a major role in
economic activities, and with the advancement of capitalism there arose the need for
raw materials and markets. In the third quarter of the 19th century, Russian h n p d i s m
had already colonised Central Asia and was competing with other imperialist powers for
concessions in the Balkans and the far east. Russia, by the end of the century was an
imperialist power with semi-feudal system of agriculture and an authoritarian state
system. There was no popular govemment, no elected organ with real powers to make
laws, and a total lack of civil rights and political freedom. The liberal groups were weak
and compromised too frequently with the rulers. Marxism was becoming popular and
was entrusted with the historic task of combining both the anti-feudal and anti-capitalist .

The Marxists, or Social Democrats as they were hown then, were divided into various
groups and
the ideological heterogeneity was too strong to be overcome. The Russian
Inter-War Period Social Democratic Labour Party (RSDLP), established in 1898, was split into two major
groups : the Bolsheviks (Majority) and the Mensheviks (Minority). Though both the
groups wanted a socialist revolution in Russia to be preceded by a democratic anti-
feudal revolution, the former (Bolslieviks) wanted the working class to lead this demo-
cratic phase of the revolution. The Mensheviks, instead, wanted the bourgeoisie, i.e., the
capitalists to lead it. The Bolsheviks under Lenin's leadership finally emerged as leaders
of the revolution in October, 1917, with a successful strategy of workers-peasants
alliance to head state power after the revolution. The Mensheviks who supported the
bourgeois govenunent and participated in it after the overthrow of the Tsar in February
1917, had lost the support of the workers and peasants by October. On 7th November
(25 October according to the old Russian Calendar) the Bolsheviks were triumphant
after three days of armed uprising which led to the mender of the provisional govern-
ment set up in February 1917.

It was the First World War which finally sealed the fate of the Tsarist autocracy. The
war exacerbated the crisis that had gripped the Russian state. Russian society was an
ensemble of contradictions when the war began - contradictions between feudals and
peasants, between peasants and capitalist farmers (known also as kulaks), between
Maks and the landless labour, between factory owners and workers, between the big
bourgeoisie and the petty-bourgeoisie, and so on. Once the war came, all these
contradictions sharpened. The enormous cost of the war was too heavy for Russia, which
still was relatively backward as compared to other imperialist powers. The state could
not sustain such an expensive war and the burden was borne by the working people and
the peasants. Workers and even soldiers were up in arms against the State. A socialist
revolution materialized for the first time in history and there was no better country than
Russia which was the weakest link in the imperialist chain for the revolution to succeed.

The October Revolution heralded a new era by creating a state of the workers and poor
peasants whose interest was opposed to economic' exploitation wars, aggessions,
colonization and racial discrimination. The revolution brought into existence a socialist
state that could work as a bulwark against war and imperialism. It also began a process
of creation of an alternative world socialist system based on equality and fiee of
exploitation, renounced any form of aggression, colonization and racial prejudice, as
opposed to world capitalist system that is based on colonization, economic exploitation,
racialism, etc.


The Octobq Revolution spread a new message of hope and liberation for the toiling
peoples all 6ver the world and the peoples of the colonies. It was a message of
liberation from all forms of exploitation - national, social, economic and political. This
was reflected in a series of declarations, legal pronouncements and diplomatic initiatives
of the new Bolshevik government.

The Declaration of Rights of the Working and Exploited People adopted in the third All
Russian Congress of Soviets in January 1918, reaffirmed an inflexible determination to
deliver mankind from wars and to achieve at all costs a democratic peace among
nations, without annexation or indemnities, on the principle of self-determjnation of
nations. The declaration proclaimed Soviet State's " ........ complete break with the
bad~arouspolicy of bourgeois civilization, which has built the prosperity of the exploiters
belonging to a few chosen nations on the enslavement of hundreds of millions of .
working people in ~ s i &in the colonies in general, and in the small countries."

The new Soviet state took a determined stand against the prevailing system of interna-
tional relations in which war and colonization were organic components. Instead; the
idea of a just and democratic peace and the establishment of a system of international
relations based on general democratic principles was advocated. f i e renunciation of
secret diplomacy was a necessary corollary of Soviet international diplomacy.
5.2.1 Peace Initiatives of the Bolshevik Government Bolshevik Revolution
and its Impact
The Decree on Peace, one of the fmt major acts of the new Soviet State, proclaimed the
abolition of secret diplomacy and in accordance with this law, the Soviet foreign
ministry published the previous secret treaties signed by the Tsarist state (Russian
ernpwrs were called Tsars), including the Anglo-Russian secret treaty and convention of
1907 on "demarcation" of spheres of interests of both the Powers England and Russia in.
the Middle East; agreement to carve up Turkey between the above two and Fpnce
concluded in 1916 etc.

The refusal of the Entente Powers (the ultimate victorious powers in the First World
War) to negotiate a general peace settlement, forced ~bvietRussia to enter into peace
talks with Germany, Austria, Hungary, Turkey and Bulgaria (the other camp in the war).
The Soviet proposal included six points : no forcible, annexation of territories occupied
during the war; restoration of political independence to nations vanquished during the
war, fieedom of choice to the national minorities to either remain within a state or
become independent through a referandurn; safeguarding of the rights of the national
minorities in a state by special legislation protecting their national culture and whenever
possible, administrative autonomy; renunciation of war indemnities; and solution of
colonial problems in accordance with the frst four principles. Though imperialist
Germany rejected the Soviet proposals and imposed humiliating peace terms on the
latter, Lenin still agreed to sign the Peace Treaty of Breast-Litovsk on Germany's terms
despite strong opposition within the Bolshevik party and government. Lenin f d y
believed that war is detrimental to the interests of the toiling people.

5.2.2 Bolshevik Renunciation of Special Privileges in the Neighbouring

'The' idea of national sovereignty and equality ran through the theory and practice of
Soviet foreign policy, which aimed at reshaping international relations on democratic
principles. The emergence of the first socialist state inspired formally independent small
states, colonies and semi-colonies to struggle for and defend their sovereignty against
dppression and encroachment by imperialist powers. In the process of evolving a new
system of international relations, the Soviets attached special significance to relatidns
with the Eastem Countries based on the principles of equality, mutual respect and
friendship. The Soviet state was willing to give them frienay assistance in their struggle
against 'imperialism. Despite its difficult economic situation, the new socialist state
rendered not only politi*kl and moral but also $eat material support to countries such
'I as Turkey, Afghanistan, Iran and others. In June 1919, the Soviet government abolished
all special privileges for Russian nationals in Iran, renounced all concessions and control
over Iran's state revenue, and handed over to Iran without demanding any compensation,
the banks, the railways, highways and port facilities on Iran's Caspian coast and other
property which had belonged to Tsarist Russia. A treaty of friendship with Iran was
signed in February, 1921 (the first equal treaty between Iran and a European power),
guaranteeing Iran's independence and security of her borders with the Soviet state.
Similarly, a treaty of friendship and alliance was signed with Turkey, which received
I genwus ec~nomic,~financial and military aid from the Soviet state. A Soviet Afghan
i treaty was signed in Spring 1921 by which interest-free loans were given to the latter
and Soviet specialists were assigned to work there.

1 ,Check Your Progyss 1

Note: i) Use the space given below for your answers.
ii) Check your. answer with the model answers given at the end of the unit.

1)' . What kind of an alternative system of international relations was created by the
2) Discuss the peace policy of the Bolsheviks.
:.............. ..............
.............................................................................................................................. 6:



More lasting, however, was the inspiration provided by the establishment of the first
SOW state which till then was regarded by many as a distant dream. The success of
revolutionary ideas influenced the thoughts and actions of generations of freedom
fight& in the colonised countries. It also provided great impetus for the growth of
radical movements of the toiling peoples in the underdeveloped world. The victory of
Russian workers over feudal and capitalist forces, convinced many in the%oloniesthat
the European imperialists and their local surrogates were not iwincible against the
combined strength of the oppressed. In the new socialist state's Appeal to the Toilers of
Russia and the East, a direct call was given to "Persians, Turks, Arabs and Hindus" to
lose m time in throwing off the yoke of their oppressors and making themselves the
masters of their own lands. The appeal made a pointed reference to the rising tide of
nationalism in Mia. Such declarations by the new revolutionary state further convinced
the colonised peoples that they had now a pow& ally in the revolutionary
government of Russia whose support they could count upon in their struggle against

5.3.1 Spread of Socialist Ideas in the East

Under the impact of the October revolution, socialist ideas became widespread. These
ideas influenced the view of many leaders of national-liberation struggles. In India,
Pandit Jawaharlal Nehm was particularly influenced by Bolshevik idea of scientific
socialism and wrote in his Discovery of India, Marx's general analysis of social devel-
opment seems to have been remarkably correct .... Lenin successfully adapted the
Marxim thesis to some of these subsequent developments...". Acquaintance with
scientific socialism provided a better understanding to the national intelligentsia about
the political and social forces in their countries and outside that could be relied upon in
the strvggle for political independence and social progress. It also helped them tp -
det.ermine the ideology best suited to solve the pressing problem of hational revival.

5.3.2 Unity of Nationalist and Socialist Forces in the East

Under the impact of the October revdlution, socialist ideas spread that witnessed the
creation of revolutionary groups and communist parties whose activities raised the
consciousness of the working people aid organized them against oppression, be it from
imperialists or local oppressors. These groups were also active in arousing the masses to
political activity and in preparing conditions for combining the struggle of the workers
and peasants with that of national liberation and anti-imperalism. The October
revolution showed the necessity of an alliance between the worker's movement and the
peoples national liberation struggle to defeat imperialism. With the success of socialism
in Russia and a setback to world imperialism, the national liberation movements in
Asia, Africa and Latin America assumed greater scope and intensity, embmcing more
countries and greater masses of people. The national liberation movements became more
profound in their content and goals, and more importantly became more and more
successful. This was to a large measure due to the revolutionising effect of the new
Soviet state's successful handling of the national and social question. In short, the
October Revolution blazed the trail of socialism and national liberation all over the
world. It stimulated the consciousness of the people in the colonies, widened the basis
of the national movements and finally, hastened the process of growth of the left
movement in the colonies and semi-colonies.
Inspired by the success of revolutionaries in Russia, the Indian revolutionary natiodists Bolshevik Revolution
aperating abroad formed contracts with Lenin and the Bolshevik leadership. Mahendra and its Impact
Pratap, Barkatullah, Obaidullah Sidhi, Virendranath Chattopadhyaya, Bhupendranath
Datta, Hardayal and M.N. Roy were the prominent names who went to Moscow to seek
cooperation and guidance for India's liberation. Two great sons of India, Pandit Wehru
and Rabindranath Tagore were greatly influenced by events in Russia and remained till
the end of their lives most committed friends of the Soviet Union. Many of the Indian
revolutionaries working abroad drew ihspiration from the October revolution and
adopted socialism as their programmatic goal. These included the young Muslim
Muhajideens trekking through Afghanistan to Soviet Russia and the members of the
Ghadar Party founded in USA before the F irst World War. The nascent working class
movement in India led to the emergence of communist groups and to the formal
launching of the Communist Party of India in 1925. Shaheed Bhagat Singh was being
h c t e d towards socialism during his days in jail and one of his last political acts in
prison was celebrating the Lenin Day.

5.3.3 Intensification of National Liberation Movements

The October revolution contributed to the quickening of the pace of national liberation
movements by inspiring broader sections of the population in the colonies. In India, the
closing months of 1981 and early 1919 witnessed a strike movement on a scale never
before known in India. The Bombay textile workers strike involved 125,000 workers.
The strike movement reached its peak in the f-irst six months of 1920 with about 200
strikes involving one and a half million workers. It was in this situation that Gandhiji
and the Congress decided to launch the "non-violent non-cooperation" movement,
which marked a big step forward in mass mobilisation.

Some other countries also witnessed intensified struggles against imperialism Irish
militants under the leadership of Michael Collins continued to fight the British while
the Sinn Fein Party proclaimed the creation of the Irish Republic. In Egypt, the-Nation-

alist PaTty of Zaghlul Pasha was seriously challenging British rule and the deportation of
Zaghlul in 1919 was followed by mass insurrections which the British savagely put
down. Independence of Egypt was declared in 1920. In Turkey,Mustafa Kemal Pasha
declared war against the allied occupation and set up a provisional government. China,
not only refused to sign the Treaty of Versailles, but also witnessed a new phase in its
struggle against imperialism. The May Fourth movement of 1919, which signalled this
transition, resulted in mass participation of intellectuals and students, frontal assault on
Conthciansim and boycott of Japanese goods.

The nationalist leaders of the East responded positively to the message of the October
revolution. Bal Gangadhar Tilak hailed the victory of Bolsheviks in his newspaper

Kesari. Bipin Chandra Pal, another prominent leader of Indian national movement, was
greatly inspired by the October revolution and its call against all forms of exploitation.
Lala Lajpat &xi was all praise for the success of revolution in Russia and its policy
towards East. The Russian revolution and its socialist achievements had a lasting @act
on the political thinking of Jawaharlal Nehru and this led 'to a radical shift in the
thinking of Indian National Congress.

Sun Yat Sen was the first of China's public leaders to call for the recognition of Soviet
Russia by Asian states. This was also a response to the policies of the new revolutionary
state towards China despite the hostility of then Begging government towards the Soviet
republic. In 1918, Soviet Russia publicly renounced all treaties, agreements and loans
once imposed on China1 by the Tsarist govenunent. The best minds of China saw the
historical relevance of the October revolution for China's future. Li Dazhao and Lu Xin,
t the moving spirits behind the May Fourth Movement, that became the nucleus of China's
I communist movement, hailed the October revolution as the dawning of a new era.

Check Your Progress 2

Note: i) Use the space given below for your answers.
ii) Clicck your answer with the model answers given at the end of this unit. '
Inter-WarPerlod 1) How did the Bolsheviks contribute to the anti-colonial struggles?

2) Discuss the role of the Bolshevik revolution in uniting the socialist and nationalist
foroes in the anti-colonial struggles.

3) Briefly discuss the impact of October revolution in intensifying national liberation

struggles in the East.

r.,......................................... ...."..................

c -

The October revolution not only had a great impact on the liberation movements in the
colonies, it also paved the way for the rise and growth of the communist and workers'
movement in the East. To -unite various communist groups, parties and movements, to
popularise warxist-Leninist theory and to discuss the debate strategies and tacties of
uniting with other nationalist non-communist forces against imperialism, a Communist
Internatioqal (also known as the Thiud International of Comintern) was formed in
Moscow in 1919. The ideal that was.embodied in the formation of the International was
the unity of the working class in the developed West and the oppressed peoples of the
colonies in their common struggle against imperialism. The Communist International
became the co-ordinating centre of revolutionaries the world over. The problem of a
united anti-imperialist front occupied a cenlral place in the Comintern's theoretical and
practical activities on the national and colonial question. The idea of the unity of all
the anti-imperialist forces, in other words the unity between forces of socialism and the
national likration movement crystallised at the second congress of the Comintern in 1920.

Given the repressive nature of the colonial regimes, many communist parties of the
Easern countries were famed in the Soviet Russia under the auspices of the Comintern.
Turkish communists were the fmt to organise a'communist party in Soviet Russia,
followed by Iranina, Chinese and the, Koreans. The first group of Indian communisfs, was
fonned in October 1920 following the arrival in Tashkent of Indians who had attended
the second congress of the Comintern. On the initiative of M.N. Roy and H. Mukheqjee
this group of seven people proclaimed itself the Communist party of India.
Check Your Progress 3 . Bolshevik Revolutbn
and Its Impact
Note: i) Use the space given below for your answers.
ii) Check you answer with the model answers given at the end of this unit.

I 1) Discuss the importance of the Communist I n m o n a l ?

........................................................................................................ ...................................................

2) Briefly discuss the impact of Bolsheviks on the forktion of Communist and

workers' parties.
......... ...........

.......................................................................................... "................!................................................


?he Bolshevik victory and its support to the libexation movements created favourable
conditions for the intensification of anti-imperialist sauggles in the colonies. It not only
inspired nationalists &d communists a l l over the world but also helped to bring them
togerher on the common platform of anticolonialism. The ~olshevikpolicy of peace
and renunciation of special privileges and secret diplomacy mated an al-ve
- system of international relations.


Imperialism: A system in which highly developed capitalist st* colonise,
underdeveloped counhies for cheap raw material, labour and market, but more
importantly, for exporting the surplus capital of the developed states to underdeveloped
ones for higher profit.
Bourgeois system: Also called the capitalist system, in which land, labour and the
products are marketable commodities, and the workers have no -ownemhip or control over
the means of production and as a result are exploited by the capitalists who are the owners.

Socialism: A system in which the worker are the ruling class the there is m, private
ownership over the means of production.
Inter-War Perlod
Anhraf Ali & G.A. syomin, (Ms.), 1917, October Revolution and India's Indepen-
dence, Sterling Publishers. Delhi.
E.H. Carr, The Bolshevik Revolution 1917-1921, Penguin Books. London.
Milrokhin, L.V.,1981, Lenin in India, Allied Publishers, Delhi.
Patnaik, Ashok Kumar, 1992, Soviets and The Indian Revolutionary Movement, 1917-
1929, Anamika Publishers, Delhi.
Pethybridge Roger, 1972, The Spread of the Russia Revolution. Essays on 1917,
Macmillan, London.
W e v l k Revolution
Check Your Progress 1
1. See Section 5.2.1 and Subsection 52.3
2. See Subsection 5.2.2 and 5.2.3.

Check Your Progress 2

'1. See Sub-section 52.3 and Section 5.3.1.
2 See sub-section 5.32 and 5.3.3.
3. See subsection 5.3.3 and 5.3.4.

Check Your Pmgre!ss 3

1. See Section 5.4.
2 See subsection 5.3.2, 5.3.3 and section 5.4.

Causes and Outbreak of World War I1
6.2.1 The War ~ k g i n s
6.2 2 USA and USSR become Allies
Consequences of World War I1
6.3.1 Defeat of Italy and Germany
6.3.2 Defeat of Japan
Peace-making after the Second World War
6.4.1 The Potsdam Conference
6.4.2 Treaties of Peace
Emergence of Super Powers
6.5.1 The United States became a Nuclear Power
6.5.2 Soviet Union's Challenge to the United States
Let Us Sum Up
~ e Words
Some Useful Books
Answers to Check Your Progress Exercises


This unit discusses World War-I1 that started in September 1939 and ended only in
August 1945 after the drop of two atom bombs by the United States of America on
Japan. By studying' through this unit you should be able to :
idendify causes for World War 11;
describe how World War I1 began and how USA and USSR became allies;
discuss the outcome of the peace treaties signed at on the conclusion of the war;
understand the emergence of USA and USSR as Super Powers.


World War-I1 began in 1939 with German a~gressionon Poland on September 1. Earlier,
two erstwhile enemies namely Germany and Soviet Union had signed a non-aggression
pact making way for Polish partition between two of them. All efforts to reach an
understanding between the Soviet Union on the one hand and Britain and France on the
other had proved fruitless. In fact, secret negotiations were being simultaneously carried
on between the Soviet Union and Germany and also between Britain and Gennany.
Britain and France took Soviet Union for granted and did not bother to conclude a
military alliance with the latter. This paved the way for Soviet-German non-aggtession
pact and German attack on Poland.

A few months before the outbreak of World War 11, both Britain and France and given
guarantees to Poland assuring that in case of an aggression on it, they would provide
her all possible assistance. When all attempts to avoid war and protect Poland had failed
and Germany invaded Poland, Britain and France declared a war on Germany on
September 3, 1939. Soon afterwards, many other countries too declared war on
Cold War Period Germany. Japan had launched aggression against China, but did not declare war either
on the Soviet Union or, for some time, on the USA, Italy remained neutral in the war
for some time, but finally joined the war on the side.of Germany in June 1940. After
Germany had won decisive victories against several countries in Europe, it waged a war
against the Soviet Union also on June 22, 1941. This brought USSR into the Allied
Camp. With the Japanese bombardment of Pearl Harbour on December 7, 1941 the
United States finally entered the war. The War was fought between the Allies (Britain,
France, Soviet Union, USA and their friends) on the one side and the Axis Powers
(Germany, Italy and Japan) on the other.

The War ended in the unconditional^ surrender of Italy, Germany and Japan in that order

In this unit you will read about the circumstances under which World War I1 broke out
and the factors responsible for the war. You will also read about the consequences of
this most destructive war in the history of the world. Military activities and details of
various battles are not our concern in this Unit. We will conclude the unit with a
reference to the attempts made after the war for the conclusion of the peace treaties
with the defeated powers. We will also discuss how some of the erstwhile big powers
lost their power, and how the United States and the Soviet Union emerged as the two
Super Powers.


You have read about World War I1 that broke out in September 1939 after German
attack on Poland, and consequent declaration of war by Britain and France against
Germany. This gives the impression that the war was caused by the Polish dispute. This
is partly true. Polish problem was indeed the immediate cause of the war, but there were
many other reasons that created the situation in which war became unavoidable. Let us
briefly discuss all the distant as well as immediate causes of the War.

Treaty of Versailles
An attempt was made in Paris Peace Conference, held after the First World War, in
1919 to establish an ideal world order based on justice, peace and disarmament. But,
what finally emerged in the shape of treaty of Versailles was a dictated treaty of peace
imposed upon Germany. The victor participants lacked sincerity of purpose. France was
out to settle an old score-its 1871 defeat and humiliation at the hands of Germany.
Normal courtesies expected by the representatives of a sovereign country were not
extended to Germany. The peace conference had begun in January 1919. The treaty of
peace was drafted by Allies without any negotiation with the defeated Germany. On
May 7, 1919 Germany was given the draft treaty for its suggestions to be given in
writing within three weeks. The announcement of terms of the treaty resulted in a fierce
outburst of resentment in Germany. Germany denied that it alone was responsible for
the war. Germany raised many objections and suggested modifications but, except for
one madification, all the objections were brushed aside and finally, Germany was made
to sign the Treaty of Versailles on June 28, 1919. Germans called it a "diktat", and
could not bear this insult and humiliation.
Germaqy was deprived of all her overseas colonies, and even in Europe her size stood
substantially reduced. Poland, France, Belgium had others gained at her cost. Her army
and navy were severely curtailed. She was told not to have any air force. Germany was
declared guilty of war crimes and made to promise to pay a massive amount of
reparation to the victors. Treaty of Versailles mutilated and humiliated Germany. Twenty
years later, it was the turn of Germany to take revenge. Hitler had came on the centre
stage, led his proud people to avenge their humiliation and thus paved the way for the
Stcond World War.

Failure of Collective Security System

Collective security system was a noteworthy ideal the world leaders had pledged at the
end of the First World War. Providing security collectively to the victim of an
international .aggression was its aim. Thus, Covcnant of the League of Nations provided
that in case of an aggression, members of the League, by their collective action, would World War I1 : Causes and
compel the aggressor to withdraw. This collective action could either he in the form of Consequences (Emergence of
Super Powers)
economic sanctions against the aggressor, or military support to the victim of aggression
or both.
During the inter-war years it was, however, proved that the League was an ineffective
organisation in respect of a big power if the latter decided to wage of a war against, or
annex, a small country. In 1931, Japan committed an aggression against China and by
early 1932, managed to conquer Manchuria province of that country. Japan very cleverly
kept on telling the League that her action in Manchuria was in self-defence i.e.
(protecting life and property of the Japanese in Manchuria, and only a police action not
aggression). Japan, a permanent member of the League, forged ahead to establish a
puppet Manchukuo regime in Manchuria. When the League asked member nations not
to recognise Manchukuo, Japan left the League but retained control on the conquered
Later, in 1935 Italy waged a war against Abyssinia, defeated her, and in May 1936
formally annexed that country into Italian Empire. The League tried to enforce
collective security system, declared Italy an aggressor and clamped economic sanctions.
All this was of no avail as no military action was taken against Italy who was also a
big power and permanent member of the League Council. Similarly, no action was
taken by a weak League of Nations against Germany when she repudiated the military
clauses of the Versailles Treaty (1935) and the freely negotiated Locarno Pact
remilitarised Rhineland (1936), when annexed Austria (1938) and dismembered
Czechoslovakia (1938-39). Thus, failure of the collective security system turned out to
be a major cause of the World War-11.
Failure of Disarmament
It was agreed at the Paris Peace Conference that world peace could be ensured only if
nations reduced their armaments to a point consistent with their domestic safety or
defence. That means all weapons of offensive nature were to be destroyed. The task of
preparing a plan for reduction of armaments was entrusted to the League of Nations.
The League appointed Temporary Mixed Commission in 1920 which however could not
do any substantial work because France insisted on, security before disarmament. In
1925 Preparatory Commission was instituted. Due to divergent views of nations that
mattered, it could not identify offensive weapons. Finally, without much preparatory
work a Disarmament Conference met at Geneva in Februry 1932. Once against mutual
distrust and suspicion led to the failure of Conference, after protracted negotiations.
Germany had been disarmed by the Treaty of Versailles. Victor nations were to disarm
later. They, however, never really wanted to disarm. Therefore, in October 1933
Germany declared that she was leaving both the Disarmament Conference and the
League of Nations. Later in 1935 Germany formally declared that she was no more
bound by the military or disarmament clauses of the Treaty of Versailles. Other
countries were already in possession of large quantities of armaments and big armed
forces. German decision heralded a massive armament race which led to an armed
conflict. The failure of disarmament became yet another major cause of Second World
World Economic Crisis
World economic crisis began in1929 with sudden stoppage of loans by the American
financial houses to the European countries. Many of them, particularly Germany, were
making rapid industrial progress mostly with the borrowed American money. The crisis
had its sever impact during 1930-32. It adversely affected economies of most countries
either directly or indirectly. Germany proved to be the worst affected coun'try where
nearly 700,000 people were rendered jobless. It was forced to declare that it would not
make any more payment of reparation. Out of the economic crisis of Germany emerged
Nazi dictatorship of Adolf Hitler. He became Chancellor of Germany in 1933, but soon
destroyed democracy and established his dictatorship. Meanwhile, even England had to
take some harsh measures like abandoning the gold standard. Germarly, Japan and Italy
took advantage of this economic crisis and separately embarked upon aggressive
designs. They set up their Fascist Bloc which become largely responsible for the Second
World War.
Cold War Period Rome-Berlin-Tokyo Axis

On the eve of the First World War, Europe was divided into two hostile camps. The
same process was once again repeated with the formation of an alliance of Germany,
Japan and Italy. It was concluded through-the Anti-Comintern pact during 1936-37. This
combination of facist powers generally called Rome-Berlin-Tokyo Axis was aimed at
imperialist expansion. They glorified war, and openly denounced peaceful settlement of
disputes. They bullied western countries and victimised weaker nations like China,
Ausuia, Czechoslovakia, Albani and Poland. Their war-like acts and aggressions though
noticed, yet went unpunished. Alarmed at the conduct of Axis powers, England and
France came closer to each other and an unsuccessful attempt was made at the 1
formation of an Anglo-French-Soviet Front. Although France and Soviet Union had an
alliance, yet in their desire to appease Hitler, France and England ignored Soviet Union
and when Stalin wanted a military pact between three non-Fascist powers they took it
easy. Soviet Union became suspicious and suvrised the world by signing the non-
aggression pact with Germany. This directly cleared the way for German attack on
Poland which led to the outbreak of the Second World War. While Soviet Union also
invaded Poland, England and France declared war on Germany.

The Problem of National Minorities

Peaca settlement after the First World War had resulted in the formation of new nation-
states in Europe, with large national minorities left behind uncared for. President Wilson
of the United States had advocated the principle of self-determination. But on account
of various strategic considerations this principle could not be properly implemented.
Thus, for example, large German minorities found themselves in the company of non-
Germans in Poland and Czechoslovakia.

There were Russian minorities in Poland and Rumania; and even after the Minority
Treaties were concluded after the Paris Conference, about 750,000 Germans were under
foreigp rule. Hitler exploited the situation and in the name of denial of rights to German
minorities in ~zechosl6vakiaand Poland, and prepared for aggression. He annexed
Austria, destroyed and dismembered Czechoslovakia and finally invaded Poland. Thus,
the problem of minorities became an important issue and a major excuse for the war.
Appeasement by Britain and France

Foreign Policy based on appeasement of Nazi-Fascist dictators turned out to be a major

cause iof the Second World War. After the First World War there appeared a rift in the
policies of Britain and France. Balance of power had always been the cornerstone of the
British foreign policy. Britain feared that a very powerful France would disturb the
balance of power in Europe. Hence, it helped Germany against France in the inter-war
years. Once Hitler came to power in Germany and Italy became an ally of the Nazi
dictatar, Britain quickly moved closer to France who badly needed British assistance
against a hostile Germany. After 1933, French foreign policy virtually became an
extension of British foreign policy. Britain was worried about growing influence of
Commbnism. Not only the Soviet Union had to be effectively challenged, but so-called
populak Fronts in France and Spain had also to be destroyed. With this objective in
view, Britain adopted the policy of appeasement towards Hitler and Mussolini. France
soon followed suit. Appeasement was started by Baldwin but vigorously pursued by
Neville Chamberlain in 1938. Anglo-French desire to help Mussolini during the
Abyssinian War, while maintaining support of League efforts, their virtual surrender to
Hitler at the Munich Conference, and their inability to protect weaker nations like
Austria and Albania were clear evidence of Anglo-French weakness and this prepared
the grdund for the War.

German Attack on Poland

The apparent and immediate cause of the war was German attack on Poland on
September 1, 1939. Earlier, when all attempts at Anglo-French alliance with the Soviet
Union had faileJ, Hitler entered into a non-aggression pact with Stalin. This was most
unexpected, as for several years, only hatred had existed between Nazi Germany and
Soviet Russia. Now, keen to partition off Poland between themselves, Germany and
Soviet Uniori signed the pact not to wage war against each other. Yet, as events turned
out, the pact was called by its critics as "simple aggression pact against Poland". In a World War I1 : Causes and
secret pact, which emerged only in 1945, the two countries had resolved to divide Consequences (Emergence of
Super Powers)
Eastern Europe into their spheres on September 1, 1939. As you know, England and
France and already assured Poland of their help in case of an invasion. They kept their
word and declared war on Germany. While Germany invaded Poland in the west, Soviet
troops moved into Poland from the east on September 17-18, 1939. Poland was divided
between Germany and Soviet Union by the Soviet-German Frontier and Friendship
treaty of 28 September 1939. Meanwhile, many other countries had also declared war
v on Germany, though these were symbolic declarations as even France and Britain were
i still busy making preparations for war, while Poland was being destroyed.
rl 6.2.1 The War Begins
i Poland, as we have seen above, became the immediate cause of the War. On March 23,
I 1939 German troops had quietly occupied Memel (a German city under Lithuanian
i sovereignty) after Hitler had asked Lithuania to surrender it. On the same day German
Foreign Minister Ribbentrop called Polish Ambassador and dictated to him terms that
Germany would like to impose upon Poland. He demanded !hat Danzig (which had
already been Nazified) should be returned to Germany, and an east-west highway and
rail-link across the Polish corridor may be allowed so that East Prussia could be directly
linked with Germany. This virtually meant a corridor across a corridor. Hitler, however,
was calculating repeat of another Munich mistake by Britain which did not take place.
Prime Minister Chamberlain announced unequivocally British guarantees to Poland.
Later, when Italy invaded and annexed Albania (7 April), Britain gave similar guarantees
to Greece and Rumania. France followed Britain in announcing conscription. Hitler
retaliated on the next day and repudiated the Polish-German non-aggression pact of
1934 and Anglo-German Naval Treaty of 1935.

The Anti-Comintern Pact was signed by Germany and Japan in November 1936 and, a
year later, Italy too joined. Thus, Rome-Berlin-Tokyo Axis represented three countries
b determination to liquidate world communism. It was, in fact, an alliance against the

Soviet Union.

By August 1939 Hitler was prepared to settle the Polish issue on his own terms.
However, he was on the lookout for a plausible pretext. He got the arms of (an
otherwise determined) Britain diplomatically twisted when Hitler agreed to have direct
negotiations with Poland on Danzign issue. Hitler asked Britain, through its Ambassador
in Berlin on August 29, 1939 to arrange a Polish delegation, so as to reach Berlin the
next day, fully empowered to negotiate and conclude agreement with the Germans. This
was most unusual demand. Normally, international negotiations take a lot of time to
begin. In any case, formal proposals are first sent through diplomatic means before
inviting of foreign delegation. It is clear that Hitler had no desire for peaceful solution.
Since a Polish delegation could not obvioasly arrive on August 30, Germany closed all
doors for negotiation. This gave Hitler the much awaited pretext for the planned
invasion of Poland. The war broke out early in the morning of September 1, 1939 when
German troops invaded Poland. England and France delcared war on Germany on
September 3, 1939. On 18 September Soviet Union also invaded Poland, but neither
Italy nor the United States entered the war for sometime. Meanwhile England and other
allies were already on war, yet attempts were still on for some solution. But Germany
was determined for a full-fledged war.

I 6.2.2 USA and USSR become Allies

When the war began, Germany and Italy were political allies, but Soviet-German Non-
Aggression Pact disappointed Mussolini. Italy did not enter the war till June 1940. Then,
as France was on the verge of defeat and surrender, Italy joined the war on the side of
Germany against France and the Allies. Soviet Union did not join the war, but was
helping Germany by invading Poland. She later attacked Finland and was expelled from
the membership League of Nations. Stalin continued to trust Hitler until the Nazi
dictator had defeated most European neighbours and attacked Soviet Union on 22 June
1941. Meanwhile, Stalin had coerced three Baltic Nations, Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia,
to join the Soviet Union as its Union Republics. They lost their independence as Stalin
told their leaders that if they refused to join USSR, they would be ruined by Germany.
Cold War Period Soviet Union had also dictated terms to Rumania and recovered Bessarabia and ''
Bukovina from it. Thus, by mid-1941 Soviet Union was busy collecting war gains
.without being in the war.

Hitler had secured French surrender in June 1940. But Hitler was not so lucky where
Spain was concerned. General Franco keeps his country out of war. Since it was being
fought by Hitler in association with Stalin, Spain remained neutral throughout the war.

Public opinion in the United States was overwhelmingly opposed to being drawn into
the war. In 1937, US Congress had passed the Neutrality Act which also prohibited sale
of armaments in a future war. When the war actually broke out and Germany started
bombing and destroying western democracies, Americans began weakening their
neutrality stance. Cash and Carry Act was passed in November 1939, permitting
countries at war to buy American weapons provided they paid cash and carried them in
their own ships. When the war reached a crucial stage, Lend-Lease Act was passed in
March 1941. It allowed the President to sell, exchange, end lease or otherwise dispose
off any defence article. Thus, US began supplying armaments to friendly countries such
as Britain and China. Three months later when Soviet Union was attacked by Germany
she was also covered by the Lend-Lease Act.

'The Soviet-German Non-Aggression Pact signed in 1939 had been designed by Hitler to
keep Soviet Union in the dark about his actual intentions. As soon as Germany had
defeated her enemies on the European continent, it began preparing for invasion of the
Soviet Union itself. But, Stalin remained convinced that Hitler would not attack Soviet
Union. Everyone had warned Stalin of Nazi attack-Churchill, American Embassy and
Stalin's o:.n men in Tokyo. But Stalin refused to listen till 22 June 1941 when Germany
actually launb,.,d the attack on Soviet Union. Stalin was stunned at this and Soviet
Union sought allied assistance. Britain accepted Soviet Union into the Allied camp. In
July, London and Moscow signed a military pact.

When Soviet Union was facing a devastating war, United States was forced to enter the
war in December 1941, when Japan attacked its naval base in Pearl Harbour. American
relations with Japan were never cordial. Japanese assets in America were already frozen.
In August 1941 the United States had announced that any Japanese action against
Thailand would cause her grave concern. Unsuccessful attempts were made for a
meeting between us President Roosevelt and Japanese Prime Minister Kono in
September. In October Kono resigned and General Tojo became the Prime Minister of
Japan. He openly encouraged conflict. In November, Britain had promised to declare
war on Japan if United States became involved in a war with that country. Tension was
building up rapidly and war appeared imminent. On 6 December 1941 President
Roosevelt made a personal request to the Japanese Emperor for help in maintaining
peace. Rather than peace, America got Japanese bombardment next day. On December
7, 1941 early in the morning large American navel fleet based at Pearl Harbour (Hawaii
Islands) was heavily bombed by the Japanese. A few hours later, Japan declared war
"on the United Staes of America and the British Empire". On December 11, both
Germany and Italy declared war on the United States. The war thus became global.

Check Your Progress 1

Note : i) Use the space below for your answer.

ii) Check your answer with the model answers at the end of the unit.

1) Describe any two major causes of the Second World War.

2) Sum up the out break of World War 11. World War 11 : Causes and
Consequences (Emergence of
........................................................................................................................................... Super Powers)


Since we are dealing with World War I1 as one unit, we may very briefly refer here to
the collapse and defeat of the Anxis powers-Italy, Germany and Japan. Details of
battles and victories and defeats are not our concern in this unit. But we may mention
in brief how the three Axis Powers were defeated and the Allies finally emerged

6.3.1 Defeat of Italy and Germany

The two European Fascist Powers had conquered most of the countries on the
Continent. Britain was under constant attack, and large parts of the Soviet Union
including the three Baltic Republics had been overrun by the Germans. In 1943 the
Allies decided to launch offensive against the Axis by liquidating Italian Empire in
Africa. This objective was achieved by May 1943. The Italians were disturbed and
Fascist structure gave signs of cracking. The Allies decided on "Operation Hugky" to
start Italian invasion through Sicily. It was not an all-out effort because the idea was to
use Italy as a base to be able to bomb Germany and the Balkans. In July 1943,
following heavy air attacks, large number of Italians surrendered in Sicily. Germans
could not defend the island. A few days after first attack on Sicily, Mussolini visited
Hitler and asked for more German assistance, but was turned down. Mussolini
summoned a meeting of Fascist Grand Council which asked the King to take direct
command. Only July 25, 1943, King Victor Emmanuel I11 dismissed Mussolini and
appointed Marshal Bodolio to head new government. Mussolini was arrested. Italy
finally surrendered unconditionally on September 3, 1943. On the same day, however,
Germans entered Rome and kept it under their occupation for several months. Allies
could capture Rome only on June 4, 1944.

The Allies decided to defeat Germany by opening two fronts against her. From the east,
Soviet Union was pushing her out: in the West England, America and their Allies
launched attack at Normandy to liberate France. By March 1944, the Axis forces were
expelled from most of Ukraine and other parts of the Soviet Union. Soviet soil was
cleared of German armies before the year ended. West Front against Germany was
opened on June 6, 1944. It began from English Channel, and for this purpose 150,000
American soldiers were transported every month.

Allied forces liberated France and entered Germany on September 11, 1944-ninety
seven days after their invasion. Immediately afterwards Hitler's air force began massive
bombardment of London which continued till early 1945. As Germans began to be
defeated, conspiracies were hatched to eliminate Hitler. The final assault on Germany
was planned at Yalta Conference in February 1945. All round offensive was begun
against Germany by the British, Canadian, French and the Americans. Meanwhile, the
Soviet Offensive was continuing unabated. The fighting was most fierce at the German
Chancellory in whose underground defences Hitler had set up his last headquarters.
When everything was lost, the Nazi dictator, who was once dreaming of ruling over the
entire world, committed suicide on April 30, 1945. Hitler had nominated Docnitz as his
successor, but he could do nothing to save the country. On May 5, 1945 German
commanders in North East Germany, the Netherlands and Denmark surrendered
unconditionally. Nazi forces in Austria surrendered next day. Finally on May 7, Docnitz
Government (of Germany) surrendered unconditionally "all land, sea and air forces of
the Reich". The war in Europe was over on May 8, 1945.
cold War Period '
6.3.2 Defeat of Japan
The Allies were fighting hard for victory against Japan in the Far East. Hence the main
responsibility fell on the United States, who was assisted by Britain, China, the
Netherlands, Australia and New Zealand. Allied invasion of Japan was organised with
China as the base. MacArther directed these operations. Two allied campaigns were
launched in the autumn of 1944. The' one under Lord Mountbatten was aimed at
reconquest of Burma. The other, under Gen. MacArther involved liberation of Philippine
Islands. Both thc mlssions were completed by June 1945. Details of these operations are
not our concern here. The Potsdam Conference which was meeting to decide the future
of the defeated Germany and other related issues gave a call to Japan in July 1945" to
proclaim now the unconditional surrender of all Japanese armed forces .... the alternative
for Japan is prompt and utter destruction". Since the Soviet Union was not yet at war
with Japan, she did not sign this declaration. The ultimatum was ignored by the
Japanese who continued to fight. At this stage America decided to use the atom bomb
and secure Japan's unconditional surrender. On August 6, 1945 American Air force
dropped the first ever atom bomb on the important Japanese city Hiroshima and wiped
out more than half of the target area. Two days later (August 8), the Soviet Union
declared war on JapalLand began offensive in Manchuria and Southern Sakhalin (both
were then under Japanese control). Progress of the Soviet troops was swift. On August
9, 1945 a second atom bomb was dropped on Nagasaki, unleashing unprecedent
destruction. The next day, Japan sued for peace. Fighting stopped but surrender
documents were signed only on September 2, 1945 on board the US battleship Missouri.
The Second World War finally ended with Japan'coming under the American

The consequences of the war, thus, was the total defeat of the three Axis powers and
victory of the Allies. This also meant Victory of democracy and defeat of Fascism and

Check Your Progress 2

Note : i) Use the space below for your answers.
ii) Check your answer with the model answers given at the end of the unit.

1) How did the Nazi dictatorship ended in Germany


2) Trace the events leading to unconditional surrender of Japan.

3) Sum up the main consequences of World War 11.
1 World War 11 : Causes and
6.4 PEACE-MAKING AFTER SECOND WORLD WAR Consequences (Emergence of
Super Powers)
The conclusion of peace treaties after the Second World War proved to be a very
difficult task. After two years of the termination of hostilities, treaties were concluded
only with five of the defeated powers. They were Italy, Rumania, Bulgaria, Hungary and
Finland. The treaty of peace with Austria could be concluded only in 1955 and with
Japan in 1952. Germany could not be reunited. It remained divided between pro-west
Federal Republic of Germany (West Germany) and Democratic German Republic under
the influence of the Soviet Union. Since Germany was not reunited no treaty with
Germany as such was ever concluded. Two Germanys were finally united in 1990 into
one Germany. We shall briefly deal with the Potsdam Conference and then the peace
treaties concluded with other defeated powers.

6.4.1 The Potsdarn Conference

The Potsdam (Berlin) Conference was held during July-August 1945. Germany had
unconditionally surrendered to the allies. Several decisions had been taken at different
war-time conferences regarding the future of Germany and of other east European
countries. A formal arrangement had now to be made in the light of these decisions.
The Potsdam Conference was attended by Stalin, Churchill, Chiang Kai-shek and the US
President Harry Truman. They were assisted by high powered delegations. The
Conference took important decisions regarding the future set up in Germany pending the
conclusion of a formal treaty of peace. Preparations were also begun for the signing of
peace treaties to be concluded with other defeated powers. Japan was yet to be defeated.

A number of guiding principles were drawn that were to be the bases of peace treaty
with Germany. These included 10 political principles, 9 economics principles, 10
principles to regulate the determination of reparation, 6 principles to govern the division
of the German navy, and 5 principles of the distribution of the German merchant naval
ships. A committee comprising the representatives of four big powers for military
control of German Zones was set up. It was also decided that Germany would be
disarmed, Nazi organisation and the Nazi laws would be liquidated. The war criminals
were to be tried and severely punished. Finally, a democratic government would be
established in Germany and rights and liberties of the people would be restored.
- Pending the final demarcation of the western borders of Poland, South-eastern Prussia
and the areas to the e;st Rivers order and Neisse would constitute the western parts of
that country. It was also agreed that as soon as possible, free and fair democratic
elections would be held in Poland.

Potsdam Conference decided that the Allied forces would be immediately withdrawn
from Iran. Tanjier was to be declared an international area. No reparation was to be
taken from Austria.

The conference took decisions regarding the bases of surrender by Japan. Imperialistic
elements would be eliminated and Japan would be disarmed. The war criminals of Japan
would be punished. Immediately after her surrender Allied Military Control would be
established in Japan and eventually a democratic government would be set up. The
sovereigntyof Japan would be limited to her four major and a few smaller islands. All
foreign territories occupied by Japan before or during the Second World War would be
liberated and transferred to the countries where they lawfully belonged.

The conditions spelt out at the Potsdam Conference for the Japanese surrender were not
accepted by that country. The United States of America, without taking the Soviet
Union into confidence, dropped atom bombs on two of the Japanese cities early in
August 1945 compelling her to surrender unconditionally on August 10, 1945. Thus, the
Second World War came to an end. The fact that the United States developed and used
the atom bomb without the knowledge of the Soviet Union became one the causes that
gave birth to the cold war immediately after the hostilities ended the Second World War.
Cold War Period 6.4.2 Treaties of Peace
Unlike the Paris Peace Conference of 1919, only a Foreign Ministers meeting took place
in London from September 11 to October 3, 1945. By that time serious differences had
developed between the western powers on the one hand and the Soviet Union on the
other. Very little progress could be made in the London conference, nor could any
progress be achieved the subsequent three meetings. The draft-treaties were prepared in
these meetings, to be concluded with five powers-Italy, Rumania, Bulgaria, Hungary
and Finland. Thereafter, a 12-nation Paris Conference was held from July 29 to October
15, 1946. This was followed by other meetings of the Foreign Ministers Committee and
the treaties were finally approved by the Committee at New York on December 12,
1946. Finally, these treaties were signed by the Allies on the one side and the five
above mentioned defeated powers on the other. Separate treaties were concluded with
each of them.

The main provisions of these peace treaties may be briefly mentioned here. The Treaty
concluded with Italy deprived her of a number of territories. France, Greece and
Yugoslavia gained territories at the cost of Italy. Trieste became an independent port
under the charge of a over nor appointed by the Security Council of the United
Nations. Albania and Ethiopia regained their independence. Once again they became
sovereign states. Italy was deprived of the colonies of Lybia, Somaliland and Eritrea.
Italian defence forces were considerably reduced and she was required to pay big
amount of money as reparation within seven years.

The Rumania Treaty provided for transfer of the provinces of Bessarabia, and Bukovina
from Roumania to the Soviet Union and Doubruja to Bulgaria. She was to pay
reparation to the Soviet Union and limits were imposed on the strength of its military

Hungary was made to return to Czechoslova~iasome of the villages situated to the

south of River Dandube which she had occupied in 1938. The Province of Transylvania
was returned by Hungary to Roumania. She was also required to pay reparation and was

Bulgaria did not loose any territory. It,actually gained the territory of Doubruja from
Roumania. But like others, Bulgaria was also asked to pay reparation and her armed
forces were curtailed.

Finland was deprived of several small territories which all went to the Soviet Union.
The area of Salla, the province of Petsamo and the Naval Base of Porkkala Udd were
given by her to the Soviet Union. Like other defeated powers, reparation was imposed
upon Finland also. Its armed forces were considerably curtailed and limited.

These five treaties gave maximum advantage to the Soviet Union. Another country who
gained sufficient territory, power and prestige was Yugoslavia who became the most
powerful nation in the Balkans and a rival of Italy.

Austria : Austria had been occupied by the German army in 1938 and ever since
continued as an occupied part of defeated Germany. Austria was treated as a "liberated
territory". This Moscow Conference of 1943 had pledged to create a sovereign state of
Austria. But, soon after the war, serious differences developed among the Allies. Soviet
Union wanted to impose severe economic restrictions on Austria. This was not
acceptable to the western powers. The deadlock remained for nearly 10 years. Finally,
Austria agreed to declare itself a "neutral" country and to pay some compensation to the
Soviet Union. Thereupon, the Soviet Union agreed to separate the Austrian question
from the problem of Germany. A peace treaty was signed by Austria on May 15, 1955
whereby it became a "neutral" country.

Japan : The cold war and differences between the United States and the Soviet Union
delayed the conclusion of peace treaty with Japan. But, unlike Germany and Austria,
Japan was under occupation of only the American forces. After the Japanese surrender
on August 10, 1945 an interim military administration had been set up by the
Americans. The entire authority was vested in the hands of the Supreme Commander of
the Allied Powers. General MacArthur was appointed as a Supreme Commander and
Japanese Administrator. A meeting to draw up a peace treaty was convened by the World War 11 : Causes and
United States at San Francisco in 1951. The meeting was attended by 5 2 countries, It Consequences (Emergence of
Super Powers)
was attended by the Soviet Union and other socialist countries, but India and Burma
refused to attend it. Some of the proposed terms of peace were not acceptable to India.
Even the Soviet Union found it impossible to sign the draft treaty. The treaty drafted
under US influence was signed with Japan by 4 9 countries, on April 28, 1952. A
separate peace treaty was signed by India with Japan in June 1952.

The Peace Treaty signed by Japan with the United States and 4 8 other countries had 27
articles. It recognised the independence of Korea. It may be remembered that Korea had
been divlded after the war between North Korea (Communist) and South Korea (Liberal
Democracy). Japan surrendered her rights over the Islands of Formossa, Sakhalin and
Kurile. The Islands of Bonin and Ryukyu (Okinawa) were placed under the American
Trusteeship. The Japanese sovereignty was limited to her four principal and a few small
~slands.Secondly, Japan agreed to give up all her rights to China. Thirdly, Japan
accepted responsibility for the war and liability to pay preparation but in view of
economic conditions, it was exempted from the payment of reparation. This was done
because the Treaty was concluded much after the heat of the war had subsided and
because it was now a close ally of the United States. Lastly, it was agreed in.principle
that the foreign armed forces would be withdrawn from Japan. Nevertheless, in the
event of a bilateral agreement between Japan and the United States the American forces
could continue to stay-but under a new and voluntary agreement. No limit was
imposed on Japan in regard to her armaments.

Germany : We have said that Germany was divided into four occupation zones
immediately after its surrender. The western powers alleged that, in violation of the
understanding earlier reached, Soviet Union was converting its zone of Eastern Germany
into a communist state. This hampered not only the unification of Germany but also
conclusion of a peace treaty. Nevertheless, both Soviet Union and the Western Powers
took a number of unilateral decisions regarding Germany. The first such decision was
taken by Britain, and the United States who merged their zones into one on January 1,
1947. Later, France also allowed the merger of her zone with the Unified western zone.
Subsequently the three powers decided to set up a free, independent and democratic
government in West Germany. The Federal Republic of Germany (FRG), comprising
erstwhile western zones, was formally established on September 21, 1949. The Western
Powers formally terminated the 'state of war' with the Federal Republic of Germany in

Soon after the setting up of the Federal Republic of Germany, the Soviet Union
proceeded to create an independent state of East Germany. It was designated as the
German Democratic Republic (GDR) and was organised on the Socialist pattern of the
USSR. Full sovereignty was granted to the GDR by the Soviet Union by a treaty
concluded between them in September 1955-one year after the sovereignty of West
Germany was recognised by the western powers. Thus, Germany remained divided into
two hostile countries till 1990-one was aligned with the west and had capitalist order
and had made very rapid industrial progress, and the other was aligned to the Soviet
Union and had her economy based on socialism and her political system patterned on
the Soviet Union. The two Germanies-West Germany and East Germany began process
of unification in 1989. The United Germany was born only in October 1990.

Check Your Progress 3

Note : i) Use the space below for your answers.
ii) Check your answer with the model'answers given at the end of the unit.
( j Mention briefly provisions of peace treaty concluded between victors and Italy in
Cold War Period 2) Evaluate the provisions of peace treaty signed by Japan in 1952.


Tlic concept of Super Power developed only after the Second World War when some of
the cr4twhile big powers were overtaken in respect of power (capacity to influence the
minds and actions of other states) by two countries, namely the United States of
America and the Soviet Union. On the eve of the Second World War, British Empire,
France, Italy and Japan were among the recognised big powers. When the war ended
not only Germany but Italy and Japan were also defeated. As we have seen above,
Germany was occupied by four powers and Japan was ruined after the atom bombs
attacks. The defeated countries became militarily weak, politically insignificant and
economically impoverished. Among the victors, Britain had become so weak that by
1947 it was unable to maintain her troops even in Greece and Turkey for their defence
against communism. British Empire could not be sustained. Once I..dia became
independent in 1947, the process of decolonisation was accelerated. Britain was still
recognised as a big power and occupied a permanent seat in the U.N. Security Council,
but its strength had considerably diminished. France had been a victim of German
occupation until a second front was opened and it was liberated in August, 1944.
Although France emerged victorious, and was given a permanent seat in the Security
Council, yet for several years after the war, it was far from being a powerful nation.
That left only two of the principal victors i.e. the United States and the Soviet Union
who gained in military power and political status. Thus, an important consequence of
the Second World War was the emergence of these two victors as Super Powers. Even
after Britain, France and China became nulcear powers they could not challenge the
Super Power status of US and USSR.

6.5.1 The United States became a Nuclear Power

Towards the end of the war there was just one country which possessed the potential
that no oither state had. In July 1945, the Americans exploded, experimentally, the first
nuclear device in the history of mankind. In August, they dropped two atom bombs at
Hiroshima and Nagasaki which broke the resistance of Japan and brought about her
unconditional surrender. The World was shocked, and the Soviet Union was disgusted
because w e n when the two were allies in the war, the United States gave no indication
of the fact that she was developing an atom bomb. Even when the US decided to use
the atom bomb in Japan, the other Allies were kept in the dark till the actual use of it.
Japan surrendered unconditionally and the consequent American victory deprived the
USSR of "all but a token share in the post-war settlement in the Far East." The Soviet
Union was an inferior and weak power for next five years till she developed her own
nuclear device in 1949. The Soviet position was quite insecure because the Cold war
had began, for which the West was openly blaming the USSR.

In the growing intensity of the Cold War, nobody knew whether America had a third
bomb or not. If the US had a third bomb, or if she could produce one in a short period
of time, the Americans could drop it on Moscow and ruin the Soviet Union. This
created a strange situation, and as Peter Calvocoressi says: "The USSR no less than the
most trivial state, was at the merdy of the Americans if they should be willing to do to
Moscow and Leningard what they had done to Hiroshima and Nagasaki : The
Americans perhaps never intended to do any such thing, but it certainly made her more
powerful than anyone else. She was the 'Supreme Power' for at least five years.

Besides its nuclear weapons, what had helped America become a Super Power was the
fact that no battle ever took place on her territory throughout the period of war. After
the Pearl Harbour, Americans were engaged in an unpredented war, but the civilian lives World War II : Causes and
and property were left untouched. This gave an added advantage to the Americans Consequences (Emergence of
Super Powers)
because their other Allies in the war had suffered heavy civilian losses also. Britain was
heavily bombarded, France was under occupation for four years and the Soviet Union
had been target of German invasion till the sccond front was opened against her.

Until the Soviet Union experimented her nuclear device in 1949, America had the
monopoly of nuclear power. Even after 1949, the United States continued to have
considerable technological leadership over the USSR both in military and political
spheres till 1953. America had world's strongest airforce and a leading navy. The United
States and USSR both had about 12 million men each in armed force by the end of the

6.5.2 Soviet Union's Challenge to the United States

The power base of the Soviet Union was not comparable to that of the United States.
The USSR had succeeded in establishing communist regimes In Poland and several
other East European countries, which were liberated by its army from the Nazi control.
But it did not posses nuclear weapons until testing of first such device in 1949. The
USSR had suffered enormous losses during the war. Not only its troops were killed and
wounded in large numbers but it had suffered civilian losses also. The Soviet population
was reduced by about 20 million people. While steel production in America had
increased by 50 pcr cent during the war, Soviet Steel production had been cut by half.
Similar was the situation in agriculture and industry. For example, while the US was
producing seven million cars a year, the Soviet production was limited to 65,000 cars a

Inspite of differences in economic situation of the US and the USSR, the Soviet Union
had become number two world power at the end of Second World War. Soviet influence
was firmly established in several strategic areas. As Geir Lundestad says, "the country
increased its territory considerably: the Baltic countries, Eastern Karelia, and Petsamo,
thc eastern parts of pre-war Poland and the northern part of East Prussia, Carpathian,
Ukraine, Bessarabia, and northern Bukovina, Southern Sakhalin and the Kurile Islands".

Thc Soviet Union became a nuclear power in 1949 although until 1953 the US
ma~ntainedclear superiority in areas like delivery system. But, once the USSR became a
nuclear weapon state her status improved and she was recognised as a Super Power. The
cornmunlst revolution in China in 1949 and signing of a 30 year treaty between two
communist giants gave a shot in the arm to the Soviet Union.

Immediately after the Second World War, Soviet Union had made an all out effort to
overtake the United States in science and technology. It subordinated everything
including post-war reconstruction to catching up with the Americans in military
tcchnology. Once Soviet Union developed its nuclear power, it became a rival of the
United States and the two came to be recognised as the Super Powers. Both led a power
block each.

After the Second World War, the United States and the Soviet Union faced each other
directly in different parts of the world. According to Lundestad, "They were the two
niain actors in the international area; the geographic distance separating them was gone,
but the political distance would soon be greater than it had ever been".

Check Your Progress 3

Note : i) Use the space below for your answers.
ii) Check your answer with the model answers given at the end of the unit.
I) Describe emergence of the United States as most powerful nation after the Second
World War.
Cold War Period

2) In what ways did the USSR challenge the US supremacy after 1945?

3) Analyse briefly the emergence of Super Powers after the Second World War.


World War I1 broke out when Nazi Germany invaded Poland on 1st September, 1939.
Two day, later, England and France declared war on Germany. Earlier two arch rivals,
Germany and Soviet Union had concluded a Non-Aggression Pact. Critics called it a
pact to divide Poland between the two countries. Major causes of the Second World War
were the Treaty of Versailles which ended the First World War, humiliated Germany and
was regarded by Germans as a 'diktat', and unjust; failure of disarmament which was
thought to be sure guarantee of avoiding war; the world economic crisis which
encouraged military and aggressive actions in countries like Japan; the creation of
Rome-Berlin-Tokyo Axis, an alliance of three fascist powers determined to destroy
existing world order; problem of dissatisfaction of minorities; the policy of appeasement
pursued by Britain and supported by France to win over the Fascist and Nazi dictators;
and finally German attack on Poland that became the immediate cause of the war.

The begin with, a number of countries joined the war on the side of Britain and her
allies, but America kept out of it till outstanding disputes led Japan to attack Pearl
harbour which forced the United States entry into War as an Ally in December 1941.
Soviet Union had invaded Poland and Finland and was expelled from League of
Nations. But, ignoring the Non-Aggression Pact, Germany attacked Soviet Union in June
1941. Soviet Union immediately aligned itself with Britain. Meanwhile, Italy had
entered the War in June 1940 by declaring War on France and siding with Germany.
The Axis suffered their first setback when Italy was attacked in 1943. Mussolini was
dismissed by the king and later Italy surrendered unconditionally, although for somtime
Rome was occupied by Germans. Soviet Union was fighting against Germany to liberate
Eastern Europe. After a second front was opened by UK and USA, Germany not only
lost France but was forced to surrender in May 1.945. Japan continued to fight in the
Pacific till two atom bombs were dropped by American in August 1945 forcing Japan to
surrender. Thus the War ended with the defeat of the three fascist powers; and victory
of the Allies.

Peace-making efforts after the war proved to be a very difficult task. The Allies had
convened the Potsdam Conference (1945) for drawing up peace treaty with Germany.
No peace treaty could be concluded with any of the defeated countries immediately after
the war. But after prolonged diplomatic activities, peace treaties were concluded with
Italy, Rumania, Hungary and Finland; and later with Austria and Japan. Germany
remained occupied for several years and naturally no peace treaty could be concluded
for several years.

The most significant outcome of the war was the partiti~nof Germany into four
occupation zones. Later three Western Zones became one sovereign country, and in the
east a Soviet-backed government was established. As east European countries were World War I1 : Causes and
liberated by the Soviet army, they were given communist governments. The cold war Consequences (Emergence of
Super Powers)
began between two power blocs into which the world was divided.

The United States was lucky that no battle was fought on her territory and her civilian
losses were negligible. It was the first country to develop and use the atom bomb.
Soviet Union acquired this power five years later. As other big Powers had lost much of
their capability, the US and USSR emerged as Super Powers and led the two power


Reparation : The fine imposed on defeated countries to compensate for

the damage done to civilian population and property.
Sanctions : Coercive measures taken against an aggressor or a country
defying international law; sanctions may be economic or
Axis : Term used for three Fascist Powers viz. Germany, Italy and
Japan who had come together on the eve of the Second
World War.
Non-Aggression Pact : An agreement binding two countries not to wage war against
each other for a specific period of time.
Cold War A situation of acute tension between two power blocs; but no
weapons were used against each other.


Langsam, W.C. and Mitchell, The World Since 1919, New York, The Macmillan
Publishing Co.
Albrecht Carrie, A Diplomatic History of Europe, since the Congress of Vienna, New
York, Marper and Row.
Johnson, Paul, A History of Modern World from 1917 to the 1980s, London,
Weidenfield and Nicolson.
Dhar, S.N., International Relations a n d World Politics, Since 1919, New Delhi,
Kalyani Publisher.


Check Your Progress 1

1) Dictated, unfair and unjust Treaty of Versailles; failure of collective security;

appeasement by Britain; attack on Poland.
2) Failure of Anglo-Soviet negotiations and signing of Soviet German non-aggression
Pact paved the way for German attack on Poland in September 1939. Britain and
France fulfilled their guarantee given to Poland and declared war on Germany.
Soviet Union (June 1941) and U.S.A. (December 1941) were attacked by Axis
Powers and they also joined the war.

Check Your Progress 2

1) U.S. entry in the war strengthened the Allies. Germany was unable to fight on two
fronts; USSR liberated east European countries, and Western Europe freed by
'Britain and U.S.A. Faced with defeat, Hitler committed suicide on April 30, 1945.
Cold War Period 2) Allied Victory in Europe left them free to fight and defeat Japan; America dropped
two Atom Bombs in August 1945 forcing Japan for unconditional surrender.

3) Total defeat of the three Axis Powers and Victory of the Allies, which also meant
defeat of fascism and dictatorship and victory of democracy.

Check Your Progress 3

1) Territorial gains for France, Greece and Yugoslavia; Trieste became independent,
Albania and Ethiopia (Abyssina) regained independence, Armed forced reduced.

2) Independence of Korea recognised; Japanese rights in Formosa, Sakhalin and

Kulrile Island surrendered; all Chinese territory liberated; Japan accepted her
responsibility for the war, but was not required to pay any reparation.

Check Your Progress 4

1) The United States was the first country to have manufactured and used atom
bomb; it secured Japanese surrender; earlier U.S. role was largely responsible for
defeat of Germany and Italy. No battle was fought in US territory. In 1945, USA
had the world's strungest airforce and a leading navy.

2) U.S.S.R. even before acquiring nuclear weapons, had become second most
powerful country. Its army established communist regimes in Poland and other
East European countries. Its ideological thrust was a challenge of U.S.A.

3) The T.S.A. and U.S.S.R. both were much better placed than other victors. US
suffered negligible civilian losses, USSR's vast territory and ideological
commitment gave it advantage. US led capitalist world, and the USSR became the
rallying point of world communism.

7.0 Objectives
7.1 Introduction
7.2 Meaning
7.3 Origin
7.4 Spread of the Cold War
7.5 Cold War in the Far East
7.6 Relaxation of the Cold War
7.7 The Rebirth of the Cold War
7.8 Patterns and Dimensions
7.9 End of the Cold War
7.10 Let Us Sum Up
7.11 Key Words
7.12 Some Useful Books
7.13 Answers to Check Your Progress Exercises

This unit discusses the Cold War, its meaning and dimensions. After going through the
Unit you will be able to:
define the concept of the Cold War;
trace the origin of this non-military conflict;
a understand the pattern and dimensions of the Cold War;
a identify the causes for the demise of the Cold War; and
a assess the impact and aftermath of the Cold War.

The First World War (1914-18) ended with the birth of a new system, the socialist
system in the world. The war also sowed the seeds of another world war. These two
developments have conditioned the subsequent decades in a big way. In 1939 the
Second World War broke out. The Second World War was fought between the two
blocs-the Allied powers and the Axis powers. The socialist bloc joined the Allies. The
Allies won the war. The war ended with the destruction of the old capitalist imperialist
dominated world. The world now was divided into two blocs-Western or capitalist
bloc, headed by the neo-colonialist power, the United States of America (USA) and the
Socialist bloc headed by the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR). The USA and
the USSR emerged as the two super powers. n o blocs represented two contradictory
systems. Conflict between them was inevitable. The conflict was turned into Cold War
because the world meanwhile experienced a qualitative change.
At the end of the Second World War, a world body named United Organisation (UN)
II was founded to make the world safe for peace. The~twosuperpowers acquired highly
sophisticated destructive weapons. Europe became dependent upon the USA.
Decolonialization became the reality. Above all world public opinion disfavoured any
world wide holocaust. But these developments failed to stop the local or civil wars in
different countries and to refrain the two superpowers from tension ridden competition
for establishing supremacy over the world. The hostile competition turned into Cold
Cold War Period >

The term "Cold War" is of recent origin. It has been in use since the Second World War
for denoting the non-military hostility between the United States of America (USA) and
the former Soviet Union. In course of time it has been used as a concept in
international relations. The term Cold War means a state of hostility between nations
without actual fighting (i.e. non-military hostility). The concept stands for struggle for
supremacy waged by the nations or states through propaganda, economic measures,
political manoeuvres, etc. Nations or states, engaged in Cold War do not go for actual
war (military action). It is a state of cut-throat competition, but the competing parties
remain far away from armed conflict between them. It was a conflict between two
ideologies : Capitalism vs. Socialism.

Check Your Progress 1

Note : i) Use the space given below for your answers.

ii) Check your answer with the model answer given at the end of the unit.
1) What do you mean by the term of ColdWar?

The origin of the Cold War may be traced back to the 1917 Russian Revolution, which
gave birth to a new system. The system came to be known as socialist system, opposed
to exploitative capitalist system. Whole of the capitalist world got terror stricken and
rallied to crush the new state of the USSR, failing to destroy it they encouraged the
emergence of the Nazi power in Germany, so that it might be used against the USSR.
The USSR made serious efforts to get the Western powers involved in checking the
rapid rise of Nazi Germany. But the Western powers did not respond to the USSR's call.
Meanwhile the Second World War broke out in 1939. Germany attacked the USSR
violating the non-aggression pact between them. The USSR joined the Allied powers
and made great contribution to defeat the Axis powers. Despite its sincere efforts to
crush the Axis powers, the West always looked at the USSR with deep suspicion. The
West is alleged to have desired the end of the USSR in the process of fighting against
the Nazi led Axis powers. That is why perhaps the Allies did not respond to the USSR's
repeated appeal for opening second front in the Eastern Europe against Germany. After
the war the Allies did not hide their fear and hatred towards the USSR which now
emerged as one of the superpowers in the world. The USA emerged as another
superpower at the end of the Second World War. the Wartime Allies including the USSR
founded the world body the United Nations (UN) to make the planet safe for peace. But
they failed to forestall the local wars because the UN does not have the necessary
powers to compel1 the super or major powers to keep away from encouraging conflicts.
As a result they went on their own ways. They have organised their rival defense
organisations, and have gone on reacting to each crisis as per their respective interests.
They either have used the world body or have ignored it. The world thus drifted
towards the Cold War in the wake of the Second World War.
Check Your Progress 2 Cold War : Meaning, Patterns
and Dimer~sions
Note : i) Use the space given below for your answers.
ii) Check your answer with the model answer given at the end of the unit.

1) Critically discuss the circumstances leading to the beginning of the Cold War.


Russia (USSR) assumed a sum of $ 10 billion indemnity from Germany following the
Second World War. The USA and Britain violating the decision of the July 1945
Potsdam Conference stopped the delivery of the reparations to Russia. It created a crisis
which has come to be known as German Crisis. In order to overcome the crisis the big
four powers, Russia, France, Britain and the USA met in a Conference in early 1947.
The USA and Britain insisted the economic Unification of Germany. France and Russia
opposed the proposal. The Conference ended without resolving the crisis. Meanwhile
the USA violating all norms intervened the Greek Civil War in March 1947. President
Truman of the USA delivered a speech to the US Congress on 12th March, 1947 to
justify the intervention in Greece and asked the Congress to provide authority for
financial assistance to Greece ar,d Turkey for suppressing the Communist led Civil War
in those countries. The principles which Truman elaborated in the Congress have come
to be known as Truman Doctrine, the essence of which is that the USA has the right to
intervene anywhere to check the spread of the Communism. The Truman Doctrine is the
naked manifestation of Cold War. The Cold War further was deepened in early 1950s. In
December 1951 the USA came forward with European recovery programme, which is
commonly known as the Marshall plan and is often interpreted as the economic
counterpart of the Truman Doctrine which was basically political. Though, the USA
declared that the plan aimed at reconstructing the War-torn Europe, it was generally
called an attempt to protect Europe from being taken over by the Commmunists.
Because throughout Europe there was a surge of Communist movements immediately
after the Second World War. All West European states readily accepted the US assistance
under Marshall Plan. The East European nations are alleged to have refused to accept
the assistance because of the USSR machinations. The USSR immediately founded the
Council for. Mutural Economic Assistance (CMEA), commonly known as Molotov Plan.
Thus Europe got divided into two blocs which were further formalised when the
defensive treaties were signed.

The surge of Communist movements throughout Europe, coupled with the growing
tension between the USA and the USSR led the USA to propose a defensive alliance
with the Western powers. Thus, the North Atlantic Treaty was signed in April, 1949 to
found North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO). The signatories of the Treaty were
the USA, Canada, France, Britain, Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Italy,
Portugal, Denmark, Iceland and Norway. Subsequently Greece, Turkcy and West
Germany joined the treaty which provided that an armed attack against one or more of
the signatories in Europe, and North America would be considered an attack against the
all signatories. In response to the NATO, USSR got together the former East European
socialist states into Warsaw Pact. Its terms and conditions were similar to that of the
NATO. These developments (i.e. division of Europe into two economic and military
blocs) deepened the Cold War.
Cold War Period Check Your Progress 3

Note : i) Use the space given below for your answers.

ii) Check your answer with the model answer given at the end of the unit.
1) Write short notes on :
a) German Crisis
b) Truman Doctrine
c) The Marshall Plan


The Cold War, although originated in Europe, did not remain confined there. Cold War
spread over the Far East immediately after Europe. In China Communist Revolution
became successful in 1949. Chiang Kai Shek though got full support from the USA,
failed to withstand the Communist attack. The Communists inflicted a crushing defeat to
Chiang's unpopular nationalist forces and drove them away from the mainland China.
The success of the Communists in China was a great set back for the USA which had
been following the policy of containment of communism world over. The USA along
with its Western allies signed the peace treaty with Japan, much to the chargrin of the
USSR. The treaty reduced Japan to almost a dependent of the USA, and made Japan the
main US base in the Far East. The US military base in Japan is maintained by a
massive financial support provided by the Japanese government: Japan meets almost
70% of the expenses incurred in the maintenance of the U.S. military bases and Korea
was liberated by the Allies from Japan's occupation. The communist led army
consolidated its position in North Korea and the anti-communist, pro-west forces,
captured South Korea. In 1950, a civil war between North Korea (supported by China)
and South Korea (supported by the U.S.) broke out. The country was divided along the
38th parallel and reached to the Yalu river which separates China from Korea. Now
China backed by the USSR joined the fray in support of the communists. Immediately
the North Korean army drove away the invaders. The war, however, continued for
another two years. In July 1953 an armistice agreement was signed and the war ended
but the tension over the Korean issue between the two superpowers continues even now.

Check Your Progress 4

Note : i) Use the space giGen below for your answers.

ii) Check your answer with the model answer given at the end of the unit.

1) Critically discuss how the Cold War spread over the Far East.
............................................................................................................................................. Cold War : Meaning, Patterns
and Dimensions


In 1952 Dwight Eisenhower was installed in power replacing Harry S. Truman in the
USA. Disregarding the Truman Doctrine, he adopted necessary effective steps to end the
Korean war. In April 1953 Joseph Stalin died. He was succeeded by more liberal and
young leaders in the USSR. To some extent they liberalised both domestic and foreign
policies of the USSR. Meanwhile the USSR gained the capability of making the
hydrogen bomb which was nearly 800 times more powerful than the atomic bomb used
on Hiroshima. With the gaining of the capability of H-bomb, the USSR obtained parity
with the USA. Now the world leaders got frightened and started feeling more
comfortable in peace than in war.

Many analysts feel that had there been no H-bomb with the two superpowers, some of
the explosive situations that arose in subsequent years, would have exploded into actual
wars between the superpowers. They cite the Cuban crisis as an example. In early 1960s
a crisis situation developed in Cuba after the installation of the communists in power. A
communist Cuba was considered to be the sword of Damocles pointed at the heart of
the USA. The US wanted to crush the infant communist state at its door step. But the
prompt action, taken by the USSR by sending missiles for the protection of Cuba,
softened the aggressive mood of the USA. The crisis brought the two powers on the
brink of war but the war. however, did not break out. The US rejaxed its attitude
towards Cuba, the USSR withdrew the missiles. Thus the Cuban crisis ended in peace.

Following the end of the Cuban crisis both superpowers entered into several pacts for
limiting the proliferation of nuclear weapons. In 1963 an agreement was signed for
controlling the tests of nuclear weapons known as Parsial Test Ban Treaty (PTBT). In
1967 test of nuclear weapons in the space was prohibited, and also Latin America was
declared a nuclear weapons beyond the nations already possessing them was signed in
1968. One agreement of prohibiting emplacement of nuclear weapons on the seabed and
another, prohibiting the use of biological weapons were signed in 1971. JJI 1972, SALT-I
was signed between the U.S. and USSR. It was followed by an interim arms control
agreement signed in between the two Moscow in 1974, which subsequently y a s
converted into SALT-I1 in 1978. These agreements collectively decreased the tension of
the Cold War.

iI Meanwhile Europe has restored itself from the Wartime destruction. The resurgent
Europe began to compete with the US economy. France under Charles De-Gaulle
1 declined to remain dependent upon the USA. Germany also recovered quickly. The
monolithic international communist movement faced split. China and the USSR plunged
into a kind of Cold War. these developments also greatly aided to relax the Cold War.

Check Your Progress 5

Note : i) Use the space given below for your answers.

ii) Check your answer with the model answer given at the end of the unit.

1) Mention the factors responsible for the relaxation of the Cold War.
Cold War Period

In late 1970s Afghanistan experienced a sort of revolution. A communist government

was installed in power. But anti-communist force in collaboration with the religious
fundamentalist forces opposed the new government. As a result Afghanistan soon
plunged into an ending civil War. In this civil war the USA supported the anti-
communists and the fundamentalists via Pakistan. The communist government in order
to stem the tide of the civil war sought military and economic aid from the USSR who
promptly sent a large contingent of armed forces and other military and economic aid in
December 1979. The USA termed the presence of USSR army in Afghanistan as an
invasion. The US attitude thus sensitized the already strained USA-USSR relations. The
new conflict between the two super powers has been termed as the rebirth or the
beginning of the new Cold War. The Cold War further deepened when in Poland martial
law was imposed in 1981 to quell the pro-democracy unrest. The USA termed the
action as the USSR intervention in Poland. The relation between the USA and the
USSR reached already a breaking point in 1983 when the USSR shot down a South
Korean civilian airliner which was alleged to be on the spy mission. The US condemned
the shooting down o i the airliner and immediately 8eployed new intermediate-range
missiles in Europe, in retaliation the USSR broke off arms talks with the USA. The
USA meanwhile invaded Grenada in 1983, launched invisible was against the popular
Sandista government in Nicaragua and pushed ahead the development of the Strategic
Defensive Initiatives (SDI) or star wars. Thus spread the new Cold War through out the
world. President Ronald Reagan of the USA adopted a strategy of rolling back of the
expand~~,t. 'evil empire' of the Soviet Union.

. Check Your Progress 6

Note : i) Use the space given below for your answer.

ii) Check your answer with the model answer given at the end of the unit.
1) What are the incidents responsible for the beginning of the new or second Cold


World was divided into two blocs during the Cold War period, basically on ideological
grounds. Since the Russian Revolution in 1917 which had given birth to a new system
in the world, the capitalist and imperialist forces declared invisible war against the new
state of the USSR. Immediately after the end of the Second World War, the Cold War
took birth on the issue of expansion of the communist powers in Europe and other parts
of the world. The Communist movement and the national liberation struggle against the
age old imperialist rule in the countries of Asia, Africa and Latin America joincd
together in many areas. The USA and other imperialist states found it difficult ro \tcln
the tide of the emerging liberation struggle duly supported by the international
communist movement. They, therefore, developed alliances, encircling the commuliih~
world with the aim of containing communism world over.

However, communism was not the lone issue. National interests of the warring states
also played significant role in the spreading of Cold War. In the case of China-USSR
conflict national interest played significant role. Religion also was an issue. Shina-Sunny
issues, Hindu-Muslim issues contributed to develop tension and cold war between Iran-
Iraq and India-Pakistan respectively. The Cold War that spread in South Asia between
India and Pakistan, has been due to the issues of secularism, democracy and
nationalism. There has almost been an unending conflict between India and Pakistan Cold War : Meaning, Pattcrns
over Kashmir Issue. India claims to be a secular democratic state where followers of and Dimensions
different relig~onscan live together. Kashmir is considered to be the test ground of
Indian secularism.

The Cold War did not remaln confined to the superpowers alone. There are several
dimensions of the Cold War. In the international arena it was between the two
superpowers. In the regional areas, there were also Cold Wars between the regional
powers. Thcrc was Cold War in 1970s between Iran and Iraq, Cold War burst out
between the USSR and China over the border issues. There has been Cold War between
Indla and Pakistan over the issue of Kashmir. Pakistan tried military solution of the
problem but failed. Then the Cold War has engulfed the region.

Though the period from the end of the Second World War to the disintegration of the
USSR is termed as the Cold War era, it was not a continuous phenomenon and the
Issues were not the same. Cold War disturbed the peace in phases and periodically. The
issues were also not the same. First the German crisis was the issue, then the Korean
war, the Afghan crisls, US declslon to go ahead wlth the star war programme etc.
augmented the process of Cold War.

Thus the pattern and dimensions of the Cold War are varied and multiple.

Check Your Progress 7

Note : i ) Use the space given below for your answer.

ii) Check your answer with the model answer given at the end of the unit.
1) Disscuss the pattern and dimensions of the Cold War.


The depth of the Cold War started to decline in late 1980s. Mikhail Gorbachev's
policies of 'Perestroika' and 'glasnost' were primarily responsible for the end of the
Cold War. The USA and the USSR agreed to dismantle a whole category of nuclear
weapons. An agreement known as the Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty
was slgned to that effect. Though the treaty was not fully implemented, it reduced
strategic weapons by about 30 per cent. Meanwhile the world began to the less tense.
Decade old Iran-Iraq war ended in 1988. The USSR under Gorbachev reversed the old
Brezenev system. It pulled the troops out from Afghanistan. Vietnam, which had been
helping Cambodian government to quell the civil war since late 1970s, withdrew its
soldiers from Cambodia. Cuba which had sent army to Angola, brought back the forces.
South Africa was forced to accord independence to Namibia. All these developments
were positive signs for establishing peace in the world.

But situation started changing with the turn of 1980s and beginning of 1990s. In Central
America the popular Sandinista government fell. The economic crisis that had engulfed
the Eastern Europe and the USSR in mid 1980s was sought to be overcome by adopting
the policies of political liberalization and market economy. The USSR put into effect
Mikhail Gorbachev's policies of Perestroika and Glasnost. Both domestic and foreign
policies of the USSR were drastically changed. Consequently communist regimes in
Eastern Europe fell one by one. The State of East Germany was eliminated and whole
of Germany was united. The infamous Berlin Wall was demolished. And the USSR got
disintegrated. The Cold War thus ended with the demise of a superpower. With the
distintegration of the USSR, Russia came out losing the status and position of a
Cold War Period At the ruins of the Cold War the unbridled supremacy of the USA has been established.
The world now has become a unipolar one. The Cold War which had continued for
more than four decades in one or another form, though kept the world free from any
world wide conflict directly involving the two superpowers, failed to stop protracted
civil wars or regional wars. During the period of Cold War most of the local or civil
wars were the national liberations struggles. The Cold War period saw the
decolonization of the world. Afro-Asian and Latin American nations who had so long
been suffering from the European colonial rule, achieved independence during the
period of Cold War. The end of Cold War has not eliminated the civil or local wars. But
now the civil or local wars are no longer national liberation movements. They are
mostly fratricidal battles which are being fought for parochial gains.

Check Your Progress 8

Note : i) Use the space given below for your answer.

ii) Check your answer with the model answers given at the end of the unit.
1) Account for the causes of the Cold War.


2) What are the characteristics of the post Cold War world?

Cold War means the non-military conflict. Though it had orginated in the wake of the
first World War (with the emergence of the socialist system) the fury of the Cold War
was being experienced in the post Second World War period. The Cold War having
orginated in Europe in the late 1940s. spread over other parts of the world in the
subsequent decades. Although the ideology remained the basic issue, the non~ideological
issues crept over periodically. The Cold War had begun with the foundation of the
USSR and declined with the disintegration of the USSR. The Cold War period
experienced the decolonization process i& the world. The Cold War has now been
replaced by a single power domination over the world and rise of certain regions into
province. The post COld War period has been experiencing the civil or local wars over
the parochial and ethnic issues where as such wars in Cold War period were over the
questions of decolonisation and liberation of the depressed people.


Allied Powers : The states who came together the fight the Fascist Axis
powers. The major allied powers were the USA, USSR,
Britain, France and China. There were fifty states in this

Axis powers : The fascist powers-Germany, Italy and Japan-constituted the

Bloc in which a very few smaller states joined.
Glasnost : Open politics and multi-party democracy. It is a Russian word. Cold War : Meaning, Patterns
and Dimensions
Perestroika : It is the Russian term which denotes market economy. It has
given greater role to market forces in the Russian economy
which had hitherto been planned or controlled economy.

Star wars It is a system to prevent nuclear war by providing the

technological inputs and means to knock incoming missiles out
of the air before they hit their targets.


L.S. Stavrianous, 1983, A Global History, The Human Heritage, New Jersey.
James Lee Ray, 1992, Global Politics, New Jersey.
D.F. Fleming, 1961, The Cold War and Its Origin, 1917-1960, 2 Vols, Doubleday.
W. La Feber, 1968, America, Russia and the Cold War, John Wiley.

- - - - -


(Here points have been identified. For details the student should consult the lesson and
the suggested books.)

Check Your Progress 1

1) Cold War means non-military conflict. Aggressive competition for supremacy.

Check Your Progress 2

1) 1917 Russian Revolution.

Second World War
German Crisis
Greek Civil War
Emergence of USSR-led Socialist Bloc
Emergence of neo-colonialism led by the USA.

Check Your Progress 3

a) Struggle for ,the control of Germany by the Superpowers.

b) US pledge to support anti-communist inovements.
C) Economic aid to keep away the countries from falling to communist rule
d) Aggressive defensive organisation to contain the forces of communism.

Check Your Progress 4

1) Take over of China by the Communists.

US base in Japan
Korean War
Cold War Period Check Your Progress 5

1) New leaderships in the USA and USSR. USSR's success in H-bomb. Resurrection
of Europe. Split in the monolithic communist market.

Check Your Progress 6

1) Afghan crisis, shooting down of the Korean civil airliner

US invisible war in Nicaragua.
Star war programme of the USA.

Check Your Progress 7

1) Ideology, periodical Cold Wars, International Cold War.

Regional Cold War.

Check Your Progress 8

1) Economic crisis in the Socialist Bloc-liberalization in the USSR-Distintegration

of the USSR.
2) Single Power (USA) supremacy, civil and local wars over the parochial and ethnic

Context and Imperatives
The Concept of Non-Alignment
Evolution of the Non-Aligned Movement
Goals and Achievement of the Non-Aligned Movement
Non-Aligned Movement Today
8.6.1 The Debate
8.6.2 The Relevance of Non-alignment
Let Us Sum Up
Some Useful Books
Answers to Check Your Progress Exercises


After going through this unit, you will be able to:

explain the concept of non-alignment and analyse the factors that led to its
trade the evolution and functioning of the Non-Aligned Movement; and
examine the relevance of both non-alignment and the non-aligned movement in a
Post Cold War as well as a post Soviet world.


The term 'non-alignment' is used to describe the foreign policies of those states that
refused to align with either of the two blocs led by the two Superpowers i.e. the U.S.
and the U.S.S.R., and instead, opted to pursue an independent course of action in
international politics. The Non-Aligned Movement (N.A.M.) emerged when individual
non-aligned states came together and coordinated their efforts on a common platform. It
changed the nature of inter-state relations by enabling the newly independent developing
countries to play a significant role in world affairs.


Non-alignment emerged within the context of two simultaneous global developments -

Afro-Asian resurgence and bipolar world politics.

The reawakening of the nations of Africa and Asia kindled in them the urge for freedom
from colonial rule and infused a determination to shape their destinies on their own.
This led to the development of a distinct idea of active and independent involvement'in
world affairs based on one's own perspectives of national and international interests.
Therein evolved an independent stand on national and ihternational issues amongst the
newly emergent nations.
This Afro-Asian resurgence occurred at a time when the world was divided into two
hostile camps, each representing two different ideologies and two socio-economic as
well as political systems, and led by the U.S. and erstwhile U.S.S.R. respectively. Each
aspired for greater spheres of influence through military alliances with other states. In
this context, the independent position of the newly emergent states came to be viewed I,

as non-alignment, as they refused to be allied with either bloc.

Cold War Period The iinpetus for the non-aligned approach stemmed from many sources. One of the
foremost objectives of these states was economic development for which they needed
resources in the form of economic assistance as well as increased trade. Non-alignment
enabled them to have economic relations with all countries. The second imperative was
the need for peace without which there could not be real development. A third source
was that their need be secure from global threat perceptions emanating from Cold war
politics. Other domestic imperatives also existed which varied from country to country.
For example, in the case of India, its internal political plurality, its political processes,
its historical role and geographical position were important contributing factors for the
emergence of non-alignment.


Non-alignment means the refusal of states to take sides with one or the other of the two
principal opposed groups of powers such as existed at the time of the cold war. Non-
alignment can be defined as not entering into military alliances with any country, either
of the Western bloc led by the U.S. or the communist bloc led by the U.S.S.R. It is an
assertion of independence in foreign policy.

Some Western scholars have persistently confused non-alignment "with isolationism, non-
commitment, neutrality, neutralism and non-involvement. Non-alignment is not
neutrality. Non-alignment is a political concept, whereas, neutrality is a legal concept.
Unlike neutrality, non-alignment is not a law written into the Constitution of the state.
Neutrality is a permanent feature of state policy, while non-alignment is not. Further,
unlike neutrality, non-alignment is not negative, but is a positive concept. It stands for
(a) an active role in world affairs and (b) friendship and cooperation with all countries.
It consists of taking an independent position based on the merits of each issue, and, on
the requirements of national interest. It is not directed against any ideology but seeks to
promote peace and friendship in the world, irrespective of ideological differences.

Non-aligned nations continuously opposed the politics of Cold War confrontations. They
underlined the necessity of building peace and "peace areas" in a world of clear
bipolarism. Non-alignment was also not a policy based on opportunism which tried to
gain advantage by playing one power against another.

Check Your Progress 1

Note : i) Use the space below for your answers.

ii) Check your answer with the model answers given at the end of the unit.
1) What kind of historical situation led to the development of non-alignment?

2) Which of the following statements are right or wrong. Mark ( J ) or (x).

a) The newly independent states chose the path of non-alignment because the
consequences of world war-alliance building and armament production
threatened these backward economy states with neo-imperialist control. ( )
b] The attitude of non-alignment is anti-imperialist in nature because it does not
allow domination or control of any state from outside. ( )
c) Yugoslavia did not choose the path of non-alignment because it did not feel
threatened by the hegemonic role being played by the Soviet Union. ( )
d) Non-alignment does not mean equidistance from the two power blocs and it is
an attitude which asserts independence in world politics. ( )
e) Neutralism can be another name for non-alignment. ( ) Non-Aligned Movement

f) Non-aligned group cannot be called a third bloc. ( )


The non-aligned movement evolved out of the concerted efforts of individual non-
aligned states to build a common front against the superpower and neo-imperialist
domination. Jawaharlal Nehru from India, Gamal Abdal Nassar from Egypt and Josip
Broz Tito from Yugoslavia took the first step in building this movement. Among thckt3
first architects Nehru would be specially remembered. His early perception about the
rise of neo-imperialism and the consequent insecurity that would bc faced by the smaller
states, made a major contribution towards building this movement. Nehru believed that
the countries of Asia and Africa, should build up an alliance of solidarity to fight neo-
imperialism. As a first step he tried to organise an Asian front in the forties. In 1947 he
called an Asian Relations Conference in New Delhi. In the fifties as the states of Africa
started gaining independence from colonial rule it became necessary to expand the base
of this front. In April 1955, therefore, Nehru together with leaders of Indonesia, Burma,
Sri Lanka and Pakistan convened an Afro-Asian Conference at Bandung in Indonesia.
Both these Conferences highlight the political and economic insecurity that was
threatening the newly independent states at the time. However, Bandung Conference
failed to build a homogenous Asian and African front as a number of these States did
not agree to conduct their foreign relations under the banner of anti-imperialism. 'They
had either already joined the various Western military alliances or had closely identified
their interests with that of the Western Powers. The rift between the two groups was
visible at Bandung itself. In the post-Bandung years, thus, it became necessary to build
up an identity for the non-aligned states on the basis of principles and not on the basis
of region. The effort united these states with Yugoslavia which was similarly looking for
a political identity in international affairs. The embryo of the later non-aligned
conferences first came into being a Brioni, in Yugoslavia, in June 1956, where Tito
conferred with Nehru and Nassar on the possibility of making real the unspoken alliance
which bound them together. The efforts finally resulted in the convening of the first
non-aligned conference at Belgrade in 1961.

Five basis were determined and applied, for countries to be members of the Non-aligned
Movement. Only such countries as fulfilled these conditions were actually invited to the
conference. There were :

a) independent foreign policy, particularly in the context of Cold War politics;

i b) opposition to colonialism in all its forms and manifestations;

! c)

should not be a member o f any of the military blocs;

should not have concluded any bilateral treaty with any of the two superpowers;

should not have allowed military bases on its territory to a superpower, qualified
for attendance at the Belgrade summit.

The NAM summit conferences from time to time, have discussed several issues and
problems. At the first summit (Belgrade, 1961) 25 countries, who attended it, discussed
the situation in Berlin, question of representation of People's Republic of China in the
United Nations, the Congo Crisis, imperialism as potential threat to world peace, and
Apartheid. The Conference expressed full faith in the policy of peaceful co-existence.
India was represented by Nehru.

The Cairo summit, held in 1964 was attended by 46 countries. The Indian delegation
was led by La1 Bahadur Shastri. The conference emphasised the urgent need for
disarmament, pleaded for peaceful settlement of all international disputes, urged
member-governments not to recognise the white minority government in Rhodesia and
reiterated the earlier stand of NAM against apartheid and colonialism. The demand for
representation of People's China in the United Nations was also reiterated.
Cold War Period The third summit at Lusaka in 1970 (attended by 52 countries) called for withdrawal of
foreign forces from Vietnam and urged the member-states to boycott Israel which was in
occupation of certain neighbouring Arab countries territories. It requested governments
of member-nations to intensify their struggle against Apartheid and as a part of the
struggle, not to allow the fly over facility to the South African aircrafts. The summit
resolved to increase economic cooperation. It rejected thc proposal to establish a
permanent secretariat of the Movement. The Indian delegation was led by Indira Gandhi.

There were signs of detente in Cold War Politics by the time the next summit met at
Algiers (1973 attended by 75 countries). It welcomed easing of international tens~on,
supported detente, and repeated NAM's known stand against imperialism and apartheid,
and resolved to encourage economic, trade and technical cooperation amongst member-
states. The conference demanded a change in the existing international economic order
which violated the principle of equality and justice.

In 1976, the Colombo summit was attended by 85 countries. The U.N General
Assembly had given a call for a New International Economic Order In 1974. The NAM
at Colombo not only gave whole-hearted support to this demand, but asked for a
fundamental change in the world monetary system an3 form. It was proposed that the
Indian ocean be declared a zone of peace.

As there was a caretaker government in India, the then Prime Minister Charan Singh
decided to send his foreign minister to represent the country at the sixth summit at
Havana (1979). The number of participant rose to 92. Pakistan was admitted to the
Movement and Burma (a former member) left the NAM. The Cuban President Fidel .a
Castro described the former U.S.S.R. as a natural friend of the Movement The summlt
reiterted the well known position against imperialism, colonialism, neo-colonialism and
apartheid. The summit resolved to support freedom struggle in South Africa and to stop
oil supply to that country. As Egypt had resolved her differences with Israel, some of
the anti-Israel countries sought suspension of Egypt. The summit merely discussed the'

The Seventh Summit (due in 1982 at Baghdad) could not be held in time due to Iran-
Iraq War. It was held at New Delhi in 1983 and attended by 101 countries. The New
Delhi declaration sought to reiterate the known position of NAM on various issues. It
hoped for any early end to the Iran-Iraq War and for liberation of Nam~bia.However,
the conference failed to take any stand on Soviet intervention in Afghanistan. The Soviet
occupation was openly supported by Vietnam, S. Yemen, Syria and E t h ~ o p ~ It
a . was
strongly opposed by Singapore, Nepal, Pakstan. Egypt and Zaire.

The Harare Conference (1986) adopted the Harare declaration and sought greater
economic cooperation among its members and North-South cooperation for faster 1
development in the South. The summit gave a call for new International Information
and Communication Order to end the western monopoly over news disbursement. In
view of likely retaliation by the apartheid regime of South Africa against Frontline
countries who were applying sanctions, the NAM decided to set up a fund called Action
for Resistance against Imperialism, Colonialism and Apartheid. In abbreviated form it
came to be known as the AFRICA Fund.

The 1989 Belgrade Summit was the last one to be held before Yugoslavia disintegrated
and at a time when Cold War was just ending. It gave a call against international
terrorism, smuggling and drug trafficking. The principle of self-determination was
reiterated particularly in the context of South Africa and her continued rule over

The tenth conference at Djakarata in 1992 was the first assembly of NAM after the end
of Cold War. The summit was at pains to explain that even after the collapse of Soviet
Union and end of Cold War, there was utility of the movement as a forum of
developing countries struggling against neo-colonialism and all forms of big-power .

interference. The main issue was preservation of NAM and strengthening its identity as
an agency of rapid development for its members in a tension-free world.

The eleventh NAM Summit was held at Cartagena (Colombia) in October, 1995. India
was represented by a high-power delegation led by Prime Minister P.V. Narasimha Rao
The summit, second after the end of the Cold War, tried to find its role in the changed Non-Aligned Movement
circumstances of a world without blocs. An effort was made by Pakistan, at the foreign
ministers level, to persuade NAM to evolve a system in which bilateral disputes may be
sought to be settled by the movement. This was a clever way of bringing Kashmir on
the agenda of NAM. Pakistan did not succeed in its design. An important decision taken
by the 113-member NAM summit was to give a call for general and universal
disarmament. India won a spectacular victory in its lone battle against the monopoly of
the nuclear power countries over atomic weapons. The NAM resolved to take the issue
to the United Nations by moving a resolution for the complete elimination of all
weapons of mass destruction. This endorsement of India's position gave encouragement
to India's consistent stand against signing the discriminatory Non-proliferation Treaty
(NPT). The endorsement of India's position on NPT by NAM was all the more
significant because 111 out of 113 members of NAM have already signed the NPT.
They had earlier in 1995, voted at New York for indefinite extension of. the NPT.
Pakistan continued to favour a regional nuclear arrangement and did not share India's
concern about discriminatory nature of the NPT. Pakistan's view was also
, acco~nmodatedin the final communique which urged states to conclude agreements for
creation of nuclear weapon free zones, wherever they did not exist. Pending creation of
such zones, Israel was called upon to renounce possession of nuclear weapons, to
accede to NPT, and to promptly place all its nuclear abilities under full scope of
International Atomic Energy safeguards. This summit also called for total and complete
prohibition of the transfer of all nuclear-related equipment, information, material and

Check Your Progress 2

Note : i) Use the space below for your answer.

ii) Check your answer with the model answers given at the end of the unit.
1) How did Jawaharlal Nehru contribute to the development of the Non-aligned


A major goal of .the Non-aligned Movement was to end colonialism. The conferences of
the NAM continuously supported the national liberation movements and the
organisations that led those movements were given the status of full members in these
conferences. This support greatly facilitated the Qecolonization process in Asia and

It also condemned racial discrimination and injustice and lent full support to the anti-
apartheid movement in South Africa and Namibia. Today in both countries this
obnoxious policy has ended with independence and majority rule.

A third area in which the NAM made a significant contribution was towards the
preservation of peace and disarmament. Its espousal of peace, of peaceful co-existence
and of human brotherhood, opposition to wars of any kind contributed to the lowering
of Cold War tensions and expanded areas of peace in the world with less states joining
military blocs. It also continuously strove for disarmament and for an end to the arms
race stating that universal peace and security can be assumed only by general and
complete disarmament, under effective international control. It underlined that the arms
Cold War Period race blocked scarce resources which ought to be used for socio-economic development.
They first.called for a permanent moratorium or nuclear testing and later for the
conclusion of a treaty banning the development, production stockpiling and use of all
chemical weapons.

Fourthly, the non-aligned states succeeded in altering the composition of the U.N. and
consequently in changing the tenor of the interstate relation conducted through its
organs. In the forties and fifties delibralions in the U.N. organs were entirely dominated
by the super power and their associate states. The emergence of non-alignment has
changed this situation. It has created not only a new voting majority in the General
Assembly but also common platform from where the third world can espouse its cause.
It is no longer possible to ignore this platform. Thus we see that non-alignment has
facilitated third world's participation in world politics and in the process has
democratized the international relations.

The fifty important contribution was with regard to economic equality. It was the NAM
that called for the establishment of a New International Economic Order (NIEO).
Despite their political sovereignty, the newly independent states remained economically
unequal. They remained the same raw materials producing countries, which sold their
commodities to the developed world at a lower price, and bought manufactured good
from them at a higher price. The tragedy was that they were and continue to be part of
an oppressive economic system and that have to function within it. This makes them
perpetually dependent on the developed North for capital goods, finance and technology.
In order to end this economic exploitation, termed as neocolonialism, the NAM called
for a restructuring of the international economic and monetary systems on the basis of
equality, non-discrimination and cooperation.

Non-aligned Movement's struggle for economic justice has demonstrated how realistic I ,
is to divide the world between the North and the South rather than between the East
and the West. It has proved that what concerns the majority of humanity is not the
choice between capitalism and communism but a choice between poverty and prosperity.
Preachings of non-alignment has made the developed world realize, to some extent, that
deprivation of the third world would some day affect adversely their prosperity too. This
has, to a large extent, forced them to come to the negotiating table. Besides the general
success in making third world's economic demands negotiable, non-alignment has won
its battle for some specific issues also. For example, economic sovereignty over natural
resources is now an accepted principle. Non-alignment has also succeeded in
legitimizing the interventionist trade policy that the developing countries want to pursue.
It has successfully turned world attention to the problem created by the role as played
by multinationals, specially in the context of transfer of technology. It has also
succeeded in pursuing the IMF to establish system of compensatory finance which help
the developing states in overcoming their balance of payments difficulties.

In the cultural field the establishment of the Pool of News Agencies needs to be
considered as an achievement. This is the first time in history that politically and
economically weaker nations have been able to gather information and communicate
with the outside world without the aid of the western communication system.

The most significant achievement of non-aligned movement lies in the fact that it has
taught the developing world how to pursue independent economic development in spite
of being a part of the world capitalist ecwomic order which makes them dependent on
the developed states for capital and technology.

Check Your Progress 3

Note : i) Use the space below for your answers.

ii) Check your answer with the model answers given at the end of the unit.
1) Which one of the following is not a pre-condition for the maintenance of peace that
non-aligned movement emphasizes?
a) Dissolution of the military blocs.
b) Armament
/, C) Avoidance of conflict between the super powers. Non-Aligned Movement
-4 1
d) Democratisation of interstate relations.
2) Which of the following statements are correct?
a) Political liberation is a kind of self-determination supported by Non-aligned
b) The non-aligned states ask for restructuring of the existing international
economic order because colonial exploitation had made them unequal economic
c) The Non-aligned Movement does not emphasize of the economic sovereignty of
the developing countries.
d) Better deal in international trade is an economic demand put forward by the
Non-aligned Movement.


8.6.1 The Debate

According to some scholars, Non-aligned Movement was the product of Cold War and
bipolarism. Since the Cold War has ended and the Soviet Union has disintegrated, the
NAM has lost its relevance. Whereas some others consider, NAM's work programme
which was charted out earlier, has been accomplished. For instance, colonies have
gained independence, apartheid has been dismantled, foreign bases have lost their
significance, a modest beginning has been made in the nuclear arms reduction and more
particularly when alliances have been distintegrating where is the importance for non-
alignment? Still there are some others who think that Non-aligned Movement has to be
disbanded because of its ineffective performance which became particularly evident after
the recent Gulf Crisis.

These critics of non-alignment need to remember that although NAM had emerged as a
new additional foreign policy choice in the years of Cold War and the bipolar world, its
continued relevance had little to do with either of contexts. It is a mere coincidence that
the policy originated and evolved at the time it did. While decolonisation was the
central basis of the Non-aligned Movement, the Cold War-or rather the aversion of
Cold War bipolarity-only helped the course that the ~ o v e m e n would
t take in the years
to come.

It also needs to be remembered that the end of the Cold War has not made the essence
of non-alignment irrelevant. The essence is the right to consider every issue on merit
and the right to take whatever action is considered feasible, against what is regarded as
a wrong, irrespective of whether that wrong is perpetuated by one power bloc in a
unipolar world or by one or both the superpowers in a bipolar world. As Nehru stated
in his address to the United Nations in New York "where freedom is menaced or justice
, threatened or where aggression takes place, we cannot and shall not be neutral". To say
it in another way, "taking the essence of non-alignment as the assertion of independence
in foreign affairs, non-alignment does not become irrelevant at any time. What is
perhaps being objected to is the name."

8.6.2 The Relevance of Non-alignment

Today the world is no longer bipolar. But t h e ~ eis also no consensus about the nature of
its configuration. Some writers feel that it is unipolar with the U.S. being the sole Super
Power. Other writers argue that it is multipolar with the European Union, Japan, Russia
and China being important centres of power together with the U.S. Still others have
referred to it as "uni-cum-multipolar. Whatever the terminology, that may be used, there
is no doubt that the U.S. and the G-7 powers together are in a position to work in
concert and manage the rest of the world. There has arisen what has been called the
new Northern concert of Powers. Within this global scenario, the practice of non-
alignment becomes difficult because there is no longer the space for manoeuvering nor
Cold War Period does there exist the intermediatory role. Nevertheless, there is a vital need for its
practice, precisely because the developing countries of the South need to assert their
independence and act together, if they are not to be totally overwhelmed by the North.

The imperatives for a revitalized Non-aligned Movement springs from many sources.

For the developing countries this multipolarity presents an uncertain, complex and
gloomy environment in which there may not be many new opportunities, but increased
vulnerability. At present there seems to be no change of the developing countries being
able to exploit the differences that are seen among the major economic powers. Of
course, the situation may change in the medium or long-term.

The Third World countries are also being pressurised to agree to all the demand of the
developed world on the question of opening of markets and intellectual property rights,
even though the fact of the matter is that trends towards protectionism are rising in the
developed countries at the time when most of the developing countries are seriously
reforming their economies and providing for market deregulation. So also is the
impression being fostered that the Third World is somehow responsible for
environmental pollution when actually it is the wanton wastage of resources by the
Northern when actually it is the wanton wastage of resources by the Northern countries
that has been the chief source of environmental degradation. The Northern governments
are bent upon maintaining their unsustainable production and consumption systems. At
the same time, they expect the Southern governments to make all the adjustments and
sacrifices necessary to keep the environment safe for the North. Now the prospects of
the North imposing sanctions and other punitive measures on the South in the name of
environmental protection looms large before us.

Thirdly, there is a tendency on the part of the developed countries to impose stringent
restrictions on the transfer of technology to the developing countries. The ever-growing
list of items subjected to the so-called dual use restrictions effectively threatens to
deprive the developing countries of the fruits of technological progress in many key
areas. Such restrictions have come to cover everything from computers to machine tools,
to specialised alloys to chemicals and even to medical equipment. They are imposed in
the name of preventing proliferation even though the major responsibility for
proliferation often rests with the very countries that are imposing the restrictions. This is
extremely unfair.

Fourthly, the world continues to be divided into the nuclear 'haves' and 'have-nots'. The
nuclear 'haves' seem to be determined to retain their arsenals of the nuclear weapons,
albeit on a reduced scale and to prevent others from acquiring such weapons. The irony
is that the targets of nuclear weapons are now the countries of the Third World as these
are being looked upon as the main threat to the security of the nuclear-weapons powers.
Instead of being discarded after the end of the Cold War, deterrence is being retained
and honed for being used discriminately against the countries of the Third World. The
countries of the Third World are now under tremendous pressure to desist from
developing weapons of mass destruction and to reduce their alleged excessive military

Fifthly, instead of revitalising multilaterialism under the United ~ a t i o k the

, new alliance
headed by the United States has successfully mounted an all out campaign to destroy
the multilateral character of the world body to alter its agenda and to undermine its
functioning to certain areas. Hard-core economic issues like the removal of poverty,
developmental plans, trade, money, finance and debt have been taken off the agenda of
the United Nations and transferred to the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank
and the General Agreement on Trade and Tariffs, over which they have greater control
and which permit them to use cross-conditionalities and cross-relation. Organisation
forming part of the UN family are being held in leash through denial of the finances
due to them. And in the UN Security Council, it is the permanent members which,
acting in close cooperation, take all the decisions affecting world peace and security.

There are a number of ad hoc discriminatory regimes aimed at preventing the

proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. These include regimes for chemical
weapons (the 'Australian Club), nuclear weapons "London Supplier Group" (LSG) and
Missiles (the Missile Technology Control Regimes, or MTCR). The lists of dual purpose
technologies, substances and equipment which cannot be exported to the countries of Non-Aligned Movement
the Third World under these regimes are so extcnsive as to have the effect of freezing
the technological and industrial development of the developing countries in those vital
areas. It is also very difficult to judge whether the restrictions applied in any particular
case are motivated by the commercial considerai.ion of preventing the country concerned
from developing competitive capacity or by the consideration of ensuring non-
proliferation. These regimes have no sanction of intcrnational law. As they are outside
the United Nations and their membership is restricted, they have the effect of
undermining multilateralism.
All the Third World countries are facing today the threat of the disintegration-of nation-
states. The examples are Czechoslovakia, Ethiopia, the former Soviet Union and
I Yugoslavia. Being sure of their own national integrity, which is underpinned by their
military power or that of their allies and in view of their own relative political stability
i and economic prosperity, the countries of the new alliances have started espousing
causes and championing principles aimed to encourage fissiparous tendencies in those
countries of the Third World where the economic and political situation is far from
stable. This may lead to further disintegration of nation-states'; recently discovered
enthusiasm of the new alliance for self determination use its political and economic
leverage to interfere in the affairs of other states in the name of human rights and good
governance and the sanctions that it has successfully sought for intervention in other
countries on humanitarian grounds-are all pointers in this direction. Sovereignty, of
late, has never been absolute, but now it is being subjected to further curtailment and
Then, there is a trend at present in the field of trade to resort increasingly to unilateral
and bilateral coercive measures as exemplified in the application of the Special and
i Super 301 of the US Trade and Competitiveness Act, to negotiate reciprocal access to
markets and to use cross-retaliation. This practice has not been stopped even after
signing the GAIT Treaty at Marrakesh by 115 countries including America in April,
1994. Moreover, the attempt by the developed countries to raise new issues not directly
, linked to trade, such as labour standards, social conditions and environment at the
recently concluded GAIT Treaty clearly proves that the newly formed world trading
system is not likely to serve any better the interests of the developing countries.

The above analysis shows that with the end of the Cold War, the threat to and pressure
. on the independence of the non-aligned countries have assumed new forms. The present
negative trends in the world are contrary to the aims and objectives of the Non-aligned
Movements for a just, equitable and democratic world order. None of the NAM
countries or group of countries, however, big or rich they may be, can face these new
realities alone. Hence, the countries of NAM must continue to stay and act together for
common thought and action. But question is how to bell the cat? The answer is: the
non-aligned countries can reverse the above negative trends by three important ways:

a) reforming and strengthening the United Nations;

b) encouraging South-South Cooperation; and

1 C) consolidating the Movement through necessary reforms.

Thus the realities of current global politics make non-alignment equally relevant today
for the developing'countries of the world as it was during the Cold War period.

However, while Non-alignment continues to be relevant, the role of the Non-aligned

Movement in current global affairs has been somewhat declining. The NAM could not
first prevent the conflict between two of its members-Iraq and Kuwait and neither
could it play an effective role in the subsequent Gulf crises. Nor could it halt the civil
war in Yugoslavia, itself an important member.
One of the reasons for its inefficiency is that today the NAM is faced with serious
internal problems. Some of these include the membership criteria which is too liberal
and often violated, the lack of self discipline amongst its members, the weaknesses in
the method of consensus and the absence of any mechanism for monitoring of global
I events.
Cold War Period Check Your Progress 4

Note : i) Use the space below for your answers.

ii) check your answer with the model answers given at the end of the unit.
1) Discuss the achievement of the Non-aligned Movement.

2) Can the Non-aligned Movement serve an useful purpose in future?


Non-alignment emerged in the context of two global developments: the national

liberation struggles of colonies and the Cold War between the U.S. and the U.S.S.R.
leading to two military blocs and alliances. Despite political independence, the new
states were economically underdeveloped and vulnerable to new imperialist pressures.

The term non-alignment denotes the perspective of states that wanted to remain outside
this system of alliances in order to follow an independent course of action in external
policy and relations. The imperatives for non-alignment sprang from economic, political,
strategic and indigenous sources.

These states came together on a common platform and formed the Non-aligned
Movement. It provided an important forum for the discussion of common problems
facing the developing countries of the South and for arriving at Concerted Action to
achieve common aims. It upholds principles which seek to promote political and
economic justice in the international system. Its achievement were significant. There is
debate about the relevance of non-alignment in a world without Cold War or bipolarism.
But while the context of Cold War may have changed, the world remains divided into
the rich and the poor nations. The developing countries which constitute three-fourth of
the worlds population remain only on the periphery of the international system. The
policy of non-aligned will remain valid until the system operates on the basis of genuine
equality and reciprocity. There is an urgent need to reactivate the Non-aligned
Movement in order to work concertedly for a more egalitarian world order.


Willettes, Peter, 1978: The Non-Alignment Movement: The Origin of a Third World
Alliance, Popular Prakashan: Bombay.
Rana, A.P., 1976: The Imperatives of Non-alignment. Non-Aligned Movement

A. Appadorai & Rajan M.S., 1985: India's Foreign Policy and Relations.

Bandopadhyaya, J., 1970 : The Making of India's Foreign Policy: Determinants,

Institutions, Processes, Personalities.

Rajan, M.S., 1990: Non-alignment and Non-aligned Movement.

Rajan, M.S., 1990: The Future of Non-alignment and Non-aligned Movement.


Check Your Progress 1

1) a) Cold War rivalry encouraged United States to launch a world-wide battle

against communism.

b) In this pursuit it tried to make the Asian states its political allies.

c) This threatened the freedom of those states.

d) To protect their freedom these states decided to become non-aligned.

Check Your Progress 2

1) a) First Nehru tried to form an Asian-African front by convening the Asian

Relations Conference and the Asian-African Conference.

b) Later he endeavoured to make this a world-wide front by joining hands with

the like-mined countries like Yugoslavia and others.

Check Your Progress 3

2) a) b) d) %* .
5, .'
Check Your Progress 4 .1

1) The movement'has facilitated decolonisation, increased the chances of securing
peace, helped in democratising international relations, made the world recognise the
problem of economic justice and has partially won the battle for economic rights;
and subverted the cultural imperialism of the West.

2) Yes. Since economic division is, and will remain in'future, as the most significant
division among states, non-aligned movement would be required to perfom the
important task of fighting for the economic demands of the third world.
Background to the Nuclear Arms Race
9.2.1 The Beginning : Birth of the Nuclear Arms Race
9.2.2 The Manhatten Project
9.2.3 Rationale for the Arms Race in the Post War Period
The Nuclear Arms Race : How it is different from all the
Previous Arms Races in History
9.3.1 The Trinity Test
9.3.2. Hiroshima and Nagasaki Bombings
9.3.3. 'New York Times' and the Trinity Test
Different Phases of the Nuclear Arms Race in the Post-War Period
9.4.1 Fear of the Soviets and Communism
9.4.2 1945 to 1953 : Period of US Monopoly
9.4.3 1957 to 1968 : Period of 'Missile Crisis' and the ICBM Race
9.4.4 1968 to late 1970s : Period of MIRV and ICBM Race
9.4.5 1981 : Reagan's Strategic Modernization Plan
9.4.6 1983 : Militarization of Space-Reagan's Star War Programme
9.4.7 1984-1991 : Nuclear Arms Race in the Gorbachev Era and the last days of
collapsing Soviet Union.
9.4.8 1991 to 1997 : Nuclear Arms Race after the Collapse of Soviet Union
Nuclear Arms Race in the Third World and South Asia
9.5.1 Acquisition of Nuclear Capability by China and start of Arms Race in South Asia
9.5.2 India, Pakistan and the Nuclear Arms Race
95.3 'Domino Theory' in South Asia
9.5.4 General Complexion of Arms Race in South Asia
Let Us Sum Up
Key Words
Some Useful Books
Answers to Check Your Progress Exercises

This unit deals with Arms Race and the Nuclear Threat in the present day world. After
studying this unit, you will be in a position to:
understand the background to the nuclear arms race;
explain how the nuclear arms race is different from all the previous arms races;
discuss the different phases of the nuclear arms race in the post-war period; and
emarnine the nuclear arms race in the Third World and especially in South Asia.


This unit on 'Arms Race and Nuclear Threat' is part of Block 3 which deals with what
is called the 'Cold War Period'; i.e., after the Second World War and the emergence of
what is termed as Superpower Dominance. In Unit &'World War 11: Causes and
Consequences (Emergence of Super Powers)' you have read about how the USA and
the USSR emerged as Superpowers in international politics after the end of the Second
World War.

In Unit 7 : 'Cold War: Meaning, Patterns and Dimensions', you have learnt how the
collapse of Germany and its allies in 1945 led to the emergence of what has been
termed as 'Cold War' between the-two main powers of the post-1945 international order
i.e. USA and USSR. The Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) which was dealt with in Unit Arms Race and Nuclear Threat
8 of this block was a consequence of the cold war power bloc politics.
One thing common to the post-1945 international order as well as the pre-1945 world
was the arms race. When studying about World War I and 11, you would have surely
read about the arms race which was both quantitative and qualitative in character. It
would also have been noticed that the arms race in its qualitative dimension in both the
world wars was itself one of the greatest causes of the two wars. From the invention of
dynamite by Sir Alfred Nobel of the Novel Industries in the First World War period, to
the invention of rockets by Germany in the Second World War, it is the search for the
ultimate weapon which could win all wars that constituted the greatest push for the arms
race. In this madness scientists, nations, people, soldiers, politicians all fell prey and
ended up only killing greater and greater number of civilians.
In the present unit, we will concentrate on the arms race in the post-1945 international
order. As has been stated before, this quest for a qualitatively more destructive weapon
was the greatest motivating factor in bringing the world a step closer to war, be it the
First or the Second World War. The key difference in the arms race before 1945 (i.e. in
the interwar period) and after 1945 was the nuclear dimension. Prior to 1945, all the
arms races in human history never confronted what is now popularly known as the
'Nuclear Threat'. After 1945, the arms race that humanity got engaged in became the
greatest living threat to life itself as known on this planet. The difference lies in one
single qualitative step in the arms race, and that step was the creation of the Atomic or
Nuclear bomb in 1945. Thus, from 1945 the arms race we discuss in this Unit,
remained no longer 'conventional' but acquired a nuclear character and from then till
today, man is engaged in an arms race that puts both parties who engage in it, under a
perpetual 'Nuclear Threat'.


9.2.1 The Beginning : Birth of the Nuclear Arms Race

The nuclear arms race between the superpowers began initially in the pre-second world
war period between the Germans and the Allied Powers. It was in the context of this
conflict prior to the Second World War that in 1938, at the Kaiser William Institute in
Germany, Otto Hann and Dr. Fritz Steersman first split the atom. Lise Meitner and Otto
Hann later declared this successful splitting of the atom amounting to a nuclear fission.
It was a matter of coincidence that at this juncture in history, the greatest minds
working on the 'atomic problem' were Jews and that too, German.
Hitler's rapid anti-Semitism during the period sent most of these great minds in
Germany rushing to the USA where they were welcomed. These fleeing scientists
informed the American military who were closely monitoring events in Europe. There
was widespread apprehension that Germany might be the first to produce the nuclear
bomb as the knowledge of splitting the atom was already available to it. Albert Einstein
too was one of the refugees and he knew fully the significance of this discovery, for it
was he who first unlocked the secret power of the atom to the modern world. He
warned the President of the United States about it.

9.2.2 The Manhatten Project

The Americans under President Roosevelt were fully aware of the international
implications and so began the race to build the bomb first. Roosevelt commissioned
what was the top secret 'Man Hatten Project', the biggest scientific effort ever made
costing 2 billion dollars under Maj. Gen. Leslie Groves to construct the atomic bomb in
a record time. Robert Oppenheimer, Enrico Fermi, Herbert York, Edward Teller, Hans
Beth and a host of other scientific luminaries were involved in the production of the
first three nuclear bombs.
The interesting aspect of this bomb construction was that though the initial enemy was
Germany, slowly the real enemy for whom the bomb was constructed turned out to be
the Soviet Union. In fact, Gen. Leslie Groves stated that he had no illusions that Soviets
were the real enemy.-This fact is critical to an understanding of the post 1945 world.
1 Cold War Period 9.2.3 Rationale for the Arms Race in the Post War Period
Germany, the first nation with whom the US engaged in the N-Arms race surrendered in
May 1945 and all its nuclear facilities were destroyed, thus ending the first phase of an
incipient nuclear arms race. Despite this the arms race had to continue once the
weapons had been built. A new enemy across the horizon was discovered Communist
Soviet Union. The fear of communism was ideologically fueling the furious pace of the
A-Bomb construction. In that sense the emerging U.S. military-industrial complex was
not wrong.

Communist USSR was definitely the biggest power confronting USA and its western
allies once Germany collapsed. The world was definitely getting divided into two
camps, the capitalist and the socialist and Europe including Germany was its first
victims. The Allies could not do anything about it. Something had to be found, a new
ultimate weapon which could stop and possibly destroy the march of communism. That
something designed initially for fascist Germany and used for experimentation in Japan
was to be probably used later against the Socialist Soviet union. This was the
underlying ideological war cry in the American establishment and the subtle reason for
continuing the arms race into the post-Second World War world era.

The discovery of the split atom gave confidence to the United States that it could fight
the 'cold war' or 'iron-curtain' that Winston Churchill said had descended over Europe.
It was an indication that the new war after 1945 would be fought against the USSR.

Check Your Progress 1

Note : i) Use the space given below for your answers.
ii) Check your answer with the model answers given at the end of the unit.
1) Examine the background to the nuclear arms race.

2) What are the rationale for the arms race in the post-war period?
Arms Race and Nuclear Threat

9.3.1 The 'Ikinity Test

Of the three bombs constructed, the first was tested on July 16, 1945 at Alamagordo,
New Mexico. It is known as the Trinity Test. The successful Trinity Test heralded the
birth of the Nuclear-Bomb in human history and the dawn of the nuclear age. Neils
Bohr, the famous Danish Physicist, prophetically observed the insetting arms race and its
qualitative difference. In a letter to Resident Roosevelt on 3 July 1944 he mentioned
that a weapon of unparalleled power was being created which would completely change
all future conditions of warfare. Some scientists anticipating the arms race between the
US and the USSR urged the American Government to share the nuclear secrets with
Soviet Union and thus prevent an arms race.
However, it is obvious that the scientists were too naive of the game of politics as well
as the intensity of international politics. Such advice was never heard, and the race was
continued in the hope of victory. To the military desperately looking for a way to deal
with the Germans, the Japanese qnd finally the Soviets, the Trinity Test held out hope
that they could win.

9.3.2 Hiroshima and Nagasaki Bombings

Two more historical events, however, finally sealed the destiny of mankind. They were
the dropping of the two remaining untested nuclear devices, i.e., the 5 ton uranium
bomb on Hiroshima on August 6 and on Nagasaki on August 8, 1945. Over 250,000
people died in both the cities and the 'living corpses' who survived bled incessantly and
were blackened with their skins hanging in shreds, their hair scorched to the roots.
Most were totally naked, their clothes burnt from their bodies. George Bernard Shaw
observed in 'Man and Superman' about the art of killing that man, "out does nature
herself ... when he goes out to slay, he carries a marvel of mechanism that lets loose at
the touch of his finger all the hidden molecular energies and leaves the javelin, the
arrow and blow pipe of his fathers far behind". Hiroshima and Nagasaki exemplified

9.3.3 'New York Times' and the 'Ikinity Test

It would be easier to comprehend the qualitative significance of nuclear arms race if we
take note of two observations made at the time of the Trinity Test. The 'New York
s Times' reporter who witnessed the test observed "... a light not of this world, the light
of many suns in one. It was a surprise such as the world had never seen, a great green
super can climbing in a fraction of a second to a height of more than 8,000 ft, rising
even higher until it touched the clouds, lighting earth and sky all round with a dazzling
{uminosity. Up it went, a great ball ,of fire about a mile in diameter, changing colours,
as it kept shooting upward, from deep purple to orange, expanding, growing bigger,
rising as it was expanding, an elemental force freed from its bonds after being chained
for billions of years. For a fleeting instant the colour was unearthly green, such as one
only sees in the corona of the sun during a total eclipse. It was as though one had been
privileged to witness the birth of the world to be present at the moment of creation
when the Lord said: "Let There Be Light".
Robert Oppenheimer perhaps summarized in one line the destiny of modern man's
predicament vis-a-vis his own creation, when he quoted the Gita to exclaim "I have
become death, destroyer of worlds". The roar created by the explosion at Alamagordo
could be heard 50 miles afar and the pillar of fire that the New York Times reporter
talked about rose 6 miles into the sky. These observations of the Trinity Test and the
dropping of the bomb at Hiroshima and Nagasaki sum up why the arms race mankind
got caught in after 1945 is totally different in its complexion from all the previous arms
races in human history. The sad part, however, for any idealist scholar of international
relations is that despite these evidences of destruction, the arms race continued with
greater vigour and vengeance.
Cold War Period Check Your Progress 2

Note : i) Use the space given below for your answers.

ii) Check your answer with the model answer given at the end of the unit.
1) What is the Trinity Test?



9.4.1 Fear of the Soviets and Communism

It was the Trinity Test on July 16, 1945 that truly sparked off the nuclear arms race
between the US and the Soviet Union. Despite the horror of Hiroshima and Nagasaki
the race never stopped. 'The second fact that fuelled the nuclear arms race was the
Soviet Communist enemy. This was, in fact, testified to by Gen. Leslie Groves who said
he had no illusions as to whom the bomb was really being built for, i.e., the Soviets.
The ideological, political and military threat to capitalism by rising communism had to
be dealt with. The discovery of the nuclear bomb was truly the biggest boost to the
arms race. United Kingdom followed US-Soviet acquisition of the bomb in 1952, France
in 1960 and China in 1964. The nuclear arms race passed through the following phases,
they cannot be clearly distinguished from each other.

9.4.2 1945 to 1953: Period of US Monopoly

During this period, the United States first enjoyed a total monopoly until 1953 and then,
nuclear superiority. In this phase, the US territory was regarded as a sanctuary because
the Soviets did not have any reciprocal delivery capability to reach the American targets
from USSR. The United States, on the other hand, could attack the Soviet targets from
American bases in Western Europe.

9.4.3 1957 to 1968 : Period of 'Missile Crisis' and the ICBM Race
The monopoly enjoyed the US during the first phase was broken when the Soviets
successfully tested the ICBM in 1957 creating what has been called the 'Missile Crisis'
in America. The advent of ICBMs shifted the focus of the nuclear arms race to strategic
weapons; i.e. Inter-Continental Ballistic Missiles (ICBMs), Sea Launched Ballistic
Missiles (SLBMs) and strategic or inter-continental bombers which provided the
strategic tripod. In 1967, USSR tested what is called a Fractional Orbital Bombardment
System. This accelerated the qualitative dimension of the nuclear arms race further into

9.4.4 1968 to Late 1970's : Period of MIRV and ICBM Race

The third phase in the nuclear arms race began when the American delivery technology
took a gigantic leap by introducitfg what is called the Multiple Independently Targetable
Re-entry Vehicle (MIRV) capability in their ICBMs in 1968. This meant that now one
single lCBM could carry many small nuclear warhead fitted missiles which on re-
entering Soviet airspace would go in different directions hitting many targets. MIRV
marked a tremendous exponential upgradation of the arms race. This sent shivers down
the Soviets who, however, mastered the technology by 1974. During this phase, the
Soviets deployed two other weapon systems. First, the Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM)
system in 1968 and second, the first Anti-Satellite (ASAT) missile and warhead, thus Arms Race and Nuclear Threat
ensuring that the arms race went on.

Check Your Progress 3

Note : i) Use the space given below for your answers.

ii) Check your answer with the model answers given at the end of the unit.
1) Briefly examine the period of US Monopoly in the Arms Race.

. 2) Describe the efforts made by the erstwhile Soviet Union to break the US Monopoly
in armaments.

9.4.5 1981 : Regan's Strategic Modernization Plan

The next major technological tussle took place between the two Superpowers over the
MX-Missile. On October 2, 1981 President Regan announced a strategic modernization
plan at an estimated cost of $ 160 billion. The weapons systems planned included :

(i) Missile Experimental or MX missle : 100 of these were to be built; (ii) B-IB
Bombers : 100 of them to be built; (iii) STEALTH Bombers that are radar resistant by
1990s; (iv) TRIDENT-I1 D-5 missiles-one per year between 1983 and 1987; (v)
Command Control and Intelligence system (C,I) to be modernized; (vi) NAVSTAR
Satellite global positioning system; (vii) Encapsulated dormant missiles; (viii) TERCOM
for precision guided cruise missile; an advanced communication system; (ix) Global
Positioning System (GPS) for guidance of the ICBMs during the boost phase; (x) Route
encrypted comunications to missiles or launchers; (xi) slackwire buoys radio reception
by submarines; (xii) Fuel-Cell propulsion.

9.4.6 1983: Militarization of Space-Reagan's Star Wars Programme

The militarization of space began from 1958 and since then, over 2219 satellites-military
and civilian have been launched by t'he superpowers and other nations, and 75% of the
satellites launched have been for surveillance and military use, thus clearly violating the
Space Treaty of 1967. On March 23, 1983 President Reagan announced the Strategic
Defence Initiative (SDI) popularly called 'Star Wars' Programme costing 1 trillion
dollars to raise the militarization of space to a qunlitatively rlcr; high. The aim being to
build both a ground based and space based Ballistic Missile Defence (BMD) to protect
US territory against Soviet strategic missile attacks.

Theoretically, the SDI programme, was supposed to be an alternative to the Mutual

Assured Destruction or MAD dogma as it would provide Mutual Assured Survival. It
was thought the render nuclear weapons obsolete be relying on three new types of non-
nuclear weapon systems. These were :
Cold War Period i) Kinetic Energy Weapons
ii) Directed Energy Weapons and
iii) Microwave Energy Weapons

All these weapons were based on various types of chemicals, electromaphetic forces.
and x-rays and lasers. The SDI programme did not take off for many reasons. They

a) It was too expensive.

b) It was not a sure technological venture, in the sense that it was far too complicated
and thus not feasible.

C) The Soviets could easily render SDI ineffective by building a counter SDI.

d) Reagan never consulted his European NATO allies and infact, surprised them by his
announcement thus creating opposition to the programme in Europe.

e) Reagan by signing the Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF) completely
ended the political rationale of the SDI programme.

f) In the USA itself, in the Congress and the Senate Foreign Relations Committee,
both the Republicans and the Democrats were of the opinion that they would not
allow SDI to pass at any cost and thus, damage the Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM)
Treaty of 1972.

Thus, they rejected SDI as otherwise it would have meant that the ABM Treaty
alongwith SALT I and I1 would be nullified. Same would be the fate of START
negotiations thus destroying the whole edifice of arms control and the start of an
unbridled nuclear arms race.

Added to this, many important scientists in USA, important people like James
Schlesinger, former Secretary of Defense Mc-George Bundy, cold warriors likc George
F. Kennan and Robert McNamara, former Secretary of Defence Harold Brown and a
host of other people opposed the very fundamental logic of SDI that it would make the
world safe of USA by removing the stability provided by the MAD capability of both
the superpowers. Later on, the sweeping changes initiated by Michael Gorbachev within
the USSR vide 'Glassnost' and 'Perestroika' and allowing democracy in Eastern Europe
ended the whole logic of SDI.

Check Your Progress 4

Note : i) Use the space given below for your answers.
ii) Check your answer with the model answers given at the end of the unit.
1) What were the main cornponcnts of US President Ronald Reagan's Strategic
Modernisation Plan?

2) What were the reasons for the criticism of Regan's SDI P r o g r a ~ r i ; ~ , ~ !
9.4.7 1984-1991: Nuclear Arms Race in the Gorbachev Era and the Arms Race and Nuclear Threat
Last Days of Collapsing Soviet Union
By January 1985, due to the damage already done by SDI of Ronald Reagan, massive
rearmament programmes were on the both the sides, and the future direction of the arms
race was dependent upon the two superpowers.

The arms race was on at three levels of nuclear weaponary, i.e.,-space weapons,
intercontinental weapons, and intermediate nuclear weapons. The US position on
militarization of space through SDI really put the arms negotiation in difficult state. The
Soviet Foreign Minister Andrei Gromyko said, "If there were no advancement on the
issues of outer space, it would be superfluous to discuss the possibility of reducing
strategic armaments."

The US in 1984 had a massive programme for rearmament of many types of weapon
systems. The rearmament programme of USA consisted of more Sea Launched Ballistic
Missiles (SLBMs); about 800 more nuclear warheads to be fitted on sea and air delivery
systems; MX missile testing; Midgetsman Missiles; the eighth Trident submarine fitted
with more accurate SLBMs and 100 B-lB bombs. On the Soviet side, in 1984-1985 the
rearmament meant rearmament of all Soviet SS-17s SS-18s and SS-19s into the MIRV
ed mode, a new TYPHOON class submarine and testing a new type of more accurate
SLBM. There was a reported attempt to make 40% of Soviet ICBMs on the movable
mode instead of the existing 25% and all 243 Intermediate Range Ballistic Missiles
(IRBMs) were to be deployed. All in all, 1984-85 was a period of massive rearmament
of all weapon systems.

In 1985-86, the picture as regards arms race was the same. There was no restraint. The
only hope that some kind of arms control was possible was generated by the November
1985 summit meeting at Geneva between President Reagan and General Secretary
Gorbachev where both in a joint statement stated that, "The sides .... have agreed that a
nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought." They also agreed to hold
summit level meetings in 1987 and 1988. These words were an indirect admission by
USA that the SDI was not workable. In other words, it recognised as unfeasible that the
MAD doctrine could be replaced and a limited nuclear war waged by militarizing space
was recognised as unfeasible. Apart from this, there was little progress in the talks on
arms reduction in Europe.

As regards the nuclear arms race in 1986-87, the situation was still more or less the
same except that there was a little movement towards arms control. The US put its first
MX ICBM and B-1B bomber on operational position and on a 24 hour alert.
Deployment of Pershing I1 missiles and SS-20s continued in Europe. However, certain
positive developments took place which definitely halted the arms race in the long run.

First, the 27th CPSU Congress in February 1986 decided on Perestroika (Restructuring
of Economy), Glasnost (Openness and Democratization) and reversal of military
confi.ontation in Europe and opening up of Eastern Europe. Second, the Raykiajavik
summit on 11 and 12 October 1986 declared that a nuclear war could never be won
and should never be fougkt. Third, within the USA a tattered Reagan's economy and the
Senate's opposition to SDI hit US arms race plans. Fourth, there were differences
between USA and its NATO Allies who were never consulted on SDI. Thus, though the
arms race went on in 1986-87 it was definitely going to end soon.

As regards 1987-88, on December 8, 1987 the Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces

Treaty (INF) was signed for the elimination of all intermediate and short range missiles.
The agreement required the USA and USSR remove 2695 intermediate range GLBMs
with a range of 1000 to 5500 kms. It also envisaged the removal of GLBMs short range
i.e., 500 to 1000 kms. USSR agreed to remove 1836 missiles while USA removed 867
missiles. The INF Treaty saved the ABM Treaty from being neutralised by SDI, because
with this treaty the rationale for SDI became even weaker and Reagan found it very
difficult to push the matter in the Congress as well as with US public. In this sense, it
saved the world from another dangerous dimension of arms race i.e., the space opening
1988-89 was another significant year as it too had something to show in terms of peace.
Cold War Period 1988-83 can be characterised as the year of settlement of disputes in Afghanistan,
Namibia, Iran-Iraq War, Israel-PLO and South Africa. It was also the year Gorbachev
announced at the UN, unilateral reduction of Soviet troops and armaments in Europe
amounting to 40% reduction of Soviet tank divisions and 50% of Soviet tanks deployed
in GDR, Czechoslovakia and Hungary. This was a very significant political and military
move as regards the continuation of conventional and nuclear arms race in Europe.

1989-90 can be characterized as the Year of Europe. By the end of 1989, almost all
Soviet Allies in Eastern Europe and Central Europe except Rumania and Albania were
free. In August 1989, the first non-communist government got elected in Poland. By
November 9, 1989, the Berlin Wall had crashed. Elections also took place in Hungary,
GDR and Czechoslovakia. On 29 December 1989 Vaclav Havel took over as the
President of Czechoslovakia. At the Malta summit in December 1989, President
Gorbachev showed readiness to regulate further and move ahead on the START process.
Gewge Bush, the US President, hesitated a bit though he committed US towards a
Chemical Weapon Ban and the required agreement in the future.

1990 was a year full of events. While Europe and the two superpowers were moving
towards peace the Gulf was in flames with the invasion of Kuwait by Iraq on August 2,
1990. Apart from this, in 1990, the WARSAW Pact was dissolved on 3rd March. On
June 1, 1990, US and USSR signed a treaty on the destruction of and non-production of
chemical weapons and on multilateral measures to ban chemical weapons. It was
decided that by 31 December, 1992, all chemical weapons in the world would be
destroyed and' only 5000 tons of agents would be kept. Then, the membership of the
Missiles Technology Control Regime (MTCR) expanded. On November 20, 1990 there
was the Treaty and a Joint Declaration of Conventional Armed Forces (CFF) forever
reducing the nuclear threat in Europe.

Check Your Progress 5

Note : i) Use the space given below for your answers.

ii) Check your answer with the model answers given at the end of the unit.
1) What were the salient features of the Nuclear Arms Race in the Gorbachev era?

9.4.8 1991 to 97 : Nuclear Arms Race after the Collapse of Soviet


1991-92 was a historic year in the sense that due to the collapse of USSR, the enemy
that fueled the arms race for US militarists broke up into 14 new states. Yugoslavia
also broke up and in one stroke the enemy in so far as the US was concerned was gone
and so, the whole political ideologic'al basis of the nuclear arms race.

The Iraqi invasion of Kuwait on 2nd August 1990 led to the launch of US and Allied
coalition attack under UN auspices against Iraq on 17th January, 1991. It ended on 28th
February, 1991 with the complete defeat of Iraq. Arms trade as a result showed a
down-ward trend. In 1991 the total value of global arms trade touched $ 22, 114
million. This .was 20% less than in 1990.
In 1992-93 USA, the Russian Federation, France, and Britain all agreed to halt the Arms Race and Nuclear Threat
nuclear arms race totally except vis-a-vis R & D. At the regional level, there was further
concretization of Europe's complete demilitarization by the signing of the Helsinkl
Document by all Eastern and West European countries. Added to this, there was the
world summit on environment at Rio and UN Secretary General's declaration of the
'Agenda for Peace'.

The peripd between 1993 and 1997 saw two other significant events taking place in~the
nuclear arms race. First, in 1995 the NPT review Conference took place for an
indefinite extension of the treaty and on 24th September 1996, the Comprehensive Test
Ban Traty (CTBT) was up for signature. US and the other nuclear weapons states and
60 other non-nuclear states signed the CTBT. India did not sign either the NPT or
CTBT. The government argued that it did so to keep the nuclear weapons option open.
This position taken by India brings us to the question of nuclear arms race in the Third
World, dealt with in the following section.

.; Check Your Progress 6

Note : i) Use the space given below for your answer.
ii) Check your answer with the model answer given at the end of the unit.
I) Examine the nuclear arms race after the collapse of the USSR.


The nuclear arms race that went on in the First World throughout the Cold War
definitely had its impact on the Third World. The quest of the German Bomb fueled the
r American 'Manhattan Project' initially, and as the Second World War came to a close it
was the Soviet ideological and military power manifest in the occupation of Eastern
Europe that really put Americans firmly on the track of nuclear bomb making.

However, at that time the Allies needed the Soviet Communists to destroy fascist
Germany, Italy and Japan. Stalin's intelligence agencies were well aware of the secret
American nuclear programme and at Postdam, his suspicions were confirmed when
President Roosevelt informed Stalin of a secret weapon. This knowledge fueled the
Soviet desire to build the bomb at a feverish pace to counter the threat form captalist
west. The bombing on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, though not really necessary were also a
veiled threat to Soviets of the American resolve. These events in a way led to the
nuclear arms race. After 1949, when Communist China emerged under Mao, it is
believed that the Chinese through Soviet help (prior to Sino-Soviet split) too got the
nuclear capability and tested in 1964. China was considered a Third World state and one
can see how the ideological and political nature of nations deeply affected their decision
to develop a nuclear capability.
Cold War Period 9.5.1 Acquisition of Nuclear Capability by China and start of Arms
Race in South Asia
Thus, the acquisition of nuclear capability of China in 1964 signalled the beginning of a
nuclear arms race in South Asia. The Indo-Pak conflict was not actually the factor
responsible for India's quest for nuclear capability as many scholars claims, though it
came in much later. The Kashmir conflict and partition and the three subsequent wars in
1948, 1965 and 1971 did fuel the conventional arms race.

9.5.2 India, Pakistan and the Nuclear Arms Race

The nuclew arms race in South Asia however was not of India's making.

It rather came after the massive defeat India suffered at Chinese hands in 1962, which
hit our whole defense and foreign policy. This followed by the news of Chinese
exploding the nuclear device in 1964 shook the Indian political and military
establishment and they decided to develop India's nuclear capability. The decision was
also influenced, perhaps, by the Chinese collusion with Pakistan in the 1950s prior to
the 1962 war. It brought home to the Indian strategists the real possibility of Chinese
and Pakistanis joining hands against India. After 1962, there was thus no looking back
and the nuclear arms race reached South Asia.

When India conducted the Peaceful Nuclear Explosion (PNE) in 1974, the Pakistanis too
decided to go for a nuclear programme. The onset of the Second Cold War with the
Soviet invasion in Afghanistan 1979 put Pakistan on the high priority zone of US in its
fight against communism. It signalled deeper military cooperation and aid to Pakistan
and some say, the beginning of some help even in fledgling Pakistan nuclear weapons

As of now, the South Asian region, is definitely a zone of nuclear competition with
India consciously 'keeping its option open' and not exercising its capability. This is
expressed in its refusal to sign both the Nuclear Proliferation Treaty in the 1995 Review
Conference ahd the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) on 24th September, 1996.

9.5.3 'Domino Theory' in South Asia

The South Asian case amply demonstrates the 'Domino Theory' which fuels nuclear
arms race or any arms race. First, it was the German threat to Europe which made the
US go for the bomb. Then, the Soviet threat made US go in for the bomb again. The
bombings in Hiroshima and Nagasaki led Soviets to acquiring the bomb. The common
threat to world communism led to Soviets helping the new communist state of China in
1949 with nuclear technology which helped China to conduct a nuclear test in 1964.
The Soviets, however, had refused to give nuclear weapon design to China, which
became the cause of Sino-Soviet rift. The Indian defeat in 1962 and Pakistan's collusion
with the Chines led the Indians to develop the nuclear capability by 1974. The Indian
explosion coupled with successive defeats in wars with India led the Pakistanis onto the
bomb. The cases of other third world countries acquiring the bomb in similar; e.g. the
Iraqi and Iranian nuclear programmes. The South African case too is due to perceived
survival threats. The other nuclear capable states are Argentina and Brazil-two major
States in, Latin America.

9.5.4 General Complexion of Arms Race in South Asia

Overall one can say that the third world nuclear arms race is definitely a product of the
nuclear arms race in the first world and the many conflicts within the Third World
sustain it. The cold war military alliance system helped this process. Now, after the
collapse of soviet Union and the massive reduction prior to it and after it in Western
nuclear arsenals, nuclear peace has been brought to the world in the sense that we aren't
always 'living on the edge' of a nuclear holocaust. However, the non-resolution of
conflicts in the Third World, e.g. Indo-Pak conflicts, Arab-Israeli conflict is a definite
reason for the continuance of nuclear arms race in the Third World.
--- -

Check Your Progress 7 Arms Race and Nuclear Threat

Note : i) Use the space given below for your answers.

ii) Check your answer with the model answers given at the end of the wit.
1) What are the factor propelling the arms race in South Asia?

2 ) Briefly comment on India's stand on the nuclear proliferation issue.


We can conclude this unit by recalling a few pertinent points. Thus:
i) The discovery of the.power of the 'atom' in both its creative and destructive
senses was possibly the greatest event in 20th century history. The creation and
blasting of the nuclear bomb by the US demonstrated its power with telling effect.
ii) The ideological conflict between capitalist West and socialist East was the single
biggest factor instigating the nuclear arm race until the collapse of one side i.e., of
the USSR in 1991.
iii) However, despite the demise of Socialist Soviet Union nuclear weapons still
remain the basis for military power and their quest continues by many third world
countries e.g. India, Pakistan, South Africa, Israel, Iran, Iraq and North Korea.
iv) The nuclear threat to humanity remains even today and there is very little hope of
complete disarmament. The only possible way is probably to reduce the number of
warheads and number of nations acquiring this technology for settling their

ABM-Anti-Ballistic Missile System : It is a weapon system designed to defend
against a ballistic attack by intercepting and destroying ballistic missiles and their
warheads in flight.
Cold War Period BMD-Ballistic Missile Defense : Systems capable of intercepting and destroying
nuclear weapons in flight for defense against a ballistic Missile attack.

CFE Tnaty : The h a t y on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe : Negotiated in

the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe (CSCE), a process which began
in 1973 and was signed in 1990 by NATO and WTO countries and came into force on
9 November, 1992.

NATO-North Atlantic h a t y Organisation : Created by the US and its allies in

Western Europe after the Second World War to counter USSR.

WTO-Warsaw %sty Organisation: Created by Soviet Union in 1955 to counter

NATO military alliance. Dissolved in 199 1.

ICBM-Inter Continental Ballistic Missile: Ground launched Ballistic Missile capable

fo delivering a warhead to a target at ranges in excess of 5500 km.

INF-Intermediate Range Nuclear forces: are nuclear forces with a range oflfrom
1000 km. upto and including 5500 kms.

MIRV-Multiple Independently Targetable Re-entry Vehicles: Re-entry vehicles,

carried by a nuclear ballistic missile, which can be directed to separate targets along
separte trajectories (as distinct from MRVs). A missile can carry two or more RVs.

MRV-Multiple Re-entry Vehicles: Re-entry vehicle, carried by a nuclear missile,

directed to the same target as the missile's other RVs.

MAD-Mutual Assured Destruction: Concept of reciprocal deterrence which rests on

the ability of the nuclear weapon powers to inflict intolerable damage on one another
after receiving a nuclear attack.

Open Skies h a t y - A Treaty signed by 25 CSCE states in 1992, permitting flights

by unarmed military or civilian surveillance aircraft over the territory of the signatory
states, in the area from Vancouver to Vladivostock.

SLBM--Submarine Launched Ballistic Missile: A ballistic Missile launched from a

submarine, usually with a range in excess of 5500 kms.

START I TREATY : Strategic Arms Reduction lkeaty : Between USA and USSR to
reduce strategic nuclear weapons.

Strategic Nuclear Weapons : ICBMs, SLBMs and bomber aircraft carrying nuclear
weapons of inter-continental range of usually over 5500 kms.

Doctriae of Deterrence : It theorically means that the most appropriate way to prevent
your enemy employ atomic weapons against you is to put a counter threat by also
possessing the atomic bomb.

Doctrine of Massive Retaliation: Was a strategy of employing nuclear weapons and

outlined by US Secretary of State John Foster Dulles after President Eisenhower took
over from President Truman in 1954. The massive retaliation doctrine was founded on
responding to any communist inspired aggression, however marginal the confrontation,
by means of a massive nuclear strike against major centres in the Soviet Union and

Doctrine of Limited War : Was propounded by Captain Basil Liddel Hart in the late
1940s. He argued in his book 'the Revolution in Warfare' in 1946 that "When both
sides possess atomic power 'total warfare' makes nonsense... Any unlimited war waged
with atomic power would be worse than non-sense, it would be mutually suicidal". He
argued that war should, therefore, be a controlled affair and without barbarous excess.
However, many US strategies criticized his concept of limited war as practically

Doctrine of Flexible Response : Adapted by NATO in 1967 and based on a flexible

and balanced range of appropriate responses, conventional and nuclear, to all levels of
aggression or threats. These responses, subject to appropriate political control, are
designed first to deter aggression and thus preserve peace; but, should aggression Arms Race and Nuclear Threat
unhappily occur, to maintain the security of NATO area within the concept of forward


Lawrence Freedman: The Evolution of Nuclear Strategy.

P:M.S. Blackett: Atomic Weapons and East West Relations.

Hedly Bull : The Control of the Arms Race.

Morton Halperin : Limited War in the Nuclear Age.

Freed Ikle : Can Nuclear Deterrence last out the country?

Robert Jervis : Perceptions and Misperceptions in International Politics.

Herman Kahn : On Escalation : Metaphors and Scenarios.

Henry Kissinger : Nuclear Weapons and Foreign Policy.

Thomas Shelling : Arms and Influence.

- - - - - - - - -


Check Your Progress 1
1) See Section 9.2
2) See Section 9.2 and sub-section 9.2.3

Check Your Progress 2

1) SeeSection9.3

Check Your Progress 3

1) See Section 9.4 and sub-sections 9.4.1 to 9.4.4
2) See Section 9.4 and sub-section 9.4.3

Check Your Progress 4

1) See sub-sections 9.4.5 and 9.4.6
2) See sub-section 9.4.6

Check Your Progress 5

1) See sub-section 9.4.7

Check Your Progress 6

1) See sub-section 9.4.8

Check Your Progress 7

1) See Section 9.5
2) See Section 9.5 and sub-section 9.5.2
10.0 Objectives
10.1 Introduction
10.2 The Rationale of Disarmament i
10.3 Brief History of Disarmament
Disarmament Agreements and Treaties
Concept of Peace
10.6 Peace Movements
10.7 India, and Peace Movement and Disarmament
10.7.1 lndia and NPT
10.7.2 lndia and CTBT
10.8 Let Us Sum Up
10.9 Key Words
10.10 Some Useful Books
10.1 1 Answers to Check Your Progress Exercises

Disarmament and peace are the desired goal of humanity. After going through this unit
you would be in position to :
dcffne the concepts of disarmament and peace;
trace the hisotry of the movements for disarmament and peace in the world; and
discuss India's role and views on disarmament treaties so far signed.

The word disarmament means the reduction or disbandment by a state of its military
forces and weapons. The disarmament may be self imposed, externally imposed or due
to international or regional treaties. Disarmarncnt may again be partial or general. Partial
disarmament stands for the reduction of special types of weapons which are generally
considered to be more dangerous. General and complete disarmament stands for
abolition of all kinds of weapons. Though the general disarmament is the ideal position,
the partial disarmament is the pragmatic approach. The present advocates of
disarmament generally talk in terms of partial disarmament. Reductions deadly weapons .
is the immediate goal while the general disarmament is the ultimate goal.


The concept of disarmament his originated from an understanding that weapons are the
source of tcnsion which at times create wars. The stock piling of arms instills mutual
fear and hastility into interstate relations. It is being argued that in order to stop wars or
hostilities and to develop trust between thc states, the weapons, which are considered to
be the root of all these evils, are required to be eliminated.
Disarmament is necessary for maintaining peace and progress of the human civilization.
The increasing stockpiles of armaments, continuing enlargement of the armed forces and
the growing investment for research and dcvelopment of the weapon technology of the
world pose fresh threats to peace and development of the human race. The invention
and development of nuclear weapons have posed the threat of total annihilation of the
human race in the event of another world war. All these have made the people more
conscious about disarmament because only the elimination of these weapons can ease
the tension in the world and remove the fear of any world wide holocaust. The
i invention and development of sophisticated military technology has made all countries Disarmament and Peace
- vulnerable. None can be self-sufficient in defense. It is impossible for any single
country to defend itself from the attack of any other country. So disarmament is the
only way to make the world safe. The increasing investment in the military industry is
also consuming money and useful resources which otherwise could be diverted to the
development sectors. In the context of the growing poverty in large parts of the world,
the increasing investment in military industry can further increase the poverty and
accentuate the social tension in every society of the world. The huge expenditure in the
defence sector can only be stopped or decreased if the disarmament at least of partial
type is achieved.

Check Your Progress 1

Note : i) Use the space given below for your answers.

ii) Check your answer with the model answer given at the end of the unit.
1) Discuss in details the rationale for disarmament.


The concept of disarmament is an old one. It has been in use as an instrument to

achieve international security for a long time. Its dated history can be traced back to
546 B.C. when warring Chinese principalities met in a conference and signed a
disarmament agreement to end protracted wars between them.
With the beginning of the modern period the urge for disarmament increased among the
big powers. Several attempts were made by the Western powers and Russia. But none of
these attempts could become successful because of deep rooted suspicions against the
big powers. So the moves for disarmament were so designed that interests of the
proposers could be protected. Not all disarmaments efforts ended in failure. Probably the
first disarmament agreement in the modern age which still continuing was the one
signed in 1817 by the Great Britain and the USA known as the Rush-Bagot Agreement
it sought to demilitarize the Canadian American Frontier.
In 1899 first international disarmament conference was held in Hague. All European
major powers attended the conference which ended without much success. However, it
passed resolutions proscribing certain type of deadly weapons, and asking the states to
limit the military expenses so that more funds could be diverted for developmental
purpose. The second international disarmament conference was held again in Hague in
1907. The conference failed lo stop the contemporary growing arms race.
When First World War broke out in 1914, all waring countries broke their commitments,
and undertakings which had been given by them in different conferences and meetings.
After the war, the first international organisation, named the League of Nations was
established in 1920. It served as a forum for holding discussions on the issues
connected with the disarmament. Disarmament had been one of the cherished goals of
League of Nations, under the auspices of the League conferences were held, studies on
disarmament were sponsored. The League of Nations convened the first World
Disarmament Conference in 1932. The Conference however contributed to augment the
process of disarmament.
Disarmament conferences were also held outside the League of Nations. The United
States organised a Naval Conference in Washington in 1922. The Washington Naval
Conference ended with a treaty which limited the size of warships, imposed restrictions
on the building of warships and aircrafts for ten years. The treaty also banned the
indiscriminate raising of naval bases in the Pacific.
Cold War Period The large scale destruction in Second World War and the devastating impact of the
explosion of atom bombs on Japan again made the people anxious for the world peace
and disarmament. The war ended with formation of the new world body, known as the
United Nations, (UN). The UN General Assembly in its very first session in 1946
founded the United Nations Atomic Energy Commission (UNAEC), which was asked to
make specific recommendations for the elimination of weapons. The UN General
Assembly also called the UNAEC to prepare plan for the peaceful use of the atomic
energy for the developmental purpose.

Check Your Progress 2

Note : i) Use the space given below for your answers.

ii) Check your answer with the model answers given at the end of the unit.
1) Who signed the first disarmament agreement and when?

,) Write short notes on:

a) Rush-Bagot Agreement

b) Hague Disarmament Conference

c) First World Disarmament Conference


d) U.N.A.E.C.


In the wake of the Second World war efforts for disarmament increased. Immediately
after the war, the USA put forward a proposal, named as the Baruch Plan. In response
to the US plan, the USSR came out with the Gromyko Plan which was diametrically Disarmament and Peace
opposed to the Baruch Ptan. After the failure of these plans, more plans were proposed Movement
by both the sides. In 1955 the USA proposed the Open Skies Plan. It was also rejected.
The plahs and proposals so far advocated by the different powers were so designed that
the proposer's monopoly over its weapons remained frozen indefinitely.
However the disarmament movement started registering progress from the early 1960's.
In 1950's both the USA and the USSR were placed under new administration. In USA
General Eisenhower came in power following presidential election in 1952 and in the
USSR due to Stalin's death a new leadership emerged. Besides, the USSR acquired the
capability of making of nuclear weapons. It brought the USSR near to the nuclear
capability of the USA. These developments created the way to achieve some success in
In 1963 an agreement was signed. It has banned the nuclear tests in the atmosphere (in
outer space and under water). In 1967 another agreement was signed to stop the
deployment of the nuclear weapon in outer space. Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty was
signed in 1968. The treaty has banned the acquisition of nuclear power capability by
non-nuclear nations. The treaty was not signed by a few countries including India. India
has termed the treaty as discriminatory. In 1971 another treaty was brought into the
world book of statute, which has banned the deployment of nuclear arms in sea bed and
ocean floor. In 1972 the convention on banning the biological weapons was held.
SALT-I and SALT-I1 were signed in 1972 and 1979 respectively. Strategic Arms
Limitation Talks (SALT) began in early 1970's between the USA and the USSR. The
h ~ s SALT
t agreement was signed in 1972. It is a treaty limiting the stockpiling of the
Antiballistic Missile systems (ABM). The negotiations for SALT-I1 had started in 1974
and ended in 1979 with the signing of the agreement by the USA and the USSR. As per
the terms, the high contracting states agreed to destroy a portion of the arms in their
arsenals. However, the treaty has remained non-ratified. The American senate did not
ratify the treaty. But it was ~mplementedwithout official sanctions. Another non-ratified
treaty is the threshold Test Ban Treaty which was signed in 1974 by the USA and the
USSR. It prohibited all tests with a yield of 150 kilotons. In 1987 the Intermediate
Range Nuclear forces (INF) was signed between the USA and the USSR. The Treaty
sanctioned for the destruction of intermediate range land-based nuclear weapons, stocked
by both countries. All these agreements though have not made the world free from
deadly weapons, have registered some progress towards the desired goal of

Check Your Progress 3

I Note : i) Use the space given below for your answers.

ii) Check your answer with the model answer given at the end of the unit.

1) Write short notes on :

a) NPT

Cold War Period
Peace is an eternal desire of a human being. It is considered to be one of the highest
values of life. The quotations like "Peace at any price", "The most disadvantageous
peace is better than the most just war." "Peace is more important than all justice." "I
prefer the most unjust peace to the justest war that was ever waged." "There never was
a good war or bad peace." Show-how precious peace has been. The New Testament
defines peace as absence of dissension, violence of war. Peace is also considered as
concord, harmony, agreement between the two or more, tranquillity, quiet, etc. Peace is
contrary to antagonistic hostilities, violence or war. Peace is freedom from or the
cessation of war. It is a state of freedom from war.

A large number of peace concepts, proposals and plans have been put forward so far for
the realisation of the everlasting peace-an eternal dream of the human being. In order
to achieve peace many plans have been contemplated. Proposals for establishing
federations of states, signing of treaties between and over nations and people, setting up
of courts of arbitration, reforming the legal system and many other proposals have so
far been advocated.

The concept of peace changes in response to the charge in the context and characters of
the ages. In medieval Europe the concept of peace was identified with the slogan of the
unification of the Christian world against the invasions of the 'infidels'. The concept of
peace was given communal orientations. During the same period a few scholars of
course talked about secular peace. In the subsequent ages the peace concept became
more secular and acquired universal contents. In the wake of the industrial revolution in
England peace was demanded because it was found to be helpful for the development 4
of capitalist society. In the years of Revolution the French people gave different
orientation to the concept of peace. Reason and basic human rights became the i
contents of the concept of peace. With the emergence of national states the idea of
federation of states or fations and the system of arbitration in international relations
started coming to the fore.
When the wars began to be considered as patriotic acts and accordingly people were
being mobilized to fight in the wars, people started becoming aware of the necessity for
peace. Peace now became the people's concern.

In 19th century peace societies and movements began to come up and international
peace conferences and organisations were founded for the first time. With the birth of 1

Marxism and Marxist movements in mid 19th century a new approach took birth in the
peace movement. It is being propagated that peace can be achieved only through the
basic social transformation of the society. A classless society is only capable to establish i

Today we have two concepts of peace, which are offered to each other-Bourgeois
concept and Marxist concept. 1

Check Your Progress 4

Note : i) Use the space below for your answer.

ii) Check your answer with the model answer given at the end of the unit.
1) Why the people desire for peace?
Disarmament and Peace

The publication of Saint-Simoan's "The Reorganization of ~ u r o ~ e aSociety"

n' cGncided
with the foundation of the peace societies. The first peace society was founded in the
United States. Europe followed the suit. Early peace societies were engaged in the
debates over the issues like just and unjust wars, need of violence, colonialism, etc.
Debates gradually arose over the subjects such as linking peace with social issues, like
the slavery, the emancipation of women, universal education and other human rights.

The national peace societies gradually felt the need of international movement. From
mid 19th century international peace conferences began to be held. These international
congresses debated over the issues of establishing world organisation of nations and of
setting up of the international ,our? of arbitration to solve the conflict. These peace
congresses also discussed the questions of freedom of the colonial peoples. The
individualists, came out with the concept that peace would be achieved by implementing
the principle of free trade among the states. However, all these organisations and the
peace movements were domina~edby liberal democrats who passed many radical
decisions but failed to implement any of the decisions.

In 1870, the followers of Marxism established the first International (The International
Working Men's association). The Marxists consider that the transformation of society is
the principal object of the working class movement and the transformed society can
only guarantee the world peace. The state International passed a historic resolution
which states that :

"The burden of war is borne mainly by the working class, in as much as war does
not only deprive the workers of the means of subsistence but compels them to shed
one another's blood. Armed peace paralyses the forces of production, asks the
workers nothing but useless labour peace, which it is the first requisite of general
well-being, must be consolidated by a new order of things which shall no longer
recognise in society and existence of two classes, one of which is exploited by

The inception of the Marxist peace movement added a new dimension in the odgoing
peace movement and rested the leadership of the movement from the idealist leaders of
the movement.

By the beginning of the 20th century, a large number of peace societies had emerged on
the international arena. But these societies failed to stop the breaking out of the First
World War in 1914. During the war, most of the peace societies gave up their idealistic
universal stand and responded to the nationalist call. After the War, new proposals and
plans like Lenin's Decrees on peace, President Wilson's Fourteen Points, etc., were
placed before the world. But the Second World War could not be stopped. The Second
World war was most horrifying and most murderous weapon, the atom bomb was used
in the war for the first time. The war has left a horrifying impact on the people of the
world. The war ended with the beginning of a new age named as Nuclear Age. The new
age gave birth to new fears and also dangers of total destruction of the civilisation if the
nuclear war ever broke out. Thus the fears of nuclear war give birth to new peace
concepts, new debates and new movements.

After the Second World War peace movement turned into a mass movement under the
auspices of the World Peace Council. In different countries of the world the Council
developed the organisational network. These organisations propagated the ideals of
world peace. The writers, philosophers, artists of world fame joined this movement.
Even Burtrand Russel the famous novelist cum philosopher also joined this movement.
But the United States went on condemning the emerging peace movement in the post
world war period as the ploy of the USSR and the communists. Despite the
condemnation, the movement spread for and wide in the world. Now there are several
peace organisations, which are not only propagating the ideals of peace, they have also
added an academic dimension to the movement by encouraging research and identifying
the problems and other connected issues. Many organizations are working as the think
. tank for the peace movement.
Cold War Period Check Your Progress 5

Note : i) Use the space below for your answer.

ii) Check your answer with the model answer given at the end of the unit.
1) What is the Marxist concept of peace?


India is a peace loving nation. It achieved independence from centuries old British
colonial rule through peaceful non-violent movements. India has a long tradition of
peace and apathy towards war of any kind. Ashoka the Great renounced the use of
weapon and abandoned the principles of war. This is one of the earliest examples of
disarmament. Till the arrival of the Europeans in India, the Kings had fought wars and
battles. But these battles did not affect the lives and properties of the common citizens.
Pursuing the tradition of peace, India at the very dawn of its independence declared
peace as the cornerstone of its policies. In 1954 India took the initiative to ban the
nuclear tests. India's first Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru proposed at the U.N. a
standstill agreement in respect of the atomic tests. He knew that the total destruction of
the existing weapons was not possible, so he wanted to stop the tests so that there might
not be further escalation of nuclear weapons. Many countries of the world supported the
view, but the big powers hardly paid any heed to the proposal. However, the proposal
set the ball of disarmament in motion and countries in the UN became vocal in support
of peace and disarmament. Consequently from early 1960s new initiatives towards the
direction of disarmament started.

10.7.1 India and NPT

The Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) was concluded in 1967, kept open for
signature in 1968 and was promulgated in 1970 for a period of 25 years. The NPT has
been extended unconditionally and indefinitely by its Review and Extension Conference
held in New York from 17th April to 12th May, 1995. The 1995 Conference has not
suggested any change, alteration or modification of its provisions. The Conference even
has not produced any review document. 178 states signed the treaty and 13 countries
including India did not sign the NPT.

'The NPT appears to be a pious attempt to stop the proliferation of nuclear weapon
technology. Its contents, however, bear ample evidences to establish the fact that the five
nuclear states who are also the veto-wielding permanent members of the Security
Council, intend to monopolise the nuclear technology and to establish their hegemony
over the world. The NPT demands that the present non nuclear states, and the states
which are on the threshold of acquiring the nuclear capability must stop the research
and making of nuclear weapons. India objected to such a treaty calling it
discriminatory. India has categorically declared that it will not sign the Treaty in its
present form because its indefinite extension only serves to perpetuate its discriminatory
aspects which have created a division between the nuclear "haves" and "have nots".

10.7.2 India and CTBT

The concept of Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty was mentioned in the NPT. The CTBT
has been planned to realise the objective of general and complete nuclear disarmament.
The CTBT in present form, however, is not intended to make the weapon free world
free from nuclear weapons. It would neither actually reduce the number of nuclear . Disarmament and Peace
weapons, nor decrease the present offensive capabilities of the nuclear weapon states. * Movement
The treaty asks the non-nuclear states not to go for testing of nuclear devices thus
I preventing them from emerging as nuclear capable states. It has no provision for
reducing the nuclear capabilities of the weapon states. Like the NPT, the CTBT too
1 wants to divide the world into nuclear haves and have-nots. India has, therefore, not
signed the CTBT.

After the CTBT was ratified in 1996, negotiations on another treaty to cut off fissile
material production have started in January, 1997. The proposed Fissile Material
production Cut-off Treaty (FMCT) seeks to put a cut-off point in the sphere of fissile
material production. India has refused to be a party in the FMCT. It has opposed the
treaty on the same grounds that India put forward while opposing the NPT and the
In fact all the three treaties have been planned in a way that the nuclear weapon states
can control the nuclear technology and maintain their hegemony over the world. These
treaties will not deter the weapon states to sharpen and improve their technology.
Because they have reached a stage, now they can further improve their technology
through computer and other indoor tests which have not been banned. They are also not
willing to destroy the existing weapons within a time frame.

These treaties, therefore, are not in a position to eliminate the nuclear weapons leading
to general and complete disarmament.

' Check Your Progress 6

Note : i) Use the space below for your answer.
ii) Check your answer with the model answer given at the end of the unit.
1) Why does India refuse to sign the NIT, CTBT and FCCT?


Though the armaments are the cause of tension and war, the nation-states are reluctant
to disband the arms. Both from political and economic points of view, the states are
compelled to pile up the stock of arms. Consequently, disarmament proposals are being

The efforts for reduction of arms to ensure peace in the world during the inter war
period and during the Cold War years have failed to check the stockpiling and
inventions of more sophisticated and deadly weapons. India though the initiator of the
disarmament movement, has refused to sign of the NIT, CTBT, etc., because of their
discriminatory character.

Antiballistic Missile Systems: 'Defensive Strategy, in which missiles are deployed to
counter the incoming missiles.
Fissile: It is capable of undergoing nuclear fission, fission means the action of dividing
or splitting matter into two or more parts.
NPT: Treaty to check the horizontal proliferation of Nuclear weapon states.
Cold War Period
F.H. Hindley, 1963, Power and the Pursuit of Peace, Cambridge.

Istvan Kende, The History of Peace ; Concept and Organisations from the Late Middle .
Ages to the 1870s in Journal of Peace Research, Vol. 26, No. 3, 1989.

Ghanshyam Paradesi (ed.) : 1982, Contemporary Peace Research, New Delhi.

S.J.R. Bilgrami, The Arms Race and Disarmament, New Delhi.


Check Yaur Progress 1

Inventions of deadly weapons, destruction in wars, devastating impact of the explosion

of atom bomb on Japan during the closing days of the Second World War and the need
of more resources for socio-economic development in the developing world are some of
basic reasons for disarmament.

Check Yotlr Progress 2

1) Different Chinese Independent rulers in 546 B.C.

2) a) Signed between the USA and the Great Britain in 1817 to demilitarise US-
Canada border. It is still in vogue.
b) Hague Disarmament Conferences were held once in 1899 and again in 1909.
Pirst Conference prescribed the use of certain deadly weapons. It emphasised
on reducing the military budget and increasing the developmental budget.
Second Conference failed to stop the on going arms race.
First World Disarmament Conference was held in 1932 under the auspices of .!
c) j
the League of Nations. It passed certain pious resolutions. 4i
d) The UN founded the UNAEC (United Nations Atomic Energy Commission) in
1946. It was asked to prepare a plan for peaceful use of atomic power.

Check Your Progress 3 I

a) Nude@ Non-Proliferation Treaty, first signed in 1968 for twenty five years. Again
signed in 1995 for indefinite period. India has not yet signed the treaty because
India considers it discriminatory.
b) SALT I + I1 signed between the USA and the USSR. It is Strategic Armed
Limitation Treaty.

Check Your Progress 4

Peace is necessary for the even development of the human civilization

Check Yout. Progress 5

Classless transformed society can only guarantee the world peace.

Check Your Progress 6

Because the treaties are discriminatory, they have divided the world into nuclear haves
and have-notes states.


I structure
Causes for decolonization
~ o ~ o N & o I b~ e s s
11.3.1 LatinAmerica
11.3.2 Deoolonizatim After thc Secand World War
11.3.3 South M c a
Impact of Decolonization
Let Us Sum Up
Key Words
Some Useful Books
Answers to Check Your Progress Exercise8

- - - -

I Decolonisation heralded the independence of the colonies and marks an important phase
in world history. After going through the unit, you will be able to :
I trace the cause of decolonisation
ii explain the patterns of struggle in winning independence, and
l understand the role of the international organisations in the decolonisation process.

Colonialism appeared on the political horizon of the globe when European nations like
Great Britain. France.Portugal. Spain and Holland build their empires over Asia, Africa
and Latin America. The European powers exploited the resources of what came to be
lcnown as the third world countries and subjugated their people for about four centuries
by their colonial and imperialist policies. The exploitation inevitably provoked its own
contradictions in the fonn of national liberation and democratic movements. During the
inter-war period (1919-1939) the colonies questioned the right of the coloniser to
, colonize and oppress the people of the third world. The process of decolonisarion was
accelerated with the end of Second World War and the establishment of the United

Although the general &ework of colonial 'policies was economic exploitation and
political subjugation, each colonial power followed specific policies in respect of their
c6lonies. Likewise, while nationalist movements arose in almost all the colonies, the
patterns of their.struggle varied. Some colonies attained independence through
~0II~tihltionalmeans, while in some others, nationalism, attained a militant f m . While
some nationalist movements worked within the liberal democratic h e w o r k , yet solae
others adopted the Marxist ideology' as their guiding philosophy. Post colonial political
processes also varied according to the ideologies and nature of national liberation
movements in the respective countries.
Emergence of the
Even before the Second World War, modem nationalism clocked as anti-imperialist
movements arose in different colonies. It was a sense of identification with and pride in
the nation state, as well as also the quest for power and national self-fulfillment. The
birth of national organization in different colonies consolidated the national movements
for independence. The psycological ongins of nationalism are to be found in the fact ,

that the introduction of European authority v d culture disrupted the traditional life and
institutions of the colonies. Those natives (as'they were called by the white man) who
received western education and were alienated from their own traditional milieu were
never really treated as equals of the white man. It was among these elements that one
finds the first signs of nationalist revolt. The superior economic and social status of the
Europeans provoked a sense of revolt among the western educated elites of colonies. It
is these 'elites' who first raised the banner of revolt and provided the leadership in the
nationalist movements in the colonies.

Christian missionaries, Cath~licand Protestant, spreading Christianity under the imperial

banner, preached the ideals of universal brotherhood and love. The 'natives' who
received missionary education questioned the right of colonisers to treat them as .
inferiors. The ideals of the French Revolution influenced the minds of the elite who
imbibed the values of democracy and freedom.

Another ideology that made a powerful appeal to the oppressed of colonies was
Marxism, Communists were influencing the nationalist movements in different colonies
and were endeavouring to convert the same into communist movements. Western
nations were being dubbed as imperialists and exploiters by the socialist camp. This
emboldened the nationalist movements in the colonies and they were progressively
veering towards the socialist camp. This emboldened the nationalist movements in the
colonies and they were progressively veering towards the socialist block in whom they
saw a sympathizer and a saviour.

The profound involvement of the United Nations in the post Second was period
compelled the imperialist powers to withdraw from their colonies. The credit for the
success of decolonisation and expansion of the world community goes to the UN. The
UN has played a significant role by encouraging the aspirations of dependent people
and by setting goals and standards which accelerated assistance to attain their freedom.

Apart from these external clauses there were three current of thought, rather ideologies,
which expressed the nationalist aspirations of Afro-Asian people. One such current was
the rise of Islam. As a non-European religion, Islam had an appeal and a tremendous
propaganda value with its simple and democratic creed. In those Muslim countries
which were colonised, Islam separated the natives from the Europeans. The pride of
Islamic faith and the duty it imposes on Muslims to fight infidels gave a certain
militancy to anti-colonial movements in Islamic countries. The contact with the west
provoked an intellectual ferment and Islamic fraternity and solidarity.

The second of these currents of thought was Asiatism, centuries of Dutch colonial
oppression in Indonesia and British in India, gave rise to nationalist sentiments and a
' certain sense of unity among the people. The Indian National Congress was formed in

the year 1885 to lead the national moment. Other colonies such as Malaya, Indonesia
and Burma refused to accept political suppression. Japan became an Asiatic strength and
power. Though it was an imperialist power, it raised the slogan of 'Asia for Asians' in .
order to garb its imperialist ambition and to carry the Asians along with it. In China.
Sun-yatden led the nationalist revolt in 1911, which was followed by a long civil war
and the final victory of the communist forces.

The third of these currents of Lhought was 'pan-Africanism*.By the end of the 19th
Century, Africans were questionalist the European domination. The ideals and aspirations
of the peoples of Africa was expressed in terms of pan-Africanism. Marcus Garvey was
its most celebrated exponent. Du Boix was another champion of pan-Africanism and
made the League of Nations adopt a charter of Human rights for Africans. In later years Colonialism & Patterns
Nikrumah of Ghana, became the leading ideologue of pan-Africanism. of National Llberatlon
After the end of First World War, the victorious powers, in a novel way, put the colonial
temtories under the mandatory system of the League of Nations. Article 22 of the
Treaty of Versallies 1919, dealt with the future of these temtories. Depending upon the
varying degree of evolution, geographic factors, and economic situation these temtories
were divided into three different categories A, B, C, and placed under the mandate
of the Allied Powers. In general the people of these temtories were to be led to self-
determination. The mandatory council of League of Nations was charged with the
responsibility of supervising the administration of these territories. In 1917, A.J. Balfour,
British Foreign Secretary, made his statement that a national place for the Jewish people
would be found in politics without any prejudice to the civil ahd religious rights of
existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine. The eventful establishment of the state of
Israel in 1948 and the rise of militant Arab Nationalism have made the middle East one
of the most sensitive areas in the East West conflict.
Check Your Progress 1
Note : i) Use the space below for your answers.
ii) Check your progress with the model answer given at the end of the unit.

1) What are the causes for the rise of national liberation movements?

2) Explain the ideological framework within which national liberation movements



The term 'decolonisation' is likely to give the impression that process of gaining
independence was a peaceful one. However, this has been so. Colonisation itself was a
violent process involving deceit, war and simple annexations by the colonial powers.
The independence of the colonies was won by the people strugging in various forms. In
some countries the p e s s was relatively peaceful as in some of the French colonies of
Afiica like Senegal, the Ivory Coast in West Africa and in some British colonies such as
Nigeria, Ghana etc. Some of the countries attained independence through the intervention
of international organisations - the League of Nations and the United Nations.

Mandated tenitones under the League of Nations such as Syria, Palestine, Lebanon, Iraq,
Tanganyika, Rwanda, Burundi, Cameroon, Pacific territories etc. either became indepen-
dent or were placed under the Trusteeship council of the United Nations. The aims of
these organisation was to lead these territories to self determination an! eventually to
independence. Most of them attained independence except South West Africa (now
Namibia) which was under the Trusteeship of South Afiica which pursued the policy of

In the African colonies of Portugal - Angola, Mozambique, Guinea Bissau - there was a
long drawn armed struggle and they could not h o m e independent until 1974 when
Portugal herself witnessed a democratic revolution that overthrew the military dictator
Emergence of the- The former French colony of Algeria too had to put up an armed struggle for seven
Thlrd World \ long years from 1954 to 1961, while Morocco and Tunisia attained independence with
comparative ease. The opposition of the French settlers in Algeria to its independence
resulted in a violent struggle under the leadership of Ben Bella and Ferhat Abbas of
National Liberation Front of Algeria (FNLA).

11.3.1 Latin America

In Latin America, independence was achieved by the Spanish and Portuguese colonies
such before the African and Asian colonies. Revolutionary movements started in the
Spanish colonies of Mexico and elsewhere and wars of independence developed in
Veneaela. Argentina etc. by the early 19th century. By 1825 Spain lost her vast empire
except Cuba and Puerto Rico. Unlike the North American struggle against the English.
against the English which led to the Thirteen colonies becoming the United States, the
Spanish American revolts and wars of independence paved the way for seventeen
separate republics.

Cuba and Puerto Rico continued under the corrupt rule of the Spanish until the United
States became involved in the Cuban movement against Spain. Cuba not only fought a
revolutionary was of independence against Spain, but also against US domination. The
US drove Spain out of Cuba in 1898, but US investors then attained a dominant
position in the island so that Cuba lost control over her own economic resources.
Under the leadership of Fidel Castro, Cuba fought a guerrilla was against the dictatorial
regime of Batista and overthrew him in December 1958. Later Castro expropriated US
property, sought Soviet support and established a regime inspired by Marxism -
Leninism. The ideological conflict between the United States and Cuba continues to this
day even in the post Cold War era.

As early as 1823, the United States assumed the role of arbiter of the New World
through the famous Munro doctrine, which, while recognizing the existing colonies ar
dependencies of h p e a n powers refused to permit any future colonization by any
European power. This was, in fact, a part of British and American manoeuvres to
promote their rival interests in Latin America.

11.3.2 Decolonisation after the Second World War

The process of decolonisation was accelerated after the Second World War. Some of the
colonial temtories like French, Indo-China, Dutch Indonesia, British Malaya and Italian
East Africa were occupied by enemy conquest and were virtually cut off from their
colonial governors. The Japanese occupation of South East Asia provided a filip to the
nationalist sentiments and movements in the region by driving out the Western
colonialists, removing them from strategic positions in the colonial administration and
replacing many of these with natives. Finally, though quits authoritarian and oppressive
the eventual collapse of the Japanese gave the nationalists an opportunity to seize the
arms left by the defeated armies and gave a militant thrust to their struggles. Indonesia
and Vietnam proclaimed theh independence in this way. The Indonesian nationalists
had to fight a long struggle for four years against the Dutch to gain their independence.
In both cases, an open war was fought between the colonial power and the nationalist
forces. In Vietnam, under the leadership of Viet Minh, after the 1954 cease-fire, the
French withdrew from the northern parts of the country. In the South, a non-Communist
government was installed. Later the French presence was replaced by the Americans. The
long drawn heroic struggle of the Vietnamese against American imperialism is a legend
in itself.

The most far-reaching historical outcome of World War I1 was undoubtedly the precipi-
tate liquidation of nineteenth century empires and the contraction of Europe. The most
momentous event was indeed the independence of India in 1947. The various present
the independence of India in 1947. The various present and ebal revolts against the
British and local land lords in different parts of the country and the rebellion of 1857,
ccmtributed to the rise of a nationalist Movement. The establishment of Indian National
Congrass gave an organisational expression to the movement.
Indian Nationalism was strongly influenced by Gandhi whose tenets were non-violence
and non-cooperation. Gandhiss enrry turned the movement into a mass movement. The
transfer of power in India was facilitated after the labour Government came to power in
Britain, though the vivisection of the country into India and Pakistan could not be
avoided. The Cabinet Mission attempted to fmd a constitutional settlement. The
partition of British India became investable. Although partition was not peaceful, it
paved the way for the establishment of the Constitution.

Among the British African colonies, Gold Coast (Ghana since independence) and Nigeria
became the pioneers of independence. In March 1957 the Gold Coast togethex with the
Trust territory of Togo land became the independent state of Ghana with dominion
status within the Commonwealth. Nknunah,its Prime Minister, was a champion of
African independence and an exponent of Post Africanism. The federation of Nigeria
attained complete independence in 1960. . .

11.33 South Africa

The struggles of the African People in South Africa and Namibia &me special
attention in the history of decolonisation. Historically, the Dutch were the fmt to settle
in South Africa in 1652 on the site of what is today modem Cape Town. The area of
White settlement extended more rapidly in the first half of the 19th century with the
coming of the British and the establishment of British colonial rule in the Cape Town
in 1806, the Dutch settling Africaners were forced to leave the Cape and go north of the
Orange river - culminating in the mass exodus, the Great Trek, in 1830s. This resulted
in the formation of two independent Africaner republics, Orange Free State and transval,
and the new British colony of Natal. In each of these, as in Cape Colony, racially
stratified society developed with Whites assuming a position of dominance and the
African being reduced to a state of serfdom. Although the declared policy of the British
in the Cape and Natal was against discrimination, in practice, however, a property
qualification restricted the franchise largely to Whites. In the Dutch Afrikaner republics,
Africans were denied franchise, debarred from acquiring ownership of land in the Orange
Free State and obliged to carry passes within the White occupied areas of Transval. The
discovery of diamonds at Kimberly and large deposits of gold in the Transval after the
end of the 19th century led to a scramble for control of these areas between the Dutch
and the British, eventually leading to the defeat of the Dutch and the formation of the
Union of South Africa in 1910, bringing together the Afrikaner.repub1ics of Orange Free
State, Transval, Cape Colony and Natal. The Union of South Africa attained Dominion
status and later became a sovereign independent state within the British Empire in
1934. In 1961 it broke its links with Great Britain, and left the Commonwealth to
become a Republic.

The racist Government - the Apartheid regime - of South Africa denied even the most
basic human rights to the Africans. The regime received support from many Western
Governments which had strategic and economic interest in South Africa. As the African
people had no legal rights nor freedom, opposition to the regime had to be clandestine.
As the apartheid regime became increasingly brutal, African opposition to it also gained
militancy. African resistance which began as cultural resistance to the White, eventually
took the form of African National Congress in 1923 and Nelson Mandela emerged as its

C1 legendary leader. He was sentenced to life imprisonment following the Rivonia trail in
1963. Third world countries and the Non Aligned Movement supported the South
African cause in international fora. In the eighties and early nineties the increasing
international pressure both within the UN and from the Third World forced the Western
nations to concede some of the demands of African countries. This forced the apartheid
regime to agree to negotiate with African opposition. In 1993 Nelson Mandela was
released from jail. After prolonged negotiations, elections were held in 1994. Thus, with
the parliamentary elections, power was transferred to the black majority.

The former German colony of South West Africa (Namibia) came under the Mandate of
South Africa. When the UN succeeded the League of Nations, south Africa claimed the
Trusteeship over South West Africa, thus extending apartheid to the territory. The UN
lrleclated South African occupation as illegal and in 1967 the UN established the

Emergence of the Council for Namibia to administer the territory. After a long drawn struggle put by the
ThM World South Western African Peoples' Organization (SWAPO) and the implementation of UN
resolutions, South West Africa attained independence to become Namibia.

Check Your Progress 2

Note. i) Use the space below for your answers.
ii) Check your progress with the model answer given at the end of the unit.

1) ; Distinguish between the various national movements in the Third World.

2) Write note on the Anti-Apartheid movement in South Africa.


As a sequel to decolonization and expansion of international community, international
relations assumed a truly international character. After decolonization new and sovereign
nations emerged in Asia, Africa and Latin America. These states became the battlefield
of ideological competition and cold war. Their international importance was certainly
heightened by this competition during the cold war. Naturally they opted for a foreign
policy of neutralism in this period. They followed nonalignment as a symbol of new
national prestige and dignity. They had articulated a new identity through their foreign
policy orientation. Another important outcome is that the operation and working of
UNO has undergone a sea-change owing to the presence of Afro-Asian nations. The
United Nations has also reiterated their importance by openly aligning itself with the
cause of their rising expectations. These countries have used the forum of the UN for
pressing their demands on economic issues.


The rise of colonialism marks an ,important chapter in the history of the world as it
changed the relations between different parts of the world. Decolonisation as well as
anti-imperialist struggles of the colonies gave rise to what is referred to as the Third
world. These nationalist, anti-imperialist movements varied from country to country in
their specifics. This was due to the patterns of colonial policies and their impact on
colonial societies. There were those colonies which became independent through
constitutional procedures and reforms; there were some which achieved independence
through m e d liberation struggles. Some attained independence due to international
pressures and the intervention of organisations such as the League of Nations. However,
these differences should not be over-emphasized. Ractically all clones experienced
violent oppression by the colonial powers. Even for those countries which attained
independence through constitutional reforms it would be false to say that these struggles
were always peaceful. Armed struggles became inevitable in some colonies due to the
intransigence of colonial powers. However, there were ideological frameworks which
differed depending upon the nature of the elite, national leaders and the participation of
the people.
Colonialism & Patterns
11.6 KEY WORDS of Natloaal Llberatlon
Apartheid : Policy of the racial s e w o n . It had been practised in South
African white people towards the black people.
Colonialism : A policy of acquiring and maintaining foreign country as
colony and of exploiting it for the interest of the colonial


I A. Vandana 1995 : Theory of International Politics; Vikas pl;blishing Co, New Delhi.
Hari Sharan Chabra: UN and Decolonisation World Focus No. 149, May 1992.
I Henri Grimal, 1%5 : Decolonisation, the British, French, Dutch and Belgian Empires
1919-1963; London.
Immanuel Wallertein 1%1 : Africa : the Politics of Independence, Vintage Body, New
York, Ny.

' Rama S. Melkote 1992 : International Relations; Sterling Publishem Pvt. Ltd., New



Check Your w e & 1

1. Exploitative character of foreign rule competed with the progressive developments
in the international arena which are basically responsible for'the rise of national
2. Ideologies like liberation, Marxism and many other progressive ideologies provid-
ed the framework.

Check Your Progress 2

1. There had not been an uniform national movement throughout the world. National
P movements emerged in different countries in the context of the ground realities of
the country concerned
2. It is basically a non-violent movement backed by the progressive world.

Structure I
12.0 Objectives
12.1 Introduction
12.2 Theoretical Frameworks
12.2.1 L i W hmewurk
12.2.2 Marxist framework
12.2.3 Dependency
12.3 characteristics of thejstate
123.1 An Over-developed state
12.3.2 Autonomy
12.3.3 Control of the Memopolis
12.4 Let Us Sum Up
12.5 Key Words
12.6 Some Useful Books
12.7 Answers to Check Your Progress Exercises

This unit deals with third world states. After going through the unit you will be able to:
Understand what is meant by the term third world 1
Explain the characteristic features of the States of the third world
Identify the essential attributes of the states of the third world, and
Locate the role of third world in world politics.

There has been a debate on the question of the nature of the State in the Third World.
sometimes referred to as the post-colonial societies in political theory and comparative
politics. It is important to understand the nature of state in the Third World as it
enables us to locate the role of the Third World in international relations.

The term 'Third World' refers to a group of countries with certain common features.
According to some writers the developed capitalist countries constitute the first world.
The socialist countries are called the second world. The underdeveloped countries in
Africa. Asia and Latin American that were subjected to colonial domination are called
the third world. Some writers categorize the superpowers as the first world. The other
developed countries like UK, Germany, Australia and Can& are clubbed together as the
second world. The third world consists of underdeveloped countries of Asia, Africa and
Latin America.

Both defihitions have a few things in common. In both classifications the attributes of
the third world are one and the same. The third world is defined in both the
classifications in relation to the developed countries. The Third World Countries are
economically poor and they have a colonial past.

In the course of identifying the common features of the Third World one should not
ignore variations among them. Some third world countries like the Arab couqtries are
very rich while the others like Bangladesh are very poor. There are countries with
democratic institutions. On the other hand some thud world countries are ruled by
military regimes. There are also differences amount the third world countries in terms of
social formations ranging from tribal societies to capitalist societies.
In spite of all these differences, the third world is not a meaningless category becauw it Features of Third
helps us in grouping together countries that came into being by fighting against the World States
colonial domination. They a l l encounter similar problems because of their background.
Hence, it is useful to study the third world keeping in mind both similarities and
dissimilarities without exaggerating one to eliminate the other. There are certain general
characteristics that the state in the Third World has acquired which may be attributed
largely to the fact that they have been colonised and that colonialism has introduced
certain fundamental changes in their societies. There are different theoretical frameworks
in which the state can be understood.


Ihae are several theoretical frameworks for studying the states of the third world.
Among them most signif~cantand popular frameworks are the liberal and Mmist
12.2.1 Liberal Framework

The liberals argue that the state is a neutral agency and acts as an arbiter between the
contending group in the society. In other words no group has a privileged access to
state. Different groups in the society make their demands on the political system. The
state agencies consider all these demands and take decisions in thg general interest-of
the society. Within the fold of liberalism some writers-prop& that state agencies are
dominated by the elite groups. Elite groups exercise domination by virtue of certain
personal attributes not due to the control over economic resources. Liberal theory holds
that in a democracy elite groups do not use power in their personal or group interests.
Electoral compulsions force them to work for the welfare of all groups. In the third
world the westernized elite controls the state and use it as an instrument to transform
the traditional agrarian society into a modem induseial society.

The liberal approach has two lapses. In the first instance it refuses to recognize that
political capacity of individuals is decided by their economic resources. Secondly it
fails to explain how elite groups work for the entire society rising above their narrow
economic and social interests.

In other words any explanation of the state in total disregard of the class divisions in
i, the society would be simplistic. State is embedded in the society. Therefore it has to be
studied in relation to the society.

@ 12.2.2 Marxist Framework

Man and English argued that states is neither an impartial agency nor a common
trustee. It expresses the interests of the dominant classes to protect their interests. In
other words it is an instrument in the hands of the dominant classes. The state follows
society but does not precede it.

Hence the nature of the state depends upon the character of the division of labour in the
society. Unfortunately, Marx has not written elaborately on the state. He made sketchy
remarks. The followers of Man have written extensively about the state. However most
of these writings deal with the developed capitalist countries. These explanations are not
valid for the third world which are different from the capitalist countries. The third
world countries have a colonial past. Even after securing political independence they are
subjected to economic exploitation by the western developed countries. Yet mother
important attribute of the third world countries is that they are dominated not by one
single class but multiple classes.

Due to the above mentioned conditions the third world state has a district nature. It is
known by various names such as peripheral state, the postcolonial state, and the over-
developed state.
Emergence of the The third world countries were subjected to colonial exploitation, that disturbed the
Third World course of development and brought about lopsided development. The domination of the
third world by the imperialist powers continued even after decolonization. There is no
unanimity amount writers about the nature of relationship between developed western
countries and the third world.

12.2.3 Dependency Theory

Some writers who propounded the dependency theory argue that the third world
countries do not enjoy political freedom and continue to be dominated by the imperial-
ist powers. According to these writers the world is integrated into a single capitalist

The developed western countries constitute the core of the world system. During the
colonial periods, the third world countries were shaped by the imperialist countries to
suit their requirements. Due to this process, the third world is structurally integrated with
the economies of the developed countries and is dependent on the developed countries. I
In world capitalism the third world survives as an adjunct of the core also known as
metropolis - and lies on the periphery of world capitalism. In this model the third
world state is an instrument in the hands of the metropolitan capital.
While agreeing with the notion that the underdeveloped countries are dominated by the
developed capitalist countries, critiques of the dependency theory rejected the argument
that the third world state has no autonomy. According to these writers, political freedom
has enabled the third world countries to use the state to further their interests within the
constraints imposed by neocolonial dominations.

Similarly, divergent opinions are expressed about the nature of the dominant classes in
the third world. Some argue that .the third world is dominated by the native capitalist
class. But the predominant view is that there is no well formed dominant class in the
third world. A loose alliance of various classes dominates the third world.

The third world state is also analyzed in terms of its relationship with the dominant
classes. Most of the writers on the third world argue that the state has autonomy from
the ruling classes that is-.delimited by the social structure.

Due to certain historical personalities, the third world state has acquired another distinct
character. The colonial rulers have a created a highly centralized state machinery to 4
maintain their domination over the colonized. The state machinery is thus imposed
from above and it has not evolved out of the internal social dynamics. Hence the third
world state is not in tune with society, it is either advanced or over developed when 1
compared with society at large.

After taking a look at the third world from various angles one may say that the third
world state is an over-developed, post-colonial state, with autonomy from the ruling
classes. In other words, it is a product of a complex social formation of the third world.

Check Your Progress 1

Note: i) Use the space below for your answers.
ii) Check your progress with the model answer given at the end of the unit.
1) Write short notes on
a) Liberal framework

) Marxist framework Features of Thlrd
.................................................................................................................................................. World States

c) Dependency theory.


The State as an institution came into existence as part of a historical process. In the
third world, decolonisation shaped the state, giving it specific characteristics. The
? boundaries existing at the time of colonisation were modified in some cases; in other
cases entirely new states were carved out. The temforial boundaries of the state did not
always coincide with the Nation; that is, often people belonging to different ethnic
groups, nationalities were brought together and the boundaries of the colonies were
traced, delimited according to the needs of the colonial powers. African states are the
best examples to indicate the armciality of the state. Nigeria for example was entirely a
British creation. The Third World States became states before they became nations. This,
is to a large extent, is responsible for territorial conflicts and for problem of national
integration. A number of Third World Counuies face ethnic and secessionist movements
in the post-colonial era. British colonial policies and the dynamics of nationalist
movements led to the creation of Pakistan's secessionist movement which is turn led to
the creation of Bangladesh. The d ~ c i a l i t yof the colonial boundaries, the impact of
colonial legacy and the dynamics of decolonisation processes explain the complexity of
the Third World State.

The third world state has the following distinct features.

1. It is an over developed state;
2. It enjoys autonomy from the dominant classes;
3. It protects the interests of the metropolitan bourgeoisie &so.

12.3.1 An 'Over-developed State'

In the Western capitalist countries the modem nation-state has emerged due to internal
dynamics of society. It cam into being in the course of a historical transition to
capitalism. The rising capitalist class took the initiative to establish a nation-state.

In the third world the motive force for change in the political institutions came from
outside. During the colonial period the third world was dominated by the western
capitalist countries. The colonial rulers had created political institutions in their own
image to facilitate domination over the native classes and economic exploitation of the

To perform these functions the colonial rulers have related an elaborated legal-institu-
tional structure to control the colonies. The many and the bureaucracy who manned
these institutions played a vital role in managing the affairs of the colonial rulers.

Even after independence the elaborate structure remained in existence. There are two
salient features of this state: one, that it is not formed by the local classes nor is it
established as a consequence of social change, two, the native ruling classes had no
control over the state.

Emergence of the The state is far ahead of the time and space in which it is located. In the third world
Third World counmes therefore bureaucracy and the army have acquired a central place. In the
western capitalist counuies the bureaucracy plays an auxiliary role. It is an instrument of
the dominant class, whereas in the third world it has a central place and it enjoys
autonomy from the dominant classes.

An over developed state weakens democratic institutions. Even in those third world
counaies where democratic institutions exist and the elected representatives control the
state agencies, bureaucracy retains its domination over the state. However it exercises
control in league with politicians. ,

In counuies having democratic control politicians occupy central place. Politicians

articulate the demands of the people to cultivate support. They formulate policies to
fulfill the demands of the people. In this process politicians provide legitimacy to the
political institutions. However, the power is hemmed in by bureaucratic procedures and
controls. Politicians are converted into brokers between the state and the people.

12.3.2 Autonomy
The western countries are domina~cdby a single well-formed dominant class. In all the
western countries the capitalist class is the dominant class. The third world is marked by
the existence of multiple dominant classes. The landlord class, i.e. local bourgeoisie of
the metropolis control the third world. An alliance consisting of all these classes
dominates the state. The alliance is called historic bloc. The historic bloc arises because
the social formation in third world consists of elements from both capitalist as well as
precapitalist social relations. The capitalist class is weak and incapable of fighting
against the pre-capitalist relations in society.

The capitalist class is weak because it exercises limited control over the economic
activity. A large part of the economic production is controlled either by the metropoli-
tan bourgeoisie or by the local landed gentry. No class is enough strong to exercise
contrdl over the state.

Since there is no single dominant class, the slate acquires the autonomy to regulate the
relationship between different classes of the historic bloc. The third world state, by
deploying vast economic resources to reproduce capitalist production pmess in the
interest of local dominant classes and the bourgeoisie of the metropolis, sustains its

12.3.3 Control of the Metropolis

The third world state is subjected' to control by extraneous forces. The under-developed
nature of the economy and the nature of the ruling elitelclasses renders the state
dependent on foreign aid and capital. The ruling elite by acting as mediators between
the sfate and the external capital amass profits. This process does not help developmerit.
The gap between the ruled and the rulers and between the rich and the poor widens. It
is fanfetched to argue that €he third world state is completely under the control of
imperialist rulers. Independence from colonial domination has eliminated the scope for
the bourgeoisie of the imperialist powers to exercise direct control over the third world
state. However it influences the third world state indirectly. The over-developed third
world state by dissolving the national boundaries, creates favourable conditions for the
world market to penetrate into the third world. The state by facilitating the induction of
technology and investment brings about the integration of the third world into the
global market. The state, the ruling elite, negotiate with C.e external world with
dimirgishing power and ability to do so.
Check Your Progress 2 Features of Third
World States
Note: i) Use the space below for your answers.
ii) Check your progress with the. model answer given at the end of the unit.

1) What are the characteristics of the third world?

2) Write a note on the continuing control of the ex-colonial powers on their former


The Third World statelstates are to a large extent colonial creations in the sense that
their boundaries, the nature of their regimes have been deeply influenced by colonial
policies. The nature of the Third World state is analysed in liberal democratic, Marxist
and new Marxist frameworks. The Third World economies are integrated into the World
economy, which is guided by the principles of free market, and represent the interests of
the dominant sections of the society. While they are dependent on the former colonial
power, they also exercise a certain independence and mediate between the state and the
metropolis. The Third World state is desired as 'over developed', as one with 'relative
autonomy', as 'dependent' state.


Capitalist Class : The class of people who own the means of production, exploit
he wage labour and appropriate the surplus value produced by
the wage labour.

Latin America : The areas of central and South America where Spanish or
Portuguese is the principal language.


Hamza Alavi and Teodor Shamin (Ed.) Introduction to the Sociology of Developing
Societies -Longman
Harry Galbowrne : (1979) : Politics and the State in the Third World, Macmillan.
James Manor: 1991 : Returning Third World Politics, Longman.
Pool and Tardoff : 1981 : Third World Politits : A Comparative Introduction
Gammoch -Macmillan.
Emergence or me
Check Your Progress 1
a) Liberals believe in democracy and rule of law. They do not subscribe to the view
that the individuals are guided by their economic interests.
b) Consciousness is a product of matter, it is the reflections of the external world. As
per Marxist theory of state, the state is neither an impartial agency nor a common
trustee. It is an instrument in the hands of the dominant class.

c) As per the dependency theory the post colonial states are not in the real sense
independent; they are still dependent upon their ex-colonial masters.

Check Your Progress 2

1. The chief characteristic of the third world countries is the economic backwardness.
2. The fonner colonial countries and other western developed states have been
continuing their control over the states of the third world through unequal trade
terms and through tied economic aid.
Genesib of the Gulf War
13.2.1 The Roots of the Conflict
13.2.2 International Situation on the eve of Gulf War
Iraq's Action against Kuwait
13.3.1 Conquest and Annexation of Kuwait
Liberation of Kuwait
13.4.1 The 28-Nations coalition Under U.S. Leadership
13.4.2 Sanchons against Iraq and Restorahon of Sovereignty of Kuwait.
Impact of the Gulf War
Let Us Sum Up
Key Words
Some Useful Books
Answers to Check Your Progress Exercises


This Unit deals with the first major crisis in West Asia after the end of the Cold
War. The Gulf War caused by Iraq's annexation of Kuwait eventually resulted in
the defeat of Iraq. After going througn this unit, you should be able to :
trace the events since the end of First World War till the Iraqi action against
S analyse the Iraqi decision to take military action and annex Kuwait;
explain the reaction of the USA, U.S.S.R. and West Asian countries:
+ recall briefly the events of the Gulf War, and
discuss the outcome of US-led action against Iraq.


The Cold War lasted for about 45 years. It had begun almost simultaneously with
the end of Second World War in 1945. Nobody knows the exact date when the
Cold War commenced. But it edded in1989 when US President George Bush and.
Soviet President Gorbachev met and vowed to lead the w.orld on the path of peace
and progress. The first major international crisis after the Cold war occurred in
West Asia during 1990-91. The attack by Iraq on neighbouring oil-rich Kuwait,
and its subsequent conquest and annexation as Iraq's nineteenth province marked
the first phase of the crisis. When all efforts to persuade Iraq to withdraw from
Kuwait failed and peaceful solution appeared to be impossible, 28 nation
: 1 coalition, led by the United States and authorised by the U.N. Security Council
waged a war on Iraq and liberated Kuwait. This was the second Gulf War. The
Iran-Iraq war of 1980-88 maylbe de'scribed as 'Gulf War One'. That prolonged war
had been generally indecisive: though Iraq claimed eventual advantage. As Iran
had alre#y come under the fundamentalist regime of Ayottolah Khoemeine,
Americans had ,generally supported Iraq in that war, without beipg actually . '
involved in it. This unit is not concerned with Iran-Iraq war. It ib the Gulf War of
1990-91 whibh threatened internatiaqal peace, with injected ~rab-1sraelconflict
End of the Cold War input and an attempt to give it an ideological colour. Despite provocation by Iraq.
and its Aftterrnath
Israel was restrained from retaliation. The Gulf War period witnessed unexpected
cooperation between West and East, though the U.S.S .R. did not send its troops to
' 5
fight against Iraq.


The Persian Gulf region in West Asia (Middle East) includes several oil-rich
states. These include several Arab countries such as Iraq, Kuwait, Syria, Jordon,
Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. There are non-Arab states also. These
include Iran and the Jewish state of Israel. Most of these countries (except Iran)
were part oS the Ottoman Empire which collapsed after the defeat of Turkey in the
First World War. Many of the non-Turkish territories in West Asia were separated
from Turkey but were not given independence. They were placed under Britain or
France as the mandated territories in the League of Nations Mandate System. Iraq
was one such territory that was seized from the Ottoman Empire and made a
British mandate.

13.2.1 The Roots of the Conflict

The roots of the conflict are embedded in the creation of Iraq in 1920 (as a British
mandate, to begin with), and establishment of British Protectorate of Kuwait. It '
was in 1961 that Kuwait was granted the freedom and power transferred to the Al-
Sabah family. Iraq had questioned the legitimacy of Kuwait as a state in 1961
itself and had been wanting to'include Kuwait in the territory of Iraq. After the
Iran-Iraq war, Saddam Hussein's 'Iraq had formidable military arsenal, including a
million-man army, advanced Soviet tanks and planes, and a stockpile of chemical
and biological weapons. At the same time, Iraq had incurred large debts of ~ r a b
states to finance the Iran-Iraq war. Its economy was in bad shape. If Kuwait, could
be annexed, Iraq's economy was likely to get a boost. There was a long standing
territorial dispute between Iraq and Kuwait, particularly over the strategic islands
of Bubiyan and Warba and the invaluable Rumaila oil field.
President Saddam Hussain chose Kuwait to be his country's principal victim. On
July 17, 1990 President Hussain denounced Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates
(UAE) for producing more oil than the quota fixed for them by the Organisation :
of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC). This had resulted in fall in oil prices, '
and consequent oil revenues for Iraq. The alleged loss to Iraq was to the tune of
$ 14 billion. Iraq, therefore, asked Kuwait and UAE to curb their excess oil
output, failing which use of force was threatened. Iraq said : "if words fail to
afford us protection, then we will have no choice but to resort to effective action
to put things right and ensure the restitution of our rights." This threat was issued
in the pre-crisis period, and it resulted in "one of the most dramatic and intense
military - security crisis in the twentieth century." Kuwait was a helpless weak
neighbour. Its immense oil reserves could become Iraqi wealth if the state of Al-
Sabah was brought into the Arab State headed by President Saddam Hussain.

13.2.2 International situation on the Eve of Gulf War

International situation appeared to favour Iraq. The Soviet Union which had been
supplying most of the military requirements of Iraq was facing the crisis which
eventually led to its disintegration. The United States had been sympathetic to
Iraq during its war with Iran. Therefore, President Bush was perceived by Saddam
to be friendly with him. He was unlikely to intervene in case Iraq decided to
annex Kuwait. In May 1990 Saddam Hussein, however, had expressed a fear that The Gulf War
after collapse of socialism in Eastern Europe, America might try to establish
hegemony in the Middle East. He had also accused Kuwait and the UAE of
overproduction of oil leading to fall in its international prices. He termed it a kind
of war against Iraq ...."

At the end of the long war between Iran and Iraq, the latter was perceived to be a
Cictor, although apparently the war had resulted in a stalemate. Iraq had failed to
establish its hegemony in the entire Gulf region, yet it was clearly one of the two
major regional powers. Iraq possessed a million-man army, advanced Soviet tanks
and planes and stockpile of chemical and biological weapons. It had a formidable
military arsenal. However, Iraq had to repay large sums of money that it had .
borrowed from neighbouring Arab countries during Gulf War-I (Iran-Iraq Wat,
1980-88). Iraq's economy needed a "massive infusion of funds for
reconstruction". Besides, opined Brecher, "it had an insatiable desire for more
advanced weapons, including a nuclear capability".

The Cold War had just ended. Iraq's principal " patron and arms supplier", the
U.S.S.R. wau passing through several internal conflicts and crisis and was on the
verge of collapse. President Saddam did not expect any anti-Iraq action from the
United States. The situation in second half of 1990 was, thus, "ripe for extracting
economic and territorial concessions from Kuwait and, if necessary, using force to
annex Kuwait as Iraq's long coveted 19th province". Analysing the events leading
to,Gulf War, Michael Brecher suggests that there was abundant evidence to show
that the crisis was initiated by Iraq and directed against Kuwait. The prelude
began several months before the Iraqi military action against Kuwait. The first
anniversary meeting of the Arab Cooperation Council (ACC) was held on
February 24,1990. It was attended by Egypt, Iraq, Jordan andYemen. In this
meeting held at Amman, President Saddam Hussain warned that in view of
impending collapse of Soviet Bloc, the Arabs had to be careful to resist US
attempts to establish hegemony in the West Asian region. He also expressed
displeasure at the behaviour of lesser oil producing states of the Gulf. As
mentioned earlier, Saddam blamed Kuwait and the UAE for violation of OPEC
production quotas. He said on May 30,1990 that this was a kind of war against
Iraq. Thus, by the end of May 1990, President Hussain appeared determined to
acquire Kuwait and achieve increased oil benefits in the bargain.
Check your Progress 1

Note : i) Use the space given below for your answers.

ii) Check your answer with the model answers given at the end of this

1) Why did Iraq opt for military action against Kuwait?

:>r .
.................................................................................. ..............x. .................
. ,

ZJ' What was the international situation gn the eve of oulf War?
Elid of the Cold War
nnd its Aftter~iiatli 13.3 IRAQ'S ACTION AGAINST KUWAIT

In the second half of July 1990, Iraq began large scaie pr:paration for the invasion
of Kuwait. She deployed 35,000 troops, tanks and rockets from three elite
divisions. On July 18, Iraq's Foreign Minister Tariq Aziz charged that Kuwait had
stolen $ 2.4 billion worth of oil from disputed Rumaila oil field. A few days later
.America announced a joint military exercise with the UAE, and sent two
additional warships as if " lay down a mark for Saddam Hussein". The next day
Iraq demanded 2.4 billion dollar compensation from Kuwait. Under Iraq's
pressure, oil prices were raised by Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries
(OPEC) from 18 to 21 dollars a barrel on July 27. The two-day talks between
officials of Iraq and Kuwait failed on August 1, 1990. Iraq was now ready for
invasion, but Kuwait did not realise the seriousness of the crisis. Kuwait had not
moved any of its forces towards 'the border even on July 27. They were put on full
alert and deployed by two of the commanders north of Kuwait city. But the Emir
of Kuwait did not expect an invasion and he ordered the troops to go back to their
barracks. Even on August 1, Kuwait's envoy to the United States ruled out the
possibility of an aggression. Sg poor was the intelligence of Kuwait's army.
13.3.1 Conquest and Annexation of Kuwait
Iraq began the invasion of Kuwait at 2 A.M. (local time) on 2nd of August 1990.
Iraqi tanks reached the capital so fast that Kuwaiti army had no time to offer any
resitstance. Within six hours the Emirate of Kuwait had been conquered by Iraq.
Saudi Arabia, an ally of the U.S.A., was also taken by surprise. On being told of
Iraq's invasion, Saudi King Fahd asked : "Are you sure?" Till a few hours before
the attack most of the U.S. officials were regarding as very low the possibility of
an attack. There were reasons for this. Firstly, Iraq's challenge to the existence of
Kuwait was not new. Her stand consistently had been that from 1875 till the end
of the first world war, Kuwait had been a part of the Province of Basra which was
now a part of Iraq since 1920. Even after Iraq recognised the independencc: of
Kuwait there were prolonged border disputes between Iraq and Kuwait. But,
military action had never been threatened. Several rounds of talks had taken place
right upto February, 1989. Secondly, during the Iran-Iraq war Kuwait had openly
supported Iraq and had given about 15 billion dollar interest-free loan to her. So
how could Kuwait now expect an attack? Thirdly, in any case, accusatory rhetoric
is a core element of the political culture of inter-Arab politics.
In less than six hours of the commencement of invasion, America had made its
position clear. The White House condemned Iraq's invasion and called for "the
imfnediate and unconditional withdrawal of all Iraqi forces". But the U.S. had not
made up its mind on the nature of action to be taken. The next day (August 3)
(thbugh August 2, U.S. time) President Bush said, "We are not ruling any options
in but we are not ruling any options out." Bush did not say anything about the use
of force for the simple reason that he did not know whether he would have to use
force. The US President declared, " 8ur goal is not the conquest of Iraq. It is the
liberation of Kuwait".$ut, after a month Bush added a personal dimension and
said that his aim was ouster of Saddam Hussain. He said, "There is another way
fo'r the bloxlshed to stop, and that is ... for the Iraqi people ta take matters into
their hands, to force Saddam Hussain, the dictator, to step aside and to comply
with the United Nations resolutions ..."
The personality of President Saddam Hussain must be taken note of at this
juncture. According to Michael Brecher, "he ruled through pervasive fear ... his
aspiration to dominate the Gulf region, and ultimately, establish his pre-eminence
II 1112ArabWorld". Somehow, he was convinced that after his 'success, in Gulf The Gulf War
L\'dr-I, there was a conspiracy against Iraq spearh'eaded by the United States and
Ib,rael. Saudi Arabia and some other Gulf countries were also involved in the
conspiracy. The Soviet leader Gorbachev's special envoy was told of this fear, and
he opined "something in all this may have corresponded to the truth".
The U.N. Security Council debated the issue of Iraqi invasion, and subsequent
annexation of Kuwait. Meanwhile, as mentioned above, Iraq's Revolutionary
Command Council (RCC) decreed on August 8, 1990 the annexation of Kuwait
"in a comprehensive, eternal and inseparable merger". Kuwait was made the
nineteenth province of Iraq.
For Iraq, annexation of Kuwait was going to be a major economic gain. These
included Kuwait's world-wide assets, and its valuable oil reserves. These gains
were designed to overcome serious economic difficulties created by the prolonged
Iraq-Iran War. Besides, Kuwait's 310 - mile coastline would improve Iraq's access
to sea, so that Iraq could fulfil its ambition to be the hegemonial power in the
Gulf region; and it could achieve the goal of pre-eminence in the Arab World. US
condemnation of Iraq came as a surprise to Saddam Hussain because since 1982
Americans had clearly tilted towards Iraq as against "fundamental Iran".

Check Your Progress 2

Note : i) Use the space given below for your answers.

ii) Check your answer with the model answer given at the end of this

1) Sum up the outcome of Iraq's military action against Kuwait in Phase I of

Gulf War II.


From the time Iraq fnvaded Kuwait on August 2, hectic diplomatic and other
activities were initiated to pressure Iraq to vacate Kuwait. Saudi Arabia was
among the main critics of. Iraq. Therefore, Iraq sent 60,000 troops on Saudi border
on August 3, 1990. Two days later it ordered formation of 11 additional &visions
of the army. This was followed by deployment of 6000 to 15,000 U.S. troops and
four fighter squadrons in Saudi Arabia; by August 11 the strength of U.S. forces
in Saudi Arabia was proposed to be raised to 200,000. On August 16, Iraq took
thousands of foreigners - British, French, American and Japanese as hostages; on
September 21, 1990 the Iraqi RCC called upon the people to be prepared for "the
mother of all battles". By that time Iraq had about 130,000 troops in the south and
in Kuwait. As U.N. decided to imp8se economic sanctions (which were in force
even till 1997) Iraq threatened to attack Saudi oil fields, unfriendly Arab countries
and Israel. The inevitability of U.N. authorised war against Iraq was evident by
mid November, 1990. Meanwhile, Saddam Hussain offered to release the hostages
on condition that U.N. guaranteed U.S. withdrawal of all allied forces from the
region or if Bush gave in writing a "clear unequivocal commitment" to withdraw
all allied forces from the region "along with a lifting of the U.W. blockade of
End of the Cold War Iraq." Immediately, the United States rejected this demand until Iraq met the
and its Aftternlath coliditions of the Security Council resolutions of restoration of Emir's regime, and
the release of all the hostages. Earlier Iraq had tried to link the Kuwait crisis with
I the Arab-Israel conflict. Iraq demanded the end of Israel's occupation of West
Bank and Gaza, the Golan Heights and southern Lebanon. President Bush told the
General Assembly that if Iraq withdrew unconditionally from Kuwait, there may
soon be enough opportunities to settle issues that divided the Arabs from Israel.

13.4.1 The 28-Nations Coalition led by the United States

As there were no signs of Iraq's compliance with the Security Council resolution,
the United States went about building coalition of countries who were opposed to
Iraq's annexation of Kuwait. It was not an easy task, yet a 28-nation coalition led
by the United States was put in place. Some of them were NATO powers; others
were from the West Asian region itself. While most of the 28 countries
contributcd to the military build up against Iraq in support of UN res'olutions and
to use force, if nececsary, yet only six were actively involved in the war when it
came. These were the United States, Saudi Arabia, Britain, France, Egypt and
Syria. Besldes, there were non-combatants from Pakistan, Bangladesh, Morocco,
Niger and Emirates. The war that took place from 17th January to 28th February, '

1991 was generally a trial of strength between Iraq and the United States . On the
other 3 e , Izaq was supported by Jordan, Yemen and the PLO diplomatically,
politically dad economically, but none fought on the side of Iraq. Thus, it was an
unequal fight between 28-nation coalition led by the US and Iraq.

The coalition led by the United States comprised more than 700,000 troops. ' l l ~ e
largest contingent was of course that of the United States. It consisted of 527,000
Americans backed by approximately 1500 aircraft and mighty naval flotilla of 91

The Soviet Union, facet with growing troubles at home, had joined the coalition
and fully supported the U.N. resolutions and the U.S. determination to expel Iraq
from Kuwait; but she refused to participate in a military build up in the Gulf or
join in war against Iraq; and she made a high-profile attempt to mediate between
the two conflicting sides. The Sovlet Union was aware of likely repercussions
among the muslim republics of USSR, in case she actively engaged herself in the
a hostilities. Besides, she had been giving massive aid to Iraq for two decades and
the Gulf is too closely sitiated to the then'soviet territory.

For most Arab countries Iraq's action had created a dilemma -how to respond to
the destruction of sovereignty of one of the Arab League members by another. If
they condemned Iraq, that would mean giving the impression of aligning with the
United States, generally described as an imperialist power. To suppoit Iraq would
mean undermining the core principle of territorial integrity and national
sovereignty. Therefore, most of them either remained neutral or expressed rhetoric
sympathy either with Iraq or the coalition.

Meanwhile, Soviet Union agreed to support Security Council resalution number

678 which called upon Iraq to vacate Kuwait by November 30, 1990 failing which
use of force could be resorted to compel Iraq to vacate the aggression. The United
States wanted military action to commence on January 1, 1991. But, Soviet
Union brought about a compromise fixing January 15 incorporating Gorbachev's
"pause of goodwill". The Security Council Resolution No. 678 was adopted by 12
votes to 2 (Cuba and Yemen voted against) and Chlna abstained (which was not a
veto). It authorised all UN members "to use all necessary means ... to restore
International peace and security in the area".
The U.S. led 28-nation coalition commenced military action against Iraq for the The Gulf War
liberation of Kuwait on January 17, 1991 at 2.4 A.M. (Gulf time). The Gulf War I1
was fought in two phases. From January 17 to February 23 it was limited to aerial
bombardment of strategic targets in Iraq and occupied Kuwait. The aerial action
was supported by naval action by the coalition forces. The ground action began on
February 24 and by February 28, 1991 Iraq was defeated and Kuwait was

The air war, with nadval support in the Gulf and Red sea, was a relentless daily
assault on multiple Iraqi targets -roads, railways, airports, power system
ammunition dumps and oil installations, etc. This was in addition to bombardment
aimed at Iraqi troops, main scud missile-launching sites and nuclear reactor
plants. 700 Iraqi aeroplanes were no match to nearly double the strength of the
coalition. Besides, some of the ace Iraqi pilots landed their planes in Iran and thus
avoided taking part in the battle.

13.4.2 Sanctions against Iraq and Restoration of Sovereignty of

President Saddam Hussain, in a desperate move, tried to change the Gulf War into
an Arab-Israel conflict, but he totally failed. For weeks, scud missile attacks were
I inade on Israel by Iraq. The idea was that when Israel would retaliate, the Arab
I World would be called upon to fight against the Jewish state. That would make the
position of Egypt and Saudi Arabia very difficult. Despite prolonged provocation,
Israel did not retaliate. Israel was repeatedly requested by the United States not be
1 dragged in the war.
i Meanwhile, Gorbachev's diplomatic efforts unsuccessfully continued. Saddam
, Hussain had said that once the ground fighting began, Americans would have to
swim in their own blood, and that the Vietnam War would be forgotten as picnic.
But, within four days of ground action, Kuwait was liberated and Al-Sabah was
restored as Emir of the sountry. Thus Kuwait's sovereignty was restored and Iraq
suffered a clear defeat.

Although the war ended in early 1991. U.N. imposed sanction against Iraq were
not withdrawn.even till 1997. As 1rG had failed to destroy its nuclear capability,
the United States is in no mood to oblige Iraq. Meanwhile, in 1995 Ptesident
Saddam faced a new challenge when two of his daughters and their husbands
defected to Jordan. Both the sons-in-law of Saddam Hussain were occupying
important strategic position in Iraq. Their defection, with state secrets, was a big
bl'ow to Iraq's President. The King of Jordan had been a strong supporter of Iraq.
When he allowed Saddam's sons-in-law to defect and stay in Jordan. It was a big
blow to the Iraqi President.

Aftkr a few months (early 1996) President Saddam's daughters and sons-in-law
w k e allowed to return to Iraq. Saddam's first wife had secured an assurance that
their sons-in-law would be pardoned. However, soon afterwards both the sons-in-
law were killed. The Gulf War 11, which ended in 1991, was a serious crisis.
Soviet Union was still in existence, but she could not support Iraq. The United
Nations efforts to persuade Iraq to vacate her aggression having failed, military
solution had to be sought under American leadership. This may be regarded as an
example of collective security action which freed Kuwait from Iraq. Unlike the
textbook meaning of collective security (U.N. calling upon all member-nations to
help the victims), in this case the U.S. coalition was authorised to vacate the
aggression and secure independence and restoration of sovereignty of Kuwait.
Check Your Progress 3
Note : 1) Use the space pven below for your answers.

ii) Check your answer with the model answers given at the end of this

1) Describe the role of 28-nation coalition in the liberation of Kuwait.

2) Analyse the role of USSR and various Arab countries during the Gulf crisis.

3) Explain the events Leading to the restoration of sovereignty of Kuwait.


In this section an attempt will be made to analyse the impact of the entire Gulf
crisis on the major actors involved. The crisis had begun as a result of Iraqi
military action against Kuwait, and the latter country's annexation as Iraq's
nine~teenthprovince. Thus, the direct impact was on Kuwait who lost its
sovereignty, and regained it after the intervention of US-led coalition. During
Seven month long occupation of Kuwait estimated 2,000 to 5,000 people were
killed, several thousand were abducted, maimed and rendered homeless. Large
number of people fled Kuwait's economy suffered wanton destruction,
particularly when Iraq put most of its oil field on fire. About 100 oil wells were
burning till much after Kuwait regained its sovereignty. All this traumatised the
people of Kuwait, which resulted in near-universal anger, bitterness and fear of
powerful Iraq..
,,I,, demand for democratisation was renewed. People called for

restoration of the Constitution of 1962 which had provided for an elected

legislature with limited powers, a check on authoritarian powers of A1-Sabah
I ruling family. That constitution was set aside in 1986. Now, under the
pressure of the u.S:, the Government announced elections to a 50-member
national Assembly. The elections held in 1992 resulted in 31 seats being won
by pro-democracy elements.
Saudi Arabia is immediate neighbour of two main actors of the Gulf crisis.
.Saudi Arabia is a larger Arab Kingdom which was one of the 28-nation
coalition that fought against Iraq in the second phase of the crisis and
liberated Kuwait. Saudi Government and people lived in fear of Iraqi attack
for six weeks (mid-January to end-February 1991). Iraq had amassed its
forces on Saudi borders, while it was making repeated Scud missile attacks
In Israel to provoke the Jewish State to retaliate. Iraqi forces made a brief
incursion into Saudi territory early in February and resulted in the battle of
Khafji. Saudis were aware of Iraq's military superiority and Saddam
Hussain's ambition of hegemony in the Gulf region, but it did not expect the
type of aggressiveness that was adopted by Iraq. The Iraq-Saudi relations
were badly damaged.
The Saudi Government fully supported the US policy of maintaining UN
sanctions against Iraq till Saddam Hussain was ousted. Nevertheless, Saudi
Arabia was aware of her smaller population and a small, though well-
equipped, army. During the Gulf crisis Saudi financial resources were
reduced by about $ 16 billion, but her oil fields remained intact.
Israel boldly faced the Scud attacks, but did not get provoked. Despite
temptation to retaliate, Israelis listened to US advice and did not attack Iraq.
The task of liberation of Kuwait was performed, as mentioned above, under
the leadership of the United States of America. However, American
casualties in the war, estimated by the generals between 10,000-20,000 were
a source of unconcealed relief to the political leadership. President Saddam
Hussain hail talked of US soldiers' swim in their blood. But US led a victory.
There was no physical damage to US installations and no scud missile attack
took place on US cities. There were no trauma like the Kuwaitis had faced,
nor long-term vulnerability as experienced by Saudi Arabia. The financial
contribution of the allies exceeded the money spent by the US. Americans
only witnessed the "Operation Desert Storm" on their TV sets. Besides, this
came out to be America's first major vlctory after Second World War, as
Korehn War had resulted in a stalemate, and Vietnam War had resulted in
America's "ignominious defeat."

The unilateral cease fire was ordered by the United States on February 28. 1991
hoping that the Iraqi people would throw Saddam Hussain out. Here the US
proved wrong. The US had operated tllriirl;~!~ thc U N Security Council. stringent
economic sanctions were imposed on Iraq -vhich were not removed for years, and
persistent attempts were made to destroy Iraq's weapons of mass destruction. The
victory of the coalition was also victory of the lrnited Nations.
The outcome of Gulf War did not eliminate Iraq as a major regional power, as
her stockpile of armaments survived 38-day air strikes. However, Iraq lost its
primacy in the Gulf region. Iran now acquired that position. and a victorious
Saudi Arabia emerged as a growing military power. In the larger Arab world,
Egypt and Syria came out more powerful. Israel remained undisturbed and
PLO - Israel peace process was speeded up. Iraq became preoccupied with
Kurdish and shieite revolts.
End of the Cold War Check Your Progress 4
and its Afttermath
Note : i) Use the space given below for y2ur answers.

ii) Check your answer with the model answer given at the end of this

1) What was the impact of Gulf crisis on Saudi Arabia?


Gulf war was the first major crisis after the end of Cold War. During the
prolonged Iran-Iraq war, 1980-88, (Gulf War-I) Iraq had received full support
from Kuwait as well as the United States. Thus, Kuwait did not expect that Iraq
would attack and annex her. But, Iraq had the ambition of turning the small, but
immensely oil-rich, Kuwait into its nineteenth province. In view of US dislike for
new Iranian regime, Iraq did not expect that the Americans would oppose its
adventure against Kuwait.

Kuwait was totally unprepared when Iraq launched massive attack on her in
August 1990, and conquered her in just six hours of unequal war. Kuwait was
later proclaimed to be Iraq's nineteenth province. This was phase I of Gulf War 11.

On the initiative of the United States, the UR Security Council took up the cause
of Kuwait and tried to reason with Iraq to vacate its aggression. Soviet Union was
passing through a difficult period which later ended in its disintegration. The cold
War had ended. Iraq did not get support from the Soviet Union. In effect USSR
supported the US position and UN resolutions. China abstained on various
resolutions adopted by the Security Council, but this did not mean Chinese
supnort to Iraq.

When Iraq failed to comply with the Security Council resolutions, the UN
permitted the setting up of a 28-nation coalition, led by the United States, to
liberate Kuwait. Iraq was confident that it could not be thrown out of Kuwait. But,
Iraq was decisively defeated after 38-days of air strikes and four days of ground
fighting. Iraq's attempt to turn the crisis into an Arab-Israel conflict failed, and
many Arab countries such as Egypt, Syria and Saudi Arabia joined hands with the
US, defeated Iraq and liberated Kuwait. Sovereignty of Kuwait was restored and
Al-Sabah returned to ower.
The Gulf Warturned out to be first major gain of the United States after Second
World War, a setback to Iraqi ambitions of hegemony in the Gulf and a victor of
the United Nations. However, it had traumatised Kuwait and caused terrific fear in
Saudi Arabia.
The Gulf War

Mandate System : A Commission from the league of Nations to a member

state to administer a territory.
Gulf : A expanse of a sea comprising a deep in let with a nanow


James Lee Ray, 1992 : Global Politics, New Jersey

Rama S. Melkote & A Narasimha Rao, 1993 : International Relations. .
L.S. Srivastava, 1983 : A Global History : The Human Heritage : New Jersey.



Check Your Progress 1

1) Iraq decided to annex Kuwait (a) because she had always regarded Kuwait
as part of Iraq, (b) after Iran-Iraq war, the economy of Iraq had become
weak, and (c) Kuwait is an oil-rich small neighbour. Kuwait as part of Iraq
would help the latter acquire lot of oil-related wealth and tide over Iraq's
financial difficulties.

2) The cold war had ended. Soviet Union, the principal arms supplier of
armaments to Iraq, was passing through a difficult phase. During Iran-Iraq
war both USA and Kuwait had supported Iraq. Thus, Iraq did not expect
opposition from any quarter, and she could extend her territory.
Check Your Progress 2

1) Iraqi invasion of Kuwait came as a complete surprise to the latter. Iraq's

massive armed might took just six hours to seize the entire Emirate of Al-

II Sabah. Ignoring U.S. warning, Iraq formally annexed Kuwait as its 19th
Check Your Progress 3

1 1) The 28-nation coalition was put together by the United States under
1 authorisation by the U.N. Armed forces were mainly provided by the US
and Saudi Arabia, Britain, France, Egypt and Syria. 38 days of air strikes
could not force Iraq lo free Kuwait. But, in subsequent four days of ground
/ action the coalition brought unconditional surrender of Iraq and liberation
of Kuwait.

2) The Soviet Union fully supported the'UN resolutions and tried to persuade
I Iraq to vacate its aggression. But, when the coalition took action, USSR did
not contribute troops or armaments. Several of Arab countries like Egypt
and Saudi Arabia actively participated in military action against Iraq.
Others like Jordan did not take military action against Iraq nor gave it
Military support.
End of the Cold War 3) UN authorised use of force by 28-nation coalition to liberate Kuwait from
and its Afttermath
Iraqi aggression. Last minute efforts by USSR to persuade Iraq failed, but
this delayed action by the coalition. Iraq tried to turn the crisis into Arab-
Israel conflict through repeated scud missile attacks on Israel. The latter
. was not provoked. Air attacks, followed by 4 days of ground fighting,
liberated Kuwait. UN imposed sanctions against Iraq which were not
withdrawn for several years.
Check Your Progress 4

1) Saudi Arabia is a neighbour of Iraq and Kuwait. Saudis were totally against
Iraqi invasion of Kuwait. As Saudi Arabia fully supported action against
Iraq, the latter amassed its troops on Saudi borders. Saudi people lived in
fear of Iraqi aggression for six weeks. Iraqi forces made a brief incursion in
Saudi territory and the battle of Khafji took place. Saudi financial resources
were addressly affected to the extent of,$ 16 billion.
Internal Reasons for the Disintegration
14.2.1 Historical
14.2.2 Cultural
14.2.3 Political
14.2.4 Economic
External Reasons for the Disintegration
14.3.1 Role of the USSR
1-4.3.2 Role of the West
14.3.3 The Demonstration Effect
The Fall of the Communist Governments and Parties in Different
14.4.1 poland
14.4.2 Hungary
14.4.3 GDR
14.4.4 Czechoslovakia
14.4.5 Bulgaria
14.4.6 Romania
Let Us Sum Up
Key Word
Some Useful Books
Answers to Check Your Progress Exercises


The objective of this unit is to examine the reasons which led to the disintegration
of the Socialist Bloc and to trace the sequence of events which culminated in the
end of the bipolar world order. After goin through this unit should be able to
identify the internal and external factor, that have led to the collapse of
Socialist bloc, and ' .
explain the manner in which each country of the Socialist bloc witnessed
the decline and fall of communist parties.


The events of 1989, which culminated in the disintegration of the Socialist bloc,
have been described as "an earth quake" in world politics. Indeed, the sheer
speed of those events left those who were observing the same as well as those
who participated in them absolutely stunned. In fact, the pace With which the
communist regimes in the socialist bloc fell one after another itself became a
crucial part of the process of change. From mid 1989 and especially in the last
quarter of 1989, almost every day there were reports of demonstrations, strikes,
protests, fall of leaders and Governments. The entire atmosphere was charged
I with excitement and expectancy and high drama which cannot be fully conveyed
in its description and analysis. The other aspect of this integration was that while'
the end result of the upheavals was the same, i.e. the fall of the ruling classes,
there are a number of differences among the various countries as regards the
End of tlie Cold War manner in which they fell. Thus, for example in Poland, the revolutionary changes
and its Aftterrnath
were the result of prolonged and sustained resistance of solidarity, supported by
the Catholic Church, in Hungary, they were the result of power struggle within
the political elite; in East Germany and Czechoslovakia, the regime was
overthrown by peaceful mass demonstrations but in Romania, the government of.
Ceaucescu was toppled by a bloody revolution and in Bulgaria the changes came
about slowly sluggishly.



14.2.1 Historical
Although the final disintegration of the Socialist bloc took a few months in the
latter half of 1989 , the basic reasons for the collapse can be traced to the period
when, more than forty years earlier, communist rule was imposed in these
countries during Stalin's time. This fact of forcible imposition of a system of
government and an ideology, and the lack of democratic means in this had
alienated the citizens of these countries and the feeling grkw stronger with the
passage of time.
14.2.2 Cultural
The countries of the Socialist bloc could neither compete in the new fields of
consumer culture, the third industrial revolution and the speed of information
technology, nor could they constitute an alternative block which could insulate
itself from the capitalist world as was possible at one time in history when the
"iron curtain" and descended across Europe after World War 11. They simply
lagged behind, condemned to only copy from the west. In the most crucial field of
all, comunications , it became more and more possible for people in the
Socialist bloc countries to hear and see what was happening in the outside world.
The impact of West German television in much of East Germany and
Czechoslovakia is an example of this. Pop music provided a direct means of
reaching the young in the Socialist world. With higher levels of education and
increasing opportunities for travel, the comparison between living standard and
political conditions in the socialist and advanced capitalist countries became more
obvious. It was this comparative, rather than absolute failure that provided the
basis for the collapse; not only did it generate discontent with the Socialist system
which was increasingly seen as bankrupt, but it also destroyed the belief that the
Socialist system could in any way catch up with the capitalist West, let alone
overtake it.
14.2.3 Political
The discontent generated by this failure led to a widespread discrediting of the
ruling Communist parties and its leaders which in turn led to an erosion of their
legitimacy to rule. The fact that, historically, these regimes had been imposed
forcibly during the post World War I1 period, and that they had not been
democratically elected, formed the basis for the simmering discontent among the
people. The economic failures brought their discontent into sharper focus and the
authoritarian nature of the rule made the people generally question the legitimacy .
of the Communists parties to govern and dictate. Economic failure not only
stimulated but also consolidated the societal tensions and opposition in most of
the East European countries and it finally erupted in a major upsurge of
nationalism in the different counties. It brought together workers and intellectuals,
many young people and all sorts of underground organisations, and this unity
proved to be an extremely effective and strong threat to the ruling elite. It must be Disintegration of the
kept in mind that in Olfferent countries, there were different degrees of unity and Socialist Bloc
cooperation among these sections. Even those groups which had formerly
supported the communist regimes now joined ranks with the opposition.
In some countries, such as East Germany, Czechoslovakia and Poland for e.g., as
a result of all these pressures and lack of support, and in the face of mounting
economic crisis, the ruling party began to lose confidence in its ability to rule.
Whereas, in the sixties and seventies, whenever there had been mass
demonstrations or opposition, the Communist Party had not hesitated to use force
to suppress the threat to its rule, now in the late eighties, most of these ruling
elites found it difficult to use force to maintain its rule. This inability to use force
had both internal and external causes. .
14.2.4 Economic
It has been pointed out that the most fundamental and all-encompassing reason
was the failure of these counties to live on to their promise of "catching up with
and overtaking capitalism" in political and economic terms. It was a multifaceted
failure in which the most crucial aspect was a pervasive economic failure. Not
only were these countries unable to catch up with the West in narrow,
quantitative terms such as industrial output, technological changes and food
production, but also, in more general terms were unable to raise standards of
living and meet the r~singpopular expectations, especially in the newly arisen
consumerism and popular culture where the contrast with the capitalist West
became more pronounced.
Undoubtedly, this was the most important cause and it has been argued by many
experts that if drastic economic reforms had been initiated, the other problems
could have been contained to some degree. Economic success could have possibly
made the sociocultural and political issues less acute and could have made the
management of the discontent somewhat easier.
Uptill now, we have been discussing the domestic causes. Now we shall turn to
the external factors.
Check Your Progress 1
Note : i) Use the space given below for your answers.
ii) Check your answer with the model answers given at the end of this
1) Which was the most important internal factor in the disintegration of the
Socialist Bloc ?

2) How did cultural factors generate and increase opposition in the countries
of Eastern Europe ?
E11d of the Cold War
and its Aftterlliath 14.3 EXTERNAL REASONS FOR THE

14.3.1 Role of the USSR

The most significant of the external factors was the role and politics of the
erstwhile USSR. More than six years after the disintegration of the Socialist Bloc
and five years after the break up of the Soviet Union, it is possible to state that
Gorbachev's policies of Glasnost and Perestroika in the Soviet Union, made the
upheavals in East Europe both possible and successful. Of course, we cannot say
that Gorbachev had known or anticipated the chain reaction that took place - but
certainly, he was totally incapable of stopping or controlling what he had started.
Gorbachev wanted to reform socialism and he was indeed successful to the extent
that a great many changes came about in the Soviet Union. He was responsible for
introducing political reforms and greater democracy in the political system of the
Soviet Union and countries of Eastern Europe. On the one hand democracy - of
the Western capitalist kind -produced a great enthusiasm among the youth, the
opposition groups and associations and those sections of political and social
groups which were desiring reforms. On the other hand it dealt a blow to the
more conservative elements. The demand for reforms soon snowballed into a
demand for an all-embracing,.extensive reform of the Cdminunist political

There can be no doubt now that the most crucial decision on the part of the Soviet
leadership, particularly Gorbachev, which had the greatest demoralizing effect on
the Communist regimes in East Europe, was the decision to revoke the Brezhnev
Doctrine. Certainly, in the ultimate analysis; the ruling regime of the Socialist
bloc was overthrown or replaced by powerful mass lnovements, but they would
never have taken place without the change in Soviet policy towards its satellite
states. In November 1988, Gorbachev announced in the United Nations the
decision to unilaterally reduce the size of the Soviet armed forces and to withdraw
50,000 troops from the GDR, Czechoslovakia and Hungary. The Soviet troops
would no longer intervene in these countries whenever there arose any threat to
the Communist regimes in power. These regimes could now no longer depend on
external support in times of crisis. Gorbachev's change of policy became the
indispensable precondition for the changes to occur, since the regimes could now
no longer go on ruling in the old way and the opposition groups would not have to
fear the use of external force.

From the above it should not be understood that there was no opposition to
dissent in East Europe during the Communist Party rule, before Gorbachev's
November 1988 decision. There was opposition, but it was fragmented and not
very strongly organised. Moreover, the Communist Party was in complete and
strict control of the country. During the second half of the eighties, opposition
acquired form, purpose and some order. And ultimately the Gorbachev factor
became responsible for strengthening the forces of change and bringing them
together, inspired by his role as a radical reformer of the system. Poland had
already had a long period of opposition movements led by Solidarity; there was
some opposition in Hungary but it was not very significant; in Czechoslovakia
and the GDR, opposition had existed for a long time but it was mainly confined to
intellectuals and it links with the larger masses were very weak. In Bulgaria and
Romania, where the regimes had been most repressive, there was hardly any
active opposition. But in the latter half of 1988 and 1989, the dissent movements
and opposition became very active, began multiplying and in a surprisingly short
period, became a tidal wavc : G ~ I I ; ! I [lc!i;Jci y and conclusively swept away the old Disintegration of the
regimes. As we/ mentioned in tlliB!i!qt p:;r:,gr:rph, both the time in which these Socialist Bloc
events took place as well as the manlier i . i - : zh they occurred, were different in

all the countries. What took a year in Poland and Hungary, took a few weeks in
the GDR. a few bloodless days in Czechoslovakia and a Pew bloody days in
Romania. while in Bulgaria, the orthodox Communist rulers went quietly in a
couple o f months. Looking back we can see that the rapid expulsion of the
Communist Party and the total rejection of its role in society (which had been one
of complcte doinii>ntion)was the one common factor in all these countries - and
also the most remarkable. For it was with the weakening of these parties, that the
popular forces and pluralistic elements came to the front. And, by withdrawing
the support of Soviet troops, Gorbachev greatly facilitated this process of the
weakening of the ruling Communist parties.

14.3.2 Role of the West

Yet ailother important international factor was [he rolc of the Western capitalist
countries. As the people in Eastern Europe began to gel Inore and more organised
in their demAandfor systemic reform, greatcr denlocrac.- dn(l rcmoval of the
Communist Parties, they received a lot of encouragcnicll! m d \velcome lrom
Western Europe and the U.S.A. There was widespread bellct among tlie people of
Eastern Europe that they would receive financial, diplomatic and even military
assistance from the capitalist West. In this way, [he expectallon of support also
worked as a stiinulus in the galhering protest.

14.3.3 The Demonstration Effect

There was also what one may call the demonstration effect which we mentioned
in the first paragraph 01' thic eY\<lyand which we can consider in the category of
external factors. Thc ~ u c c c s sv.,hicll rllcse movements of democracy and reform
were achieving in the different countries. had a greatly encouraging effect on
other similar illoveinents and protest:, ol the Socialist bloc and each victory took
the entire process a step further towards the eventual disintegration of the
Socialist bloc. Thus, people I'lrst wit~lessedliberalisation measures initiated by the
government in Hungary. then the elcction of a Solidarity government in Poland.
Then, all of a sudden, mass ~nigratlonsbegan taking place from the GDR in the
summer of 1989 followed by mass demonstrations. Events acquired a faster
momentum new and Czechoslovakia witnessed upheavals and finally, the curtain
came down with the sudden, violent and bloody change in Romania.

Check Your Progress 2

Note : 1) Use the space glvcn below for your answers.

il) Check your answer wlth the model answer given at the end of this
I) What was Gorbachev'j cnntrlbution in beginning the process of change in
the Social~stBloc')
End of the Cold War
and its Aftternlath 14.4 THE FALL OF THE COMMUNIST

Now let us make a mdre detailed examination of the manner in which the
Communist regimes were opposed and overthrown in individual countries of
the Socialist Bloc.

14.4.1 Poland
In the second half of 1989, changes first began in Poland and Hungary. In
August, the Polish United Workers Party - which was the official title of the
Communist Party headed by Gen. Jaruzelski - ceased to form the
government, and Solidarity, headed by Lech Walesa as President, formed the

14.4.2 Hungary
In September, the Hungarian Government took an unprecedented foreign
policy decision : they opened their borders and permitted several thousand
East German citizens (who were spending their vacation in Eastern Europe
and who refused to return to the GDR) to cross over into Austria and from
there to West Germany, i.e., the FRG. While this decision obviously had the
approval of the Soviet Union, it meant that for the first time, a country of the
Secialist bloc was declaring its preference for the West during a time of
crislis. As the future Czech foreign minister later commented, it was this
action that signalled the beginning of the end of the Soviet Bloc. An
agreement was also reached between the Hungarian government and the
opposition parties on the creation of a multiparty system and finally, in
October 1989, the Hungarian Socialist Workers Party (as the Communist
Party was called) renamed itself the Hungarian Socialist Party (HSP) and
ab3ndoned Leninism as its ideology. The HSP also declared its country to be
a 'republic' - and not a "people's republic" - in which bourgeois democracy
and democratic socialism would apply and we can see the degree to which
this decision influenced public life - as many as 51 parties were expected to
contest the parliamentary elections scheduled for 1990.
14.4.3 GDR
The regimes in the GDR ad the Czech Republic were the next to crumble.
Erich Honecker was removed as party leader and head of the State of GDR ir 1
October 1989 and widespread public demonstrations for democracy took
place. The emigration of the country's youth and other professionals also
continued in large numbers so that finally, in November, the GDR announced 1
an end to travel restrictions for its citizens and threw open its borders with !
FRG, allowing direct emigration to the West. The Berlin Wall - which was
the most important symbol of the East-West divide for so long - came j
crashing down, as thousands of people poured across - most of whom did not
return. The entire Politbureau and the go u n m e n t resigned in December and
theeleading role of the Communist Party was scrapped and its name was also
changed. In early January 1990, the official name of the party became party
of Communist Democratic Socialism and all the time, the mass exodus of
East Germans into the West continued.-More than 4000 people were leaving
every day, creating serious problems for both the GDR and FRG.
Increasingly, reunification of the two Germanies was seen as the only Dbuikgration of the
solution to the problem and finally ds the East German crisis depended, both Socidist Bloc

Moscow and the wartime allied powers of the West - United States, Great
Britain and France - agreed to hold meetings and conferences to discuss all
the aspects of reunification of the two Germanies.

14.4.4 Czechoslovakia

The Czech government tried unsuccessfully to suppress the popular
demonstrations and rising opposition in October, and finally in November,
I 1989 the government and party leadership were overthrown. On 27
November a two hour general strike took place in cities and towns all over
b the country which finally resulted in the rejection of the leading role of the
Communist Party. And on December 29, a special joint session of the Czech
Federal Assembly unanimously elected Vaclav Have1 - the man who barely
eleven months earlier was arrested with 800 others for human rights protests
in January 1989 - as the first Czech non-Communist President since 1943.

14.4.5 Bulgaria
Problems in Bulgaria erupted next. The first independent demonstration by
more than five thousand people (after forty years of the Bulgarian
Communist [BCP] rule) outside the National Assembly occurred on
November 3, 1989 and a week later, the Bulgarian Central Committee
accepted the resignation of the 78 year old BCP Secretary - General Zhikov.
The new Bulgarian Party Politburo condemned the 1968 Soviet led invasion
of Czechoslovakia and in this manner tried to reverse the then existing view
of history. In early December, nine independent organisations joined
tog ther to establish the Union of Democratic Forces in Bulgaria (UDF). The
UDF later announced that it would campaign for political pluralism, a market
economy and follow the rule of law. Finally, in January 1990, in an
extraordinary Bulgarian Communist Party Congress, the orthodox
conservatives were totally defeated, the Central Committee and Politburo
were abolished and replaced with a 153 member Supreme Council.

14.4.6 Romania
,In Romania, the Communist Party regime continued to resist the popular
uprisings and also attempted to organise "joint action" with other socialist
countries to crush the opposition movements. Here, the downfall of the
ruling elite was the bloodiest. At the 14th Congress of the Romanian
Communist Party in November 1989, Nicolai Ceaucescu strongly resisted the
idea that reform was necessary. At a time when the entire Socialist Base was
in turmoil, this resistance to change is truly surprising. The critical point
came in December when the government's attempts to seize a priest who
defended the rights of ethnic Hungarians in Romania led to massive
demonstrations, which quickly turned into anti-government protest. Security
and army troops were ordered to open fire on crowds in two cities and when
the Defence Minister refused to cooperate in this killing of innocent people,
he was executed. This led to the Army joining ranks with the demonstrators,
which ended with the fall of the govern'ment. A short but bloody civil war
ensued which ended with the capture and trial of Nicolai Ceaucescu and his
wife by a military tribunal after which they were executed by a firing squad.
National Salvation Front, which had been created earlier, was recognised by
the Soviet government, which promised a return to democracy.

Organization, Structure and Functions of the UN System
16.2.1 The UN Charter : Purposes and Principles
16.2.2 Main Organs of the UN and their Functions
The Changing Role of the UN
16.3.1 The Cold War Period
16.3.2 . Post-Cold War Period
Some Accomplishments and Shortcomings
16.4.1 Ammplishmsnts
16.4.2 . Shortoomings
Restructuring of the UN System - Major Proposals and India's Position
Lei Us Sum Up
Key Words
Some Useful Books
Answers to Check Your Progress Exercises

This unit deals with the most s i m c a n t international governmental organization - the
vnited Nations - surveying its changing role in maintaining international pace and security
slnce its inception. It also briefly discusses the UN's role in the field of socioeconormc
I development. Its main focus is to summarise the ongoing discussion at international fora
regarding restructuring of the UN system so as to make it more democratic, effective and
relevant to contemporary world problems. After going through this unit you should be able
to :
1 describe the organizations, structure and functions of the UN system.

i gain an overview of the chaqyng role of the UN during and after the end of the Cold
1 examine some of the major successes and failures of the UN.
1 describe the major proposals on the restructuring and reforming of the UN.

Unit 16 has examined the Gulf War, disintegration of the USSR and the socialist bloc and the
different perspectives on the concept of World Order. . These extraordinary changes have'
influenced the changing role of the United Nations.

The UN was established on 24 October 1945. On that day, the UN Charter (constitution)
came into force. The UN Day is celebrated each year on this day. The study of the UN
system is important for many reasons. But two of them are most important. First, out of 390
inter-govemental international organizations that have been established since 1945, the UN
has been the most important because of its s i m c a n t influence on world politics. It has
institutionalised a framework for international cooperation on a scale unprecedented in
human history. It has attempted to resolve numerous international social, economic and
humanitarian problems. Second, it has survived its first half century existence and in the
process of reforming itself to face the future. Its predecessor, the League of Nations, which
was the first international organization for global peace and security, could not actively
function for more than 20 years. In fact, with the birth of the UN, the death of the League of
Nations was officially pronounced.


The sub-unit discusses the organisational set up of the United Nations under different sub-
headings, such as the UN Charter: Purposes and Principles and the main organs of the UN
and their functions.

16.2.1 The UN Charter : Purposes and Principles

The UN charter was originally ratified by 5 1 states in 1945, including India. These states are
known a$ founding members of the UN. During the first 50 years its membership rose to185,
thus making the UN Charter an universally ratified international treaty.

According to Article 1 of the UN Charter, the purposes of the United Nations are four-fold :
(i) to maintain international peace and security; (ii) to develor, friendly relations among
nations based on the principle of equal rights and self-determination of peoples; (iii)
camerate internationally in solving international economic, social, cultural and humanitarian
problems and in promoting respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms; and (iv)
be a cenm for harmonizing the actions of nations in attaining these common ends.

The basic purposes on which the UN works are that it is based on the recognition of sovereign
cquality of all its Members, who are expected to fulfill their Charter obligations. They are to
settle their international disputes by peaceful means and without endangering peace. security
and justice. They are to refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force
against any other state. They are to assist the UN, in any action it takes in accordance with
the provisions of the Charter. The UN does not interfere in the domestic matters of any State.

In the preamble to the UN Charter there are four stated concerns and objectives and four
methods and ~racticals t a s suggested for their realisation. The concerns are : (i) to save
succeeding generations from war (as it should be recalled here that the two great World Wars
of this century brought untold sorrows and destruction the casuality of human life in these
wars was approximately 41.5 and 60 millions respectively); (ii) to r e f i r m faith in
fundamental human rights and the dignity and worth of human beings, in the equal rights of
nations large and small; (iii) to establish conditions for justice and respect for treaty
obligations; and (iv) to Dromote social progress and better standards of life in larger freedom.
And for these ends; (i) to practise tolerance; (ii) to unite in maintaining international peace
and security; (iii) to ensure that armed forces shall not be used save in common interest; and
(iv) to e m ~ l w
international machinery for the promotion of economic and social advancement
of peoples.

16.2.2 Main Organs of the UN and their Functions

To enable the UN to achieve its stated purposes and objectives the organization has been
equipped with six main organs. .

The Genleral Assembly, perhaps the closest approximation of a world parliament, is the
main deliberative body. It is designed to utilize the time honoured technique of resolving
problem$ by free and frank discussions. It is to function as the worlds permanent forum and
a meeting place. It is created on the assumption that "war of words" is better than war fought
with "swords" or bombs. All Member states of the UN, are represented in it, and each has
one vote on the basis of sovereign equality. Decisions on ordinary matters are taken by
simple majority. Important questions require two thirds of the vote.
Rertr uchring. of the Unlted
The Assembly has the right to discuss and make recommendations on all matters within the NaU0111 &atan
scope of the UN Charter. Its decisions are not binding on member States, but they cany the
weight of world opinion. Thus, it does not legislate like a national parliament. But in the
meeting rooms and corridors of the UN, representatives of almost all countries of the world
- large and small, rich and poor, from diverse political and social systems have a voice and
vote in shaping the policies of the international community.

The Security Council is the organ to which the Charter gives primary mponsibility for
maintaining peace and security. It can be convened at any time, even at mid-night when
peace is threatened. Member States are obligated to carry out its decisions. It has 15
members. Five of these - China, France, the Russian Federation, the UK and the US - are
permanent members. The other 10 are elected by the Assembly for two year terms.
Decisions require nine votes; except in votes on procedural questions. A decision cannot be
taken if there is a "no" vote by a permanent member (known as the "veto") on substantive

When a threat to peace is brought before the Council, it usually first asks the parties to reach
agreement by peaceful means. The Council may undertake mediation or set forth principles
for settlement. It may request the Secretary General to investigate and report on a situation.
If fighting breaks out, the Council tries to secure a cease-fire. It may send peace-keeping
units (observers or troops) to troubled areas, with the consent of the parties involved, to
reduce tension and keep opposing forces apart. Unlike the General Assembly resolutions, its
decisions are binding and it has the power to enforce its decisions by imposing economic
sanctions and by ordering collective military action as it did during Korean Crisis (1950) and
authorized US-led forces to take action in Iraq-Kuwait Crisis (1990-91).

Absence or prevention of war does not automatically ensure a peaceful international system.
To diminish the underlying causes of future conflicts that might lead to such h t s to the
peace or breach of peace, the founding fathers of the UN also provided mechanisms for
economic and social progress and development and to promote higher standards of living.
This job has been assigned to the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) and specialized

The ECOSOC has 54 members. It usually holds two-month long sessions each year. It
coordinates the economic and social work of the UN and related specialized agencies and
institutions - together, known as the UN family of organizationsor simply as the UN system.
It recommends and directs activities aimed at, among others, promoting economic growth of
developing countries, administering development and humanitarian assistance projects,
promoting the observance of human rights, ending discrimination against minorities,
spreading the benefits of science and technology, and fostering world cooperation in areas
such as better housing, family planning and crime prevention.

The Trusteeship Council was created to supervise the administration of 11 Trust Territories
and to ensure that Governments responsible for their administration take adequate steps to
prepare them for self-government and independence. It is gratifjing to note that all these
territories have attained independence by the end of 1994 and now this body has little work.
In fact, the Secretary General has recommended its abolition.

The International Court of Justice consists of 15judges who are elected c o n m n t l y by the
General Assembly and the S@ty Council. It is the main judicial organ of the UN. It
resolves legal issues and interprets international treaties.

The secretariat is the main organ. It consists of the Secretary General and other staff and
' personnel who run the UN administration and carry out the day-to-day work of the UN. Staff
members are drawn from some 160 countries. As international civil servants, they work for
the UN as a whole, and pledge not to seek or receive instructions from any government or
outside authority. It has more than 25,000 staff, whereas its specialized agencies have
around 30,000 staff.
Till now the office of the Secretary-General has been occupied by seven incumbents: Trygve
~ U ~ U U O I U and O~~MLWUOIU Lie (Nonvay); Dag Ha.mmarskjold (Sweden) U Thant (Myanmar), Kurt Waldheim (Austria),
Javier perez de Cuellar (Peru), Boutros Boutros Ghali (Egypt) and Kofi Annan (Ghana).

Check Your Progress Exercise 1

Note: i) Use the space given below for your answer.

ii) Check your progress with the answers given at the end of the unit.

2) What broad distinction can you make between the decision of General Assembly and
the Security Council?

) What is veto power? Who possesses it in the UN?



The role of the UN can be examined briefly under two sections - the Cold War and the posf-
Cold War period.

16.3.1 The Cold War Period

We may recall here from unit 7 that among the main casualties of the Cold War was the UN.
The Cold War has had such a profound impact that the UN could not perform its basic
function of ensuring peace across the world. The Security Council was often deadlocked due
to the use/misuse of veto by its permanent members - the so-called "Great Powers".
During the last 50 years, over 100 major conflicts around the world have occurred. which left
some 20 million people dead. The Security ~ o G c iwas l able to take action and edorce
pedce only on two occasions - the KO- Crisis of 1950 and the Iraq-Kuwait Crisis of 1990-
91. In no other crisis - situations it was able to act, due to the exercise of veto. Till now, 280
times veto has been used, in the UN, of which half were cast in the first 10 years of the Cold
Wqr era. The veto power has been used by all the five permanent members of the Council at
some time or the other, but the erstwhile USSR and USA - the two Superpowers - have used
it somewhat indiscriminately. For instance, during the period 1945-85, the US exercised the
veto 58 times while the Soviet Union used it 117 times. Due to the frequent use and misuse
of veto, the Council was not able to pass resolutions on a number of serious crises that were
brought before it. This led to the decline of the Security Council's role.

During the Cold War period the UN had to deal with many crisis-situations such as the
Korean' Crisis (1950), Palestine question, Indo-Pak dispute over Kashmir, Suez crisis (1956),
Soviet intervention in Hungary (1956), the Congo Crisis (1960-64), Soviet occupation of
Afghanisation (1979-88), Cambodian situation (1978), and Iran-Iraq War (1980-88) On
most of these cases, the Security Council could not agree on the nature of action to'be taken to
resolve them due to the veto problem. Under such c k m M a m x , the General Assembly
x ertructurlng of the United
went into action under the authority of the Earnous "Uniting for Peace Resolutionn of 1950,
which enabled it to meet within 24 hours notice and recommend action to maintain peace and
security in troubled region. The Assembly can invoke this resolution only when the Security
Council is p+ due to veto. In such cases, the Assembly assumes powers which were
entrusted by the Charter exclusively to the Security Cauncil.

Under the "Uniting for Peacen resolution, the Assembly has met in emergency d o n s to deal
with many crises such as those of Suez, Hungary,Congo, Afghanistan, Nambia etc. During
the Suez crisis, it invented a n m l method to maintain peace. It sent to Suez a peace-keeping
force - a force which does not fight to enforce peace, it only acts as buffer between parties to
the conflict and is deployed on cease-fire line with the permission of the parties. Such a force
I was also sent to Congo and other places.

With the beginning of Detente between the two Cold wamors - the US and the former USSR
- in 1970s, the Security Council regained its lost importance. As a result, the Cold War
really became cold and the veto was not invoked as frequently as earlier.

16.3.2 The Post-Cold War Period

It should be noted that thirteen peace-keeping operations were wdertaken by the UN between
I -
1945 1987. Such "peace-keeping" functions were quite successful as the forces were mainly
drawn from non-aligned States, while the Great Powers were barred from contributing forces.
Due to its significant role in this field, the UN peace-keeping forces were awarded the Nobel
Peace Prize in 1988. But the first five years after the Cold War has witbnessed more crisis-
situations in than any comparable period of the Cold War era. Beginning with the Iraq-
Kuwait crisis, the UN had to deal with mauy intra-State ethnic conflicts or civil wars. Since
the end of the Cold War more than 20 UN peace-keeping operations have been launched.
i During the last 50 years nearly 6,50,000 people have served in such peace-keeping operations.
A Qtal of 1,145 h-vedied while carrying out their duties. The UN has spent over $ 11
billion on these operatiorts. At the end of July 1995 nearly 70,000 peace keepers were
deployed in 16 UN peace-keeping operations with an aggregate annual budget of
approximately $3.6 billion. Thus,the post-Cold War scenario has made the UN Members to
rediscover the relevance of the UN to threatening peace and security.
Check Your h g m s Exercise 2

Note: i) Use the space given below for your answer.

ii) Check Ydur progress with the answers given at the end of the unit.

1) What is the importance of "Uniting for Peace" resolution?

2) l$qlain the term "Peace-Keeping Force7'.

r n a a t I o a r a n d ~

Like any other international organization, the UN-too has many accomplishmentsand
shortcomings. Cooperation h m its members has made it successful in many areas. The
constraints and limitations under which it operates have contributed towards some of its
failures. For reasonsof space, only some of the accomplishmentsand limitations of the UN
are attenlpkd here.

16.4.1 Accomplishments

1) One of the greatest achievements of the UN is its role in the field of decolonization.
It gave inspiration to millions of African and Asian people, who were under colonial
rule, to claim the right of self-determination and independence. When the UN was
founded, 80 of the present UN Members were under colonial rule. The UN helped
many of them to achieve independence.

2) In the field of human rights, the UN has played a significant role. It has set a
comprehensive list of norms or standards of human rights. These noms are defined
in UN comntions, declarations and covenants. Till now it has adopted around 88
human rights instruments.

3) ML,-hternational law has been formalised through the UN in the first 50 years of
its existence than in the entire previous history of mankind. It has made major
contributions towards expanding the rule of law among nations through the
cdfication of international law.

4) In 1980 the World Health Organization (WHO), a Specialized Agency, proclaimed

the total eradication of small pox from the world, as a result of 13 years WHO global

5) In 1991, the heads of WHO and UNICEF (UNIntemational Children's Education

Fund) certified the immunization of 80% of the world's children against six killer
diseases - polio, tetanus, measles, whooping cough, diphtheria and tuberculosis.
The joint WHO-UNICEF programme saves the lives of more than 3.5 million
children each year.

6) The UN Development Programme (UNDP) has made significant efforts to bring

about social and economic progess all over the world. UNDP works with the .
Governments of developing countries to carry out projects in various sectors, such as
agriculture, industry and education. It is the world's largest multi-lateral grant
assistance organization.'With an annual budget of $ 1.3 billion, it supports more than
6,100 projects in some 150 developing countries and territories. In addition, UNDP-
financed activities stimulate some $14 billion a year in follow-up investdent from
public and private sources. More than 50% of the UNDP funds for projects go to 45
of the world's poorest countries.

7) Currently the UN is providing humanitarian assistance (like providing food, shelter,

medical aid, education) through UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) to
some 24 million refugees worldwide. The cost of meeting their needs was estimated
(in 1995) to be more than $1billion. For its role the UNHCR was awarded the
Nobel Peace Prize twice - in 1954 and 198 1.
Rentructurlng of the United
16.4.2 Shortcomings Nations 8yacm

The UN's shortcomings are mainly due to the following two problems :

1) As discussed earlier, one of the most important operational problems ofthe UN has

2) Another important problem that the UN is faciag now is the financial crisis. Earlier
in 1960s also it faced a similar problem when France and the USSR had refused to
pay their contributions towards the costs of peace keeping operations. These two
states alongwith others had refused to pay the costs ofthe UN Emergency Force
(stationed at Suez) and the UN opemtion in Congo, on the plea that these two forces
were illegally created by the General Assembly. In I nview such forces can be
orgainzed only on the basis of a Security Council decision. The crisis of 1960's was
solved by seeking an advisory opinion ofthe Intamtianal Court of Justice on the
expenses of the UN. The court by a majority decision declared that the peace
keeping expenses constitute "expenses of the organization" within the meaning of
the Charter provisions.

The fhncid crisis beginning from the 1980s, has been different from the earlier
one. It all started with the decision of the US F'resident to withhold its approved
contributions on the ground that the US government dhppnmd certain UN
programmes. This policy started by president Reagan and comistmtly followed by
his successors, including Bill Clinton, has brought the UN on the edge of bankruptcy.
Because, according to the formula approved by the General Assembly, the US is
required to pay 25% of the UN budget. Some other states also have not paid their
arrears in time, both for the regular budget and for peace-keeping opemtim.
According to the 1995 annual report of the Secretary General to the Assembly, as on
10 August1995, unpaid assessed contributions totalled $3.9 billion: $858.2
million for the regular budget (ofwhich $456.1 million relates to the cunent years,
i.e. 1995 and $402.1 million relates to prior years) and $3 billion for peace-keeping
operations. 70% of these arrears were due from 5 top debtors (the largest being the
US), all among the rich countries of the world.

Many interesting suggestions have been made not for solving the present tinancial
crisis,but for ensuring an independent source of incame for the UN to make it less
dependent on Member. Some of these suggestions include :
A tax on the international sale of designated weapons.
A tax on international trade.
A fee for the use international water -ways.
a A tax on international mail or telecommunications.
l'dxes on international travel or international passprt fees.
a Licensing fees for the use of outer space.
Fees for fishing rim or mining mineral resources on high sea, which is
"the common heritage ofmankhY.

However, none ofthese proposals have fourgd approval by Mcmber States.


$hcathe meting ofthe Heads of Government ofthe ~ e t k t Council
y on 31 January 1992, a

global debate on the re-ng ofthe UN system has beguri. Many proposals have been
made in this regard. The main objective of such d o r m proposalsk to make the world body,

specially its Security Council, more democratic, &dent and adaptable to the changing
international milieu. Since the UN mponsi'bilities and concerns are world wide and now
expanding to virtually every conceivable area of human activity, it is imperative to redesign
the UM strumre so that it can meet the challenges of the 21st century,

Many studies have been -oc on the basis of which suggestions have been made to
restructure the UN system. These include the following :

1) The membership of the Security Council should be expanded from 15 to 23 or 25, out
of which 5 should be additional permanent members - two industrialized countries
(Germany and Japan) and three large developing countries (Brazil, India and Nigeria).
The erstwhile UN Secretary General, Boutros-Ghali was reported to have suggested
the names of these countries on 14 August 1992. Infact, in the General Assembly
session on 25 September 1992, India formally staked its claim to a permanent seat in
the Security Council. As the criteria suggested for expansion in the category of
permanent members justified India's candidature, it was hoped that India would be
elected to a permanent seat in the Security Council. The criteria was the ability and
wiWgness ofthe incumbent of contnite to UN peace-keeping opemtions. India
has been at the foreftont of such operations since the inception of the UN, e.g. in
Korea, Indo-Chma, Suez, Congo, Gaza, etc.

There is also a proposal to give the states based on this criteria, permanent seats in the .
Council without the veto power. Other suggestions include one that would urge the
fwe present weildem of the veto to voluntarily renounce their veto power until the
Charter is formally amended to abolish the right of veto. India accepts this suggestion
but opposes any move to deny veto power to the new permanent members. Some of
@ese proposals were discussed at an openended working Gmup of the 49th
&mend Assembly session. The Working Group though agreeing on the need for
earpanding the Security Council, did not consider the question of which states to be
madt permanent members. The US has openly supported the case of Germany and
Japan but is reluctant to support India's candidature. Moreover, other developing
countries like Argentina, Iran, Egypt and South Africa are in the race.

2) There has also been a suggestion to replace the UN Disarmament Commission by a

Jtbint Working Gmup after General Assembly and Security Council on Disarmament.

3) Because the Economic and Social Council has failed to perform its
assigned om, suggestion has been made to replace it by the creation of the
Economic Security Council (ESC). The functions suggested for the proposed ESC
include, among others, dealing with economic emergency situations, to considering
such major non-military threats as the degradation of the emironment, global poverty,
wmployment, food security, dmg rUgcking, migration etc. According to the
syggestion, its membership should be limited and should not exceed 25. It should
take decisions by consensus.

a Others have opposed this proposal and have said that ECOSOC is actually the ESC,
except for its name. ECOSOC has comprehensive mandate under the present UN
Charter to deal witb economic, social and humanitarian isms. In fact in recent
years the ECOSOC has been dealing at the highest level to Governments, such issues
like environment, human rights, social development, sustainable economic
development etc. Therefore,they see no need to restructure the present ECOSOC.

4) Replace ECOSOC by an Economic Council and a Social Council. These new


5) Abalish.UN Conferen'eeon Trade and

Development Organization (UNIDO)
the UNIDO there has been a general
two, it has been said that they are
International Bank for Reconshuction and Development @RD) and International g the Unlted
itr rt r u c t u r i ~ ~of
6) NnUonr S 3 m
Monetary Fund 0 should be brought within the fold of the UN. Now they are
Specialized Agencies only in name. Their agreements of association with the UN are
of a limited nature, which require them to function as "independent"
organizations. As a result, they are not subject to substantive coordination by the UN
either at the inter-governmental level (i.e. ECOSOC) or at the Secretariat level. They
do not provide all the information UN may require of them. They do not give the UN
full access to theu meetings,their heads annually address the ECOSOC, but they no
longer invite the UN Secretary General to address their annual meetings. They have
refbed to accept UN's involvement in their budget making. And they do not feel
themselves bound by any decision of the UN. This state of afthim is due to the policies
of the rich industrialized states who dominate these bodies.
A serious debate on some of these proposals is taking place in the 185 capitals of the
world and the UN headquarters. Unless the UN is redesigned in the light of
constructive proposals, its functioning can not be improved.

Check Your Progress Exercise 3

Note : i) Use the space given below for your answer.

ii) Check your progress with the answers given at the end of the unit.

1) The UN Organizations which were awarded Nobel Peace Prize are.. ..


2) Which country is the biggest defaulter in paying its due contributions to the UN?
(1) USSR (2) USA (3) India (4) Britain


This Unit has SU~eyedthe objectives and principles of the UN, the structure and functions of
its main Organs and Specialized Agencies, its changing role during and after the Cold War,
some of its major accomplishments and problems and the various proposals for restructuring
the UN system. It has underscored the urgent need for donning the UN system.


Conflict A situation marked by direct or indirect use of military force by one or more
Veto : The privilege granted by the charter to the permanent Members of the
S d t y Council to cast a negative vote and prevent adoption of substantive
Detente : Originally a French word meaning relaxation of strained relations between
two countries.
Resolution : A duly approved document containing a formal statement of a considered
view on a given question.
Whtkbm d -tIom

Childem, Efikline and Urquhart, Brain, (1994) Renewing the United Nations System
. .
(Uppkah: Dag Hammarskjold Foundation).
Fawaett, Eric and Newcornbe, Hanna, (ed.), (1995) United Nations Reform: Looking Ahead
Aj?er FiJty Years (Toronto Science for Peace).

Rajan, M.S. (ed.), (1996) United Nations at FlfZy and Beyond (New Delhi: Lancers Books).
Roberts, Adam and Kingsbury, Benedict, (ed.), (1993) United Nations, Divided World :the
UN t role in International Relations,) 2nd edn. (Oxford: Oxford University Press).
United Nations, h i c ~ a c t s A b & tthe United Nations (1996) New York: Department of
Public Information.)



Check Your Progress Exercise 1

1) UN was created to maintain international peace and Security, to develop friendly

relations among nations; to solve international economic, social , cultural and
humanitarian problems and to promote human rights.

2) The General Assembly can recommend, while the security Council decides and acts.
Whefeas recommendations are not binding on UN members, the decisions are.

3) The power to rethe concurrence to - or vote against - a resolution is the veto power.
enjoyed by the five permanent members of the UN,namely China, France. Russian
Federation, UK and the US.

Check Your progress Exercise 2

1) "Uniting for Peace Resolution" enables the General Assembly to discuss a crisis -
situation and to take action specially when the Security Council is unable to do so in
view of a veto problem.
2) "Peacekeeping Force" refers to a military contingent sent to the area of conflict with
the permission of the parties to the conflict. It does not indulge in actual figting. but
is deployed on the cease-fire line and acts as buffer and fires only in self-defense.

Check Your Pmgresa Exercise 3

1. The UN peace keeping force got Nobel Peace Prize in 1988 and the UNHCR got it
twice in 1954 and 1981.
2. The US is the largest defaultor. It owed to UN more than $527 million (regular budget)
and $ 553 million (Peacekeeping).

17.0 Objectives
17.1 Introduction
17.2 Globalisation - Its Meaning and Structures
17.2.1 Historical b x k p u n d
17.2.2 Bretton Wcada S y h n
17.2.3 IMF -Objectiwa and Function6
17.2.4 Structurs
17.2.5 -
iBRD Objedivea
17.2.6 Functiolul
17.2.7 GAlT
17.2.8 Uruguay Round and WM

17.3 Post Bretton Woods Developments

17.3.1 Globalition and Third World
17.3.2 Impact of Globalisation
17.4 LetUsSumUp
17.5 Key Words
17.6 Some Useful Books
17.7 Answers to Check Your Progress Exercises


This'unit explains ibe meaning of the Globalisation of the World economy and the
insmtioh that have come into existence as part of the process of the globalisation. After
going through the Unit you should be able to :
- # '
- ,+
,d trace the historical process of globalisation
- ' 'describe the functions and structure of the institutions that govern the global
. ' economy

- .. critidally assess the impact of globalisation

p e word'globalisation has now become familiar to most of us. The idea suggests that the
world isundergoing an increasing process of international interdependence so that national
e'conopues as distinct entities with supreme authority within their tcnitorial jurisdiction are
beconling increasingly irrelevant. This does not mean the creation of a world or global
communityhsed on equality. Historically, the international economic system has developed
on, the basis of nation-states. Revolution in transport and communication, highly
sophisticated industrial production technologies in the post-war period created a capitalist
world market. The Bretton Woods System 'heated in the post-war period that laid dpwn the
rules for international trade and commerce, collapsed in the henties. The nineti& has seen
the emergence of the process of globalisation. New institutions and rules to govem world
trade have come into existence in the form, of WTO - World Trade Organization.
hlstitutions w d Orgunisetiurb
We must recognise the conceptual distinction between the international economy and
globalized economy. 'International' economy refers to the collective is one in which process
and outcome of the various national economies at the intkrnational plane. "International
economy is an aggregate of nationally located functions". A wide range of international
economic interactions such as financial markets and trade in mtymfactured goods tend to
function as opportunities or constraints for nationally determined economic actions. In a
global economy, as markets and production become global and interdependent, domestic
policies whether of private corporations or sovereign states, have to take into account the
predominantly supra national determinants of their spheres of operation. The state has to
constnict national policies to cope with increasing inter-connectedness of production,
markets, at the global plane. As factors of production becomes international, particularly
finance, and market forces extend to the global plane, the role of the sovereign state becomes
subordinate to the &crates of global markets. Another major consequence of the notion of
globalization is the transformation of Multi-National Corporations - MNCs, into
Transnational corporations- TNC's, as the major players in the world economy. TNC's
capital has no specific national identification and with an internationalised management. it is
willing to locate and relocate anywhere in the globe to obtain either the most secure or the
highest returns. With the revolution in communications, capital, particularly the financial
sector, a "NC could relocate itself at the touch of a button. In a truly globalized economy this
would be wholly dictated by market forces, without reference to national monetary policies. A
TNC can produce and market at the global level as strategy and opportunities dictated. A
TNC's production-base is not restricted within one predominant national location (as with
the multinational corporation), but it services global markets through global operations.
Thus the TNC, unlike the MNC, is not controlled or even constrained by the policies of
particular national states. This process tends to undermine the traditional notion of state -

17.2.1 Historical Background

The post-second world war period of international trade was governed by, what has come to
be known as the Bretton Woods System. The great depression of the 30s and the collapse of
the international monetary system were attributed to economic nationalism, competitive
exchange rate, devaluations, formation of competing monetary blocs and absence of
international cooperation. In July 1994, as the Allied forces were moving across France,
representatives of forty four nations met at Bretton Woods, New Hampshire, to create a new
ktemtional monetary order. A consensus emerged, which underscored that, the previous
lor~etarysystems which had relied primarily on market forces had proved inadequate.
.enceforth, governments acting together would have assumed the responsibility of managing
le international monetary system. United States of America, as the dominant economic and
~ilitarypower in this phase, assumed the primary responsibility for establishing a post - war
:onamic order that was designed to prevent economic nationalism and encouraging free
ade, along with increased international interaction. A liberal economic system, with
~ternationdcooperation, was assumed to promote lasting peace. The United States and the
Init+ Kingdom, drew up a plan for new system of internatisnal monetary management.
The Anglo-American plan, approved at Bretton Woods, became the first collective
intemational monetary order that provided a basis for growing international trade, economic
growth and political harmony among the developed market economies. l'benty seven years
later, on August 15, 1971, President Nixon appeared on television to announce to the world
the end of the Bretton Woods System, and that, the US would no longer abide by the rules and'
procedures of the International Monetary Order. The successive oil crises, the growing
instability in the market economies, fall in the growth rates of the industrialised countries,
have contributed to the increasing trend towards, what is now termed, 'globalisation' in the
nineties. Before we go on to explain 'globalisation' let us turn back to the Bretton Woods
system and the institutions established under it, particularly the International Monetary Fund
(IMF) and International Banlr for RemWruction and Development (IBRD) known as the Globalisationof the Economy-
World Bank.

17.2.2 Bretton Woods System

Under the system, it was agreed that fixed exchange rates was the most conducive to trade
and economic stability. Thus all countries agreed to establish the parity of their currencies in
terms of gold and to maintain exchange rates within one per cent, plus or minus, of parity.
The rules further sought to encourage an open system by committing members to the
convertibility of their respective cumncies into other currencies and to free trade. The IMF
was to be the enforcing authority of the rules and the main instrument of public international

To facilitate post-war m a y , the IBRD or World Bank was created with a capitalization of '
.S 10 billion and was expected to make loans of its own funds and to issue securities to raise
new funds. However, the economic destruction of Europe was far too heaky and it was clear
by 1947 that only the US contribution of $570 million were actually available for IBRD .
lending and the credit facilities of the IMF were clearly insufficient to deal with Europe's
huge deficits. In 1947 the United States stepped into fill the economic gap left by Bretton
Woods and in the next two years a new international monetary system - the dollar standard -
(replacing gold stmdard) based on unilateral American Management Development from 1947
to 1958. The US deliberately encouraged the outflow of dollars (as it had huge balance-of-
trade surpluses) through various American Aid Programmes - the Marshall plan for
European recovery, the Tnunan plan for aid to Greece and Turkey etc. Another source of
dollar liquidity for the international monetary system grew out of the Cold War, i.e. the
American aid to its military allies and US troop deployment across the world. The Cold War
required significant military expenditures, overwhelming by the United States. Thus the
doll& became the world's currency and the United States became the world's central banker,
issuing dollars for the international monetary system.

The Bretton Woods Conference established the -

1) International Monetary Fund (IMF) to alleviate the problems of international

liquidity, i.e. to help the member countries to meet their balance of payment deficit and
international monetary instability.

2) The International Bank for Reconstnlction and Development (IBRD) to help the
reconstruction and development of various national economies by providing long -
term capital assistance; and

3) The International Trade Organization (ITO) to work towards the liberalization of


The IMFand IBRD, known as the Bretton Wood %ins were established in 1946. The
proposed IT0 did not materialize. In its place came the General Agreement on Tariffs and
Trade (GAIT). The World Trade Organization (WTO) of 1995 was the culmination of
prolonged GAm negotiations in the earlier era within the framework of the GATT.

17.2.3' IMF : Objectives and Functions

The IMF is & organization that seeks to promote international monetary cooperation and to
facilitate the expansion of trade, and thus to contribute increased employment and improved
economic conditions. Its membership consists of 153 countries which today account for over
80% of world trade. Membership of the IMF is a prerequisite to membership in the World
1 Bank. There exists a close relationships between the two organizations as well %between the
! IMFand GATT. The IMF is a specialized agency within the United Nations sy&em.
1 The important functions of the IMF are -
~nstnuuomud 1) , To facilitate the expansion and balanced growth of international trade and to
contribute thereby to the promotion and maintenance of high levels of employment
and real income.

2) To promote exchange - stability, to maintain orderly exchange arrangements among

members and to avoid competitive exchange depreciation.

3) To eliminate foreign exchange restrictions which hamper the growth of world trade.
The fund also provides loans to members to correct maladjustments in their balance
of payments, without resorting to measures detrimental to national or international
prosperity. The IMF thus combines three major functions : Regulatory, Financial
and Consultative.

The Fund maintains a large pool of financial resources that it makes available to members
temporarily and subject to conditions to enable them to carry out programmes to remedy their
payment deficits. The policy adjustments that countries make in connection with the use of
the Furid resources is geared to improve support credit-worthiness with other official sources
and private financial markets. The Fund also helps members to coordinate their national
economic policies internationally as the focus of the fund is not only on the problems of
individual countries but also on the structure of the international monetary system.
Sometimes, such problems at the two levels of concern for the IMF are in conflict with one
another, which tends to be to this disadvantage of the weaker national economics of the world.

17.2.4 Structure

The wotk of the IMF is canied by the Board of Governors, an Executive Board, a Managing
Director and the staff. h c h member counuy is represented by a Governor,on the Board of
Governors, which is the Fund's highest authority, and which meets annually. A member
country" voting power is related to its contribution to the Fund's financial resources. which
in turn is related to its relative size in the world economy. The Board of Governors delegates
, most of its powers to the Executive Board, which is responsible for conducting its business.
The Executive Board is chaired by the Managing Director.

Resomats - The r e s o m of IMF come from subscription by members and borrowings.

Every member is required to subscribe to the Fund an amount equivalent to its quota. Each
member is assigned a quota expressed in Special Drawing Rights (SDRs). Quotas are used to
determine the voting power of members, their contribution to the Fund's resources, their
power to determine these resources and their share in the allocation of.SDRs. A member%
quoia reflects its economic size in relation to the total membership of the Fund. The MF is
also authorized to supplement its resources by borrowing to forestall any threat to the strength
of the international monetary system. The eleven highly developed industrial countries of the
world have undertaken to lend to the IMF,if necessary.

The states can borrow drom the IMF to meet their balance of payments needs, under various
policies and facilities. Those who borrow from the Fund are required to follow an economic
policy programme aimed at achieving a viable balance uf payments position over an
appropriate period of time. This is known as conditionality and reflects the principle th:.'
h c i n g and adjustment must go hand in hand. IMF conditionality and its adjust me^^^
programmes (StructuralAdjustment or SAP) are the subject of much debate in the developm,?
countries. These conditionalities and structural adjustment programmedpolicies that have
been impbsed on the developing countries include yithdrawal of subsidies, devaluation of
rxmncies, privatisation of economy etc. that have resulted in unemployment and have
dkctly altfected &en% the poorer sections of the socie .:current debate in India on
the economic policies of liberalization and withdrawal of es reflects the controversial
policies of the IMF.
Clubdhtlon of the Economy-
17.2.5 International Bank for Reconstruction and Development IBRD,IMF and WTO

The International Bank for Reconstruction and Development was established in 1945. 11 has
two other affiliated institutions :

The ~nternabonalFinance Corporation (IFC) established in1956: and the International

Development Association (IDA) established in 1960. Membemhip of the IMF is the
principal condition for membership of the Bank.

The objectives of the Bank as laid down in the Articles of Agreement are -

1. To assist in the reconstruction and development of the member states, by Wlitating

capital investments for productive purposes, including the restoration of economies
destroyed or disrupted by war, the reconversion of productive facilities to peace-time
needs, and the encouraging of the development of productive facilities and resources
in less developed countries (LDCs).

2. To promote foreign investment by means of guarantees or participation in loans and

other investments made by private investors, and when private capital is not
available on reasonable terms, to supplement private investment by providing, or
suitable conditions, finance for productive purposes out of its own capital funds,
raised by it and its other resources.

3. To promote long-Age balanced growth of international trade and the maintenance

of equilibrium in the balance of payments, by encouraging international investment
of the productive resources of members in order to raise productivity, the standard of
living and conditions of labour in the various countries of the world needing such

17.2.6 Functions
The IBRD,whose capital is subscribed by its member countries, finances its lending
operations primarily from its own borrowings in the world capital markets. The Bank's loans
have a grace period of five years and are repayable over twenty years or less. They are
directed towards developing countries at a relatively advanced stage of economic and social

The Board of Governors, on which each member country is represented by one Governor
exercises all power vested in the Bank. The Governors of the Bank have delegated their
powers to a Board of Executive Directors, which perform its duties on a full time basis. There
are 2 1 Executive Directors who are appointed by the five members having the largest number
of shares of capital stock and the rest are elected by Governors representing the other member

The Bank assesses the repayment prospects of its loans, and for this purpose, takes into
account the availability of natural resources, the country's past debt record etc. The bank
lends only for specific projects which are economically and technically sound and of a high
priority in the context of its larger objectives. As a matter of general policy, it lends for
projects which are designed to contribute directly to economic productivity, and normally
does not finance projects of primarily social character, such as education and housing. Most
bank loans have been made for provision of basic utilities, such as power and transport which
are prerequisites for economic development. The Bank encourages the borrowers to procure
machinery and goods for Bank-financed projects in the cheapest possible market consistent
with satisfactory performance. Finally, the Bank indirectly encourages promotion of local
private enterprise.
a d OrganlSIItlm In recent years the Bank has stepped up its lending for energy development, which now forms
the largest part of the Bank's lending programme. Gas and oil development have also shown
increasing attention in Bank lending. As economic conditions deteriorated in the third
world countries in the 1980's the bank inauguarted a progrmme of structural adjustment
lending. This lending supports programmes of specific policy changes and institutional
reforms in less developed countries designed to achieve a more efficient use of resources. In
1983, the bank initiated its special action programme (SAP) for a two-year period designed to
increase assistance to countries trying to cope with exceptionally difFicult economic
enviranment due to global recession. This comprised financial measures. combined with
policy advice, needed to restore credit worthiness and growth.

17.2.7 General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade

An attempt to create an international organization to look after matters of trade and
commercial policy were made as early as 1947. Although a charter for an International Trade
Organization was &d at the Havana Conference it was never ratified due to differences
betwqn those who wanted a free multihteral trading system and those who placed emphasis
on full employment policies on a nation4,basis. However, the American proposal for a
general agreement on tariffs and tradwas agreed upon, and many nations signed. So
emerged the General Agreement of Tariffs and Trade with no formal organization and no
elaborate secretariat. It is though increasing liberalization of world trade and through GATT
negotiations that the world Trade Organization emerged in 1995.

The two outstanding fGtures of GA'IT were the principle of non discrimination and the
principle of reciprocity with the purpose of promoting fair and free international trade among
members. To ensure non-discrimination the members of GA'IT agreed to apply the principle
of h4FN (Most Favoured Nation) to-all import and export duties. This meant that each nation
shall be treated as well as the most favoured nation. However GATT did not prohibit
econolplic integration such as the formation of free trade areas or customs unions, provided
that the purpose of such integration was to facilitate trade between constitutent territories and
not to raise barriers to the trade of other parties.

Several rounds of GA'IT negotiations aimed at reduction of tries and non tariff barriers to
trade led to the lowering of duties on trade, involving more than two-third of the world's

17.2.8 Uruguay Round and World Trade Organisation

The last round of multilateral trade negotiations known as the Uruguay Round (held in Punte
del este in Uruguay), which was the eighth round, centered around three main issues -

1) Trade Related Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS)

2) Trade Related Investment Measures (TRIMS) and

3) Trade in Agricultural Commodities.

The m d World countries have been by and large dissatisfied with GA'IT negotiations.
Liberalisation of trade related intellectual property rights would mean that the less developed
countries would have to compete with the advanced coun'tries or the transnational companies.
TRIPS covering copyrights, patents and trademarks is likely to harm the indigenous
technology and nascent industries - particularly pharmaceutical and drug industry, GATT
covers the service sector as well under TRIMS. This is likely to affect the employment
conditl.0n.s in the developing countries as they will be swamped by professionals from the
advanped industrial countries. Agriculture is another contentious issue under GA'IT. While
the U9 insisted on free trade in agriculture, withdrawal of state subsidies, EEC countries
particularly France, which heavily subsidize their agriculture obje5ed. The US threatened to
use a law called super 301, under which punitive action is taken against countries which do
not follow a free trade regime.
of the Economy-
17.2.9 World made Organisation IIiI{I),IMFmd WTO

i The Uruguay Round was scheduled to be completed by 1990, that is within four years aRer its
t .commencement. However, as the negotiations reached a deadlock over several contentious
issues, the Director General of GATT - Arthur Dunkel intervened and proposed a draft that is
known as the Dunkel Draft. also decisively called DDT (Dunkel Draft Text). The Dunkel
proposals called for reduction in domestic and export subsidies, and replacement of non-tariff
bamers, like quotas and quantitative restrictions by tariffs. Then proposals also called for
require longer enforcement of copy rights and trade marks in case of India. Such a provision
requires a change in India legislation on patents to conform to the Paris Convention.

The multilatexal trading system sanctioned by GATT and the Dunkel proposal$ niaintain thc
predominance of the advanced industrial countries of the West in the international economy.
The GATT, the Uruguay Round, and the Dunkel Draft a d not take into account the role of
MNCs in exploiting the countries of the third world and widening the gap between the rich
and the poor in such countries as well as with in the global system.

The Dunkel Draft was signed by member nations of December 15, 1993. After seven years of
intensive negotiations, the new GATT agreements of Uruguay Round were ratified in
December 1994 by the Indian Cabinet. The significant aspect of the GATT agreement is the
establishment of the World Trade Organization (WTO) that supersedes the GATT. The 500
page agreement setting up the WTO ushers in a new era of multilateralisation of world
trade. The WTO has become operational since 1st January , 1995 and has a status sirililar to
the World Bank and the lMF. The treaty is binding on all its 117 member countries,:two
thirds of which are less developed counties (LDCs). The Organization is expected to be the
arbiter between the trading parties and generally ensure that the rules of the are,being
followed. A dispute settlement mechanism is also to be established under the WTO. Asb
how the LDCs (including India with its vast market) fare in the competition'with powerful,
industrialized counties of the west is yet to be seen.

Check Your Progress 1

Note : i) Use the space below for your answers.

ii) Check your progress with the model answer given at the end of the unit.

1) Define the concept of "International Economy".

~~~~ ~ .~~ . . . . ~ . .

2) What do you mean by globalisation of the economy?


3) The Brettonwoods System was established in the contract of.. ..

4) The IMF is intended ....

5) GAlT was founded to promote ......

6) What is WTO.


T b significant development in the global economy since 1950 are the growth of regional
economic subsystems, and the growth of multinational corporations (MNCs) which operate
across ~ t i o n aboundaries.
l While MNCs contribute to globalisation they can also pose a
threat to national economic autonomy. Within the core of the capitalist industrialized world.
' regional economic activity emerged in the of west European Economy leading froin a

common market to European Union in the 90's; in the Pacific and South East Asia regonal
subsystems erneeeti:' ,-'Rfefnergence of a financial and securities market centred in New
York, Tokyo and London is sympton of regionalization and globalization through inter-
regional linkage. The growth of MNCs is both the cause and consequence of globalization.
The emergence of world markets, and an international economic regime, provided the
environment favourable to the growth of transnational firms. Initially such companies were '
predominantly If$-based and sometimes dominated a whole sector of the global economy,
.imposing standards on it?I"I'e classic example is the IBM which at one time accounted for
more than 80 per cent of the World Market in computers and was able to use this dominant
position to define standards to maintain or increase its share of tl~emarket andlor competitive
advantage. In the postwar period, the number, range and diversity of MNCs increased along
with a changing balance between them in banking, oil, car manufacture and so on. Tlus
growth in the MNCs produced more complex interdependence in the global economy. It also
posed difficult problems for national economies in areas of investment, capital movement and
control of technology. A new managerial class - the class of corporate managers - emerged
moving between companies and countries.

The post-war economy clearly indicates three features - the hegemonic position and role of
the US in the world economy; the decline of the less developed (or developing) countries
share of world exports from 1960-70 ;the relative isolation of the centrally planned
economies (or socialist countries) in terms of their share of world trade. These countries (i.e.
the socialist economies) did not receive Marshall Aid nor join the Bretton Woods system.
Their post-war recovery was followed by world wide recession, with increasing energy prices.
as the oil-producing countries of the Gulf hiked oil prices. In 1971, the US suspended fixed
dollar convertibility to gold, and world trade and finance moved to a system of flexible
exchange rates rather than fixed parities and regulated adjustment mechanisms that had been
planned originally. The end of the Bretton Woods system led to the intervention of the
( ;lobslbPtton of the Econumy-,
Central Banks of major economies in the money market to keep exchange rate fluctuations IBRD,IMF and WTO
within limits and reintroduce some stability into the international system.

Over the last twenty years or so the dominance of the US in the world economy has declined.
However, the dollar has retained its role as the principal international currency, and this has
helped it to stay at the centre of both monetary and trade regimes. The US still remains
committed to the institutions of international economic order and to multilateralism and trade
liberalism. But the emergence of Western Europe, particularly West Germany, and Japan as
major economic powers has to some extent altered the distribution of economic power in the
post-cold war era.

17.3.1 Globalisation and the Third World

The expansion of industrial capitalisin to the 'periphery' of the international economy -
South Korea, Taiwan, Singapore and the neighbouring newly industrializing countries -
'South East Asian Tiger ' as they are referred to - is also another feature of the 80s . But,
these countries are inhabited by less then 2 per cent of the Third World propulation.
Throughout the 80s the gap between the richsand poor countries of the world widened and has
continues to do so. The hope for a new international economic order (NIEO)through the
North-South dialogue have not resulted in any improvement in the conditions of the people of
the ,Sou@. The belief, following neoclassical economies, that unrestricted international
trade would allow the poor emtries to come closer to the level of the rich, has been belied by
historical experience. On the contrary, the lending policies of the World Bank & IMF, the
conditionalities and structural adjustment programmes imposed on the countries of the third
World - Africa partidularly - have resulted in food riots, unemployment and increasing
poverty in these countries. It must also be noted that international mechanisms of free trade
led to inflation and recession, the deterioration of tenns of trade for many European countries.

17.3.2 Impact of Globalisation

The technological advances of the last two decades have brought' about a revolution in
communications and transportation eroding the boundaries between markets and nation-
states. Thus, economic process have become increasingly internationalized in a number of
key spheres, like communications, production, trade, finance. New technology has also
radically increased the mobility of economic units and the sensitivity of markets, and
societies to one another, thus globalising economies of the world. This has paved the way for
the ideal of global freetrade to be achieved through the World Trade Organization (WTO).

Globalization has brought about radical changes in the production process, shifting industry
r from its old centres in the rich countries with high labour costs to countries of abundant cheap
labour. While, earlier, labour remained a major factor of production, technology continued to
render human labour redundant thus increasing unemployment and underemployment.
I' Historically such pressures have been met by state interventions, like protectionism.
However, globalisation with a free market ideology removed or weakened the possibilities of
state intervention - whether in the form of subsidies or protection of their internal markets.
While the labour in the developed countries fear losing jobs, the third world countries hope to
see increasing employment opportunities. But, when commitment to free market ideology
compels governments of the west, and more particularly the third world c~untries,to reduce
the costs of social s d t y and public welfare, mass reduction of employment and
marginalisation of large sections of the society is inevitably taking place. Such social and
political consequences of globalisation are likely to be world-wide, with its relatively greater
impact with in the countries of the Third World.
An important consequence of globalisation is labour migration. As labour migrates to the
industrialized countries of the West, or the oil-producing countries of the Gulf, in search of
jobs social conflicts are on the increase. Racism in Germany and other western wuntries,
resentment against immigrants in the Gulfby the local people are examples ofthis.
Revolution in communications has undoubtedly brought the different parts of the World
closer. Yet, that in itself is not sufficient to build a global community. An important
~nstltutl ~ ~ orgrnbptlom consequenk of globalisation of economies is also fragmentation of societies, rise of
movements of identities - ethnic, nationalist and religious. Free trade and WTO do not
automatically halIU0niZe the interest of the states. This is quite evident from the conflicts
between the US and European countries over questions of telecommunications and satellite
T.V programmes, electronic industries etc. Economic glowsation should not be equated
, with the emergence of a Global community as a Nation. States (even after if their .
sovereignty has been undermined) continue to assert their priorities and interests over global
interests. These conflicts tend to produce global insecurity and inter-state tensions.

Check Your progress 2

Note: i) Use the space below for your answers.

ii) Check your progress with the model answer given at the end of the unit.
1) What are the most significant development in the field of international economy
during the post Brettonwoods period.

' 17.4 LET US SUM UP

Globalisation is a process of intensifying economic interconnectedness and interdependence
of the national economies of the World. This tends to curtail the powers of the state to
regulate their economies. Globalisation has been a historical process. The post-war period
has seen the establishment of iqstitutions that attempted to regulate the international
monetary and trade relations. 'I'hese institutions are the W,the World Bank and the GATT
The system was known as the Bretton-Woods system. However, this system under the
hegemony of the United States of America collapsed in the 70s because the United States.
unilaterally, refused to abide by its rules and prucedures. The subsequent oil crisis followed
by the revolution in industrial production through highly sophisticated computerised methods
brought about radical changes in the international economic order. The Western countries
need for resources, the economic crisis and stagnation in these countries, eventually led to
globalisation under American hegemony. The process of globalisation has neither promoted
equality among the national-states nor necessarily development for the third world
countries. The transnational corporations and the indusuialised countries continue to exploit
and enjoy a dominant position in the global economy. The World Trade Organisation has
been set up following the Uruguay Round of GA'IT.


Allied forces : The World War I1 was fought between two power blocs, known as
Allied forces and Axis forces. The forces were led by the UK.USA,
France and the erstwhile USSR.
Dunkel Draft : In order to break the deadlock in the Uruguay Round negotiations,
The Director General of GA'IT, Mr.Arthur Dunkel prepared
certain proposals. They have came to be known as Dankel Draft.
Service Sector : There are two sectors in any Country's economy, namely, primary ,
sector and secondary sector. Primary sector is directly involved in
production of goods and services. Secondary sector offers services 1
to the people, it is, therefore, known as s e ~ c sector.
e ,
~kmlhllon of the Era-y-
Joan Edelman Spero, 1997 : ' The politics of International Economic Relations' George A
I llen & Unwin.
Holt, Rinebart and Winston, 1975 : 'International Economic Institutions' London, 1975.
I Chernulum F., 'Papi McGraw Hill 1988 : 'International Eoonomies -New Delhi.



1) International Economy is one in which procesm are determined at the national level
economics and International phenomena are results of the distinct and differential
perfonnames of the national economics.
2) The globalizationof economy means that the national level economics do not have
control over the International economy. The whole economy is guided by
international market forces.
3) The great depression of the 1930s' the collapse of the International Monetary system
and the devastating World War II.
4) The Bretton Woods System envisaged a fixed exchange ram lbt conducting
International Trade. AU Countries agreed to maintain the parity of &ir
conveniences in terms of gold and to maintain exchange rates witbin one
percent plus or minus or parity.
5) The IMF is an organisation that seeks to promote international morretary cooperation
and to facilitate the expansion of trade and thus to contriie increased employment
and improved economic conditions.
5) The GATT was founded to promote fair and fice International Trade among member
6) The WTO superseded the GAIT and has come into operatio116 from 1st January,

Check Your Progress 2

1. The most si@cant-Bwelopment are the emergence of economic subsystems and

the growth of the MNC's.

European Union
18.2.1 Origin. Hiatory and Obj&
18.2.2 InshtionsorOrgPIII
18.2.3 Role and its Future in World P o l i i
Association of South East Asian Nations
18.3.1 ah sand^
18.3.2 b t h t i c n u or Structure
18.3.3 Pow- Fbdions and Role
Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation Council
South Asian Association for Regional Co-operation
1 . 1 handobjectivea
18.5.2 Stytum a u d M o n s
18.5.3 ~ landPnmpoUs i ~
Organization of Islamic Conference
18.6.1 A h Md Objadvw
18.6.2 CkgatuofOIC
Organhtions of African Unity
18.7.1 PurpoamaudPrhiplm
18.7:2 Organa arrdhtitutiono
18.7.3 Role and Adivitias
Let Us Sum Up
Key word5
Some Useful Books
Answers to Check Your Progress Exercises

This Unit deals with six major regional organizations. Like the UN, these orgmzations are
playing a decisive role not only in political or economic m a w at regional level but also at
the international level. As the world is becoming more interdependent, national barriers are
getting weakened aad nations of a particular region are forming their own associations. T h i ~
process is still continuing. After going through this unit you should be able to :

explain the origin, objectives or functions and structure of major regional

organhations or groupbgs;
gain an omview of their chaziging role in regional or inteznational politics;
examine some of their major a c c o m p l i ~ t ands shortcomings.


Unlike the global international organization, regional international otganizations and

WMiws ate mated to @om gpecifc or limited functions for a group of countria which
are united by some geographical, cultural or historical fsctors. These States of a particular
@on may unite themeelvea in group or organizations for economic and political ties or for
political ideology and similarity of social institution6. E@mce of such regional
organizations m y be useful for governments and peoples to appreciatethe benefits of
bmational integration and bmational confsderal arrangomults. Such experienct may
The &@Orpn&ati(#~~
MI : EU,
also teach them to develop the intergrab political habits and skills for possible application ASEAN. APEC, SAARC,OICsnd
on a larger scale and for a broader range of functions. OAU

Since the end of World War 11many regional organizations Slave been established in the
various regions of the world. This unit discusses the following ones.

The European Union (EU)was previously known (till 1992) as the European Community
(EC) or the European Economic Community (EEC). It is a closely-knit group of 15 European
States. It was created to foster greater economic and political integration in Europe, to help
them avoid another war among them, like World War II. These 15 members of EU, having a
collective population of 370 million, share the common institutions and policies that have
brought an unprecedented era of peace and prosperity to Western Europe. The EU is in
inany ways unique among the attempts towards fostering supranationalism among the people
in its member countries. In fact, its unprecedented success story has served as a model for
other similar expeaiments.

18.2.1 Otigin, ~ & t > r yand Objectives

Before and after the World War I1 many efforts were made to create unity among European
States on institutional basis. However, the origin of EU can be meed d i m t l y to the year
1952, wheh six countries - Belgium, France, the Federal Republic of Germany, Italy,
Luxembourg and The Netherlands - decided to create the European Coal and Steel
Community (ECSC) by pooling their coal and steel resources in a common market controlled
by an independent supranational auf;hority. A major landmark, however, came in 1958 when
the Treaties of Rome (1957) entered into force. The Rome Treaties established the EEC and
the European Atomic Energy Community (Euratom), extending the common market for coal
and steel to most other economic sectors in the member countries. The basic objective of
these treaties was to establish gradually a European Common Market with the eventual
free movement of goods, persons, services and capital among the EC countries.

( In 1973, three other cwmies - UK,Ireland and Denmark -joined the EC. From Nine in
1973, its membership has risen to 15 by 1 January 1995. Othersjoining it were Greece
(1981), Spain and Portugal (1986), Australia, Finland and Sweden (1995).

Many significant developments occurred between1958 and 1992 which enabled the EC to be
transformed into what it is now known as EU. In 1973 the Constitution of the European
Monetary Co-operation was signed. From 1999 the European Monetary System starts to
operate. The single European Act (1986) and the Maastricht Treaty on European Union
(1992) were milestones in the history of EU. The former entered into force in July 1987 and
the latter on 1 November 1993. The former envisaged the creation of a single maiket by 1
January 1993. The Maastricht Treaty sets into motion an ambitious programme: a common

1 or single currency at the earliest by 1 January 1997 or the latest by 1 January 1999; a
European Central Bank, a common foreign and security policy and internal security and the
European citizenship. Its task is to mould the Member States into a single Community
embracing every sector of the economy covering such key areas as the free movement of goods
and workers, freedom of establishment and services, the free movement of capital and
payments, competition policy, economic and monetary policy, environmental policy, search
and technology and industrial policy.

The introducing of Union (European)citizenship can be considered as the most important

feature of Maastricht Treaty. It gives Union citizens the right to live, study or spend their
retirement in any Member-State. Originally the right to freedom was restricted to workers
only, but now everyone can benefit from it. Union citizens have the right to vote and stand as
candidate in municipal elections in the Member State where they reside. This has major
implioations. Indeed some Member States had to amend their constitutions to make it
possiile. It should be noted that the Union c-pi stands alongside national citizenship
so that people can still retain their national identity. However, it must be acknowledged that
the Union citizenship is one of the innovations introduced by the Treaty showing how the EU
is gradually evolsing from an economic community into a political upion.

18.2.2 Institutions or Organs

The EU functions thmugh seven organs. They are

1) The Council of the Eumpean Union is the main decision - making institution. It is
made up of Ministers from the 15 Member States. Different Ministers attend
Council meetings depending on the agenda. It elu~ctsUnion Legislations
(regulations, directives and decisions). Its decisions are binding throughout the EU
territory and it directs inter-governmental cooperation. The Presidency of the
Council rotates among the Member States every six months. Each Presidency
concludes with a d t of the Council which brings together the Heads of State or

2) The European Parliament (EP) is composed of 626 members, directly elected

(since 1979) to five year terms. Members of the EP (MEPs) form political rather than
national groups. The EP acts as the EU's public forum, debating issues of public
importance and raises questioning for the Council and the Commission. It can
amend or reject the EU budget.

The Eumpean Commisdon : A single Commission for all three Communities (the
ECSC, the EEC and Euratom) was created when the Treaty merging the executives
entered into force in July 1967. The number of commissionerswas increased to 20
in January 1995. The Commission proposes policies and legislation, and ensures
that the provisions of the treaties and the decisions of the institution are properly

The Court of Justice interprets EU law and its rulings are binding. The Court
comprises 15judges assisted by 9 Advocates-General. It is assisted by a Court of
First Instance, which has jurisdiction to hear cases in limited areas.
I*-pther bodies of EU are the Court ofAuditors (15 members), the Economic and
;&cia1 Committee (222 members) and the Committee of the Regions (222 members).
The second body represents employers, employees and many groups such as farmers
and consumers, and the third one represents local and regional authorities.

18.2.3 Role and its Future in World Politics

D u i q th8 Last four decades the EU has emerged as the world's largest trading bloc and an
econo& giant. It has served as a magnet to attract new members (the applications of
Hungary and Poland for EU membership are pending since April 1994) bringing its total
population and GNP equivalent to those of the present and former Super Powers - the USA
and the USSR It is gradually moving tow& greater European integration and federalism.
It may become a United States of Eumpe in due course. It is a Super Power in the making
and may fill the vacuum created by the disintegration of the USSR, the only other Super
Power since 1945. Its constructive role may restore the balance of power in the present uni-
polar world politics.


The Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) was formed following the signing of
the Barngkok Declaration on 8 August 1967 by five States - Indonesia, Malaysia, the
The Reglolrpl Oqanizalons : Eb,
Philippines, Singapore and Thailand. Brunei joined it in January 1984 and Vietnam ASEAN. APEC, SAARC, OIC and
recently. Though ASEAN came into existence principally as a result of the V~emunwar and OAU
its perceived threat to the noncommunist States of South-east Asia, by admitting Vietnam (a
communist State) it has overcome its earlier anti-communist bias. Like EU, it is attracting
many new members. Myanmar has been given observer status at a meeting of its foreign
ministers on 20 July 1996. It is expected that Myanmar alongwith Laos and Cambodia will
soon join ASEAN.

18.3.1 Aims and Purposes

Seven aims and purposes were included in the ASEAN declaration. These are :

i) to accelerate the economic growth, social progress and cultural development in the
region .throughjoint endeavours in the spirit of equality and partnership in order to
strengthen the foundation for a prosperous and peaceful community of South East
Asian Nations;

ii) to promote peace and stability through binding respect for justice and the rule of law
in the relationship among countries of the region and adherence to the principles of
the UN Charter;

iii) to promote collaboration and mutual assistance on matters of common interest in the
economic, social, cultural, technical, scientific and administrative fields,

iv) to provide assistance to each other in the form of training and research facilities in
the educational, professional, technical and administrative spheres;

V) to collaborate more effectively for the greater utilization of their agriculture and
industries,' expansion of their trade including the study of the problem of
international commodity trade, improvement of their transport and transport and
communication facilities and raising living standards of their peoples;

vi) to promote Southeast Asian studies; and

vii) to maintain close and beneficial cooperation with existing international and regional
organizations with similar aims and purposes and to explore all avenues for even
closer cooperation among themselves.

18.3.2 Institutions or Structure

ASEAN's highest authority is the summit of heads of government of its members States. The
summits are held only when necessary, the first such summit was held in 1976 and the third
and most recent in 1987. The ministerial conference is an annual meeting of foreign
ministers held on a rotating basis in each country. The ministerial conferences are
supplemented by bimonthly meetings of the standing committee which comprises the foreign
minister of the host country and ambassadors from other six. The ASEAN secretariat was
formed in 1976; the post of Secretary-General rotates among member States every three years.

Other permanent comniittees include : (i) trade and tourism; (ii) industry, mimines and
energy; (iii) food, agriculture and forestry; (iv) transportation and communications;
(v) finance and banking; (vi) science and technology; (vii) social development; (viii) culture
and information; and (ix) budget.

.IJ_g.3.3 Powers, Functions and Role

ASEAN provides a urrifed front for the member countries vis-a-vis third countries primarily
in the areas of trade, development aid and some areas of foreign policy. -
O r w o r n ASEAN's internal powers are executed in the areas of, and through, its standing and other
committees. Its primary functions in these areas are the coordination of joint industrial and
technical projects and the harmonization of policies, standards and regulations.

It played an important role in two areas : (1) With the aim of maintaining peace and stability
in the area, it sponsored the UN Conference on Cambodia 1981. (2) In 1977 it established
Preferential Trading Agreements (PTA), which resulted in the increase of intra-ASEAN trade
from 15% in 1977 to 21% in 1983.



On 5 Nwember 1989 Asia-Pacific Economic Corporation Council the APEC was established.
ASEAN members participated in its founding. APEC includes the ASEAN countries and the
USA, Japan, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and South Korea. At the July 1990 inaugural
meeting of APEC it was agreed to open membership negotiations with China, Taiwan and
Hong Kong. The European Community-APEC relations were on the agenda for the October
1991 meeting. ASEAN reactions to the foundation of APEC (a new regional economic
organization) varied from Singapore which was very enthusiastic to Indonesia which called
for greater concentration on intra-ASEAN rather than external economic relations.

Check Your Progms Exercise 1

Note : i) Use the space given below for your answer.

ii) Check your progress with the answers given at the end of the unit.

1) What are the bases or reasons for the creation of regional organizations?

2) The main features of the Maastricht Treaty are ....

3) The three main goals of ASEAN are ....

(I) ...........................................................................................................................
(2) .............................................................................................................................
(3) ...................................................................................................................:.........
'1 Reglonnl OrganizPt~ons: EU,

The SAARC was formally inaugurated at the first summit meeting of the Heads of State or
Government of the South Asian countries in December 1985 in Dhaka. Seven countries of
South Asia - Bangladesh, Bhutan, In& Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka - had
begun discussions on regional co-operation after the initiative for such an organization had
been taken by the late President of Bangladesh, Zia-ur-Rahman, in May 1980. King Birendra
of Nepal is also reported to have been among those who conceived the idea.

18.5.1 Aims and Objectives

According to Article 1 of the SAARC Charter (adopted in December 1985) its main objectives
are as follows :

to promote the welfare of the people of South Asia and to improve their quality of
to accelerak economic growth, social progress and cultural development in the
to promote and strengthen collective self-reliance among countries of South Asia;
to contribute to mutual trust, understanding and appreciation of one another's
to promote active collaboration and mutual assistance in the economic, social,
cultural, technical and scientific fields;
to strengthen cosperation with other developing countries;
to stengthen co-operation among themselves in international fora on matters of
common interests; and
to co-operate with international and regional organizations with similar aims and

18.5.2 Structure and Functions

1) Meeting of Heads of State or Government The SAARC Summit is the supreme

policy making organ and meets ordinarily once a year. SAARC Summits have so far
met in Dhaka (1985), Bangalore (1986), Kathmandu (1987), Islamabad (1988), Male
(1990), Colomob (1991), Dhaka (1993) and New Delhi (1995). No summit meeting
was held in 1989, 1992 and 1994.

ii) Council of Ministers consists of the Foreign Ministers of the members States. It
meets ordinarily twice a year and is concerned with the formulation of policies,
review of programme of co-operation etc.

iii) Standing Committee, comprising of Foreign Secretaries of the Member countries, is

concerned with overall monitoring and co-operation, mobili~ationof resources,
identification of new areas of co-operation etc. It meets as ofien as deemed
necessary but at least twice a year.

iv) Rchnical Committees comprising representatives of member8tates are responsible

for imnplementation, co-ordination, and monitoring of the programmes in their
respective areas,of co-operation. They submit periodic reportsdo the Standing

V) Action Committees may be set up by the standing committee. They consist of

d implementation of projects involving more 16an two
member-States ~ c e m e with
but not all member-States.
i ) The Secretariat, established in 1987, consists of a Secretary-General and other stafl'
monitoring the dina at ion and implementation of programmes as well as for
servicing the meetings of the SAARC organs. It is based at Kathmandu.

18.5.3 Accomplishments and Prospects

Though SAARC has completed ten years, like the other regional organizations it has not been
as successful as it should have been. Progress on the generally agreed items of the SAARC
agenda has been not only very slow but also unsatisfactory. It has not been able to make any
signilicant impact on the process of cooperation and coordination in implementing the aims
and objectives of the SAARC. The reasons for thiS state of affairs are not far to seek The
region is marred by ethnic tensions such as the Tamil-Sinhala mnflrct, Assamese-Bangladeshi
tensions and Hindu-Muslim conflicts. In all these ethnic tenslons India, as the geographical
centre of the region, becomes involved. Also, historically-rooted mutual mistrust,
misperception and misunderstanding among its member-States prevails. The endemic
conflict bemeen India and Pakistan is well known. Indo-Sri Lankan tension over the Tamil
question or the Nepalese complaints about India's interference in her domestic affairs are
other factors for tension. Moreover, as the region's largest country, there is a lurking fear of
Indian domination among other members. Although external samity threats do not exist in
South Asia today, the problem of cross-border movements of terrorists from Pakistan to India,
first in W a b and later in Kashmir, leading to continuous tension, skirmishes, military alert
and low-level proxy-war, has aspects of security concern constraining genuine regional co-

Despite these problems, SAARC has been gradually moving towards greater co-operation.
The seventh Summit at Dhaka in April 1993 achieved a major breakthrough. It decided to
set up the South Asian Preferential Trade Agreement (SAPTA) which is a concrete step in the
direction of trade liberation in the region. The SAPTA became operational in January 1996.
But till in September 1996 intra-regional trade under SAPTA had not taken off as it remains
hampered by a paucity of infrastructure, lack of information and prevalence of high tariff
wvalls among its members. The attempts to throw open the borders for mnter-State trade have
run into trouble with businessmen in Pakistan and Bangladesh raising fears that their
industries wauld be swamped by competition.

Since the SAARC is still in ils initial stages one cannot expect quick results. However, within
the existing constraints it has made some progress in regional co-operation. Its Visa
Exemption Endorsement Facility is worth mentioning. Under this facility, with a view to
promote people-to-people contact,visa exemption has been provided to Supreme Court
Judges, members of National Parliaments, heads of national academic institutions, their
spouses arid dependent children from 1 March 1992. This facility allows them visa-free
travel within the SAARC region.


The Organisation of Islamic Conference (OIC) was established in May 1971, following a
summit meeting of Muslim Heads of State at Rabat (Morocco), in September 1969 and the
Islamic Foreign Minister's Conference in Jeddah (Saudi Arabia) in March 1970 and in
Karachi (F'akistan) in December 1970.

At present OIC has 45 members: Afghanistan, Algeria, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Benin, Brunei.
Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Chad, Comoros, Djibuti, Egypt, Gabon, Gambia, Guinea, Guinea-
Bissau, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali,
Mauritania, Morocco, Niger, Nigeria, Oman,Pakistan, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia,
Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, Turkey,Uganda, United Arab
Emirates and Yemen.
The R e g i o d Oqanhtha :EU.
18.6.1 Aims and Objectives ASEAN, APEC. SAARC. OIC and
The aims of OIC, as set out in the Charter adopted in 1972 are :

1) To promote Islamic solidarity among member-States ;

2) To consolidate wqeration among member-states in the economic, social, cultural,
scientific and other vital fields. and to arrange consultations among member States
belonging to international organizations; -

3) To endeavour to eliminate racial segregation aud discrimination and to eradicate

colonialism in all its forms;

4) To take necessary measures to support international peace and security founded on


5) To~o~all~forthesafe~oftheHolyPlacesandsupportofthe
struggle of the people of Palestine and help them to regain their rights and liberate
their W,

6) To stmgthen the sbuggle of all Muslim people with a view to safegmrding their
dignity, idepemlence and national rights; and

7. To m a t e suitable atmosphere for the promotion of cooperation and understanding

among member States and other countries.

18.6.2 Organs of OIC

Over the years, the OIC has been actively working towards greater cooperation among its
members in the field of economic, cultural, humanitariau and political matters. In this
regard, it has launched programmes and has set-up the Islamic Reinsurance Corporation with
authorised capital of USS200 million. The Organization supports education of Muslim
communities throughout the world, and, through the Islamic Solidarity Fund,has helped to
establish Islamic Universities in Niger, Uganda and Malaysia In the political field, however,
the organization is mainly concerned with the recognition of the rights of Palesthiam and the
PLO. The 1981 Summit Conference called for a Jihad (holy war - though not necessarily in
a military sense) for the h i t i o n of Jerusalem and the Israeli-occupied territories.
Also, this was to include an Islamic economic boycott of Israel. In the last 15 years it
demanded, among others, for the withdrawal of Soviet troops from. -fA In Ebct, the
Conference had asked its members not to participate in the 1980 Olympics unless the Swiet
troops had withdrawn from Af&ni&m. Though it is not vev successllin building
cuoperation and consensus in political field, it is nonetheless an important international


The Organisation of African Unity (OAU) is one of the multipurpose regional organizations
and is the largest in terms of membership. It was established in 1963. From iGorginal
membership of 30 it has grown to include 51 States. All members are from Africa, since the
OAU Charter does permit non-A6ican States to join. Only independent and sovereign States
are admitted. After getting independence in 1990 Namibia was admitted as the 5 1st member.

18.7.1 Purposes and Principles

The purposes of the OAU are the following : (i) to promote unity and so&darity of the
f i c a n States; (ii) to cooperate and coordinate efforts to achieve a better life for the people of
I m t i M o ~ a n d o r ~ Aftica; (iii) to defend the sovereignty, territorial integrity and independence of the African
States; (iv) to eradicate all forms of colonialism from Afiica; and (v) to promote international
cooperation with due regard to the UN Charter and the Universal Dechtion of Human

The bagic principles of OUA include; (i) peaceful settlement of disputes by negotiation.
mediatibn, conciliation, or arbitration; (2) unreserved condemnation of political
assassinations and subversive activities; and (3) aflhmation of a policy of nonalignment with
regard to all blocs.

At the inception of the OAU, Ghana led an attempt to establish a central political
organization with power to formulate a common foreign policy, common planning for
economic development, a common currency, and a common defence system. These
suggestions, implying the surrender of national sovereignty, were unacceptable to most of the
Heads of State and Gowmment €hat a p p d the OAU Charter. The Ghanian proposal for
organic political union was rejected in favour of a loose organization with a limited functional
approaah to unity.

18.7.2 Organs or Institutions

The supreme organ of the OAU is the Annual Assembly of the Heads of State and
Government. The agenda for the supreme organ is prepared by the Council of Ministers,
which meets twice a year to superrvise the general work of the organization and which is also
called into emergency session to meet with any crises. The Council is charged with the
responsibility of implementing the decisions of the supreme organ. A permanent General
Secretnriat carries on the continuous activities of the organization and provides necessary
support for the periodic meetings of the policy making organs. The Secretariat is headed by
an Administrative Secretary General, a title that underscores the limited initiative conferred
upon the &a.Five functional specialized Commissions and a Commission of Mediation.
Conciliation and Arbitration complete the organizational structure of the OAU.

18.7.3 Role and Activities

The OAU does not have an impressive record of resolving regional political, economic or
refuged problems. During the last 30 years it has witnessed, most often helplessly, many
crises that have sometimes threatened its disintegration. Many African States lmve
experienced civil wars and guerilla fighting. The UN-imposed sanctions against racist South
African government or the earlier white-dominated regime in Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe),
were often at the behest of the OAU organs pressures for effective UN action. But when it
came t~ the actual implementation of UN resolution, the individual African States have often
violaH UN resolutions imposing trade embargo by continuing to have W e links with South
Afiica apartheid regime. However, the OAU has some accomplishmentsin political,
ecano@c and social matters. First, in 1965, in the area of economic and social cooperation,
the OAU and the UN Economic Commission for Africa signed an agreement for mutual
cooperstion on a continuing basis to facilitate economic and social development in Africa.
Second', in 1981, it adopted the African Charter on Human and People's Rights, which
entered into force in 1986. OAU is the third regional organization (besides the Council of
Europe and OAS) to have a regional human rights and mechanise to implement it.

Check Your Pro- Exercise 2

Note : i) Use the space given below for yeur answer.

ii) Check your progress with the answers given at the end of the unit.

1) List the eight main purposes of the SAARC.

.....................................................................................................................................................................I'he ReglollPl Oqmlratio~:EU,

2) Why OAU is not a very successful organization?



This Unit has begun with the discussion of the rationale of regional organization. It surveyed
six kinds of major regional institutions, each of which have had different reasons for its
creation. Thus we learnt that Merent reasons or factors, such as the homogeneity of
interests. traditions, and values within small groups of neighbouring States, prompted their
establishment. Moreover, it shows that political, economic and social integration is more
easily attainable among a lesser number of States within a limited geographic area than on a
global basis.

Also, this Unit has enabled us to examine some of the major accomplishments and
shortcomings of these regional associations.


Regional Integration : The process whereby a group of nations or other political units shift
loyalties from a national setting to a larger regional entity.
Free 'Ikade Areas : An area where goods and products can mwe without tariff or
custom duties.
Common Market : A customs union where labour and capital can move freely within
the area characterid by product and factor integration.
Apartheid : The official policy of racial discrimination practised in South
Africa till the white-minority government, which was in power for
the last 50 years, was replaced by the fvst democractidly elected
non-racist government headed by Nelson Mandela in May 1994.


Bennett, A LeRoy, (1988) International Organization - Principles andlssues. 4th edn.
(Ea@ewoodCliffs, N. J. : Practice-Hall International).

Borchardt, Klaus-Dieter, (1995) European Integration The Origin's and Growth of the -
European Union (Luxembourg:08tice for Ofticial Publicatidlls of the European

Elazer, Daniel J. (ed.), (1994) Federal Systems of the World - A Handbook of Federal,
Confederal and Autonomy Arrangements, 2nd edn. (London: Longman).

1. See Section 18.1

2. (a) It entered into force in November 1993
(b) It seeks to establish common an single currency in Europe
(c) A envisages European or Union Citizenship
3. See the first three aims in Section 18.3.1.
(a) to accelerate economic growth & devel-ment
(b) to promote peace and stability.
(c) to promote collaboration and astwtance for mutual development of member

1. See ~ectihn18.5.1 of this Unit.

2. See Section 18.7.3 of this Unit.

19.0 Objectives
19.1 Introduction
19.2 The Concept of Sustainable Human Development
r 19.2.1 Components of Human Development Paradlgm
19.2.2 Concepts and Definitions of Sustainable Human Development
19.3 Sustainable Human Development and the Environment
19.3.1 Economic Activity and the Environment
, 19.3.2 Watsr
19.3.3 Air Pollution
19.3.4 Solid and Hazardous Wastes
19.3.5 Land and Habitat
19.3.6 Atmospheric Changes
19.4 Intcmational~EnvironmentConcems
19.4.1 Introduction of International Environment Concerns
19.4.2 Agenda 21 and the Rio-Declaration
19.4.3 Can Market Mechanism solve the Environmental Problem?
19.4.4 Multi-Stakeholder Paitnership
19.5 Let Us Sum Up
19.6 Key Words
19.7 Some Useful Books
194 Answers to Check Your Progress Exercises

After reading this unit, you will have an idea of:
interface bctwwn sustainable human development and the enviroiunent;
the trade off between economic growth and sustainable development; and
global environmental concerns and the choice of partnership in sustaining human

The development theories practised in the 1950's and 1960's ovenwhelmingly
emphasised economic growth, growth of gross national product (GNP).In 1970's the
world witnessed growing poverty and the approach followed was basic needs. However,

the basic eeds approach failed not only because of the selfishness of the privileged few
but also ue to helplessness of tho deprived many. The 1980's have also witnessed
selfishness and helplessness, both accumulated by the acute problems of environmental
degradation in general and debt, deprivation and growing disparities within the countries
in particular. However, in 1990's some hopes am king surfaced on the horizon: more
balanced management policies, greater awareness of interdisciplinary linkages,
sustainable benefits arising out of technological advances, the role of partnerships, etc.
So, the pivot around which the new paradigm revolves is sustainable human
development. Human development cannot be propelled by pursuing economic growth
alone. Quantity of economic growth is only one dimension of davelopment. Distribution
of income, health, education, clean environment and freedom of expression am the most
critical dimensions in the development process.
Sustainable development is primarily concerned with the replicable models of material
i consumption, models that recognises the limitations of the environment. .However, .
I smasts;nahlr r l r u r l n n m r n t ;a nnt aimnlu a r a l l fn- rnu;mnmrdsl r.mtrdin* Tt a l s n im.rl;rs
a new concept of development which provides opportunity for all the people of the
world without depleting the world's finite natural resources. So, sustainable development
is a process in which economic, fiscal, agriculture, industry and all other policies are
taken care of to bring about development that is economically, socially and ecologically
Sustainability also requires far-reaching changes at both national and international levels.
At the national level, sustainability demands a balance between the compulsions of today
and the needs of. tomorrow, between private initiative and public action, between
individual greed and social compassion. Sustainability also requires a major restructuring
of budgetary provisions from military spending and inefficient public investment towards
more human investment and environmentally safe technologies. At the international level,
sustainable development require a consensus that the world cannot be safe for anyone
without hearty co-operation of every one. For this what is needed is a equitable world
order by dismantling the present international economic order. The present international
order denies more than $ 500 billion of economic opportunities each year to poor
nations due to their unequal access to international market (market for good, services
and financial capital). In such an unequal world, the concept of one world cannot be
realised without global reforms. Without global equity, global sustainability will always
remain an elusive concept.


Human development as defined in the UNDP's Human Development Report as the
enlargement of the range of people's choices. It is an extension of the basic needs
approach. (The concept of basic needs approach reminds us that the objective of
development effort is to provide all human beings the opportunity for a full ffe.) Since,
some basic interpretations are in terms of commodity bundles or specific needs, human
development is trying to get away from this. Human development goes beyond basic
needs in a sense that it is concerned with all human beings irrespective of poor and rich
within a nation-state and among nation-states.

19.2.1 Components of Human Development Paradigm

There are essentially four components of human development paradigm; equity,
sustainability, productivity and empowennent. Since human development paradigm
distinguishes from the traditional concept of economic development, each of them needs
to be taken care of in its proper prospective. Equity: Since, development is to enlarge
people's choices, people must enjoy equitable access to opportunities. However, equity in
opportunities need not necessarily result in same choices or same results. Even if, equity
in opportunities result in unequal outcomes, equity in access to social, political and
economic opportunities is regarded as a basic human right in a human development
paradigm. It is based on the assumption that all human beings must be enabled to
develop their capabilities to the maximum extent and put those capabilities to the best
use in all possible areas.

Sustainability is another essential component of human development paradigm.
Sustainability does not mean renewal of natural resources alone, which is only one
. aspect of sustainable development. It is the sustainability of human development
including forms of capital -physical, financial, human and environmental. Putting it
differently, it is the human life that must be sustained.
It also does not necessarily require preserving all kinds of capital in its current form.
Technological progress undoubtedly create substitutes for some form of capital. And if
cost effective substitutes are available, they can be used to sustain human choices. So,
what could be sustained is at least the capacity to produce similar level of human well-
Sustainability is a dynamic concept focusing sharing of opportunities between present
and future generations by ensuring intragenerational and intergenerational equity in
Productivity Enviro~lentand
Sustainable Human
Another essential dimension of human development paradigm is productivity. It requires Development
that adequate investments must be made in human resources so as to achieve their
potentiality. In fact, many East Asian countries have accelerated their growth through
investments in human capital. Japan and Korea could emerge as the efficient exporters
of steel products without possessing iron ore is mainly due to their tremendous human
resources potential.

The human development paradigm focus on development by the people who must
participate in the process which shape their lives. The strategy of prescription for the
poor is neither consistent with human dignity nor sustainable over time. That is why
human development paradigm envisages full empowerment of the people.
Empowerment means that people must be in a position to exercise choice of their own.
It implies a political democracy where people can influence the decision about their
lives. It also implies Economic liberalisation so that people are free from excessive
controls and regulations. In other words, there must be decentralisation of power so that
governance can be brought to the door step of every individual. Against the above
discussions it is obvious that human development paradigm welcomes all choices
whereas the older concept of basic needs concept is confined to only economic forces.

19.2.2 Concepts and Definitions of Sustainable Human Development

The concept of sustainable human development is that development which lasts for ever.
It may be possible that those who enjoy the fruits of development today may be at the
cost of making future generations worse-off by degrading the earth's finite resources and
the environment. The general principle of sustainable development adopted by the World
Commission on Environment and Development (our common future. 1987) is that
"Current generations should meet their needs without compromising the ability of future
generations to meet their own needs."
The sustainable human development i.e., ensuring that "present needs are met without
compromisik the ability of future generation to meet their own needs" require
deliberate intervention to prevent depletion or degradation of environmental assets so
that the resource base and ecological base for human activities may be sustained for
ever. Differeqt kinds of environmental assets, the renewable and non-renewable resources
and sinks (the kind of actions that can ensure ecological sustainability) are sumrnarised
in the following two boxes.
Meeting the needs of the present....

Economic Needs: Includes access to an adequate liielihood or productive assets, also

economic security when unemployed, ill, disabled or otherwise unable to secure a
Social, cultural and health needs: Includes a shelter which is healthy, safe, afforc'able
and secure, within a neighbourhood with provision for piped water, sanitation, drainage,
transport, health care, education and child development. Also a home, workplace and
living environment protected from environmental hazards, including chemical pollution.
Also important are needs related to people's choice and control including homes and
neighbourhoods which they value and where their social and cultural priorities are met.
Shelter and services must meet the specific needs of children and adults responsible for
most child rearing (usually women). Achieving this implies a more equitable distribution
of income between nations and in most within nations.
Political Needs: Includes freedom to participate in national and local politics and in
decisions regarding management and development of one's home and neighbourhood
within a broader framework which ensures respect for civil and political rights q d the
implementation of environmental legislation.

Source: Mitlin Diana and David Satterthwaite, "Cities and Sustainable Development" the
background paper to Global Forum '94, Manchester City Council, June, 1994.
... Without compromlsig the ability of future gelleratioaar to meet their own needs

Minimldng uoe or wante of non renewable murcer: Includm minimising the

consumption of fossil fwls in houring, commerce, industry and transport plus substituting
renewable sources where feasible. Also, minimising water of scarce mineral res.ources
(rtduce use, reuse, recycle, nclalrn). There arc also cultural, historical and natural assets
within cities that are implaccable and thus non-mewable for instance, historic districts
and parks and natural landscapes which provide space for play, recreation and access to
a SrurWnable use of renewable resourceat Cltles drawing on fresh water &sources at
levelr which can be sustained; keeping to a sustainable ecological footprlnt in tame of
land area on which produma and cansumem In any city draw for @cultural crops, wood
prodIhcts and blomaae fuels.
a Wanb from dtla keeplng wltbln absorptive cnpadty of local and global dnka:
IncluViing renewable dnks (e.g., capacity of river to breakdown biodegradable wastes) and
non-renewable sinke (for plstent chemicals, include8 green house wee, stratoepherlc
ozone depleting chemicals and many pesticides).

Source: MlUn Dlana and Daxfd Satterthwslte, "Clties and Sutainable Development" the
background paper to Global Forum '94, Manchester Clty Council, June, 1994.
W n g into account both the development and environment components in sustainable
human development, the important criteria for judging sustainable h u m development
could be:
a The quality of life of the inhabitants including exidking levels of poverty, social
exclusion and integration and socio-political stabilib;
a The scale and nature of renewable resource use, inbluding the extent to which
w& recycling or reuse reduces it;
a The scale and nature of renewable resource use, inbluding provision to ensure
sustainable levels of demand; and
a The scale and nature of non-renewable wasm gen#rated by production and
comumption activities and the means by which thqse are disposed off. It also
includes the extent to which the wastes affect hurrJan health, natural systems and
However, this definition remains silent about the constilbenb of needs of the present
and future generation. This is crucial, primarily, because developing countries in general
are not satisfied with their present levels of consumptioi, while developed countries are
not entitled for 85% of the world's income even without reversing the present patterns
of consumption. As a matter of fact, the preservation of1 the global environment raises
serious question about the distribution of global income(and asset at present.
In fact, what we really need to sustain is human life. ~dstainingthe physical
environnhent is a means, not an end, like growth of ON$ is only a means towards
human development. The environmental debate, therefob, must be given a human face
to save it from the crises of environmental degradation. In other words, sustainable
human development is putting people, not trees at the dentre stage of the environmental
Tho concept of sustainable development implies that eabh generation must meet its
needs without incurring debts that it cannot repay. The word debt includes four
dimensi$ns, which are as follows:
1) Avoiding the accumulation of environmental debts by depleting natural resources;
2) . ' Avoiding financial debts by incurring unsustainable
. .
3) Avoiding social debts by neglecting investmsnt in human capital; and
4) Avoiding demographic debts by permitting unchecked population growth vis-a-vis
Human development can be sustainable if adequate care has to be taken, of course,, b-ab*
Sust.inaB1e m sti
through the budgetary policies; in each of these four areas so that it remain balance in
each generation. Sustainable development, therefore, requires that it must be different
from economic development as well as respectful of the physical environment. And it
must translate into human lives. However, preservation of physical environment is. only a
means towards the end, the end being sustaining human life. Development opportunities
and human choices must be present for future generation so that the next generation
enjoy at least the level of welfare/well-being enjoyed by our own generation.
Against this backdrop, the concept of sustainable human development should thus focus
, not only on the future but also on the present. It is ridiculous to worry about unborn
1, generations
if the present generation are living below the poverty line. It is neither
necessary nor desirable to perpetuate today's inequities, which in fact is neither
sustainable nor worth sustaining. So, adequate restructuring of the world's income and
consumption patterns is a necessary precondition for any viable strategy for sustainable
human development.

Check Your Progress 1

Note:' i) Use the space below for your answers.
ii) Check your answers with the model answers given at the end of the unit.
1 1) What is human development? What are the different components of human
development paradigm?

2) How can we sustain human development?
. .
. ' t

What are the important yardsticks for measuring a country's level of sustainable
human development?

4) "~ustaiiablehuman development not only focus on the future but also on the
present." Elucidate.


f "Economic development and sound environmental management are complementary
aspects of the same agenda. Without adequate environmental protection,
development will be undermined; without development, environmental protection
will fail" (World Development Report, 1992).
It has already been discussed in section 2 that development is all about well being of
people. Improving living standards and levels of health, education and opportunity are
the important dimensions of economic development. However, the measure of economic
1 6

I development does not adequately reflect environmental degradation and the consumption
of natural resources damaged by economic growth. In fact, it is neither possible nor
1 desirable to give monetary values on all types of environniental damages. Nonetheless,
Issues in Development it is desirable to know how much environmental quality is being given up in the name
of development as well as how much development is being up in the name of
environmental protection. The World Development Report, 1992 argues that too much of
environmental quality is being given up and too much of economic growth may be
given up in the future to reap the benefits of both economic development and the
environment. In other words, raising economic growth combined with sound
environmental management policies can be used for tackling both environment and
development problems.
Now, the obvious question comes out is that why some economic activity lead to
excessive environmental degradation? One possible answer could be that' many natural
resources are shared and the net value of many environmental goods and services is not
paid for by those who use them. Besides, some natural resources are shared and in most
of the cases there is no mechanism for enforcing property rights. Another possible
reason could be that in some projects government policies subsidise environmental
degradation which can induce more damage that would have been otherwise. One more
reason could be that the poor who does not have adequate resources and hence no
choice but to degrade natural resources in excess of what is currently needed to sustain.
The most important environmental concern in today's world that 'resources that are
regenerative but are under valued'. For instance, air and water are renewable
resources but there is a limit of assimilate emissions and wastes. If pollution exceeds a
particular limit, ecosystem can deteriorate rapidly. When fisheries and forests deplete
beyond a threshold point, there would be loss of ecosystem and species.

19.3.1 Economic Activity and the Environment

The proposition that higher economic activity inevitably affect the environment adversely
is based on the assumption that technology, taxes and environmental investment remain
static. As the scale of economic activity increases, there may be a possibility that the
earth's 'carrying capacity' could be exceeded. The dynamic relationship between
economic activity and the environment is given in Chart 1.

Chart 1

Scale of the Environmental

economy inp~t-o~tput Quality of the
(Income per X
output x damage per =
structure efficiency unit of output environment
capita x

Demand for Greater
better efficiency technologies and
environment reduces practices reduce-
rises as income demand for emissions, wastes
per capita grows resource inputs and degradation

0 Policies [7Linkages [? Environmental Bepefits

Source: World Development Report 1992. World Bank, Oxford University Press,
Page 39, (Figure 1.4)
In Chart 1 it is clear that the scale of the economy' is only of the factors that will Environment and
determine environmental quality. The important question here is whether the factors that Sustainable Human
tend to reduce environmental damage per unit of activity can adequately compensate for
any negative spill-over of the growth in the scale. The most important factors are:
Structure: Goods and services produced in the economy.
Efficiency: Inputs used per unit of output in the economy.
Substitution: The ability to substitute for those resources that are becoming scarce.
Clean Technologies and Management Practices: The ability to reduce environmental
damage per unit of input or output.
Economic policies, environmental policies and environmental investments take
cognisance of the individual behaviour in the true value of environmental resources.
Economic policies affect the scale, structure and efficiency of production. Which in turn
result in positive or negative effects on the environment. Efficiency resulting from
economic policies often reduce the land for natural resource inputs. Environmental
policies can reinforce efficiency and provide incentives for adopting environment
friendly technologies. The environmental policy induced incentives may result in lower
quantity of output but will generate benefits that can increase human welfare. As the
scale of economy incieases, there would be a possibility of increase in demand for
cleaner environment, due to available of more resources for investment. Without rational
reallocation of investment, the adverse consequences of economic growth is likely to
dominate. For instance, increased income allows societies to deliver public goods such
as health care, education, etc. On the other hand, environment may be worsened as the
scale of economy increases. For instance, carbon dioxide emissions, municipal wastes,
etc., tend to increase with income. So, what is necessary is introduction of sufficient
incentives and disincentives to change the behaviour and attitude through regulations,
charges, reliefs or by other necessary means. Even through, individual costs of changing
behaviour are likely to be relatively higher in comparison to individual benefits, due to
spill-over effect, it enables all the countries to grow more rapidly with less
environmental impact then would have been otherwise.
Environmental degradation has basically three damaging effects. It affects human health
adversely, reduces overall efficiency and productivity and involves loss of amenities. The
health of people is affected by the contaminated drinking water, polluted air released by
cooking fuels, smoke released by hazardous units, burning of woods, etc. We are going
to discus each aspect in a great detail.
Box 3
Concerns in Poor Countries

Diarrhoes diseases that result from contaminated water kill about 2 million children and
cause about 900 million episodes of illness each year.
Indoor air pollution from burning wood, charcoal and dung endangers the health of 400
million to 700 million people.
Dust and soot in city can cause between 300,000 and 700,000 premature deaths a year.
Soil erosion can cause annual economic losses ranging from 0.5 to 1.5 per cent of GNP.
A quarter of all imgated land suffers from salinisation.
Tropical Forests -the primary source of livelihood for about 140 million.people are being
lost at a rate of 0.9 per cent annually.
Ozone depletion, loss of bio-diversity and greenhouse effect are increasing at an'alarming

Source: 'World Development Report, 1992" World Bank, Oxford University Press, Page 44.
Issues in Development 19.3.2 Water
Access to safe drinking water is becoming an urgent need in many countries. The
problem has been compounded further by acute scarcity of water. The most widespread
contamination is fecal contamination (fecal coliform levels), which affect the human
health indirectly. Human sewage, industrial effluent. intensive use of chemical fertiliser
in agriculture, etc. are the main causes for the inadequate levels of dissolved oxygen
which in turn endangers the fish population.
Since, surface water in cities are becoming polluted and costly to purify, ground water
turned out to be the potential source of safe drinking water. However, in some areas,
ground water to.0 is polluted which is very important to prevent from conthination.
Seepage from the improper use and disposal of heavy metals synthetic chemicals and
other hazardous wastes are the primary reason for ground water pollution. Sometimes,
industrial effluents are also directly discharged into the ground water. In coastal areas,
over pumping also results in salinity of water. Lack of sewage system, the improper
maintenance of septic tanks, etc. often contaminates the ground water. The use of
contaminated waters for drinking and bathing is one of the principal reason for
spreading of waterborne disease like typhoid, cholera, etc. It is because of their
repercussions on humolr well being and thus economic development, polluted water
supplies posts serious environmental problems.

Effect of Improved Water on Sanitation

Diseas~ Million of people affected by Median reduction attributable

illness to improvement (percent)

Diarrhoea 900* 22
Roundworm 900 28
Guineaworm 4 76
Schistosomiasis 200 74

* Refers to No. of cases per year

Source: Esfey et a1 (1990) "Health Benefits from Improvements in Water supply
and sanitation. Survey and Analysis of the literature of selected diseases" USAID,
Water and Sanitation for Health (WASH), Technical report 66, Washington D.C. Also
reproduced in "World Development Report 1992" World Bank, Oxford University
press, Page-49.
The health impact of improvement of water supplies can be perceived from a recent
review by the US Agency for International Development (USAID).
The above mentioned review shows that the effects of these improvements are large
with medium reductions ranging from 22 per cent in case of diarrhoea to 76 per cent for
guineaworm. Besides, improved water supply also affect the mortality and morbidity

19.3.3 Air Pollution

Air pollution has mainly three man-made sources : energy use, vehicular emissions and
industrial production. All these tend to expand exponefitidly with economic growth
unless suitable pollution abatement measures are adopted. The most serious health risks
are due to exposure to suspended particulate material (SPM), indoor air pollution and
lead. There is an increasing evidence of sickness, mortiidity and mortality linked to
SPM. At a higher level of SPM, polminary diseases, pbeumonia and heart diseases are
common, particularly among old people and individuals whose health status is very poor.
Even the lower level of SPM can cause respiratory problems.
Indoor air pollution also cause respiratory and other health problems. In poor countries.
most of the women and children are exposed to indoor air risks. According to a rough.
estimate by WHO. approximately 400 million to 700 million'are exposed to indoor
pollution in developing countries. In highly developed countries, the major indoor air Environment and
Sustainable Human
'risks are emissions from synthetic materials, resins and radon gas. In poor countries, the
problem arises primarily when households cook with wood, straw or dung. In fact, in
most of the rural areas, these are the only fuels available or affordable. Bio-mass
burning is also linked to deforestation. This in turn is another source of environmental
damage. Studies in Nepal and India of non-smoking women who were exposed to bio-
mass smoke have found very high levels of chronic respiratory diseases with mortality at
an earlier age.
Lead also affect human health through ingestion and inhalation. The most important
source is vehicular emissions where lead is used as a fuel additive. The problem has
been compounded in towns and cities where the number of vehicles is continuously
growing very rapidly. Thus, it is imperative to reduce the lead content of fuels.

Transboundary air pollution harms human health and causes loss of trees and forests. It
has been well conceived at various forums that regional agreements for pollution
abatement should be established and strengthened. Early warming systems and response
mechanisms are needed for production from industrial accidents, natural disasters and
destruction of natural resources.

19.3.4 Solid arid Hazardous Wastes

Most of the cities in the world generate more solid wastes than they collect or dispose
off. Usually, the volume increases with the level of income. Municipal waste services
generally consume between 20%-50% of city budgets. Still, much of solid wastes is not
renewed Even if, municipal budget is adequate for collection, safe disposal of collected
waste remains a problem. Open dumping, however, remains the principal method of-
disposal in many developing countries. Improper collection and disposal lead to a
number of problems for human health as well as contamination of surface as well as and
ground water. Solid wastes dumped in public areas or into waterways results in spread
of many diseases. Industrial countries produce approximately 5000 tons of waste for
every billion dollars of GDP whereas for many developing countries the total amount
could be few hundred tons. The health risks arising from toxic and hazardous wastes
vary across countries, of course, it depends upon how they are handled.
Management of hazardous wastes are improving in some countries whereas in many
others it is dumped into water or on land-sites without any safeguard. However, the most
crucial phenomena in today's world is that the toxic chemical banned in one country as
hazardous are deliberately sold to and dumped into other countries, often 'developing
countries. Even though, exposure to toxic and hazardous wastes are primarily local and
less important risk compared to air and water pollution, without adequate measure of
collection and safeguard disposal, the likely consequences could be too big to solve.

19.3.5 Land and Habitat

i Land
Certain'kinds of land use can decrease greenhouse sinks and increase atmospheric
emissions. In this context. Agenda 21 'proposes that appropriate national, administrative
social and economic measures to be undertaken and limit greenhouse gas emissions,
conserve natural resources which are relevant to atmospheric changes.
Against the backdrop, what is essential is an integrated approach to the planning and
management of land resources. Integration means that environmental, social and
economic issues should be combined simultaneously. Government should formulate
legislation, regulations and economic incentives to encourage sustainable land-use and
management of land resources, paying particular emphasis to agricultural land.

Forest occupy more than 25% of the world's land area. Forests are of three broad
types - tropical moist and dry forests, temperate forests and degraded forest. Tropical
moist forests are particularly rich in species. 'lkopical dry forests are not as species rich
- - --

I The concept of Agenda 21 has been explained at length in the next section.
Issues in Development as tropical moist forests, but they provide important protection against soil erosion.
Temperate forests are the lowest bio-diverse of the three. They are the main source of
industrial wood. The most serious cause of concern is with the tropical moist forests
which are degrading at a rate that threatens the economic and ecological sustainability
of the globe.
Forests are not only a source of timber but also a source of social and ecological
functions. They provide livelihood strategies for forest dwellers and a habitat for a
variety of plants and animals. They protect and enrich soils, regulates the hydrologic
cycle, affect climate through evaporation, influence surface and ground water flows and
help in stabilising the global environment by neutralising the growth of carbon dioxide.
Different kinds of forests serve the above mentioned objectives in various proportions.
The rapid deforestation caused by farmers, logging and mining companies, fuel wood
collectors, etc. Pose a serious threat to both development and preservation of the global
environment. Deforestation in developing countries, however, is a recent phenomena.
Growth of population in rural areas of developing countries often leads to a rising
demand for fuel wood. Besides, modernisation of agriculture in some countries results in
less demand for labour which in turn releases a sizeable labour force who find new
livelihood strategies in forest frontiers.
To support the ecological, economic, social and cultural roles of forest and forest land
Agenda 21 calls all countries to strengthen the forest related institutions and professional
skilk though:
Promoting the participation of labour unions, rural co-operatives, local
oommunities, indigenous people, youth, women, NGOs, etc. in forest related
Conducting research on forests, collecting data on forest cover and areas suitable
for afforestation and ecological values.
Supporting and enhancing technology transfer and specialised training.

Biological diversity (a composite of genetic information, species and ecosystems)
provides material wealth in the form of food, clothing, housing, fibre, medicine, inputs
into industrial processes, spiritual nourishment, etc. In order to conserve biological
diversity, Agenda 21 calls for governments to:
Early entry into force of the UN convention on Biological Diversity
Foster traditional methods and knowledge of indigenous people
Share the benefits of biological resources and biotechnology with developing
Develop national strategies for the conservation of biodiversity and safe transfer of

19.3.16 Atmospheric Changes

Greehhouse Warming
The atmospheric concentration of the gases that cause greenhouse warming have been
increasing over the years. Carbon dioxide, the principle component of greenhouse gases,
has increased by more than 12 per cent in the past thirty years. This new development
is mainly the result of human activities on the earth. Concentration of greenhouse gases
in the coming days depend on a number of factors -economic growth, the energy
intensity and the .chemistry of atmosphere, biosphere and ocean.
The greenhouse effect is a global issue, primarily because all emissions of greenhouse
gases affect climate. But then, the conventional cost-benefit measures to tackle the
greenhouse effect may be spread unevenly across the countries. As a result, negotiations
on any international agreement on greenhouse warming is a difficult process. A host of
factors that must be taken into account are the following:
Climate change will vary across countries. Climate changes will be smaller but
more rapid in equatorial zones than in the temperate zones.
The damaging effecvwill vary across countries. Some countries may find that their Environment and
Sustainable Human
climate is improving and hence gains accrue while others may find that such
effects cause substantial losses. Even if the pattern of climate change is similar it
may affect countries unequally due to differences in ecology, economic activity, the
habitat and other environmental resources.
The high-income countries have been emitting large amounts of gases for many
years and thus contributing a disproportionate share of accumulated gases in the
atmosphere. On the other hand, emissions from low income countries, starting from
a lower base, are growing more rapidly.
Measures to reduce emissions are one response to the threat of climate change.
Another response could be to seek to adapt by investing in assets that will mitigate
the impact of climate change on economic activities. However, the relative costs
and benefits varies across countries.
Some countries are solely dependent on exports of fossil fuels and are likely to
suffer from the policies that tend to reduce the world demand.
Despite the above mentioned difficulties, there are various measures that can be adopted
at national and international levels to reduce current emissions of greenhouse gases.
There are broadly four technological options available for reducing harmful emissions:
1) Changing the fuel by switching to low sulfar coals, oil and gas.
2) Controlling emissions.
3) Using existing fuels more efficiently by adopting high efficiency and low emission

Ozone Depletion
Ozone depletion is the result of increasing atmospheric concentrations of chlorine
originating from CFCs. In the Montreal Protocol, countries agreed to phase out
production of CFCs. The consequences of decrease in the protective ozone layer in the
long-run will be harmful for health and productivity of marine and terrestrial systems.
Atmospheric levels of CFCs are expected to peak around 2000 A.D. The largest ozone
impact is over Antarctica where the maximum depletion was deep and extensive (about
50 per cent), since measurement began. The most important consequence of ozone
depletion is an increase in solar ultraviolet radiation received at the earth's surface.
In the absence of changes in human behaviour to protect against exposure to the sun's
rays, a sustained ozone decrease of 10 per cent would mean an increase of eye damages
from cataracts and skin cancers, particularly fair skinned individuals. Besides, continuous
exposure to increase levels of ultraviolet radiation can suppress the immune system in
'people of all skin colours. The health risks could be reduced if people would avoid
unnecessary exposure by making small changes in their behaviour.
Impact of UV radiation on plant productivity has also emerged as another cause of
concern. Even though some plants have considerable capacity for adoption and repair,
there are instances where agricultural crops have shown some inhibition of growth and
photosynthesis when plants are exposed to UV radiation. Nevertheless, there are some
scope to deal with increased UV radiation through plant breeding. There are also
instances where increased UV radiation marine productivity and ecosystem in general.

Check Your Progress 2

Note: i) Use the space below for your answers.
ii) Check your answers with the model answers given at the end of the unit.
1) "Economic activities lead to environmental degradation". Give two reasons in
favour of and two against the above argument.
IssuC~LaDevelopment ........ ....L ...................................................................................... 1
2) "Environmental degradation affect the mankind adversely". Write down at least
two most important mechanisms with respect to each of the aspects mentioned
below to make the earth safer in the future.
A) Water Pollution
B) Air pollution
C) Solid and Hazardous Waste
D) Land Degradation
E) , Deforestation
F) Greenhouse Warming


"Znternational environqwntal problems are most complicated to solve than national
problems for k o reasons. First, no single authority can lay down and enforce
appropriate policies. Secondly, solutions must accommodate large variations in the
balance of benefits and costs to different countries. Some countries may have more
pressing local problems and less money for solving them To secure action, rich
countries may sometimes need to pay poor ones" (World Development Report, 1992).
19.4.1 Introduction of International Environment Concerns E n h n m e n t and
Sustainable Human
At the international level, it is often impossible to rely on a common regulatory
framework, economic policy, legal framework and the authoritative powers of a national
government. Solutions to international environmental pqoblems therefore rest on
collaboration, persuasion and negotiation among sovereign states. Prioritising the issues
at the international level is also a highly complex. Since, the costs of doing nothing
may be borne by the other nations. Also, the gains may not accrue to those who make a
headway in the national policy. There are three main contours which necessitates
international solutions:
First, regional problems regarding sharing of common resources, where the action of
one country affect the others in the region. The typical problems coming under this
category are transboundary pollution including acid rain, management of rivers, seas,
Second, the world shares certain global commons where the action of one country
affect the action of all other countries. For instance, atmosphere and deep oceans are the
global resources. Accumulation of greenhouse gases, ozone layer depletion caused by
the emission of CFCs and the like are international problems that affect the global
Third, there are resources that belong to one country but have immense value for the
international community. They are not necess&ly reflected in the market mechanism.
Examples of this type are tropical rainforests, specific ecological habitats, individual
species, etc.
Since the United Nations.Conference on the Human Environment in 1972 in Stockholm,
concerns have been growing regarding continuous deterioration of the global
environment. As a matter of fact, any disruption of the ecological balance would
sterilise the life-sustaining capabilities and eventual economic and ecological disaster.
This global environmental deterioration has been attributed primarily to unsustainable
patterns of certain kinds of consumption of production, especially in the industrialised
nations. In fact, industrialised countries are solely responsible for the largest share of
the world's current emission of pollutants including toxic and hazardous wastes.
In the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED), member
countries argued that poverty and environmental degradation were interrelated and
environmental protection in developed countries had to be viewed as an integral part of
the development process. This in fact is a logical culmination of thc 1987 report of the
World Commission on Environment and Development which, recognises that
'international environmental protection measures have to take into account current global
imbalances in production and consumption. In the UNCED member countries agreed
that the global character of the environmental problems (climate change, ozone layer
depletion, transboundary air, water pollution, contamination of the Oceans and Seas,
etc.) necessitated concerned efforts and effective participation of all countries. Indeed,
concerted efforts are made in a partnership manner at the international level to the
fulfilment of basic needs, improved living standards for all, better protected and
managed ecosystems and a safer future.

19.4.2 Agenda 21 and the Rio-Declaration

Agenda 21 -a programme for action for sustainable development internationally, the
Rio Declaration on Environment and Development and the statement of principles for '
sustainable management of forests were adopted by 179 countries at the United National
Conference on Environment and Qvelopment (UNCED) held in Rio de Janerio, Brazil
3-4, June, 1992. It brought together thousands of business people, environmental and
social scientists, educationists, trade unionists, indigenous people, religious leaders,
women and youth. Qe key message from the UNCED were:
The interdependence.between development.issues and the environment and
The need for partnership between different nations and sectors of society to tackle
these complex issues.
Issues in Develbpment Agenda 21, one of the major outputs of the Conference, is a logical culmination of
several years of intensive work where thousands of people from diverse countries and
sectors were participated. Agenda 21 has 40 chapters which are divided into four
Social and economic dimensions
Conservation and management of resources for development
Strengthening the role of major groups and
Means of implementation
Even though, Agenda 21 is not legally enforceable, it serves as a valuable statement of
all the major socio-economic and environmental issues relevant to the achievement of
sustainable development. It also deals with the complex and dynamic myriad of linkages
between these issues and provides action and partnership between nations as well as

19.4.3 Can Market Mechanism Solve the Environmental Problem?

As has already been pointed out that the purpose of development policy and
environmental policy is to improve the well-being of people. Environmental degradation
necessarily occurs when those who decides to use environmental resources ignore or
underestimate the costs of enirironmental damage to society. In fact, market mechanism
does recdgnise the true social value of the environment. Some of the important
underlyink i-xsons are as:
Market dcks not exist because it is difficult to exclude anybody's right to own or
use the environment. Air for instance, market for air does not exist. Even if prices
prevail they do not reflect costs to the society. As a result there is too much air
0 Some uses of particular resource are marketable but other not. For instance,
tropical rainforests where timber is marketed but watershed is not. In this non-
marketable profits are often ignored and other uses are heavily exploited.
When resources are open to all, they are exploited irrespective of their impact.
Deforestation and overfishing are the typical examples of this type of externalities.
There is often lack of information about environmental affects or low cost
availability to the users.
It is because of the externalities associated with the environmental problems, market
mechanism seems to be incapable of guiding resource consumption. The plausible way
out of this crisis could be by adopting and reinforcing the wheels of partnership.

19.4.4 Multi-Stakeholder Partnership

Partnership has become one of the most crucial word in the debate on sustainable
human development. By partnership in this context would imply that: voluntary and
mutually beneficial collaboration between one or more parties aimed at developing
strategies and solutions to the socio-economic and environmental challenges of
sustainable development. The aim has been a total shift from provisions of confrontation,
dependence and isolation to positions of mutual agreed interdependence.
Even though there are diverse sectors arid types of stake-holders, the document looks at
three broad sectors:
the government
the voluntary or "not-for-profit" non-governmental sector (NGOs) and
the corporate or "for-profit" business and industry sector
Even thou~h,there are overlaps between these three groups in terms of their roles and
responsibilities in public life, they can be uses as a starting point for a fruitful
discussion. Each sector has distinct skills and resources which can add value to the other
sector in a partnership way.
Agenda 21 Environment and
Sustainable Human
Section 1 Development

Social and Economic Dimensions

1. Preamble
2. International cooperation to accelerate sustainable
development in developing countries
3. Combating poverty
4. Changing consumption patterns
5. Demographic dynamics and stability
6. Protection and promotion of human health-
7. Promotion sustainable human settlement development
8. Integrating environment and development in decision making

Section Three
Strengthening the role
I Section Four
Means of Implementation
of Major-Groups
23. Preamble 33. Financial resources and mechanisms
24. Women 34. Transfer of Environmentally 'sound
Children and Youth 35. Science for sustainable development
Indigenous people and their communities 36. Promoting education, public
awareness, and tr'
Non-Governmental Organisation (NGOs) 37. National mechanisms and
international cooperation for
capacity building
Local authorities
arrangements -
38. International institutional

39. International legal instruments

Workers and Trade Unions
Business and Industry 40. Information for decision ma16ng
Scientific and Technological community

Section 'ho
Conservation and management of resources for development
Protection of the atmosphere
Integrated approach to the planning and management of land
Combating deforestation
Managing fragile ecosystems: combating desertification and
Managing fragile ecosystems: sustainable mountain development
Promoting sustainable agricultural and rural development
Conservation of biological diversity
Environmentally sound management of biotechnology
Protection of the Oceans, all kinds of seas including enclosed anc'
semi-enclosed seas and Costal areas
Protection of the quality and supply of fresh water resources
Environmentally sound managempnt of toxic chemicals
Environmentally sound management of hazardous wastes
' Environmentally sound management of solid wastes and sewage
related wastes.
Safe and environmentally sound management of radioactive wastes
Issues in Devt lopment Business and industry play a critical role in the process of building partnership for
sustainable development. The combined social, economic and environmental effect of
private enterprises, large and small, formal and informal, transnational and local is very
crucial. The business sector generates livelihood strategies, new markets, products and
services. Technological progress takes place in this sector because it undertakes risks, it
is also a major consumer of natural resources and producer of wastes. So, what is .
needed is to find our ways and means to optimise the positive effects and ininimise the
negative effects.
However, in practice the business sector often lacks the following.
The appropriate regulatory framework.
The appropriate environmental, cultural and scientific expertise.
The co-operation of local communities.
In the work place and market place: During its course of transaction with the
employees, customers, suppliers, financiers and environmentalists, it can cooperate to
develop cleaner process and products.

Multi-Stakeholder Partnership
Agenda 21 addresses the pressing
problems today and International Governments - Un systems
so aims at preparing the world for the Regional Government Grouping
challenge of the next century. It reflects National Government
a global consensus on development and State Government
environdent co-operation. Its successful Local Self Government
implemehta. -- is first and foremost
responsibility of the governments

Local and Foreign Researchers
Large and small scale Scientists
Fomtal and In
Rural and Urban
Primwy, Secondary an

Indigenous People
Trade Unions .
Womens Group

Organisations play
in the shaping and
implementationof parliament
democracy. Their credibility
lies in the and constructive
role they play in society
and informal organisations,
as well as movements
should be recognised as the
implementation of Agenda
In the research and training field: Business sector can afford partnership with the Environment and
academician and scientific personnel to develop new technologies, new products and Sustainable Human
new management systems.
In host communities: It can work with NGOs, local government and the public to add
the quality of life investments in human capital.
In the public policy realm: It can collabor~ewith the government, international
organisations, and research institutes to develop appropriate regulatory frameworks to
improve its environmental performance with sacrificing its economic performance.


It can mobilise diverse skills and resources in a greater amount than otherwise.
It can address problems in a more integrated, multidisciplinary and comprehensive
It can eliminate unnecessary duplication of costs and efforts (where there are
shortages of financial and human resources)
It can help traditional organisation to broaden their horizon and to respect each
otherwise needs and capabilities.
It can facilitate dialogue, creativity and mutual trust for conflicting interests. .
Interface between partners can also facilitate the flow of information and transfer
of technology.


After going through this unit, you get an idea of the link between environment and
sustainable human development. Human development cannot be taken care of by
pursuing economic growth alone. Economic growth is only one dimension of
development. Distribution of income, provision of health care, education, safe
environment and freedom of impression are the important dimensions in the
development process'. Sustaining human development therefore is not simply a call for
environmental protection but which provides opportunity for all the people of the world
to grow without affecting the world's finite natural resources. The general principle of
sustainable human development is adopted by the world commission on Environment
I and Development is that current generations should meet their needs without
1 compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own need. In other words,
what we really need to sustain is human life. So, the environment must be given a
I human face to save it from the crises of environmental degradation.
Sometimes economic activities degrade environment primarily due to lack of interface
between what is provided (resources advanced) and what is used. Environmental
I degradation damages human health, reduces efficiency and productivity and entails loss
of opportunity to people. In order to counteract the adverse consec;uences of economic
i growth, it is necessary to rationally reallocate investment patterns as well as change the

I behaviour and attitude through proper incentive and disincentive structures. At the
international level, any disruption of the ecological balance would sterilise the life
sustaining opportunities and eventual ecological and economic disaster. If the present
pattern of environmental degradation will continue, the life cannot be safer for organ
without hearty co-operation of every one in the world. In this critical juncture, what
we really need is to build up partnership to sustain human life. It implies voluntary
co-operation among all the stake-holders in the world. The Rio Declaration is precisely
addressing these fundamental issues in a much more scientific way.
Issues in Development
Abutement: A measure taken for reducing or eliminating air or noise pollution.
Air pollution: The contamination of the atmosphere with undersirable solids, liquids
apd gases.
Environment: The-region, surroundings or circumstances in which anything exists,
everything internal to the organism.
Environmental Impact: Any. change in the environment for better or for worse,
especially the effects on air, land or water of solid, liquid or gaseous wastes,
smells or noise.
'Gross National Product (GNP): It is the money value of goods an