Tuesday, 19 March 2013

All politics is local? Why International Relations then?

 Nicodemus Minde
They say all politics is local, or rather all politics is domestic. As a student of international politics, this saying could mean I wasted four years of my undergraduate studies plus other two for my graduate studies. After meditating on the phrase for a long time through inspired reading and philosophical and epistemological analysis, I think I got a counter phrase or rather a complementary phrase. Yes, indeed, all politics is local but after reading an article on Al Monitor, the Middle East website on "What Russia learned from the Iraq War" I can confidently say that "all politics is local. All international politics is a derivative of jostling for hegemonic status either regionally, continentally or in many occasions global". 

The pursuit of individual freedoms, justice and rule of law as embedded in the DNA of American constitution is local politics. The desire to push this enduring tenets to a global audience either through implicit or explicit tactics is what can be termed as international politics. When Putin was quizzed over Russia's position on the Iraq War 10 years ago, he said it was their problem. This is despite the fact that Russia as a global player should have positioned itself with 'the allied forces' against the forces of evil or 'axis of evil'. This then, is how domestic politics plays the role of international politics. When America supported the "Orange Revolution" in Ukraine yet Russia had publicly declared they would work best with George Bush and not John Kerry during the elections, the concept of internationalization of domestic politics manifested itself. A great read from Middle East Al Monitor has opened my international relations eyes wider. Thank God for daily insights.   

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