Concept of Identity/Difference in Analysing International Politics of the State
This is an argument essay that entails an assessment of how relevant is the concept of identity/difference in analyzing the international politics of the state and its development. The concept of identity has been a key issue for the last century. In reality, many states have experienced the reshaping of their territorial boundaries because of matters related to identity. There was a boost in the figure of new up-and-coming states, also additional conflicts were arising around the globe because of the numerous ethnic societies that are contesting for the right to autonomy (Smith 2000). The idea of identity defines a certain group that enjoys the same ethnicity, race, cultural setting, and spiritual belief. In any state or nation, there is always a single identity that is dominating. It is associated with the concept of “them” and “us” with both of them having a very deep feeling of involvement. The difference is how every identity community perceives one another. The difference is in the sensation of being greater compared to another ethnicity. Identity and the consequential logic of ethnocentrism can be experienced stronger from one civilization/identity to the other. The function of identity is one of the vital values for the global system. It outlines the constitution of the world since it is correlated directly to territories or boundaries. Identity creates boundaries; and boundaries, in turn, toughen the state’s self-government through defining its borders (Agnew 1994).
Thesis statement: while international politics faces a lot of challenges due to diversification, the concept of identity and difference has been helpful in analyzing the states and their development due to the correlation between identity and political growth. The concept of identity/difference is relevant in analyzing international politics.
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The answer to the research question regarding international politics and the concept of identity/difference is positive. This is because the concept of identity/difference is essential in the analysis of states and their development. This is a notion that has been studied in many disciplines and various conclusions and outcomes are available. Within political science, for instance, researchers have found out that the concept of “identity” has been at the midpoint of lively debates in all key sub-segments of studies. Students of American politics have done much novel research of the concept of “identity politics” of race, sexual category, and ethnicity within various states (Agnew 1994). In moderate politics, “identity” plays a vital function in work on ethnic conflict and nationalism. In international relations, the concept of state individuality is at the core of constructivist evaluations of realism and assessment of state sovereignty. The above statements have confirmed the importance of this concept to international politics and the subsequent section of this paper is to elaborate more on the relevancy of the idea.
In order to address the question, it is necessary to understand and highlight the key concepts and theoretical perspectives that are involved in the construction of identity/difference notions. Michael Ignatieff presented some notions that are critical in understanding the concept of identity and difference in international politics and large states’ development (Ignatieff 2002). The approach was to conceptualize the idea of identity and difference. This helps in breaking the concept into different dimensions in order to comprehend how it works. The concept of identity and difference seems to involve essentialist claims regarding belongingness. This is essential in international politics since identification and recognition of various international issues assist in resolving states conflicts. Identity is a vital component that historically has been embraced by various states to enhance their developments. The claims of identity and differences are based on nature such as ethnicity, race, and territories; also the history plays a big role in the conceptualization of identity (Lustick 1997). The concept of identity is regarded as relational while the difference is determined by symbolic marking in associations to others. While analyzing international politics, these two concepts are vital since they discuss relationships. International politics is known as the study of political foreign relationships and universal political matters among states that are enclosed in the international system, involving the states’ functionalities (Vitalis 2000). It is also described as the politics of international society in a rather slim sense concerning mostly the relations and diplomacy among states and other political inclinations. Having seen the definition of international politics and the concepts, it is clear the notion of identity and difference is crucial in the analysis of international politics. In addition, the concept of identity assists in the analysis of states and their developments. In this section of the paper, it is evident that the answer to “how relevant is the concept of identity/difference for analysis of the state and its development” is quite obvious. The concept is very relevant in international political analysis as demonstrated by the definitions (Connolly 2002).
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Identity relies on social and material conditions. Likewise international politics and relations are built on the social and material conditions of member states. This demonstrates that by using concept of identity one is able to make viable and reliable conclusions on international issues. The symbolic and the social denote two diverse processes; however, each is necessary for marking and sustaining the identities (Connolly 2002). Symbolic marking refers to how individual make sense of social associations and practices. However, social differentiation demonstrates how the classifications of diversities are practiced in social relations. It is necessary to acknowledge that the concept of identity and difference matter in international politics and also in states’ developments. When states identity is internationally acknowledged, they get great chances of interacting with other members of the international clause to develop economically.
Research has shown that the role of identity is very important in international system, especially international politics. It forms the organization of the international relationship since it is associated directly to borders (Vitalis 2000). Conflicts about borders and territories have been the major international conflicts prompting politics of different nations that share these territories. On this basis, it is essential to acknowledge that the concept of identity/difference for analysis of the state and its development. Identity constructs borders, and borders, in turn, reinforce the state’s dominion through demarcation of its territory (Agnew 1994). Therefore, whenever the identity of a certain group is endangered for one cause or another, it is the entire constituents of identity, boundary and command that are at jeopardy.
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When minorities are marginalized, subjugated and their rights being discarded, they are compelled to claim international acknowledgment that will enforce their right to be respected (Vitalis 2000). This is possible due to self-determination and requisition for secession from the nation these minorities have been in connection to. In many instances, this progression is not carried out peacefully, but via killing and civil war. The international organisation in this case is forced to arbitrate for most of the instances for humanitarian causes. Self-determination is a concept of the identity thus enforcing the stand of this argument paper. The key issue with self-determination in relation to identity is its uncertain definition, as it was supported by Canas and Cardenas in 2002: its own environment, (whether a belief or a right) is indeterminate and the transcript on execution, except for decolonization is somewhat incoherent (Cardenas and Canas 2002). It is a topic of considerations that has made the concept of identify be a vital idea in analysis of international politics. It assesses who is more accountable for self-determination and under which conditions this claim should be approved. It is evident that there are intense cases where the answer of identity of states is clear, thus supporting the argument of this paper. However, the question that lingers is whether the international policies provided with the right to autonomy and the right to another perhaps extremist and authoritarian regime to exist, put emphasis on the nation to alter its behaviour and provide the right to societies to subsist within its territory (Hill 2005). In fact, in compelling the state to execute democratic principles, the rights of marginalized will be cosseted and the state will obtain a clean slate relating to its human right infringements. It is absolutely win-win circumstances, the moment such actions are taken. The state, in accepting and respecting the privilege of minorities, will guarantee as an undeviating outcome the enforcement of the international society (Cardenas and Canas 2002). The essential point here is that international politics is done in various ways to execute state’s development.
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Democracy is observed as the final solution to shun more disagreement around identity (Vitalis 2000). However, execution of democracy is an elongated procedure and cannot be triumphant all the instance. However, what must be implemented in cooperation with democracy is the concept of open-mindedness. Each state has the right to demand its identity and the right to subsist if another state exists. Understanding another identity to subsist in due course should be followed by the right for a given state to exist, as states cannot survive if there is no single state that considers their subsistence (Smith 2000). This is the essence of international politics that must be analysed using the concept of identity so as to understand how relevant this notion is to the development of governments (Vitalis 2000). Development of states depends on the inclusiveness that they get from other international states. For this to be achieved much politics is involved and they relate to identity concept. It is the code of reciprocity if one state believes that another state exist (Hill 2005), the other state shall do the same for the country, thus fostering international correlation and cooperation, by and large international politics managed. This is evident in the philosophy of rights that is authored by Chris Brown in 2012. The principle of identity acknowledges is that it is not achievable to be a nation unless there are other nations (Brown 2012). This confirms that states, just like human beings, can exist in peaceful circumstances when acknowledging each other state’s way of existence. It is feasible to develop within a state where societies have peaceful coexistence with one another and where the identities and the right for survival of the other are appreciated.
The concept of identity is relevant in analysing international politics and the assessment of states and their developments. The concept of identity is regarded as relational while difference is determined by symbolic marking in associations to others. While analysing international politics, these two concepts are vital since they discuss relationship. International politics is known as the study of political foreign relationships and universal political matters among states that are enclosed in the international system, involving the states’ functionalities. It is also described as the politics of international society in a rather slim sense concerning mostly the relations and diplomacy among states and other political inclinations. Having seen the definition of international politics and its concepts, it is clear the notion of identity and difference is vital in analysis of international politics. The argument of this paper enforced that the concept assists in proper assessment of both international politics and state’s development.