In this article is traced the evolution of actors, are identified main causes and consequences of this process and is proposed a prediction of future developments in the international arena.
Keywords: international relations, international cooperation, actors, transnational corporations, INGO, transnational criminal organizations.
The actors of international relations are the main players in world politics. Moreover, if player has a lot of power, it will affect on world more intensive. Number of actors continues to grow, and the peak of their evolution is in XX Century. As Hist. J. Plyays wrote: “XX century entered into history of the mankind as one of the complex, dynamic and dramatic century: the world changed in this century with such rapidity that even experienced analysts and researchers struggled to track tendencies and direction of event’s development. Over the past century the world survived two world wars; several great empires were taken into oblivion; revolutions and reforms were also constant companions of this century” . All these processes influenced the international stage and evolution of actors.
The Second World War severely shook the world, as a result many things had to rethink and redo. Old world collapsed and it was replaced by the idea of national self-consciousness and freedom. In particular, it affected the countries, which were in colonial dependence on the leading powers. These ideas of self-identification of people, the desire to be free, generated national liberation movements, which played an important role in the international arena and, therefore, they acquired the status of the actor in international relations.
Indian people turned against the old order of the UK, declaring passive resistance; a number of African countries spoke in favor to scrap the colonial system; Israel was against the British claims; Vietnam and Indonesia, Indochina and the Middle East — all these countries wanted to take back their state sovereignty. As final result, the huge number of countries got independence, sovereignty and recognition of the world community.
Colonial system has collapsed and, thus, it contributed to the growth of the number of actors in international relations. It can be called a phenomenon of the XX century, because there has not been before such with so dramatic rise of national consciousness.
Thus, by the end of XX century there were more than two hundred countries in the world. This is an impressive number of states in the international arena, while at the beginning of the XX century there have been approximately 120 countries (Figure 1).
Fig. 1. Growth of countries in the twentieth century
However, there was another tendency in international relations. We are talking about globalization and collective cooperation. Former colonies have been set to regain its sovereignty, but the leading powers, which are engaged in the global integration processes, donate part of their sovereignty, allowing external interference from other Allied countries throughout the organization. This tendency continues to the present time, it also continues to deepen and broaden the international community.
States gave to organizations like the UN, the functions, rules of international law, regulatory mechanisms to prevent wars, like World War II. So, sovereignty of the state in the external aspect has only a formal meaning, because in the international system of open type, which is aimed at global cooperation, it is difficult to isolate and maintain all of its external affairs without interference from other actors.
World laid hopes on the UN, which began to function even before the complete end of the Second World War. States, which established this organization, believed that all countries united under the aegis of one world would sacrifice part of their external sovereignty and would solve global problems together, based on the principles of international law as prescribed in the UN Charter in 1945. Thus, the state reduces its monopoly in the international arena by creating a new actor.
The United Nations is not the only IGO, which has appeared in the second half of XX century. This organization gave a start for the appearance of a number of new actors on the international stage, functioning in different industries. Different political organizations, such as the League of Arab States (1945), the Council of Europe (1949) have been created; military-political, such as NATO (1949), ATS (1955–1991); there are economic like the European Coal and Steel Community (1951), the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (1960).
Here we can track the tendency of increasing IGO that interfere very actively in world politics, limiting state hegemony in international relations. You may notice that since 1945 the number of intergovernmental organizations, which have been created for different purposes, has doubled. By the early 1970s there were 220, in the middle there were already 260. Moreover, the number of organizations continues to grow and at the moment, the number of IGO is about 400 worldwide.
In addition to the increasing number of states, the growth of number of IGOs and their influence in the international arena, new actors have appeared in international relations, which started to actively influence on the world. There are multinational corporations and non-governmental international organizations. Also included terrorist organizations and criminal structures that also have an impact on the foreign policy by «shadow» methods and violence. List of actors has expanded and the world has risen to a new level of cooperation in international relations.
TNCs (transnational corporations) are one of the most influential economic structures in the world, and, as history shows, they are able to influence policy within states and the world at large. Active growth of TNCs was observed throughout the XX century, It was connected, firstly, with increasing needs of humanity in oil and gas, and, secondly, with the advancement of technology, as it was known, XX century became famous in science and technology boom. As another reason for growth of TNCs may be called mass culture of the world and creating of global consumer society.
In XX century TNCs appeared so much in fact, that they had swallowed small and medium enterprises by their accession or destruction, and all this was made for profit and spread of monopoly in the markets. Previously, were able to deal with huge corporations and monopolies, as they did at the end of XIX century and early XX. But despite all the modern antimonopoly laws and programs, it becomes apparent that TNCs have accumulated the economic power that is comparable to the annual budget of some developed countries of the world and sometimes their profits even higher. This gives them the right to direct this monopoly in their favor.
As J. Rosenau pointed out in his work: «New actors are not only individuals, but also infinite variety of non-state actors that affect on changes in the global system” . Rosenau uses the term to describe a new type of actors — «the actors out of sovereignty», i.e. those members of international relations that lead an active role on the international stage, but, unlike the states, do not have sovereignty.
But it does not mean that these actors are not able to influence the world. We have already mentioned the immense contribution of the national liberation movements in the collapse of the colonial system and the appearance of of new independent states, the power of TNCs over the periphery and increasing the value of the activities of international organizations. In addition to these actors, there are others, such as international NGOs (Greenpeace, Red Cross, Médecins Sans Frontières, etc.), the media, international criminal and terrorist organizations.
INGOs (international NGOs) were created in the XIX century, but the peak of the development came in the XX century. In 1905 world had only 134 INGOs, by the end of the 1980s there were already more than 4000 such organizations (Figure 2).
Fig. 2. The number of INGOs in the world in the XX century
Fair to say that the growth of NGO's number continues, and their participation in the affairs of international relations expands. An interesting fact is that without possessing sovereignty, they have an impact on the world not through the force or not through diplomacy, but through influence on public opinion, and, as practice shows, INGOs do it pretty well.
Globalization processes previously considered only in a positive aspect, but besides the international organizations, non-governmental organizations, there are actively growing so-called transnational criminal organizations that have a significant impact on the world. In general, TCO (transnational criminal organizations) can be regarded as TNK, because they are also aimed at making a profit, but their methods have many differences, because TCO produces revenue illegally, sometimes violently by creating shadow economy. While states were busy with each other, organized crime did not lose time and created a so-called black market and laundered money in corruption, arms and drugs trafficking and prostitution.
In some ways, the state contributed to the development of criminal organizations. A. Dolgovа wrote: «legalistic society not only initially» delivers candidates «for the criminal society, but it also does not accept people with criminal history, without providing them with the necessary re-socialization” . Outcast, who served the sentence for the crime, do not know what to do in unforgiving society and country, so, he turns back to the criminal world. Because of it, criminal structures do not lose their influence. What is more, TCOs multiply it with the help of these “criminal candidates”.
Another negative example of actor's expansion in international relations is the appearance of terrorist organizations whose activity occurs at the end of XX century . Due to the wide spread of the phenomenon of international terrorism, society called it «the plague of our time», because it is in the XX-XXI century there has seen tremendous growth in the number of supporters of radical methods of solving problems (from the database of Statistics National Anti-Terrorist Committee of Russia, in the world there are 19 major international terrorist organizations. Department of State U. S. leads the list of 42 organizations).
It is important for the international community prevent the strengthening of TCO and international terrorist organizations, because if they strengthen, it will lead to chaos in the world, with whom will be difficult to cope with. The purpose of illegal actors is to impose their authority by weakening the power of the main actors, and if terrorist organizations and transnational criminal structures will achieve their objectives, the order of the world would be undermined.
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2. Rosenau J. Turbulence in world politics. 1990.
3. Dolgovа AI. Crime, its organization and criminal society. Moscow: Russian Criminological Association. 2003.
4. Bolotov EA. TNK influence on the development of information markets home countries and countries of the Periphery / TNCs in world politics and the world economy / Ed. EG Soloviev. M: IMEMO 2005.