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NIOS Class 12 Political Science Chapter 29 Contemporary World Order
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Contemporary World Order
TEXT BOOK QUESTIONS AND THEIR ANSWERS
INTEXT QUESTIONS 29.1
Q.1. Who are the main players in world affairs?
Ans. States, commonly known as countries.
Q.2. Are states equal in their size and strength?
INTEXT QUESTIONS 29.2
Q.1. Name the victorious countries in the Second World War.
Ans. The United States, the Soviet Union and Great Britain.
Q.2. Is it true that the importance of Europe declined after the Second World War?
Q.3. Which two countries were known as the superpowers?
Ans. The USA (The United States of America or in brief US) and former USSR (or the Soviet Union) were the two superpowers of the world after the Second World War (Remember USSR remained as a superpower upto 1990).
U.S.A.droped two atom bomb on tur cities -Hiroshima and Nagasaki-on on 5th and 8th Aug. 1945.
Q.4. Identify two military alliances formed during the Cold War era.
Ans. NATO and the Warsaw Treaty Organization.
Q.5. Did the superpowers attempt reconciliation ? What was that process called?
Ans. Yes,it was known as Detente.
INTEXT QUESTIONS 29.3
Q.1. Which country suffered defeat in the Cold War?
Ans. The Soviet Union.
Q.2. Name the leader of the Soviet Union when the Cold War was declared over.
Ans. Mikhail Gorbachev.
Q.3. Which country emerged as the most powerful country after the end of the Cold War?
Ans. The United States.
Q.4. Did the emergence of the Unipolar world help functioning of the United Nations?
INTEXT QUESTIONS 29.4
Q.1. Did unipolar era spell stability in the world order?
Q.2. Name some of the countries that were divided territorially.
Ans. Yugoslavia, Czechoslovakia, etc.
Q.3. Give examples of countries under the spell of evil wars.
Ans. Afghanistan, Somalia, Sierra Leone, Yugoslavia, etc.
Q.4. Innocent population remained unaffected by wars and violence. (True or False)
INTEXT QUESTIONS 29.5
Q.1. Globalisation is confined to economic area alone. (True or False)
Q.2. Private companies in the west benefited most from globalisation. (True or False)
Q.3. Globalisation is aided by revolution in information and communication technology. (True or False)
Q.4. Income gaps between and within countries increased. (Yes or No)
Q.1. Outline the meaning and basic features of World Order.
Ans. I. Meaning of World Order:
(a) “Order” indicates a condition in which everything is in its correct place. It also refers to respect for and enforcement of rules. Dayto-day activities would be normal and peaceful, if order exists. In the world affairs, order brings a certain method in the way one country conducts its affairs with other states.
(b) The method can be noticed in the form of a set of rules and principles, which are commonly accepted and respected by governments. These rules and principles include equality of all countries, that one country should not interfere in the internal affairs of another state, that force should not be used or even threatened in the bilateral relations, that prisoners of wars and refugees should be treated humanely, etc.
(c) For assisting countries to make and implement these rules, they often establish common institutions like the United Nations. They are meant to assist in sorting out differences and problems between countries through dialogue and diplomacy.
(d) The phrase “world order” may sound strange in the light of opposite realities. Though they states are supposedly equal in a formal sense, there are gross inequalities among them. And some of these inequalities have been recognized in the form of veto power conferred on five permanent members in the UN Security Council.
(e) Countries often compete for resources and influence, they suspect each other’s intentions and ambitions, and they quarrel about borders, trade, and several other issues. They fight wars at times.
(f) In fact,right now a dozen wars are going on in counties of Asia, Africa and Europe causing death to millions and destruction of valuable property.
(g) Moreover, problems arise not just between states but also within those states. Many states are fighting civil wars. Civil war is a prolonged situation of brutal war between military and certain groups of people wanting to remove a government from seat of power or form their own separate state. Sri Lanka is a good example of countries fighting a civil war. Linked to this aspect is the spread of terrorism, which causes fear among common people through indiscriminate violence and inhuman killings.
(h) Besides, additional commercial and social pressure groups have emerged to make heavy demands on state policies. Multinational Corporations (MNCs) in America and Europe have become powerful enough to dictate the economic policies of many poor states, whereas the influence of non-governmental organisations (NGOs) on official policies is growing very fast.
II. Basic features of the World Order:
(i) Europe as the theatre of World affairs: Europe remained the theatre of world affairs up to the Second World War. European countries maintained peace by forming alliances in order to ensure that no single country (like France,Great Britain, Germany) could dominate the rest.The system so prevailed was known as the balance of power.Britain mastered this policy for very long. However,the method collapsed in the beginning of the twentieth century with the First World War.In the meanwhile,the rise of countries outside of Europe such as the United States and Japan – extended the nature and scope of world politics.
(ii) Cold War and Rise of Superpowers as controller of World affairs (1945-1990): Soon after the Second World War, the erstwhile allies, viz. the United States and the Soviet Union developed differences about working together for the peace and stability of Europe. There were political and ideological reasons for these differences. The United States practised and preached democracy and free market enterprise as the desirable model of governance. On the other hand, the Soviet Union believed in and sought to spread the merits of governance by single (communist) party and of state-controlled economy. These differences led to feelings of one being threatened by the other. So began the bipolar phase in the world order immediately after the War.
(iii) Positive effects of the bipolar order:
(a) There were also some positive effects of the bipolar world order. Foremost, movements for independence from European colonial rule gained great momentum in Africa and Asia, as both Cold War blocs feverishly encouraged the trend in order to gain goodwill of the native peoples. Beginning in 1960 nearly 100 new countries were born.
(b) However, these newly freed countries did not want to compromise on their newly won political freedom by joining this or that military bloc. Hence they launched the “Nonaligned Movement” which tirelessly advocated world peace, nuclear disarmament, and economic advancement of the less developed countries. (India played leadership role in this effort.) Their collective voice and influence could not be missed in the working of world forums like the United Nations.
(c) Great many initiatives were undertaken to pressurise the superpowers for disarmament, and also calling for creating just and equitable economic order. Side by side, the clout of the oil rich countries (in West Asia and elsewhere) asserted their importance by manipulating production and price level.
Q.2. How did United States and the Soviet Union fight the Cold War?
Ans. The Fight between US and USSR during the Cold War Period:
1.Relations between East and West were never cordial. Short of going to war directly, the two camps indulged constantly in political and military competition. This state of affairs was widely called as the “Cold War”. The Cold War was marked by a great deal of competition in forming military alliances, viz. the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and the Warsaw Treaty Organization and the arms race through sophistication of nuclear weapons.
2. The United States and the Soviet Union stood out as two opposite poles around which, to begin with, the European politics revolved. While the countries of Western Europe joined hands with the United States and called themselves the “Free World”, countries of Eastern Europe became part of the Socialist camp led by the Soviet Union. These two leading countries of rival camps were clubbed under the exclusive, new category of “superpowers”.
3. Soon the two Cold War rivals grudgingly acknowledged that each could destroy the other in a nuclear confrontation many times over. In the face of such dangers, the bipolar relations assumed new dimensions. On the one hand, the two camps got involved in local conflicts in West Asia, South Asia, East Asia, Central America and southern Africa.
4. As a result a good deal of military “aid” flowed to the newly found or prospective allies. At the same time, attempts to stop the spread of nuclear weapons and deny their access to other countries started in 1960s.
Q.3. Elaborate how the bipolar world gradually gave place to multipolarity?
Ans. The shifting of world order from the bipolar to multipolarity:
1. By 1970s, significantly the bipolar world started yielding place to multipolarity. Scholars and statesmen perceived presence of not two but many centres of power and influence in world affairs. Apart from the collective bargaining strength of the Third World there were many more interesting developments.
2. The West European countries after enjoying the economic and military protection from the United States recovered as part of regional integration process known as the European Union. These countries have become a major competitor for world markets to the United States.
3. In East Asia too, economic rise of first Japan and then China,followed by the Asian Tigers (like South Korea, Singapore, etc.) loosened the grip of the bipolar world order.Interestingly, concerned over the challenge from these new “poles”, the bipolar powers briefly tried reconciliation known as “detente” – during 1970s but they failed to sustain it.
4. The bipolar world order continued till the totally unexpected collapse of socialism in East Europe and the Soviet Union, which spelled formal end to the Cold War era in the beginning of 1990s.
Q.4. Describe civil wars and terrorism as features of the Unipolar world.
Ans. I. Civil Wars and the Unipolar World:
1. Regimes in many countries are fighting civil war against one or more rebel groups, and as a consequence state machinery has ceased to function or even exist in these unfortunate countries. Afghanistan, Angola, Burundi, Congo, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Somalia are among the victims of this kind of instability. Some of them have been branded as “failed states” of worry to the rest of the world. – a source
2. At the same time some countries continued to face threats of interference and military intervention from outside. The delicate situation of Georgia in Europe and Zaire in Africa illustrates this trend.
3. The civil wars are being fought in the most brutal and uncivil fashion. Reports are available about reckless use of small arms (like AK-47s), hand grenades, and landmines, which have brought misery to the millions of unconnected and innocent men, women and children.
4. Nearly 20 million lives were lost in violent clashes in the past 15 years. According to estimates 95 out of a hundred deaths in these wars are innocent civilians. Clearing a city or town of ethnic minority groups through mass killings, forcible use of children as soldiers, gang rapes of women are key and inhuman features of the civil wars.
5. Human rights violations by the official troops or rebels have now become a central concern for those interested in security and stability as components of the post-Cold War global order. The focus clearly shifted from the state security during the Cold War era to human security.
6. On the other hand, a number of countries fear that human rights could be used as a pretext for foreign military interventions. In 2003 the United States invaded and occupied Iraq after accusing the regime of Saddam Hussain of using deadly weapons against Shia and Kurd sections of Iraqi population.
7. A vast majority of countries criticised the US action as illegal and unjustified, and also accused the US of misusing the human rights plank for its own selfish interests. Ironically thousands of Iraqis and Americans lost – are losing their lives because of the continuing warfare between the American coalition and the Iraqi resistance forces.
8. There are apprehensions that the Iraqi venture could turn out as the biggest mistake of the United States comparable to its defeat in the war against Vietnam (1963-73).
II. Terrorism and Unipolar World:
1. Among other factors, religious intolerance is contributing to instability in the contemporary world. Though religious extremism is commonly identified with Islam,it is not true that is confined to one religion alone. Many of these groups enjoy wide network of patronage cutting across national boundaries encompassing supply of military hardware and funds. This network is said to include mafia connected with drug trafficking, arms dealing, etc. In other words, the internal disorder faced by many countries often has cross-border linkages.
2. It is these linkages that made international terrorism the most dangerous aspect threatening security of not just one or the other state, but the world order at large. Al Qaeda under the leadership of Osama bin Laden is one of the most feared terrorist organisations in the world today.
3. We all are familiar with the daredevil attacks planned and organised allegedly by Osama bin Laden’s followers against the World Trade Centre in New York and other locations in the United States on 11 September 2001. Although terrorism as a menace existed much before 11 September 2001, the incident demonstrated on the television screens how the mightiest power on earth was so easily shaken.
4. In South Asia, India and Sri Lanka have been fighting terrorists for more than a decade. And now terrorism has spread to other countries like Bangladesh, Nepal and Pakistan in South Asia, Malaysia and Indonesia in Southeast Asia, Palestine, Lebanon and Egypt in West Asia, Kenya, Somalia, Sudan in Africa and so forth.
5. In a shocking incident in September 2004, Chechnya-associated terrorists seized a school in southern Russia and in an unfortunate showdown with Russian commandos caused death to 350 young school children.
6. In short, these aspects of instability point to the need to look at security in a new way. The scope of security has expanded; it includes not only absence of foreign aggression but also internal stability.
7. Security does not just mean building up strong military force to protect state; it has to ensure economic, social, environmental well being of people. Moreover, all these problems including terrorism cannot be tackled alone by a state but all countries together.
Q.5. Discuss the negative effects of globalisation.
Ans. The negative effects of globalisation:
(i) To critics, globalisation is another name for Americanization of the world. American companies, currency, TV channels and weapons have taken over the world. Many local companies are being shut down causing unemployment to millions even in the advanced countries.
(ii) Withdrawal of Governmental support through subsidies in fertilisers, electricity and other essential needs has added to the misery of rural and farming sections. The income gaps between the rich and the poor both among and within countries have sharply widened. Nearly one half of the world population (concentrated mostly in sub-Saharan Africa and south Asia) are in terrible poverty.
(iii) While official aid from the rich donor countries has not grown, the debt burden of the developing countries has increased to worrying levels. On the other hand, the assets of top 3 billionaires in the world are said to be greater than the combined national wealth of all the least developed countries put together.
(iv) Goods of the least developed countries are denied preferential access to markets in the advanced countries. Moreover,our life styles are undergoing a significant shift by embracing meaningless consumerism.
(v) Thanks to globalization, nations live with the fear about the spread of the diseases like AIDS. The initiatives taken so far to address the above problems have proved insufficient. There is need to provide human face to make globalization just and even handed in its effects. Otherwise the credibility of contemporary world order may come under question.
OBJECTIVE TYPE QUESTIONS
A. Fill in the blanks:
(i) The world of today consist of nearly …………..states or countries.
(ii) …………. remained the theatre of world affairs upto the second World War.
(iii) The Second World War ended with the defeat of …………… , ………… and Italy.
Ans. Germany, Japan.
(iv) The face or term “Free World” is generally used for countries of …………… Europe which joined with the United States.
B. Match the following:
|(i) Was marked a great deal of competition informing military alliances.||(a) Former Soviet Union and Eastern European Countries.|
|(ii) The Warsaw Treaty Organisation.||(b) The Cold War.|
|(iii) NATO||(c) India.|
|(iv) Non-Alignment Movement.||(d) The US and several western European Countries.|
|(i) Was marked a great deal of competition informing military alliances.||(b) The Cold War.|
|(ii) The Warsaw Treaty Organisation.||(a) Former Soviet Union and Eastern European Countries.|
|(iii) NATO||(d) The US and several western European Countries.|
|(iv) Non-Alignment Movement.||(c) India.|
C. Choice the correct answers:
Q.1. The world of today consists of nearly countries …………..
Ans. (a) 200.
Q.2. Today the most powerful or super power is considered only ………..
Ans. (a) USA.
Q.3. The Second World War begun in the year …………
Ans. (c) 1939.
Q.4. NATO was formed in
Ans. (c) 1949.
Q.5. Berlin wall incident was directly connected with …………..
(d) None of the above.