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The Implications Of Multinational Corporations Stepping Into The Role Of The State

1682 words - 7 pages

Society has always had some type of group or body whose role is to oversee the tasks necessary in maintaining peace, security, and stability in the society. The treaty of Westphalia (1648) would outline the sovereignty of states, wherein it is expected that each state has ultimate control within it territorial boundaries, and lead to the preeminence of states. However, due to the rapid growth in technology and the number of civil society organizations and multinational corporations (MNCs), the supremacy of states is fundamentally being challenged as “the relationship between [states] and companies is changing . . . they are becoming more like each other. But in other respects they are beginning to exchange roles.” NGOs and MNCs have become more prominent in countries and have begun to replace states in their duties to society. This paper will support how the growing number of NGOs and MNCs has fundamentally challenged the preeminence of states by first stating the fundamental role of the state, then assessing how these non-state actors have stepped into this role and its effects on the supremacy of the state and finally examining the implications through the major theories of international relations: realism, liberalism, and constructivism.
In order assess how the growing number of civil society organizations and multinational corporations (MNCs) has fundamentally challenged the preeminence of states, the fundamental role of the state and government must be defined. There is no textbook definition of the role of state and government as it differs based on the political ideology of a person, society, and/or state. However most people agree that states have some basic roles they must achieve which are to protect the sovereignty of state from foreign aggressors and the individual rights and liberties of its citizens ; provide structural stability and management by providing a judicial body, creating laws that all citizens must adhere to and placing economic regulations, such as taxation, in order to fund the state ; and provide civic amenities such as infrastructure, sanitation, and education . The following paragraphs will argue how the previously stated roles of the state and much more have gradually become a part of the responsibilities of civil society organizations and MNCs and how this has affected the preeminence of states.
The primacy of states has been fundamentally confronted over the past few decades as the growth in civil society organizations and multinational corporations has led to an interchanging of responsibilities between states and these non-state actors. Civil society organizations are groups and networks of individuals pursuing some kind of policy goal or seeking to effect world politics. They have a great influence in global politics as the number of activist and policy organizations has exponentially grown and has led to greater participation. As related in “Power Shift” by Jessica T. Matthews, the advent of technology and...

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