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Non-State Actors in the International System (Essay Sample)


What are the main types of non-state actors in the international system and how do they differ from one another? Please discuss their main differences and use examples to illustrate their differences. In what way have the proliferation of non-state actors challenged the sovereignty of the nation-state?

Non-State Actors in the International System
The formation of the international system is increasingly becoming intricate as a result of the inclusion of several components. Previously, states acted as vital units of the international system. However, other agents termed as non-state actors have been included in the formation of the international system, contributing to the complexity of the formation process. They do not belong to any particular state, though they might have their headquarters in a particular country, but their activities go beyond the borders of that country. They help nations during difficult times such as in war or natural calamities, and influence both internal and foreign policies of states.
Types of Non-State Actors in The International System
There are three types of non-state actors, Interstate Government Organizations (IGOs), Interstate Non-Government Organizations (INGOs) and Non-Government Organizations (NGOs).
Interstate Government Organizations (IGOs) are important players in international politics, and are formed when several states come together opined to mutual interest. In some instances, they develop policies, which can infringe on the policies of a single state. They are classified based on their membership and their purpose. The association is sometimes regional and specific. Their principal activity could be political, economic, social-cultural or military. The most common IGOs include the Northern Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), International Monetary Fund (IMF), Organization of American States (OAS), Organization of African Union (OAU), and the World Bank (Carlsnaes 112).
Interstate Non-Governmental Organizations (INGOs) can also be termed as transnational organizations. They have an impact on the political, economic and social-cultural values of states. They organize events that occur simultaneously across countries, they do not have an interest within any given state, and they are non-political. A religious organization such as the Catholic with its universal head as the Pope play a significant role globally. Other transnational elements are economic in nature, such as the multinational corporations (MNCs).
Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) are private international actors, whose members are volunteers from two or several states. They promote their shared ideals and interests, influencing the policies of IGOs and state governments. They tackle many problems globally and advocate for causes such as human rights, environmental protection, and disarmament, among others. The objectives pursued in many instances are highly respected and do not evoke controversy or opposition. Some of the NGOs include AISEC, which links students globally and Amnesty International (Joey 78).
Non-State Actors Challenged the Sovereignty of The Nation-State
The proliferation of non-state actors has led to regional organizations such as NATO, African Union (AU) and United Nations (UN) deploying armed forces to act alongside those of the states in war-torn regions. They have supported economic development, provided education, healthcare, and access to clean water. On several occasions, they have taken over the typical duties of state government, often facilitated by the partnership of the state. Civil society organizations have been increasingly engaged in active roles in shap...
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