East-West dichotomy in international relations

From Deletionpedia.org: a home for articles deleted from Wikipedia
Jump to: navigation, search
This article was considered for deletion at Wikipedia on September 7 2015. This is a backup of Wikipedia:East-West_dichotomy_in_international_relations. All of its AfDs can be found at Wikipedia:Special:PrefixIndex/Wikipedia:Articles_for_deletion/East-West_dichotomy_in_international_relations, the first at Wikipedia:Wikipedia:Articles_for_deletion/East-West_dichotomy_in_international_relations. Purge

DPv2 loves original research.

In the 21st Century, the East-West dichotomy is present in the field of international relations, and remains an important division, in the international arena. The East-West dichotomy, can be contextualised within the framework of modern political, economic and military institutions. The characteristics of these can be traced back to the early post-WWII era, concurrent with the onset of the Cold War.

Late 20th Century

In the post-WWII era, with the arrival of the Cold War, the greater portion of the Western world, led by the United States, France & other European states, created institutions (military, economic & political) which would see greater cooperation between the countries of war-ravaged Europe and other western countries throughout the globe. Consequently, NATO, the western military alliance was born (1949), as was the European Coal and Steel Community (1952) (the precursor of the modern European Union) and subsequently the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) (1961). The so-called ‘Eastern bloc', because these countries lay east of western Europe and were Soviet influenced (rather than their being culturally ‘eastern’), was made up exclusively of communist countries in the east, mainly from Europe, who formed their own institutions to rival the Western ones, primarily Comecon (economic) (1949-1991) and the Warsaw Pact (military) (1955-1991).

On the other hand the Global South (or South-East), sometimes referred to as the Third World (ie. belonging neither to the First World of the USA and its allies or the Second World of the Soviet Union and its allies), formed their own institutions, primarily that of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) (1961), and the Group of 77 (G-77) (1964). The Global South countries generally viewed the Cold War in the light of an intra-Western struggle, between two hegemon’s (USA and Soviet Union). The Global South contended that neither of the two superpower blocs had much real connection or association with the struggles or challenges faced by the Global South/Eastern World. There was little cross-membership of the institutions outlined above, between the broadly defined Western World (developed countries, both capitalist & communist)) and Global South (Eastern World), but there were a few countries with membership of both groupings. Cuba, a founding member of NAM, also joined Comecon in 1972, whilst a newly reunited Vietnam joined NAM in 1976 and initiated membership with Comecon, two years later, in 1978. Yugoslavia, a pivotal founding member of NAM, was an interesting case, given that it was a European (Western) country, with membership of an Eastern World grouping. This was further compounded by the fact that Yugoslavia negotiated an associate membership of Comecon in 1964. Yugoslavia, Cuba and Vietnam were also founding members of the Group of 77, whilst Romania joined the grouping in 1976, in spite of its membership of both the Warsaw Pact & Comecon.

Former Soviet Bloc countries
Country COMECON Warsaw Pact
Albania 1949-61 1955-68[1]
Bulgaria 1949-91 1955-91
Cuba 1972-91 Template:Nay
Czechoslovakia 1949-91 1955-91
East Germany 1950-90 1955-90
Hungary 1949-91 1955-91
Mongolia 1962-91 Template:Nay
Poland 1949-91 1955-90
Romania 1949-91 1955-91
USSR 1949-91 1955-91
Vietnam 1978-91 Template:Nay
Yugoslavia[2] 1964-91 Template:Nay

21st Century

The end of the Cold War and dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991, saw major changes in the style & dynamics of international relations. Both Comecon and the Warsaw Pact were dissolved abruptly, and the former Soviet satellite states of Central & Eastern Europe, actively sought out membership of the Western institutions. Subsequently, most of these countries became firmly anchored to the West (or North-West), having joined or applied to join the various Western organisations. Consequently the membership of the OECD, EU and NATO expanded significantly from 1990. Reciprocally, the membership of the Global South/Eastern World institutions likewise expanded largely in the same time.

Western Countries by Institution
Country OECD European Union NATO
Albania Template:Nay Template:Nay Template:Aye
Australia Template:Aye Template:Nay Template:Nay
Austria Template:Aye Template:Aye Template:Nay
Belgium Template:Aye Template:Aye Template:Aye
Bulgaria Template:Nay Template:Aye Template:Aye
Canada Template:Aye Template:Nay Template:Aye
Chile Template:Aye Template:Nay Template:Nay
Croatia Template:Nay Template:Aye Template:Aye
Cyprus Template:Nay Template:Aye Template:Nay
Czech Republic Template:Aye Template:Aye Template:Aye
Denmark Template:Aye Template:Aye Template:Aye
Estonia Template:Aye Template:Aye Template:Aye
Finland Template:Aye Template:Aye Template:Nay
France Template:Aye Template:Aye Template:Aye
Germany Template:Aye Template:Aye Template:Aye
Greece Template:Aye Template:Aye Template:Aye
Hungary Template:Aye Template:Aye Template:Aye
Iceland Template:Aye Template:Nay Template:Aye
Ireland Template:Aye Template:Aye Template:Nay
Israel Template:Aye Template:Nay Template:Nay
Italy Template:Aye Template:Aye Template:Aye
Japan Template:Aye Template:Nay Template:Nay
Latvia Template:Nay Template:Aye Template:Aye
Lithuania Template:Nay Template:Aye Template:Aye
Luxembourg Template:Aye Template:Aye Template:Aye
Malta Template:Nay Template:Aye Template:Nay
Mexico Template:Aye Template:Nay Template:Nay
Netherlands Template:Aye Template:Aye Template:Aye
New Zealand Template:Aye Template:Nay Template:Nay
Norway Template:Aye Template:Nay Template:Aye
Poland Template:Aye Template:Aye Template:Aye
Portugal Template:Aye Template:Aye Template:Aye
Romania Template:Nay Template:Aye Template:Aye
Slovakia Template:Aye Template:Aye Template:Aye
Slovenia Template:Aye Template:Aye Template:Aye
South Korea Template:Aye Template:Nay Template:Nay
Spain Template:Aye Template:Aye Template:Aye
Sweden Template:Aye Template:Aye Template:Nay
Switzerland Template:Aye Template:Nay Template:Nay
Turkey Template:Aye Template:Nay Template:Aye
United Kingdom Template:Aye Template:Aye Template:Aye
United States Template:Aye Template:Nay Template:Aye

The combined membership of the OECD (34 members), EU (28) & NATO (28) stood at 42 countries in 2015. This includes the 34 OECD members + 7 EU countries not in the OECD (Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta & Romania) + 1 NATO country not in OECD or EU (Albania). On the other hand, the Eastern World institutions: expanded Group of 77, numbers 134 members (133 UN member states + State of Palestine) and NAM numbers 120 members (119 UN member states + State of Palestine). Collectively, the Group of 77 & NAM share a total of 136 UN member states + State of Palestine. This includes the G-77 133 UN member states + 3 NAM states not in the G-77 (Azerbaijan, Belarus & Uzbekistan). With the notable exception of Chile, there is no country with full membership of both the Western & Eastern world key institutions. Bosnia & Herzegovina, is another interesting case, in that it is a member of the Group of 77, but also has negotiated a Membership Action Plan for NATO (ie. candidacy for NATO membership). Should Bosnia & Herzegovina join NATO, it will need to decide whether it wishes to retain its G-77 membership (or perhaps whether it might be permitted to do so by the G-77). The general practice has been for a member to withdraw its membership of a major Eastern World institution on joining a major Western World institution. The following has occurred in the past:

  • Mexico – founding member of G-77, discontinued its membership of that grouping on joining the OECD in 1994, although Mexico remains a member of the smaller sub-group the G-24.
  • South Korea - founding member of G-77, discontinued its membership of that grouping on joining the OECD in 1996
  • Cyprus – founding member of both NAM and G-77, discontinued its membership of both institutions on joining the EU in 2004
  • Malta – member of NAM since 1973 and G-77 since 1976, discontinued its membership of both institutions on joining the EU in 2004
  • Romania – member of G-77 from 1976, discontinued its membership of that grouping on joining the EU in 2007
Eastern Countries by Institution
Country G-77 NAM
Afghanistan Template:Aye Template:Aye
Algeria Template:Aye Template:Aye
Angola Template:Aye Template:Aye
Antigua & Barbuda Template:Aye Template:Aye
Argentina Template:Aye Template:Nay
Azerbaijan Template:Nay Template:Aye
Bahamas Template:Aye Template:Aye
Bahrain Template:Aye Template:Aye
Bangladesh Template:Aye Template:Aye
Barbados Template:Aye Template:Aye
Belarus Template:Nay Template:Aye
Belize Template:Aye Template:Aye
Benin Template:Aye Template:Aye
Bhutan Template:Aye Template:Aye
Bolivia Template:Aye Template:Aye
Bosnia & Herzegovina Template:Aye Template:Nay
Botswana Template:Aye Template:Aye
Brazil Template:Aye Template:Nay
Brunei Template:Aye Template:Aye
Burkina Faso Template:Aye Template:Aye
Burundi Template:Aye Template:Aye
Cambodia Template:Aye Template:Aye
Cameroon Template:Aye Template:Aye
Cape Verde Template:Aye Template:Aye
Central African Republic Template:Aye Template:Aye
Chad Template:Aye Template:Aye
Chile Template:Aye Template:Aye
China Template:Aye Template:Nay
Colombia Template:Aye Template:Aye
Comoros Template:Aye Template:Aye
Congo, Democratic Republic of Template:Aye Template:Aye
Congo, Republic of Template:Aye Template:Aye
Costa Rica Template:Aye Template:Nay
Cote d'Ivoire Template:Aye Template:Aye
Cuba Template:Aye Template:Aye
Djibouti Template:Aye Template:Aye
Dominica Template:Aye Template:Aye
Dominican Republic Template:Aye Template:Aye
Ecuador Template:Aye Template:Aye
Egypt Template:Aye Template:Aye
El Salvador Template:Aye Template:Nay
Equatorial Guinea Template:Aye Template:Aye
Eritrea Template:Aye Template:Aye
Ethiopia Template:Aye Template:Aye
Fiji Template:Aye Template:Aye
Gabon Template:Aye Template:Aye
Gambia Template:Aye Template:Aye
Ghana Template:Aye Template:Aye
Grenada Template:Aye Template:Aye
Guatemala Template:Aye Template:Aye
Guinea Template:Aye Template:Aye
Guinea-Bissau Template:Aye Template:Aye
Guyana Template:Aye Template:Aye
Haiti Template:Aye Template:Aye
Honduras Template:Aye Template:Aye
India Template:Aye Template:Aye
Indonesia Template:Aye Template:Aye
Iran Template:Aye Template:Aye
Iraq Template:Aye Template:Aye
Jamaica Template:Aye Template:Aye
Jordan Template:Aye Template:Aye
Kenya Template:Aye Template:Aye
Kiribati Template:Aye Template:Nay
Kuwait Template:Aye Template:Aye
Laos Template:Aye Template:Aye
Lebanon Template:Aye Template:Aye
Lesotho Template:Aye Template:Aye
Liberia Template:Aye Template:Aye
Libya Template:Aye Template:Aye
Madagascar Template:Aye Template:Aye
Malawi Template:Aye Template:Aye
Malaysia Template:Aye Template:Aye
Maldives Template:Aye Template:Aye
Mali Template:Aye Template:Aye
Marshall Islands Template:Aye Template:Nay
Mauritania Template:Aye Template:Aye
Mauritius Template:Aye Template:Aye
Micronesia Template:Aye Template:Nay
Mongolia Template:Aye Template:Aye
Morocco Template:Aye Template:Aye
Mozambique Template:Aye Template:Aye
Myanmar Template:Aye Template:Aye
Namibia Template:Aye Template:Aye
Nauru Template:Aye Template:Nay
Nepal Template:Aye Template:Aye
Nicaragua Template:Aye Template:Aye
Niger Template:Aye Template:Aye
Nigeria Template:Aye Template:Aye
North Korea Template:Aye Template:Aye
Oman Template:Aye Template:Aye
Pakistan Template:Aye Template:Aye
Palestine Template:Aye Template:Aye
Panama Template:Aye Template:Aye
Papua New Guinea Template:Aye Template:Aye
Paraguay Template:Aye Template:Nay
Peru Template:Aye Template:Aye
Philippines Template:Aye Template:Aye
Qatar Template:Aye Template:Aye
Rwanda Template:Aye Template:Aye
St Kitts & Nevis Template:Aye Template:Aye
St Lucia Template:Aye Template:Aye
St Vincent & the Grenadines Template:Aye Template:Aye
Samoa Template:Aye Template:Nay
Sao Tome & Principe Template:Aye Template:Aye
Saudi Arabia Template:Aye Template:Aye
Senegal Template:Aye Template:Aye
Seychelles Template:Aye Template:Aye
Sierra Leone Template:Aye Template:Aye
Singapore Template:Aye Template:Aye
Solomon Islands Template:Aye Template:Nay
Somalia Template:Aye Template:Aye
South Africa Template:Aye Template:Aye
South Sudan Template:Aye Template:Nay
Sri Lanka Template:Aye Template:Aye
Sudan Template:Aye Template:Aye
Suriname Template:Aye Template:Aye
Swaziland Template:Aye Template:Aye
Syria Template:Aye Template:Aye
Tajikistan Template:Aye Template:Nay
Tanzania Template:Aye Template:Aye
Thailand Template:Aye Template:Aye
Timor-Leste Template:Aye Template:Aye
Togo Template:Aye Template:Aye
Tonga Template:Aye Template:Nay
Trinidad & Tobago Template:Aye Template:Aye
Tunisia Template:Aye Template:Aye
Turkmenistan Template:Aye Template:Aye
Uganda Template:Aye Template:Aye
United Arab Emirates Template:Aye Template:Aye
Uruguay Template:Aye Template:Nay
Uzbekistan Template:Nay Template:Aye
Vanuatu Template:Aye Template:Aye
Venezuela Template:Aye Template:Aye
Vietnam Template:Aye Template:Aye
Yemen Template:Aye Template:Aye
Zambia Template:Aye Template:Aye
Zimbabwe Template:Aye Template:Aye

Of the total 193 UN member states of the world, 42 states belong to at least one key Western organisation and 136 states belong to at least one key Eastern organisation. After taking into account Chile, which is in both groupings, 177 out of 193 UN countries are aligned in these two camps. Therefore, only 16 UN member countries are not counted among those belonging to either the key Eastern (NAM, G-77) or Western institutions (OECD, EU, NATO). All those in question are either microstates or former republics of the USSR or of the former Yugoslavia.

Countries Outside Key Eastern or Western Institutions
Country Status
Serbia EU candidate
Montenegro EU candidate & NATO candidate
Macedonia EU candidate & NATO candidate
Andorra Microstate (European)
Liechtenstein Microstate (European)
Monaco Microstate (European)
San Marino Microstate (European)
Russia Ex-USSR
Ukraine Ex-USSR
Moldova Ex-USSR
Georgia Ex-USSR
Armenia Ex-USSR
Kazakhstan Ex-USSR
Kyrgyzstan Ex-USSR
Palau Microstate (Asia-Pacific) (G-77 member: 2002-04)
Tuvalu Microstate (Asia-Pacific)

Anomalies & Inconsistencies

Despite the relatively neat divide, between the Eastern and Western world, by reference to some of the largest modern international and regional institutions, there is no universal agreement on the exact delineation between what constitutes an Eastern or Western country, respectively. Some possible discrepancies in terms of alignment, include, South Korea (originally aligned East), which has anchored itself to the West, but is historically an eastern country. Similarly for Japan, Turkey and Israel (all members of Western institutions), alternative arguments can be made as to whether these countries are historically more eastern or western. Bosnia & Herzegovina, is a G-77 member, but it may inevitably find itself politically entrenched in ‘the West’, if it proceeds with NATO (& EU) membership, which would not run counter to its European roots & geography.

Latin America is mainly aligned with the East (except Mexico, with Chile remaining a curious borderline case) but there is no consensus as to whether these countries are characteristically more eastern or western. A similar question may be raised in relation to Russia and most of the former republics of the USSR, and this remains the single biggest regional group of countries which have remained unaligned with either bloc.

See also

References

  1. Albania had effectively ended its participation in the Warsaw Pact by1961 - it formally withdrew in 1968
  2. Yugoslavia was only a special "associate" member of Comecon, rather than a full member

Further reading

Balancing the East, Upgrading the West; U.S. Grand Strategy in an Age of Upheaval by Zbigniew Brzezinski January/February 2012 Foreign Affairs