Apr 7, 2019 in Research

International Relations

UN Sanctions in Haiti


Realism argues that the involvement of international bodies in resolving conflicts is useless, unless the countries in which the conflict is being solved accespted the body. The United Nations is regarded as one of the most powerful bodies in the world, but some of their strategies were unable to give any tangible positive outcomes. The inability to decisively deal with the Haiti situation, and imposing unsuccessful sanctions showed how easily a nation can neglect these bodies. Despite the financial and social power that United Nations possesses, its strategies failed to materialize. The dictators in Haiti continued to reign and over throw one government after the other. They neglected the threats of the UN and its allies. While all this was happening, other countries continued to gain from the conflicts in Haiti. The illegitimate Haiti rule used the resources and systems set by the United Nations to strengthen themselves. They used the humanitarian efforts to ensure that they had little to do for the citizens as they concentrated on cementing their stature. Eventually, it took the intervention of the United States to finally get an agreement that restored peace in the country. This shows that the state is the most powerful entity in international relations, as per the realism principle.

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One of the tenets of liberalism is economic power over military power. When Haiti overthrew a democratically elected president, the United Nations and several other countries imposed sanctions on the country in June 1993 and May 1994. These were signs of economically powerful nations flexing their muscles and abilities against a less powerful nation, Haiti. However, the country remained in deep tension and the UN failed to remove the dictators. This was a sign that military power is at times the only remedy to certain situations. As nations fight for their own gain in any interaction with the nations, there are players behind the scenes who help even the worst regimes to remain in power and continue ruthless and undemocratic managements.


Marxism is a concept that focuses on the social composition in order for a society to thrive. It places capitalism as the main driver to the economic and social performances of a country. Haiti was a victim of poorly managed social and economic system, where no regime too responsibility over economic empowerment of the Haitians. When the United Nations came in with their procedures, the Haiti government of the day saw it as an opportunity to strengthen itself and leave the welfare of the citizens to the UN. During this period, cartels and capitalists started to prey on the oil and other Haitian resources. The United States led the ceasefire and was eventually rewarded through controlling the oil resources of Haiti. The society was segmented along the ruling classes and most peasants lived in abject poverty. 

Feminist perspective

The continuous era of fighting and increased disharmony in Haiti was very hostile and not conducive for any society to thrive. The economic position was pathetic and there was little that the governments, most of whom were dictatorial and that had acquired power through coups, could do to help the citizens. When the UN imposed economic sanctions, it did so with regulations of helping the country rebuild itself and increased its humanitarian efforts. These steps were aimed at ensuring that the vulnerable members if the society did not unfairly suffer from the sanctions. Feminists would then argue that the Haiti situation might have been unable to restore peace and dignity of the country because more people, especially the vulnerable were unable to thrive under the conditions created by the United Nations. Therefore, it would have been a better idea to involve the women of Haiti while making some of the decisions that would affect their lives at personal levels. 

Angola Blood diamonds


The Angola conflict was resolved through unorthodox methods, when Robert Fowler decided to engage non-state parties to resolve the diamond deaths and brutalities. One of the main principles of international relations is the self-interest of a state. According to realist and liberalist theories, a nation would always ensure that its interaction with another would have net benefits to itself. During the 1991 to 2001 diamond wars in Angola, this theory was put to practice and several countries were seen to put their interest first before peace and end to human suffering in Angola. During the latter stages of the conflict, one of the techniques adopted were to name and shame. Countries such as Belgium and Bulgaria continued to reap from the diamond trade. The former refused to take measures to regulate their diamond market, while the latter continued to supply weaponry to the warring parties in Angola. Both aimed at capitalizing on the occurrences in Angola to build their own economies at the expense of the Angolan civilians. Other countries such as Congo, Ivory Coast and Burkina Faso all played roles that helped their own economies, while neglecting the dying people of Angola. Furthermore, the disrespect of ceasefire in Angola was a show that international institutions were insignificant, unless the home state accepted them. Powerful nations were also expected to manipulate weaker states, such as the United States, British and Canada. Resolutions to end the war were held in different places including London and these nations would eventually have their final say. 


The principle of liberalism holds that there are more benefits to cooperation between nations than war between them. It also holds that states have different interests and that nations could create more sources of power other than military power. This was well exhibited in the Angolan case when Canada, United States and Britain came together to resolve the case, imposing sanctions and travel bans for some leaders fuelling the war. They were also involving in naming and shaming the countries that did not cooperate in elimination the war, while at the same time conducting the conventions and agreements that led to ceasefire. These countries used their economic power to silence the non-cooperating nations, which they succeeded. The end of the war was an important step in showing that organization between nations could as well be a real end to war and conflicts in the world. According to liberalism, agreements and international laws could be used as a recipe to international cooperation and trust between countries. Although they did not work quickly in the Angolan case, they were the eventual sources of solution to the war, where resolutions were made and diamond trade regulated. It was also through the agreements that diamond buyers such as De Beer agreed not to buy Angolan diamond any more. 


Marxism analyses social inequalities in societies based on classes built by the capitalistic segmentation of the society in question. The segmentation was the main reason for the war in Angola. Merchants from other countries created some capitalists in Angola who destabilized the mining sector through militias and rebels. Once the war raged on, they continued to mine the diamond and smuggle it to Europe at very cheap costs. Marxism normally explains resource wars when capitalists want to benefit more from a resource meant for an entire society. Others continued to make money through smuggling of weaponry to warring rebels, as others capitalized on cheap diamond to boom their jewelry trade. In the end, a society is segmented along economical lines that are then escalated by the capitalist forces into social lines. In the Angolan case, poor people went to war against each other, amputating others and killing them, while they do not benefit much from the resources they fight form. However, they feel socially superior and keep their ego high. They however are manipulated by the capitalists whose aim and goal is only economically oriented. A lot of trade was made through the Angolan war.

Feminist Perspective

A feminist perspective to the Angolan case would have brought several points of view. Feminist approach advocates for more involvement of women in international relations during the formulation of policies and creation of the necessary frameworks. In the Angolan case, women were victims because some of them were involved in the mining of diamonds and in caregiving. The conflict distracted the way of life and as men continued to be beaten and stopped from providing for their families, it is women who took over and took charge of families. In war, women and children would suffer the most. Most of these resource wars are fuelled by external players, such as diamond sellers in the current case, in order for them to control the mines and obtain the diamond at cheap prices and make huge profits. In this case, the main tribulations and representation of the real suffering of the people would be an interrogation of women. By focusing on women, the conflict resolution process would be putting into consideration the interest of children, thus understand the magnitude of the war better. Although this principle is regarded as too simplistic, it would create the real war environment in conventions and better solutions would be reached within less time. 


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