OpEd, Politics

The importance of international relations and what it portrays in South Sudan’s context

By Bona Bol Biar Wel

The purpose of diplomacy is to strengthen the state, nation, or organization it serves in relation to others by advancing the interests in its charge.

To this end, diplomatic activity endeavors to maximize a group’s advantages without the risk and expense of using force and preferably without causing resentment. The viable functions of diplomacy are communication, negotiation, intelligence gathering, image management, and policy implementation.

In the context of South Sudan, are we strengthening and organizing? Are we advancing our interests to other countries with respect to their interests in our country? Is our communication with other countries effectively advanced? Are we getting intelligent collections they have about us? Are our policies being implemented by those we sent for the tasks?

These questions remain to be answered by each one of us, especially our brothers in the diplomatic corporations of our nation.

In fact, the growing importance of international relations all over the globe is being given care by each one in that particular country to avoid negative impacts or repercussions on each one of our people in other countries. To demonstrate what I witnessed in the Sudan war, perhaps it has been noticed by many other South Sudanese. Are our people being fairly handled in that crisis like Americans or other nationals in that crisis?

The answer is, what are our personnel doing and saying diplomatically while they are here? Are our people involved in the crisis? The answer is yes because our people still don’t know their true identity in Sudan. This is because they occasionally claim to be Sudanese when they are South Sudanese in the diaspora. This sometimes also happened because of the interrelated cultures and mayhem of our nomadic tribes between South Sudan and Sudan.

“What exactly is International Relations?’’ You might be wondering. Not to worry, as this will be covered throughout this piece, alongside the reasons for its growing importance in our society.

International Relations is the scientific study of interactions between states and also heavily ties in with the concept of globalization. Globalization is now at an all-time high due to its facilitation by technological, socioeconomic, political, and environmental developments, which have improved global communications.

Many would argue that it is an uncertain time to get involved with global affairs: Brexit, the Ukrainian war, and Covid-19 have all led to a sense of political and economic anxiety, whilst also posing a threat to globalization by creating an economic backlash in traditionally powerful world economies.

In an article published by the Independent, it was mentioned that “If the human race is wiped out in the next 50 years it will not be because of disease or an asteroid hitting the earth, but, because of foreign policy and international relations’’. This is why understanding globalized markets and the factors that influence the relationships between countries is paramount.

To demonstrate in the war between Russia and Ukraine in bracket western powerful countries leading it in an agency or disguise or in an invisible way.

The whole concept of international studies is said to have stemmed from political sciences and the way that international systems operate. Though the concept may seem absurd to some, and you may feel as though international relations has nothing to do with you, however, that is false. Every single member of society is involved in international relations, whether you decide to buy products that are fair trade, what religion you practice, your cultural background and even where you live; these are choices that actively define your place. The reason international relations is so significant is due to the fact that it goes far beyond just peace and war, poverty, and business. It explores the key players and individuals in world politics and implicit political patterns, and it also identifies the theories of how troubles can be resolved, and cooperation can be reached.

As international relations become more significant, the same goes for a topic similar to it; diaspora politics. Diaspora politics are forms of political engagement that link constituencies in one country with a real or imagined homeland. Structural changes in the economy enhanced global connectivity, and the search for a better life have all facilitated diasporic political engagements. This new type of communication amongst dispersed populations allows citizens to influence political events in ways that have attracted the attention of both governments and non-governmental organizations. This was seen, for example, when the Czechs and Slovaks in the United States were the driving force behind the establishment of Czechoslovakia as an independent state in 1918, following the collapse of the Habsburg Empire and it was also seen when TROIKA mediated Comprehensive Peace Agreement gave birth to referendum that led to independence of Republic of South Sudan. These two scenarios go to show that diasporic politics has a way of shaping and influencing government policy and action, and in theory, international relations.

Furthermore, International Relations is becoming a very popular university course, with over 111 universities in the UK and America offering an International Relations degree whilst Africans are doing none. An International Relations degree enables you to effectively analyze how events affect both developed and developing economies and how to adapt to this, whilst also prompting you to think of change and reform, how to unify thoughts and actions – across generations, communities, public, private and non-profit sectors.

Understanding how the world has developed over time is absolutely crucial for further development. It is important to know that events do not occur in isolation, as events in one part of the globe can have unlikely consequences for another. Globalization has and will continue to affect political, socio-economic, and cultural forces across the globe. Therefore, as landmark events such as COVID-19 alongside others are happening all around us, gaining an understanding of our world through a global lens can profoundly inform our perspective on several of these events, as well as the future.

So, South Sudanese diplomatic and international relations actors must be reshaped and make use of diplomatic studies for routine training regards.

The author is a master’s student pursuing Diplomatic and International Relations Studies at the University of Juba at the Institute of Peace Development and Security Studies.

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