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New Year Reminder of Need for “Common Experience of Linkage” in Foreign Policy and International Relations

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Manijeh Navidnia
Doctorate in Sociology & Faculty Member at the Islamic Azad University

In order to maintain its structure, every society needs various people, groups, companies, organizations, and organs which are interconnected through “commonalities.” Common land, common language, common customs and traditions, common currency, common faith and the likes of them lead to attachment and intermingling, which finally create links. Therefore, officials in every society talk about common interests, common fate, common effort, and common goals and set direction of government’s politics and policies on that basis. As a result, when they talk about threat to national interests, when they talk about common enemy, when aggression against land is condemned, when an asylum seeker is returned to his/her country, when genealogy of convicts is taken into account and so forth, in fact, their roots and foundations are nothing but such commonalities as homeland, home country and birthplace. In this way, one may say that not only the society and government, but also security should be sought through commonalities.

Frequent bouts of research have been conducted on subcultures, which have not been assimilated by the national culture, and insecurities that such subcultures face. Pressure, coercion, deprivation, rebuke and punishment are among methods used to assimilate these subcultures in general culture of the society. However, no attention has ever been paid to bolstering commonalities; commonalities, which unconsciously lead to linkage and convergence, and while respecting real differentiations and separation lines, give birth to a common viewpoint and common understanding. This problem has been also afflicting international relations and foreign policy, and various factors from physical demarcations among countries to ideological differences have been added to problems as a result of which attention to commonalities has recessed into dark memory of history. As a result, talking about linkage and convergence among nations in the foreign policy has turned into unfulfilling dream and idea.

These conditions have come about at a time that terrorism and warmongering is on the rise and has dashed hopes about establishment of security across the world. Frustration and inability to contain destructive measures have reached such serious and unbelievable dimensions that even dialogue and sitting for negotiations with terrorists has been proposed as one of the options facing big powers in order to put the global security in order. On the other hand, the dominance and hegemony of military literature in security matters, especially in international relations, has been so widespread and all-out that if anybody talks about establishment of security and peace in foreign policy without reliance on force, it would be considered a nonsensical remark. The militarism has also penetrated people’s everyday lives such profoundly that everybody, for his/her own part, seeks to increase their share of power in order to boost their ability to bully others. All this happens at a time that one can still attest to the role of links, attachments, and connections that stem from consanguine, familial, ethnic, sexual and professional commonalities in the world. Therefore, one can reach the conclusion that the key and thought-provoking point that has been ignored here is that insecurity and reduced possibility of realizing security can be also results of weakness and shortcomings in “commonalities.”

Perhaps, concerns about the environment, fear of a possible nuclear war, water shortage, as well as efforts made to contain spread of AIDS and other contagious diseases can be considered among those cases, which have led to creation of a common language in the foreign policy among countries. Similarly, the activities of the United Nations and borderless organizations can be also considered as an effort to curb unpleasant aspects of war and its untoward consequences across the world. The reality, however, is that bitter concerns and ominous worries which stem from the fear and panic of war and its unfavorable consequences do not lead to linkage and attachment among nations. Foreign policy needs common grounds, which would invigorate friendship and kindness and give birth to mercy and compassion. This would be like the “new year,” which gathers citizens under the same umbrella regardless of agreements and disagreements, shortages and excesses, obedience and disobedience, as well as oversights and struggles.

In order to realize sustainable peace and friendship, world security and foreign policy need to “build common grounds” so that by establishing contacts among nations, they would be able to intensify kindness and friendship among them and put an end to all cases of insecurity that stem from hatred and grudge. International relations need building common grounds, which may do away with hostilities and create friendship and cordiality. By bringing all nations under a single umbrella, such common grounds create strong bonds of friendship among them, which finally lead to establishment of security and peace and reconciliation.

Therefore, by taking advantage of the opportunity offered by the “Persian new year,” and while reminding the need to take a new approach to foreign security, it must be noted that politics and international relations, like the new year, must change their old attire and do away with obsolete concepts in order to put an end to bitterness and distances, and replace them with reconciliation and kindness among nations. To do this, foreign policy must increase its distance with militarism and put on a new cover of linkage and convergence, which would be created by warp and woof of “common experience” among nations.

Key WordsCommon Experience, Linkage, Foreign Policy, International Relations, Commonalities, National Interests, Terrorism, Warmongering, Global Security, Peace, Friendship, World Security, Navidnia 

More By Manijeh Navidnia:

*Middle East Security: Time for Dialogue Is Over: http://www.iranreview.org/content/Documents/Middle-East-Security-Time-for-Dialogue-Is-Over.htm

*Security and Protests against Insulting Film: http://www.iranreview.org/content/Documents/Security-and-Protests-against-Insulting-Film.htm

*Principles Enshrined by the NAM Summit in Tehran: http://www.iranreview.org/content/Documents/Principles-Enshrined-by-the-NAM-Summit-in-Tehran.htm

*Photo Credit: rfactr.com

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