International Governance and Security in Current Affairs

International Governance and Security in Current Affairs



International Governance and Security in Current Affairs

            International governance and security are issues that all governments in the world deal with on a regular basis. International security is a particularly important issue because of the tendency of conflicts to spill over borders. Accordingly, powerful countries such as the United States and Russia normally try to influence the situations in other nations and regions as a way of ensuring regional, global or state security. When trying to impose favorable policies concerning international governance and security, powerful governments usually utilize carrots and sticks. In this case, carrots refer to incentives offered to foreign parties as a way of convincing them to submit to a particular policy. Conversely, sticks are various forms of coercive action that powerful governments use towards a similar end. The crisis playing out in the Ukraine has seen both the Russian and American governments use sticks to try and influence the international security situation.

            A news report in the New York Times on 28 April 2014 revealed that the US had imposed economic sanctions on holdings of several powerful Russian figures because of the nation’s involvement in the Ukraine crisis. Baker (2014) reported that the US government had imposed sanctions on four billionaires close to Russia’s President Putin because of the nation’s failure to deescalate the crisis in Ukraine. The actions of the US in the crisis relate to issues of international governance and security. This is because the destabilization of Ukraine could lead to a conflict that affects most of Eastern Europe. Accordingly, the American government has resorted to the use of sticks to deter Russia from annexing any other part of Ukraine.

            Governments normally use carrots and sticks when they want to stop a party from making individual choices and convince it to act collectively. In the Ukraine crisis, Russia’s alleged actions have resulted in a civil war within the former. An escalation of this crisis is likely to affect neighboring nations, especially if the Russian government provides further support for separatists. The threat that the situation poses for neighboring states shows that Russia’s actions are the result of individual choice. Through the sanctions, the American government hopes to stop Russia from involving itself any further at the risk of a significant economic fallout. Accordingly, the prohibition in Russia’s situation revolves around the de-escalation of the Ukraine crisis, while the threat is that of economic sanctions.

            The Ukraine crisis also shows the use of sticks to control international governance and security through the actions that Russia has taken against the Kiev government. On June 16, the Associated Press (2014) reported that Russia had cut off Ukraine’s gas supply claiming that the nation settle its debt and pay for future deliveries in advance. This action is the latest in the fallout in diplomatic relations between the two neighbors. Previously, Ukraine had received favorable deals on gas but this ended in April as the Ukraine crisis was starting (Associated Press, 2014). Though the Russian government has not explicitly said so, the situation in the Ukraine is likely to be the reason why the government shut off the gas. Accordingly, the Russia is now using Ukraine’s energy dependence on her large neighbor as a stick to force the Kiev government to back down in its conflict with the separatist movement. Russia considers the actions of the Kiev administration to be individualistic, as they do not consider the wellbeing of Russian speaking peoples in the Eastern parts of Ukraine. In this case, the prohibition is the call for Ukraine to stop engaging the eastern rebels in combat, while the stick is the action of cutting off gas supplies. This action carries added weight because the decreased supply will soon affect nations in other parts of Europe. Through its actions, Russia is trying to international governance and security particularly in its relations with the rest of Europe.  


Associated Press. (2014, June 16). Russia cuts gas supply to Ukraine as tensions soar. The Washington Post. Retrieved from

Baker, P. (2014, April 28). U.S. expands sanctions, adding holdings of Russians in Putin’s financial circle. The New York Times. Retrieved from  

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