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CAN HUMAN RIGHTS BE A VIABLE FOREIGN POLICY ?


A nation's foreign policies are, at their very core, meant to represent the reputation of the land. Many factors, including domestic as well as international influences, can affect a nation's foreign policy. In the initial times of globalization, the function of foreign policies was to strengthen transnational relationships. This tactic of establishing a calculated outlook for national gains began with the era of the Industrial Revolution. As a result of industrialization, heavy weapons were produced to be used as an accessory for intense warfare, thereby starting World War I. Due to this, nations began forming alliances with either of the mighty players in the conflict to stay safe. In essence, it led to the development of a concept that constituted foreign policy to become a key defense strategy.


Accordingly, the foremost purpose of foreign policies matured to provide domestic security by enhancing worldwide cooperation and henceforth eliminating any sense of apprehension that might usher to a dispute among nations. Given the pre-times, it only indicated securing one's own homeland from battles by siding with allies at the expense of risking the safety of rival nations. Currently, since multiple nations have committed themselves to actively preventing international conflicts, foreign policy formulation is driven by the maximization of other domestic benefits, such as those in the social, economic, and political areas.


A nation's foreign policy can be determined by various factors, such as its geographic setting, its ideological orientation, public opinion, economic potential, historical events, social structures, diplomacy, and political accountability. As these elements are conditional to domestic interests, the peripheral significance of foreign policies is to foster a balance of power among nations, with a sense of responsibility to promote world peace and generate collective allegiance to avoid involvement in a war or have destructive intentions towards a rival country. In analyzing both external and internal factors that affect foreign policies, it can be stated that all of these elements point towards one concise purpose: ensuring human security. Be it in the form of a combined classification where all the citizens of an entire nation are counted on or categorized into specific ethnic/religious groups, the very rationale of foreign policy is to hook defensive measures for safeguarding the individuals residing inside of a nation. Thus, foreign policy implementation should include human rights as one of the most important references.


The deeper the roots of the social construct about foreign policy are evaluated, the more they are found to be regarding the interest of an individual, groups of people, or a whole population in a nation. In most of the possibilities, social and legal norms are generally set up to benefit humankind and ensure its security. If not entirely, the primary beneficiaries are always human beings and then other bodies.


Nevertheless, these social constructs also play a part in marking a divide among individuals. This divide, once augmented, continues to spark violence, which is what is caused by wars and conflicts. In a few cases, nations have sometimes been faced with tensions due to a diverse crowd of citizens. Such examples earnestly highlight the importance of preserving peace within the domestic boundaries. Thus, working towards world peace becomes impossible if nations cannot resolve internal tensions and protect human rights within their own borders. Even failing to provide basic international cooperation to an alliance would be an inability. This will merely result in a deteriorating status followed by international condemnation of the nation in question.


With the rise of globalization, international cooperation has become the key to sustainability for nations. From expanding economic strength to creating a peaceful social environment, nations are reliant on resources from foreign lands. Here is when foreign policies come to play in the contemporary phase of geopolitics. To further utilize the aspect of foreign policy, a strong interdependent relationship is constructed between nations to avoid the tendency of wars. As wars easily translate to loss of human lives, in addition to political, intellectual, and economic damage, the characteristic of protecting humans comes first. Hence, when a nation is drafting its foreign policies, the primary facet considered has to be in favor of protecting its citizens and furnishing a secure social setting for everyone residing inside.

Defining human rights goes beyond just serving justice to specific ethnicity or religion due to violence. These rights also are mandated to be respected when it is about preventing gender-based crimes, human trafficking, or abuses targeted towards individuals belonging to a specific social level. In short, human rights are supposed to fund protection to the citizens of a state, which is also a bloated trait of foreign policy. Thereby affirming a connection between human rights and foreign policy. Typically, there are two sorts of human rights abuses in a nation. It happens first when citizens are discriminated against by the state and then when they are ill-treated socially. In the case of state-initiated intolerance, ethnic/religious groups are targeted by having them given fewer preferences in the system, intentional inclination towards excluding them, being unresponsive to their needs, etc. Also, in other matters of human rights abuse, such as ignoring social upliftment of the marginalized, failing to provide security to potential victims of crimes like human trafficking and assault, existence of strict punitive disciplines that indeed are forbidden under common law, largely display the national government’s tremendous incompetency. Similarly, when there are occasions of communal tensions in a nation, where one group is clashing against the other, there is a massive punch of human rights infractions. Having a situation like this, coupled with the national government's powerlessness to solve the issue, only reinforces the sentiment of being looked down on internationally.


A stable foreign policy should fundamentally stress the importance of including the aspect of human rights to be adept of bagging global partnerships. If a nation is inept in protecting its people, it will be dragged into the mud. Not only the citizens but also foreign states will lose trust in them. And with the advent of globalization, it will be much harder to function without coordination from international organizations and other countries. Therefore, in the context of a country's attempt to implement a strong foreign policy, it might not be the best idea to view conserving human rights through a politically motivated lens. The aspiration to be liable towards all citizens must come naturally to the national government without a predisposition. Nations should not limit their efforts to aid human rights only within their borders but should also speak out against abuses against humanity occurring outside their territories.


Human rights are an influential component of democracy, which is the most critical realization one needs to make. These two features go hand in hand while defining the systemic foundation of a nation's culture. Democracy envelops the values of humanity by allowing each individual to express their choices and to be respected physically and psychologically. As pure as the values of democracy are, it only provides room for the enrichment of appreciating individual thoughts, acknowledging diverse values, and learning to imply the myriad details into contributing to national goals. The main idea behind such an effort is to appreciate peacebuilding. By counting human rights as a foreign policy, a nation might be successful in generating a domino effect, thereby causing democracy to spread across the globe and lead to world peace. By the end of the day, it serves not just a purpose of securitizing human lives but also revolutionizes society into developing compassion towards other segments of humanity.

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