1. Yang Zewei’sarticle describes how the Qing government in China bowed to thepressure from Western powers. In particular, international law was ona collision course with many aspects of Chinese Confucianism. Hence,the traditional system collapsed as Chinese scholars and officialscame to accept and apply conventional laws. The thesis argues for thesignificant role played by the Unequal Treaty Regime in China’sforeign relations. In fact, Zewei undermines the overall impact ofinternational law in forcing the regime to enter the internationalcommunity and abide by the legal system (Zewei, 2011, p.286). TheTributary System and the Confucian view adopted by the CelestialEmpire of China existed till the start of the 20thcentury. Notably, the international legal system was introduced intoChina during the same period. Inevitably, modern law becameintegrated into Chinese Confucianism. Notwithstanding, the norms andregulations of international law were only applied among some statesthat were considered Christian or civilized (Zewei, 2011, p.305).Hence, the Unequal Treaty Regime had the most impact on Chineserelations.
The conclusionlists several factors that characterized the integration ofConfucianism and the international legal system. Firstly, thecollision of the two systems forced China to compromise on itsentrenched values. Besides, pressure from Western forces led thecountry to sign unequal treaties after five wars fought within a60-year period (Zewei, 2011, p.305). Furthermore, the integrationcontributed to China’s modernization by eliminating the nation’sclosed-door policy and encouraging the adoption of superior Westerntechnology (Zewei, 2011, p.306).
2. GeraldSteinberg’s article depicts the extent of soft power exercised byNon-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) in global affairs. Steinbergdescribes soft power as the ability of institutions to acquireresources through attraction rather than payments or coercion(Steinberg, 2011, p.24). In particular, NGOs exercise the mostinfluence in issues concerning humanitarian aid and human rights(Steinberg, 2011, p.24). The soft power wielded by such organizationsowes to several factors. For example, they are assumed to havecompetent technical expertise. Additionally, NGOs have embracednormative goals and morality such that they are untainted by economicobjectives or partisan politics. Therefore, the non-profit nature ofsuch institutions is hyped through media outlets.
Steinbergacknowledges some of the most influential NGOs include theInternational Federation of Human Rights, Amnesty International, andHuman Rights Watch (Steinberg, 2011, p.24). Such institutions use thelanguage of humanitarian assistance to work cooperatively withtransnational advocacy networks. Consequently, they emphasize theiragenda in forums such as the United Nations Human Rights Council.Political leaders and other diplomats from developed countries alsolend their support to the programs and initiatives of NGOs. In thisregard, the primary role of humanitarian organizations is reflectedin the reports, procedures, and mandate of the Goldstone Commission.Steinberg’s article examines the impact of NGO activity on theArab-Israeli conflict in Gaza (Steinberg, 2011, p.24). In particular,he focuses on the manner in which reputable institutions haveinfluenced Israeli foreign and security policy.
3. Based on thearticle by Cragg Wesley, Denis Arnold, and Peter Muchlinski, businessand human rights became an international topic during theestablishment of the ISO 26000 standard (Cragg, Arnold, &Muchlinski, 2012, p.5). This development occurred due to the effortsof the United Nations human rights framework. Granted, internationalinstitutions such as the World Trade Organization have exemplifiedthe desire to safeguard fundamental human rights. Nevertheless, thedelay in establishing such changes has been caused by theconsiderable power exercised by multinational corporations indeveloping countries. However, many organizations have displayed anincreasing willingness to incorporate human rights into theircommercial activities.
Cragg, W., Arnold, D. G., & Muchlinski, P. (2012). Human Rightsand Business. Business Ethics Quarterly, 22(1), 1-7.
Steinberg, G. (2011). The Politics of NGOs, Human Rights and theArab-Israel Conflict. Israel Studies, 16(2), 24–54.
Zewei, Y. (2011). Western International Law and China’sConfucianism in the 19th Century. Collision and Integration. Journalof the History of International Law, 13, 285–306.doi:10.1163/187119006XXX