International Affairs Fail Blog

International Affairs Fail Blog

by Adam Goodwin | 2013 | Posted: December 7, 2013 | Last Updated: December 7, 2013

International Affairs Pros

Listen to the experts on international affairs we are told. They have a PhD and are therefore the expert. Have you ever actually listened to these experts?

They threaten war criminals with a court case that likely will never take place. Countries tell others to ‘be more like my country.’ This doesn’t take I to account religious, cultural, language, environmental, or economic differences.

Instead, why aren’t we asking state leaders we are trying to help, what do you want your state to look like? What would your ideal state look like in 1, 5, 15, and 30 years?

And here’s the real swallow of pride. Conclude with a nice little cherry: How can we help you grow and foster your dream and vision?

Nothing about: look how great I am.  Why would anyone want to be the USA?  The environmental catastrohpe, the lack of access to health services and education for all citizens, or the crippling debt and lack of employment.  (Note, the USA does have freedom: freedom from prosecution based on religion, political, social beliefs; this is something many nations look up to, I understand.)

Why are we trying to break down what nations and countries have already built?  What they have built has been built under that country’s past and current political, religious, economic, and social conditions.  To come in and try to wipe out and rebuild (break down then build up), is not conducive to the long-term success and health of the countries we are trying to help.

We must instead have leaders of states build a shared vision for the country based off the needs and wants of communities and families inside those countries.  This is international relations.  Helping our neighbours and friends develop into what they want to be, instead of telling them: be like us or we’ll pull our financial support.

We need to stop putting our opinions and ways of doing things on pedstals.  Build capacity in those we are trying to help and aid.

A Call To Action

What are your points-of-view about the role of international relations in the world?  Join the conversation by commenting below!

Further Reading

Based on your reading of this blog post, you may also be interested in reading: What Do you Want the World to Learn from You.


These are one person’s thoughts and opinions.  I welcome and strive to get your feedback and own thoughts. Feel free to comment below or connect with me via social media.

Adam Goodwin is a Canadian working in the United Kingdom, and is a proud shameless idealist. His parents currently work in Cairo, Egypt. He has siblings and distant family in Canada and around the rainbow nation’s only home. Follow his year+ overseas on Twitter (@adam13goodwin) and on this blog

%d bloggers like this: