The film “Blood Diamond” is an excellent example of an international system that is based on neoliberal institutionalism which is a system that acknowledges states as the primary actors within international relations yet places institutions as the means by which international cooperation can be attained.
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When looking at the conflict within the film, what must be understood is that the reason behind the various problems that occurred was connected to the international sanctions that made the trade in diamonds illegal from Sierra Leone illegal within the international community. This was done through an organization such as the U.N. as was suppose to reduce the possibility of diamonds in effect funding the private wars of warlords within the West African region.
Furthermore, one of the scenes best scenes wherein in the character “Vandy” makes an appearance on a conference involving blood diamonds shows how cooperation between states is achieved through institutions. It should also be noted that the film also highlights the current diamond monopoly by a single organization as seen by the sheer number of diamonds seen in the vault of the organization (McClearn, 59).
This is actually a thinly veiled attempt at showing how diamonds are not actually rare; rather, their price and value are highly exaggerated with the supply being controlled. The organization that the film targets is called “De Beers” which controls a majority of the diamond trade in the world and artificially increases prices by controlling the supply and limiting the output (Falls, 441-466).
Since the De Beers is a private organization, it can be seen that the film itself attempts to show that the only way to truly ensure that wards funded through diamonds can be ended is through international action by a consortium of states (as seen in the ending of the movie) wherein they act to ensure that the price and demand for diamonds are reduced (i.e. removing the De Beers monopoly) so as to reduce conflicts in the West African region that are being fueled by blood diamonds
(Falls, 441-466). Overall, when examining the movies effectiveness at getting this particular message across, it can be stated that the film is actually quite effective in showing the ill effects that the current demand for diamonds is having on West Africa. It does so by showing the horrors of war and depicting aspects related to death, separation, torture, the creation of insane warlords and even the use of child soldiers (Mafe, 68-99).
The conflict brought about through diamonds is an overarching theme within the film and truly attempts to shock viewers by showing the horrors of war and the suffering the West African people go through in order to provide people with nothing more than a simple rock.
The film helps people to cast doubt on the value placed on diamonds by society as a whole and raises serious questions as to why countries have allowed a private organization (i.e. De Beers) to control the diamond trade to such an extent that it has resulted in the development of conflicts in various places around the world (McClearn, 59).
In conclusion, it can be stated that the film is an excellent example of how it is necessary for countries to utilize organizations in order to band together to prevent conflicts from escalating out of control. It shows the necessity of having rules established through international agreements in order to limit monopolies thus ensuring that the conflicts that arise from these monopolies are limited.
Falls, Susan. “Picturing Blood Diamonds.” Critical Arts: A South-North Journal Of Cultural & Media Studies 25.3 (2011): 441-466. Academic Search Premier. Web. 27 Jan. 2013.
Mafe, Diana Adesola. “(Mis)Imagining Africa In The New Millennium: The Constant Gardener And Blood Diamond.” Camera Obscura 25.75 (2010): 68-99. Academic Search Premier. Web.
McClearn, Matthew. “Blood diamonds are Forever.” Canadian Business 83.13/14 (2010): 59. MasterFILE Premier. Web.