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Increased technology and communication in the world today has made interaction between human beings easier. Technology has give globalization a whole new meaning. Despite prevailing challenges, the prospect of forming a harmonious world authority, probably modeled along the idea of the United Nations is more real than ever.
Issues such as race that have divided humanity for ages have taken a backseat as people interact on the basis of interests and benefits. However, the road to achieve full globalization and a functioning world government will not be achieved easily (McCarthy 1). There are steps that need to be taken and the idea may take decades before it comes to pass.
On a regional scale however, integration has made huge strides that are on course to giving birth to regional federal unions. Many regional groupings such as the East African Community, European Union and the Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf who were set up mainly for economic reasons are quickly evolving to political outfits that in the end may form federal units.
This discussion will focus on the Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf (GCC)’s chances of integrating to a federal union and the merits and demerits that may arise as a result of such a move.
Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf
The charter that establishes the GCC recognizes it as a multipurpose organization whose main mandate is to spearhead the integration of the member states to achieve unity in all fields. Members of GCC include Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait, Oman, Bahrain and Unite Arab Emirates. Though establishment of a single market was the main objective behind the formation of GCC in 1981, changing regional and international political and security dynamics have compelled the grouping to consider forming a political federation.
Mostly probably due to recent events shaping politics in the Arab Peninsula, GCC members states announced on March 2012 that they group will start putting in place mechanisms to help it evolve to a confederation. It is apparent a political federation will be the ultimate destination when necessary mechanisms have been put in place.
The GCC becoming one country will need to go past a singular independent entity such as the European Union that has politically sovereign states within it, to an integrated model like the United States of America that will be bound by a common supreme law and treaties establishing the union. While the above process is likely to take some time, it is possible and the new country is likely to reap benefits from it.
Merits of a GCC political federation
Large federal organizations like the United States have semi-autonomous units that govern themselves although the federal government holds authority over them (Lombaerde et al. 172). Such an arrangement for the GCC will come with numerous benefits. McCarthy says that such political unions eliminate the “smallness” that many countries feel when dealing with more established peers on the international front (1).
The economy of the GCC will stand to gain most from a GCC country. This is because, the country will have a single economic system shaped by federal laws that will encourage higher consumption and growth of the economy. There will be a larger population subscribing to the same economic system and a federal government that will have more bargaining power on matters relating to the economy.
The country will be able to support free movement of people within its territory, a factor crucial to economic development and prosperity. Coupled with unparalleled oil resources and a fully functioning federal system, a GCC country will be in a pole position to dominate the region economically than it is presently.
Economic clout and strength largely lays the base for other advantages that will have a ripple effect both within a GCC country and the region. A well managed GCC federal economy will easily support a well funded and equipped military that will raise the county’s profile in the region and the world. The above two elements will aid the federal GCC country to formulate a comprehensive foreign policy that will ensure the country’s interests are secured both domestically and abroad.
The above benefits largely center on politics and the economy. A federal GCC country will also bring long social benefits. One advantage that a GCC country will offer its residents is freedom of movement that will enable interaction of people with different backgrounds and cultures united by language and religion. This will eventually give rise to a melting pot of cultures effectively creating a unique GCC culture and identity.
Demerits of a GCC political federation
Despite the successes associated with such a union, federal political units like the United States and the proposed GCC country are not without their disadvantages (Brabant 26).
One main advantage that such an arrangement will bring along is diminished or loss of national sovereignty and identity. In fact, some scholars have cited it as one of the biggest challenges that many regional blocks face in their quest to become federal units. Leaders and nationals of individual nations normally find it hard to cede authority to the federal government.
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It is a disadvantage because many nationals within the GCC will have to forego any form of benefits they may have been receiving from their national governments and, a possible reduction of government support due to increased responsibilities of the federal government. Additionally, a federal GCC will most certainly disrupt the prevailing social, political and economic order which may take years for people to adjust to and feel part of.
Success in such a regional undertaking is not always guaranteed (Espinoza et al. 20). On a lesser scale therefore, there is always a possibility that formation of a GCC country may fail midway disrupting regional balance which may adversely affect the region.
It is important to note that the above exploration of advantages and disadvantages of a possible formation of a GCC country is not exhaustive. Certainly, there are many more benefits that will come out of such an arrangement if examined separately and precisely. However, the above, political, economical and social benefits largely highlight what an entity like the one proposed is likely to get.
It is not always guaranteed that formation of a federal government will succeed. There usually are many dynamics at play and which subtly derail or accelerate success or failure of such a venture. In GCC’s case however, a political federation that may form a GCC country will no doubt be a right step in the quest to attain political, economical and military supremacy. Besides, the social benefits of such an arrangement will be worth a try.
Brabant, Jozef. Socialist economic integration: aspects of contemporary economic Problems in Eastern Europe, London: Sage Publishers, 1980. Print.
Espinoza, Raphael et al. Regional Financial Integration in the GCC, Melbourne: Thomsons Learning, 2010. Print.
Lombaerde, Philippe et al. Governing regional integration for development: monitoring Experiences Methods and Prospects, New York: Springer, 2008. Print.
McCarthy, Dennis. International economic integration in historical perspective, New York: Cengage Learning, 2006. Print.