International conflict has been a subject of political debate in various circles. A lot of research is carried out in the field; however, getting to these data may prove difficult in some situations. For example, border access to troubled zones has long been an obstacle to researchers and journalists alike. Every state in the world monopolizes its right to determine who is granted legitimate territorial access (Andreas 2003, p.78). This can seem a trivial issue, but the unexplored research findings may be quite useful.
The other method involves the use of government machinery to further interests of the state in war zones. The United States is infamous for interfering in conflict zones in order to protect its interests. There are quite a few examples, spanning from the beginning of the Cold War to the undue involvement in the countries such as Nicaragua, Chile, and Brazil (Forsythe 1992, p. 585). The interference may be forcible or not, but data are eventually obtained from these areas. The non-sensitive material may be then turned in for the use of the media. One more key method of obtaining data is Foreign Direct Investment (FDI). This method involves both physical capital and employment possibilities (Jensen 2003, p. 587).
FDI is a method of technology transfer between countries, particularly to and from less developed nations. Opinion polls are also useful when getting information on the ground in conflict areas. The survey may be administered in countries surrounding the state of concern, as well as the state itself. For example, the Zogby International polling data were obtained from various Arabian nations on their opinions on various non-Muslim states around the globe (Furia and Lucas 2006, p.585). Overall, these methods of data collection and mediation must pay attention to factors specific to the target conflict. For one, contextual factors pay attention to the relationships between parties in the conflict, as well as the characteristics of the third parties involved (Haixia 2007, p. 589).
Strengths and Weaknesses of the Methods and Data Obtained
The main advantage that comes with research in this field is awareness. Information on the causes of war is illustrated with possible solutions for the prevention suggested. Sources of arms trafficking and proliferation are brought to light (Kydd and Walter, 2006). This public knowledge serves as an incitement to pressure on the organisations and individuals behind these crimes by international communities, such as the United Nations. On the other hand, the use of programs supporting research may cause bias in related areas. For example, experts have found that the support from the UN Security Council, when it comes to international conflict, causes rallying behind the presidential representatives of the main player countries (Terrence and Reiter 2004, p. 6). This is particularly true during an election season in the main member states of the Security Council. This may compromise the fairness of the election itself.
In some cases, states may opt to retain the right of acceptance of visitors to their territory. Data obtained from conflict areas may place certain ethnicities in risk groups. As such, the nationals from these countries may receive bias when trying to apply for citizenship or travelling rights to other states, resulting in unequal access to foreign spaces (Neumayer 2006, p. 72). The host countries guilty of these prohibitive acts are mostly democracies that feel they have been lenient with their security by encouraging democracy, which is thought to be catalysing terrorism (Li 2005, p. 278). It became apparent after the events of September 11 2001, that there was a connection between immigration and international security (Rudolph 2003, p.603). The governments that comply with the ideologies of liberal democracies are likely to put in place strict regulations in the immigration sector as a result (Simmons 2000, p. 819).
In order to fully explore the field of international conflict, one must investigate some of the bodies responsible for foreign policy. International institutions have a large stake in what becomes policy and this could be either a strength or a weakness to the way that the conflict will be tackled forthwith (Martin and Simmons, 1998 p. 729). The article seems to argue the world has changed since the advent of terrorism. On the other hand, treaties made to appease international bodies, such as the NATO or the UN, are selective in nature and only serve to propagate the bias in immigration (Simmons and Hopkins 2005, p. 623).
Thoughts on the Paper
I, therefore, agree with the position of the paper that certain groups are being marginalized due to their origin. The media is also not illustrating foreign policy in these nations in a favourable light. The public perceives states involved in these treaties as parties to an international bribe. America and the UN supposedly bargain for resources and draft a false treaty to make the situation seem legitimate. In the eyes of the public, both sides seem corrupt. However, recent research reveals minimal foul play – countries do comply with set regulations (Stein 2005, p. 611). It is, therefore, the job of the media to paint these actors in international relations in a legitimate light. Truth be told, the situation is quite different since the Twin Tower attacks (Enders and Sandler 2005, p.277). The public is increasingly wary about the situation of terrorism in the world. Overall, a measure of moderation should be taken to avoid bias or discrimination on any side.