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International Relations-PSC 201
VU
LESSON 17
NON-ALIGNMENT MOVEMENT
What is Non-Alignment?
Many writers have used the term non-alignment to be synonymous to terms like isolationism, non-
commitment, neutrality, or non-involvement.  Yet for the student of IR, these terms are not inter-
changeable. Isolationism implies adopting a policy of aloofness; non-commitment implies detachment
generally in international relations; and non-involvement implies detachment from tensions specifically
between power blocs. Political neutrality has the closest similarity to non-alignment. While the former
implies a specific context, the latter refers to a broader and continuing international situation.
Non-Alignment's Implications
Non-Alignment implies keeping out of alliances in general and military pacts in particular. Conceptually it is
not meant to be a policy of passive but of active involvement in the struggle against imperial and colonial
determination. Non-Alignment is meant to be dynamic and constructive rather than static and negative.
Origin of NAM
The idea of non-alignment in international relations was first conceived in 1955. The founding members of
the movement were Marshal Tito of Yugoslavia, Jawaharlal Nehru of India, Abdul Nasir of Egypt and
Ahmad Sukarno of Indonesia. Now the Non-Aligned Movement is a Movement of 115 members
representing the interests and priorities of developing countries. The Movement has its origin in the Asia-
Africa Conference held in Bandung, Indonesia in 1955. The meeting was convened upon the invitation of
the Prime Ministers of Burma, Ceylon, India, Indonesia and Pakistan and brought together leaders of 29
states, mostly former colonies, from the two continents of Africa and Asia, to discuss common concerns
and to develop joint policies in international relations. Prime Minister Nehru, the acknowledged senior
statesman, along with Prime Ministers Soekarno and Nasser, led the conference.
At the first NAM meeting, Third World leaders shared their similar problems of resisting the pressures of
the major powers, maintaining their independence and opposing colonialism and neo-colonialism, especially
western domination.
The criteria of NAM membership were as follows:
1. The country should have adopted an independent policy based on the coexistence of States with
different political and social systems and on non-alignment or should be showing a trend in favor
of such a policy.
2. The country concerned should be consistently supporting the Movements for National
Independence.
3. The country should not be a member of a multilateral military alliance concluded in the context of
Great Power conflicts.
4. If a country has a bilateral military agreement with a Great Power, or is a member of a regional
defense pact, the agreement or pact should not be one deliberately concluded in the context of
Great Power conflicts.
5. If it has conceded military bases to a Foreign Power the concession should not have been made in
the context of Great Power conflicts.
Reasons for NAM's Growth
A
Nationalism: Strong sense of nationalism amongst newly independent Asian, African and Latin
American countries.
B
Anti-Colonial Sentiments: Weary of colonial powers, newly independent countries sought means to
counter their continuing influence.
C
Economic Underdevelopment: Newly emerged countries wanted to develop themselves rather than
waste resources by getting embroiled in Cold War tensions.
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International Relations-PSC 201
VU
D
Visionary Leadership: the ability of towering personalities of developing nations to join hands with
other nationalists.
E
Presence of UN system: the presence of a collective forum where newly emerged countries could
meet and voice their collective concerns.
NAM's Objectives
Formulation of independent foreign policies
Economic development by avoiding conflict and military build-ups
Resistance to neo-colonialism and imperialism
Strive for world peace by opposing war and nuclear armament
Focus domestically on development and social welfare
NAM's Institutional Structure
Standing Committee: This committee consists of 7 member countries elected on the basis of geographic
distribution, on yearly rotation basis to undertake preparatory work for the yearly ministerial meeting held
on the eve of the UN General Assembly session.
Coordinating Bureau: The Algiers Summit of 1973 recommended establishing the Bureau which
consisting of 17 member states which work in the intervening period between Summits to monitor
implementation of decisions and programs.
Council of Ministers: This council consists of foreign ministers of member states.
Council of Heads: Heads of states of all countries which are members of NAM are members of this
Council
News Pool: The Non-Aligned Press Agencies Pool was established following the Delhi Conference in 1983
to facilitate dissemination of information between member states.
Relevant Vocabulary
Formulation: To formulate or design a policy or an organizational structure
Welfare: Well being
Embroiled: Get involved in
Bilateral: involving two parties
Suggested Readings
Students are advised to read the following chapters to develop a better understanding of the various
principals highlighted in this hand-out:
Chapter 10 in `"A Study of International Relations" by Dr. Sultan Khan
Internet Resources
In addition to reading from the textbook, please visit the following web-pages for this lecture, which
provide useful and interesting information: Background and History of NAM
NAM ­ Background and history
http://www.nam.gov.za/background/history.htm
Table of Contents:
  1. WHAT IS INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS AND WHAT IS ITS RELEVANCE?
  2. APPROACHES TO INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS: THEORIES IN IR
  3. APPROACHES TO INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS:Traditional Approach
  4. THE NATION-STATE SYSTEM:Further Evolution of Nation-State
  5. THE NATION STATE SYSTEM: BASIC FEATURES OF A NATION-STATE
  6. NATIONAL INTEREST:Criteria for Defining National Interest
  7. NATIONAL INTEREST:Variations in National Interest, Relevant Vocabulary
  8. BALANCE OF POWER (BOP):BoP from a historical perspective
  9. BALANCE OF POWER (CONTINUED):Degree of Polarization, Functions of BoP
  10. DIPLOMACY:How Diplomacy Functions, Traditional Versus Modern Diplomacy
  11. DIPLOMACY (CONTINUED):Diplomatic Procedures & Practices, Functions of Diplomacy
  12. COLONIALISM, NEO-COLONIALISM & IMPERIALISM:Judging Colonization
  13. COLONIALISM, NEO-COLONIALISM & IMPERIALISM:Types of Neo-Colonialism
  14. COLONIALISM, NEO-COLONIALISM & IMPERIALISM:Objectives of Imperialism
  15. NEW INTERNATIONAL ECONOMIC ORDER:Criticism of IEO, NIEO Activities
  16. NEW INTERNATIONAL ECONOMIC ORDER:Prerequisites for the NIEO
  17. NON-ALIGNMENT MOVEMENT:Origin of NAM, NAMís Institutional Structure
  18. NON-ALIGNMENT MOVEMENT (CONTINUED):Cairo Summit, Egypt - 1964
  19. NON-ALIGNMENT MOVEMENT:Criticism of NAM, NAM and Pakistan
  20. THE COLD WAR AND ITS IMPACTS - INTRODUCING THE COLD WAR PHENOMENON
  21. THE COLD WAR AND ITS IMPACTS (CONTINUED):Truman Doctrine, Marshal Plan
  22. THE COLD WAR AND ITS IMPACTS (CONTINUED):End of the Cold War
  23. DISARMAMENT AND ARMS CONTROL:History of Disarmament
  24. DISARMAMENT AND ARMS CONTROL (CONTINUED):Other Disarmament Efforts
  25. THE RELEVANCE OF INTERNATIONAL LAW IN INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS
  26. THE RELEVANCE OF INTERNATIONAL LAW IN INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS (CONTINUED)
  27. INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS:Need for IGOs, Categorizing IGOs
  28. INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS (CONTINUED):United Nations, Criticism of the UN
  29. INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS (CONTINUED):European Union, World Bank
  30. THE ROLE OF DECISION MAKING IN INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS
  31. DECISION MAKING (CONTINUED):Rational Actor Model, Group Politics Model
  32. SYSTEMS APPROACH TO IR:Underlying Assumptions, Elements of the System
  33. SYSTEMS BASED APPROACH (CONTINUED) Ė DISTINCT SYSTEMS IN IR
  34. LIBERALISM AND SOCIAL DEMOCRACY:Neoliberalism
  35. LIBERALISM AND SOCIAL DEMOCRACY (CONTINUED):Liberalism vs. Social Democracy
  36. INTEGRATION IN IR:Preconditions for Integration, Assessing Integration
  37. GLOBALIZATION AND ITS IMPLICATIONS:Advocates of Globalization
  38. THE GLOBAL DIVIDE:World Social Forum, Can the Global Divide Be Bridged?
  39. FOCUS ON FOREIGN INVESTMENTS:Pro-poor Foreign Investments
  40. CONFLICT AND CONFLICT RESOLUTION:Components of a Conflict
  41. CONFLICT RESOLUTION:Creative response, Appropriate assertiveness
  42. THE GLOBAL ENVIRONMENT:Global Concern for the Environment
  43. THE GLOBAL ENVIRONMENT:Environmental Concerns and IR, Some Other Issues
  44. HOW IR DIFFER FROM DOMESTIC POLITICS?:Strategies for altering state behavior
  45. CHANGE AND IR:Continuity in IR, Causality and counterfactuals, IR in a nutshell