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State Management of External Issues

Info: 1762 words (7 pages) Essay
Published: 13th Oct 2017 in Politics

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The State rely on the ability to control and manipulate information?

What power do nation states have to manage issues that have cause and effects beyond national boundaries? Discuss in relation to one issue (examples include)

Nation States ability to manage internal and external issues stems from the State’s ability to control and/or manipulate information for the benefit of and their government views. This essay will discuss how the ability to control and/or manipulate information aids Nation states to manage internal and externally argument s and issues.

Nation state is political terminologies that defines a group of citizens by distinguished national boundaries, and are united by nationalistic interest such as language and culture[1]. Nation states are responsible for all aspects of society in their state these include; the language, the quality of medical infrastructure, the justice system and economic wealth that citizens of their State can expect to have access to[2]. An example of Nation state would be Greenland, who has one defined ethnicity, however United Kingdom is an example of a multination state where more than one ethnicity is brought under one country or nationality (for example England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland come under United Kingdom)[3]. Nation States such as Australia need to be able to manage issues in effective and efficient manner, one of the ways this is done is by controlling the stem of information on both internal and external affairs[4]. This controlling of information is done through the Government’s ability to restrict information being published on certain issues , Government’s also are able to control information that is disclosed in public records, both of these abilities would come under acts such as “ The officalSecrecy Act’ & ‘the Patriot act[5]. Acts like these are in place not to deceive citizens impinge on their freedoms (despite this being done at times).They are in place for safety and to ensure that information can’t be misused against the state or citizen’s. For example the Secrecy acts prevents publishing of information about The Afghanistan War and particular battles or soldiers and is done to protect the men serving their and to not give vital intelligence too enemies of their state[6]. Similar are act’s in place by Police agencies and intelligence agencies where the disclosure of the information may result in perpetrators escaping justice[7]. For example a Police agency may decide not released information or prevent in the hope a criminal or criminals makes a mistake in which they can act upon. This information may also be controlled to prevent public hysteria and paranoia. However as Wiki Leaks states secrecy can promote corruption and weaken all parts of democracies, and damage the very thing it’s trying to keep safe and or secret. This cloudiness of bureaucracy and information is evident in such cases as ‘Collateral Murder where the murder of innocent Iraqis by an apache helicopter was hidden to prevent the changing of public opinion for the war and sympathy for Iraqi civilians. Many nations are responsible for withholding information in them why they illegal gained and kept secret information gained through internet tapping systems. Government’s wanted the information on how they gained intelligence kept out of public knowledge for the reason that legality that this sort of intelligence gathering is would cause great public backlash. Government would also have had it in their interest for this method of surveillance to keep secret so that the people they are trying to survey don’t start using encrypting software which would hide the information that the government wanted to accesses. Nation states withhold this information as it threatens the power and control, and prevents their abilities to resolve internal and external issues as the information is no longer available.

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Manipulation of information is another method Nation States use to control the follow the information in order to resolve issues. Manipulation is defined by McCormack (1993) as being; the misinterpretation of information being transmitted from one person in order to give a false perspective of that sender. Governments are able to manipulate information by their influence in media and the cooperate world. This manipulation is done either through withholding parts of information or the State applies pressure or influence to that party. Governments manipulate information so that the information that is published is in favour of them when published or viewed, this is evident by political parties when they publish manipulated statistics in order for that data to be perceived the way they want it too[8]. An example of this State’s using statistics to manipulate the public and international powers is the Iraq invasion, during and after the invasion the USA and UK government published different death toll for the five year occupation, ranging from 100’000 to a million, it state this is because the US never really record civilian deaths properly[9]. The advantage for the State realising a lower death toll than recorded in Iraq would be to keep public support high and the opinion in the international communities(United Nations), that the Us military is leading an efficient and clean operation[10]. Another example of nation State manipulating information for their benefit is the Australian Government, behaviour in the Timor- Gap Treaty. The Timor- Gap treaty is a gas and oil treaty between Australia and the East-Timor Government, the treaty covers in areas in Timor Sea and between Northern Australia. This treaty is worth $40 billion dollars (AUD) and is of significant economic importance to the East Timor Government. The Australian Government have been accused by the East-Timor Government of Illegally attaining information. It is thought that this has been done through ASIO (Australian Secret Intelligence organisation), by using the agency to infiltrate the Timor delegation, and with the use of wire taping and other assimilated technologies to gain information on what the Timor delegation knew about the Timor- Gap treaty and what they didn’t. This information could have been used by the State to aid their delegation to have the upper hand in negotiations, as they would have ability to direct the conversation away from certain topics where their power in the negotiations could undermined. The information would have also allowed the Australian delegation to prepare rebuttal for issues, and rehearsal these arguments. This manipulation of illegally attained information may have resulted in Australia having a geographically unequal share of the Timor-Gap treaty, resulting in the revenue being split on 10(Aus.): 90 (Timor) bases. This example displays Nation States will manipulate information even in the international stage, where doing so maybe deemed illegal. It also displays Nation State’s reliance on the ability to manipulate information in order to resolve international issues I whom they have difficulty in controlling.

  • ASIO – possible spying allowed negation team to have the upper hand
  • Direct the negotiations steering away from sensitive topic
  • Know how to counter (rebuff) by already rehearsing answer

Publishing improves transparency, and this transparency creates a better society for all people. Better scrutiny leads to reduced corruption and stronger democracies in all society’s institutions, including government, corporations and other organisations. A healthy, vibrant and inquisitive journalistic media plays a vital role in achieving these goals. We are part of that media.

The great American president Thomas Jefferson once observed that the price of freedom is eternal vigilance.


[1] “Definition of Nation State in English:.”Nation State: Definition of Nation State in Oxford Dictionary (British & World English). N.p., n.d. Web. 20 Mar. 2014.

[2] “The Social Responsibility of Nation States.”The Social Responsibility of Nation States. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 Mar. 2014.

[3] Beaufort, Lieven Ferdinand De. “Multiethnic States.”Encyclopedia Britannica Online. Encyclopedia Britannica, n.d. Web. 20 Mar. 2014.

[4] “Silence Is Golden.”The Sydney Morning Herald. The Sydney Morning Herald, 17 July 2012. Web. 20 Mar. 2014.

[5] Guardian News. Guardian News and Media, n.d. Web. 20 Mar. 2014.

[6] Jones, Nicholas. “Official Secrets Act: Where Are We Now?”Official Secrets Act: Where Are We Now?SpinWatch Public Interest Investigations, 14 Sept. 2006. Web. 20 Mar. 2014.

[7] Jones, Nicholas. “Official Secrets Act: Where Are We Now?”Official Secrets Act: Where Are We Now?SpinWatch Public Interest Investigations, 14 Sept. 2006. Web. 20 Mar. 2014.

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