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Is capitalism a positive or negative force in International Relations?

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  1. Introduction
  2. Defining 'capitalism'
  3. Pros and cons of captialism
  4. Theorists view on capitalism
  5. Conclusion

In 1995, the 200 most powerful multi-national corporations of the world controlled approximately one third of its GNP The turnover of these companies sometimes exceeds the GNP of some countries. An example is General Motors, which, with a turnover of 132 billion dollars surpasses the GNP of Indonesia. Confronted with the power of these companies, one must acknowledge their importance in international relations, in the context of a capitalist world economy. Capitalism is "an economic system in which all or most of the means of production and distribution are privately owned, and are operated in a relatively competitive environment through the investment of capital to produce profits". Since the collapse of communism following the fall of the Berlin wall in 1989, capitalism has become the hegemonic ideal and the dominant economic trend. However, criticism of this ideology has not ceased, in the light of the fact that nearly half the world's population (2.8 billion people) lives on less than US$2 per day. This leads us to question whether capitalism may be considered a positive force in international relations and what its consequences are for both developed and third world countries.

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