Yesterday, I saw my first concert. If I can describe it in one word,it would be SPECTACULAR!But NO WAY! Its my first concert and there are many things I would like to tell!I got the ticket a few months back in fact I got it just hours after it was sold online.There are many reasons I bought the ticket but lets concentrate on what leads me to the concert. When I got the ticket it was a few weeks before my finals. I told myself if I work hard and really study, I will to the concert. So, I really studied spent lots of time in the library, the ticket was like a gift I decied to put aside for myself after a year of struggle in uni. I was reasonably satisfied with my preparation and so I decided to go to the concert.

The Circus Starring Britney Spears: Australian Tour
Yes, my first concert is her concert!She had Adelaide as one of her Australian destination so I see this as an opportunity to see her live. I was a huge fan of her back in primary school arounf 10 years ago but as I grow up I wasnt realy a big fan anymore. I do love her songs with catchy beats and dance move but that was just it.

Moving on, I arrived at Adelaide Entertainment Centre, went there alone because there are not many Britney fans that I know here so it was just me alone. I sat there and there was this guy sitting beside me. He told me he's 50 years old and became really into Britney just recently. He said his ticket is a birthday cum christmas gift from his sister. I could see he was very excited. While waiting for Britney to start we had a light conversation then he tells me all about his life, broken mariage, gay son, alcohol and smoking addiction and how he is trying to get back on track and 6 months ago he saw Britney performing one of her hits on tv and immediately became a big fan!He read her books, bought all her records.Its really interesting because each and everyone in that place had their own Britney story. I wish I could have one but I dont have any Britney story except for maybe Britney had made me realize that its impossible to please everyone but it is possible to be yourself and make the best out of life.

The concert was opened by Dj Havana Brown Australian born very talented DJ. I think she managed to really get the crowd to be in the mood. Everyone started to scream dancing and get into the mood. The show started with Britney singing You Want A Piece of Me. Like I said Im not a huge fan so when I listen to this song I just listened but during the concert they had lyrics and when I read the lyrics it made me realize that it was about her life. How people are always judging her and expecting more from her ignoring the fact that she's just a girl who wants to live her life.Overall all her songs was fabulous on that night. I really enjoyed it. It was such a great experience for me.I just wish that I had some friends with me but oh well you cant get everything from life. If you guys want to see the concert I believe people would have posted in youtube.You can just check it out. And one more thing. Ive just become a fan of THE LEGENDARY Ms BRITNEY SPEARS!*screw the haters*=P

My favourite moments in the concert!

Roles of international organisation in contemporary politics by Ahmad Ridhuan

Contemporary politics have seen states with separate policies align themselves into common understanding to form international organizations. Over the years there has been a staggering increase in the amount of international organizations by which different nations work together on common ground to achieve similar objectives.

The concept of international organization can be explained from three main theories; the realist, intuitionalist and idealist school of thoughts. This paper will argue the role of international organizations from the institutionalize point of view. Institutionalize view organization as completely rational. Institutionalists recognizes the complex relation between states in the creation of international organizations however, international organization are steadily becoming more important due to increasingly complex interdependent relationships in many issue areas of international politics. Contrasting from the instituitionalist view, the realist school believes that since the power of international organizations are very limited, it is impossible for any international organizations to be able to change the anarchical structure of international system. According to the realist view, international organizations are merely being used by stronger state to achieve their self-interest. As for the idealist school of thought, they view international organizations as a representative of commonly accepted values by the society in different members of an international organization and the supporters of the average that leads to an order in the system.

In arguing the roles of international organizations, this paper will use two approaches, the rationalistic and reflective approaches. I will look at the United Nations as an example of intergovernmental organization and Amnesty International as an example of international nongovernmental organization. I will explain both organizations from multiple viewpoints and levels of analysis. The roles of international organizations in the complex interdependent between states can be argued from various points of view but for simplicity this paper will argue that the main roles of international organization involve security and peace, economy and trade, social welfare and human rights. These arguments highlights the significant roles that international organizations needs to play, coinciding with the understanding of international organizations as a common platform by which international co-operation are being held to overcome the many issues and broad area in international politics.

Maintaining peace and security is a complex process that needs massive workforce and lots of co-operation. When peacekeeping efforts are fronted by international organizations the process gets more complicated, questions regarding sovereignty of states especially arise. This is because in peacekeeping missions involving international organizations various countries come together under the international organization banner. Peacekeeping is something that happens in a situation or surrounding that is defined as structured largely in terms of collectively understood concepts, norms, and understandings.

At times the different members have conflicting issues with the affected states making peacekeeping effort more complicated. The United Nations, one of the most influential international organizations for example faces these problems. One example is when China vetoed peacekeeping efforts in Macedonia due to the latter’s stand to recognize Taiwan. Does this legitimize the realist view that international organizations are merely being used by powerful political actors in fulfilling their objectives? From a short-hand view, it can be easily deduced from that point.

However without UN intervention, things could have been worst. One must wonder what would happen to Darfur or East Timor for example without the intervention of United Nations peacekeeping efforts. Situation in both states improved tremendously after UN peace keeping effort. Peace building, in the words of Roland Paris, is a practice by which a liberal international order is projected. The concept of co-operation of states under international organization needs to be clear. In order for the international organization to play its role efficiently, it is important for states under the international organization banner adhere to the organization’s sets of law in missions.

Under this condition members needs to re-address its identity. It is impossible for peacekeeping efforts to be successful if each state were to maintain its own identity. There will be many conflicts of interest even among its own members which would undermine the role of international organizations. Another issue that international organization needs to deal with in regards to its role to front peacekeeping effort is to decide what needs to be done and what can be done. Peacekeeping missions often involve some form of intervention. The most problematic situations of internal displacement are those states that refuse to acknowledge a problem of internal displacement and international access. For example, if two countries get into a war and United Nations decides to intervene in the war to maintain peace and order what kind of approach they should take to improve the situation. The options that UN have assuming that there are no vetoes would be either to protect the weaker country, only provide necessities for the people or stay out of the conflict. The right decision is extremely important because a wrong approach will worsen the impact on the affected countries. Here we could see how important the role of international organization could play in maintaining peace. The fact that in consist many states to a certain extend gives it the authority and capacity to intervene.

I would argue that in the role to front peacekeeping efforts international organization have its limitation but by improving its structure they can play vital role in ensuring global peace. The structure of United Nations for example has rested an incredible amount of power on its security council. This reduces their efficiency in playing the role as peacekeepers. In contemporary politics, with rapid globalization, many issues relating to peace and security need global solution. The conflict between Israel and Palestine is a clear example where a conflict between two states becomes a global issue. The huge impact that it could bring is why intergovernmental co-operation is becoming very important and popular.

The recent economic crisis that started in from the sub-prime crisis the US and eventually affected the global community proves that international relation can have a massive impact on global economic affairs. If we study the history of international organization’s role in economic affairs, the ability of Organization of Petroleum Export Countries (OPEC) to play a decisive role in international oil market particularly in controlling the supply and price of crude oil and petroleum in the 1970’s marks the significance of intergovernmental organization in economic and trade affairs. The success shows the important role an international organization can play in the affairs relating to global economic development.

The growing interdependence among states especially increasing economic contacts between states regardless of internal policy increases the vital role of international organizations. The capacity it has with members ranging from undeveloped countries to developing countries and developed countries gives international organization the influence to have a significant impact on economic and trade affairs. It is important that international economic organization have an integrated system that can provide help for different countries that have different needs. Without a universal integrated system, this advantage could also dampen the role of international organizations as an imbalance economic trade could actually destroy the smaller economies.

When discussing global economic affairs it is important to highlight the different background and developments in different states as they are not the same. It is also important for the co-operation to include vast amount of countries. A recent report in the Walls Street Journal about the expansion of Group of 8 to group of 20 shows the needs for international economic organization to include more countries. A senior US described the expansion as a reflection of the world today and pulling the international co-operation into the 21st century. In contemporary politics, globalization has made trade very open and inclusive that to stay relevant any international economic co-operation needs to be more inclusive and open to more countries. Another limitation that could be identified is the different internal conditions of states that are members of international economic organizations.
A realist perspective will definitely be skeptical of international organizations due to its nature that members have not got the same capability which creates an imbalance of power. Realists argue that international organizations are merely being used as a tool for stronger states to achieve their self-interest. In issues such as free trade agreement, the realist ideas by which international organisations being used as a tool by stronger states for self-interest probably are true if not done accordingly. Governments have used free trade zone to respond to both domestic and international pressure for more open trade policy. The pressure is even higher for members in international organization. For developing state, free trade could be a disaster because without a competitive domestic market, free trade would destroy its primary or domestic market. Nevertheless, governments of small countries would face difficulties in facing resisting international even more if they are receiving aids of international organizations.

However, there are initiatives to avoid small states from being duped into unfair trading deals. The role of UN economic and social council proves that the realist view is not entirely fair to describe international organizations. The role of UN economic which is to enhance the coherence and effectiveness of activities of different development partners proves that there are efforts within the organization to work together and find solutions for its members.

The initiation of Development Cooperation Forum that reviews the trends and progress in international development cooperation before providing guidance and recommendations to help its members further proves that despite the complex relation between members, it is possible for the more stable countries to help the less stable countries in terms of economic and trade development. The role of international organization in economic and trade development amongst the global community can be justified by the efforts and its objective on paper however all this needs to be translated into reality.

Human right is a universal idea that came from the western liberalisation. Ramesh Thakur in his writing for the journal of peace research argued that Amnesty International and United Nations are the most preeminent international organisation in the matters relating to human rights. Despite being fundamentally different with UN as an intergovernmental organisation and Amnesty International as a non-governmental organisation that causes both organisations to have different objectives, UN and Amnesty International could work together in issues regarding human rights and social rights.

On the issue of human rights and social welfare, this paper will argue that the role of international organisations in contemporary politics is to uphold the basic principal of human rights in accordance to the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights. There are major critiques of this declaration saying that it ignores different cultures of the plural global society, but this paper would make a general assumption that the rights discussed here are referring to the rights as suggested by the 1948 declaration and it is by far the most accepted universal proclamation of human rights.

Human right issues have been the epitome of modern international relations. In contemporary politics, there are two major roles of international organisation in regards to human rights and welfare; providing military aid and humanitarian aid. There are many controversies surrounding human right issues especially when it involves military intervention. Generally, the only organisation that has an authority to conduct military intervention is the UN. This is because the only ones that have the very power are states and since UN is a state based organization, it has that authority. As for Amnesty international, it does not have such authority but since it is a non-state based organisation, it is free to act without the influenced of any state actors with self-interest.

Realists regard the pursuit of rights as unnecessary, dangerous and it is against national interest. However surprisingly, they allow defending human rights is a pre-requisite to protecting national interest. Base on this, it is obvious that this view is vague and thus can be rejected. In contrast to realist, institutional theorist sees that defending human right is rational it done by international organisation.
To prove that defending human rights is rational and it is done by international organisations we can refer to the achievements of Amnesty International. The limitation that it has as non-governmental organisation that have got very little authority to intervene in state affairs does not undermines its function in upholding human rights. It provides training and awareness about the content of Universal Human Declaration. For example, after evictions in Zimbabwe in 2005, Amnesty International facilitated a workshop for local activists to develop strategies on how to work with national and international human rights organizations. When a community was threatened with eviction the following year, they were able to mobilize these networks and prevent eviction. This is an example of how human rights are being restored using humanitarian aid such as providing awareness.

Globalisation has certainly changed the global political landscape. In contemporary politics, international co-operations especially under the international organisation banner is increasingly important in dealing with global issues. It is true that international organizations have its limitations but at the same time, it has its own advantages. In many cases, the advantage exceeds the disadvantages. In terms of security and peace, we could see from the case study of how the intervention of UN has improved situations in Darfur and Macedonia. From the perspective of economy and trade, the role of UN economic council in helping development nations such as Burma has been very impressive. As from the social and welfare point of view,we could see non-governmental international organization such as Amnesty International have saved a lot of lives and provided awareness amongst the global community. Despite all these successes, it did not come easily. International organisations face many obstacles and complication faced in order to achieve its aspirations and objectives in playing a more meaningful role. The functions and roles of international organisations followed by its complexity in contemporary politics confirm the instituitionalist view that despite its complexity, international organizations are rational.

Ramesh Thakur Human Rights: Amnesty International and the United Nations Journal of Peace Research, Vol. 31, No. 2 (May, 1994), pp. 143-160 Sage Publications, Ltd.

William F. Shulz, A New Realism for Human Rights, UU World XV:3 (July/August 2001): 28-35.
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Background Paper for the International Council on Human Rights’ Meeting on Humanitarian Intervention: Responses and Dilemmas for Human Rights Organisations, Geneva 31st March
David Mozeresky, International Intervention in Darfur The International Development Magazine,

Roland Paris, “International Peacebuilding and the ‘Mission Civilatrice,’” Review of International Studies 28, 4 (October 2002), pp. 637-656.

Catherine Phuong “The international protection of internally displaced persons” Cambridge : Cambridge University Press, 2004.pp 226

Robert O. Keohane International Institutions: Two Approaches International Studies Quarterly, Vol. 32, No. 4 (Dec., 1988), Blackewell Publishsing pp. 379-396

W. Graham Astley and Andrew H. Van de Ven Central Perspectives and Debates in Organization Theory Administrative Science Quarterly, Vol. 28, No. 2 (Jun., 1983), : Johnson Graduate School of Management, Cornell University pp. 245-273

Bob Davis, Jonathan Weisman and Stephen Fidler G-20 Near Deal Economy, The Wall Street Journal,
Amer Salih Araim, Intergovernmental commodity organizations and the new international economic order New York : Praeger, 1991. Pp 4
United Nations Economic Council informations,

Max Lawson, The world is still waiting, OXFAM briefing paper 2007 pp 1-31

Ba-Emadi Coffin Rethinking International Organisation Deregulation and Global Governance London, Routledge.2002 pp 30

Asia as the next super-power by Ahmad Ridhuan Alauddin

Asia will be a future super-power, the shift in the balance of power from the west to east is not improbable. History has shown us how empires from Asia once dominated the world. From the mighty Mongolian empire (1206-1368) to the Gunpowder Empire of the Ottomans (1299-1922), the importance of Asia in the world history is undeniable. The last big upheaval of Asia the world have seen comes from the land of rising sun, Japan (1860’s)

The era of western domination has run its course bringing both good and harm to human history. Many still believe that the West still maintains superiority over Asia. Kishore Mahbubani in his book The New Asian Hemisphere presents us with a possibility that the world is entering a turbulent era of “de-Westernization”. This paper will argue that in the near to medium term future, Asian countries are very much likely to be more important as the power shifts begins from West to East. Asia will be the new axis of power. Power in this paper will be narrowed down to mean the control of economy, politics and social. This paper will explain how Asian countries are gaining more power in global economy and politics indicating a power shift.

Politics, economy and social advancement as basis of success

Any region which can control global politics and economy while at the same time maintaining its social will have the advantage in global decision making processes. This paper argues that Asian countries will be more important in the near future from an economic perspective as the region economy keeps growing despite global economic downturn. I will look at the emerging economy of India and China that if these economies continue at the same rate of growth they are projected to surpass even the most powerful western economy, the United States of America. This will put into perspective the idea that due to the ability of Asian countries to develop their economy successfully the region will in the future be the new powerhouse. Besides getting an upper hand in economic growth, social advancement is another important aspect of global power because it will ensure stable growth, in terms of materials also intellectualism. Asian culture and Western cultures are known to have fundamental differences. To explain how social aspects can be a form of advantage in global decision making process, this paper will look at how the emergence of soft power from Asian countries are creating waves that are certainly breaking the domination of Western culture. We will also look at the current political climate. With Asian countries’ increasing economic influence, the international political landscape has certainly changed with the Asian region getting a more significant role in the worlds’ political arena. Finally, we will look at the Black Swan theory to see why all consensus agreement can be wrong by looking at current developments. We will look at how the unexpected global economic downturn have left Dubai from one of the fastest growing city to a ghost town to explain how an unprecedented event could change everything. In conclusion, this paper will show how, by using hard power and soft power, Asian countries will likely to shift global power from the West to East.

Asia’s rise as regional economic hub

Current development sees the global economic crisis that hit the world has left many countries struggling to recover. The western countries especially USA has been hit severely stunting its economic growth. Amazingly, China has emerged out of the crisis fairly well. China's growth will be underpinned by a rapid expansion in emerging market economies, which will account for about 70% of global GDP growth in the coming decade, Deutsche Bank's Chief Economist for Greater China, Jun Ma, told an investment conference in Hong Kong. From this projection it can be expected that if China keeps growing at its current rate, in the near future and medium term future, it could definitely be one of the dominant economical force breaking the western domination of the world economy.

As the US (the current economic super-power from the West) main trading partner China is undeniably very important to US. In the near future China’s progress would definitely be followed closely by the West as it will determine their future too. We can see how economic growth has made Asian countries more important and at current rate the continuity of Asian economic growth in the near future is extremely important in determining the global economic condition. To further affirm the shift from west to east it is important to acknowledge that China is not the only emerging economy from Asia. This paper will only look at India as the other emerging economic force from the East. However since Asia is a big continent consisting many different nations, different parts of Asia for instance, South Korea, Japan and the South East-Asian region at the same time are emerging to become strong economic forces on their own pace.

India economic reform beginning on the early 1990’s has transformed its economy making it grow at a higher pace. In the next ten years India’s economic growth is very likely to become one of the fastest growing economies. The recent acceleration in real GDP growth reflects both faster input growth as well as rising total factor productivity. It is no wonder Malaysian former premier; Dr. Mahathir identified China and India as the countries that would lead the Asian charge. If the rapid growth continues at the same rate for these countries, it is very much possible for them to replace the likes of western economies. However if these countries fail to live up to their potential, the shifts will not happen as we can see from Dubai. The collapse of the global economy has left Dubai struggling. Foreign companies are starting to withdraw from Dubai as investments stunt. Therefore the current economic growth in Asian countries needs to be maintain, and then only these countries can ensure they remain as economic powerhouse.
In arguing the point that economic might will provide an advantage in global decision making process, we will see how economy can be used as a tool to get extra influence. One way is by increasing military strength. US the current biggest economy has got the highest military expenditure followed by China Military might is a form of advantage especially in global politics. Military force can be used as a tool to get respect from other countries thus providing a form of authority. As the economic dominance shifts from west to east, military dominance might also shift. This will definitely make Asian countries more important.

Benefiting from Soft power

Power as we know does not only come from military might. It is true economic growth can be used to increase a country’s military force but it is not necessary. There are also other forms of tool that can make countries politically influential. Decision making process in the 21st century has become increasingly based on diplomacy rather that military. Therefore it can be deduced that there are alternative options other than military and economic force to be influential globally.
Soft power, as labeled by Joseph Nye, are other forms of power such as the ability to persuade other states to go according to your states direction and follow your states style of administration is how this paper would describe the ‘other’ aspect of power. The key word here is persuasion not by means of aggression. In supporting the idea of how Asia can use soft power to their advantage Anwar Ibrahim, former deputy prime minister of Malaysia explains how Asian Renaissance can mean ‘the revival of the arts and sciences under the influence of classical models based on strong moral and religious foundations; cultural resurgence dominated by a flowering of arts and literature, architecture and music and advancement in science and technology’.

Unlike hard power (economic and military might) soft power is very hard to define but in order for it to be useful it needs to provide significant impact. However, the impacts can sometimes be too discrete that its impacts are debatable. In analysing Dr. Gerry Groots argument in his writing “Soft power in the Asia Pacific Pacific Post 9/11: The case of Japan,China and India”, Japan theoretically is a super soft power as well as economic power but it couldn’t use its strength to get outcomes it wants. It is undeniable that Japanese culture has been very famous especially in popular culture. Japanese have been importing its popular culture such as sushi and anime (animated cartoons) all over the world. It is very famous that we can see Japanese culture anywhere in the world. Such popularity however did not obtain Japan any extra political mileage. Looking at Japan’s failure to be included in the UN security council despite its huge soft power, I would to a certain extend agree that soft power might help in assimilation of different cultures in the world’s society but evidently, it still could not match the influence a state gets from hard power.

In order to gain political advantage from soft power, Asian countries needs to make the advantage they get from soft power provide them with extra power and influence. India for example has the opportunity to do this. Not only their technological developments are moving very fast, India could use its rich religion and cultural tradition to build up their soft power and make full use of so that the soft power can provide them with extra influence. The use of Bolywood films to bridge Muslim-Hindu divide is one example how India can use its movies to promote peace. From one perspective with such impact, this type of soft power can be a tool of diplomacy. This capacity could give an indication that India can play an important role especially engaging the differences between East and West. If India could live up to this expectation, it is possible that it could emerge as one of the front runners from the east. If western domination failed to bring together east and west, maybe eastern domination could unite these two regions.

Black Swan theory

“There are known knowns. There are things we know. There are known unknowns. That is to say, there are things that we know we don’t know. But there are also unknown unknowns. There are things we do not know we don’t know.” This was the statement made by former US Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld on regards to the unstable situation in post-invasion Afghanistan. These words in simple term reflect the Black Swan theory, the impact of the highly improbable. There are many possibilities but we often disregard the improbable. Relating to our topic the Black Swan logic makes what you don’t know far more relevant than what you know. This is because it is easy to speculate what would happen in the future, how important can Asian countries be in the near or medium term future can be concluded in many ways however till the time comes the possibility of the improbable is still there.

Therefore based on this the black swan theory I state the limitation of this paper, which it is a mere projection based on current events and data’s. This paper has shown that with increasing economic strength and political influence, Asian countries will likely be very important in global politics and decision-making process. However, according to the Black Swan theory, there are possibilities that it might not happen. It is very hard to determine the future especially when certain events could change everything in a glance. The case of Dubai will be a very good example. Dubai’s economy was sky rocketing just over the last few years foreign aids were pouring in. Everyone expected that Dubai will be the super power of Middle East economy. The global economic downturn has left Dubai a ghost town. Foreign investment soured with many projects from oversees cancelled. This could happen to India or even China. Never ignore the improbable because there are possibilities that things might change against expectations. Any planning and decision making processes needs to be carefully planned so that countries are well prepared in facing any possibilities.

Asia could be the new axis of power. The increase in soft and hard power at a very high pace rate can certainly prove that this is not merely wishful thinking. However the important thing is that the development needs to maintain. Asian countries such as China and India needs to take affirmative action to further strengthen their economic development. It is also important to find a way for soft power to be used as an advantage particularly in international politics. The failure of Japan to use its soft power must be a lesson that if soft power will not mean anything if it can’t give any advantages. The Black Swan theory can be a reason for Asian countries to be more careful in decision making processes. Any decisions need to be considered from various perspectives before being finalised. In conclusion, based on current development it is very likely that global power will shift to the east but the future can be unpredictable.

1. E. James, William, Naya, Seiji and M. Meier, Gerald Asian Development: Economic Success and Policy Lessons, The University of Wisconsin Press, Wisconsin, 1989 pp 7-10
2. Groot,Gerry Soft Power in the Asia Pacific Post-9/11:the Cases of Japan, China and Japan In in G. Groot & Jain & F. Patrikeeff (eds)(2005/2006) Asia Pacific and a New International Order (New York, Nova Publishers)
3. Ibrahim,Anwar The Asian Renaissance Times Books International, Kuala Lumpur,1996 pp 18
4. Mahbubani,Kishore The New Asian Hemisphere: The irresistible Shift of Global Power to the East (Public Affairs, New York 2008) pp127-173)
5. Mukherji ,Joydeep India: Asia’s Next Productivity Success Story Centre for the Study of Living Standards volume: 14 (2007) pp 38-52
6. Nye, Joseph S., The Paradox of American Power: Why World’s Super Power Can’t Go it Alone. Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2002
7. Oliver, Chris China's GDP to overtake U.S. by early 2020s, says analyst The Wall Street Journal
Last checked: 18 November 2009
8. Stockholm International Peace Institute list of top 10 biggest spenders of military expenditure
Last checked: 18 November 2009
9. Taleb, Nassim Nicholas, The Black Swan theory: Impact of the highly improbable ,The Random House Publishing Group United States,2007)

The girl that I might never know.

I try to find
Who I am
Far away from who I was
I look for peace
I search for love
A new story
A new beginning
I found you
Dear library girl,
You are a mystery
That I cant solve
I want to know you
I would love to
Share stories
With you
As I can see you are
Always by yourself
Perhaps the anticipation
With lots of patience
Will one day be rewarded
With answers
I do not dream
A fairytale ending
I might be young
But I am not naïve
Just so you know
The sight of you
Is enough to make me smile.
You make me happy.


P/s: I just realized there are many mistakes in this post. I was just too overexcited I guess. After reading it again I myself got confused hence Ive made some corrections.