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The world is a framework weaved in interdependency. No one nation stands alone. Foreign, more accurately, international affairs, is the realm of that relationship among the nations of the world. It encompasses economics, security, human rights, politics, trade, policy, and each nation's place in the world on every level of existence. Each country bases its decisions not simply on its national precepts, but must interdisciplinary study how another nation would affect those decisions. This is the scope of international affairs.

Organizations

There are many organizations set up to monitor, disseminate and exchange information, and influence international relations. Some are global in stature, such as the United Nations, based in the United States. Others are decidedly task-specific, yet maintain international focus, such as those organizations dedicated to the preservation of human rights on a national level worldwide. Most gather data, research and provide other organizations and governments with the necessary information to assist making policy decisions and to keep watch on world events and needs.

The United Nations: The UN focuses on peace, security, development, human rights, international law, and humanitarian affairs on a global scale.

Bretton Woods Project Organization: The project and organization works to influence and examine the World Bank and IMF, for accountability to international affairs issues.

The Institute for Cultural Diplomacy: International nonprofit non-governmental organization that promotes cultural exchange. It is headquartered in Berlin, Germany.

InterAction: Dedicated to human international affairs, rights, and accountability.

International Foundation for Electoral Systems: Organization that supports the building of democratic societies around the world.

IDEA Voter Turnout: The International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance site on global voter statistics and turnout. Searchable by country.

LaborNet: International organization dedicated to global online communication and news regarding the democratic, independent labor movements throughout the world.

Peace Corps: Throughout its decades, nothing has been arguably more synonymous with international relations on a regional scale as the Peace Corps "the toughest job you'll ever love." Dedicated to international service.

Union of International Associations: More than a century old, this Brussels-based organization nonprofit and documentation centre is a pioneer in research and international organizational dissemination of information.

RAND: Nonprofit that studies, analyzes and effects possible solutions for international affairs facing public and private sectors worldwide.


International Economy

Economic globalization is dependent on commodities and monetary policy, as well as the daily fluctuating economic needs of nations. It covers national and international trends as well as international trade and balance of payments. It is evaluated according to economic models and the value of goods and services, exchange, legal and illegal purchasing power of the nearly seven billion people on earth. It is estimated that nearly half the world lives on less than $2.50 each day, making poverty and its issues an integral part of the global economy that many organizations are working to alleviate.

Economic Freedom Index: The 2010 index relating to the link between economic opportunity and prosperity for 183 countries.

International Business: The University of Kansas's international trade and business portal, known as one of the best on the Internet for international business information.

International Economics: Policy briefs, testimony, speeches, emerging issues, and practical tools make this non-profit, American nonpartisan institution highly regarded in the field of international economic policy.

globalEDGE: International business resources, industry profiles and country insights, as well as statistical databases and diagnostic tools.

Europa: The massive European Union server covering everything about the EU: economy, Parliament, Council, Courts, Auditors, fact files, timelines, statistics, glossaries, foreign policy, foreign trade, governments, youth, and many other EU issues.

International Trade

The exchange of money and other capital, goods, and services across international borders is called international trade. It has been of grave concern that international trade benefits only the rich and corporations, not the half of the world that lives below the poverty level. Trade is often viewed as widening the gap between the wealthy and the poor and not benefiting workers, as well as having negative implications for the environment, and continuing violations of international labor standards. International trade agreements are monitored worldwide by such organizations as the World Trade Organization. International corporations are becoming more aware that trade, opened up to the small businessman such as a family coffee grower in an emerging or developing nation, will provide positive outcomes for all involved.

The Trade Observatory: International trade policy information for agriculture.

Tuck Trade Database: Text-searchable, comprehensive texts of bilateral and regional free trade agreements, including customs union agreements.

World Trade Organization: International trade set to expand by nearly 10 percent: view statistics, trade topics, documents, and trade resources from the organizations 153 members.

Food Statistics: Food and agriculture information on resources and trade for 200 countries.

Free Trade of the Americas: Market access, agriculture, government investment, dispute settlement, and small economy issues are part of the trade-related topics

Foreign Policy

International relations or affairs are governed by foreign policy. Each nation's foreign policy seeks to safeguard its national interests in respect to politics, social, economic, and military situations. Each country has its own international goals and agenda; and, all foreign policy is addressed at the highest levels of government, many nation's employing legislative oversight. Foreign policy is sometimes called diplomacy, although diplomacy is just one facet of foreign policy and its relationship with other countries.

Center for International Policy: Cooperation, demilitarization, and human rights policy promotion on an international scale.

Foreign Policy Association: Non-profit created to help Americans be aware of and understand global policy issues.

Council on Foreign Relations: "The most influential private organization in U.S. foreign policy." Read Council studies and analyses, and U.S. foreign policy by region and topic.

American Foreign Policy Council: Non-profit bringing information to U.S. and foreign policy makers who may need data and information that could impact American foreign policy.

Foreign Affairs Magazine: Over 50 years of archived and current articles on foreign affairs brought to your by the Council on Foreign Relations.

Human Rights

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights was created and adopted by the United Nations on December 10, 1948 in order to provide for the "equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family" which is "the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world." Organizations involved in international human rights monitor and report on people who are political prisoners, accountability of nations, and reform of human rights violations. Civil and political human rights have become the forefront of attention, while all rights inherent to humans are also considered. Freedom of expression, life and its liberties, and rights before law are components of a person's civil and political rights. Rights must not be confused with privilege, which is earned.

Human Development Report: Annual reports and statistics maintained by the UN Development Programme.

International Human Rights Research Guide: This site is a guide to the UN's International Human Rights documentation and how to access its many organizations, news portals, educational institutions and law journals regarding basic human rights worldwide.

The Human Rights Library: Over 60,000 documents and materials maintained by the University of Minnesota. Includes recent news and in-depth current event materials.

Human Rights Watch: An organization dedicated to protecting and defending human rights.

Amnesty International: International volunteer organization which publishes the annual State of the World's Human Rights report. Also reports on studies, news, and compiles statistical data on global human rights issues and violations.

International Law

There are three legal disciplines of international law: public, private, and supranational law. Public law is international in scope, private law considers jurisdiction, and supranational law deals with regional agreements. International law is divided into two branches of law, the "jus gentium" or "law of nations" and the "jus inter gentes" or "agreements among nations." All govern the conduct of one nation and another nation, provinces, not private individuals.

Juris International: Full text, multilingual collection of research for lawyers of legal international trade information, some obscure.

International Law Information System: A site that contains the highest quality primary materials, authoritative web sites and helpful research guides on international law.

EU Judicial Network: Covers the legal issues and procedures of EU civil and commercial law.

International Law Guide: Extensive portal to foreign and international legal databases and how to use them for research.

Hague Justice Portal: Law, peace, security, and justice information, news, and research gateway offering access to Hague courts, tribunals, and debate.

Peace, Conflict, and International Security

At no time in recorded history have nations been so dependent on each other for its peace and security. War and conflict has engaged every corner of the globe. Most conflict stems from economics, land, and religion. International security is at unprecedented levels as the issues of terrorism, war, and economic conflict have left no country unscathed on some level.

Global Integrity: Government and corruption trend data that is "credible, comprehensive, and timely."

EU Institute for Security Studies: Autonomous organization conducts EU security studies, posting them online.

International Relations and Security Trends: Searchable country datasets and facts about conflicts, military, economics, social statistics, international organizations, with various chronologies.

International Relations and Security Network: Searchable portal for defense, security, international relations, peace, and conflict studies.

Terrorism: Article lists links for easy location of information resources, including such references as government documents, reputable news resources, journals, books, and databases.

("Legal information found on this page does not constitute legal advice."

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