Civil society organizations and grassroots groups are often unable to play an active role in post-conflict reconstruction and peacebuilding. A possible explanation for the observed challenges in peacebuilding is the gap or decoupling between international expectations and norms from practical action, local norms and capacities. External actors are often overly instrumental and operate according to a general template that fails to start from what the local capacities might actually be. This often leads to the decoupling of general values from practical action, which helps account for the observed barriers of engaging local civil and community organizations in reconstruction. We examine the different types of decoupling and the challenges these present. We evaluate our general theoretical argument using evidence based on the experiences of Liberian women’s civil society organizations. Given the compliance of the Liberian government with international norms, we should expect external actors to have an easier task in incorporating civil society and women’s organizations in the post-conflict reconstruction process; yet, the record appears to be the opposite. While we present the ‘tragic’ aspect of this relationship between international norms and local practice, we also suggest opportunities for ‘hybrid’ alternatives.
Civil society (CS) strengthening is central to peacebuilding policies for divided, post-war societies. However, it has been criticized for creating internationalized organizations without local backing, unable to represent citizens’ interests. Based on in-depth empirical research in Bosnia-Herzegovina, this article focuses on the legitimacy of CS organizations (CSOs). It explores why legitimacy for donors rarely accompanies legitimacy for local actors. We hypothesized that whilst donors avoid supporting mono-ethnic organizations, seen as problematic for peacebuilding, ‘ethnicness’ may provide local legitimacy. However, our analysis of CSOs’ ethnicness nuances research characterizing organizations as either inclusive or divisive. Moreover, local legitimacy is not based on ethnicness per se, but CSOs’ ability to skilfully interact with ethnically divided constituencies and political structures. In addition, we offer novel explanations why few organizations enjoy both donor and local legitimacy, including local mistrust of donors’ normative frameworks and perceived lack of results. However, we also show that a combination of local and donor legitimacy is possible, and explore this rare but interesting category of organizations.
Recent peacebuilding literature provides a sustained critique of externally designed conflict management processes and promotes instead local mechanisms. Such mechanisms, it is argued, will provide more ownership and agency to local actors and, thus, a more sustainable peace. But while there are many examples of local conflict management institutions, and many discussions of the hybrid outcomes of interaction between the global and local, the literature rarely explores exactly what transpires on the ground when international actors influence the operation of local peace processes; this article provides exactly this insight. The data presented illustrate how local conflict management institutions in rural Sierra Leone are subtly manipulated by actors – both international and local – to maintain and enhance existing relations of power. The article illustrates, therefore, the problems that arise when local conflict management institutions become interlaced with new forms of power and start themselves to serve as sites of contestation and resistance.
This study uses qualitative data on the trajectories of French military officers to provide preliminary hypotheses on the internationalisation of military careers and the dynamics of international military socialisation. It is divided into three sections. The first section provides an overview of the structure of the French armed forces and gives details on the biographical qualitative methods used throughout the article. The second and third sections describe the types of internationalisation that occur during the first and second phases of military careers respectively. The article mainly contends that French officers are unprepared for the type of internationalisation they experience in the framework of European security institutions. In spite of prior experiences of international contexts, they are forced to learn most of their work on the job and to improvise in their handling of international interactions and negotiations. These findings are shown to have implications for debates in the sociology of professions and the study of European security integration.
Like other types of diaspora groups, conflict-generated diasporas display a strong attachment to their countries of origin, and structure their identities and ideologies around discourses referring to their homeland. However, their inner cleavages, born out of the conflicts raging in their home countries, can run very deep. The maintenance of their ethnic, religious, linguistic or political divisions even generations after the migration process has taken place sometimes leads to conflict transportation processes, whereby the conflicts raging in their home countries are reproduced and maintained in countries of settlement. Incidents opposing rival diaspora groups are thus often interpreted as a prolongation or reproduction of core conflicts raging in their regions of origin. Against this assumption, this article argues that if transported conflicts often formally take the shape of core conflicts, and emulate them by using the same language, symbols and ethnic/religious/linguistic categories, they are also deeply transformed by the migration process itself. In this perspective, this article explores the transformation and reinvention of conflict-generated diasporas’ politics, and proposes to look at the autonomisation processes they display vis-à-vis the core conflicts, in terms of content but also of objectives, ultimately generating a drift at the political and organisational levels.
Temporality is a relatively under-explored factor in international relations. The concept of timescape refers to the temporal timeframe of institutional processes and/or the timeframes of causation at different levels. Said concept has powerful explanatory potential in the case of complex, fragmented entities such as the European Union (EU). Critical realism offers a historicist meta-theoretical framework for delineating and analysing timescapes of different forms. Theories of critical political economy and historical sociology can be used to critique the EU’s own liberal teleological timescapes. The Union’s leadership postulates a central future role for it, based on its long-term structural relationships, and its Mediterranean policy is a prime example of this structural foreign policy. However, its component structures are profoundly dissonant and unlikely to coalesce into a meaningful role. The EU’s engagement in the Mediterranean illustrates how its long-term approach is over-ridden by the ‘real-time’ agency of other actors, and by deeper socio-economic cycles which it cannot control. A focus on temporality thus helps to interpret and explain the fragmented power of the EU; as well as our complex international system more generally.
This article conceptualises the institutional narrative of the reconstruction of Stari Most (Old Bridge), regarded as an international symbol of reconciliation in Mostar, Bosnia–Herzegovina, as a staged reconciliation of the city. Constructed during Ottoman occupation Stari Most became a signifier of Mostar and was central to the growth of the city. Stari Most was destroyed in 1993 during the Bosnian war; restoration began five years following, and the bridge alongside Stari Grad (Old Town) was reopened as a United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) heritage site in 2004. UNESCO began operating in 1945 on the grounds that ‘peace must be established on the basis of humanity’s moral and intellectual solidarity’, based on a collaborative effort to celebrate diversity and innovation. In this article I conceptualise Stari Most as a stage of memory through identifying, firstly, the institutional staging of the reconstruction as a structure which ‘bridges’ divides, and secondly, the institutional narrative of the bridge as a symbolically reconciling structure, in a city which remains divided.
The controversy of the Danish cartoon crisis in 2006 overshadowed a similar one that took place in Sweden a year later. The crises have broadly been framed as a clash of values but both cases reveal differences worthy of investigation, namely for the complex tensions and convergences between the two states on questions of immigration, Nordic solidarity and national identity. This article aims to explore the intersubjective discourses of identity that were threaded through the debates on the cartoon crises, looking to the overlapping discourses that have constructed ideas of identity in terms of ontological security, or security of the self. It argues that both cartoon crises represent a complex discursive performance of identity that speaks to a broader set of ontological security concerns which intersect at the international, regional and national levels. Even in their differences, Swedish and Danish discourses show the tensions associated with the desire for a stable and consistent idea of self when contrasted with the Muslim ‘other’, explored in the context of discourses of modernity and tolerance, which operate as key sites that work to reiterate, reclaim and reinstate the idea of the progressive state.
This paper builds upon previous work that has sought to use ontological security to understand problematic and violent state practices, and how they relate to the securitizing of identity. Yet like much (although not all) work which has utilized it in International Relations theory, the application of ontological security theory (OST) to state ‘drives’ has provided only a superficial unpacking of ‘the state’. Further, while OST scholars have examined environmental or background conditions of ‘late modernity’, and how these conditions facilitate anxiety and uncertainty for agents, the content of such factors can be further explicated by placing OST in conversation with one particular systemic account. Alongside ‘the state’ and ‘late modernity’, the paper therefore explores several complementary sites shaping the ontological security seeking process of, within and around states. The paper reads the 2000s re-embrace of torture by the United States by examining ontological security alongside: (1) the structural level via Laura Sjoberg’s ‘gender–hierarchical’ argument; (2) the routinized organizational processes (via Graham Allison) of the US intelligence community and specifically the Central Intelligence Agency; and (3) the narrated interplay between public opinion and elite discourses.
The concept of ontological security has made increasing headway within International Relations, in particular through its ability to offer alternative explanations of the forces underpinning security dilemmas and conflict in world politics. While welcoming the insights already provided by its application, this article argues that the concept’s use to date has been too much geared to questions of identity-related stability, with change viewed as disturbing and anxiety-inducing. In contrast, the article calls for a more open understanding that: (i) links ontological security to reflexivity and avoids collapsing together the concepts of self, identity and ontological security; (ii) avoids privileging securitization over desecuritization as a means for generating ontological security; and (iii) opens out the concept beyond a narrow concern with questions of conflict and the conduct of violence more towards the theorization of positive change.
The research community of ontological security scholars is vibrant and wide-ranging, defined by a conceptual core and by the themes through which scholars register their disagreements. In this special issue we have collected some of the work that has been produced or inspired by discussions and meetings during the last few years. The goal is to showcase some of the breadth of insights and possibilities on the topic of ontological securities and insecurities in world politics. Thus far, International Relations scholarship on ontological securities in world politics has been varied, focusing on different referent objects (individual, society, group, state), different political outcomes (cooperation, conflict, violence; stability or change) and different methods (quantitative, qualitative, discursive). While on the face of it such differences would seem to pose a challenge to the goal of developing a coherent research agenda, we have found the range of work and diversity among ontological security scholars to be exceptionally productive, leading already to cross-fertilisation and the deepening of our own approaches, while also inspiring new collaborations. The articles in this special issue discuss the subjective and foundational dimensions of ontological security in philosophical, existential and empirical terms and approach the ‘level-of-analysis’ problem from new perspectives.
Since 9/11, the rise of Islamist extremism has taken hold of the national imagination as the greatest threat facing the USA. The 2013 Boston Marathon bombing seemed to add a new chapter to the War on Terror with the ‘introduction’ of homegrown terrorists who wantonly kill innocent Americans, just as the 19 hijackers did. They are evil. Yet, the narrative of the Tsarnaevs that emerged shortly after the attack crafted a far more ambiguous relationship to these threatening bodies. What allows for such ambiguity, given the Tsarnaevs’ murderous acts? In this article, I look at how identity demarcation was used directly after the bombing as a form of securitization, paying particular attention to the role of the stranger. Contributing to both identity and ontological security theory, I argue that analyzing the discursive (re)presentation of the liminal and its mediation between inclusion and exclusion best captures the multifaceted nature of security, which includes both ontological and material well-being. I show that the particular manner in which the stranger shows up in the portrayal of the Boston attack helps steer American identity practice(s) down specific paths of meaning-making that are not as clear-cut as ‘righteous Self’ versus ‘evil Other.’
The performance of International Relations (IR) scholarship – as in all scholarship – acts to close and police the boundaries of the discipline in ways that reflect power–knowledge relations. This has led to the development of two strands of work in ontological security studies in IR, which divide on questions of ontological choice and the nature of the deployment of the concept of dread. Neither strand is intellectually superior to the other and both are internally heterogeneous. That there are two strands, however, is the product of the performance of IR scholarship, and the two strands themselves perform distinct roles. One allows ontological security studies to engage with the ‘mainstream’ in IR; the other allows ‘international’ elements of ontological security to engage with the social sciences more generally. Ironically, both can be read as symptoms of the discipline’s issues with its own ontological (in)security. We reflect on these intellectual dynamics and their implications and prompt a new departure by connecting ontological security studies in IR with the emerging interdisciplinary fields of the ‘vernacular’ and ‘everyday’ via the mutual interest in biographical narratives of the self and the work that they do politically.
In this brief essay, I explore the relationship between ‘states’ (or more broadly, institutions of political authority) and ontological security. Drawing from historical examples, I argue that it is a mistake to assume that all ‘states’ seek ontological security: this generalisation applies only to those polities that claim to be the main ontological security providers. I then develop a typology of institutional ontological security provision arrangements as have existed throughout history, arguing that another reason the concept of ontological security is valuable for international relations (IR) is because it offers a way to compare systems across time and space without assuming the primacy of politics or religion. In summary, IR does not have to limit its use of the concept of ontological security to a synonym for ‘state identity’ – ontological security can offer much more than that by helping the discipline reach across time and space.
By measuring foreign policy assertion, we document that Danish and Swedish Russia policies have fluctuated widely in the 21st century, as well as in relation to each other. Specifically, big assertion leaps took place in 2002 (Denmark) and 2008 (Sweden). Having conceptualised and operationalised small state assertion, we proceed to the explanation of these leaps. The same factor turns out to be the efficient explanation in both cases: an individual policy-maker’s so-called ‘lesson of the past’ – what he believes ‘history teaches us’. It is shown how existing theory of lessons of the past can contribute to the understanding of small state assertion in asymmetrical dyads, but only if the proper permissive circumstances are identified. First and foremost these amount to the presence of a reasonable foreign policy action space.
Contemporary Arctic transformations and their global causes and consequences have put international cooperation in the Arctic Council, the region’s most important forum for addressing Arctic affairs, at the forefront of research in Northern governance. With interest in Arctic regional affairs in world politics being at a historical high, the actual participation and contribution by interested actors to regional governance arrangements, such as the Arctic Council, has remained very much a blind spot. This article introduces and analyses a novel dataset on stakeholder participation in the Arctic Council (STAPAC) for all member states, Permanent Participants and observers in Ministerial, Senior Arctic Officials’ and subsidiary body meetings between 1998 and 2015. The article finds that participation in the Arctic Council varies significantly across meeting levels and type of actors, and that new admissions to the Council, a source of major contestation in recent debates, do not necessarily result in more actors attending. The article further discusses these findings in light of three prevalent debates in Arctic governance research, and shows the empirical relevance of the STAPAC dataset for the study of Arctic cooperation and conflict, observer involvement in the Arctic Council system and political representation of indigenous Permanent Participants.
The article analyses the sources of local actors’ legitimacy perceptions towards international peacebuilding operations. Local legitimacy perceptions are increasingly recognised as shaping local behaviour towards international peacebuilding, which influences the effective functioning of the operation. Legitimacy debates in peacebuilding are either absent or imported from the literature on domestic legitimacy, without respect to the specific temporal and spatial situation of international operations. The article first explores which legitimacy sources influence local legitimacy perceptions of international peacebuilding operations. It finds that two sources are relevant: output and procedure. Second, it investigates how exactly legitimacy arises from them. In doing so, it demonstrates that output and procedure are umbrella terms comprising several sub-elements which influence legitimacy in different, sometimes contradictory, ways. Finally, the article empirically explores which of the sources are important to local actors’ legitimacy perceptions using field data from the EU peacebuilding operations EULEX in Kosovo and EUPM Bosnia-Herzegovina.
This article investigates the informal networks of Member States that are claimed to be the drivers of EU gender and development policy. The aim is to highlight the negotiation strategies used in gender and development negotiations and to link these to network characteristics. I categorise the characteristics of the Nordic and the like-minded groupings, relying on network theory and investigate their modes of influence. The article is based on interviews with officials at the Permanent Representations and EU institutions in Brussels. My results demonstrate that the Nordics and the Like-Minded Countries constitute informal networks with frequent interaction. Network members share information and coordinate initiatives. The findings show a preference for gradual entrapment and framing rather than shaming and exclusion. The choice of strategies can be linked to network characteristics: the like-minded network is non-formalised and open, and as the ambition is to spread the norms of the like-minded also to reluctant actors, network participants prefer gradual entrapment and traditional diplomatic initiatives before confrontation. Norm promotion normally occurs in concentric circles negotiations, mirroring the layered structure of the network. This article contributes to the literature on informal governance in EU foreign policy by highlighting key strategies used in intra-EU policy networks.
This article analyses the Norwegian governance of maritime security that surrounds the accommodation of armed private security provision on board Norwegian-registered ships, and questions the role of Norwegian public authorities. In 2011, the Norwegian government introduced a new legal framework that explicitly permitted the use of armed private security for ships transiting piracy-prone waters. Through an in-depth examination of the agenda setting, implementation and evaluation phases of the new policy, the article analyses the roles and responsibilities performed by the involved actors. Comparing the empirical case study of Norway with the governance literature, it is argued that public actors neither ‘steer’ nor ‘row’, rather they function as facilitators in and for a governance arrangement that is essentially industry-driven in character. This facilitating role encompasses elements of both acceptance and contribution, where a low degree of public control was accepted in return for a flexible and low-cost/risk scheme against piracy. As such, the facilitating role does not support the view that contemporary security governance is a zero-sum game between public and private actors. Instead, the facilitating capacities of public authorities are seen as their competitive advantage in an increasingly fragmented security environment. This article contends that although maritime governance inhabits peculiarities related to both the shipping industry’s global competitive character and the maritime domain’s geographical distance from public authorities, the Norwegian governance of maritime security is nevertheless deeply embedded in global governance structures. This underscores the need to address the maritime domain as constitutive of global politics and, in turn, treat the ‘facilitating argument’ developed here as potentially relevant for the broader governance literature.
Water resource management (WRM) has increasingly come to be considered within the realm of peacebuilding. Through investigating the case of water resource management in Kosovo after 1999, this study argues that the international community has treated post-conflict water resource management as a primarily technical issue, to the neglect of its complex political nature. This has impeded the peacebuilding process in three ways. First, it consolidated the physical separation of actors through allowing separate water governance structures. Second, it avoided conflictive issues instead of actively engaging in conflict resolution. Third, it incapacitated locals by placing ownership in the hands of external actors. To redress this tripartite dilemma, this study stresses the need for research that provides deeper theoretical and empirical understanding of the political mechanisms that connect WRM to post-conflict reconstruction efforts.
How does war become a legitimate undertaking? This article challenges the interpretation of securitization as a narrow, linear and intentional event by re-engaging the post-structuralist roots of Copenhagen School securitization theory. To uncover the social process that makes war acceptable, the framework presented in this article is informed by securitization theory but foregrounds the web of meaning and representation between a myriad of actors in society to unearth the contents – and changes – in how war is articulated and carried out with public consent. This matters not only for the question of how war becomes a legitimate undertaking, but also for the very practices through which the war is fought: the emergency measures that are enabled in a discourse of existential threat. The article re-visits the Second Chechen War to illustrate how war is made logical and legitimate to leaders and their publics.
On 12 July 2006, Hezbollah operatives crossed into Israel and attacked a military patrol, killing three soldiers and kidnapping two more. In retaliation to this incident Israel launched a military operation that resulted in 34 days of fighting between Hezbollah and Israel. The Israeli retaliation has been deemed to be severe and surprising. Furthermore, a public investigation commission established by the Israeli government implicated key decision-makers, and especially Prime Minister Olmert, as guilty of hasty and irresponsible decision-making. This article views this case through the lens of prospect theory, showing how the decision was made at the framing stage, and suggesting that this decision was not hasty but, rather, was consistent with the logic of loss-aversion.
This article proceeds from a conceptual analysis of how ontological (in)security is constructed in terms of ‘security-of-being’ in which identity dynamics are explicated in socio-psychological terms. Of particular interest is how such dynamics transcend the boundaries of individual self/other constructions to define communities and states, and how these dynamics are transformed in times of trauma and crises. Narratives of everyday traumas are especially significant in creating notions of gendered space and (in)security, and for securitising subjectivities. This article thus investigates a number of theoretical propositions and developments involved in recent debates on the emotional dimension of ontological (in)security and its relationship to states, traumas and the securitisation of subjectivity. A gendered perspective of these debates allows us to analyse, and perhaps move beyond, some of the problematic aspects of the ontological security literature as originally developed by Laing and Giddens, and later on by sociologists and international relations scholars. Using the case of India as an example, the article shows how narrative reconstructions of traumas and collective memory shape gendered space and the search for ontological security, and how attempts to govern these events and practices impact on notions of gendered space and ontological insecurity.
The concept of Europe as a normative power can be understood as a theoretical attempt to define a new type of protagonist in world politics, distinct from older concepts such as empire, hegemonic power, or great power. Because many scholars have used universal norms as a criterion for ‘normative power Europe’, the concept is often criticized as hidden Eurocentrism, soft imperialism, or hegemony. In this article, a normative power is defined not by the universality of the norms it seeks to diffuse, but by the underlying logic according to which it acts. A normative power takes communicative actions and acts in accordance with the logic of arguing, not consequentialism. This definition of normative power escapes the trap of a hidden Eurocentric imperialism by abstracting the theoretical concept from the specific case of Europe and detaching it from the criterion of universal norms.
Recent developments in global politics and international relations theory have raised questions about the strength of international norms. Critical constructivists identify instances of norm change, contestation, and even regress, arguing that norms may be less deeply internalized and more fragile than often assumed. This study builds on contemporary constructivist scholarship to advance a model of elite-driven norm change with stages of redefinition and substitution through contestation. It conducts a plausibility probe of the model by analyzing the development of the Proliferation Security Initiative, the US-led program that appeared designed to change normative principles from non-proliferation to counter-proliferation and from freedom of navigation on the high seas to maritime interdiction of suspect weapons and technology shipments. The model lends valuable insights on the evolution of norms to accommodate new realities over the last decade, and it suggests the need for more contingent and multi-linear theories of international cooperation.
Whether and how media are able to influence policy and the political decision-making process is still the topic of much debate. However, if news media are indeed able to influence policy, they are commonly believed to do so indirectly through their agenda-setting function – by getting issues onto the political agenda after sudden peaks of attention. Yet, despite the assertion of agenda-setting theory that policy changes occur mainly through steady advocacy of policy alternatives, little attention has been paid to the long-term effects of media exposure. The analysis of emergency assistance in Belgium from 2000–2008 shows that short-term and long-term media attention to specific countries affect decision-making in quite different ways. This study reveals different ways in which media attention can impact policymaking, as short-term attention mainly determines which countries receive assistance, while long-term attention affects the amount of assistance granted.
Peacebuilding attempts invoke a considerable amount of friction. In this article we argue that these frictional encounters can be made visible by focusing on articulations of resistance voiced by different actors in the intervention scene, including national elites and interveners. Departing from the discussion of the regionally led facilitation in Burundi, we show that the respective national elites and African interveners referred to different scales in order to legitimise their resistance: the Great Lakes Peace Initiative for Burundi resisted sedimented continental practices as well as international attempts to impose their conceptions of peace, whereas the Burundian elites repeatedly rejected regionally sponsored ‘solutions’ with reference to the domestic situation. Drawing on interviews with and statements by diverse national and regional forces, we show how claims to resist were articulated with respect to different spatial reference points and thereby explore how regional and domestic actors talked past each other.
Whilst concerns about the EU-centric character of EU foreign policy analysis have become more frequent in recent years, a systematic toolbox for diagnosing and remedying this problem is still lacking. This article’s contribution is twofold. First, it proposes a new typology of three approaches to foreign policy analysis, offering conceptual body and nuance to the debate on EU-centrism. The typology can be used for scrutinising existing analyses, as well as for shaping new research projects. Second, this typology is applied in a meta-analysis of post-Lisbon EU foreign policy scholarship: a built-for-purpose dataset of 451 articles was analysed, covering all work on EU foreign policy published in seven key journals for the period 2010–2014, was analysed. It was found that academic work on EU foreign policy wass indeed rife with EU-centric research questions, and, moreover, that this is the case irrespective of either the policy area under study or the focus of the journal.
This paper applies the Foucauldian premise of governmentality and the analytics of government framework to demonstrate how exclusive modalities of power – of the European Union (EU) and Russia – and their competing rationalities relate, intersect and become, counter-intuitively, inextricable in their exercise of governance over the eastern neighbourhood. This particular approach focuses on power as a process to gauge the prospects for compatibility and cohabitation between the EU and Russia. Using original primary evidence, this paper contends that cohabitation between these two exclusive power modalities is possible and even inevitable, if they were to legitimise their influence over the contested eastern region. It also exposes a fundamental flaw in the existing power systems, as demonstrated so vividly in the case of Ukraine – that is, a neglect for the essential value of freedom in fostering subjection to one’s authority, and the role of ‘the other’ in shaping the EU–Russian power relations in the contested region.
Traditional definitions of power assume a unidirectional and coercive relationship between two actors. The debate about power in International Relations has questioned such a compulsive unidirectionality by pointing to the multidimensionality of power, as well as to the power of those who are traditionally seen at the receiving end. It is especially the latter aspect that has not been taken up seriously by empirical analyses. Moreover, research has ignored the complex power struggles the ‘receiving’ actors are engaged in and their possibility of resistance. If taken into account, these Foucauldian revisions of the concept of power allow us to analyse the development of the relationship between Turkey and the European Union (EU) since the turn of the millennium in a much more nuanced way than is often done in the existing Europeanisation literature. This case is particularly interesting, firstly because of the change in relations between the EU and Turkey, questioning the condition of a credible membership perspective under which the traditional form of power of the EU over its neighbourhood becomes effective. It secondly shows that the EU’s power extends much beyond the imposition of policy changes and has restructuring effects on society as a whole, while domestic actors are by no means passive recipients in this process.
This article explores biopolitical practices that extend beyond national borders and take the whole of humanity as their province. It looks at how attempts to secure and optimize conditions of living in Africa are not merely governmental in scope but also diplomatic in their conceptualization and conduct. It specifically examines the merging of diplomacy, defence and development (or the 3Ds), which purports to optimize life and shape ways of being in areas that cannot be ‘fully governed’ or resist domestication. It assesses the impact of diplomatic pluralization, characterized by the militarization of diplomacy and development, the diplomatization of the military, and new forms of diplomatic outreach, as practised by agencies such as AFRICOM. At stake in this exploration is an ethico-political critique of 3D engagement through which lives, conducts and relationships are negotiated in the postcolony.
Research on recognition in International Relations has demonstrated that states are not exclusively concerned about their physical security, but also anxious to be recognised by other states. What counts as recognition and non-/mis-recognition, however, is not always clear. Scholars of recognition seem to agree that recognition theory has not yet developed a persuasive way of recognising recognition. Providing a satisfactory answer to the question of how we recognise recognition and its denial is a necessary first step towards being able to convincingly theorise about recognition. This is especially important since recognition is often treated as a dependent variable—how states are recognised by other states is seen as influencing their behaviour, sometimes with military conflict as the outcome. This article further develops the concepts of ‘thin’ and ‘thick’ recognition as it addresses the problem of how to recognise recognition. Based on an analysis of empirical material on what, in Japan, has been interpreted as Chinese non- and mis-recognition of Japan, the article shows how concrete expressions of thin and thick recognition between established states can be recognised.
Civil conflicts within oil-rich states tend to last longer but are less likely to be mediated and end in a peace agreement. This implies that oil-funded conflict is less likely to end through a mediated settlement, despite offering a greater opportunity for peaceful resolution. This article builds on this puzzle, focusing on the following research question: to what extent does the presence of non-lootable natural resources impact on the onset and outcome of civil war mediation? I argue that oil wealth raises the relative capacity of the incumbent, making it more challenging for insurgents to force mediation and gain the guarantees against defection that are needed to resolve the problem of credible commitment. This theory is tested on 319 civil conflict episodes between 1946 and 2004. The results support the argument that non-lootable natural resources exert a strong negative effect on both the onset and outcome of mediation. The analysis also reveals that the negative effect of petroleum wealth increases relative to a state’s hydrocarbon revenue (per capita). This is an important contribution to conflict research focused on natural resources that has previously overlooked the relationship between resource wealth and civil conflict management efforts.
The United States has historically been inconsistent and ambivalent about the responsibility to protect. Part 1 of the article sets out a theoretical framework for understanding how the United States aligns itself with the responsibility to protect; it does so by initially using the idea of norm localisation, which reveals important convergences and tensions between the international norm and the localised variant that we call ‘genocide and mass atrocity prevention/protection’. Part 2 looks at the impact of this norm innovation in relation to the position that the United States government adopted on Libya – suggesting that it played a critical leadership role in the crisis and in doing so took risks with its international reputation while knowing that there was little prospect that this action would be warmly greeted by Congress or domestic public opinion.
This article seeks to unpack the implications of contemporary peacebuilding for technocratic, bureaucratic organizational forms. It argues that if the contemporary peacebuilding literature is taken as given, fundamental alterations are required in predominately Western peacebuilding systems—specifically in the structure and function of bureaucratic organizations that typically fund, manage and execute peacebuilding interventions. The analysis proceeds by matching five ‘peacebuilding principles’ derived from contemporary literature, with an organizational framework that highlights key structural and functional aspects of bureaucracies, thus allowing organizational deficiencies to be identified. The article argues that current peacebuilding scholarship would benefit from theoretically guided organizational research on the various organizations and systems involved in peacebuilding implementation. It concludes that peacebuilding scholars can be informed by the significant body of knowledge in the fields of public administration and policy, which bring a rich history of studying implementation situations that parallel in many ways complex peacebuilding interventions.
Maritime engagement in the Gulf of Aden is a puzzling case for anyone interested in the political and institutional problems underlying European Union–North Atlantic Treaty Organization (EU–NATO) cooperation. Although the EU’s operation NAVFOR ‘Atalanta’ and NATO’s ‘Ocean Shield’ operate in the same theatre and with similar mandates, there is no formal link between them. No joint planning has been envisaged, and no official task-sharing takes place. As this article aims to show, cooperation and coordination between EU and NATO forces at the operational and tactical levels have nevertheless worked surprisingly well. Two faces of EU–NATO cooperation become apparent: the political level is dominated by a permanent deadlock, while on the ground and at sea staff have developed a modus operandi that allows them to deliver fairly successfully in complementing yet detached operations. Based on 60 interviews with EU and NATO officials (2010–2013), this article illustrates how the operational and tactical levels have developed ways of coordinating efforts informally despite the lack of a formal framework. It aims to show to what extent and how they succeed at bypassing organizational boundaries and at overcoming political limitations. Although these practices are becoming increasingly institutionalized, it remains to be seen whether this will translate into formal changes.
This article attempts to demonstrate the importance of the discursive context for whether and, if so, how the European Union (EU) can exert normative power in different policy areas. Surprisingly, the concept of power has not been extensively discussed in the academic literature on Normative Power Europe, with the notable exceptions of Diez (2013); Keene (2012); Forsberg (2011) and Huelss (2011) (who also discuss the meaning of the ‘normative’). Focusing on power, the question asked in this article is how the discursive context of the politics of religion affects the EU’s ability to exert normative power in this area. The article examines the politics of religion by looking at the case of the debate about human rights versus religion in the United Nations Human Rights Council after the year 2000. The broader point addressed in the article is whether the EU can exert normative power regardless of the discursive context of the policy area concerned.
The literature on international organizations tells us that diverging member states’ preferences and concerns about the loss of control are major obstacles to institutional reform. But what if changes in the international environment necessitate institutional reform? This article examines such dilemma in the case of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). NATO has faced functional pressures to adjust its machinery to the post-Cold War era, but has at the same time seen its membership and the preference heterogeneity of the membership increase. The article finds that institutional change is indeed difficult with multiple principals and uncertainty about the consequences of reform. Yet modest reform has still taken place. Firstly, strong functional pressures can help the member states to overcome their differences concerning institutional reform. Secondly, lower-level incremental reforms, beyond the control of the member states, have made NATO a more efficient organization. The empirical focus is on the development of the understudied International Staff post-1989.
This article examines the role played by small states in the promotion or reinforcement of new ideas and emerging norms within international society. More specifically, it examines the role played by Norway in reinforcing the normative framework of ‘women, peace and security’, with a particular view to Norway’s first period of membership in the United Nations Peacebuilding Commission. Norway is regarded internationally as one of the lead countries in terms of promoting women’s rights in relation to peace and security. The article discusses four possible reasons that may explain Norway’s apparent suitability and effectiveness as a norm entrepreneur in this particular issue-area.
Nothing is more important to Europe’s future as a security actor than supplying its armed forces with modern weaponry. Because individual states lack the research and development budgets and scale economies to remain autarkic, the survival of Europe’s defence-industrial base depends on international cooperation. As in other areas of international affairs, the ability of states to cooperate ‘under anarchy’ is inextricably tied to the existence of international institutions. However, the nature of arms production renders the design of institutions particularly challenging. Problems lie in both the multiplicity of potential cooperative outcomes and the variety of policy tools available. Ultimately, the choice of policies and policy tools can generate friction between the key groups of actors involved in defence-industrial policymaking. This study systematically explores how variations in the structure of international armaments institutions have shaped both the influence of different groups of actors and the nature of collaborative weapons projects. To preview my conclusions, three broad trends can be observed in the evolution of armaments institutions. These are as follows: (1) the gradual incorporation of a larger number of actors into the arms cooperation process; (2) the incremental exclusion of military professionals from armaments institutions; and (3) the growing influence of corporate actors.
The literature on norm socialization and Europeanization has largely focused on successful norm diffusion, but thus far it has hardly addressed the norm backlash from the respective societies. To more fully grasp the interaction between member states’ roles and their institutional preferences we provide a conceptual model for the de-composition of national role conceptions. This model is applied in case studies on German and Czech European policies in the constitutionalization process of the European Union. The paper illustrates how the composition of Czech and German roles has changed over time and how these national role conceptions shape the countries’ respective institutional preferences. We conclude that historical role experience is considered as a powerful explanatory tool for the policies of today’s European Union member states.
This study reconstructs the concept of interstate rivalry in accordance with a min–max strategy in order to determine the necessary characteristics of rivalry, provide a template with which to assess existing conceptualizations, and provide a means by which conceptualizations of rivalry can be formulated and operationalized. I argue that there are two necessary characteristics of a minimal conceptualization of interstate rivalry — temporal dependence and issue competition. Contextual conceptualizations are then formulated by adding dimensions, such as militarization, identification, and psychological hostility, among others, to the minimal definition. By defining interstate rivalry in its most extreme form (when all of the potential dimensions of rivalry are present in the fullest), I also establish a maximal or ‘ideal-type’ conceptualization. In adopting a min–max approach, this project seeks to unify conceptualizations of interstate rivalry along a common continuum in which the empirical coverage of cases decreases as properties are added to the minimal definition.
This close empirical study of decades of US efforts to bring peace between Arab states and Israel helps reflect on Arild Underdal and Oran R. Young’s leadership typologies. Distinguishing between coercive leadership based on the incentives and sanctions that robust capabilities make possible and instrumental leadership focused more on talking, skilled mediation, and policy innovation is useful. However, this US mediation demonstrates that the two are not wholly distinct as previously suggested. The narrative of US efforts from Richard M Nixon to William J Clinton, including 22 cases of US involvement in Arab–Israeli mediation, suggests successful US mediation has been based on four factors. US involvement has led to breakthroughs when the US administration was highly engaged and kept at the problem after an initial diplomatic setback; benefitted from an exogenous event; managed that event to the US advantage; and dealt with strong Arab and Israeli partners.
The security community concept generally inhabits a rather small niche in the study of International Relations, as the logic of community fundamentally challenges the prevailing logic of anarchy. In this article, it is argued both on ontological and theoretical grounds that the concept’s intellectual heritage and depth transcends the boundaries of existing theories. In this sense, the concept of security community serves as a via media by linking different strands of International Relations theory together and by bridging various theoretical gaps. This argument will be developed in two steps. Firstly, it will be shown that the security community framework developed by Karl W Deutsch is deeply rooted in International Political Theory without belonging to one particular branch. By locating the concept in International Political Theory, an exercise that has been neglected by the security community literature; it will be secondly demonstrated that the concept of security community takes the middle ground between specific strands of International Relations theory, as these strands are ultimately based on concepts of moral philosophy.
In this rejoinder we appreciate Ben Rosamond and Alex Warleigh-Lack’s addition to our typology of dialogues, yet restate our main reasons to remain sceptical about the outcome of a dialogue between European Studies and New Regionalism.
This paper examines foreign policy change, identifying structural parameters of domestic and international origins that bring about major foreign policy shifts. Domestic structural parameters comprise the politico-institutional setting and advocacy groups in support of alternative foreign policy options. International structural parameters refer on the one hand to systemic changes that may bring about foreign policy realignment and, on the other hand, to the country’s role in the international system and its interactions with other countries that may activate foreign policy changes. We posit that this eclectic approach is necessary to account for major, multi-dimensional and complex, foreign policy decisions. We use this analytical framework to examine the Israeli re-orientation that enabled the signing of the Oslo Peace Agreement in the early 1990s.
This article looks at ways in which the EU’s institutional representatives and individual civil servants of the Commission and the European External Action Service frame their discourse on the EU’s international role and values. It proceeds as follows. Firstly, it introduces the data and methodology employed in Discourse Historical Analysis. Secondly, it presents a section to illustrate the metaphors that have been adopted to organise collected material. It identifies three main patterns of discourse-making and associates them with metaphors coming from the Western European literature tradition: two figures coming from Voltaire’s Candide – Candide and Pangloss – and a character from a Mozart opera, Don Giovanni. Finally, the article focuses on perceptions of the EU’s international actions and its core underlying values.
This article discusses the potential of Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA) for the study of EU foreign policy and argues that CDA can provide a systematic way of studying discourses on EU foreign policy through the refined linguistic and argumentative tools that it offers. The article first outlines the main theoretical premises of CDA and its one particular variant, the discourse-historical approach, and then presents a discussion on its analytical and methodological toolkit. After discussing the various ways in which EU foreign policy texts can be subject to CDA, the article concludes with the theoretical challenges posed by CDA, particularly regarding its relationship with poststructuralist approaches to foreign policy.
The first section of this article arranges the four theoretical approaches and methods presented in the special issues – namely interpretative constructivism, post-structuralism, discursive institutionalism and critical discourse analysis – along two dimensions: (a) the role of discourse in the constitution of the world, depending on whether approaches perceive social structure as being constitutive of or constituted by discourse; and (b) interpretation of the weight of material and ideational elements in discourses. This model helps to make sense of the profound theoretical diversity that characterises analytical approaches to international relations discourse. The second section tackles the question of ‘who does the speaking’. It identifies the different voices that converge in the EU’s international choir and problematises the discursive environment that forges international discourses through the theoretical lenses of selected approaches. In the last section, the contributions to this special issue are presented.
This article is about European foreign policy, specifically an examination of ways in which discourse analysis and foreign policy analysis can be brought together. The first aim of this article is to explicate the explanandum in some detail. Before we know what we are looking for, it gives limited meaning to consider procedures for methodological procedures. Once the explanandum has been identified, the article examines theoretical approaches and critically discusses their promises and limitations. Priority is given to the option of applying constructivist discursive theories that might (or might not) have been developed with a view to analysing foreign policy, including European foreign policy. In doing so, the article aims at bridging several sometimes very different fields of study: discourse theory, which is sometimes utterly unaware of or uninterested in foreign affairs; and foreign policy analysis, which is frequently descriptive in orientation and at times characterized by less-than-benign neglect of discourse theory.
This article discusses the relevance of discourse in the analysis of EU foreign policy. Instead of using discourse as a structure, the discursive struggles in meaning production are emphasised. The article argues that the literature trying to make a contribution to the explanation of EU foreign policy has so far overemphasised the positive function of discourses in influencing policies in their substance. In contrast, the article focuses on the delimiting function of discourses in providing the boundaries of the kinds of policies which can be legitimately pursued. From this point of view, important discursive struggles take place exactly about these limits, and it is only through the setting of these limits that identities and norms are provided with clearer meanings. The article illustrates this framework by focusing on the debate about normative power Europe. It argues that an important aspect of this debate which has been missing from the literature so far is that it is indeed engaging in a struggle over what is acceptable as a policy of a normative power and is what not, and that it is therefore engaged in setting the limits of legitimate EU foreign policy.
Using discursive institutionalism as an analytical framework, this article addresses how national actors build, coordinate and communicate discourses on EU defence policy (CSDP) at home. The empirical analysis is based on a comparative study of substantive and interactive discourses in France and Ireland, two contrasted cases. It demonstrates that France and Ireland frame and interpret elements of CSDP that best fit their needs, use them to promote their defence agenda in a legitimate and ‘European’ way and present CSDP as a natural continuation of their preferences. These defence agendas revolve around the preservation of France’s exceptionalism and Ireland’s neutrality. Discursive institutionalism, which methodologically sheds light on agents and institutional contexts, helps to understand the dynamics of constructive ambiguity, a discursive strategy often applied to CSDP and illustrated by these two cases.
The political system of the EU and its member states is frequently seen as post-Westphalian within constructivist-inspired research. This is based on the view that political authority and legitimacy are to be found both at the EU level and the national level with no clear borders between them. The question raised in this article is how the member states conceive of themselves as foreign policy actors in this situation where they are both politically embedded in EU foreign policy structures and, in most cases, formally able to act outside the EU structures in the field of foreign policy. The overall argument is that a pertinent answer to this question can be provided by looking at how (or whether) state identity is articulated in relation to the EU. The paper first presents theoretical considerations relating to discursive articulations of state identity in an EU context. The relevance of these discursive articulations is then illustrated through the empirical example of Danish articulations of actorness prior to and post Lisbon. It is shown that the articulation of national actorness in relation to the EU varied across the different areas of foreign policy before and after Lisbon. A research agenda that flows from these considerations is outlined.
This article analyses how, within the European Union foreign policy system, information is gathered and knowledge is constructed. The analysis is based on the evidence provided by a unique dataset, comprising the Heads of Mission reports between 1998 and 2010 and the EU member states’ diplomatic networks. After distinguishing between information and knowledge, the article tackles three related aspects. First, it shows that the EU is able not only to favour information exchanges, but also to gather information and construct knowledge. Second, it argues that, while member states have an interest in contributing their own information and knowledge, European knowledge is also possible. This is demonstrated by means of an in-depth analysis of the preparation of the Heads of Mission report on East Jerusalem. Third, the article suggests that, depending on the reach of their diplomatic network, some member states are interested more than others in European information, but all member states are interested in European knowledge and in each other’s interpretation of current affairs.
This article outlines the often countervailing forces and norms of state formation, statebuilding and peacebuilding according to their associated theoretical approaches. It introduces a new concept of ‘peace formation’, which counterbalances a reliance on internal violent or externalised institutions’ agency, reform and conditionality. Without incorporating a better understanding of the multiple and often critical agencies involved in peace formation, the states emerging from statebuilding will remain as they are: failed by design. This is because they are founded on externalised systems, legitimacy and norms rather than a contextual, critical and emancipatory epistemology of peace. Engaging with the processes of peace formation may aid international actors in gaining a better understanding of the roots of a conflict, how local actors may be assisted, how violence and power-seeking may be ended or managed and how local legitimacy may emerge.
Following a poststructuralist theorising of identity in international relations, which argues that identity is relationally and discursively constructed through foreign policy, this article attempts to analyse the way in which the European Commission discursively constructs European identit(ies) in its relations with Turkey around the theme of ‘security’. The study utilises the methodological tools of critical discourse analysis in analysing the speeches and field interviews conducted with European Commission officials, in examining the way in which they construct ‘Europe’ in relation to the security implications of Turkish accession. The article’s findings challenge the argument that Europe is moving beyond the modern state to resemble a postmodern order, and problematises the designation of the Commission as a ‘cosmopolitan’ actor in EU enlargement policy.
Despite renewed interest in role theory and its promise to relate to agent–structure relationships, research in this area has underdeveloped notions of ‘agency’ and an incomplete understanding of the interaction between ‘agency’ and ‘structure’. This problem can be attributed, in part, to the fact that the theory frequently overlooks the centrality of domestic political agents in the process of role conflict. An analysis of Danish decision-making over the country’s involvement in Iraq and of Dutch decision-making over its involvement in Afghanistan illustrates the theoretical and empirical advantages of examining role conflicts with a focus on domestic politics. We conclude that studying role conflict as embedded in domestic political processes is important in the development of role theory in international relations research.
Much research on conflict and the environment in Africa emphasises the competition for energy resources and valuable minerals as a cause of war. Drawing on current environmental research on conflict in sub-Saharan Africa, this study demonstrates how the lack of adequate wildlife protection generates new sources of instability, notably between poachers and park guards and between local populations and refugees displaced by war. The article offers both an analysis of the important role that wildlife protection can play in the peace-building process after war and an agenda for future research. Effective policies on wildlife can provide a framework for communication between formerly conflicting parties; they can educate the population on the importance of sustainable resource management; and they can promote financial stability. All of these elements are crucial in preventing a renewed cycle of violence.
Since the EU’s Common Security and Defence Policy framework became operational in 2003, the Union has undertaken more than 20 crisis management operations. The drivers behind this activity remain debated. This article proposes a fresh interpretation based on governmental interests as defined by domestic political risks and opportunities. It argues that EU governments have tailored Common Security and Defence Policy action so as to satisfy domestic audiences. By way of illustration, this article examines the most ambitious Common Security and Defence Policy operation to date, the EU Force mission in Chad and the Central African Republic, as well as a deliberate non-intervention in a comparable case, in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo in late 2008. By analysing the positions of the most relevant EU governments in each respective case, this article demonstrates how they corresponded to domestic political logic. Drawing on some 20 interviews with policy-makers, this article provides a theoretical account explaining the motives behind Common Security and Defence Policy decision-making rooted in original empirical evidence. The explanation for the haphazard pattern of Common Security and Defence Policy operations thus far can be found in the link between domestic politics and EU crisis management operations.
The purpose of this article is to explore the ways in which the European Union (EU)’s counter-terrorism discourse, the ‘fight against terrorism’, is constructed, and the ways in which it functions both rhetorically and in practice. It argues that ‘EU identity’ is constituted through and is central to the constitution of EU counter-terrorism policy. The approach taken is constructivist in nature, drawing on a discourse analysis of primarily European Council policy documents, as well as the reports and speeches of the EU Counter-Terrorism Co-ordinator. In particular, it identifies three strands of the discourse that, it is argued, play a key role in the construction of a terrorist ‘other’. These three strands include terrorism as crime and as an emotive act of violence; terrorism as an act perpetrated solely by non-state actors; and terrorism as a ‘new’ and ‘evolving’ threat. The article proceeds in three steps. First, it outlines the theoretical considerations that underpin this research, including its empirical application. Second, it demonstrates how each strand of the discourse is constructed. Third, it discusses the functioning of the discourse, including the contested nature of the ‘terrorism knowledge’ that underpins the EU’s counter-terrorism approach. The article concludes by reflecting on what this case study contributes to our understanding of EU counter-terrorism policy, as well as explaining how the notion of the terrorist ‘other’ could provide the basis for a future research agenda that deepens our understanding of how the identity of the EU is constituted.
This article examines how cognitive and normative ideas influence the ability of the European Union (EU) to formulate common policies in response to international crises such as the 2002–2003 Iraq crisis and the Iranian nuclear crisis (since 2002). It argues that in crisis situations, i.e. in highly uncertain circumstances, ideas often become the principal guide for policy-makers. More specifically, ideas foster interpretations of a crisis along several core themes: above all, how the crisis issue is perceived, which means are deemed to be legitimate and/or effective and, depending on the particular crisis, how other relevant themes are seen, e.g. the appropriate relationship with the United States. Thus, the formulation of common EU crisis response depends on the convergence of these interpretations in Member States – as in the Iran crisis. On the contrary, if Member States’ interpretations diverge beyond a common ‘ideational space’ – as in the case of Iraq – dissonance will be the probable outcome.
In the last decade maritime piracy has become recognized as a pressing global problem. Together with the problem the new inter-disciplinary project of piracy studies has emerged. In this article I review the state of knowledge and the character of piracy studies. I present two arguments. Firstly, I review recent contributions and suggest that piracy studies is organized in three pillars. The first pillar studies the phenomenon of piratical practice and organization, the second the various organizational responses to it, and the third historicizes and theorizes piracy and the response to it. For each of these pillars I outline future challenges. Secondly, I argue to understand piracy studies, following John Dewey as a ‘community of inquiry’, that is, a community of researchers interested in translating violence and crime at sea into distinct problems that can be mastered. Although researchers rely on different scientific methods as well as divergent problematizations, piracy studies is an inter-disciplinary project that combines abstract and critical stances with immediate practical policy relevance. Far from being a niche project, piracy studies is representative of an innovative mode of knowledge production. Hence, there are larger lessons to be drawn from piracy studies, namely how knowledge generation can be organized to address a contemporary problem.
Aid for Trade (AfT) has gained prominence as an innovative form of donor support in the ‘post’-Washington Consensus. AfT mechanisms have been praised as a means of aligning trade liberalisation deals (whether in the Doha Round or within bilaterals) to poverty reduction objectives. This article, through critical analysis of AfT discourse within the ‘moral economies’ of multilateral World Trade Organization and bilateral European Union–African, Caribbean and Pacific negotiations, points to the strategic purposes of donor language in rationalising asymmetric North–South trade systems. Moreover, it questions the ‘development’ credentials of AfT assistance by examining some of the ensuing private sector activities and the impact on the supposed beneficiaries, and the tying of AfT disbursements to the implementation of inappropriate policies.
Fifteen years ago we presented an agenda for crisis management research and training in Europe, here that article is revisited through a comprehensive review of social science scholarship in the field. Both the discourses on risk and crisis ‘management’ and on crisis ‘politics’ are surveyed in an effort to show the connect between knowledge and policy agendas for capacity building. Priority areas for European research are identified and discussed. The vital roles of research-based education and experience-based training to foster enhanced crisis management practices are noted. Independent yet policy-focused centres of crisis management scholarship are encouraged and needed. These should be linked through a transnational network to support a common ‘rapid reflection’ force in service of European leadership, when it matters the most.
Neorealist and neoliberal institutionalist explanations for the state and future of the Arctic region dominate the Arctic debate in international relations. While both schools focus on different aspects concerning the current and future state of Arctic affairs – neorealism evokes a confrontational rush for the Arctic’s resources, whereas neoliberal institutionalism propagates the necessary reform of the institutional system governing Arctic issues – both share the underlying assumption of significant and rising stakes towards Arctic commodities. However, this article argues that this debate has hitherto failed to substantiate the actual stakes of the main actors involved. Consequently, many studies make grandiloquent statements about prospects of cooperation and conflict and the appropriate institutional framework for the Arctic region, based on only limited empirical support. This article aims to fill this gap by analysing the Arctic oil and gas interests of the five Arctic littoral states (Russia, USA, Canada, Norway and Denmark/Greenland). The analysis shows greatly different levels of interests towards the High North among the Arctic states. The findings make it possible to make more credible statements about the likelihood of confrontation over Arctic resources and necessary institutional adjustments. The evidence shows that the often-evoked issue of geopolitical rush for Arctic resources is unlikely to eventuate. Nonetheless, there remain institutional challenges for the protection of the fragile Arctic ecosystem.
The increasing reliance on private security companies (PSCs) in and around international peace operations has created new public–private constellations, influencing both military and civilian efforts, sometimes generating problematic relationships and even violence between public and private actors, as well as unclear divisions of labour, authority and responsibility. To explain how and why these problems occur, mapping out the understandings that these different actors have of each other in different contexts is of key importance. Through an analysis of Swedish officers’ views of private security actors, this paper aims to contribute to our understanding of the complex relationships between civilian authorities, state militaries and commercial security actors. Particularly, the article will shed new light on ‘PSC–military’ relations and the ways in which the private security sector functions as both a competitor and a career option for former or active service personnel. The article draws on a study commissioned by the Swedish Armed Forces and is empirically based on in-depth interviews and a survey of Swedish officers’ attitudes to PSCs.
This article argues that the Responsibility to Protect (RtoP) adds value to international efforts to protect populations from genocide and mass atrocities, but not in the ways commonly thought. It suggests that RtoP is not particularly effective as a ‘rallying call’ that mobilises action in cases where international society may be initially reluctant to act. Where it does add value is in helping to reshape states’ identities and interests such that consideration of the protection needs of populations, in relation to the threat of genocide and mass atrocities, has been internalised to some extent by the UN Security Council. As such, RtoP is best seen as being a ‘habit former’. The principle does not, however, determine particular behaviours or guarantee international consensus because decision-making is heavily influenced by contextual factors. The argument proceeds in three parts. The first examines instances where RtoP has been invoked since early 2006. The second explores the role of context in shaping how the UN Security Council responds to particular crises. Finally, to amplify the points made in these sections, the third section considers the UN Security Council’s response to the crisis in Somalia after 2006.
This article contributes to the burgeoning literature on why states ratify human rights treaties. It first analyses why Ireland, the United Kingdom and the United States did not initially ratify or accede to the 1948 Genocide Convention, and then explores why the three countries eventually did accept it, 20–40 years after it was approved by the United Nations General Assembly. The extent to which material costs and benefits, the logic of appropriateness, and acculturation played a role in each of the three cases is assessed. Acculturation is particularly evident in the Irish case, but it also helps to explain the UK and US acceptance of the Convention.