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  • Author: Harald Muller
  • Publication Date: 07-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Politics
  • Institution: Palgrave Macmillan
  • Abstract: Liberal discourse should have a hard time looking for 'evil' in international relations. Standing on the pillar of rationalism and humanitarianism, there seems to be little space for the morally and emotionally charged notion of evil to enter considerations. Yet, the liberal belief in the freedom of will implies that humans are capable of turning against the advice of reason and opt for evil behavior and underlying principles. This possibility is epitomized by Kant's construction of the 'evil enemy'. Since 'evil' appears sporadically in international relations, with Hitler's Germany as prototype, its existence in the real world of international relations cannot be ruled out a priori. Designating an 'other' as evil is thus a discursive possibility. The practice to turn this possibility into reality is conceptualized here as 'evilization' in analogy to 'securitization'. There is strong variance among liberal democracies in applying this practice, ranging from 'pacifism' to 'militancy', which often leads to dire consequences. Deriving the principles of fallibility and prudence from liberal reasoning, this article concludes with the proposition that 'liberal pacifism' is the preferable option in most conceivable circumstances, but that the possibility of confronting political evil is rare, but existing.
  • Topic: International Relations, Politics
  • Political Geography: Germany, Cameroon
  • Author: Mona K. Sheikh
  • Publication Date: 07-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Politics
  • Institution: Palgrave Macmillan
  • Abstract: This article examines how evil has been conceptualised in the discipline of international relations and contributes to a body of critical literature that treats evil as a legitimacy bestowing label. By drawing on securitisation theory, it suggests developing a performative approach to evil as an alternative to descriptive and normative approaches. It is argued that such an approach would not only be valuable for understanding the effects of naming and grading evil, but also fulfils three additional functions. First, it facilitates a shift away from applying intention as the primary measure for determining matters of guilt and condemnation. Second, it challenges the privileged position of the powerful when appointing particular phenomena/adversaries as evil. Finally, it provides an analytical starting point for understanding conflict constellations where different parameters of legitimacy seem to clash. This last function requires particular sensitivity towards the audience and the cultural context of 'evilising' moves.
  • Topic: International Relations
  • Author: Christian Bueger, Felix Bethke
  • Publication Date: 01-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of International Relations and Development
  • Institution: Central and East European International Studies Association
  • Abstract: Concepts such as the 'failed state' are jointly produced by academics and political actors and hence connect academia and global politics. Little attention has been spent to study such concepts and the practices that create them and sustain their relevance. We develop an innovative framework for studying concepts. Relying on actor-network theory, we suggest studying concepts as effects of relations between different actors building an actor-network. We introduce actor-network theory and demonstrate its value for international relations (IR) research. Our empirical case study of the concept of failed states combines bibliometric analysis and qualitative text analysis. We show how various actors have brought the concept of failed states to life; analyse how actors transformed because of their participation; and investigate the persistent struggles to define and homogenise the concept. In summary, this is an article about the life of the failed state, the discipline of IR and its relations to other actors, and an introduction of the actor-network theory toolbox to the sociology of IR.
  • Topic: International Relations, Politics
  • Author: Andreas Kruck
  • Publication Date: 01-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of International Relations and Development
  • Institution: Central and East European International Studies Association
  • Abstract: This article seeks to systematise and advance the theoretical debate on the causes and conditions for the privatisation of security. Drawing on previous research on private military and security companies (PMSCs) and theories from International Relations and Comparative Politics, it reconstructs functionalist, political-instrumentalist and ideationist explanations for why and under what conditions even 'strong' and democratic Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development states (extensively) use PMSCs. An analysis of inter-temporal and cross-national (United States, British, German and French) patterns of security privatisation indicates that all the three theoretical models point out causes and conditions that are relevant for a comprehensive explanation, but none is sufficient alone. Therefore, the article uses both the models and the empirical evidence to propose a synthetic perspective, which treats different explanatory conditions and logics as complementary, rather than rival. Going beyond the atheoretical conclusion that a multitude of disconnected factors are in some way relevant for a comprehensive explanation of security privatisation, I develop a thin and a thick synthesis that rely on a domain-of-application approach and sequencing, respectively. The thin synthesis spells out how different explanatory factors operate in specific domains, whereas the thick synthesis elaborates how different conditions and mechanisms apply to different phases of security privatisation and how they interrelate.
  • Topic: International Relations, Security, Economics, Politics
  • Political Geography: United States, Germany
  • Author: Andrey Makarychev
  • Publication Date: 10-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: This paper provides an analysis of the most recent changes in Russian foreign policy that became a matter of global concern in the aftermath of the Ukraine crisis. The author advocates for a discourse-based approach to comprehend the new shifts in Russia's international posture. First, Russia has launched its own normative policies that incorporate a set of conceptual arguments, such as portraying Ukraine and Russia as allegedly bound by civilizational ties. Second, Russia is not only unilaterally imposing its power; it is also exploiting the opportunities for raising its role, which are embedded in the structure of its relations with post-Soviet states. Third, Russia's policies are largely inconclusive and inconsistent, which is conducive to the dispersal of hegemonic discourse and its potential fragmentation.
  • Topic: International Relations
  • Political Geography: Russia, Ukraine, Georgia
  • Author: P. Gudev
  • Publication Date: 04-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Affairs: A Russian Journal of World Politics, Diplomacy and International Relations
  • Institution: East View Information Services
  • Abstract: In light of the ongoing discussion on the expert and scholarly level regarding the kind of regulatory regime for international relations that should be formed in the arctic – national (sectoral), regional or international, broad to the maximum degree possible – it is important to revisit the text of what is known as the Ilulissat Declaration, signed by the five arctic states in May 2008. It is of primary importance that the Declaration records the provision that an “extensive international legal framework” should be applied to the arctic ocean. The Declaration defines this “framework” as the law of the sea, which provides for important rights and obligations concerning the use and exploitation of the resources and spaces of this marine region. The law of the sea is regarded as a solid foundation for “responsible management” in the arctic. What is the significance of these formulations, what meaning did the authors of the Declaration assign to them, and what interpretations are possible here – these matters are considered in the present analytical overview.
  • Topic: International Relations, Energy Policy, International Law, Natural Resources, Governance
  • Political Geography: Arctic
  • Author: Adam Quinn
  • Publication Date: 03-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Politics
  • Institution: Palgrave Macmillan
  • Abstract: This article argues that neoclassical realism (NCR), though it presents one of the most intuitively attractive frameworks for understanding states' actions, continues to struggle with a central conceptual tension. Some have argued that NCR is compatible with a structural realist approach, even that it is a 'logical extension' of it. Yet in seeking to identify law-like patterns of state behaviour arising from the varied features of states themselves, NCR appears to breach the outer limits of what Kenneth Waltz, the founding father of structural International Relations theory, thought tolerable in a theory of international politics. Thus, NCR arguably faces a fork in the road as to its future agenda and theoretical identity: should it limit itself essentially to chronicling anomalous occurrences within a fundamentally Waltzian paradigm, or try to map new rules of state behaviour on a scale that ultimately calls the primacy of Waltz's 'systemic imperatives' into question?
  • Topic: International Relations
  • Author: Peter Lawler
  • Publication Date: 01-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Politics
  • Institution: Palgrave Macmillan
  • Abstract: The idea of the State as embodying moral virtue has a long, mostly inwardly focussed history. In international relations thought, sporadic Liberal explorations of the state as a 'good international citizen' have been vulnerable to Realist scepticism or dismissal. The Cold War's end saw a revival of Liberal enthusiasm for the Good State, but the translation of this into the foreign policies of key Western states generated new lines of critique focussing on the underlying universalism. Drawing upon aspects of much less-discussed Scandinavian internationalist discourse, the possibility of a more modest, open and thus sustainable understanding of the Good State is explored.
  • Topic: International Relations
  • Author: Christian Reus-Smit, Ian Clark
  • Publication Date: 01-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Politics
  • Institution: Palgrave Macmillan
  • Abstract: Liberal internationalism represents a package of evolving and contending commitments, and this article traces the development within it of one practice with a longer history, namely the allocation of special responsibilities. Responsibilities are those things for which actors are held accountable and, internationally, these have negotiated between sovereign equality and material inequality, in search of a means of more effectively dealing with global problems. The definition of these responsibilities generates an intense politics and these are reviewed through the remit of the Security Council. The article considers the basis for the allocation of traditional special responsibilities for security to the Council and then tracks their extension in recent years to the issue of humanitarian protection. The vehicle for this has been the transformation of a practice about the use of the veto, towards one that calls for its non-use in humanitarian cases. This analysis of special responsibilities unsettles the separation between order and justice, and points to the challenges currently facing liberal internationalism.
  • Topic: International Relations
  • Author: Andrew Phillips
  • Publication Date: 01-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Politics
  • Institution: Palgrave Macmillan
  • Abstract: This article contrasts the parallel \'wars on terror\' that liberal and authoritarian states have prosecuted since 9/11 to determine their broader significance for the pursuit of \'purposes beyond ourselves\' in an increasingly multi-polar world. While acknowledging that states rallied to defend their monopoly on legitimate violence after 9/11, I maintain that the ensuing \'wars on terror\' have simultaneously exacerbated longstanding disagreements between liberal and authoritarian states over the fundamental principles of international society. Under American leadership, liberal states have sought to eradicate jihadism through the transplantation of liberal values and institutions to Muslim-majority societies, countenancing sweeping qualifications of weak states\' sovereignty to advance this goal. Conversely, authoritarian states led by Russia and China have mounted a vigorous counter-offensive against both jihadism and liberal internationalist revisionism, harnessing counter-terrorism concerns to reassert illiberal internationalist conceptions of state sovereignty in response. Reflecting international division more than solidarity, the \'wars on terror\' have illuminated a deeper triangular struggle between revisionist liberal internationalism, jihadist anti-internationalism and illiberal authoritarian internationalism that will significantly complicate Western efforts to promote liberal values in coming decades.
  • Topic: International Relations
  • Political Geography: Russia, China