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  • Author: Surabhi Ranganathan
  • Publication Date: 04-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Institution: European Journal of International Law
  • Abstract: In this article, I argue for a critical recognition of the law of the sea, as it developed from the post-war period, as fostering a ‘grab’ of the ocean floor via national jurisdiction and international administration. I discuss why we should view what might be discussed otherwise as an ‘enclosure’ or ‘incorporation’ of the ocean floor within the state system as its grab. I then trace the grounds on which the ocean was brought within national and international regimes: the ocean floor’s geography and economic value. Both were asserted as givens – that is, as purely factual, but they were, in fact, reified through law. The article thus calls attention to the law’s constitutive effects. I examine the making of this law, showing that law-making by governments was influenced by acts of representation and narrative creation by many non-state actors. It was informed by both economic and non-economic influences, including political solidarity and suspicion, and parochial as well as cosmopolitan urges. Moreover, the law did not develop gradually or consistently. In exploring its development, I bring into focus the role played by one influential group of actors – international lawyers themselves.
  • Topic: Economics, International Law, History, Law of the Sea, Maritime
  • Political Geography: Europe, Oceans
  • Author: Mason Hill
  • Publication Date: 01-2018
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Harvard Journal of Middle Eastern Politics and Policy
  • Institution: The John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University
  • Abstract: This is the first in a three part series on Turkish constitutionalism one year after the 2017 constitutional referendum. Constitutions are nations’ mission statements, and articulate pre-political commitments that turn residents into citizens, and borders into a nation. In Turkey, generations of political leaders have used constitutional reform as an opportunity to set their political agenda and highlight their priorities. The 2017 referendum must be understood in the context of a democracy where voters have experienced successive constitutional reforms aimed at complementing the mission each new generation of leaders gives itself. A view of modern Turkish history reveals the tendency of leaders to use constitutional reform to address deficiencies in their respective administrations, and reflects the latent tension between populism, military intervention, and constitutional integrity.
  • Topic: Politics, History, Law, Reform, Constitution
  • Political Geography: Europe, Turkey, Middle East
  • Author: Arega Hovsepyan
  • Publication Date: 01-2018
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Harvard Journal of Middle Eastern Politics and Policy
  • Institution: The John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University
  • Abstract: After the attempted coup d’état of 15 July 2016, discussion inside expert circles about the construction of a “new” Turkey took on a new urgency. The result of the 2017 constitutional referendum remade Turkey’s political institutions, but the events of the 2016 coup attempt also catalyzed changes to the symbolism of the state. The ruling Justice and Development Party, whose slogans had long promised “a new Turkey,” was at the forefront of the surge in hardened messaging. The cornerstone of this “new Turkey” is а classical concentration of political power in the hands of one person, specifically President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. Kemalism, Turkey’s founding ideology, is in the process of being replaced by the new ideology of the new president. Although it is still early to characterise this new ideology in Turkey as “Erdoğanism”, the similarities and contradictions of Kemalism and Erdoğanism lend insight on the structure of Turkish politics. The era of Erdoğan has been unleashed in Turkey, and moreover, its eponym is eager to not only replace the personality cult of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, but also to surpass the historic founder’s titanic image.
  • Topic: Politics, History, Authoritarianism, Ideology, Coup
  • Political Geography: Europe, Turkey, Middle East
  • Author: Leora Bilsky, Rachel Klagsbrun
  • Publication Date: 04-2018
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Institution: European Journal of International Law
  • Abstract: Cultural genocide, despite contemporary thinking, is not a new problem in need of normative solution, rather it is as old as the concept of genocide itself. The lens of law and history allows us to see that the original conceptualization of the crime of genocide – as presented by Raphael Lemkin – gave cultural genocide centre stage. As Nazi crime was a methodical attempt to destroy a group and as what makes up a group’s identity is its culture, for Lemkin, the essence of genocide was cultural. Yet the final text of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide (Genocide Convention) does not prohibit cultural genocide as such, and it is limited to its physical and biological aspects. What led to this exclusion? In this article, we examine the various junctures of law, politics and history in which the concept was shaped: the original conceptualization by Lemkin; litigation in national and international criminal courts and the drafting process of the Genocide Convention. In the last part, we return to the mostly forgotten struggle for cultural restitution (books, archives and works of art) fought by Jewish organizations after the Holocaust as a countermeasure to cultural genocide. Read together, these various struggles uncover a robust understanding of cultural genocide, which was once repressed by international law and now returns to haunt us by the demands of groups for recognition and protection.
  • Topic: Genocide, International Law, History, Culture, Courts, Holocaust
  • Political Geography: Europe, Germany
  • Author: Asifa Jahangir, Umbreen Javaid
  • Publication Date: 07-2018
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: South Asian Studies
  • Institution: Department of Political Science, University of the Punjab
  • Abstract: The war-torn Afghanistan has long suffered from the dynastical contests and fraught economic strategies of foreigners, which instigated constant internal strife and regional instability. The foreign interventions have made this land a sphere of influence and initiated the great game politics sporadically. This paper attempts to examine the historical geostrategic tussles in Afghanistan between international players on the one hand and regional actors on the other hand over control and manipulation of Afghanistan and its surrounding regions through the lens of conceptual framework of unintended consequences approach, which deals with irrational aspect of foreign policy of the states. This study makes interesting contribution to the existing literature of the [old] Great Game of the late 19th century between Czarist Russia and Great Britain or New Great Game by re-conceptualizing this idea into a new concept of the Grand Great Game or the 3G in place of explaining the unintended consequences of the historical events i.e. the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan of 1979, the post-Cold War era when the regional players Pakistan and India got involved in Afghanistan; and the US invasion of Afghanistan of 9/11 incident. The findings of the paper suggest that the unintended consequences of these historical events are bitter than the reality. The foreign interventions have paralyzed the Afghan society and made it more insecure by promoting clandestine terrorist activities and proxies. The interview technique helps to verify the 3G concept and present its unintended consequences. The critical content analysis of the primary and secondary data is of assistance to understand that the current 3G to be not only multidimensional competition, embodying multiple stakeholders but also incorporating complex self-defined rational as well as irrational foreign policy objectives and national interests.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Terrorism, History, Power Politics, Territorial Disputes, Taliban, Geopolitics, Military Intervention
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, Afghanistan, Europe, South Asia, India, Punjab, United States of America
  • Author: Thomas E. McNamara
  • Publication Date: 04-2018
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: American Diplomacy
  • Institution: American Diplomacy
  • Abstract: We persistently promote each major development assistance plan or nation-building project as “a Marshall Plan for _(fill_in_name)_.” Once a plan is underway supporters and opponents play out their different agendas. Supporters of foreign assistance downplay “Marshall Plan” comparisons because expectations cannot be met. Opponents stress the comparison to highlight shortfalls. This happens because none of the nation-building plans ever measures up to the original, successful, real, Marshall Plan. And they never will. Not in Iraq, not in Afghanistan, not in Ukraine, not in Latin America, not in Africa. They won’t because the original Marshall Plan, contrary to popular myth, had nothing to do with development or nation building. It had everything to do with accelerating the reconstruction of already developed nations in Europe after two massively destructive wars.
  • Topic: Development, Diplomacy, History, Foreign Aid, World War II
  • Political Geography: Europe, United States of America
  • Author: W. Robert Pearson
  • Publication Date: 03-2018
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: American Diplomacy
  • Institution: American Diplomacy
  • Abstract: Russia and Turkey are dancing a complicated pas de deux—for separate and common reasons. The happy couple has captivated global attention. There are reasons today to anticipate greater collaboration between Turkey and Russia in Syria and against Europe and the United States. However, there are also significant contradictions that could weaken the prospects of cooperation between the two countries. For gains against Syrian Kurds and to fan nationalist flames domestically, Turkey may be ignoring longer term needs. Russia is the major partner in the arrangement and sees little reason to sacrifice its interests to please Turkey. One day this unequal relationship may cause Turkey to question its value.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Diplomacy, History, Bilateral Relations, Military Intervention
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Turkey, Middle East, Syria
  • Author: David A. Langbart
  • Publication Date: 04-2018
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: American Diplomacy
  • Institution: American Diplomacy
  • Abstract: As a result of the German invasion of Poland on September 1, 1939, the U.S. consulate general in Warsaw and its staff faced extraordinary circumstances. The Department of State included a brief overview of those experiences in a background report on wartime hazards faced by the Foreign Service during the period before the United States entered World War II. The extreme nature of what the consulate general’s staff faced are such, however, that it is worth presenting the full report of Consul General John K. Davis. Written from Oslo, Norway, after evacuation to that city, Davis’s despatch provides a detailed and evocative description of the events and occurrences that befell the staff in Warsaw. The ordeal was great. As the Consul General noted, “for all practical purposes we found ourselves living in the midst of a battlefield.”
  • Topic: Diplomacy, History, World War II, Memoir
  • Political Geography: Europe, Poland, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Benjamin Lieberman, Zeynep Bulutgil
  • Publication Date: 07-2017
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Fletcher Security Review
  • Institution: The Fletcher School, Tufts University
  • Abstract: In The Roots of Ethnic Cleansing in Europe, Zeynep Bulutgil questions prevailing interpretations of the origins of ethnic cleansing and provides an innovative interpretation that will itself prompt further debate about the balance between factors that might block ethnic cleansing as well as active causes of cleansing. The work poses an important and often overlooked question: instead of focusing on factors that have caused ethnic cleansing, why not instead also chart factors that have precluded ethnic cleansing?
  • Topic: Ethnic Conflict, History, Book Review, Ethnic Cleansing
  • Political Geography: Europe, Eastern Europe, Soviet Union, Yugoslavia
  • Author: Luke Glanville
  • Publication Date: 10-2017
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Institution: European Journal of International Law
  • Abstract: While histories of human rights have proliferated in recent decades, little attention has been given to the history of thinking about duties to protect these rights beyond sovereign borders. We have a good understanding of the history of duties of sovereign states to ensure the safety and well-being of their own citizens and of the right of other states to forcefully intervene when these duties are violated. But the story of the development of thinking about duties to assist and protect the vulnerable beyond borders remains to be told. This article defends the importance of excavating and examining past thinking about these duties. It then sketches key aspects of Western natural law thinking about such duties, from Francisco de Vitoria through to Immanuel Kant, claiming that such study holds the promise of exposing from where ideas that prevail in international law and politics have come and retrieving alternative ideas that have been long forgotten but that may reward renewed consideration. It concludes by briefly outlining how three such retrieved ideas might be of particular use for those seeking to push international law and politics in a more just direction today.
  • Topic: Human Rights, International Law, Sovereignty, History, Humanitarian Intervention, Philosophy
  • Political Geography: Europe, Global Focus