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  • Author: Kai Chen
  • Publication Date: 03-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Military and Strategic Studies
  • Institution: Centre for Military and Strategic Studies
  • Abstract: The history of mercenaries can be tracked back to the Greek mercenaries that fought for the Persian Empire during the early classic era. The decades after World War II have witnessed the re-emergence of mercenaries around the world. It's worth noting that academia pays little attention to mercenaries involved in asymmetric conflicts, and leaves several critical questions unanswered. So how do we measure the outcome of the asymmetric conflicts involving mercenaries? Why do some mercenaries prevail in front of materially superior opponents, while other mercenaries fail? Are there any testable theoretical explanations for predicting mercenaries' military performance in future asymmetric conflicts? In Mercenaries in Asymmetric Conflicts, Scott Fitzsimmons provides well-supported answers to the questions above, explores the causal relations between military culture and effectiveness, and highlights that culturally-determined military effectiveness has more influence on mercenaries' military performance in asymmetric conflicts than the materially-determined military effectiveness.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution
  • Political Geography: Persia
  • Author: Rebecca Jensen
  • Publication Date: 03-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Military and Strategic Studies
  • Institution: Centre for Military and Strategic Studies
  • Abstract: The historians of the Annales School developed an approach that emphasized long-term regional histories based upon social structures and worldviews, in part because they believed the narrowness of political and diplomatic history to be reductive. The first half of Mike Martin's An Intimate War: An Oral History of the Helmand Conflict, adapted from his doctoral research at King's College and drawing on his experience as an army officer in Afghanistan, evokes this approach, while the second half explores how the absence of such a grounding in the local dynamics of Helmand province resulted in a profound misunderstanding of parties to the conflict and their goals, and thus a flawed and sometimes counterproductive approach to military and political efforts there. An Intimate War makes a solid argument that the narratives driving the ISAF (International Security Assistance Force) were largely mistaken, and that misperception accounted for poor policy and misguided operations; it also raises questions for future research, including why organizations and individuals adopted and hewed to inadequate models, and implicitly how this might be avoided in future military engagements.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, War
  • Political Geography: London
  • Author: Sarah Drury, John Flanagan, Aaron Gregg, Pitchaya Indravudh, Abbie Taylor, Sanjula Weerasinghe
  • Publication Date: 03-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal on Migration and Human Security
  • Institution: Center for Migration Studies of New York
  • Abstract: Today, perhaps more than ever, humanitarian crises permeate the lives of millions, triggering increased human movement and repeatedly testing the international community's capacity to respond. Stakeholders within the international community have recognized that existing legal and institutional frameworks for protecting forced migrants are inadequate to address the diversity of movements and needs. This article examines the situation of noncitizens who are caught in violence, conflict, and disaster, and asserts that they are an at-risk population requiring tailored responses. Recent history has witnessed numerous humanitarian crises in which noncitizens have been among those most seriously affected. With more people than at any other point in history residing outside of their country of origin, the presence of new and sustained eruptions of violence and conflict, and the frequency and intensity of disasters predicted to increase, noncitizens will continue to be caught in countries experiencing crises. Destination countries, as well as origin countries whose citizens are caught in crisis situations abroad, must understand the challenges that noncitizens may encounter in accessing assistance and protection, and must formulate responses to ensure that their needs are adequately accommodated. While both citizens and noncitizens may encounter difficulties in any given humanitarian crisis, research on five recent crises—the Libyan uprising, the Tohoku earthquake, the tsunami and Fukushima nuclear accident in Japan, flooding in Thailand, Hurricane Sandy in the United States, and the on-going conflict in Syria—demonstrates that a range of factors create particular challenges for noncitizens. Factors related to the underlying environment in the country undergoing a crisis and the responses of different actors may exacerbate the vulnerability of noncitizens. Moreover, different groups of noncitizens manifest distinct protection needs due to specific attributes. In a given context, the interaction of these factors leads to varying levels of vulnerability for different groups, and the experiences of noncitizens in crisis situations implicate a range of fundamental human rights. Promising practices which may reduce the vulnerabilities of noncitizens and their exposure to harm during crises include: limiting immigration enforcement activities in favor of dispensing life-saving assistance; communication of emergency and relief messages in multiple languages and modes; facilitating entry and re-entry; and providing targeted relief services. These practices are not limited to countries experiencing crises; origin countries have also displayed judicious actions, undertaking bi-lateral negotiations to address specific needs and seeking external assistance in order to protect their citizens who are caught in crisis situations. This article seeks to inform ways to mitigate the vulnerabilities and address unmet assistance and protection needs of noncitizens caught in countries experiencing crises. It focuses primarily on vulnerabilities experienced during crises, acknowledging the importance of preventative action that targets the potential vulnerabilities and needs of noncitizens. It also acknowledges that assistance and protection needs often persist beyond the abatement of crises and warrant ongoing intervention. The observations presented in this paper are drawn from desk research on a limited number of situations, and therefore, the article is an introductory attempt to call attention to the issues at play when a crisis occurs, rather than an in-depth study of the subject. Nonetheless, it offers recommendations for alleviating the exposure of noncitizens, which include actions aimed at: addressing the underlying legal and policy landscape related to crises and relevant areas like immigration so as to account for the presence and needs of noncitizens; ensuring that all categories of noncitizens are able to access, understand and navigate information regarding emergency and relief assistance and are able to utilize them; and limiting the exposure of noncitizens to harm through targeted measures that address their particular needs and vulnerabilities.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Humanitarian Aid
  • Political Geography: Syria, Thailand
  • Author: Kathrin Keil
  • Publication Date: 04-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The International Spectator
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: In order to assess whether the Arctic region is evolving into a region of cooperation or one of confrontation, a thorough understanding of the existing (and evolving) bilateral, regional and international institutional frameworks with relevant regulations for the Arctic and their adequacy for solving possible controversies is paramount. Disputes can flare up over various issues, as the Arctic has aptly demonstrated in recent years. Whether these disputes erupt into conflict or are handled cooperatively depends significantly on the rules and regulations that parties have put in place. While most of the literature deals with resource ownership, it is argued here that the more significant potential sources of controversy between Arctic states are issues of responsibility, liability, precaution and preparedness concerning possible transboundary environmental risks and dangers and, generally, protection of the fragile Arctic ecosystem.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Oil
  • Political Geography: Arctic
  • Author: O. Khlestov, A. Kukushkina, Sh. Sodikov
  • Publication Date: 11-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Affairs: A Russian Journal of World Politics, Diplomacy and International Relations
  • Institution: East View Information Services
  • Abstract: The growth in acts of international terrorism endangers the lives of people worldwide, as well as threatens the peace and security of all states. The September 23, 1999 Statement on Combating International Terrorism issued by the ministers for foreign affairs of the five permanent members of the Security Council has stressed that it is vital to strengthen, under the auspices of the United Nations, international cooperation to fight terrorism in all its forms. Such cooperation must be firmly based on the principles of the UN Charter and norms of international law, including respect for human rights.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Terrorism, United Nations, International Security, Peacekeeping
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Harold James
  • Publication Date: 02-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Affairs
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: A spectre is haunting the world: 1914. The approaching centenary of the outbreak of the First World War is a reminder of how the instability produced by changes in the relative balance of power in an integrated or globalized world may produce cataclysmic events. Jean-Claude Juncker, the veteran Prime Minister of Luxem-bourg and chair of the Eurogroup of finance ministers, started 2013 by warning journalists that they should take note of the parallels with 1913, the last year of European peace. He was referring explicitly to new national animosities fanned by the European economic crisis, with a growing polarization between North and South. Historically, the aftermath and the consequences of such cataclysms have been extreme. George Kennan strikingly termed the 1914–18 conflict 'the great seminal catastrophe of this century'. Without it, fascism, communism, the Great Depression and the Second World War are all almost impossible to imagine.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Communism, Economics, Politics, War
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: G. Toloraya, A. Torkunov
  • Publication Date: 06-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Affairs: A Russian Journal of World Politics, Diplomacy and International Relations
  • Institution: East View Information Services
  • Abstract: In recent years, Russia’s active and highly vigorous foreign policy in many conflict zones has become an important international factor in the hottest points (Syria being one of them). Russia achieved spectacular diplomatic results. there are, however, problem zones much closer to home. We have in mind the Korean Peninsula, the scene of the oldest and dangerous conflict. Many times in the past, the “soft underbelly” of Russia’s far east left the expert community and the public puzzled and bewildered. Throughout the decades which separate the peninsula from the “hot war” (still very much in evidence de jure and de facto), it has been living amid sluggish confrontation and dramatic developments at the domestic stage of the north and the south, two irreconcilable opponents, and between them.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Conflict Prevention, Foreign Policy, War
  • Political Geography: Russia, North Korea
  • Author: V. Orlov
  • 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: Twenty years ago, the issue of nuclear weapons on the territory of Ukraine and, accordingly, of security assurances to Ukraine in the case of its achieving a non-nuclear status was the focus of attention for policymakers, diplomats and the international expert community. It was also then that it was seemingly resolved once and for all – first through the Trilateral statement by the presidents of Russia, the U.S. and Ukraine (Moscow, January 14, 1994), then through a Memorandum on security assurances in connection with Ukraine’s accession to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) (Budapest, December 5, 1994), signed by the Russian Federation, Ukraine, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security, Treaties and Agreements, Nuclear Power
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Ukraine
  • Author: M. Konarovsky
  • Publication Date: 10-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Affairs: A Russian Journal of World Politics, Diplomacy and International Relations
  • Institution: East View Information Services
  • Abstract: The joint American and NATO campaign in Afghanistan which has been going on for over a decade now became the Alliance’s largest and most expensive operation. It has already sucked in over $1 trillion, claimed over 3 thousand lives (over half of them American) and left over 100 thousand wounded. As the hardest psychological test for NATO it triggered talks about its systemic crisis.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, NATO, War, Budget
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan
  • Author: Kenneth A. Rodman
  • Publication Date: 04-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Ethics International Affairs Journal
  • Institution: Carnegie Council
  • Abstract: Is it ethical for the prosecutor at the International Criminal Court (ICC) to consider political factors, such as peace processes, in selecting situations to investigate or cases to prosecute? During the early years of the court, a number of documents and statements from the Office of the Prosecutor (OTP) suggested that there were occasions when it was. Two OTP policy papers issued in 2003 recommended that the prosecutor assess "all circumstances prevailing in the country or region concerned, including the nature and stage of the conflict and any intervention by the international community," and whether prosecution might "exacerbate or otherwise destabilize a conflict situation." In the same spirit, the ICC's chief prosecutor, Luis Moreno-Ocampo, referred to his decision-making as a "dialogue between many actors" with a "strategic dimension . . . [that] involves all stakeholders." This language suggested a process of consultation and coordination with local and international actors involved in conflict resolution to adapt international criminal justice to on-the-ground political realities.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Peace Studies
  • Author: Richard Giragosian, Sergey Minasyan
  • Publication Date: 01-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Connections
  • Institution: Partnership for Peace Consortium of Defense Academies and Security Studies Institutes
  • Abstract: After twenty years of independence, the three counties of the South Caucasus-Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia-continue to struggle with a daunting set of challenges. In light of several unresolved conflicts and profound deficiencies in efforts directed at democratic and economic reform, the South Caucasus continues to be a "region at risk." As if this rather bleak landscape was not enough, three more recent trends have emerged to further threaten the region's security and stability. The first trend, and one that is likely to have the most profound effects over the long term, is evident in a subtle shift in the already delicate balance of power in the region, driven largely by a steady surge in Azerbaijani defense spending and exacerbated by a lack of progress in the mediation of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. Since the 1994 ceasefire that resulted in the suspension of hostilities over Nagorno-Karabakh (but that did not definitively end them), this unresolved or "frozen" conflict has been subject to an international mediation effort conducted by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe's (OSCE) so-called Minsk Group. This tripartite body co-chaired by France, Russia, and the United States seeks to engage and prod the parties to the conflict toward a negotiated resolution of the conflict.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Europe, Caucasus, France, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia
  • Author: John Heathershaw, Nick Megoran
  • Publication Date: 05-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Affairs
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: Western geopolitical discourse misrepresents and constructs Central Asia as an inherently and essentially dangerous place. This pervasive 'discourse of danger' obscures knowledge of the region, deforms scholarship and, because it has policy implications, actually endangers Central Asia. This article identifies how the region is made knowable to a US-UK audience through three mutually reinforcing dimensions of endangerment: Central Asia as obscure, oriental, and fractious. This is evidenced in the writings of conflict resolution and security analysts, the practices of governments, the activities of international aid agencies and numerous lurid films, documentaries and novels.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security
  • Political Geography: United States, United Kingdom, Central Asia
  • Author: Slavomír HORÁK
  • Publication Date: 12-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Obrana a strategie (Defence Strategy)
  • Institution: University of Defence
  • Abstract: The article focuses on the analysis of the internal politics of Afghanistan after 2001 and evaluates the results of state- and nation-building. The emphasis on internal politics is the only possible way to understand the processes in the country and work out the strategy for the country after the planned withdrawal (or limitation) of foreign troops from the country. In this context, the fragmentation and deepening cleavages among various social strata in the country (ethnic, sub-ethnic) is considered to be a crucial determinant of the development in the country. Several power groups define diverse attitudes towards the character of the future Afghan state. These circumstances could lead to the new round of the military conflict after the removal of foreign troops which are considered as a negative factor by a large part of the Afghan elite, albeit they serve as one of the stabilization factors in the country. However, the international community has (and will have) limited tools and influence to prevent any prospective conflict in the country.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Politics
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Taliban
  • Author: Rebecca Patterson, Jonathan Robinson
  • Publication Date: 03-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: PRISM
  • Institution: National Defense University Press
  • Abstract: Postinvasion Iraq and Afghanistan have compelled the United States to expand its focus on and capacity for conflict resolution and postwar reconstruction. Our strategic objective in both countries has become the transformation of dysfunctional and war-affected societies into stable, viable, and sustainable states. To this end, economic development and security are regarded as mutually reinforcing elements: without security, development cannot progress far, yet development is essential to attaining security. With civilian aid agencies impaired by prohibitive security conditions and burdensome bureaucratic requirements, the Department of Defense (DOD) has, for the first time in 60 years, become a dominant player in creating the conditions for economic growth in conflict areas
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, United States, Iraq
  • Author: Bruce Baker
  • Publication Date: 06-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: PRISM
  • Institution: National Defense University Press
  • Abstract: Postconflict is, unfortunately, not always a suitable descriptor of societies where a peace agreement has been signed and a transitional government installed. Violence does not stop on the day of the public signing of the treaty. Large numbers of unemployed and (in the short term) unemployable youths, often armed or with access to arms, loiter on the streets. They have had little opportunity to gain education in the preceding years, but have learned that violence is the key to accessing resources and status. The former security forces or informal armed groups and militias that they have been part of have, over many years, provided a whole range of roles: social support group, family, employer, provider, escape ladder from rural poverty, and source of status. Hence, whether these groups are officially disbanded or not, the youths look to their former general-patron and their ex-fighting colleagues as their surrogate “clan” in times of trouble. Violence may well live on in their minds, dreams, responses to conflict resolution, attitudes toward women, and methods of securing resources. No wonder, then, that the crime rates escalate in the cities where they now live, and no wonder that some militias remain in the countryside, looting and robbing, despite the official end of the war.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, War
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Robert Hoekstra, Charles Tucker Jr.
  • Publication Date: 03-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: PRISM
  • Institution: National Defense University Press
  • Abstract: Drawing on the lessons learned from coalition interventions in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Afghanistan, Iraq, and elsewhere, by mid-2004, a consensus developed within the executive branch, Congress, and among independent experts that the U.S. Government required a more robust capacity to prevent conflict (when possible) and (when necessary) to manage “Stabilization and Reconstruction Operations [SROs] in countries emerging from conflict or civil strife.”
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Government
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, United States, Iraq, Bosnia, Herzegovina, Kosovo
  • Author: Edward Burke
  • Publication Date: 03-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: PRISM
  • Institution: National Defense University Press
  • Abstract: The militarization of aid in conflict zones is now a reality and is likely to increase exponentially in the future. Stability operations are critical to the success of any viable counterinsurgency strategy. Yet in much of Afghanistan and Iraq, civilian officials working alone have proven incapable of successfully distributing and monitoring stabilization funds or implementing associated operations; thus, they have required close cooperation with the military. Many North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) countries have not adequately addressed deficiencies in models of civil-military cooperation, with severe repercussions for the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) mission in Afghanistan. Meanwhile, nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) and some government development agencies complain that the delivery of aid by the military can exacerbate the targeting of civilian aid workers. Highlighting the failure of civilian agencies to cooperate effectively with the military may provide temporary vindication to skeptics within the NGO community, but such criticism does not solve the critical dilemma of how to deliver reconstruction and humanitarian assistance to the most violent parts of Afghanistan and Iraq or other nonpermissive environments.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security, NATO
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Iraq
  • Author: C. David Welch
  • Publication Date: 03-2008
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Ambassadors Review
  • Institution: Council of American Ambassadors
  • Abstract: On November 27, 2007, President George W. Bush brought together Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas at the US Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland to launch renewed Israeli-Palestinian negotiations with the shared aspiration of concluding a permanent status agreement by the end of 2008. This landmark event demonstrated the commitment of the United States and of the parties themselves to realize President Bush's vision, first articulated in June 2002, of two states living side-by-side in peace and security. More than 40 Foreign Ministers attended the conference, representing a broad swathe of the international community including traditional European allies, 15 Arab states (plus the Palestinian Authority), and important Muslim states such as Indonesia, Malaysia and Pakistan. In a sense, Annapolis was the culmination of US and Quartet efforts that were reinvigorated following Israel's war with Hezbollah in the summer of 2006. But most importantly, Annapolis was the starting point for political negotiations now underway. Only such negotiations can lead to the establishment of an independent, viable, peaceful and prosperous Palestinian state that can be a source of stability and security for Israel and the broader Middle East.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, United States, Malaysia, Middle East, Israel, Palestine, Maryland
  • Author: Meliha Benli Altunisik
  • Publication Date: 04-2008
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: Turkey has been traditionally viewed mostly as a hard power in the Middle East, due to its military and economic strength. In recent years, however, there has been a discussion on Turkey's soft power. This article focuses on two aspects of Turkey's soft power in the region. First, Turkey's relevance to the debate on political and economic reform is discussed. It is argued that because of Turkey's internal transformations its attractiveness has increased. In addition to having assets, Turkey is generally more willing to project soft power as well as having increasing credibility in the region. Second, the article focuses on Turkey's use of soft power tools, especially its eagerness to play third party roles in the management and resolution of regional conflicts. Turkey's roles in the Israeli-Syrian, Israeli Palestinian and Lebanese conflicts are considered as an example. The article argues that Turkey's soft power has increased in these two aspects and yet it also elaborates on existing and possible constraints in this regard.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, International Political Economy
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Middle East
  • Author: Lourdes Martinez-Garrido
  • Publication Date: 09-2008
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: al Nakhlah
  • Institution: The Fletcher School, Tufts University
  • Abstract: In the BBC documentary, “War generation: Beirut,” snipers from the different warring factions are interviewed. One reveals how the inequalities between the awful housing conditions in which he and his family were living and the opulence that he saw in the city center created in him a deep feeling of anger. According to his confession, this bitter emotion was only mitigated when he took part in the destruction of the St. Georges Hotel, a landmark of the luxurious side of Beirut. Urban references in the snipers' memories of the war are a constant theme.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Civil Society
  • Political Geography: Lebanon, Durban