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  • Author: Helle Malmvig
  • Publication Date: 08-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: The Middle East regional security order is under rapid transformation. The Arab Uprisings and the Syrian War are changing not only the relationship between state and societies, but also some of the region's core norms and historical divisions. This report analyses key changes in regional security order the Middle East in the period after 2010. It identifies five key issues where regional order is changing: State-society relations Relations with the West and foreign policy posturing The impact of the Iran-Syria –Hezbollah Axis (the Resistance Front) and radical-moderate divide The Sunni-Shia rift and the rise of identity politics The Saudi-Qatar rivaling, and the role of the Muslim Brotherhood.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security, Civil War, Islam, Insurgency
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Arabia, Syria, Qatar
  • Author: Julie Elisabeth Pruzan-Jørgensen
  • Publication Date: 01-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: Islamic women's activism may appear a contradiction in terms to many Western audiences accustomed to presentations of Islam as counterproductive to the promotion of women's empowerment and the situation of women more generally. Yet in the Arab world (and beyond) many different groups and individuals – as scholars, as charity and welfare providers, and as religious or political activists – work to empower women based on Islamic arguments and references.
  • Topic: Gender Issues, Islam, Politics, Regime Change
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Arabia
  • Author: Lars Erslev Andersen
  • Publication Date: 06-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: The global balance of power is changing, and the role of the US as the only superpower is being challenged by emerging new powers and a still more powerful China. Nowhere is this more apparent than in the Persian Gulf. This Working Paper by DIIS researcher Lars Erslev Andersen argues that if we are fully to understand the developments in the Persian Gulf we need to analyze the Persian Gulf as a regional security complex in its own right. The argument is developed empirically with reference to the case of Bahrain.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, International Trade and Finance, International Affairs, Power Politics
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Middle East, Arabia, Bahrain
  • Author: Leila Stockmarr
  • Publication Date: 06-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: Changing with rapid speed, the current political geography of the occupied Palestinian territory has de facto come to undermine a two-state solution and is turning the official aim and end point of international negotiations at best into a naïve mirage for policymakers and at worst into a façade for a very different political game playing out in the occupied territory of the West Bank and Israeli-annexed East Jerusalem: that of Israel's ongoing territorial expansion into Palestinian land. The study shows how the settlement policies inside what are internationally-recognised Palestinian territories are not merely undermining the realisation of the two-state solution: the territorial claims put forward and pursued in practice and their anchoring in strategies of legitimisation reach far beyond international legal standards. This reveals a very different political narrative embedded at the core of the conflict from that projected by those images often appearing in the mainstream media and policy circles: a narrative of an ongoing struggle over land detached from any 'Peace Process' measures.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Political Violence, Treaties and Agreements, Territorial Disputes
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Israel, Palestine, Arabia
  • Author: Rune Friberg , Lyme
  • Publication Date: 10-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: Local demonstrations in the provincial town of Da'ra in March 2011 fuelled the eruption of unprecedented popular demonstrations and protests throughout Syria. The Syrian leadership's half-hearted promises of reforms were accompanied by brutal repression that propelled the conflict into escalating violence and ultimately a vicious and complex civil war. Dismayed by the unfolding events, a number of countries and regional organisations imposed sanctions on Syria with reference to the regime's grave human rights abuses from 29 April 2011 onwards. As the conflict has drawn out a substantial battery of international sanctions has been developed, most significantly by the USA, Turkey, the League of Arab States and the European Union. Aimed initially at bringing the repression to a halt and, later, to an increasing extent at weakening the Syrian regime, the sanctions have primarily targeted: equipment and material used for monitoring and repression; the Syrian oil and energy sector; the banking and financial sector; and there are also sanctions targeted at individuals believed either to be responsible for or assisting in the regime's oppression.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security, Infrastructure
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Arabia, Syria
  • Author: Martin Harrow
  • Publication Date: 05-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: Video-recorded decapitations have an enormous impact, they are cheap and easy, and they allow the terrorists to exploit the potential of the Internet. With these advantages, the tactic would have been expected to quickly spread across the globe as a favored tactic. Yet, years after its invention in 2002, this has not happened. This paper using evolutionary theory finds that video-recorded decapitations have not caught on for locally specific reasons: in the West because the tactic is less accessible than one might expect; in Iraq because of the unwillingness to be associated with Zarqawi, and in the Afghan context, it has not spread because it is mainly relevant for mobilizing resources from abroad, which is not a priority for the Taliban. These are however situational variables, and just as suicide bombings took years to spread, there may be campaigns of video-recorded decapitations as conditions change.
  • Topic: Terrorism, Armed Struggle, Counterinsurgency
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, Iraq, Middle East, Taliban
  • Author: Leila Stockmarr
  • Publication Date: 10-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: The emergence of new Islamist groups challenging Hamas from within is demarcating a new tendency towards inter-Islamist rivalry in Gaza. Based on original empirical data this report maps the Islamist milieu in Gaza. It offers a critical examination of how Hamas has governed Gaza since 2007 and why new Islamist groups in Gaza have emerged. The report argues that the phenomenon of new Islamists is diffuse and intangible. It does, however, relate to the question of the ideological price of governing in Palestine, and the repercussions of Hamas' rule and external policies upon the Islamist milieu in Gaza where, for the first time, an Islamist political body is in power. Two major aspects are motivating the emergence of new Islamist agendas: people's ideological grievances towards those in power and the instrumentalisation of ideology and religion in the midst of a power struggle between an increasingly authoritarian political body and its dissidents and challengers. In the face of governments which are failing to deliver, non-organised religious activity has become political power in Gaza.
  • Topic: Islam, Terrorism, Armed Struggle, Governance
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Palestine, Arabia, Gaza
  • Author: Lars Erslev Andersen
  • Publication Date: 10-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: Following the July 2005 London terrorist attacks the focus of anti-terrorism efforts has moved towards radicalisation within European societies and away from the conflicts in the Middle East and South Asia. This report argues that this shift in focus is based on a misconstrual of al-Qaida as it mistakes effect for cause. Based on an examination of the communication strategy of al-Qaida and the political rhetoric of Salafism the need for an analysis of militant Salafism in its political and societal context is demonstrated. The radicalisation theory is criticised and it is argued that the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as the increased focus on efforts to counter radicalisation within European societies more or less have failed because al-Qaida has been able to exploit this strategy and reorganise itself around an operational centre in Pakistan. The report concludes that only politically viable solutions in South Asia and the Middle East can effectively suppress al-Qaida and militant Salafism.
  • Topic: Islam, Terrorism, Mass Media, Counterinsurgency
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, Afghanistan, Europe, South Asia, Middle East
  • Author: Marie-Louise Koch Wegter, Karina Pultz
  • Publication Date: 11-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: In 2003, the Danish government launched the Partnership for Dialogue and Reform (PDR) with the dual objective of 1) establishing a basis for improved dialogue, understanding and cooperation between Denmark and the Arab region; and 2) supporting existing local reform processes in the Middle East and North Africa. With the first objective, which is the focus of this study, PDR was intended to demonstrate the trivialization of Huntington's thesis of a clash of civilizations that Al Qaeda, only few years before, had brought back to the limelight of international politics and endeavoured to prove. PDR was to show populations in Europe and the Arab world that there was indeed a strong, shared agenda between the so-called West and the mother-region of the Islamic world and that mutual misconceptions and prejudice could be overcome through the joined pursuit of this agenda of progress.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Conflict Prevention, Islam, Bilateral Relations
  • Political Geography: Europe, Middle East, Arabia, Denmark, North Africa
  • Author: Rune Friberg Lyme
  • Publication Date: 07-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: Managing external communication has proven an increasingly significant concern to Lebanese Hizb'allah. This report argues that the organisation has developed a highly sophisticated communication strategy that enables it to address a variety of target groups efficiently with differentiated aspects of its particular ideologically informed message, using the particular media platform best suited for this purpose. In doing so, the communication serves two main objectives: first, to disseminate aspects of the organisation's religiously informed world-view, ideology, values, motives and moral codes; and secondly, to conduct psychological warfare against its enemies.
  • Topic: Islam, Terrorism, Armed Struggle
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Arabia
  • Author: Riina Isotalo
  • Publication Date: 08-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: Taking its cue from the literature on return migration and repatriation processes as well as the Palestinian refugee problem, this paper looks first at the issue of return to place of origin or not. Return migration to the West Bank and Gaza Strip is then considered in the light of this schema, and stipulations of the politicisation of a transnational paradigm and the structural invisibility of return migration are highlighted. The present paper argues that in the Palestinian context, return is a political issue for all parties concerned and that Palestinian return migration has been structurally invisible. The paper concludes that politicisation of a transnational paradigm should be acknowledged in studying Palestinians' transnational mobility and relations because otherwise the fact that some transnational practises might aim at permanent return can pass unnoticed.
  • Topic: Development, Migration, Politics
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Gaza
  • Author: Erik Boel
  • Publication Date: 09-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: From Marrakesh to Cairo and from Ramallah to Riyadh, the Arabs debate and reflect on their own society as never done before. However, the road to democratisation in that region is long and winding. This paper analyses the experience the Americans have acquired regarding that goal which the US has placed on top of the international agenda. Experience, which can also be useful in a Danish context.
  • Topic: Democratization, Development, Government
  • Political Geography: Middle East
  • Author: Peter Viggo Jakobsen
  • Publication Date: 04-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: The report analyses the contributions made by the provincial reconstruction teams (PRTs) on the ground in Afghanistan. It concludes that the PRTs are successful because they have helped to extend the authority of the Afghan government beyond Kabul, facilitated reconstruction and dampened violence. At the same time, it is equally clear that they cannot address the underlying causes of insecurity in Afghanistan. The PRTs only make sense as part of an overall strategy in which they serve to buy time while other instruments are employed to tackle the military threat posed by the Taliban and Al Qaida; the infighting between the warlords; the increased lawlessness and banditry; and the booming opium poppy cultivation and the drug trade. A comprehensive strategy that couples the deployment of more PRTs by NATO with determined action against these causes of instability is therefore required. Future PRTs should be based on the UK PRT model, which is generally considered the most successful. To heighten its profile in Afghanistan, Denmark should consider establishing a PRT of its own or contributing to the establishment of a joint Nordic PRT.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, NATO, Development
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, United Kingdom, Middle East, Denmark
  • Author: Michael Irving Jensen
  • Publication Date: 02-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: Soon after the signing of the Declaration of Principles (DoP) in Washington on September 13, 1993 some forty donor states and organisations met and pledged to donate US$ 2.4 billion over a five-year period (i.e. coinciding with the transitional five year (1994-1999) period of the Oslo process). As the peace process during the late 1990s was characterised by stalemate, the donor community in October 1998 (coinciding with the signing of the Wye River memorandum) decided to extend their aid and to support the Palestinians with another US$3.3 billion for the period of 1999-2004 (Sayigh Shikaki, 1999). Although not all the promised aid has been disbursed, the PNA has during the past decade become increasingly dependent on foreign aid, and today the Palestinians are among the most receiving entities per capita worldwide.
  • Topic: Development, Human Welfare, Peace Studies
  • Political Geography: Washington, Middle East, Palestine
  • Author: Bjørn Moller
  • Publication Date: 12-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: The paper, written for a joint project of the Gulf Research Center in Dubai and the Bertelsmann Foundation, explores whether the lessons from the transformation of Europe from a conflict formation into a security community could be transferred to the Persian Gulf region. It records and analyses the European experience with "security models" actually applied such as balance-ofpower, nuclear deterrence, arms control and confidence-building, democratic peace, regional integration etc. as well as various alternative models such as common security and defensive restructuring of the armed forces. It further analyses the structure and dynamics of the Persian Gulf region, finding few of the European models to be really applicable. It concludes with outlining two different scenarios for the development of the region after the invasion and occupation of Iraq.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Europe, Middle East
  • Author: Anders Tang Friborg
  • Publication Date: 07-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: The key challenge in the Afghan post-war situation has been how to re-establish a sovereign and effective state structure in a country affected by more than two decades of conflict and war. Since the fall of the Taliban, Afghanistan has been facing one of the most comprehensive state-building exercises in recent years. Many of the state institutions were formally in place for the Karzai government, but the capacity was limited and they were competing with various parallel command structures. The re-establishment of a state can be analysed along many different dimensions, but three overall categories have been chosen to structure this paper: (i) the authority and control over the use of force throughout the entire territory of the state; (ii) the establishment of a legitimate government with executive powers at central and local level, and an independent judicial system; and (iii) the authority to regulate the economic resources of the country.
  • Topic: Security, War
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Middle East, Arab Countries
  • Author: Dietrich Jung
  • Publication Date: 09-2001
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: “There is only one way to escape these dangers, which is to emulate the progress of the Europeans in science, industry and military and legal organization, in other words to equal them in civilization. And the only way to do this is to enter European civilization completely” (Ziya Gökalp1876-1924). These words of Ziya Gökalp, the most prominent nationalist intellectual of the late Ottoman Empire, whom Mustafa Kemal Atatürk himself called the “intellectual father of the new Republic”, nicely reveal the historical paradox behind Turkish-European relations. They are an expression of both Turkey's desire to be acknowledged as a European state and the deeply rooted Turkish mistrust vis-à-vis the intentions of Europe. The victim of European power politics wants to be equal to its victimizers. On the basis of this paradox, this article claims that the mutual suspicions that have marred Turkish-EU relations cannot be understood without taking the historical legacies of Ottoman-European relations into account. In particular, it presents a critique of the flawed strategy of some circles that try to facilitate Turkey's EU accession by exploiting the country's geo-strategic assets. In putting the focus on security issues, the article will unmask the contradictions in this strategy, which rather contributes to maintaining the historically caused, distorted and sometimes hypocritical communication between Turkey and the EU.
  • Topic: NATO
  • Political Geography: Europe, Turkey, Middle East
  • Author: Thomas Diez
  • Publication Date: 08-1999
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: Driving me through Ankara only a couple of hours after I disembarked the plane, my Turkish colleague points to the latest apartment buildings and a hypermodern shopping mall further down the road. These places, he points out, would be ready for the EU. If only all of Turkey would already look like them - but eventually, it will. Only give us some time. And indeed, the economic change over the past decade seems remarkable. Then Prime Minister Turgut Özal's final abandonment of statism, one of the six pillars of Kemalism, in favour of a widespread, although still restricted, liberalisation strategy, looks like bearing visible fruits. Despite the Turkish economy nonetheless still experiencing a great deal of difficulties (inflation in 1999 was still above 60%, and that already was a huge improvement on previous years), my conversations in the following week centre on a different issue - Turkey's foreign policy. With its 40,000 soldiers in northern Cyprus, its continually problematic relationship with Greece, its ventures into northern Iraq and threatenings towards Syria, Turkey's foreign policy is, together with human rights issues, one of the central stumbling blocs for starting membership negotiations after the acknowledgement of candidate status in Helsinki. In Cyprus's southern part, the economic problem of the day is its overheated stockmarket. My friend multiplied his assets within half a year. More and more villas are mushrooming in beautiful settings, and the younger generation in particular is very well off. Accordingly, Cyprus is the forerunner in the enlargement negotiations, with a GNP per capita above some of the current EU member states (Pace 2000: 122). No wonder then that my conversation again focus on what most Cypriot politicians regard a domestic issue, but which at least has a strong foreign policy aspect to it: its policy towards the northern part of the island, 'under Turkish occupation' as the official labelling goes, and thereby also to Turkey. Despite Cyprus's status in the negotiations, its probable future membership is thus overshadowed by the conflict on the island.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Government, International Organization
  • Political Geography: Europe, Turkey, Middle East, Ankara
  • Author: Bjørn Moller
  • Publication Date: 03-1999
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: There is little doubt that Iraq was in blatant violation of the 1991 ceasefire agreement in general and of the famous “mother of all resolutions”, UNSCR 687 (3 April 1991) in particular, in which the extent and modalities of the disarmament of the defeated aggressor were detailed: The Security Council..... 8. Decides that Iraq shall unconditionally accept the destruction, removal, or rendering harmless, under international supervision, of: a) all chemical and biological weapons and all stocks of agents and all related subsystems and components and all research, development, support and manufacturing facilities; b) all ballistic missiles with a range greater than 150 kilometres... 34. Decides to remain seized of the matter and to take such further steps as may be required for the implementation of this resolution and to secure peace and security in the area.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, Arms Control and Proliferation, International Law, United Nations
  • Political Geography: United States, Middle East
  • Author: Bjørn Moller
  • Publication Date: 03-1998
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: The paper is introduced by an analysis of the concept of region, followed by an application of this analytical framework to the Persian Gulf region. Several problems in this region are identified, including a seemingly open-ended arms race and a significant risk of war. As a possible remedy to these problems, the author proposes a policy of Common Security, intended to satisfy the legitimate security problems of all states in the region. As a consequence, he recommends efforts to ensure the strictly defensive nature of the military postures of regional states, to be implemented unilaterally as well as by means of arms control negotiations and regulations of the international arms trade. The paper concludes with a Postscript on the Iraqi crisis of 1997/98.
  • Topic: Security, Arms Control and Proliferation, Peace Studies
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Middle East, Persia