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  • Author: Amitai Etzioni
  • Publication Date: 09-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Politics
  • Institution: Palgrave Macmillan
  • Abstract: In May 2013 the Pentagon released an unclassified summary of the top-secret Air-Sea Battle (ASB) Concept. ASB serves to focus the Pentagon's efforts to organize, train and equip the armed forces against advanced weapons systems that threaten the US military's unfettered freedom of access and action in the global commons. While officials claim ASB is merely improve service interoperability and could be applied in any number of conflict situations, this article argues that in fact the doctrine represents the Pentagon's plan for confronting China's increasingly capable and confident military. This raises two urgent questions: how does ASB fit into an overall US foreign policy toward China – and, if a military confrontation cannot be avoided, are there less risky alternatives, such a maritime blockade, that can achieve the same ends as ASB?
  • Topic: Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: China
  • Author: Roger E Kanet
  • Publication Date: 07-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Politics
  • Institution: Palgrave Macmillan
  • Abstract: Throughout the Cold War, studies of Soviet foreign policy were generally 'atheoretical'. In so far as they were based on theoretical models from international relations, those models tended to be some version of 'realism' or 'neorealism'. Over the past two decades, since the end of the Cold War, other approaches – especially those based on 'constructivism' – have challenged the domination of the 'realist' framework in studies of Russian foreign policy. The articles in this special issue of International Politics examine the strengths and weaknesses of the various theoretical frameworks employed to explain Russian policy.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Cold War
  • Political Geography: Russia, Soviet Union
  • Author: Joan DeBardeleben
  • Publication Date: 07-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Politics
  • Institution: Palgrave Macmillan
  • Abstract: The improved relations between Russia and the European Union (EU) in the 1990s were followed by a rise in tension since 1999. This article argues that constructivism can provide important insights into the basis of continuing difficulties. Drawing on the nature of the two actors, the author argues that the foreign policy identities of both actors are in a formative process, and thus the construction of inter-subjective meanings has the potential to be a particularly transformative element in the relationship. Both the Russian Federation and the EU are relatively new as regional and global actors, and both are in the process of forming their foreign policy identities, although in quite different contexts. Neither the EU nor Russia has developed a strategic conception for the relationship, and political discourse often obstructs communication rather than furthering the generation of inter-subjective meanings. The article argues that a constructivist analysis can help to expose the deep interconnections between normative disagreements, conflicting constructions of interests and differing concepts of governance.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe
  • Author: Valentina Feklyunina
  • Publication Date: 07-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Politics
  • Institution: Palgrave Macmillan
  • Abstract: Russia's relations with Poland in the post-Soviet period have been greatly affected by their divergent historical narratives that have shaped their dominant identities and have been further promoted by the political elites to maintain these identities. However, Moscow's attempts to project a more positive image in Poland in recent years have involved re-articulating some elements of the official narrative. Drawing on social constructivism, this article presents a theoretical framework that can be applied to an analysis of Russia's foreign policy, and illustrates its benefits by examining Russia's policy towards Poland.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: Russia, Poland, Soviet Union, Moscow
  • Author: Maria Raquel Freire
  • Publication Date: 07-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Politics
  • Institution: Palgrave Macmillan
  • Abstract: Russian foreign policy is both an expression of Moscow's internal political dealings around the presidential administration and the bureaucracies that support it, with their focus on the shaping and making of foreign policy, as well as its implementation, which is grounded in Russia's stated goal of its reassertion in the international system as a major power. This is a process that is embedded in continuous interaction between different levels of agency and the construction of understandings and perceptions, both at the domestic and the international level. Looking at foreign policy as a process, the article argues that the study of foreign policy should go beyond strictly positivist assumptions, as relations between the different actors and the foreign policy approaches that these suggest are embedded in structural, material and ideational dimensions. Departing from this conceptual frame, the article looks at Russian foreign policy, seeking to understand how the internal/external linkages take place in the process of policy construction, looking in particular at socialisation processes and normative adaptation.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: Russia, Moscow
  • Author: Licínia Simão
  • Publication Date: 07-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Politics
  • Institution: Palgrave Macmillan
  • Abstract: This article looks at Russian foreign policy from the perspective of the individuals responsible for decision making. The focus on the individual level of analysis aims to shed light on the evolving dynamics of Russian foreign policymaking and complement existing analysis on the role of ideas, world views and influential groups in foreign policy analysis, with insights from neo-classical realism and constructivism. Whereas the former sees the state as the transmission belt between international power distributions and political action, the latter underlines the roles of ideas and norms to explain agency. In this context, the article is well placed to deal with the evolving relationship between leaders' views and situational constraints, including other actors involved in setting foreign policy priorities and the external environment. How are decisions taken in the context of Russia's foreign policy under President Putin and Medvedev? What is the role of the presidents from both a legal (constitutional) and a practical perspective? The article maps Russian political leaders' decisions, under Putin and Medvedev, using two case studies: Putin's decision to support the US-led post-9/11 war on terror and Medvedev's decision to go to war with Georgia in 2008.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States
  • Author: Nikita Lomagin
  • Publication Date: 07-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Politics
  • Institution: Palgrave Macmillan
  • Abstract: Among the domestic interest groups that play a role in influencing Russian foreign policy the Russian Orthodox Church has become an important actor. Its most important role has been that of supporting the emergence of a new nationalist Russian identity to undergird Russian policy. On specific policy issues, it has advocated the political reunification of Eastern Slavic Orthodox peoples, the emergence of a multipolar international system and the restatement of traditional values as the foundation for the pursuit of global human rights.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Human Rights
  • Political Geography: Russia
  • Author: Bertil Nygren
  • Publication Date: 07-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Politics
  • Institution: Palgrave Macmillan
  • Abstract: This essay presents the argument that analysts, crystal ball readers and general future-tellers generally should to a much higher extent rely on claimed interests of great powers than on resources alone in predictions of future behaviour of great powers. Analysts should analyse what states want to do given what they could do, as much as analyse what states could do based on their resources, or analysts should analyse state policy intentions as much as state policy resources.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: Russia
  • Author: John Berryman
  • Publication Date: 07-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Politics
  • Institution: Palgrave Macmillan
  • Abstract: The article provides a broad overview of the fluctuating connections between the controversial and ambiguous field of modern geopolitics and Russia. Given the pivotal significance of the Russian challenge within the early hypotheses of Mahan and Mackinder, the article first explores those distinctive geographical and spatial considerations that helped shape the development of the Russian Empire. The place of geopolitics in the Cold War is then reviewed, including both its policy orientation and the exchanges between the proponents of geopolitical realism and liberal internationalism. In conclusion, the article examines the post-Cold War renaissance of geopolitics, reviewing both theoretical developments and policy implications for Russian foreign policy.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Politics
  • Political Geography: Russia
  • Author: Nicole Mellow, Peter Trubowitz
  • Publication Date: 03-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Politics
  • Institution: Palgrave Macmillan
  • Abstract: The attacks of September 11 and the resulting war on terrorism present a puzzle to conventional explanations of foreign policy bipartisanship. Public anxiety about the international environment increased sharply after the attacks in 2001, but this did not translate into greater foreign policy consensus despite the initial predictions of many analysts. In this article, we advance a theory of foreign policy bipartisanship that emphasizes its domestic underpinnings to explain the absence of consensus in Washington. We argue that bipartisanship over foreign policy depends as much on domestic economic and electoral conditions as on the international security environment. Using multivariate analysis of roll call voting in the House of Representatives from 1889 to 2008, we show that bipartisanship over foreign policy is most likely not only when the country faces a foreign threat but also when the national economy is strong and when party coalitions are regionally diverse. This was the case during the Cold War. Despite concern about terrorism in recent years, economic volatility and regional polarization have made bipartisan cooperation over foreign policy elusive.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Climate Change, Cold War
  • Political Geography: Washington, Central Asia
  • Author: Sandra Halperin
  • Publication Date: 03-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Politics
  • Institution: Palgrave Macmillan
  • Abstract: This article relates the Anglo-American invasion of Iraq to fundamental aspects of Anglo-American political economy, including the increasing integration of the British and US economies, and the largely Anglo-American-led project of global economic restructuring currently taking place. Part I discusses the political economy of UK–US relations and the evolution of an Anglo-American military–industrial conglomerate. Part II links the Anglo-American relations and interests detailed in the first part of the article to an on-going project of global reconstruction. With this as a context, Part III reviews the history of British and US foreign policies towards Iraq and the culmination of these policies in the invasion of the country. The conclusions draw implications for the overall nature and direction of current trends of change.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, America
  • Author: Tony Smith
  • Publication Date: 03-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Politics
  • Institution: Palgrave Macmillan
  • Abstract: The secular notion of American exceptionalism divorced from explicit racial or religious expression and based on governmental institutions and civic virtue – America as 'the last, best hope of earth' (Lincoln), America as 'the ark of the liberties of the world' (Melville) – goes back to the American Revolution. Nevertheless, before Wilson the conceptual framework that could explain the rightness of American global expansion in terms of bringing democratic government to others had not been well formulated. With Wilson, by contrast, the United States for the first time could present in secular terms, concepts argued from a cultural and historical perspective that made the expansion of American influence around the globe legitimate, not only in terms of national security but to the benefit of all mankind. Here is the key, I would propose, to the self-confidence and self-righteousness, which has been the hallmark of American foreign policy for a century now. Democracy promotion (associated with open markets economically and multilateralism) reflected America's cultural superiority (inherited from racial thinking), as well as its mission to help others (descended from its religious background). In Wilson's hands, an enduring framework for American foreign policy was born, one that remains with us to this day.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: United States, America
  • Author: Lee Marsden
  • Publication Date: 03-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Politics
  • Institution: Palgrave Macmillan
  • Abstract: US foreign policy owes much to a malleable religious identity, shaped by foundational myths, and that this religious dimension has, until recently, been largely neglected in the US foreign policy literature to the detriment of our understanding of how America's status as global hegemon is formed, sustained and expanded. This article explores the role of the foundational myths of manifest destiny, exceptionalism and innocent nation. These foundational myths are explored as they develop into a civil religion espoused by successive presidents from George to the present day. The article considers how Barack Obama has utilised civil religion to maximise domestic support for a foreign policy agenda, which seeks to maintain US hegemony through a more conciliatory and multilateral approach than his predecessor in the White House. Examples of the use of soft power through missionary endeavour and the evangelicalisation of military hard power beginning during the George W. Bush presidency are detailed in order to reveal an Obama presidency that continues to define itself in religious terms while providing opportunities for religious actors to continue to play a role in representing US interests beyond its shores.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: United States, America, Washington
  • Author: Richard Jackson
  • Publication Date: 03-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Politics
  • Institution: Palgrave Macmillan
  • Abstract: This article explores the social and political construction of US counterterrorism policy since the onset of the war on terrorism. The first part of the article focuses on the period of the Bush administration. It explores the cultural grammar expressed in the language of the war on terror, as well as administration attempts to 'sell' the policy to the American public. In addition, it explores the ways in which the war on terror has been institutionalised in counterterrorism practices and institutions, and how it has been normalised and embedded in American popular culture and linked by the national identity narratives surrounding '9/11' and the negative ideograph of 'terrorism', to American identity. Section two of the article explores the discourse and practice of the war on terrorism in the initial period of the Obama administration. It questions the extent to which counterterrorism policy can be rewritten, given the degree to which it accords with the deep cultural grammar of American identity and is now a well-established ideograph, the extent to which it has been institutionalised in American political practice and embedded in American culture and the ways in which it is rooted in the political-economic interests of the American polity and empire. Finally, the article briefly reflects on questions of change and identity in the construction of US foreign policy.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: United States, America
  • Author: Michael J. Boyle
  • Publication Date: 03-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Politics
  • Institution: Palgrave Macmillan
  • Abstract: Why have two successive US administrations concluded that fighting terrorism must involve democracy promotion? This assumption became prevalent in US political discourse following the events of September 11 despite the fact that the empirical evidence linking democracy and terrorism is weak or ambiguous. More strikingly, it has persisted even after the missions to establish democracies in Afghanistan and Iraq have led to increasing violence, including a worldwide increase in terrorist attacks. This article argues that the link between democracy and terrorism was established by the combined effect of three factors: (a) the framing of the September 11 attacks in a way that increased the receptivity to this conceptual opposition between freedom and fear; (b) the ideological influence of the Wilsonian tradition, as manifested today in an unusual consensus between modern neo-conservatives and liberal internationalists on the desirability of democratic reform as a means of changing foreign policy behaviour; and (c) a powerful bipartisan domestic constituency in favour of democracy promotion. Owing to these three factors, the contraposition of democracy and terrorism in American political discourse is effectively over-determined because it mirrors the dominant ideological and political preferences of American elites. This fixed preference for democracy promotion explains why the Obama Administration has remained wedded to the binary distinction between freedom and fear in its public statements despite its efforts to break in style and substance with the policies of its predecessor.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Iraq, America
  • Author: Michael Smith, Natee Vichitsorasatra
  • Publication Date: 05-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Politics
  • Institution: Palgrave Macmillan
  • Abstract: European Union (EU)–Asia relations raise linked problems (on the one hand) of EU collective action and identity and (on the other hand) of cooperation. The relationship is characterized by complexity and variety in three dimensions: first, 'voices' and history; second, institutional engagement and structure; and third, issue structure. In order to explore the implications of this complexity and variety, and to generate propositions for further research, we deploy International Relations theories based on material interests, ideas and institutions. These help us to demonstrate not only the application of 'analytical theory' but also the role of 'practitioner theory' in the evolution of relations between the EU and Asia, and thus to reflect systematically on the problems of collective action and cooperation identified at the beginning of the article.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: Europe, Asia
  • Author: Cesar de Prado
  • Publication Date: 05-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Politics
  • Institution: Palgrave Macmillan
  • Abstract: This article argues that multidimensional regional processes have an external projection that may be explained by their semi-liberal governance structures. It analyses the European Union (EU) and the East Asian grouping of countries, focussing on the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the active participation of Japan, South Korea and the People's Republic of China within ASEAN Plus Three. Both regional processes have a multi-level external projection as seen in their links with key states (especially the United States), other regional processes, and global regimes like the UN and the G20. In both cases, one finds that public actors have to collaborate with private actors, although they do so in a restricted fashion and often using think tanks and elite public-private intellectual (track-2) actors. The comparative analysis concludes with some hypotheses regarding the consolidation of regional processes in the world.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, United Nations
  • Political Geography: Russia, China, Taiwan, East Asia, South Korea, Southeast Asia
  • Author: Georg Wiessala
  • Publication Date: 05-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Politics
  • Institution: Palgrave Macmillan
  • Abstract: This article investigates EU foreign policies regarding Human Rights with Asia. The perspective adopted here argues for a consideration of selected, social-constructivist, perspectives. The article emphasizes ideas, identities, values, educational exchange and human rights in EU policy towards Asia. Through a number of case studies, the article demonstrates that there is both an 'enabling' and an 'inhibitory' human rights dynamism in EU–Asia dialogue. The article suggests some ways of translating this into policies. It proposes a more inclusive, 'holistic', understanding of human rights discourse in East–West relations.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, Human Rights
  • Political Geography: Europe, Asia
  • Author: Steven Hurst
  • Publication Date: 03-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Politics
  • Institution: Palgrave Macmillan
  • Abstract: Several observers have argued that the radical transformation of American foreign policy wrought by George W. Bush is already over. They argue that the 'Bush Revolution' was merely a result of the short-term conjuncture of neoconservative influence and the impact of September 11, 2001, and that this temporary deviation has been ended by the American failure in Iraq. Yet the causes of the Bush Revolution are more fundamental and long-term than this argument implies. It is in the combination of the shift to a militarily unipolar international system and the dominance of the Republican Party by its conservative wing that the real roots of the Bush foreign policy lie, and neither condition is likely to alter in the foreseeable future. Moreover, although the Iraq War has led to some shifts in policy, the Republicans' selection of John McCain as their presidential candidate confirms the continued vitality of the Bush Revolution.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, War
  • Political Geography: Iraq, America
  • Author: Inderjeet Parmar
  • Publication Date: 03-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Politics
  • Institution: Palgrave Macmillan
  • Abstract: Several tendencies in US foreign policy politics generated a new foreign policy consensus set to outlast the Bush administration. Three developments are analysed: increasing influence of conservative organizations - such as the Heritage Foundation, and of neoconservatism; and, particularly, democratic peace theory-inspired liberal interventionism. 9-11 fused those three developments, though each tendency retained its 'sphere of action': Right and Left appear to have forged an historically effective ideology of global intervention, an enduring new configuration of power. This paper analyses a key liberal interventionists' initiative - the Princeton Project on National Security - that sits at the heart of thinking among centrists, liberal and conservative alike. This paper also assesses the efficacy of the new consensus by exploring the foreign policy positions and advisers of President-elect Barack Obama and his defeated Republican rival, Senator John McCain, concluding that the new president is unlikely significantly to change US foreign policy.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: United States