International Relations

Published by SAGE Publications
Online ISSN: 0047-1178
Publications
Article
In this article Professor Elshtain responds to the critiques offered by the symposium and, five years on from 11 September 2001 and three years on from the initial publication of Just War Against Terror, revisits her analysis of the moral issues facing America and the world in the context of the war on terror. She offers a stout defense of her original claim that the war on terror has presented America with many tough decisions to make, decisions regarding emergency ethics and the best way to carry on the struggle against global terrorism. Along the way, she expands upon her understanding of tragedy, her debt to Augustinian just war thought, and her conviction that America must assume some responsibility for the management of international peace and security.
 
Article
The events of September 11 at first seemed to change the Bush administration's attitude towards multilateralism. But this now appears to have been a temporary shift of emphasis and once again the administration is pursuing an essentially unilateralist foreign policy. This article looks at the impact of September 11 on US foreign policy, focusing specifically on the implications the events have for US power and for the structure of world politics. The article contextualizes US foreign policy by discussing the debates over unipolarity that followed the end of the cold war. It then looks at the interpretations offered by Francis Fukuyama, Samuel Huntington and Benjamin Barber. It then discusses the implications of September 11, before looking at the nature of current US foreign policy, the relative power, both `soft' and `hard', of the US and the prospects for future world order. The article concludes that world orders are always in the interests of some and that current unilateralist US policies are unlikely to create a more humane world order and might even be against US long-term interests.
 
Article
Twentieth-century international law was in large part a struggle to reduce the evil of war by codifying a restrictive doctrine of ‘just war’. The US Administration under George W. Bush has made concerted efforts to resurrect an expansive doctrine of just war: one rooted in broad moral, rather than restrictive legal, assessments of threats and punishments. Existing rules ask us to pause and inquire whether war is necessary and just. The debate over Iraq laid bare failings in these rules, requiring action. Yet the need to limit resort to war is as great as ever. Legal rules cannot prevent the use of force; nor can they prevent violations that states perceive to be in their fundamental interests. Rather, international law provides a framework against which states’ actions are assessed, and imposes a heavy burden of justification. International law requires more specific, testable claims than can be offered by the rhetoric of evil.
 
Article
This article explores the construction of security in the contemporary Australian context, arguing that the Australian government has represented, and attempted to construct support for, a statist, exclusionary and militaristic conception or discourse of security. This understanding of security is evident in the government’s representation and response to a range of issues since 2001, including asylum-seekers, terrorism and the war in Iraq. In exploring the processes through which the Australian government has elaborated this discourse and sought to create resonance for it in a domestic context, I argue that there remain important bases not simply for contesting this conception of security, but for acknowledging immanent possibilities for the understanding of security in the Australian context to change in normatively progressive ways. Acknowledging these possibilities is important in identifying the potential for progressive change in Australian security policy, while also shedding light on the role of security in the modern political project.
 
Article
The article examines how multi-ethnic publics negotiate questions of legitimacy. It explains the deep public scepticism surrounding the Iraq War (2003) and subsequent security policy, not just in terms of declining trust in the PM Tony Blair and in the news media, but as a corrosive “legitimacy deficit” with significant implications for the prospects of participatory democracy and multicultural citizenship. The arguments are grounded in a collaborative ethnography of news audiences across the UK, including multilingual and multi-ethnic audiences. Using a Weberian framework, the article analyses the patterning of interviewees’ responses to the justifications given for going to war, and it assesses the implications of the “legitimacy deficit” for notions of security and UK security policy.
 
Article
Little has been said in the international relations (IR) literature so far about the connections between secular ideas and identification of risk. However, there are striking parallels. ‘Western’, secular discourse(s) have framed Islamist terrorism as slippery, uncontainable, mysterious and strange. Similarly, risks are often described as ‘diverse, amorphous and qualitative’. Starting from this observation, this article explores connections between ongoing conversations about the politics of risk and insights from the emerging literature on secularism and international politics. Using the British ‘Prevent’ agenda of 2005−09 as a case study, it asks how it is that political secularism and cultural secularity have contributed to perceptions of danger emanating from the Muslim population. It explores the potential implications of these perceptions for state security policy. The article also explores Foucault’s account of pastoral governance as a potentially useful framework for scholars of risk, particularly for describing the ambivalence inherent in much risk-management practice.
 
Article
This article examines what moral theories are available to justify the harming of the innocent in war. Focusing on US conduct of the war against the Taliban and al-Qaeda, the article examines how far the US is responsible for the deaths of Afghan civilians. Although US actions have been justified in terms of respect for the Just War principle of non-combatant immunity, the article shows how this principle rested uneasily with alternative moral theories of war that influenced the process of target selection. These are the realist doctrine of necessity in war and Michael Walzer's theories of `supreme emergency' and `war is hell'. Just War theory, realism and `supreme emergency' acknowledge moral responsibility for a state's conduct of war. But the doctrine that `war is hell' seeks to transfer any responsibility for the cruelty of war to the enemy. The article argues that, whilst the Taliban and al-Qaeda are responsible for exposing Afghan civilians to US attacks, this does not absolve US political and military leaders of responsibility for their conduct of the war.
 
Article
Pre-publicity for the final volume of Harold Macmillan’s memoirs, At the End of the Day, stressed that it would provide the British side of the Cuban missile crisis for the first time. The Churchillian model chosen, changes required by the Cabinet Office and Macmillan’s desire to rebuke those political opponents who claimed that the crisis demonstrated a lack of British influence in Washington, however ensured a focus on his personal relationship with President Kennedy. His larding the text with contemporary observations from his diaries also skewed Macmillan’s account and, in particular, underplayed the significance of British moves at the United Nations in New York to secure a credible United Nations inspection regime and a US guarantee of the inviolability of Cuba. Careful reconstruction of Macmillan’s real-time experience of the Cuban missile crisis demonstrates the limitations of his own account of this event.
 
Article
In contemporary international political theory, ‘Cosmopolitanism’ is typically juxtaposed to ‘Realism’, with many varieties of the former building on Kantian moral and political ideals, and the latter presumably rejecting Kant and his aspiration for far-reaching global reform. In agreement with a growing body of scholarship that seeks to challenge conventional views of Realism, this essay attends to the surprisingly complex views of the Kantian legacy (including Hans Kelsen, perhaps the most important neo-Kantian international thinker in the last century) within its ranks. Not all Realists have been unambiguously critical of Kant, and when in fact they have criticized him, they have done so for many different reasons. First-generation Realists (e.g. E. H. Carr, John Herz, Hans Morgenthau, Reinhold Niebuhr, Frederick Schuman and Georg Schwarzenberger) offered an ambivalent reading of Kantianism consistent with their endorsement of the ultimate desirability of major alterations to the global status quo, whereas second-generation Realists (i.e. Henry Kissinger and Kenneth Waltz) tended to read Kant so as to transform him into a forerunner of their own anti-reformist and institutionally conservative versions of Realism. An examination of Realism’s rendezvous with Kantianism not only helps draw a more differentiated portrayal of Realism than is still found in much scholarship, but it also helps us understand how Realism dramatically changed within a relatively short space of time during the immediate postwar decades. It also points to some important potential starting points for a more fruitful exchange between Cosmopolitans and Realists.
 
Article
Transnational human rights networks span the globe, and have become more numerous and influential since the 1970s. Yet we still know relatively little about the strategic interaction between transnational advocates and their targeted state actors. Focusing on such a strategic interaction, we argue that transnational advocacy is less a diffusion of authority away from state actors than a change in the ways in which the politics of accountability is conducted between sophisticated state and non-state actors. In particular, we show that targeted actors (e.g. impugned states) can develop their own discursive capacities to challenge the facts and interpretations offered by transnational advocates and ‘turn the tables’ on them, expanding the scope of accountability to include the conduct of NGOs themselves. Empirically, we examine the efforts made by Human Rights Watch (HRW) to make the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) accountable during the Second Lebanon War of 2006 and the Gaza war of 2008–9.
 
Article
Examining a range of policy areas in which the European Union (EU) acts externally – notably trade, development, climate change and foreign and security policy – this article considers the notion that the years since the mid-2000s have witnessed a decline in EU actorness/effectiveness. In evaluating EU performance, the article employs the interrelated concepts of presence, denoting EU status and influence; opportunity, denoting the external context of EU action; and capability, referring to EU policy processes and instruments, with particular reference to the impact of the 2009 Lisbon Treaty. It is contended that achievement of the increased capability envisaged by the Lisbon Treaty, together with resolution of the Eurozone crisis, with its deleterious effect upon the Union’s presence, would not fully compensate for the loss of opportunity provided by the changing international structure.
 
Preprint
This article analyses the extent of European Union (EU) actorness and effectiveness at the 15th United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Conference of the Parties (COP) meeting in Copenhagen in December 2009. Although the EU has been characterised as a leader in international climate policy-making for some time, the COP 15 meeting in Copenhagen has overall brought about disappointing outcomes for the Union. This casts doubts on EU actorness and effectiveness in this field. We take the article by Jupille and Caporaso as a conceptual point of departure and then specify a more parsimonious actorness framework that consists of coherence and autonomy. Effectiveness is conceptualised as the result of actorness conditioned by the ‘opportunity structure’, that is, the external context that enables or constrains EU actions. We hold that EU actorness was only moderate, especially given somewhat limited coherence. In terms of the opportunity structure, we argue that the strong involvement of other important actors with rather different positions adversely impacted on EU effectiveness, along with a high degree of politicisation that constrained the European Union’s ability to negotiate effectively.
 
Article
The goal of this Special Issue is to improve our conceptualisation and empirical understanding of EU actorness and effectiveness in International Relations. While the European Union aspires to play a greater global role, its actorness and effectiveness cannot be taken for granted given the nature of the EU as a multi-level and semi-supranational polity encompassing 28 Member States with diverse foreign policy preferences. The EU is presently at an important crossroad. On the one hand, its external policy stature and capacity have been boosted by institutional innovations and by the Union’s increased involvement in the full spectrum of international issues. On the other hand, a number of factors cast doubt on the EU’s real external policy actorness and effectiveness: slow and often only modest internal reforms, an increasing politicisation of formally ‘low politics’ issues, the prolonged sovereign debt crisis in the Eurozone, and a less favourable external environment, with the US shifting its focus to the Asia-Pacific region and emerging powers creating a more polycentric world order. In view of these changes and subsequent developments in the scholarly literature, our aim is to re-evaluate earlier conceptions of EU actorness. Central to this re-evaluation will be a shift in focus from notions of actorness to effectiveness. This introductory article will unpack and further elaborate the issues raised in this abstract by delineating the EU as an international actor in the empirical context, by reviewing the existing conceptual literature, defining and conceptualizing key notions and by providing an overview of the contributions to this Special Issue.
 
Article
This article examines the role of the European Union (EU) and United States as actors in international disaster relief. We take the analysis of ‘actorness’ one step further than normal by assessing the extent to which different aspects of EU and US actorness led to effectiveness in actual outcomes. In doing so, we make two contributions. First, we provide a rare comparison between EU and US foreign policy actorness, shedding light on the actor capability of each bloc in the area of international disaster relief. Second, we specify the relationship between actorness and effectiveness, a relationship which is too often assumed rather than explored. Using previous research of EU and US actorness as a starting point, we link four aspects of actorness to effectiveness and assess the resulting hypotheses using the case of the 2010 Haiti earthquake. We find support for our proposed links between actorness and effectiveness, although further research is needed before robust conclusions can be drawn.
 
Article
This article argues that, by acting autonomously and cohesively, the European Union (EU) was able to shape the global agenda on foreign aid throughout the 2000s, particularly on the issue of donor complementarity and division of labour. By contrast, its ability to promote aid effectiveness in Sub-Saharan Africa was significantly constrained by national aid bureaucracies and by the complex aid architecture. More generally, to fully understand whether or not the EU is an effective actor, it is necessary to take into account how EU actorness contributes to the issue being discussed. At headquarter level, the European Commission sought to enhance EU actorness, which was seen as key to aid effectiveness. On the ground, national aid bureaucracies resisted EU actorness in the name of aid effectiveness.
 
Article
We the people of South Africa declare that ... there is a need to create a new order in which all South Africans will be entitled to a common South African citizenship in a sovereign and democratic constitutional state in which there is equality between men and women of all races so that all citizens shall be able to enjoy and exercise their fundamental rights and freedoms. (Preamble to the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa 1993)
 
Article
Academic and media discourse on the conduct of South Africa's foreign relations has acquired an almost schizophrenic character in the post-1994 period. On one level, there has been fulsome praise for the country's successful reintegration with the international mainstream. On a second level, however, the new government has been criticized for its inability to articulate a coherent foreign policy agenda, to prioritize its various international relationships, and for its general failure to bring a sense of order, purpose and direction to a chaotic foreign policy environment. This article, whilst recognizing many of the deficiencies in both foreign policy formulation and implementation in the post-apartheid period, seeks to argue that the new South Africa is - albeit rather haphazardly - in the process of creating a distinctive and constructive niche for itself in global affairs. This is the attempt to join the ranks of the so-called middle powers - states seeking to be 'good international citizens' primarily through mediating initiatives and brokering deals - thereby securing many of the benefits which have traditionally flowed to states with the capacity to assume such an international posture. The article will attempt to locate the study of South Africa's middle power attributes, and its expectations of and attitudes towards middle power status, within the context of the wider theoretical literature on the subject. It will then progress, via the use of three case studies at both the global and regional level, to discuss South African attempts to execute this particular diplomatic option. The article concludes with a discussion of the problems South Africa is likely to encounter as it develops this option. Here attention will be given to the paradox of South Africa's middle power status. This is that the country has been more successful in its attempt to position itself as a good international citizen on issues with a genuinely global resonance as opposed to those issues addressed within the regional and sub-regional contexts where Pretoria might have been expected to excel. This paradox has potentially serious implications for South Africa's ability to emulate the Canadian and Australian experiences and to stay the course as a truly credible and effective middle power into the 21st century.
 
Article
This article draws on primary focus group research to explore the differing ways in which UK publics conceptualise and discuss security. The article begins by situating our research within two relevant contemporary scholarly literatures: The first concerns efforts to centre the ‘ordinary’ human as security’s referent; the second, constructivist explorations of security’s discursive (re)production. A second section then introduces six distinct understandings of security that emerged in our empirical research. These organised the term around notions of survival, belonging, hospitality, equality, freedom and insecurity. The article concludes by exploring this heterogeneity and its significance for the study of security more broadly, outlining a number of potential future research avenues in this area.
 
Article
The concept of evil adds complexity to our moral analysis and judgement of social and political phenomena, but the language of evil can be abused, either to exclude persons or groups from our universes of moral obligation, or to subvert fragile international and domestic moral orders and the conditions for human moral agency and responsibility. Despite these dangers the concept of evil is indispensable for identifying acts and states of affairs that violate our most basic moral ideals and expectations. Recognition of evil leads to three distinct but interrelated questions: who is to blame? How could such evil happen? And how can it be prevented from recurring? Answering these questions requires an account of agents, structures and their relationship. Acknowledging that agents and structures are mutually constituted need not absolve agents of moral responsibility; rather, it is vital to refining judgements of moral responsibility, and understanding how various social and political evils occur, as well as how to prevent their future recurrence.
 
Article
The International Criminal Court can be seen as a cosmopolitan response to the problems of global democracy. This article demonstrates how opponents of the Court use a concern for international order to disguise a policy motivated by a narrow conception of the national interest. US opposition reveals the extent to which it fears being held accountable for the way America uses the great power veto on the UN Security Council. America's opposition to the Court has also succeeded in bringing to the surface the extent to which American foreign policy is driven by communitarian conceptions of democracy and international society. Despite promising to hold power accountable for egregious human rights violations, the Court is considered a threat to American sovereignty and dismissed as undemocratic. The article argues that this communitarian understanding of democracy promotion will be increasingly problematic as the processes of globalization undermine the capacity of states to guarantee human rights.
 
Article
Of all the self-images of the discipline of international relations, none holds more sway than that which insists that the early field was dominated by a form of utopianism that was later consigned to the dustbin of history by the outbreak of World War II and the Cold War. This story continues to be crucial, both to the way scholars think about the evolution of the subject, and to the self-identity of realist thinkers who have exerted an unparalleled influence on international relations theory since 1939. The basic problem with this reading is that it is mistaken; in fact, once we begin to look in more detail at `IR' in its formative years, a different image emerges that is at once more complex and by implication subversive of the standard account. Certainly, the perjorative terms `idealism' or `utopianism' do not adequately or accurately depict the interwar period of the field's history, especially in the United States.
 
Article
Although Theory of International Politics is a standard-bearer for explanatory theory in international relations (IR), Waltz’s methodology has been subject to numerous quite disparate analyses. One reason why it has proved hard to pin down is that too little attention has been paid to how, in practice, Waltz approaches real-world problems. Despite his neopositivist rhetoric, Waltz applies neorealism in a notably loose, even indeterminate, fashion. There is therefore a disjunction between what he says and what he does. This is partly explained by his unsatisfactory attempt to reconcile his avowed neopositivism with his belief that international politics is characterized by organized complexity. The inconsistencies thus created also help to make sense of why competing interpretations of his methodology have emerged. Some aspects of his work do point beyond these particular methodological travails in ways that will continue to be of interest to IR theorists, but its most enduring methodological lesson may be that rhetoric and practice do not necessarily fit harmoniously together.
 
Article
In responding to piracy in the Gulf of Aden, both Chinese and Japanese policymakers have acted as norm entrepreneurs who intend to transform the dominant norms of international society. Chinese and Japanese norm entrepreneurship is grounded in the ways in which foreign policy actors construct and reconstruct their state identity. In China’s case, policymakers have projected China’s self-image as a responsible and benevolent Great Power that derives from the Chinese conception of Tianxia. Japanese foreign policy actors, on the other hand, have advanced the notion of Japan as a bridge that mediates between East and West, developing and developed states, members and non-members of international society. Although we do not advocate that Chinese or Japanese norm entrepreneurship should be accepted uncritically, we do maintain that there exist opportunities to combine and develop the multiple approaches that different states promote to problems. This article has shown that dealing with Somali piracy is one such case.
 
'Don't Attack Iran' poster board, and 'Down with Imperialism! Down with Islamic regime in Iran!'
Article
This is the author's draft of an article which was published in 'International Relations' by Sage. Using the concept of Information War we explore the conditions and mediation of contemporary war. Examples from British anti-war and peace movements are then employed to better understand the importance of ‘symbolic struggles’, focusing on the importance of the internet, in recent opposition to military action. These examples signify a shift away from the era where the mediation of war could be closely controlled towards one where the influences of journalists and public opinion are more ambiguous and uncertain. While there is little doubt that those who wage war remain powerful and superior, their need to seek legitimacy amongst their publics and the use of new media provides an environment through which voices of dissent can more easily be amplified.
 
Article
Outlining the century-old debates about 'What is Russia?', this article - by drawing on a variety of sources such as fiction, culture, cartoons and identity - shows how Russian and Western answers to this question have impacted on each other. To do so, the article first examines the extent to which Russian society - ever since the Mongolian Yoke - has been culturally torn between Westerniser and anti-Westerniser positions. It then complements the insights into Russia's self-reflective identity formation in two ways: by illustrating how Russia, in the West, has become portrayed as a caricature of the Western consciousness and by demonstrating how the Russian 'Self', in return, has been defined through the prism of Western expectations. The Author(s), 2010.
 
Article
This article analyses the leadership role of the European Union (EU) in international multilateral negotiations. The purpose is to problematize the role of the EU as a multilateral leader by contrasting its self-images as an active initiator with other negotiating actors' perceptions of the Union. This is done by comparing the role conceptions presented by EU representatives with the images presented by delegates from non-member states in three different multilateral negotiating contexts. My results present a picture of the EU as a `restricted leader'. The undisputable great power status that the EU is claimed to hold is not necessarily transformed into a leadership role. The causes vary: in two cases it is internal disunity and co-ordination problems that create obstacles to intellectual leadership; in the third case it is perceived role conflicts that make the EU less than credible in its leadership aspirations. The existing potential for structural leadership is therefore not translated into practice.
 
Article
This article reviews major issues in the historiography of the Russian/Soviet side of the Cuban missile crisis, as it has developed since the early 1990s. Focusing on key works, including Fursenko and Naftali’s One Hell of a Gamble and Mikoyan’s Anatomi’ia Karibskogo Krizisa, the article explores three issues: why Nikita Khrushchev decided to send missiles to Cuba, why he resolved to withdraw them, and how close the world came to ‘the brink’. The author contends that in our understanding of the Kremlin’s motivations in the Cuban missile crisis, we have come to over-rely on disparate pieces of ‘evidence’, which, at closer investigation, turn out to be one-sided, undocumented, or demonstrably false. The author therefore urges caution in drawing far-reaching conclusions from the crisis, especially in projecting its uncertain lessons onto the broader scholarship on the Soviet decision making during the Cold War.
 
Article
This paper looks at the way in which the idea of the Precautionary Principle, increasingly influential in environmental and other policy areas, is being and might be used in foreign and security policy. It aims to contrast the relative precision with which the term is used in the environmental arena with the current usage in international relations. Contrasting the Precautionary Principle with ideas of precaution, prevention, pre-emption and similar terms in post-structuralist analyses of risk, humanitarian intervention and US foreign policy in the aftermath of 11 September 2001, the paper identifies costs and benefits in deploying a more carefully specified account of the Precautionary Principle. In particular, it highlights key issues of regulatory authority and the way in which policy-makers and analysts understand and respond to the limits of knowledge and knowledge systems as important challenges to which careful use of the Precautionary Principle can potentially contribute. The paper concludes by suggesting that both policy-making and policy analysis could potentially be improved by adapting and extending the idea of the Precautionary Principle as it is deployed in other policy arenas.
 
Article
Offensive realism argues that states committed to survive are nevertheless condemned to participate in a relentless struggle for power, and it holds the structure of the international system as the cause of this tragic outcome. This article subjects the logic behind this tragic worldview and the explanatory power of offensive realism to a careful and comprehensive scrutiny. This in-depth analysis of offensive realism amounts to a substantial critique of the theory as it fails to logically generate the brutish world it presupposes and is plagued by significant shortcomings in its explanatory model. These findings suggest that offensive realism cannot provide useful theoretical lenses for explaining and understanding international politics, even when it is assessed on its own terms.
 
Article
DOI: 10.1177/0047117806060926 The year 2004 marked the bicentenary of Immanuel Kant’s death. This article evaluates the main arguments of Kant’s essay on perpetual peace in the light of developments in world politics since his time. How well have his ideas stood the test of time? Kant’s essay is placed in the context of his philosophy as a whole and through a close textual analysis the value of his propositions is assessed. The article looks at the Provisional and Definitive Articles in their mutual relation and places a good deal more emphasis than is usual upon the two supplements and appendix. Finally the article takes the complex circumstances of Kant’s home city, Kaliningrad, as a brief test case for his own theories.
 
Article
This essay examines how traumatic events can influence the constitution of community in international relations. Trauma is often perceived as isolating individuals and fragmenting communities. This essay argues, in contrast, that practices of representation can make traumatic events meaningful in ways that give them a collective and often international dimension. Central to this process is the role played by emotions. Often neglected in scholarly analysis of international relations, emotions play a crucial political role during times of crisis and can become pivotal sites for the renewal of political stability and social control. The essay illustrates the ensuing dynamics by examining media portrayals of the Bali bombing of 12 October 2002. Focusing on photographs and the stories that accompany them, the essay shows how representations of trauma can provide a sense of collective feeling that is capable of underpinning political community. It concludes by suggesting that international relations scholars can learn much about the politics of community and security by examining prominent representations of trauma and the emotional discourses they mobilise.
 
Article
We analyse a part of Vincent's theory that has been neglected by the English School discourse: his idea of the right to subsistence, particularly the right to food, as the basis on which to build a cross-cultural human rights project across the societies of the world. Vincent insisted that starvation is the `resident emergency' of international society, and its elimination should be the minimum standard for the society of states to achieve legitimacy. We assess here the normative and practical viability of that enterprise as a project of solidarism in international society. Such assessment reveals that Vincent's work has made three contributions to English School thinking. In relation to the solidarist agenda, Vincent both widened the human rights agenda, and pushed the idea of developing a normative consensus around the basic right to food. More generally, his work forces the English School to think seriously about the relationship between international society and International Political Economy.
 
Article
In previous periods, scholarship about international relations often drew on writing in theology, as well as more familiarly, history, law or philosophy. Some very influential scholars of international relations – think of Rheinhold Niebuhr, Martin Wight and Herbert Butterfield – were extremely widely read in theological topics, and their theological concerns influenced their understanding of international relations. This article looks at some contemporary writing with overtly theological concerns and asks how might contemporary international relations scholarship benefit from an engagement with contemporary philosophical and political theology.
 
Article
The European Union (EU) and the People’s Republic of China (PRC) both use the terms ‘multipolarity’ and ‘multilateralism’ in their ‘public diplomacy’ rhetoric and in their analyses of the international system. However, while the EU stresses multilateralism, the PRC remains explicit in its welcome of multipolarity. Yet shifts are apparent. In part, there may be some ‘international socialisation’ in play in which EU multilateralism usage, normative underpinnings, rub off on the PRC. In part, both terms are being supplemented by still wider overlapping terms of references for an untidy multilevel international system, such as ‘interpolarity’, ‘asymmetrical multipolarity’, ‘region-polarity’, ‘inter-regionalism’, ‘multilateralising multipolarity’ and ‘multi-multilateralism’. An untidy multilevel EU may find it easier to operate in such a shifting international system than a tidy sovereignty-sensitive PRC?
 
Article
In 1981 Kenneth Waltz published a controversial Adelphi Paper, ‘The Spread of Nuclear Weapons: More May Be Better’, in which he turned the conventional wisdom on its head by arguing that the spread of nuclear weapons would not be a terrifying prospect. This article rejects the proposition that fear of nuclear destruction can serve as a permanent basis of international order, and argues that securing order depends upon the building of trust between nuclear-armed and arming powers. A key contribution here has been the theory and practice of security communities, which opens up the promise of replacing nuclear threats by a new international politics in which force has been delegitimated as an instrument of state policy. This article discusses the potential for nuclear trust-building through the example of the security community that developed between Argentina and Brazil in the 1980s. Both countries had the potential to develop nuclear weapons by the end of the 1970s, and there were concerns that their rivalry might lead to a regional nuclear arms race. Having explored the factors that promoted trust between Buenos Aires and Brasilia, the article considers the lessons that can be learned for nuclear trust-building elsewhere.
 
Article
The role of American intelligence in the Cuban missile crisis is crucial to understand perceptions and judgements of key actors in October 1962. Dino Brugioni’s Eyeball to Eyeball provides a detailed ‘insider’s’ account that combines memoir and history. It focuses on the role of aerial intelligence, which was vital to how the crisis was managed in Washington. Brugioni’s account also provides a representation of events that explores both military/operational aspects and political decision-making in Washington, most importantly that of President John F. Kennedy. Brugioni argues that it was a victory for Kennedy and for America. Twenty years of scholarship and revelation has challenged this conclusion, which this article examines. Likewise, the idea that the crisis marked a notable success for the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) is revisited in the light of new information and assessments.
 
Article
The First World War changed everything, including European attitudes towards war–and we should not forget what a sea-change this represented. But we should not underestimate the extent to which war before 1914 was thought possible, probable and even desirable. And this was as true for Great Britain as it was for its main German rival. Certain currents of thought made the idea of war seem acceptable. A number of organizations indeed propagated the notion that imperial expansion and conflict–fuelled by jingoism and dreams of Empire–were to be expected in a world where the fittest survived and the weak did not. With the coming of peace following such huge losses on the western front, the mood, inevitably, shifted in almost the opposite direction, and after 1919 public opinion became decidedly anti-war and deeply opposed to rearmament, even when Britain was confronted with the threat of Hitler. Appeasement thus was not merely a policy agreed from on high, but had the solid backing of a public whose attitudes had been so altered by the experience 1914–1918. This mood only began to change after Munich and Kristallnacht. Even so, the mood in 1939 was very different to what it had been in 1914: war with Germany now was not embraced enthusiastically but as a politicaland strategic necessity imposed from without. The Great War had left its indelible mark on those who remembered.
 
Article
Drawing on the European Union (EU) foreign policy literature on effectiveness, this article studies how the European Union chooses judges to serve on the World Trade Organization’s key judicial institution: the Appellate Body. Conceptually, the article differentiates between effectiveness in representation and effectiveness in impact. The article shows how delegation to the European Commission has increased the strategic agenda-setting power for championing its preferred candidates. The article further compares European and US practice in nominating candidates. Overall, the article finds that effectiveness in representation has increased over time. In terms of effectiveness in impact, the article shows how the international environment conditions the EU’s influence. The article also exposes the difficulties of studying the effectiveness of EU external relations due to the peculiar decision-making processes dominant in judicial bodies.
 
Article
A growing body of critical and reflexive international relations (IR) realism draws on the work of Hans Morgenthau. While not without merit, I argue that these appropriations rely on selective – perhaps even wishful – readings of Morgenthau’s work: the reflexivity that he calls for, I argue, is not matched by what his theory actually delivers. Raising that distinction, I then trace out its consequences for contemporary critical and reflexive IR realists, in two steps. First, I identify similar reflexive shortcomings in recent work by neoclassical realist Randall Schweller. These, I suggest, point to abiding challenges to which contemporary critical/reflexive realism must prove itself equal. I then survey the notions of reflexivity at work in the critical/reflexive realism of Michael C. Williams and Richard Ned Lebow. Do they go far enough? Do they answer those challenges? I conclude by arguing that Morgenthau’s legacy for critical and reflexive realism should be reconsidered: properly understood, his work signals an impasse that is general to IR as a discipline. Signaling the depth of that impasse constitutes a lasting legacy, with which critical/reflexive realists have not yet dealt adequately.
 
Article
In recent international relations (IR) literature and foreign policy, the concept of civilisation has enjoyed a surprising revival. Its recent use, however, has had little reference to those who did most to introduce it into modern thought, the thinkers of the Scottish Enlightenment. A re-examination of their thought suggests the need for a more nuanced view of civilisation, one that appreciates that the promise of domestic peace that comes with civilisation is also laden with the peril of war and new dynamics of international order. This article will focus on how David Hume (1711–76), William Robertson (1721–93), Adam Smith (1723–90) and Adam Ferguson (1723–1816) framed their understanding of civilisation and the civilising process in Europe. It will be argued that they were animated by the need to identify the processes at work in reshaping Europe, giving rise to a new international order of civilised societies and mighty sovereign states. Civilisation thus emerged as a process not simply of domestic refinement and pacification, but of the emergence of a new kind of international order between militarily powerful, 'civilised' and 'civilising' sovereign states with enhanced capacities for waging war. Yes Yes
 
Article
This article explores the various roles that rules play in international relations. The article responds to the current international situation in which rules are being contested by numerous agents in a range of issue areas. While rules, by their very nature, will result in conflicting interpretations in social and political realms, these disagreements at the international level have the added danger of undermining international order. The article explores the nature of rules, focusing on moral and legal dimensions as they operate at the international level. We then turn to an exploration of debates about legitimacy, the impact of technology on rules and rule-making, and the dilemmas of enforcement. We conclude that while rules are a necessary part of any just political order, the dilemmas generated at the global level necessitate careful consideration of the very nature of rules. The responses to the article that follow this one seek to explore some of these issues and their relevance to more specific international issues.
 
Article
Kenneth Waltz's Theory of International Politics is a modern classic, and deserves to be read the way classic texts ought to be read, i.e. in context and in its own terms. Recovering the context in this case is difficult because of the changes in the discourse since 1979, but one difference between the contemporary and the current reception of the text does seem clear — Waltzian structural realism (or neorealism) is now, but was not then, seen as breaking with the traditions of classical realism. How is this discontinuity to be understood? Part of the answer lies in the rhetoric employed by participants in this debate, but, more substantively, there is a genuine disagreement between neorealism and classical realism over the role played by human nature in international relations. Waltzian neorealism appears, contrary to the tradition, to reject any major role for human nature, describing theories that emphasise this notion as `reductionist'; however, on closer examination, the picture is less clear-cut. Waltz's account of human nature can be related quite closely to the major strands in the realist genealogy, but at a tangent to them. Interestingly, and perhaps unexpectedly, it is also compatible with at least some of the findings of contemporary evolutionary psychology.
 
Article
This article examines the discourses on the fragmentation and diversification of environmental governance through frames offered by the English School (ES) of International Relations (IR) scholars in order to apply their frame to climate change governance. It argues that the ES approach emphasises the pluralist starting-points of international law and governance. This article does not try to analyse pros and cons of fragmentation and diversification; rather, it examines whether the society is ‘thin’ or ‘thick’ regarding climate change governance. To what extent can the climate change practices established be spoken of as primary institutions? This is significant in order to weigh the future developments of governance. In the last section of the article, this discussion is realised by examining the developments of climate change governance both within and without the context of the UN Framework Convention for Climate Change (UNFCCC).
 
Security costs of Olympic Games, 1984-2004
Article
This article argues that contemporary security as a concept, practice and commodity is undergoing a rescaling, deterritorialisation and reterritorialisation, with previously international security concerns penetrating all levels of governance. Security is becoming more civic, urban, domestic and personal: security is coming home. In the context of the Revolution in Military Affairs (RMA), asymmetric confl ict, the ‘war on terror’ and the ‘splintering’ of cosmopolitan urban centres, policy is increasingly centred around military derived constructions of risk. This securitisation is bound up in neoliberal economic competition between cities and regions for ‘global’ status, with security emerging as a key part of the offer for potential inward investment. The result is increasing temporary and permanent fortifi cation and surveillance, often symbolic or theatrical, in which privileged transnational elites gain feelings of safety at the expense of the liberty and mobility of ordinary citizens.
 
Article
This article returns to recent debate in this journal on the pertinence or impertinence of tragedy to international relations theory and world politics. Following post-Kantian methodology, it argues that tragic insight points up the immanence of ethics to politics, cutting across distinctions between the normative and the positive, the idealist and the realist, that are particular to the field of international relations. In distinction to Lebow's same use of this method it theorizes this immanence in early Hegelian terms of `causality of fate' and `equality of life' in order to gain general purchase on the kind of ethical community that individualism in international political practice and theory can ignore.
 
Article
Energy pipeline networks tie nations together in webs of interdependence that are mutually beneficial but which also make countries vulnerable. This article explores the relationship between political trust and energy pipelines connecting Russia and the European Union (EU). It seeks to explain low levels of trust in the EU–Russia energy relationship, varying levels of energy cooperation and trust within the EU toward Russia, and whether the EU–Russia energy relationship is representative of vulnerabilities shared by producers and consumers in other contexts. Rationalist approaches that focus on interests and reciprocity are incomplete and should be supplemented by a concept of trust based on normative factors. This article finds that political disputes with transit and consumer states, competing norms, and the legacy of mistrust from the Cold War (especially among certain East European countries) combined to form a uniquely toxic relationship.
 
Article
Global health problems are often framed as common challenges confronting humanity, and while political commitment and resources have recently increased, a number of faultlines run through efforts to mount collective responses. Although the United States has staked its claim to leadership in the fight against disease, its actions diverge in several key respects from much of the international community, undermining the effectiveness of global efforts. These divergences can be traced to domestic politics, and are related to three debates of significance for international relations more generally: on global governance, models of globalisation, and relationships between development and security. In this article US approaches are contrasted in each of these dimensions with those of the UK, which has been active in promoting its own vision. The prospects for overcoming current limitations are examined on two levels: the technocratic, and the ideological and political. Developments on both levels are evaluated in light of events early in the second term of the Bush administration. In conclusion, it is suggested that there are two contending meta-narratives underlying the faultlines in global health.
 
Article
For two decades, political theorists have granted recognition a great deal of attention. However, theorists of international relations have not, despite a common interest in identity politics. Instead, the latter take recognition for granted as a long-standing practice enabling states to engage in relations, as equals, under law. I hold that recognition is an unexplored way of addressing the constitution of epochal change in the modern world. I develop this claim first by reviewing what political theorists say about recognition. Not sharing their preoccupation with identity, I also draw on a secondary but still important theme in this literature – recognition’s relation to justice. I then turn to the relations of states to show how international society has always exemplified the very processes of recognition that political theorists would like to find within their late modern societies. I conclude with some comments on the enduring properties of international society.
 
Article
This article develops a critical conception of security by showing the limits of traditional realist and pluralist discourses. It does this by exploring the deficiencies of realist and pluralist approaches when it comes to thinking about the promotion of human rights. Realism leads to moral indifference and a myopic approach to security and pluralism is complacent about how the rules and norms of international society exclude humanitarian concerns. The article argues for a critical approach to security that places human rights at the centre of theory and praxis, reflecting the fundamental indivisibility of security and human rights. The article concludes by reflecting on the implications for agency of this position.
 
Top-cited authors
Ayse Zarakol
  • University of Cambridge
Richard Lebow
  • Dartmouth College
Sean Burges
Arne Niemann
  • Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz
David Murakami Wood
  • Queen's University