International Studies Review

Published by Wiley
Online ISSN: 1468-2486
Print ISSN: 1521-9488
The 1990s has seen the growth of the Internet with a take-up faster than any previous technology, with one billion users soon worldwide. The dealings of foreign exchange that occur each day are worth $1.4 trillion, sixty times greater than the amount of world trade. Communications “on the move” are being transformed with new mobile phones more common in the world than conventional landline phones. There are over 700 million legal international journeys each year, a figure soon to pass 1 billion. Three million people across the world receive the same total income as the richest 300. Globally branded companies have budgets greater than most individual countries. Images of the blue earth from space or the golden arches of McDonald’s are ubiquitous upon the billion TV sets across the world. New technologies are producing “global times” with distances between places and peoples “dematerializing” it seems.
Ten years ago, Europe’s political map changed dramatically. The Berlin Wall fell, and less than a year later Germany was reunified. Was this a whim of history, neither planned nor foreseen, or was it the work of ingenious politics?How did this development come about and how were the various obstacles overcome? Who were the political figures that acted while the window of opportunity was wide open, knowing, as Gorbachev had said, that history would punish those who arrived too late? Answers to these questions have been offered by a team of highly competent scholars under the direction of Werner Weidenfeld, a close advisor to the former chancellor, Helmut Kohl. Their writings draw from unprecedented access to the chancellor’s office files, which would normally fall under a thirty-year restriction. Starting out from four different angles, the authors tell a fascinating story of how Germany was reunified. In doing so, they provide an insight into the decision-making processes within the chancellor’s office and into Kohl’s dealings with his peers in the 214 negotiations on German reunification. Yet they do not answer clearly the questions posed above: their message is that it has been a combination of all three factors. Books reviewed in this article: Korte, Karl-Rudolf Deutschlandpolitik in Helmut Kohls Kanzlerschaft. Regierungsstil und Entscheidungen 1982–1989, (Germany's Policies in the Helmut Kohl Chancellorship: Government Style and Decisions) Grosser, Dieter Das Wagnis der Wirtschafts- und Währungsunion. Politische Zwänge im Konflikt mit ökonomischen Regeln (The Challenge of Economic and Monetary Union: Political Forces in Conflict with Economic Rules) Jäger, Wolfgang Die Überwindung der Teilung. Der innerdeutsche Prozeß der Vereinigung 1989/90 (Overcoming the Division: The Inter-German Reunification Process) Weidenfeld, Werner Außenpolitik für die Deutsche Einheit. Die Entscheidungsjahre 1989/90 (Foreign Policy for German Unity: The Decisive Years 1989–90)
This study focuses on the conceptualization and identification of structural patterns of conflict, not on a theory thereof. In subsequent studies I will explore the factors that account for the location of states or dyads in each of these risk groups, or their move across the various groups over time. The present study is designed as follows. Section two describes the distribution of militarized interstate disputes and wars over the entire history of nations and dyads and discusses the implications of these patterns. Section three defines the concepts of pacifism, conflict proneness, and conflict-related addiction (or fightaholism) in the context of other types of compulsive-obsessive behaviors, such as substance abuse, recidivism, and behavioral addictions. Section four offers an empirical description of these structural patterns of conflict and some of the typical correlates of these risk groups. Section five discusses the implications of these issues for theories of international politics and conflict theory. (The research design is given in the appendix.)
This essay explores the deterrence-versus-restraint dilemma in extended deterrence in the context of the Tripartite Crisis Game under incomplete information. This model was developed specifically to capture the mixed motives and contradictory impulses that oftentimes frame extended deterrence encounters. To focus the analysis and to gain tractability, we make specific assumptions about the utilities of the players: Challenger, Defender, and Protégé. Our most significant simplification concerns Defender's type. In particular, we assume that Defender, although not heavily invested in the issues in dispute, is known to prefer conflict to the breakup of its strategic relationship with Protégé. One important result concerns unequivocal commitments. We find that such commitments are efficacious but only when Protégé's threat to sever its relationship with Defender is highly credible. In the absence of this condition, a straddle (or mixed) strategy is optimal for Defender. A straddle strategy, which involves probabilistic support of Protégé, is the mechanism by which Defender attempts to resolve the deterrence-versus-restraint dilemma. Sometimes, the stratagem works and Challenger is deterred and Protégé is restrained. But a straddle strategy will always fail to deter determined Challengers, such as Germany in 1914, that prefer to fight rather than back down during a confrontation. It may even fail to deter hesitant Challengers with an aversion to conflict. We use these insights to explain and evaluate British policy in the runup to World War I.
In operational terms, territoriality is defined herein as the most salient "bone of contention" in an international crisis and as a characteristic of the setting for the adversaries involved in the case. The first part of the definition seeks to assess the impact of territoriality as an issue over which states contend during a crisis, whereas the second views territorial location as a contextual element that affects the confrontation. Before examining both these factors, wewill first define issues and stakes and outline a territory-based typology of international crises. Next we will compare four distinct types of international crises-ranging from those where territorial issues and stakes are most salient, to others in which territoriality is nonexistent. We will also investigate the effects of location, highlighting the concept of contiguity to explore the behavior of neighbors versus distant states in conflict. We anticipate that territorial rivalries will differ from nonterritorial rivalries and that within territorial rivalries territorial issues will be more important than stakes and location in shaping the patterns of escalation and de-escalation in international crises. In our analysis we will address violence, not war alone. The universe of 434 international crises included in the International Crisis Behavior (ICB) project, covering the period 1918-2001, will be used to validate the impact of territoriality on the level of interstate violence. Moreover, to examine processes of escalation and de-escalation, the outcomes of the crises will be analyzed as well.
By the end of 1998, the daily value of foreign exchange transactions hovered between $1.5 and $2.0 trillion. Less than 5 percent of this activity had anything to do with trade or other “real” economic activity; the vast majority was the work of a new breed of currency speculator. As currencies surged or collapsed in the newly volatile global economy, many in Asian governments and elsewhere blamed the currency speculators for their ills. Malaysian President Mahatir Mohammed descended into anti-Semitic slurs in denouncing the impact of the speculative currency trading of George Soros on Malaysia’s ringgit. Others blamed the International Monetary Fund and the very set of policies that was supposed to help shore up these economies. Books reviewed: The Geography of Money, Benjamin J. Cohen Capital Flows and Financial Crises, Miles Kahler, ed. Link to the Article: See "Full Text" for full citation and working hyperlink.
Fear of Enemies and Collective Action. By Ioannis D. Evrigenis. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2008. 232 pp., $85.00 hardcover (ISBN-13: 978-0521886208). The International Political Thought of Carl Schmitt: Terror, Liberal War and the Crisis of Global Order. Edited by Louiza Odysseos, Fabio Petito. New York: Routledge, 2007. 258 pp., $41.95 paperback (ISBN-13: 978-0415474771). Realist Strategies of Republican Peace: Neibuhr, Morgenthau, and the Politics of Patriotic Dissent. By Vibeke Schou Tjalve. New York: Palgrave, 2008. 174 pp., $74.95 hardcover (ISBN-13: 978-0230602175). “The past is never dead. It's not even the past”– Requiem for a Nun , by William Faulkner, 1951, act I, scene iii. A couple of years ago I wrote about what I termed “reflexive realism,” which I defined as “the attempt to restore classical realist principles of agency, prudence and the recognition of limitations as part of an attempt to provide a practical-ethical view of international politics” (Steele 2007: 273). At the time, however, I was not sure whether this recent trend in IR scholarship was more intellectual history or theory on its own accord. After reading these three impressive books, I would argue that whatever we term them, the recent vibrant re-engagements with realist theory are both, and exist in the space between intellectual history and theory. When one reads these accounts, we are re-reading the historical contexts in which various realist thinkers produced their work, but we recognize how their conditions speak to an unsettled present context, and thus also realize the leverage their wise lessons have upon our contemporary circumstances. All three of these books can be considered contributions to the development of realist thought in International Relations theory. All return to some of the seminal authors of the realist tradition of political thought, but with an eye toward resurrecting some critical elements found in the works of authors who were once considered to be the foundation for otherwise conventional concepts in realist IR theory (survival, fear, anarchy, etc.). And all three helpfully provide an ontology of the present by going into our past: the rereading of seminal texts to “decode” a past which speaks to our present in ways in which the traditional readings of those texts cannot (see also Lebow 2003). The books together provide IR scholars a dilemma, however. How are we …
BRICSAM Growth Rates 1985-2005: Selected Years (%)
FDI Inflows and Outflows to ⁄ from BRICSAM: Selected Years (USD millions)
Corruption Perception Index
A range of specific to comparative implications for Brazil, Russia, India, and China/South Africa, ASEAN-4, Mexico, South Korea and other nonemerging economies (BRICs/BRICSAM) for IR theory and policy given shifts in the overly dichotomous South-North relations at the start of the 21st century has been considered. The move of BRICSAM, specifically china and India into the new second world is impacting other markets and continents such as Africa for energy, raw materials, services etc. Such analysis presents a range of profound implication for a set of overlapping analytic fields as well as applied policies, political science, economy, development, regional and security studies. The emerging three worlds of advanced, emerging, and fragile states points in the direction of revisionist perspectives on the international political economy of development by the end of the first decade of the new millennium. Despite diversions/pressures, what seems to be emerging is a distinctive trilateral world impacted by emerging economies especially China and India given the size of their economies, position in the global economy, and dispersion of generations of diasporas. The potential shift in the global balance of power may even be pronounced if the BRICSAM countries decide to act collectively and use their joint bargaining power to shape or reform global institutions.
The implications of North Atlantic Treaty Organization's (NATO) expansion for the security of the new NATO members as they channel military spending away from providing for their own domestic security in favor of creating elite forces that can participate in NATO actions on a symbolic, if not superficial, level are outlined. It is explained that the United States government became more interested in this symbolic support after 11 September 2001 and less concerned with military modernization and overall military contributions from new NATO members given its own needs in the war in Iraq.
Neorealists narrate their origins by explaining that classical realists committed a multitude of sins and were therefore displaced. The classics unscientifically explained world politics primarily through individual-level characteristics, typically a will to power that drove state behavior and international outcomes. In short, classical realism was inadequately structural and theoretical; thus, neorealists revised them by prioritizing structural factors and putting the paradigm on sound scientific footing. We argue that this narrative is generally incorrect. Classical realists were supremely structural and competently theoretical. Consequently, the realist tradition has much more continuity and richness than presently believed.
The gap between academic research and policymaking in international relations (IR) is much lamented but poorly understood. Much of what we know about the gap is based on personal anecdotes, untested assumptions, and simplistic conceptions of what counts as policy influence. Using the literature on fragile states as a window into the research-policy interface, this article finds little evidence of scholarship directly influencing policies through specific recommendations and findings. However, academic ideas in this field appear to have important indirect effects on international policy actors – namely, by helping to define and refine understandings of state fragility as a policy problem and by informing the development of operational frameworks for responding to this problem – even though the actors themselves may not be entirely aware of such conceptual influences.
The gap between the academy and the policy is both natural and a good thing. Differences in the two cultures include premium on time; importance of group work as opposed to individual creativity; and finally, in the academy, the highest value is to ignore politics and speak truth to power, while in policy, some political trimming and appreciation of applied truth may be essential for effectiveness. In recent years, this culture gap has widened because of trends in academic disciplines and in the institutions of foreign policy. General theories such as structural realism and liberal institutionalism have become more abstract, and some rational choice model, often seem irrelevant to policymakers. Middle range generalizations, historical cases, and regional expertise are accorded less prestige in the disciplinary pecking order. Methodology reinforces the trend with the problem being further compounded by the use of academic jargon and the lack of interest in communicating in plain language to a policy public. Moreover, the institutional transmission belts between the academy and government have also changed. A degree of tension between the academy and government is healthy for academics, but too large a gap is not healthy for a democracy. There are costs and benefits for those scholars who try to bridge the gap by participating in each of the two cultures, but it would be costly for democracy if the bridging is left solely to the special interest think tanks.
Prosecuting Heads of State. Edited by Ellen L. Lutz, Caitlin Reiger. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2009. 326 pp., $32.00 paperback (ISBN-13: 978-0-521-75670-9). Hijacked Justice: Dealing with the Past in the Balkans. By Jelena Subotic. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2009. 201 pp., $35.00 hardback (ISBN-13: 978-0-8014-4802-7). On December 10, 2010, Ivo Sanader, Croatia's former prime minister (2003–2009), was arrested by Austrian police on a Croatian arrest warrant while attempting to flee to the United States (Jutarnji List 2010). Sanader's arrest on charges of financial corruption coincided with a new impetus to prosecute formerly untouchable Croatian elites from Sanader's ruling party and constitutes part of a growing global trend to confront crimes perpetrated by former ruling elites that range from financial embezzlement to crimes against humanity and genocide through courtroom prosecutions. Indeed, Sanader's December 2010 arrest can be situated within an emerging global justice norm that political elites responsible for serious wrongdoings should be held criminally liable for past abuses. This emergent global justice norm has been the focus of a growing body of literature that attempts to deepen our understanding of the extent to which prosecutorial confrontations with past abuses either advances or hinders transitions from authoritarianism, conflict, or both.1 Two recent books, Ellen Lutz and Caitlin Reiger's edited volume Prosecuting Heads of State and Jelena Subotic's Hijacked Justice , explore the emergence of global justice and its impact upon states in transition in what constitute two valuable contributions to transitional justice and international relations literature. As illustrated by Sanader's recent arrest, the ever-growing ranks of heads of state or government who enter the doors of international, domestic, or hybrid courts as defendants attest to the deepening entrenchment of a prosecutorial norm in international society. Yet, parallel to the proliferation of prosecutorial responses to past abuses, social scientific investigations of the impact of courtroom prosecutorions upon societies in transition, or societies in conflict, raise troubling questions regarding the relationship between criminal justice and transitional justice (Peskin 2008; Lamont 2010). It is within the above context that Prosecuting Heads of States and Hijacked Justice concisely …
Foreign aid involves a chain of accountability relationships stretching from international donors through national governments and implementing agencies to a set of ultimate end users of the goods and services financed by the aid. In this paper, I review five different accountability relationships that exist in foreign aid projects among donors, governments, implementing agencies and end users. Then I summarize existing empirical evidence demonstrating that foreign aid functions better—both at the macro-level of aid flows and at the micro-level of individual aid projects—when there is more government and implementing agency accountability. Specifying several mechanisms that facilitate accountability, I emphasize that participation is a tool often used to produce accountability within aid projects. However, in terms of donor accountability to aid-receiving countries and the end users in them, recent pushes for increased participation have not resulted in more accountability in the design of aid programs. Ultimately, although enthusiasm for participatory models of aid design and delivery is warranted, participation is not a panacea for all the accountability problems in foreign aid programs.
Current events have surfaced new challenges in the international state system. These are alternatively characterized as state versus substate conflicts, religious conflicts or the outgrowth of the rise in fundamentalism, class struggle between the West and the Third World resulting from globalization, and the lack of democratic government in those states that breed terrorists. Whereas religious conflict is difficult to fix if true and globalization hard to stop, the democratic peace offers promise because changing the form of government is a conceivable goal. But would it help? Samuel Huntington provides an interesting, if unintended, challenge to the democratic peace in both The Third Wave and The Clash of Civilizations. If democracy is reversible under some circumstances, can it really lead to a lasting peace? If there are cultural divisions in the world, are these necessarily united by polity? If racism is real, does polity really eliminate it? Based on Huntington, the democratic peace falters.
Research on transitions has reached a crossroad. Should it be abandoned because the third wave of transitions to democracy has ended, or should it continue because so much remains unaccounted for regarding the third wave? This paper suggests that regime hybridity constitutes a widespread institutional setting resulting from incomplete transitions. Regime-hybridity is defined as a specific regime type in which “partial regimes” within the “political regime” are democratic while others are nondemocratic, although not necessarily authoritarian. Underlying the concept is the assumption that the “political regime” stretches beyond the institutions of the state to include civil society. It is at this level that the work on transitions can be connected to the research on the dynamics of economic exclusion in the context of rent economies. This paper develops a checklist for identifying “partial regimes” that constitute regime-hybridity and applies it to the case of Colombia to identify linkages between political transition and socioeconomic transformation.
Book reviewed: Seeing Like a State: How Certain Schemes to Improve the Human Condition Have Failed, James C. Scott
Book reviewed: Activists beyond Borders: Advocacy Networks in International Politics, Margaret E. Keck and Kathryn Sikkink
In IR theory debates, there exists a recurring tendency to draw a distinction between problem-solving and critical theory. Whereas problem-solving theory ostensibly pertains to the short term, critical theory purportedly examines the evolution of more enduring social structures over the long term. In this essay, the argument is made that this distinction obscures the ongoing role—equally in the long and the short runs—of theory in the reconstitution of social structures. To highlight such possibilities, the essay calls for a “pragmatist constructivism,” which applies a critical approach to the analysis of not only long-term policy possibilities but also to ongoing policy matters. After reviewing the arguments of two essentially pragmatist-constructivist scholars—John Dewey and John Kenneth Galbraith—each of whom recognized the social bases of political life and designed their research with an eye to highlighting unappreciated policy possibilities, the piece concludes by stressing both the disciplinary constraints on IR theorists and the opportunity that the constructivist turn in IR theory offers for a more sustained engagement with public debates.
Defiant Publics: The Unprecedented Reach of the Global Citizen. By Daniel Drache. Cambridge, UK: Polity, 2008. 197 pp., $19.95 paperback (ISBN-13: 978-0-7456-3179-0). Global Subjects: A Political Critique of Globalization. By Jean-Francois Bayart. Cambridge, UK: Polity, 2008. 373 pp., $29.95 paperback (ISBN-13: 978-0-7456-3668-9). The Privacy Advocates: Resisting the Spread of Surveillance. By Colin J. Bennett. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press, 2008. 259 pp., $28.00 (ISBN-13: 978-0-262-02638-3). The first decade of the twenty-first century has come to an end and so too have many of the early critiques of globalization and its impacts. New ways of understanding our global world are emerging with reflections on the roles of global subjects, global citizens and transnational actors advocating for change. Three important books have challenged old notions of globalization and the role of diverse actors: Defiant Publics: The Unprecedented Reach of the Global Citizen (by Daniel Drache), Global Subjects: A Political Critique of Globalization (by Jean-Francois Bayart) and The Privacy Advocates: Resisting the Spread of Surveillance (by Colin J. Bennett). In this review, I examine what these three key pieces of literature have contributed to our understanding of global societies, highlighting some of the common themes and key arguments raised. To begin, all three books expose the importance of individuals and civil society in the creation of globalization and in resistance to certain impacts of globalization such as the role of privacy advocates and modern publics. Bayart argues that globalization has not resulted in the elimination of states but rather that states are indeed a product of globalization and of the everyday actions of individuals and groups. Globalization has, furthermore, facilitated transnational activism, solidarity and networks that have challenged but not undermined the state. Drache's research is concerned with the “global citizen” and his or her role in the dissent movement. For Bennett, his research on the work of transnational actors is very specific to the privacy advocates, a group of individuals forming a loose transnational network who strive for better transparency, awareness and accountability of modern surveillance techniques. All three authors make reference to the significance of the internet in the process of globalization and in the building of transnational solidarity networks. Bayart reflects on the hacker culture …
The "Haudenosaunee" are indigenous people scattered along the the northeastern border between the United States and Canada. They largely live and work within the kind of highly productive advanced industrial societies that depend on the capacity for individual creativity. This paper argues that the "Haudenosaunee" can and must maintain an exclusive form of citizenship entirely distinct from the citizenships of either the United States or Canada. This argument is grounded on the "Guswentah" a treaty belt that memorializes a 17th century agreement of mutual noninterference and coexistence between the "Haudenosaunee" and the Dutch. Today, the "Guswentah" teaches "Haudenosaunee" citizens how to be in the United States and Canada without being of them, to remain members of a self-determining nation in traveling in its own boat no matter how closely crowded the river.
Understanding Development: Theory and Practice in the Third World.By John Rapley
One long cited rationale for doing and funding Western modern sciences has been that such research advances social welfare in egalitarian ways. Yet the long service of these sciences to militarism, nationalisms, profit–maximizing, and the desire for social control would seem to provide compelling evidence, at least in the contemporary era, against the happy relation imagined in this rationale. This essay reviews the older utopian and dystopian responses to the title question, and examines their assumptions about the nature of science which no longer are empirically or theoretically justifiable. It then identifies themes in recent empirical and theoretical work which point the way to a more realistic understanding of the kind of philosophy of science necessary to contribute to sciences in the service of social justice. Philosophies of science, like the sciences on which they reflect, always participate in larger social discourses.
Economic Reform and Democracy.Edited by Larry Diamond and Marc F. Plattner
The ever-widening application of “rights”-based discourse and practice worldwide raises critical research questions which comparative politics scholars are uniquely well-suited to analyze. Yet comparativists often shy away from human rights inquiry. The authors of this article explore the professional deterrents and intellectual challenges that lie behind this paradox. Drawing on their expertise on transitional justice and economic rights, they also indicate concrete ways in which the mass, scope and depth of comparative politics scholarship on human rights could be significantly increased.
Groupthink or Deadlock: When Do Leaders Learn from Their Advisors? By Paul A. Kowert. Albany: Blackwell Publishing, 2002. 265 pp., $65.50 cloth (ISBN: 0-7914-5249-2), $21.95 paper (ISBN: 0-7914-5250-6).
The ability of governments to discern and solve different types of crisis situations is a topic of long-standing academic interest (see, for example, Pal 1985; Pollit et al. 1990; Dimock 1991; Micklethwait and Wooldridge 1996; Roe 2001). In particular, we have the protracted debates surrounding Graham Allison’s (1971) analysis of the Cuban Missile crisis (see also Allison and Zelikow 1999). In conceptual terms, Allison’s (1971) original monograph provided theoreticians not only with general typological categories (Models I, II, and III) but also with connections between what had been up until that time disparate ideas. In this contribution to the forum, Allison’s schema is instructive in three ways. First, it treats the Missile Crisis as a committee processFa topic well-known to management scholars, academics, and practitioners alike. Second, it provides an excellent starting point for students of comparative government to explore how cabinet governments workFan issue sometimes overlooked or minimized by scholars of Western parliamentary systems ( Jarman and Kouzmin 1993). Third, it gives us insights regarding how the various players involved in cabinets and committees interact in crisis situations. The intention here is not to intrude presumptively into the intriguing and longstanding Cuban Missile Crisis debate. The objective is much less ambitious but perhaps more relevant: to study ‘‘crisis management’’ as a multifaceted topic in which crises are acknowledged as critical to a system’s survival as well as in which crises are contrived so as to gain strategic or tactical advantage, or both (Korac- Kakabadse, Kouzmin, and Kakabadse 2002). Moreover, we are more interested here in exploring policy advice as political process than with administrative output or social outcomes, and we are more concerned with model building (as contingency theory) than with historic irony, paradox, nuance, or policymaking success at the top echelons of cabinet governments.
This essay analyzes the regional and global implications of different enlargement formulations of the European Union (EU) during the first half of the twenty-first century by (1) assessing the consequences of expanded EU membership with varying enlargement scenarios regarding global power distributions, (2) considering the implications of a drift between the United States and the EU as China reaches parity with the West, and (3) examining the implications of EU enlargement for regional stability in the Middle East as a consequence of Turkey's entry into or rejection by the EU. The findings reaffirm earlier results that China is expected to reach parity with the United States in 2025–2030 and move ahead to be the largest economy in the world. The results for the EU show that, regardless of its enlargement plans, it will fall behind the other giants, becoming the third largest economy. Part of the expected decline in its GDP share can be offset by adding Turkey, and perhaps Russia, to the Union. We also find that Turkey's inclusion into the EU will bring stability to the Middle East. Moreover, we observe that the relationship between Iran and Turkey is one with a high probability of conflict and that it will intensify very quickly over time. With Iran's pursuit of nuclear weapons, this dyad is likely to become more conflictual before Iran establishes clear superiority. Turkey's membership in the EU would remove Iran's growing challenge to the volatile Middle East. With Turkey in the EU, parity between Iran and Turkey would disappear and Iran could no longer project hostility against the latter.
We present a simulation model of current conflict-torn Afghanistan in which a system-dynamics model is coupled with an agent-based model. Agent-based modeling techniques are applied to model individual cognition and behavior as well as group formation processes. System-dynamics modeling is used for representing macro conflict processes, such as duration of violence and combat success ratio. The cognitive and behavioral processes are couched in a socio-cultural context and feed into the system dynamics processes. This affords us exploring the relationship between local socio-culturally-driven cognition and behavior and (dynamic) macro properties of armed conflict. We demonstrate the importance of analyzing conflict-torn Afghanistan from an interplay of adapting “traditional” socio-cultural mechanisms, political culture and power structures, and politico-economic macro-processes. We find that variations in the conflict’s superstructure can be explained through variations in socio-culturally dependent structures. The model indicates limitations with regard to classical prediction, but is promising with regard to explanatory-driven pattern forecasting.
This article discusses the probability of increased communal conflict in African states due to the “political vulnerability” of groups to climate change. From an initial examination of communal conflicts in Sub-Saharan Africa, the risk of conflict depends largely on the size and political importance of ethnic groups. Environmental issues can be catalysts to low-level conflict in marginalized communities, but the critical factor is the extent of political and economic marginalization. Small, politically insignificant ethnic groups experience most conflicts related to environmental pressures. This framework informs a prediction of where we should expect to see high levels of politically induced vulnerability and resultant intra- and intercommunal conflicts.
Democracy is a configuration of governance molded by the general values, biases, prejudices, and nuances of a given culture. Individuals in Western countries typically identify with the state as reflecting the desires of the body politic. However, in the African world, including Northeastern Africa (or the Middle East as it is labeled in Western literature), identity is primarily reflected in one's ethnicity, religion, and communal adaptations and traditions. That is, the state's conception of governance is not always congruent with the heterogeneous peoples of a particular nation-state. As a result, ways of governance and perceptions of the “good” life are often conflicting at the local, state, and national levels. These clashing ideas are viewed with incertitude and trepidation in the Western world of democracies. Thus, Western democracies label non-Western democratic experiments as “the other.” Hence, without a more holistic understanding of why ethnicity, religion, and communal attachments are so salient in non-Western societies, Western democracies limit the “democratic playing field” as well as circumscribe cooperative, enduring relationships with “the other.” A reappraisal of democracy as a form of governance is needed to find a paradigm that is more suitable to the context in which various African nation-states exist. That is, one size does not and should not fit all.
Democracy and Development in Africa Claude AkeNorth Africa: Development and Reform in a Changing Global Economy Edited by Dirk Vandewalle
The topics covered during the conference entitled Reconsidering Conflict, Terror and Resolution Conference, which was held at the University of Strathclyde in September 2008 are presented. The meeting aimed at presenting an opportunity for academics and practitioners from very different disciplinary and professional backgrounds to discuss the causes of conflict and terrorism and the conditions of resolution. The forum focused on an intimate relationship between the international execution of the war on terror and domestic security policy within the United Kingdom. The work of Jon Coaffee and Paul O'Hare that reveals important centers of policy resistance within governmental agencies that are quite different from the diasporic networks of opposition which frequently dominate geopolitical analyses of the Islamist threat was also presented. Christopher Lamont focused on the tensions between the international regimes and implementing agencies operating on the ground illustrates comparable cross-level frictions.
Ruback, Timothy J. (2011) Sovereignties (Once Again) in Question. International Studies Review, doi: 10.1111/j.1468-2486.2011.01019.x
In an age marked by economic globalization, regional integration, and increasing transborder flows, some have questioned the continued viability of state sovereignty and territorial borders. This essay examines the conditions of sovereignty and borders in a world of trading states, exploring how conceptions of sovereignty are reflected in the grand strategy of advanced industrial democracies. By disaggregating sovereignty into its constitutive parts, the essay not only provides insights into how these facets affect modern statecraft but also reveals an underconceptualized dimension: societal sovereignty. Whereas sovereignty is willingly ceded by states to gain economically from increased trade and capital mobility, public concern over the social, political, and economic effects of high levels of international migration indicate a growing sensitivity to the maintenance of sovereignty over access to social and political community. In this process, borders serve an increasingly important symbolic function in maintaining stable conceptions of national identity that constitute the cornerstone of the nation-state.
Book reviewed: Aiding Violence: The Development Enterprise in Rwanda, Peter Uvin
Stages of Regime Evolution and Nonregime Types
Why are multilateral institutions absent from some areas of international relations? Governments have not concluded regulatory policy agreements on tactical nuclear weapons and small arms control, deforestation, information privacy, and other transnational issues. The absence of regimes in such policy arenas is an empirical phenomenon with considerable theoretical and policy implications. Yet, existing scholarship on global governance largely ignores the instances in which such institutions do not emerge. This essay develops a research agenda to extend and strengthen regime theory through analysis of nonregimes. We articulate the concept, draw a typology of nonregimes, discuss the contributions that nonregime studies can make to IR theory, outline methodological approaches to pursue the proposed agenda, and highlight a priori theoretical considerations to guide such research. Six illustrative cases in the realms of arms control, environmental management, and international political economy are described and used to make preliminary observations of factors that impede regime formation.
What role do international business norms play in regulating the behavior of firms? Despite growing acceptance of the constructivist claim that norms play an important role in international life and an increased interest in private authority by international relations (IR) scholars, surprisingly little research in the field has explored the extent or mechanisms by which norms influence the behavior of firms. I argue this oversight has more to do with the bias in political science against viewing firms as social or socializable institutions than with the applicability of constructivist theory to firms or markets. To make this argument I examine the spread of sustainability norms across transnational business networks and illustrate how theories of socialization developed by IR constructivist scholars can help explain the rapid spread of these norms and the effects they have on corporate environmental governance. The paper ends with a call for more research on the effects of international business norms and makes several suggestions for how to counteract the bias in political science against doing so.
Book reviewed: Rodrik, Dani The New Global Economy and Developing Countries: Making Openness Work
Top-cited authors
Daniel W. Drezner
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James W. Davis
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Juliet Kaarbo
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Jack Barkin
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Margaret Hermann
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