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  • Author: Albert Bressan
  • Publication Date: 01-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Affairs
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: The entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty invites and enables Europe to develop elements of a common foreign policy. Europe should resist the tendency of listing all issues calling for attention, and be aware that it will have to address three agendas, not just one. The first agenda is the Kantian one of universal causes. While it remains essential to European identity, it presents Europe with limited opportunities for success in the 2010s as could be seen at the 2009 Climate Summit in Copenhagen. The 'Alliance' agenda remains essential on the security front and would benefit from a transatlantic effort at rejuvenation on the economic one. Last but not least, the 'Machiavellian' agenda reflects what most countries would define as their 'normal' foreign policy. It calls for Europe to influence key aspects of the world order in the absence of universal causes or common values. While Europe's 'Machiavellian' experience is limited to trade policy, developing a capacity to address this third agenda in a manner that places its common interests first and reinforces its identity will be Europe's central foreign policy challenge in the 2010s. A key part of the Machiavellian agenda presently revolves around relations with Ukraine, Turkey and the Russian Federation, three countries essential to Europe's energy security that are unlikely to change their foreign policy stance faced with EU soft power. Stressing that foreign policy is about 'us' and 'them', the article looks at what could be a genuine European foreign policy vis-à-vis each of these interdependent countries, beginning with energy and a more self-interested approach to enlargement. The European public space is political in nature, as majority voting and mutual recognition imply that citizens accept 'foreigners' as legitimate legislators. At a time when the European integration process has become more hesitant and the political dimension of European integration tends to be derided or assumed away, admitting Turkey or Ukraine as members would change Europe more than it would change these countries. Foreign policy cannot be reduced to making Europe itself the prize of the relationship. What objectives Europe sets for itself in its dealing with Ukraine, Turkey and Russia will test whether it is ready for a fully-fledged foreign policy or whether the invocation of 'Europe' is merely a convenient instrument for entities other than 'Europe'.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: Europe, Turkey, Ukraine
  • Author: Geoffrey Warner
  • Publication Date: 01-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Affairs
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: The Cambridge history of the Cold War is a three-volume work by 75 contributors, mostly from the United States and the United Kingdom, and is intended as 'a substantial work of reference' on the subject. The bulk of the text deals, in frequently overlapping chapters, with the main protagonists of the conflict—viz. the United States, the Soviet Union and the People's Republic of China—and the areas in which they clashed. At the same time, it aims to go 'far beyond the narrow boundaries of diplomatic affairs', although it is not always successful in doing so. In analysing the origins of the Cold War, the contributors pay perhaps too much attention to ideology as opposed to geopolitics, a flaw which is made easier by the absence of sufficient historical background. On the other hand, the duration of the conflict and the failure of various attempts at détente is more successfully explained in terms of the zero-sum game nature of the conflict and its progressive extension from Europe across the rest of the world. When it comes to the end of the Cold War, the overall conclusion is that this came about through both a shift in the international balance of power following the Sino-Soviet split and the political and economic problems of the Soviet bloc. It is generally agreed that Mikhail Gorbachev's willingness to abandon old shibboleths both at home and abroad was a major factor in bringing about the end of the conflict. The three volumes, while not always an easy read, are the outcome of considerable research and expertise in both primary and secondary sources and will repay careful study.
  • Topic: Cold War
  • Political Geography: United States, China, United Kingdom, Europe, Soviet Union
  • Author: Clara Marina O'Donnell
  • Publication Date: 03-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Affairs
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: The formation of a coalition government by the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats, combined with the need for important cuts to Britain's armed forces has raised significant uncertainties about Britain's attitude to defence cooperation within the European Union. Since taking office the coalition, while grappling with the implications of Britain's fiscal challenges, has shown an unprecedented interest in strengthening bilateral defence collaborations with certain European partners, not least France. However, budgetary constraints have not induced stronger support for defence cooperation at the EU level. On the contrary, under the new government, Britain has accelerated its withdrawal from the EU's Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP). This article assesses the approach of the coalition to the CSDP. It argues that, from the perspective of British interests, the need for EU defence cooperation has increased over the last decade and that the UK's further withdrawal from EU efforts is having a negative impact. The coalition is undermining a framework which has demonstrated the ability to improve, albeit modestly, the military capabilities of other European countries. In addition, by sidelining the EU at a time when the UK is forced to resort more extensively to cost-saving synergies in developing and maintaining its own armed forces, David Cameron's government is depriving itself of the use of potentially helpful EU agencies and initiatives—which the UK itself helped set up. Against the background of deteriorating European military capabilities and shifts in US priorities, the article considers what drove Britain to support EU defence cooperation over a decade ago and how those pressures have since strengthened. It traces Britain's increasing neglect of the CSDP across the same period, the underlying reasons for this, and how the coalition's current stance of disengagement is damaging Britain's interests.
  • Topic: Government
  • Political Geography: Britain, Europe, France
  • Author: David S Yost
  • Publication Date: 11-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Affairs
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: NATO's nuclear deterrence posture has since the late 1950s involved risk- and responsibility-sharing arrangements based on the presence of US nuclear weapons in Europe. Since 1991 gravity bombs, deliverable by US and allied dualcapable aircraft, have been the only type of US nuclear weapons left in Europe. Although many other factors are involved in the alliance's deterrence posture and in US extended deterrence-including intercontinental forces, missile defences, non-nuclear capabilities and declaratory policy-recent discussions in the United States about NATO nuclear deterrence have focused on the future of the remaining Abstracts US nuclear weapons in Europe. The traditional view has supported long-standing US and NATO policy in holding that the risk- and responsibility-sharing arrangements based on US nuclear weapons in Europe contribute to deterrence and war prevention; provide assurance to the allies of the genuineness of US commitments; and make the extended deterrence responsibility more acceptable to the United States. From this perspective, no further cuts in the US nuclear weapons presence in Europe should be made without an agreement with Russia providing for reductions that address the US-Russian numerical disparity in non-strategic nuclear forces, with reciprocal transparency and verification measures. In contrast, four schools of thought call for withdrawing the remaining US nuclear weapons in Europe without any negotiated Russian reciprocity: some military officers who consider the weapons and associated arrangements unnecessary for deterrence; proponents of ambitious arms control measures who accept extended deterrence policies but view the US weapons in Europe as an obstacle to progress in disarmament; nuclear disarmament champions who reject extended nuclear deterrence policies and who wish to eliminate all nuclear arms promptly; and selective engagement campaigners who want the United States to abandon extended nuclear deterrence commitments to allies on the grounds that they could lead to US involvement in a nuclear war.
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe
  • Author: Christian Reus-Smit
  • Publication Date: 09-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Affairs
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: How should we understand the cultural politics that has surrounded the development of international human rights? Two perspectives frame contemporary debate. For 'cultural particularists', human rights are western artefacts; alien to other societies, and an inappropriate basis for international institutional development. For 'negotiated universalists', a widespread global consensus undergirds international human rights norms, with few states openly contesting their status as Abstracts fundamental standards of political legitimacy. This article advances an alternative understanding, pursuing John Vincent's provocative, yet undeveloped, suggestion that while the notion of human rights has its origins in European culture, its spread internationally is best understood as the product of a 'universal social process'. The international politics of individual/human rights is located within an evolving global ecumene, a field of dynamic cultural engagement, characterized over time by the development of multiple modernities. Within this field, individual/human rights have been at the heart of diverse forms of historically transformative contentious politics, not the least being the struggles for imperial reform and change waged by subject peoples of diverse cultural backgrounds; struggles that not only played a key role in the construction of the contemporary global system of sovereign states, but also transformed the idea of 'human' rights itself. In developing this alternative understanding, the article advances a different understanding of the relation between power and human rights, one in which rights are seen as neither simple expressions of, or vehicles for, western domination, nor robbed of all power-political content by simple notions of negotiation or consensus. The article concludes by considering, in a very preliminary fashion, the implications of this new account for normative theorizing about human rights. If a prima facie case exists for the normative justifiability of such rights, it lies first in their radical nature—in their role in historically transformative contentious politics—and second in their universalizability, in the fact that one cannot plausibly claim them for oneself while denying them to others.
  • Political Geography: Europe