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  • Author: Anna Geis, Carmen Wunderlich
  • Publication Date: 07-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Politics
  • Institution: Palgrave Macmillan
  • Abstract: The identification and naming of an 'enemy' is an age-old element within foreign policy and (domestic) security policy discourses. It serves to stabilize speakers' benign conceptions of the self, to structure threat perceptions of 'the world outside' and to legitimate ultimately violent policy options. This article compares the notions of 'rogue' and 'evil' in order to analyse the political implications of such a use of derogative actor categories. The notion of 'rogue states' has played an important role in the security strategies of the US presidents Clinton and in particular George W. Bush and alludes to criminal law. 'Evil' has been a much older, religiously loaded concept and has been invoked in politics for describing the inconceivable, monstrous violence and destruction. While many liberal critics argue that one should abandon the metaphysical category of evil and dispose of the stigmatizing category of the 'rogue', this article concludes with the suggestion that a self-reflexive use of these categories can be instructive: It can make 'us' – the very modern secular liberals – think about ourselves, about responsibility and moral standards as well as about the fundamental ambivalence of our actions.
  • Topic: Politics
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Harald Muller
  • Publication Date: 07-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Politics
  • Institution: Palgrave Macmillan
  • Abstract: Liberal discourse should have a hard time looking for 'evil' in international relations. Standing on the pillar of rationalism and humanitarianism, there seems to be little space for the morally and emotionally charged notion of evil to enter considerations. Yet, the liberal belief in the freedom of will implies that humans are capable of turning against the advice of reason and opt for evil behavior and underlying principles. This possibility is epitomized by Kant's construction of the 'evil enemy'. Since 'evil' appears sporadically in international relations, with Hitler's Germany as prototype, its existence in the real world of international relations cannot be ruled out a priori. Designating an 'other' as evil is thus a discursive possibility. The practice to turn this possibility into reality is conceptualized here as 'evilization' in analogy to 'securitization'. There is strong variance among liberal democracies in applying this practice, ranging from 'pacifism' to 'militancy', which often leads to dire consequences. Deriving the principles of fallibility and prudence from liberal reasoning, this article concludes with the proposition that 'liberal pacifism' is the preferable option in most conceivable circumstances, but that the possibility of confronting political evil is rare, but existing.
  • Topic: International Relations, Politics
  • Political Geography: Germany, Cameroon
  • Author: Christopher Hobson
  • Publication Date: 07-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Politics
  • Institution: Palgrave Macmillan
  • Abstract: The 1961 Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs is unique among UN conventions for the appearance of the term 'evil' in the document. Among all the possible wrongdoing and bad things that exist in the world, it is slightly counterintuitive that drugs are the only one to be labelled as 'evil' in international law. Adopting a 'conceptual politics' approach, the article will examine how drugs came to be identified in this manner, with a specific focus on the drafting of the 1961 Single Convention. The latter part of the article focuses on the contemporary relevance of this framing, considering how it contributes towards a much more restrictive environment in which serious change to the drug prohibition regime has proven to be a very difficult task. For those seeking reform it is not enough to demonstrate that the system does not work, they also must successfully challenge the idea of drugs as something evil and a threat to humanity. In concluding it is suggested that by returning to the Single Convention, one finds not only the language of 'evil', but also a more flexible position that allowed for revising the way drugs are dealt with. To bring about change in drugs prohibition regime, reformers will need to recover this more open and balanced approach to understanding drugs.
  • Topic: Environment, International Law, Politics, United Nations
  • Author: Piki Ish-Shalom
  • Publication Date: 07-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Politics
  • Institution: Palgrave Macmillan
  • Abstract: Iran's imminent rise to nuclear power status raises reasonable fears about the Middle East stability. Having examined the discursive exchange of Mutual Assured Evilness (MAE) by Iran and Israel, some political commentators and decision makers express doubts over the workability of nuclear stability. That is because they question whether these countries can overcome their mutual hatred and find the requisite instrumental rationality for nuclear stability. Their fears are exacerbated when they regard Iran as a religious country and hence supposedly incapable of rational behavior. However, the discourse of evil is not only indicative of hatred. Evil it seems is a conceptual relic encased in religious metaphysics. It is a datum that enables us to expose the religious layers that exist alongside secularism. Israel's hyperbolic use of the term evil resonates as strongly as it does because of the religious metaphysics that coexists with Israel's supposedly secular belief system. Therefore, in some ways, Israeli society may be closer to Iranian society than Israelis generally allow themselves to believe and all the while the two societies are locked in a dance of hatred and fear, fueled, among other things, by MAE.
  • Topic: Politics
  • Political Geography: Iran, Middle East, Israel
  • Author: William Clapton, Shahar Hameiri
  • Publication Date: 01-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Politics
  • Institution: Palgrave Macmillan
  • Abstract: Recent work has identified new hierarchical relationships within international society. However, few scholars have provided a satisfactory account of what informs their formation, reproduction or constitutional effects for international society. We argue that underpinning the emergence of a more hierarchical international society is a new social logic of risk, which constructs illiberal and/or fragile states as potentially dangerous sites of instability and disorder that pose particular security risks for Western states. We proceed to argue that such risk-based hierarchies are transformative of both inter-state and intra-state relations, by stripping equal political agency from 'risky' actors within and without the state. We demonstrate these claims by drawing on examples of international state building in Southeast Asia and the Southwest Pacific.
  • Topic: Politics
  • Author: John Berryman
  • Publication Date: 07-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Politics
  • Institution: Palgrave Macmillan
  • Abstract: The article provides a broad overview of the fluctuating connections between the controversial and ambiguous field of modern geopolitics and Russia. Given the pivotal significance of the Russian challenge within the early hypotheses of Mahan and Mackinder, the article first explores those distinctive geographical and spatial considerations that helped shape the development of the Russian Empire. The place of geopolitics in the Cold War is then reviewed, including both its policy orientation and the exchanges between the proponents of geopolitical realism and liberal internationalism. In conclusion, the article examines the post-Cold War renaissance of geopolitics, reviewing both theoretical developments and policy implications for Russian foreign policy.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Politics
  • Political Geography: Russia
  • Author: Andrea Oelsner, Antoine Vion
  • Publication Date: 01-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Politics
  • Institution: Palgrave Macmillan
  • Abstract: From Aristotle to Kant, Schmitt and Derrida, philosophers have explored the links between friendship and politics. In 2007, Critical Review of Social and Political Philosophy published a Special Issue on 'Friendship in Politics' discussing friendship as a specific dimension of both domestic and international politics (Smith and King, 2007).
  • Topic: International Relations, Politics
  • Author: Graham M. Smith
  • Publication Date: 01-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Politics
  • Institution: Palgrave Macmillan
  • Abstract: What contribution can a theorization of friendship offer to the understanding of the world of states? It is argued here that the contemporary view of friendship eclipses a longer and broader appreciation. As such, the view of friendship that identifies it as affective, private and particular (here termed the contemporary-affective view) is one instance of a much wider cluster of ideas sharing overlapping characteristics. So conceptualized, 'friendship' is the concern with what binds person-to-person. It is a concern with the nature and fabric of the political. Seen from this vantage point, friendship highlights what an analysis through the state tends to overshadow: the enduring affinities, identifications and bonds that permeate the dynamics of the world of states. Thus, friendship need not remain the preserve of the premodern (Aristotle), nor be usurped as an adjunct to sovereignty and power (Schmitt), but investigated as an ongoing site of analysis for phenomena within, between and beyond states.
  • Topic: Politics
  • Author: Sibyl A Schwarzenbach
  • Publication Date: 01-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Politics
  • Institution: Palgrave Macmillan
  • Abstract: Despite recent cracks in the dominant Hobbesian world picture of international relations (IR) - as the resurgence of neo-Kantianism in the area of 'global justice' bears witness - a discussion of friendship still remains absent. This article focusses on the important debate concerning the possibility of a global 'difference principle': that principle which John Rawls in A Theory of Justice considers an 'expression of fraternity' between citizens. Although in his later work Rawls explicitly denies that his difference principle applies worldwide and between 'people', others (most famously Charles Beitz and Thomas Pogge) defend a global version of it nonetheless. Yet, there is no talk of fraternity by these latter thinkers. I argue that both these positions are mistaken. Not only is an analysis of friendship necessary for any adequate account of justice - whether domestic or global - but the form this political friendship takes emerges as critical to the substantive debate.
  • Topic: International Relations, Politics
  • Author: Heather Devere, Simon Mark, Jane Verbitsky
  • Publication Date: 01-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Politics
  • Institution: Palgrave Macmillan
  • Abstract: While the concept of friendship has been largely invisible within Western political debate, in the international political domain, 'friendship' and the language of friends have been prominent in treaties and alliances between nations. Database searches on the topic of 'politics and friendship' locate predominantly references concerning relationships between states. However, it has been war and enmity rather than friendship that has dominated analysis in international relations literature. In this article we provide a history of international treaties, focusing in particular on those named as friendship treaties. We will discuss the use of concepts and terminology related to friendship and the nomenclature associated with international alliances. It will be argued that friendship is more a tool of public relations and spin, rather than diplomacy and peace-building, and the cynical use of friendship does not sit easily with the Nehruvian concept of friendship as an important method of diplomacy that can act as a path to peace, goodwill and understanding between states and nations.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, Politics
  • Author: Evgeny Roschchin
  • Publication Date: 01-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Politics
  • Institution: Palgrave Macmillan
  • Abstract: This article focuses on the use of the concept of friendship in the treaties of friendship concluded by the United Kingdom and the Soviet Union in the twentieth century. The range of reference of friendship and its usage by these two political rivals display a number of commonalities, which indicate a key role this concept plays in maintaining the existing order of interstate relations. The concept is conventionally used in the treaties marking the changes in the global or regional political settings. In the texts of these treaties appeals to friendship are made together with the expression of respect for state sovereignty, independence, borders and so on. It also appears as an exclusive and contractual relationship. These conventions in diplomatic rhetoric, meant to reassert and legitimize the particularistic sovereign order, pose a challenge to the attempts to conceive of international relations in terms of friendship as an ethical, universal and benevolent phenomenon.
  • Topic: Politics
  • Political Geography: United Kingdom, Soviet Union
  • Author: Mark Ledwidge
  • Publication Date: 03-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Politics
  • Institution: Palgrave Macmillan
  • Abstract: This article consists of a critical discourse that examines the meteoric rise of Barack Obama within the context of international and domestic race relations. The article explores the impact of American racism on domestic and foreign affairs, in addition to providing contrasting viewpoints on the significance of Obama's election to the presidency. The article utilises the Obama phenomenon to assess US perceptions of the North–South divide, race, ethnicity, religion and anti-Americanism, in addition to unpacking the controversy surrounding Rev. Jeremiah Wright's characterisations of American power. The Obama campaign's post-9/11 context will be used to ascertain whether conservative efforts to associate Obama with Islam represent a conservative backlash that represents an ethnocentric re-articulation related to race, religion and the War on Terror, followed by an assessment of whether the Obama phenomenon is indicative of the perfectibility of US democracy, which would justify the exportation of American values. The article will engage in an interdisciplinary discourse grounded in political science, history and IR to provide the depth of knowledge and theoretical competency to frame the discussion in a historical and contemporary context that acknowledges Obama's relevance to domestic and international politics.
  • Topic: Politics
  • Political Geography: America
  • Author: Kevern Verney
  • Publication Date: 03-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Politics
  • Institution: Palgrave Macmillan
  • Abstract: This article addresses two questions. It begins by comparing the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination contest with the 1980s campaigns of Jesse Jackson. It examines the different background and personalities of Obama and Jackson, together with an analysis of what has changed in US political life in the intervening decades, in an attempt to understand why Obama succeeded where the earlier Jackson campaigns failed. The second part of the article analyses the subsequent general election with a view to determining whether Obama's defeat of John McCain should be seen as a result of a unique set of political circumstances, or evidence of the increasing irrelevance of race in US electoral politics. In particular, this discussion assesses the validity of the claims made by some commentators that Obama's victory marks the beginning of a new 'post-racial' era in American political life.
  • Topic: Politics
  • Political Geography: United States, America
  • Author: Fraser Cameron
  • Publication Date: 05-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Politics
  • Institution: Palgrave Macmillan
  • Abstract: This article reviews the European Union's policy towards Asia since 2001, when an ambitious Communication from the European Commission suggested that the EU should play a political and security role in the region commensurate with its economic strength. After assessing a number of political and security issues in Asia, the article concludes that the EU has had little or no impact on the major geopolitical issues but that it is making some impact on security issues of lesser importance. The article also touches on integration as a contribution to security. It reviews the limited progress in Asian integration and suggests that the basic criteria for integration are missing in Asia. Some aspects of the EU model, however, might be useful for Asian countries wishing to move forward towards closer integration.
  • Topic: Security, Politics
  • Political Geography: Europe, Asia