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  • Author: Andreas Kruck
  • Publication Date: 01-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of International Relations and Development
  • Institution: Central and East European International Studies Association
  • Abstract: This article seeks to systematise and advance the theoretical debate on the causes and conditions for the privatisation of security. Drawing on previous research on private military and security companies (PMSCs) and theories from International Relations and Comparative Politics, it reconstructs functionalist, political-instrumentalist and ideationist explanations for why and under what conditions even 'strong' and democratic Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development states (extensively) use PMSCs. An analysis of inter-temporal and cross-national (United States, British, German and French) patterns of security privatisation indicates that all the three theoretical models point out causes and conditions that are relevant for a comprehensive explanation, but none is sufficient alone. Therefore, the article uses both the models and the empirical evidence to propose a synthetic perspective, which treats different explanatory conditions and logics as complementary, rather than rival. Going beyond the atheoretical conclusion that a multitude of disconnected factors are in some way relevant for a comprehensive explanation of security privatisation, I develop a thin and a thick synthesis that rely on a domain-of-application approach and sequencing, respectively. The thin synthesis spells out how different explanatory factors operate in specific domains, whereas the thick synthesis elaborates how different conditions and mechanisms apply to different phases of security privatisation and how they interrelate.
  • Topic: International Relations, Security, Economics, Politics
  • Political Geography: United States, Germany
  • Author: Claudia Strauss
  • Publication Date: 04-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of International Relations and Development
  • Institution: Central and East European International Studies Association
  • Abstract: Metaphor theorists often state that metaphors are constitutive of thought and action. This article asks how language constructions are constitutive of policy, using the example of immigration policies in the United States. First, the claims of some metaphor analysts are scrutinised. Then a different approach is proposed, one that focuses on formulaic, oft-repeated schemas, or conventional discourses. Conventional discourses are not the same as Foucauldian discursive frameworks. Instead, they are stock rhetorical-interpretive frameworks. For policymakers they serve as mental shortcuts and political identity signals. Political speeches are constructed from multiple conventional discourses; 18 conventional discourses about immigration were drawn upon in just one Congressional debate. Their variety and numbers indicate the possibilities for differing policy emphases. Such constructions, including the formulaic metaphors that are typical of a particular conventional discourse, are constitutive in only a limited sense; they are suggestive without being determinative. Skilful politicians can creatively combine conventional discourses with rhetorical strategies of concession, springboarding, and co-optation to align with multiple constituencies, including ones on opposing sides of an issue. These points are illustrated with the example of U.S. Congressional debate about HR 4437, the Border Protection, Antiterrorism, and Illegal Immigration Control Act of 2005.
  • Topic: Politics, Immigration
  • Political Geography: United States