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  • Author: Hassan Mneimneh
  • Publication Date: 09-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The International Spectator
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: After more than three years of corrosive wars, Syria no longer exists as a nation-state. It has been replaced by disparate entities and precarious arrangements – to the detriment of the Syrian population. The 'Divided States of Syria' are in large part the result of the survival strategy of the regime, aided by the futile pursuit of a 'political solution' by the international community. As the tragedy deepens, the recovery of Syria becomes more difficult, and the implications for regional stability increase in gravity. The West – the United States in particular – has abstained from forceful engagement. Yet, the price to pay today may in retrospect pale in light of the political, strategic and moral catastrophes that the current reserved approach is enabling.
  • Topic: War
  • Political Geography: United States, Syria
  • Author: Gennady Gatilov
  • Publication Date: 02-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Affairs: A Russian Journal of World Politics, Diplomacy and International Relations
  • Institution: East View Information Services
  • Abstract: On September 27, 2013, the security council of the United Nations unanimously adopted resolution 2118 in support of the decision of the organization for the Prohibition of chemical Weapons (oPcW) made on the same day in The Hague to place Syrian chemical weapons under international control and dismantle them. This was the culmination of the Ministerial Week at the 68th session of the un general assembly in New York, an event which was expected by all, but not all believed that it would happen. All, however, eventually acknowledged that it came about largely through to the efforts of Russian diplomats who, led by Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, negotiated day after day with the U.S.. partners, seeking a solution which not only would avert the threat of a military strike against Syria, but would also open the way for politically resolving the most complicated crisis in the SAR.
  • Topic: Politics, United Nations, War, Weapons of Mass Destruction, International Security
  • Political Geography: Syria
  • Author: G. Toloraya, A. Torkunov
  • Publication Date: 06-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Affairs: A Russian Journal of World Politics, Diplomacy and International Relations
  • Institution: East View Information Services
  • Abstract: In recent years, Russia’s active and highly vigorous foreign policy in many conflict zones has become an important international factor in the hottest points (Syria being one of them). Russia achieved spectacular diplomatic results. there are, however, problem zones much closer to home. We have in mind the Korean Peninsula, the scene of the oldest and dangerous conflict. Many times in the past, the “soft underbelly” of Russia’s far east left the expert community and the public puzzled and bewildered. Throughout the decades which separate the peninsula from the “hot war” (still very much in evidence de jure and de facto), it has been living amid sluggish confrontation and dramatic developments at the domestic stage of the north and the south, two irreconcilable opponents, and between them.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Conflict Prevention, Foreign Policy, War
  • Political Geography: Russia, North Korea
  • Author: V. Surguladze
  • Publication Date: 06-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Affairs: A Russian Journal of World Politics, Diplomacy and International Relations
  • Institution: East View Information Services
  • Abstract: In Ukraine, the West demonstrated once more the efficiency of its organizational weapon and its skill in pushing states into military operations of low intensity. there is still hope that unlike Serbia, Iraq, Libya, etc. Ukraine will not degenerate into another textbook study-case and a tick in the appropriate box in the list of successes of Western political technologists and experts in political coups and “protection of democracy.” While watching what is going on in Ukraine we should demonstrate the strength of spirit and a morally healthy social atmosphere so that to stand opposed to Western ideological attacks and to develop our state, rationally and consistently. Without this, it is impossible to survive in the world where certain countries have mastered the skills of disguising their destructive foreign policy aims with high-sounding phrases about common good and “human values and freedoms” which they distort beyond recognition.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Politics, War, Democracy
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Ukraine, Libya, Serbia
  • Author: Arnulf Becker Lorca
  • Publication Date: 05-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: European Journal of International Law
  • Institution: European Journal of International Law
  • Abstract: Conventionally, self-determination is understood to have evolved in a linear progression from a political principle during World War I into an international right after World War II. The history of the right to self-determination before 1945 is thus part of 'pre-history'. This article explores that 'pre-history' and finds the conventional linear narrative unconvincing. During the first three decades of the 20th century and in particular during the interwar period, non-Western lawyers, politicians, and activists articulated international law claims to support the demand for self-government. In this process, they appropriated and transformed the international law discourse. Removing the legal obstacles that prevented self-government beyond the West – that is, by eliminating the standard of civilization – interwar semi-peripherals made possible the emergence of a right to self-determination later, when the international political context changed after the second post-war reconstruction of international law.
  • Topic: International Law, War
  • Author: David Roth-Isigkeit
  • Publication Date: 05-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: European Journal of International Law
  • Institution: European Journal of International Law
  • Abstract: That positivism is not the promised land of legal methods has become a truism among critical international lawyers. All too often the proclaimed objectivity, neutrality and science has turned out to be intertwined with ideology and domination. In line with the historical-economic turn of the Helsinki school, Monica García-Salmones Rovira's book The Project of Positivism in International Law finds the historical roots of positivism deeply embedded in the development of a global neo-liberal economy. The economic foundations of the method are unearthed with two intellectual biographies of its founding fathers, Lassa Oppenheim and Hans Kelsen, whose life projects have so far escaped critical scrutiny. The book weaves into these two biographical studies the story of international law as a pragmatist and scientific project that freed the discipline from the tradition of natural law to become a servant of global economic interests.
  • Topic: International Law, War
  • Author: Milan Kuhli
  • Publication Date: 05-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: European Journal of International Law
  • Institution: European Journal of International Law
  • Abstract: The book The Hidden Histories of War Crimes Trials – edited by Kevin Jon Heller and Gerry Simpson – is a compilation of 21 contributions to a conference convened in Melbourne at the end of 2010. The project aims at a scholarly recovery of accounts of war crimes trials that were ‘either neglected or under-rehearsed’ (at 1) in the discipline of international criminal law. Accordingly, the contributions tell ‘stories about familiar but under-explored and misunderstood landmarks in the conventional history of international criminal law’ as well as about trials that have been less analysed in this field (at 1). Gregory S. Gordon’s illustrative chapter on the trial of Peter von Hagenbach (chapter 2) is a story of the first kind, whereas Benjamin E. Brockman-Hawe’s comprehensive account of the Franco-Siamese tribunal for the Colonial Era (chapter 3) exemplifies the latter type.
  • Topic: International Law, War
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Harmonie Toros, Luca Mavelli
  • Publication Date: 07-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Politics
  • Institution: Palgrave Macmillan
  • Abstract: This article explores how the violence against Afghan civilians carried out by the Taliban and US 'rogue' soldiers has been accounted for as the product of, respectively, collective evil and individual pathology. These two seemingly contending explanations, it is argued, are part of the same strategy of depoliticization, which aims to provide support and legitimacy for the US-led war in Afghanistan. The article discusses how the genealogy of the discourse of collective evil surrounding the Taliban can be traced to an Orientalist political theodicy, which frames the Taliban as 'children of a lesser God' – that is, as fanatical puppets at the mercy of a violent God – and how the discourse of individual pathology surrounding the unsanctioned violence of US soldiers is instrumental to exempt military and civilian leadership from collusion and responsibility. The article challenges this latter narrative of individual blame by discussing how killing, torture and desecration of bodies are at the heart of warfare. Hence, it is concluded, the language of collective evil and individual pathology are part of the same strategy of depoliticization, which aims to silence political contestation and conceal the dehumanizing aspect of war, its structural production of violence, and the complex and dispersed nature of responsibility.
  • Topic: War
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, United States, Taliban
  • Author: Alexander Anievas
  • Publication Date: 09-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Politics
  • Institution: Palgrave Macmillan
  • Abstract: The Peace Treaties of 1919 retain a prominent place within the study of International Relations (IR).The theoretical significance of Versailles for IR can hardly be overstated. For much rests on the question of whether the post-war settlement was problematic due to its liberal nature or in spite of it. Yet, explanations as to why Versailles diplomacy was so problematic vary significantly. What were the central factors affecting policymaking at Versailles? And what does Paris Peace diplomacy tell IR theory about modern foreign policymaking processes? This article provides a critique of standard IR interpretations of Wilsonian diplomacy at Versailles, illustrating how realist and liberals' uncritical acceptance of Wilson as the quintessential 'idealist-liberal' statesman glosses over a core contradiction at the heart of Wilsonian diplomacy: the wielding of power politics to transcend power politics. In doing so, it examines the effects of the Bolshevik revolution as a paradigm-rupturing event transforming the nature and dynamics of the First World War and the post-war settlement. This traces the unique sociological patterns of uneven and combined development thrown up by the war and the geopolitical problems this created for Wilson and the Allies in forging a new international order.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, War
  • Author: Benjamin E. Goldsmith
  • Publication Date: 01-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Relations of the Asia-Pacific
  • Institution: Japan Association of International Relations
  • Abstract: There is doubt about whether the 'democratic peace' proposition applies in Asia. I theoretically deconstruct regime type into institutional components including political competition, constraint on the executive, and mass participation, and ask whether taking these as distinct causal factors gives more empirical purchase on the relationship of domestic political institutions to states' external conflict behavior. I find that higher levels of political competition are associated with a lower likelihood of conflict initiation, but only when the potential target is relatively democratic. Thus, my directed-dyad analysis is consistent with a democratic peace effect in East Asia. It is also suggestive regarding the observed 'East Asian peace' that has existed since 1979, because levels of political competition have risen considerably in the region, beginning in the late 1970s.
  • Topic: Politics, War
  • Political Geography: East Asia