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  • Author: Michelle Bentley
  • Publication Date: 09-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Affairs
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: This article examines US President Barack Obama's foreign policy rhetoric on Syria, specifically in relation to the threat of chemical weapons and the prohibitionary taboo surrounding their use. It contends that Obama's rhetorical construction of the taboo is not simply a commitment to the control of these horrific weapons (where such arms have been comprehended as so extensively vile as to preclude their employment), but that this also represents the strategic linguistic exploitation of these normative ideals in order to directly shape policy. By analysing of presidential speeches made during the conflict, it demonstrates that Obama has manipulated pre-existing conceptions of chemical weapons as taboo, and also as forms of weapons of mass destruction, to deliberately construct policy in line with his own political ambitions—most notably as a way of forcing a multilateral solution to the situation in Syria. This article challenges existing perceptions of the chemical weapons taboo as an inherently normative constraint, arguing that this instead comprises a more agency-driven construct. Static notions of the taboo must be abandoned and subsequently replaced with a framework of understanding that recognizes how the taboo can be used as a deliberate driver of foreign policy.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: Syria
  • Author: Zia Mian
  • Publication Date: 09-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Affairs
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: In the four decades since Pakistan launched its nuclear weapons program, and especially in the fifteen years since the nuclear tests of 1998, a way of thinking and a related set of feelings about the bomb have taken hold among policy-makers and the public in Pakistan. These include the ideas that the bomb can ensure Pakistan's security; resolve the long-standing dispute with India over Kashmir in Pakistan's favour; help create a new national spirit; establish Pakistan as a leader among Islamic countries; and usher in a new stage in Pakistan's economic development. None of these hopes has come to pass, and in many ways Pakistan is much worse off than before it went nuclear. Yet the feelings about the bomb remain strong and it is these feelings that will have to be examined critically and be set aside if Pakistan is to move towards nuclear restraint and nuclear disarmament. This will require a measure of stability in a country beset by multiple insurgencies, the emergence of a peace movement able to launch a national debate on foreign policy and nuclear weapons, and greater international concern regarding the outcomes of nuclear arms racing in South Asia.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, South Asia, Atlantic Ocean
  • Author: Prashanth Parameswaran
  • Publication Date: 09-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Washington Quarterly
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: On October 20, 2014, Indonesia—the world's fourth - largest nation, third - largest democracy, and largest Muslim - majority country—after a decade of stable leadership under Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, inaugurated former Jakarta governor Joko Widodo as its new president. Jokowi, as he is popularly known in Indonesia, will face the daunting task of addressing the country's myriad domestic problems, while also maintaining its role abroad as a regional leader in Southeast Asia as well as a global player in important international fora like the G20 and the United Nations. Indonesian foreign policy will likely display significant continuity with the Yudhoyono years. But in translating Indonesia's foreign policy aspirations into reality, Jokowi will confront major challenges ranging from nagging resource constraints at home to incomplete political transitions and rising nationalism among Indonesia's neighbors abroad. These challenges have profound implications for U.S. policy toward Indonesia, given the closer ties between the two countries over the past few years. U.S. policymakers should factor in these realities as they fashion next steps for U.S.-Indonesia relations.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: Indonesia, United Nations
  • Author: Amitai Etzioni
  • Publication Date: 09-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Politics
  • Institution: Palgrave Macmillan
  • Abstract: In May 2013 the Pentagon released an unclassified summary of the top-secret Air-Sea Battle (ASB) Concept. ASB serves to focus the Pentagon's efforts to organize, train and equip the armed forces against advanced weapons systems that threaten the US military's unfettered freedom of access and action in the global commons. While officials claim ASB is merely improve service interoperability and could be applied in any number of conflict situations, this article argues that in fact the doctrine represents the Pentagon's plan for confronting China's increasingly capable and confident military. This raises two urgent questions: how does ASB fit into an overall US foreign policy toward China – and, if a military confrontation cannot be avoided, are there less risky alternatives, such a maritime blockade, that can achieve the same ends as ASB?
  • Topic: Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: China
  • Author: Tahereh Miremadi
  • Publication Date: 03-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Iranian Review of Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Center for Strategic Research
  • Abstract: This paper aims to highlight the linkage between domestic public policy and international bargaining power in the realm of science and technology policy. To do so, it constructs a model hybrid of two independent theoretical frameworks: Advocacy Coalition Framework by Paul Sabatier and Double Edged Diplomacy by Peter Evans. The main question to answer is how policy learning at the national level can occur as a result of the factor of enlightenment according to the Advocacy Coalition Framework and the second question is how this learning stretches to the foreign policy sub-system and invigorates the capacity of negotiating team for providing more innovative package of technical instruments or the so-called “win-set”, according to the Double Edged Diplomacy. This hybrid model is applied to the case of nuclear policy/ diplomacy of Iran. Thus, the objective of the paper is twofold: first, it takes on an analysis of the domestic nuclear policy change or readjustment in Iran that has been produced by policy learning. The second objective is to explain how this domestic learning factor overflowed to the foreign policy sub-systems and has provided the country with a new approach to the nuclear negotiations with foreign partners.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Diplomacy
  • Political Geography: Iran
  • Author: Rouhollah Eslami
  • Publication Date: 03-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Iranian Review of Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Center for Strategic Research
  • Abstract: Does Iran, which is known in political science literature as a developing, oriental and ancient country, have specific, examinable and predictable models in a way that can be applied to foreign policy studies? In this study the author intends to analyze six models of Iranian foreign policy between the two revolutions (from the constitutional to the Islamic); these patterns have been fluctuating dialectically between an idealism embedded in the Iranian grieving ontology and realism as it relates to the international environment. At the beginning, the nostalgic worldview of Iranians that is a reflection of their subjective collective constructs is analyzed. Then counter-scientism and anti-positivism in Iranian epistemology is studies. The outcome of these two is the absence of realism as the most significant paradigm of foreign policy. In order to prove the assumption, six models of Iranian foreign policy will be briefly assessed with the aim of demonstrating how the unconsciousness of Iranian ancient civilization and mystical and severely anti-science and anti-reality covers have given life to an anti-reality which has caused Iranian foreign policy patterns to be infused with unwarranted idealism. The dialectic between the two different atmospheres, however, has given way to creative models; and the Iranian Ministry of Foreign Affairs has been efficient and taken the initiative in their design, implementation and assessment.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Islam
  • Political Geography: Iran
  • Author: C. Akça Ataç
  • Publication Date: 01-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Institution: The Center for Foreign Policy and Peace Research
  • Abstract: Despite its present reputation as weak, inefficient, and discreditable, the United Nations is one of humanity's most noble endeavors. Although the structure of the Security Council prevents its decision-making procedures from being more democratic, the UN still seeks to suppress aggression, respect self-determination, and promote human rights and well-being. Furthermore, political cosmopolitans' proposals for comprehensive UN reform, which goes far beyond increasing the number of permanent members of the Security Council, give us hope for substantial improvement. Nevertheless, the UN is still the sum of the states it is comprised of and UN reform depends on the broader and ambitious project of state reform as both concept and practice. Within this context, this paper argues that focusing exclusively on the Security Council and the geographical distribution of permanent membership only harms the comprehensiveness of the analyses seeking to reform the UN from a larger perspective. The fact that the success of a UN reform is closely related with the enhancement of member states' ethical capacities should also be taken into consideration. The next round of debates for a proper solution to the UN impasse takes place in 2015, and Turkey is emerging as an enthusiastic voice for further reform and for its own potential permanent membership in the Security Council. However, Turkey has also developed a significantly anti-UN discourse unprecedented in its foreign policy, which now runs the risk of curtailing the country's capacity to partake in substantial change in UN decision-making procedures. Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu currently acts as a statesman, insisting on a statist reform (which focuses more on states' individual interests) of the Security Council. Interestingly, in the 1990s, when Davutoğlu was a university professor, his views of the UN tended to be more cosmopolitan and suggested a civilization-based solution. This paper, while elaborating on the discussions of reforming the UN from a cosmopolitan perspective, also probes Davutoğlu's conflicting approaches to the issue. It thus seeks to argue that Turkey, instead of pushing for a purely statist model, should consider supporting pluralistic, multilevel, and more-complex participation in the UN's decision-making procedures.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, Cold War, United Nations
  • Political Geography: Turkey
  • 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