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  • Author: Janne Bjerre Christensen
  • Publication Date: 04-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: This report offers a critical examination of Iran's influence in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Two points are made: that Iran's top priority is its own regime's survival and its regional policies are directed by its national security concerns. Secondly, that Iran's engagements in Afghanistan are clearly guided by the presence of the US. Iran's predominant interest is in stabilizing Afghanistan, but as long as Afghanistan is neither safe nor stable, Iran will play a double game and engage with its regional neighbours according to the US–Iran equation. Deterrence, counter-containment and competition are the keywords in these complex relations. The report outlines Iran's reconstruction efforts in Afghanistan, its political platform and 'soft power', and the bonds of mutual dependency in terms of water rights, refugees and drug trafficking. It examines Iran's alleged military interventions and the reasons for playing this double game. Lastly, the report discusses Iran's tense relationship with Pakistan with regard to both Afghanistan and the troubled region of Baluchistan.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, Development, Power Politics, Foreign Aid
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, Afghanistan, United States, Iran
  • Author: Bjørn Møller
  • Publication Date: 03-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: Somalia has been without a functioning state ever since 1991, when the former dictator, Siyad Barre, was overthrown. None of the competing factions were strong enough to take his place as ruler of the country, producing first chaos, but gradually a form of stateless order. The international interventions have ever since the failed, and counter-productive intervention by the United Nations and the United States in the early 1990 exacerbated rather than mitigated the problems, let alone solved them. This was especially the case for the Ethiopian invasion (December 2006-January 2009), which produced utter chaos and a severe humanitarian crisis. Since the withdrawal of the Ethiopian forces, Islamist extremist militias have been establishing control of Somalia, and they may or may not be able to maintain this control. If they pursue their radical programme of Islamisation, their reign is likely to be short, but if they moderate themselves they may retain control.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, International Relations, Foreign Policy, United Nations, War
  • Political Geography: Africa, United States, Somalia
  • Author: Pertti Joenniemi
  • Publication Date: 06-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: The contribution focuses on the unfolding and tensions within the transatlantic relationship and it pursues, in particular, the question how the bonds of association between Europe and America are best comprehended and accounted for. In trying to break some new ground for theorization it argues that the Realist, Liberal and Constructivist accounts have so far come up short in terms of providing up-to-date and broadly acceptable answers. With the dominant theories focusing largely on either external enmity or internal homogeneity, difference internal to the relationship has too easily been conceptualized as destabilizing and seen as representing a rupture. In contrast, the paper assert s that while elements of enmity and homogeneity are important, communities such as the Atlantic one are also critically brought together by their internal differences. It then aims, in view of the difference-based dynamics at play and foundational for the Atlantic communality, to complement an d provide a corrective to the more established theorization of that togetherness.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, International Political Economy, Bilateral Relations
  • Political Geography: United States, America, Europe
  • Author: Trine Flockhart
  • Publication Date: 07-2007
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: The paper addresses the question of how Europe (in NATO and the EU) has responded to changes in US announced and operational strategic and military policy and what the principal factors are for explaining European responses to what is perceived as a new form of American hegemony. The discussion is centered around the question of whether the United States has altered it conception of hegemony from one based on consent to one based on 'a preponderance of force', and therefore to have abandoned the crucial process of consensus building through persuasion, which has formed the foundation for the post-war Euro-Atlantic community. If so, then the problem relates more to the fundamental question of maintaining the security community during significant international change and perceived changes in European and American interests than it does to the specific policy content of American foreign policy. European reactions to the perceived change in American foreign policy have been varied in style and rhetoric, but can be di vided into those that have been concerned with safeguarding the achievements of the post-war era by following the United States wherever it may choose to go, or those who see a need for constructing a different relationship with the United States based on a more independent European foreign policy stance.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: United States, America, Europe
  • Author: David P. Forsythe
  • Publication Date: 06-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: It is important to distinguish hegemony from dominance, as various authors like Machiavelli, Gramsci, and Nye have argued. This distinction allows one to appreciate that the first Bush Administration attempted to be a dominant power rather than a hegemonic one. A long list of assertions of essentially unilateral dominant power projections is actually buttressed by two pillars: primary of hard power but also American exceptionalism. By comparison to Europe, the George W. Bush version of American exceptionalism emphasizes traditional and absolute U.S. state sovereignty, a corresponding depreciation of international law and organization, parochialism, and non-muscular multilateralism. Because of all this the U.S. is largely responsible for the crisis in Atlanticism. The Europeans, however, have made their own contributions to this crisis. The crisis needs to be resolved, as the management of various international problems requires trans-Atlantic cooperation. Fortunately there are signs of movement toward this cooperation, although the signals are mixed on the U.S. side.
  • Topic: International Relations, Diplomacy, Sovereignty
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe
  • Author: Bertel Heurlin
  • Publication Date: 12-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: The basic arguments of this paper are, first, that the current US-missile defense, being operative from fall 2004, is based upon the former experiences with missile defense, second, that missile defense closely associated with weapons of mass destruction has gained the highest priority in American national security policy due to the 9.11 attacks, and third, that the superior argument for establishing an American missile defense is to maintain global, long term political-strategic superiority.
  • Topic: International Relations, Security, Weapons of Mass Destruction
  • Political Geography: United States, Asia
  • Author: Bjorn Møller
  • Publication Date: 06-1997
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: The 1991 Gulf War was accompanied by talk of a 'New World Order', not least in the USA. The implied promise was one of a greater respect for international law, a strengthening of the United Nations and a determined effort for arms control and disarmament, both globally and regionally. The paper evaluates developments since then, with a special focus on the accomplishments in the military sphere. In particular, it assesses the contribution of the United States to the creation of this new world (military) order. In conclusion, the US is found to be both part of the problem, because of its excessive military spending and penchant for unilateralism, and an indispensable part of the solution.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, Arms Control and Proliferation, International Law, United Nations
  • Political Geography: United States