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  • Publication Date: 10-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of International Relations and Development
  • Institution: Central and East European International Studies Association
  • Abstract: Sovereignty at sea: the law and politics of saving lives in mare liberum Tanja E Aalberts and Thomas Gammeltoft-Hansen When 'blurring' becomes the norm and secession is justified as the exception: revisiting EU and Russian discourses in the common neighbourhood Eiki Berg and Martin Mölder Foreign policy analysis, globalisation and non-state actors: state-centric after all? Rainer Baumann and Frank A Stengel Regional integration and the challenge of overlapping memberships on trade Mwita Chacha Practicality by judgement: transnational interpreters of local ownership in the Polish-Ukrainian border reform encounter Xymena Kurowska.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Globalization, Politics, Sovereignty
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Ukraine
  • Author: Thomas Gammeltoft-Hansen, Tanja E. Aalberts
  • Publication Date: 10-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of International Relations and Development
  • Institution: Central and East European International Studies Association
  • Abstract: This article analyses the interplay between politics and law in the recent attempts to strengthen the humanitarian commitment to saving lives in mare liberum. Despite a long-standing obligation to aid people in distress at sea, this so-called search and rescue regime has been marred by conflicts and political standoffs as states were faced with a growing number of capsising boat migrants potentially claiming international protection once on dry land. Attempts to provide a legal solution to these problems have resulted in a re-spatialisation of the high seas, extending the states' obligations in the international public domain based on geography rather than traditional functionalist principles that operated in the open seas. However, inadvertently, this further legalisation has equally enabled states to instrumentalise law to barter off and deconstruct responsibility by reference to traditional norms of sovereignty and maritime law. In other words, states may be able to reclaim sovereign power by becoming increasingly norm-savvy and successfully navigating the legal playing field provided by the very expansion of international law itself. Thus, rather than being simply a space of non-sovereignty per se, mare liberum becomes the venue for a complex game of sovereignty, law and politics.
  • Topic: Politics, Sovereignty, Law
  • Author: Eiki Berg, Martin Mölder
  • Publication Date: 10-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of International Relations and Development
  • Institution: Central and East European International Studies Association
  • Abstract: This paper takes a closer look at the discourses of the EU and Russia in relation to the ground-breaking events in Kosovo (1999/2008) and the South Caucasus (2008) while digging deep into the discursive practices and contextual aspects of these conflicts. We will argue that, on a more abstract level, the EU and Russia were applying the same logic of discourse - either professing humanitarian concerns, including 'responsibility to protect', or emphasising 'obligation to refrain' - across these similar instances of intervention and secession declared to be exceptions by both. Across these cases, both actors were not only blurring the common understanding of these terms and the rules of their application in practice, but also advancing implicitly such blurring as, in fact, a norm. However, when the principles in relation to secession are blurred, it is easy to follow the examples of both Russia as well as the EU, depicting specific instances of secession selectively as exceptions and legitimating one's essentially arbitrary behaviour vis-à-vis the professed international norms.
  • Topic: Humanitarian Aid
  • Political Geography: Russia
  • Author: Rainer Baumann, Frank A Stengel
  • Publication Date: 10-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of International Relations and Development
  • Institution: Central and East European International Studies Association
  • Abstract: This paper is concerned with Foreign Policy Analysis (FPA) and non-state actors (NSAs). Globalisation has brought NSAs back on the agenda of International Relations (IR). As a result of globalisation, we witness at least some shift of authority from the state to NSAs (the extent of which remains debated). Although most of the empirical studies focus on 'domestic' issues, there are good reasons to assume that foreign policy is equally affected by this trend. Not only are NSAs autonomous actors in world politics, they are also increasingly involved in the making of states' foreign policies. In this article, we ask to what extent FPA, IR's actor-centric sub-field, has taken into account this growing importance of NSAs. Given FPA's criticism of seeing the state as a unitary actor, one would expect FPA scholars to be among the first within IR to analyse decision making involving NSAs. However, a closer look reveals that FPA remains focused mainly on state actors, while ignoring private, transnational and international ones. Thus, FPA remains in a way state-centric. We close with an outline of possible directions for further FPA research.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Globalization
  • Author: Mwita Chacha
  • Publication Date: 10-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of International Relations and Development
  • Institution: Central and East European International Studies Association
  • Abstract: Despite a plethora of policy and scholarly discussions on how overlapping memberships affect the implementation of rules of origin meant to facilitate trade within regional trade agreements (RTAs) of developing countries, there has yet to be any theory development or empirical test to verify these claims. This article re-examines these previous discussions and articulates and empirically tests a theoretical model on the effects that overlapping memberships have had on intra-RTA trade. Using measures of overlapping memberships at both the RTA and country levels of analysis, I find that overlapping memberships in RTAs involving developing countries have had a negative effect on intra-RTA trade levels. These findings shed light on steps developing countries can take to address overlapping memberships and strengthen regional integration at a time when there is a push for north-south trade agreements such as those the European Union is negotiating with several of these developing countries.
  • Author: Xymena Kurowska
  • Publication Date: 10-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of International Relations and Development
  • Institution: Central and East European International Studies Association
  • Abstract: Local ownership has become a central norm of international statebuilding while its practice is seen as failure. This is explained either as an instance of organised hypocrisy where the norm is de facto circumvented or, in a critical vein, as a hegemonic projection of the neoliberal system of governance which by default erases local agency. Practitioners of statebuilding are seen as agents of moulding; social engineers in the policy discourse or conduits of the discursive structure from which they derive their 'professional reflex' and authority in the critical discourse. This article suggests that both designations misdiagnose the problem of action as being 'caused' by either norm transfer, or by norms being 'ingrained' in professional practices. It adopts a micro-perspective on the practice of embedded experts in a series of EU-sponsored projects to offer a contextual account of an on-the-ground interaction. The encounter between Polish and Ukrainian border guards highlights differential power relations and demonstrates the rich texture of the semantic field of 'local ownership'. The case nuances arguments about tacit institutional reproduction in transnational settings and the automaticity of norm diffusion among security professionals to illustrate instead a contingent role of 'practicality by judgement' in their action.
  • Topic: Security
  • Political Geography: Ukraine
  • Author: Mark Purdon
  • Publication Date: 07-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of International Relations and Development
  • Institution: Central and East European International Studies Association
  • Abstract: In this article, I present a neoclassical realist theory of climate change politics that challenges the idea that cooperation on climate change is compelled alone by shared norms and interests emanating from the international level and questions if instead material factors also play a significant constraining role. Relative-gains concerns incited by the international resource transfers implicit in climate change policy may compel some states to be prudent in their international climate change efforts and conserve resources domestically for future contingencies, including their own adaptation and resiliency. Neoclassical realism recognises such systemic constraints while also identifying international and domestic factors—a 'two-level game'—that explain variation in state sensitivity to relative gains. As a preliminary test of this theory, I compare the latest data on the magnitude, distribution and financial 'additionality' of climate funds and carbon markets. Climate funds are found to be more vulnerable to systemic forces identified by neoclassical realism because they are largely drawn from existing official development assistance budgets despite international commitments that funds are 'new and additional'. Carbon markets engage a relatively broader number of states and, contrary to moral hazard concerns, have been used to a greater degree by states reducing emissions domestically. While there are concerns about whether carbon credits represent genuine emission reductions, the effectiveness of climate funds is equally, if not more, dubious. I conclude that, while imperfect, carbon markets have too often been unfairly compared with an ideal climate finance mechanism that assumes few political constraints on international resource transfers for climate change.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, International Security, Political Theory, Bilateral Relations
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Stefan Borg
  • Publication Date: 07-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of International Relations and Development
  • Institution: Central and East European International Studies Association
  • Abstract: The European Union is often presented as an entity that has 'moved beyond' the model of organising political life along the way of the modern sovereign state. This paper questions this understanding by engaging a set of texts that could be understood as exemplary of the EU's official discourse of Europe: EU's failed Constitutional Treaty and Javier Solana's collected speeches. A paradox is herein identified: the values that are said to sustain Europe's identity and upon which Europe is founded are simultaneously presented as distinctly European and universal. It is suggested that Europe is being crafted in a pendular oscillation between particularising and universalising the values upon which Europe allegedly rests. By drawing on critical International Relations theory, the paper suggests that this very contradictory oscillation between particularising and universalising Europe's values to an important extent mirrors modern statecraft. One should therefore think twice before announcing the construction of the European Union as something qualitatively different from, or 'gentler' than, modern statecraft.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, Political Theory, Bilateral Relations
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Gunther Hellmann, Gabi Schlag, Benjamin Herborth, Christian Weber
  • Publication Date: 07-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of International Relations and Development
  • Institution: Central and East European International Studies Association
  • Abstract: The primary objective of this article is to theorise transformations of Western order in a manner that does not presuppose a fixed understanding of 'the West' as a pre-constituted political space, ready-made and waiting for social scientific enquiry. We argue that the Copenhagen School's understanding of securitisation dynamics provides an adequate methodological starting point for such an endeavour. Rather than taking for granted the existence of a Western 'security community', we thus focus on the performative effects of a security semantics in which 'the West' figures as the threatened, yet notoriously vague referent object that has to be defended against alleged challenges. The empirical part of the article reconstructs such securitisation dynamics in three different fields: the implications of representing China's rise as a challenge to Western order, the effects of the transformation of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) towards a global security actor, and the consequences of extraordinary renditions and practices of torture for the normative infrastructure of 'the West'. We conclude that Western securitisation dynamics can be understood as a discursive shift away from a legally enshrined culture of restraint and towards more assertive forms of self-authorisation.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, Political Theory, Bilateral Relations
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Syuzanna Vasilyan
  • Publication Date: 07-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of International Relations and Development
  • Institution: Central and East European International Studies Association
  • Abstract: This article develops a new conceptual framework of 'moral power' by arguing that the 'civilian'/'normative' power Europe paradigms are insufficient for understanding the essence of the conflict resolution policy of the European Union (EU) in the South Caucasus. Analysing the conflicts of Abkhazia, South Ossetia and Nagorno-Karabakh, the study reveals that until the August 2008 war, the EU was an incoherent actor in terms of the interplay among its institutions and member-states. The EU's policy has been devoid of a long-term peace-focused strategy, making it inconsequential; as a result, the EU has merely dealt with, rather than managed, the conflicts. Its rhetoric has been inconsistent with practice. Often the EU has subordinated its values to material and power-related interests. Moreover, the EU has hardly been normatively stable in its approach to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. Bypassing inclusiveness until the launch of the Geneva talks pertaining to the Abkhazian and South Ossetian conflicts, the EU has not enjoyed much legitimacy by the de facto states. Whereas the EU has largely failed to resolve the South Caucasian conflicts, it has achieved partial success by putting a halt to the 2008 hostilities between Russia and Georgia. Overall, having faltered as a 'civilian'/'normative' power it still has to fare as a 'moral power'.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, Political Theory, Bilateral Relations
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Georgia, South Caucasus, South Ossetia, Abkhazia