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  • Author: Yuan-kang Wang
  • Publication Date: 12-2010
  • Content Type: Book
  • Institution: Columbia University Press
  • Abstract: Confucianism has shaped a certain perception of Chinese security strategy, symbolized by the defensive, nonaggressive Great Wall. Many believe China is antimilitary and reluctant to use force against its enemies. It practices pacifism and refrains from expanding its boundaries, even when nationally strong. In a path-breaking study traversing six centuries of Chinese history, Yuan-kang Wang resoundingly discredits this notion, recasting China as a practitioner of realpolitik and a ruthless purveyor of expansive grand strategies. Leaders of the Song Dynasty (960–1279) and Ming Dynasty (1368–1644) prized military force and shrewdly assessed the capabilities of China’s adversaries. They adopted defensive strategies when their country was weak and pursued expansive goals, such as territorial acquisition, destruction of their enemies, and total military victory, when their country was strong. Despite the dominance of an antimilitarist Confucian culture, warfare was not uncommon in the bulk of Chinese history. Grounding his research in primary Chinese sources, Wang outlines a politics of power crucial to understanding China’s strategies today, especially its policy of “peaceful development,” which, he argues, the nation has adopted mainly because of its military, economic, and technological weakness in relation to the United States.
  • Topic: International Relations, Political Theory, History
  • Political Geography: Asia
  • Publication Identifier: 9780231522403
  • Publication Identifier Type: ISBN
  • Author: P. R. Kumaraswamy
  • Publication Date: 07-2010
  • Content Type: Book
  • Institution: Columbia University Press
  • Abstract: India's foreign policy toward Israel is a subject of deep dispute. Throughout the twentieth century arguments have raged over the Palestinian problem and the future of bilateral relations. Yet no text comprehensively looks at the attitudes and policies of India toward Israel, especially their development in conjunction with history. P. R. Kumaraswamy is the first to account for India's Israel policy, revealing surprising inconsistencies in positions taken by the country's leaders, such as Mahatma Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru, and tracing the crackling tensions between its professed values and realpolitik. Kumaraswamy's findings debunk the belief that India possesses a homogeneous policy toward the Middle East. In fact, since the early days of independence, many within India have supported and pursued relations with Israel. Using material derived from archives in both India and Israel, Kumaraswamy investigates the factors that have hindered relations between these two countries despite their numerous commonalities. He also considers how India destabilized relations, the actions that were necessary for normalization to occur, and the directions bilateral relations may take in the future. In his most provocative argument, Kumaraswamy underscores the disproportionate affect of anti-colonial sentiments and the Muslim minority on shaping Indian policy.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: India, Israel
  • Publication Identifier: 9780231525480
  • Publication Identifier Type: ISBN
  • Author: Lorenzo Vindino
  • Publication Date: 08-2010
  • Content Type: Book
  • Institution: Columbia University Press
  • Abstract: In Europe and North America, networks tracing their origins back to the Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamist movements have rapidly evolved into multifunctional and richly funded organizations competing to become the major representatives of Western Muslim communities and government interlocutors. Some analysts and policy makers see these organizations as positive forces encouraging integration. Others cast them as modern-day Trojan horses, feigning moderation while radicalizing Western Muslims. Lorenzo Vidino brokers a third, more informed view. Drawing on more than a decade of research on political Islam in the West, he keenly analyzes a controversial movement that still remains relatively unknown. Conducting in-depth interviews on four continents and sourcing documents in ten languages, Vidino shares the history, methods, attitudes, and goals of the Western Brothers, as well as their phenomenal growth. He then flips the perspective, examining the response to these groups by Western governments, specifically those of Great Britain, Germany, and the United States. Highly informed and thoughtfully presented, Vidino's research sheds light on a critical juncture in Muslim-Western relations.
  • Topic: Islam, Islamism
  • Political Geography: United States, United Kingdom, Western Europe
  • Publication Identifier: 9780231522298
  • Publication Identifier Type: ISBN
  • Author: David Mills
  • Publication Date: 01-2010
  • Content Type: Book
  • Institution: Berghahn Books
  • Abstract: How should we tell the histories of academic disciplines? All too often, the political and institutional dimensions of knowledge production are lost beneath the intellectual debates. This book redresses the balance. Written in a narrative style and drawing on archival sources and oral histories, it depicts the complex pattern of personal and administrative relationships that shape scholarly worlds. Focusing on the field of social anthropology in twentieth-century Britain, this book describes individual, departmental and institutional rivalries over funding and influence. It examines the efforts of scholars such as Bronislaw Malinowski, Edward Evans-Pritchard and Max Gluckman to further their own visions for social anthropology. Did the future lie with the humanities or the social sciences, with addressing social problems or developing scholarly autonomy? This new history situates the discipline's rise within the post-war expansion of British universities and the challenges created by the end of Empire.
  • Topic: Anthropology, Empire, Knowledge Production
  • Political Geography: Britain, United Kingdom, Europe
  • Author: David De Vries
  • Publication Date: 04-2010
  • Content Type: Book
  • Institution: Berghahn Books
  • Abstract: The mining of diamonds, their trading mechanisms, their financial institutions, and, not least, their cultural expressions as luxury items have engaged the work of historians, economists, social scientists, and international relations experts. Based on previously unexamined historical documents found in archives in Belgium, England, Israel, the Netherlands, and the United States, this book is the first in English to tell the story of the formation of one of the world’s main strongholds of diamond production and trade in Palestine during the 1930s and 1940s. The history of the diamond-cutting industry, characterized by a long-standing Jewish presence, is discussed as a social history embedded in the international political economy of its times; the genesis of the industry in Palestine is placed on a broad continuum within the geographic and economic dislocations of Dutch, Belgian, and German diamond-cutting centers. In providing a micro-historical and interdisciplinary perspective, the story of the diamond industry in Mandate Palestine proposes a more nuanced picture of the uncritical approach to the strict boundaries of ethnic-based occupational communities. This book unravels the Middle-eastern pattern of state intervention in the empowerment of private capital and recasts this craft culture’s inseparability from international politics during a period of war and transformation of empire.
  • Topic: War, Military Strategy, Natural Resources, Labor Issues, State Violence, Mining
  • Political Geography: Britain, United Kingdom, Europe, Middle East, Palestine
  • Author: Şener Aktürk
  • Publication Date: 12-2010
  • Content Type: Book
  • Institution: BILGESAM (Wise Men Center for Strategic Studies)
  • Abstract: Recently, it seems that the Middle East has become the main focus of Turkey’s contemporary foreign policy. Without any doubt, one of the reasons for this focus is that the Justice and Development Party (AKP), within the context of their main foreign policy directions, is determined to enlarge their role in the region since the day they came to power. However, it has to be said that various conditions are also forcing the government towards this direction. For example, directly after the electoral victory in 2002, the AKP was confronted with the US intervention in Iraq in 2003. Acting with the knowledge that this intervention would cause instability and chaos in the region, and to avoid a war, Turkey took the initiative to hold meetings with countries bordering Iraq. When it was evident that the war could not be prevented, the government agreed upon the opening of its’ southern borderfront with Iraq to the US, which gave them access to Northern Iraq through Turkey. Yet, the Turkish parliament disapproved this gesture by AKP. After American military operations ended, the Turkish government attempted, in a somewhat controversial manner, to send a military force that would be part of the coalition forces to Iraq. This attempt was blocked by the Iraqis and especially by the Northern-Iraqi Kurds. Eventually, when the Kurds became the closest allies of the Americans in Iraq, the Turkish-American relations were occasionally quite tense. Before 2003, Turkey was able to fly into Northern Iraq to fight against the PKK. However, it found itself unable to enter Iraq for a long time soon after the Americans arrived to the country. Even today, for Turkey, the main problem in the Middle East region remains the question of Iraq’s future. The developments in Iraq and its consequences are undoubtedly the main triggers for Turkey to play a more active role in the Middle East diplomacy. Within this scope, it seems that Turkish diplomacy has successfully expanded its ‘macro diplomacy’ with ‘micro diplomacy’ by establishing contacts with several different sectarian and political groups in Iraq. Later on, similar activities have taken place in Lebanon, while the relations with the Palestinians have also been strengthened. Although it seems slightly assertive, the notion of ‘zero problems with neighboring countries’ seems to be a creative concept as well. A detailed analysis of AKP’s Middle East policy will be further examined within the upcoming subparagraphs of this research report. Yet, before doing so, it seems useful to have a look at the continuous and divergent elements of the Middle East policies that have been adopted by the various governments since the foundation of the Turkish Republic. This approach will, on some level, shed light on what extent the discourse of ‘Turkey was pursuing a relatively passive Middle East policy’ before AKP administration reflects the reality.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Diplomacy, Geopolitics, Conflict
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Turkey, Middle East
  • Author: George Friedman, Atilla Sandikli, Subhash Kapila, Zhang Zuqian, Jiang Yang, Cagdas Ungor, Marcin Zaborowski, Ghulam Ali, Kadir Ayhan, Ceren Ergenc, Atilla Sandikli
  • Publication Date: 12-2010
  • Content Type: Book
  • Institution: BILGESAM (Wise Men Center for Strategic Studies)
  • Abstract: The People's Republic of China with a visibly booming economy in the last decades created its own economic spheres of influence and came to affect the overall balances in the world. The consequences of its economic advance and ever growing energy consumption are emerging as significant variables capable of shaping international political developments. With the expanding military build-up, China is also generating concerns beyond its immediate neighborhood. Clarifying the rapid growth of China and worldwide implications of this process constitute the first major motivation b ehind p ublishing this study. Benefited of the opportunities of the globalization in the post- Cold War period, China has a progressively more integrated economy with the global markets. China with its increasing economic and military capacities is turning in to a robust power base in the eastern hemisphere. With a thriving position in world politic s and ability to influence events and to protect its own interests at global scale, Beijing has the potential to be a superpower. The other major motivation thus appeared from the necessity to question whether China will achieve to be a superpower in t he near future.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, Energy Policy, Globalization, Power Politics, Economic Growth
  • Political Geography: China, Asia
  • Author: Paul Jackson, Peter Albrecht
  • Publication Date: 02-2009
  • Content Type: Book
  • Institution: Global Facilitation Network for Security Sector Reform
  • Abstract: In 2007, for the first time in two decades, Sierra Leone conducted a generally peaceful national election without international peacekeeping assistance. This successful election earned the praise of international election observers as free, fair and credible. Most important, these elections were conducted by and for the people of Sierra Leone, who exercised their right to vote in a generally orderly environment made possible by their own security forces.
  • Topic: Security, Political Violence
  • Political Geography: Sierra Leone
  • Author: James Cockayne (ed.)
  • Publication Date: 07-2009
  • Content Type: Book
  • Institution: International Peace Institute
  • Abstract: In late 2008, seventeen states, including the US, UK, China, Iraq, Afghanistan, and others, endorsed the Montreux Document on Pertinent International Legal Obligations and Good Practices for States related to Operations of Private Military and Security Companies during Armed Conflict (2008). This provides important guidance to states in regulating private military and security companies (PMSCs). However, there is a need to do more, to provide increased guidance to the industry and ensure standards are enforced.
  • Topic: Conflict Prevention, Security, Markets
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, United States, China, Iraq
  • Author: David H. Ucko
  • Publication Date: 07-2009
  • Content Type: Book
  • Institution: Georgetown University Press
  • Abstract: The U.S. military has historically paid little attention to the nature and requirements of counterinsurgency and stability operations. Missions pitting the U.S. military against insurgents, or forcing it into stabilization tasks and policing duties abroad, have tended to be dismissed as beyond the military's remit or as “lesser-included” operations. The emphasis has instead been on achieving primacy against the armed forces of nation-states, involving an anticipated adversary shaped and operating very much like the U.S. military itself. This prioritization of “high-intensity” or “conventional” war has remained even though the U.S. military has faced “unconventional” or “irregular” challenges at a greater frequency and in campaigns of greater duration and cost. Indeed, even the major combat operations waged by the United States have often preceded or involved a less conventional phase, entailing postconflict stabilization or state-building. Notwithstanding these historical trends, the U.S. military has—in its doctrine, education, training, and, more broadly, its culture—prioritized the destruction of military targets far above the different means of creating or consolidating a new political order.
  • Topic: Terrorism, Counterinsurgency
  • Political Geography: United States