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  • 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: Caroline Patsias, Dany Deschenes
  • Publication Date: 01-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Politics
  • Institution: Palgrave Macmillan
  • Abstract: Since the end of World War II, relations between Canadian and US leaders have become difficult, as the absence of the unifying force of war led to different political visions. However, on the whole, and in spite of a power differential that has grown since 1945, relations between Canada and the United States have nevertheless been good. How is this explained? In this reflection, rather than taking a structural-realist approach, we build on a perspective proposed by Stéphane Roussel in his theory on democratic peace between Canada and the United States. Roussel showed how the constructivist model could justify the absence of coercion and the relatively egalitarian cooperation between both states. While Roussel's studies refer only to the 1867–1958 period, we broaden the perspective to include the contemporary period and propose that the 'unsocial sociability' at the heart of Canadian-American relations is due to the recognition of the democratic nature of the other's regime and the implementation of institutional mechanisms and techniques.
  • Topic: War
  • Political Geography: United States, America, Canada
  • Author: Steven Hurst
  • Publication Date: 03-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Politics
  • Institution: Palgrave Macmillan
  • Abstract: Several observers have argued that the radical transformation of American foreign policy wrought by George W. Bush is already over. They argue that the 'Bush Revolution' was merely a result of the short-term conjuncture of neoconservative influence and the impact of September 11, 2001, and that this temporary deviation has been ended by the American failure in Iraq. Yet the causes of the Bush Revolution are more fundamental and long-term than this argument implies. It is in the combination of the shift to a militarily unipolar international system and the dominance of the Republican Party by its conservative wing that the real roots of the Bush foreign policy lie, and neither condition is likely to alter in the foreseeable future. Moreover, although the Iraq War has led to some shifts in policy, the Republicans' selection of John McCain as their presidential candidate confirms the continued vitality of the Bush Revolution.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, War
  • Political Geography: Iraq, America
  • Author: Mario E Carranza
  • Publication Date: 03-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Politics
  • Institution: Palgrave Macmillan
  • Abstract: This paper examines the economics-security nexus in US policy toward South America, and the implications for South America of the 'securitization' of US foreign economic policy during the Bush administration. There has always been a tight linkage between the US foreign economic and security agendas but the real issue is the degree of 'tightness' at a given point in time. After the Alliance for Progress lost its way the United States tended to pursue its economic and security interests in South America in separate tracks, even if preventing Soviet intrusions in the region remained in the background. Yet after the collapse of the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA) negotiations in 2004 a US strategy of 'divide and conquer' through bilateral trade deals has been accompanied by a 'securitization' discourse and there are some indications that it may 'securitize' as a new threat the social movements and neopopulist regimes that oppose neoliberal economic policies. The paper discusses the limits of the securitization thesis. The conclusion examines the future of US-South American relations and argues that the United States needs to renew its commitment to genuine multilateralism and re-engage the region to establish an effective and lasting partnership for dealing with common economic and security challenges in the twenty-first century.
  • Topic: Security, War
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, America, South America