The Penguin dictionary of international relations

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Content: THE PENGUIN DICTIONARY OF INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS Graham Evans and Jeffrey Newnham Penguin Books Published by the Penguin Group Penguin Books Ltd, 80 Strand, London WC2R ORL, England Penguin Putnam Inc., 375 Hudson Street, New York, New York 10014, USA Penguin Books Australia Ltd, 250 Camberwell Road, Camberwell, Victoria 3124, Australia Penguin Books Canada Ltd, 10 Alcorn Avenue, Toronto, Ontario, Canada M4V 3B2 Penguin Books India (P) Ltd, 11 Community Centre, Panchsheel Park, New Delhi - 110 017, India Penguin Books (NZ) Ltd, Cnr Rosedale and Airborne Roads, Albany, Auckland, New Zealand Penguin Books (South Africa) (Pty) Ltd, 24 Sturdee Avenue, Rosebank 2196, South Africa Penguin Books Ltd, Registered Offices: 80 Strand, London WC2R ORL, England First published in Penguin Books 1998 11 Copyright © Graham Evans and Jeffrey Newnham, 1908 All rights reserved The moral right of the authors has been asserted Set in 9/1o.spt Monotype Bembo Typeset by Rowland Phototypesetting Ltd, Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk Printed in England by Clays Ltd, St Ives plc Except in the United States of America, this book is sold subject to the condition that it shall not, by way of trade or otherwise, be lent, re-sold, hired out, or otherwise circulated without the publisher's prior consent in any form of binding or cover other than that in which it is published and without a similar condition including this condition being imposed on the subsequent purchaser
Selected Entries with Live Links
Actor Administered Territory Agent Structure Anarchy ASEAN Authority Autonomy Balance of Power Bipolar Boundary Buffer State Capability Civil War Clash of Civilizations Colonialism Communal Conflict Critical theory/Postmodernism Decolonization De facto/de jure Domestic jurisdiction Elite Enclave English School of IR Equality of States Ethnic Cleansing Ethnic Nationalism Ethnocentrism Extraterritoriality Failed nation-states Federalism Frontier Hegemonial stability theory Hegemony Hierarchy Hobbesian Image Imperialism Insurgency Integration Internal colonialism International System Irredentism
Land reform Level of Analysis Liberalism Low-intensity conflict (LIC) Multipolarity Nation Nation-state Nationalism Neoliberalism Neorealism Non-intervention Normative theory Paradigm Pax Britannica Perception Pluralism Polarity Quasi-state Rationality Realism Recognition Region Regionalism Secession Security Security dilemma Security studies Self-determination Self-help Social science approach Sovereignty Spratly Islands State State-centrism State-system Structuralism Sub-system Unipolarity Westphalia, peace of (1648) World Society Zero-sum
(A) Actor Any entity which plays an identifiable role in international relations may be termed an actor. The Pope, the Secretary-General of the UN, British Petroleum, Botswana and the IMF are thus all actors. The term is now widely used by both scholars and practitioners in international relations as it is a way of avoiding the obvious limitations of the word state. Although it lacks precision it does possess scope and flexibility. Its use also conveys the variety of personalities, organizations and institutions that play a role at present. Some authors have argued that, in effect, the system can be conceived of as a mixed actor model because the relative significance of the state has been reduced. More precise distinctions between actors can be made by introducing additional criteria. Such criteria might include the tasks performed by actors and the constituency affected by this task performance. Some commentators suggest that actors should be judged according to their degree of autonomy rather than the legalistic concept of sovereignty. pluralism Administered territory Refers to the `Mandates system' established in Article XXII of the Covenant of the League of Nations usually credited to Jan Smuts but actually first proposed by G. L. Beer, a member of Woodrow Wilson's staff at Paris in 1919. It involved control and administration, though not sovereignty, over former colonial possessions of Germany (in Africa and the Pacific) and Turkey (in the Near and Middle East) and was largely a US-inspired attempt to avoid the traditional imperial relationship. Administration of these territories was ceded to certain 'responsible' states in 'sacred trust' to the League. Thus South Africa, by mandate in 1920, was given administrative responsibility for the former German South West Africa (now Namibia). The principles of trusteeship, tutelage, guardianship and ultimately international supervision and control were envisaged but the international supervisionary dimension, as instanced by the case of Namibia, has proved a particularly difficult matter to enforce. The system was clearly a compromise between outright annexation of these territories and direct international administration. The struggle between the old realist and the newer idealist approaches can be seen in the language of the Article dealing in this matter: it was designed to foster and develop territories 'which are inhabited by people not yet able to stand by themselves under the strenuous conditions of the modern world' (Article XXII). The term 'stand by themselves' is clearly a reference to the principle of self- determination, the intention being that the mandatory state held administrative authority until such time (to be determined by the League) that these territories and their populations became sufficiently sophisticated to manage self-rule and achieve full legal title. To this end three classes of mandate were introduced depending on the degree of development attained and a Permanent Mandates Commission was established to oversee the process. With the creation of the UN the mandates system and administered territory was transmuted into the system. Most of the former territories have now achieved full independence (including Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq and Namibia). Despite its obvious faults and despite what today might appear to be its paternalistic overtones it should be noted that the mandates system was 'the world's first experiment in the international control of dependent territories' (F. S. Northedge, The League of Nations, 1976). In this way, it contributed much to the downfall of the colonial system that had hitherto dominated international relations. Agent--structure Associated with the level of analysis problem, the agent-- structure issue refers to the question of how best to conceptualize the relationship between state actors and the international system. The problematic nature of this issue was imported from social theory and introduced to I R by Alexander Wendt (1987). It revolves around two basic truisms: '(i) human beings and their organizations are purposive actors whose actions help reproduce or transform the society in which they live and (ii) society is made up of social relationships which structure the interactions between these purposeful actions.' The 'problem' is how agency (i) relates to structure (ii) and vice versa. The properties of agents and structures are both relevant to accounts of social behaviour, but the central question, as Smith and Hollis (1991) point out, is how to combine them in a single explanation of international behaviour. This philosophical-cummethodological debate is located primarily in critiques of neorealism, especially K. N. Waltz's influential Theory of International Politics (1979). In this work, Waltz argued that it was the 'structure' of the international system which limits the potential for cooperation between states and which therefore generates the security dilemma, arms races, and war. Because of this, `reductionist studies of `agents' (i.e. individual statesmen, or the character of states) can never be satisfactory and must always be secondary to theories of the international system (unipolar, bipolar or multipolar) since it is this structure which conditions state behaviour. The issue of how to conceptualize agents and structure and how to conceive of their interrelationship in order to construct a 'complete theory' of world politics is now at the heart of the debate between conventional and critical 3 Back to Top
international theorists. Anarchy A crucial but highly contentious concept in international relations. Its literal meaning is `absence of government' but it is often used as a synonym for disorder, disarray, confusion or chaos. In its formal sense, it designates the lack of a central authority. As such it is manifestly a feature of the international system and it defines the socio/political framework in which international relations occur. In this sense it has neither positive nor negative connotations. It is descriptive rather than prescriptive, a general condition rather than a distinct structure. In this way, it is considered to be `the starting point' of thinking about international relations. For some though, anarchy implies the absence of any authoritative institutions, rules or norms above the sovereign state. This view leads to the quite erroneous assumption that international relations is permanently in `the state of nature' which is itself `a state of war of all against all.' This vision of inter-state relations which supposedly derives from the work of Thomas Hobbes (1588-1679) is highly questionable and not warranted by any careful reading of the literature -- especially of Hobbes himself. Discarding this negative portrayal, anarchy remains an essentially contested concept in IR and a plausible, if somewhat oversimplified, account of the history of thought in international relations can be given in terms of it. Thus, in traditional or classical texts, international theory is often presented as a dialogue or a debate between those who accept the condition of anarchy but argue that this does not necessarily preclude order, society or community beyond the nation-state, (realists) and those who argue that anarchy is incompatible with these goals and their realization is only possible once anarchy is replaced by governance of one sort or another, (idealists or liberals). For the former, the domestic analogy -- the argument that the conditions of an orderly social life are the same among states as within them -- is invalid. The lack of a common government or universal authority is thus what distinguishes the international from the domestic realm of politics and law. For realists, decentralization is the defining characteristic of relations between sovereign states. In contrast, the latter maintain that the domestic analogy is crucial and argue that the conditional prerequisites of a peaceful and orderly world are that governmental institutions be replicated above and between states. Only if anarchy is overcome would it be possible to speak of a genuine international society or community. Political philosophers most closely identified with these theoretical positions are Hobbes (see Chapter 13 of Leviathan) and Kant (Perpetual Peace), with the international lawyer Grotius occupying a place somewhere in between. While most contemporary theorists regard this debate as somewhat sterile and unproductive, the essential differences concerning the meaning and implications of anarchy remain in the ongoing tension between the statecentric neorealists and the more pluralistic neoliberals. .Critical theorists and postmodernists, however, dismiss both schools precisely because both are rooted in the 'anarchy problйmatique'; the first seeking to work within its structural constraints, the second seeking to ameliorate it (Ashley, 1984). In mainstream Anglo-American international theory anarchy remains the fundamental assumption of international politics and as such it poses the key research questions in the discipline. Under what conditions do self-regarding states cooperate with each other? Are there limits to this cooperation? Can the security dilemma created by anarchy be overcome? What distribution of power is most conducive to peace and/or stability? To what extent is independence compatible with interdependence? If the state actor really is declining in significance, what replaces it? Can the distinction between high and low politics be sustained in the face of the disutility of military force? How is change effected and who is most vulnerable to changes in the international system? Do differences in domestic political arrangements affect international behaviour and outcomes? Is relative gain more important than absolute gain? All of these `puzzles' of contemporary international theory are directly related to assumptions about `international anarchy' (the phrase was first used by G. Lowes Dickinson in 1916), and its implications for agency, process and structure. They all revolve around the key question of what in anarchy is immutable, and what is amenable to change. On the face of it, the logic of anarchy is compelling: states are the main actors existing in a self-help environment in which the security dilemma is always pressing. States are presumed to act rationally in terms of perceptions of the national interest, but they are not entirely unconcerned with rules and norms. So, conflict and cooperation can and do co-exist within the same social milieu. This is the common terrain occupied (though, of course, disputed) by the heirs of the realist and idealist traditions. Recent dissenters from this discourse (sometimes referred to as `reflectionists') argue that there is no inherent `logic' of anarchy. The concepts that appear to follow from it -- self-help, power politics, sovereignty -- are really socially constructed institutions rather than essential features of anarchy. Anarchy, in fact, is `what states make of it' (Wendt, 1992). In this way, new thinking in I R has begun to question the epistemological (knowledge) and ontological (being) status of conventional theory and argues that the presumption of anarchy is myopic, ahistorical and inherently self- serving. In particular it privileges states rather than people or individuals and by persisting with anarchy's binary distinctions -- public/private, inside/outside, self/other etc. -- it distorts reality through marginalization, exclusion and silencing. It omits from its purview large sections of social life which ought to be of concern to students of IR. In sum, the tendency to view anarchy as the basic condition of international relations underestimates its inherent ambiguity and overestimates its explanatory powers. 4 Back to Top
ASEAN Association of South East Asian Nations. This was formed in 1967 following the Bangkok Declaration of 8 August by the foreign ministers of Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore and Thailand. Brunei joined in 1984 and Vietnam in 1995. Papua New Guinea has observer status. The original agreements were strengthened and extended at the Bali summit of February 1976. A secretariat was established and agreement was reached on the outline of a trade bloc. Internally, ASEAN covers a spectrum of economies which have one thing in common -- actual and potential economic dynamism. The whole Pacific Basin has witnessed the most impressive economic growth rates globally over the last two decades, within this region South East Asia has shown the greatest selfawareness of the need for cooperation and coordination of policy in both the military-security and wealth-welfare contexts. Structurally China and Japan threaten to dominate the sub-region in both these key issue areas. The ASEAN states have sought to balance against this putative domination by involving the entire Pacific basin and outside parties such as the).European Union and the United States in regional diplomacy. The ending of the).Cold War, the demise of the Soviet Union and what many see as the hesitancy within the USA to exercise leadership might be seen as exacerbating these needs. 1993 witnessed two key developments that were headed by ASEAN: the formation of the ASEAN Regional Forum, which linked the ASEAN states with eleven Pacific Basin countries plus the EU, and the institutionalization of Asia--Pacific Economic Cooperation (often referred to as APEC) with the establishment of a Secretariat in Singapore. Politically and diplomatically ASEAN began to develop a distinctive regional role with the ending of the Vietnam War in 1975. This coordination and cooperation has continued apace. The need for balancer and facilitator at both the sub-regional and regional levels has been argued above. ASEAN sits astride one of the growth triangles in that area: Malaysia-Indonesia-Singapore. It also sits astride one of the key strategic choke points: the South China Sea. Its membership could well be expanded in the medium term by the admission of further Indo-Chinese states and Myanmar. ASEAN is redolent of the growing importance of Regional actors in the present and future structure and processes of international relations. Authority Person or institution which legitimizes acts or commands; as such it must be differentiated from power which indicates capacity rather than right. It is the lack of a common and accepted authority which is said to distinguish international from domestic politics and law. Consequently, some writers argue that because of its absence international law is not law properly so-called, and international politics is politics only by courtesy of name. idealists in international thought frequently argue, pursuing the domestic analogy, that the solution to continuing and continual international conflict is the creation of a universal authority to regulate relations, establish a properly constituted legal order and to settle disputes. The League of Nations and the UN are sometimes (though wrongly) seen as early prototypes. Other theorists argue that the absence of universal authority, particularly since the decline of the Holy Roman Empire, is a source of strength, not weakness, in international relations since it reinforces the arguments for the sovereignty, liberty and independence of the state. Autonomy Literal meaning is self-government. As such the term is associated with the idea of sovereignty and independence. In traditional international relations all states were assumed to be autonomous, that is, not subject to external authority whether this was spiritual (e.g.: the Church) or temporal (e.g.: the Holy Roman Empire). The Treaties of Westphalia, 1648, are supposed to mark the beginning of the autonomy of the state and hence the anarchic nature of the international system. Recent scholarship has used the concept of autonomy to cast doubt on the traditional linkage between autonomy and the state. Autonomy is now regarded, particularly by pluralist writers, as a matter of degree rather than an absolute. Thus it is now no longer used as a substitute for sovereignty but as an alternative criterion. Actors in world politics are now held to exercise relative autonomy and state and non-state actors can be compared on this basis. Pluralism fully expects these comparisons to show that on occasions the state does not come out very well. Writers on ethnic nationalism and communal conflict have also taken up the concept of autonomy of late. The argument begins with the observation that few if any states are autonomous in the true sense, rather all display centrifugal tendencies, majority/minority dichotomies (sometimes indeed minority/minority/minority ... tendencies). These groups within states are held to be pursuing autonomy as a goal and in the process they are eroding the unity of the state. The end result of this process may clearly be the creation of more states as demands for autonomy succeed in breaking up existing ones. In this sense the classical view of autonomy is to some extent salvaged from the wreck of the state structure. 5 Back to Top
Balance of power A pervasive and indispensable concept which is part of the stock-in-trade of both students and practitioners of diplomacy. Indeed, it is regarded by some scholars as the nearest thing we have to a political theory of international relations. However, its meaning is by no means clear and it is open to a number of different interpretations. Martin Wight, for example, distinguishes nine different meanings of the term:
An even distribution of power.
The principle that power should be evenly distributed.
The existing distribution of power. Hence, any possible distribution of power.
The principle of equal aggrandizement of the great powers at the expense of the weak.
The principle that one side ought to have a margin of strength in order to avert the danger of
power becoming unevenly distributed.
(When governed by the verb `to hold') A special role in maintaining an even distribution of
(When governed by the verb `to hold') A special advantage in the existing distribution of power.
An inherent tendency of international politics to produce an even distribution of power.
Given this wide variety of meaning, it is helpful to distinguish between balance of power as a policy (a deliberate attempt to prevent predominance) and as a system of international politics (where the pattern of interaction between states tends to limit or curb the quest for hegemony and results in general equilibrium). British foreign policy in relation to Europe from the sixteenth century to the early twentieth century is an example of the former, while the European state-system itself, from 1648 to 1789 and from 1815 to 1914, is an example of the latter. The break in this chronological sequence is the period of the rise of French radicalism and its refusal to be bound by notions of balance. In 1815 France, after a period of Napoleonic expansion, was restored to her former territorial limits and the balancing system was institutionalized. The Congress of Vienna and the Concert system it spawned throughout the nineteenth century represents the most articulate and self-conscious expression of balance in international history. Thus the most widely accepted meaning of the term is where it refers to the process whereby no one state, or group of states, gains predominance so that in Vattel's words `it can lay down the law to others'. It is associated particularly with independence, its main function being to preserve intact the multiplicity of states and to oppose empire in particular, and change in general. Order and stability are prized values rather than considerations of justice or fair play. History The idea of balance is inseparable from the mechanics of international politics and the practice was familiar to the ancient Greeks Thucydides' History of the Peloponnesian War, although not specifically acknowledging the concept, is widely regarded as a classic account of its occurrence, albeit in bipolar form, revolving around the relationship between Athens and Sparta in the fifth century B.C. However, although the process undoubtedly occurred in the ancient world (in Europe, in China and in India) it was not until the Renaissance that it was self-consciously recognized as one of the basic formulas of political life. The Italian citystate system of the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, which besides being fairly self-contained had a number of distinct and independent locations of power (Florence, Milan, Naples, Venice and the Vatican), was a lively arena of diplomatic forces where the principle was able to develop. Surprisingly, it was not Machiavelli who first elaborated the idea (despite his obsessive concern with power politics), but his contemporary, Guicciardini, in History of Italy (1537). This is generally regarded as the first systematic analytical treatment of the theme. The first explicit reference to it in treaty form was in the Treaty of Utrecht (1713), where the idea of maintaining the balance of power was regarded as essential for the peace of Europe. Balance of power both as policy and system is inseparable from the diplomatic history of the modern world and a plausible account of international politics up until 1914 can be given in terms of it. The League of Nations was a specific attempt to replace it: the principle of collective security which was at the heart of the organization was designed to obviate the need for balance. Many realists argue that its absence in the inter-war period resulted directly in the Second World War. Since 1945 the international political system is not so readily explained in terms of the concept and notions of bipolarity and multi- polarity have replaced it. However, echoes of it are still common in the language of diplomacy, especially balance of terror. Most scholars would agree that changes in the character of the basic actors in world politics (especially the growth of non-state actors) has led to a general disregard of the concept as an explanatory device. It is now more often used as a journalistic metaphor rather than as a theory of international behaviour.
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Theoretical implications Balance of power, according to Hedley Bull, has fulfilled three positive functions in the modern statesystem:
It has prevented the system from being transformed by conquest into a universal empire.
Local balances of power have served to protect the independence of states in particular areas from
absorption by a preponderant power.
It has provided the conditions in which other institutions on which the international order depends
might develop, e.g. diplomacy, war, international law, great power management.
Bull's analysis is perceptive but it should be noted that in relation to the first function, empire and balance have existed side by side in state policy and although the whole system was not transformed into a universal empire, parts of it were. Thus European imperialism took place during the same period that balance of power was the orthodox power management technique. In relation to the second function, some states have lost their independence as a result of it, e.g. the partition of Poland in the eighteenth century and Czechoslovakia in 1939. With regard to the third function, although it has provided the conditions for mitigating general anarchy, war is a central feature of the system, its function being either to restore the balance or to rearrange it. Thus action-reaction, challenge-response, revisionist/status quo, dissatisfied/ satisfied, are key ideas associated with the operation of the system. It clearly presupposes some shared beliefs among the participants, especially concerning the nature, role and legitimacy of the state, yet the system is inherently unstable. A simple balance involving two states (a bipolar system) is likely to be more unstable than a complex balance (a multipolar system). This is because a sudden technological change which dramatically increases the power of one of the poles (e.g. the success of the Soviet Sputnik in 1957 and its perception in the United States) can, unless immediately corrected, destroy the equilibrium. Multipolar systems, because of the possibility of shifting combinations, can more readily cope with these occurrences. Indeed, flexibility of alignment and diplomatic mobility are important characteristics; under such a system states must be able to change sides regardless of ideological affinity (the Nazi-Soviet pact of 1939 is a classic example). The corollary is also true; states must be willing to abandon an erstwhile ally when conditions change. A further point to note is that the system, because it involves constant calculation of power and interest, is likely to produce an international hierarchy where states are categorized into at least three divisions: great powers middle powers and small powers. Equality therefore exists only in a formal legal sense. All states are equal, but some are more equal than others. The balance of power era has been described as the golden age of diplomacy and it is not difficult to see why. Although war is essential to it, the wars that did occur tended to be fought with limited means for limited ends. The delinquent state which had upset the balance was allowed to re-enter the system and replay the game (e.g. France after defeat in the Napoleonic Wars, 1815). It was premised on a recognition of common interests and it permitted the development of international law on the basis of reciprocity - one of its most important ground-rules being non-interference in the domestic affairs of other states. Obviously, it was bound up with the conditions that created it, and in the second half of the twentieth century (despite attempts by neo-realists to prove otherwise) these conditions have all but disappeared. But whatever else might be said of it, balance of power as a method of conflict management was the first, and some would say, the most sophisticated, attempt to provide a practical political solution to the problem of coexistence in a decentralized international system, so much so that it became synonymous with the very idea of international relations. Collective security; realism
Bipolar A concept associated particularly with the Cold War period when the structure of the international political system was imagined to revolve around two poles - the Soviet Union and the United States. The system was said to be organized in terms of power, regimes and ideologies which coalesced around two huge blocs, each of which was dominated by the interests and perceptions of the two superpowers. The model includes a crude notion of balance (really equilibrium), though it is a mistake to confuse bipolarity with the system of balance of power, which some theorists have tended to do. The simplicity of the model (which may or may not have corresponded with the real world it purported to describe) was often alleviated by characterizing it as either rigid or loose. Bipolarity existed in contrast to multipolarity or polycentrism where the system is dominated by a number of power centres, independent loci of decision-making and interests which are not directly or even necessarily related to superpower equilibrium. Thus, it is often argued that international relations were bipolar in the 1950s and that this gave way in the 1960s to multipolarity and polycentrism. This shift is said to have occurred in accordance with the degree of cohesion/fragmentation among and within the power blocs. Bipolarity is associated with zero-sum perceptions of policy revolving around the military balance (i.e. my gain is your loss), whereas multipolar models focus attention on patterns of interaction where the outcome is not so dramatic or one-dimensional and goes well beyond traditionally defined security concerns. One way of highlighting this may be to say that bipolarity is concerned almost exclusively with East/West issues as the basis for international 7
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order, whereas multipolar approaches see a much wider and richer range of issues including the North-South debate, as critical points of reference on the map of international relations.
Boundary This term is used in a number of contexts in international relations. In its legal usage a boundary represents an absolute change of legal status. Thus a legal boundary may be regarded as a demarcation line between one legal competence and another. In this sense the term is consonant with the sovereign state-system. A boundary is a limit upon the territorial jurisdiction of states. Within the boundary the state is sovereign, outside it is not. In practice this dichotomy has always been hard to sustain. The exercise of effective control requires the ability and willingness to do so. Dominant states in a system would often effect boundary changes in their favour through a policy of annexation. Boundary changes and adjustments were regarded as appropriate means for expressing the policies of leading states in the balance of power. Through the principle of recognition states would either indicate their assent or opposition to boundary changes. While non-recognition does not prevent a state from exercising effective control, it does indicate that the control is de facto, not de jure. Geopolitical usage has identified a number of categories of boundary. The best known is probably the `natural' boundary. What geographers have in mind here are significant physical features such as a mountain chain, a river system or a waterway. Excessive determinism should certainly be avoided in this usage. A river may divide or unite. A mountain chain may locate natural resources which require cooperative relations for purposes of exploitation. Geographers have also delimited `natural' boundaries where the limits are based upon ethnic identity. `Contractual' boundaries are based upon legal norms while `geometric' boundaries reflect lines of longitude and latitude. Finally, `power-political' boundaries reflect the roles of dominant states and may be seen as akin to the balance of power usage. The behavioural approach, and in particular systems theorists, have taken a transactions approach to the question of boundaries. Thus Burton has argued for a conceptualization of the subject `without reference to political boundaries, and indeed, without reference to any physical boundaries.' Likewise, Deutsch has argued that boundaries mark `relative discontinuities' in human relations. Recent scholarship on the concept of regimes has also tended to argue against the legal and geographical concept of boundary. Regimes operate under transnational criteria and therefore transcend the more traditional view of the boundary. Whatever the theoretical and heuristic merits of this approach, there can be no doubt that the idea of boundary, as traditionally understood, is still a potent force in world politics. The politics of Africa, for example, would be impossible to comprehend without an appreciation of the power-political boundary-making of European imperialism which established the contours of the present statesystem in that continent. Frontier
Buffer state of the use of this idiom, certainly by American statesmen, came during the Cuban missile crisis of 1962 when the J. F. Kennedy Administration succeeded in their commitment to the removal of perceived offensive missiles from the island of Cuba. Brinkmanship is clearly a high-risk strategy which depends for its successful outcome on the mutual recognition of parties that war would be clearly the worst outcome. Game theorists claim a certain isomorphism with the mixed motive game of `Chicken', wherein similar manipulative strategies are involved. Buffer state A geopolitical term most often associated with balance of power. It refers to small or weak states which exist on the borders of powerful states and which, from the security standpoint of the latter, serve as intermediate `cushions' or `crush zones'. Before the advent of air power buffer states were seen as an insurance against direct and, more importantly, surprise hostilities between great powers. The continued independent existence of these states thus precariously depended on the current state of play regarding both the local and general balance of power. While not satellite states their freedom of action was a direct function of the security needs of their powerful neighbours. For example, the states of central Europe, and especially Poland, were widely regarded during the interwar years as buffers between Germany and the Soviet Union. In the same way, Afghanistan and Thailand were the crush zones that could absorb and delay Russian and French penetration into British India in the late nineteenth century.
A term used in the analysis of power. It refers to an attribute or possession of actors. Traditionally capability analysis concentrated upon observable factors such as military or economic possessions rather than intan-
gibles. This has been modified of late and both tangible and intangible attributes (such as morale, diplomatic skill)
are recognized as relevant. Capability analysis has also been traditionally thought of in relative rather than absolute
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terms. One actor was held to possess more attributes than others and therefore to be potentially more powerful. Although such analyses frequently ignored the problem of converting capability into power relationships, they were instructive and heuristic. Stratification systems based upon identifying `great', `super' or `small' actors were the product of such speculation. Capability is a necessary condition for power relationships to exist. The link between the two is mediated by the factors of domain and scope. It is now generally agreed that discussions on the capabilities of actors, without specifying the domain and scope within which such attributes are exercised, is meaningless. Converting capability into power relations thus constitutes an empirical test, however rudimentary, of the utility of the attribute. Civil war Civil war is protracted internal violence aimed at securing control of the political and legal apparatus of a state. Because it is protracted, it is possible to distinguish a civil war from a coup d' `etat. Because it is internal it is possible to distinguish a civil war from external intervention. Because it involves protracted violence it is possible to distinguish civil war from a communal conflict. In the analysis of civil wars it is generally possible to distinguish two sides: incumbents and .insurgents. In such circumstances other members of the society will find that they have to define their attitude to the conflict. If they become drawn into supporting one side or the other then the war would be said to have `polarized' the whole society. Degrees of participation in the war will obviously differ between individuals and groups in the society. For some, participation may be restricted to passive support for one side or the other. For others, the war may draw them into political and military activities. The stipulation of civil war above may be regarded as the norm from which a number of deviations are possible. Three may particularly be noted. Civil wars that arise as a result of attempts being made to end colonialism; civil wars that result from the desire by part of a state to break away; civil wars that result from the desire of states that have been separated to achieve reunion. The desire by colonial peoples and territories for independence is one of the most significant trends in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Colonial wars can become civil wars whenever a significant body of opinion within the polity wants to continue with the existing colonial regime. This would most obviously be the case where large numbers of settlers had arrived in the territory during colonial control. These people may perceive that they had a vested interest in the maintenance of the status quo, fearing that the anti-colonial insurgents might adversely alter political, legal and economic arrangements. This instance is a departure from the norm because these colonial civil wars have three parties - incumbents, insurgents and the settlers - rather than the usual two. Civil wars that arise from secessionist tendencies and civil wars that arise from irredentist tendencies may usefully be regarded as being opposite sides of the same coin. Seccessionist civil wars are particularly associated with ethnic nationalism and the desire of ethnically homogeneous peoples for greater self-determination. Civil wars that are prompted by the desire for reunion are, again, nationalistic in character, although in this instance the ethnic factor may not be so evident. The role of third parties, external to the territory of the state, can be crucial in determining the outcome of civil wars. Most obviously third parties can provide assistance to incumbents or insurgents in a variety of ways. Diplomatic assistance -- for example, by allowing insurgents to establish a government in exile -- is both practical and symbolic. Economic assistance can help parties to finance the war. Finally, military assistance can provide the capability required to prosecute the violence. Such assistance is clearly a form of intervention, but this behaviour pattern can be taken much further if the third party actively engages its own forces in the war. Such interventions can be decisive, as the case of the Indian intervention in the Pakistan-Bangladesh civil war in 1971 shows. There are a number of structural factors in the contemporary world political system which serve to exacerbate the incidence and severity of civil wars. First, the state membership of the system has increased substantially since 1945. This simply gives more opportunities for civil wars to occur than in the past. Second, many states, particularly those located in the Third World, are inherently unstable. Third, the differential possession of capability, as between the states at the top of the hierarchy and those at the bottom, increases the proclivities for intervention. Clearly a civil war is not a necessary condition for intervention but it may be a sufficient one. Fourth, notwithstanding its charter, provisions in favour of the territorial integrity of states (see in particular Article 2: 4) the UN has failed to develop sufficient efficacy in its own instruments to prevent intervention in civil wars by third parties. Finally, the growth of transnational terrorism has increased the extent to which private armies can feed off a civil war situation to further their own interests. Clash of civilizations Concept associated in particular with the prominent American political scientist and foreign policy advisor, Samuel Huntington. In a highly controversial essay in the influential journal Foreign Affairs (1993) Huntington warned that the end of the Cold War had created the conditions for the rise of a new and particularly dangerous form of international conflict -- that associated with parochial and cultural identities based on ethnic and religious 9 Back to Top
allegiances. He asserted that: It is my hypothesis that the fundamental source of conflict in this new world will not be primarily ideological or primarily economic. The great divisions among humankind and the dominating source of conflict will be cultural. National states will remain the most powerful actors in world affairs, but the principal conflicts of global politics will occur between nations and groups of different civilizations. The clash of civilizations will be the battle lines of the future. (p. 22) Although he identified a number of possible clash scenarios, he went on to assert that there is little doubt that `a central focus of conflict for the immediate future will be between the West and several Islamic-Confucian states.' Huntington subsequently denied that his hypothesis was anything other than an alternative disciplinary paradigm for the study of world affairs but most commentators argue that his essay constituted a warning of the dangers posed by the politicization of Islam and the rise of Islamic fundamentalism, to the Western attempt to establish an international order constituted by democratic states, liberal values and a belief in the free market. The coming challenge to the legitimacy of the dominant liberal international order has led some to characterize the conflict as one between `The West and The Rest'. Huntington's thesis, notwithstanding its intrinsic contradictions and imprecision, sparked off a debate about the Islamic threat, in particular the perceived aim of establishing a `pax Islamica' among the world's 1.1 billion Muslims (Hippler and Lueg 1995). The Muslim world is centred on the Middle East and South East Asia (although Saudi Arabia is its spiritual home the most populous Muslim country is Indonesia), but there are large communities spread throughout Europe, Africa and Asia as well as sizeable segments in the Americas, China and India. Regarding geographical spread, Huntington identified an anti-Western front constituted by 'a crescent-shaped Islamic bloc of nations from the bulge of Africa to Central Asia' (p. 31). This geopolitical fault-line between the Western and Islamic civilizations has generated conflict for at least 1,300 years, culminating in the 1990-91 Persian Gulf War, and the continuing violence between Muslims on the one hand, and Orthodox Serbs in the Balkans, Jews in Israel, Hindus in India, Buddhists in Burnia and Catholics in the Philippines. He concludes grimly that `Islam has bloody borders' (pp. 34-5). Huntington has been accused by critics of exaggerating the Muslim threat, of misunderstanding the nature of political and fundamentalist Islam, of advocating the `re-ideologization' of foreign policy and of encouraging the reassertion of the self-fulfilling prophecy syndrome in foreign affairs (Halliday 1995). However, given his position, as an eminent member of the US foreign policy establishment it is not surprising that the political geography of Islam is now receiving widespread attention by conservative sections of the strategic establishments in the West for whom the `Green Peril' has now replaced the `Red Peril' as the major obstacle to the globalization and good governance project. Colonialism This is a variety of imperialism. It involves the settlement of foreign territories, the maintenance of rule over a subordinate population and the separation of the ruling group from the subject population. The relationship between the `mother country' and the colony is usually exploitive. The earliest colonies (e.g. ancient Greek settlements in the Mediterranean or British settlement in North America) involved emigration into what were considered to be politically empty spaces and were not thought to be overtly racist, but the more modern variety usually entails this dimension. Characteristic features thus involve political and legal domination by an alien minority, economic exploitation and dependency and racial and cultural inequality. Unlike imperialism, which can involve complete assimilation, colonialism involves more or less strict separation from the metropolitan centre, the reason being that colonies exist to serve the needs of the colonizing power and as such occupy a subordinate and servile role. Historically, the phenomenon is associated with Europe and the major colonial powers from the fifteenth to the nineteenth centuries were Portugal, Spain, Holland, Britain and France. These were joined in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century by Belgium, Germany, Italy, the United States, Japan and Russia. The unwilling targets for these competing penetrative drives were the Americas, Africa, Asia and Australasia. Colonialism, and its antithesis anti-colonialism, have been major forces in shaping the political and economic character of the modern world. Until the nineteenth century, the practice was so common in international affairs that it generated little opposition. It was seen to be an inevitable consequence of great power politics. With the rise of liberalism, nationalism and especially with the Marxist/Leninist critique of conventional social economic and political mores, the concept and the practices associated with it increasingly came to be regarded as illegitimate. Indeed, the very success of the anti-colonial movement was directly dependent on doctrines and ideologies developed by the colonial powers themselves. The incorporation of the ideas of self-determination, sovereignty, independence and formal .equality into the major institutions of the international community has ensured the demise of the colonial ideal. In the League of Nations the administered territory and mandates system reflected the general disquiet about the practice although it did not outlaw it completely. The UN, on the other hand, has always been at the forefront of the anti-colonial movement and the General Assembly in particular has been the single most important actor in effecting its near universal rejection. It is a moot point whether the colonization process had beneficial effects on the targeted areas, 10 Back to Top
but such is the opprobrium associated with it now that it finds few contemporary supporters. An important legacy of colonization, especially in Africa, is the contentious boundary issue which frequently bedevils African politics. The boundaries established by the colonial powers rarely, if ever, reflected indigenous racial, tribal and cultural patterns. Clearly, the concept is not a precise one but its essence involves unequal rights, separation and deliberate exploitation. These themes are echoed in the term `neo-colonialism' which refers to the continued domination of post- colonial independent states by the developed world. Reliance on foreign investment capital, technical skills and training, manufactured goods and markets are viewed by many developing states as deliberately engineered byproducts of colonialism. Thus, aid is in no sense humanitarian or altruistic. It is either belated repayment for past exploitation or else is a partially concealed attempt by the donor at obtaining political concessions. In either case, uneven development persists. Another variant is the term `internal colonialism' which refers to cases where an economically dominant segment of a state treats a peripheral region as a subordinate and dependent entity. The Asian peoples of the former Soviet Union, for example, were commonly regarded as victims of this practice. Again, the South African state under apartheid (1948-94) displayed many of the features associated with the concept and its political/social system was often referred to as `colonialism of a special type'. Communal conflict Conflicts within communities- states, nations, ethnic groups- are commonplace in international relations. However, if a communal conflict becomes chronic and persistent its dynamic can lead to civil war and even external intervention. Empirical evidence seems to suggest that certain changes take place within the conflict process which leads to these developments. The conflict changes from being about interests to being about values. That is to say, rather than disagreeing about what they want, the parties disagree about what they stand for. As a result new, more ideologically defined issues come to the forefront. These issues will be presented in a biased, one-sided context and, as a result, the conflict will become more violent and antagonistic. Once a cycle of violence and counter-violence has begun a communal conflict is close to becoming chronic and persistent. Individual acts of heroism or terrorism become mythologized into the folk history of the conflict. The process of polarization has now set in and clear physical lines of demarcation become evident between the communities. Often the physical movement of peoples will spontaneously occur as separate communities attempt to draw boundaries between each other. A new style of leadership will emerge to symbolize the polarization that is now evident to all. The new leadership will, moreover, have an investment in the continuation of the conflict. Communication will break down between the now separate communities and, if the conflict persists over several generations, a form of `autistic hostility' will become evident. Stereotypes of the other group will be reinforced behind the communications barrier and individuals will be socialized into a culture of group hostility and suspicion. Some of the most intractable and violent conflicts in contemporary world politics began as communal conflicts which then escalated horizontally as outside parties were drawn in as allies and protectors. The Arab-- Israeli conflict is a paradigm example of this process, as indeed is the continuing conflict in Yugoslavia. Ethnic cleansing Critical Theory/Postmodernism These terms are often used synonymously in IR literature. Though not altogether correct, this is understandable since many critical theorists are also postmodernists (or as some prefer `late modernists'). The confusion is confounded by a fetish in contemporary theorizing for linguistic paradoxes, dialectics and niche labelling as well as an inherent ambiguity in the terms themselves. There is clearly a sense in which all theory is `critical' as well as a sense in which everything which succeeds `modern' is, ipso facto, `postmodern'. As a consequence, precise meanings and definitions are sources of contention and dispute, even amongst self-proclaimed adherents to these schools of thought (Brown, 1994 and Devetak, 1996). A common distinguishing feature of both positions is that they represent a sustained challenge to existing theoretical traditions and moreover they reject I R as a discrete field of inquiry and seek to situate it in the wider intellectual context of social, political, cultural, philosophical and literary studies. Critical Theory (C T) is associated with a body of thought generally known as the Frankfurt School, and in particular with the work of the German social theorist, Jurgen Habermas. For Habermas, C T entails questioning the very epistemological (source of knowledge) and ontological (nature of being) foundations of an existing social order; the central claim being that all knowledge is historically and politically based. In I R this mode of analysis appeared in the 1980s as a reaction to the dominance of the neorealist/neoliberal orthodoxy. It claims that in spite of their differences and apparent opposition, both are premised on `the Enlightenment project'; that is a belief in the liberation of humanity through reason and the judicious application of scientific knowledge. This, in essence, is `modernity'. The `critique' of modernity involves revealing its self-serving, particularist and privileged nature. The `crisis' of modernity is that belief that the dominant trends of progressivist nineteenth- and twentieth- century political thought (in this case liberalism, Marxism and social democracy) has led not to emancipation and liberation as promised, but to new modes of enslavement and dehumanization, reaching its 11 Back to Top
apogee in Nazi Germany and Stalinist Russia. The intellectual origins of these approaches are found in the works of Kant, Hegel, Marx and especially for the postmodernists, Friedrich Nietzsche, for whom the triumph of rationality portends disaster. The differences between critical theorists and postmodernists lie in their respective reactions to the supposed `failure' of the Enlightenment project; the latter work towards its complete demise whilst the former strive for its deconstruction and eventual recasting. In IR both subscribe to the Marxist view that the basic task is not to interpret the world, but rather to change it. Thus both involve radical assaults on conventional theory which remains stubbornly rooted in the `anarchy problematique'; neorealism seeking to work within its structural constraints and neoliberalism attempting to ameliorate its worst effects. The driving belief is that through the deconstruction of orthodox theory, `thinking spaces' are opened up (thus circumventing discourse `closure') and new possibilities for social and political transformations are made available. The belief that `theory is always for someone or something' (i.e. that theories. are always embedded in social and political life) is the starting point in the quest for emancipation and empowerment. In I R the villain of the piece is the Westphalian system and its privileging of the sovereign nation-state within a behavioral framework of an anarchical social order. Feminist and gender scholarship originates within this discourse and is a powerful exemplar of its central thesis since women in particular are `silenced' or `excluded' in the meta-text/narrative. A major point of difference between the new scholarship and the old, in the words of a leading exponent of CT, is that traditional (or `problem-solving') theory `takes the world as it finds it with the prevailing social and power relationships and institutions into which they are organized, as the given framework for action' (Cox, 1981). Working within this order neorealism and neoliberalism serve to preserve it thereby perpetrating existing inequalities of power and wealth. Orthodox theory is therefore inherently conservative and status quo orientated. In contrast, through the exposure of the social basis of knowledge, power and values, the new scholarship `liberates' international theory to the extent that injustices and inequalities built in to the prevailing order can be addressed. This challenge to orthodoxy is regarded by some as the `Third Great Debate' in the subject. It supposedly pits the guardians or gatekeepers of the old order (represented by scholars such as K. N. Waltz and R. O. Keohane in the USA and by the English school in the UK) against the vanguard or Young Turks of the profession, many of whom, despite the essentially iconoclastic nature of their challenge, now occupy senior positions within a discipline which in their categorization does not formally exist. It is difficult at this stage to assess the overall contribution made by CT and Postmodernism. There is no doubt that at least in terms of language, concepts and method, they have transformed, probably for ever, the nature and scope of the subject. It is now much more self-consciously inter-disciplinary. But whether or not its central focus has been relocated into the realm of normative social theory is a moot point. The main contribution of new thinking has been to expose the essentially static, exclusive and insular nature of traditional international theory and to render genuine political and social change at least a theoretical possibility. However, like the behaviouralists of the Second Great Debate, they have not so far produced the goods. Deconstruction has not yet given way to reconstruction or to emancipation. As such, the research and teaching programme in IR remains essentially contested territory. (D) Decolonization The process whereby European control of overseas territories and peoples was ended. This culminated in the movement towards independence within these areas. A substantial increase in the number of states within the international system resulted and terms such as the Third World became increasingly used as collective expressions for these new actors. It should be noted that the correlation between being a former colony and being a Third World state is not perfect. The principal states involved in the process of decolonization were located in Europe. Two merit special identification: the United Kingdom and France. In the case of the former, decolonization led to the creation of the Commonwealth, which in its early years was significantly underpinned by economic ties, in particular the preferential tariff system of Imperial Preference and the Sterling Area. The French decolonization experience was more traumatic than that of the United Kingdom, particularly in Algeria and Vietnam. Unlike their near neighbours, the French were briefly attracted to the idea of assimilation rather than independence, and it was only when the Fourth Republic collapsed in 1958 that the issue was finally settled in favour of decolonization. It should not be thought that policies of intervention in the affairs of overseas territories and peoples ended with decolonization. While formal political control may have ceased, more informal methods of intervention and penetration have proliferated. It should be noted that the last vestiges of colonial control created significant foreign policy issue areas for the United Kingdom in respect of the Falklands, Gibraltar and Hong Kong. De facto/de jure Terms used in international law and diplomacy usually in association with recognition. De facto normally 12 Back to Top
refers to provisional recognition that a particular government exercises factual sovereignty, whereas de jure implies recognition of both factual and legal sovereignty. The de facto variety thus implies doubt either about the long term viability of a regime or else of its legitimacy; de jure implies complete diplomatic acceptance of the new state or government. For example, the United Kingdom recognized the Soviet government de facto in 1921 and de jure in 1924. Clearly, political calculations play a major part in distinguishing the two categories, but it should be noted that de facto usually applies to governments rather than states -- a state may for all practical purposes be de jure while its government for political reasons may be considered de facto. The guiding principle is usually whether or not a government exercises effective control over the territory of the state in question, but ideological issues can, and do, intrude. During the Cold War, for example, selective use or non-use of these recognition categories became important discretionary instruments for registering approval or disapproval. Thus, from 1949 to 1979 the United States refused de jure recognition of .communist China. De facto recognition is not necessarily a pre-condition of de jure recognition although in practice this has tended to be the case as it was in the Sino-American example above. The differences between them are not just a matter of degree or of political preference since de jure recognition entails the establishment of normal diplomatic relations whereas de facto does not of itself include the exchange of diplomatic relations. In addition, de jure can be `express' (involving the immediate exchange of diplomatic notes) or `tacit' (involving the declared intention at some future date to do so). Neither categories are final, although withdrawal of de facto recognition is easier than de jure. Domestic jurisdiction A logical consequence of sovereignty whereby a state rules supreme within its own territorial frontiers. This duty of nonintervention within the domestic jurisdiction of states means that in regard to certain issues, the international legal regime is not deemed valid. Article 2 (7) of the UN Charter provides that `Nothing contained in the present Charter shall authorize the United Nations to intervene in matters which are essentially within the domestic jurisdiction of any state or shall require the members to submit such matters to settlement under the present Charter.' This article is one of the most controversial in the Charter and its application one of considerable dispute. In international law, domestic jurisdiction refers to those matters where a state's discretion is not limited by obligations imposed by international law unless the state itself agrees. However, the concept is a relative one and the influence of international law is beginning to make inroads in areas hitherto regarded as exclusive to the state and also in areas where internal regulation may have international repercussions. Thus, matters which are not generally regarded as falling within domestic jurisdiction are a breach of international law, an infringement of the interests of other states, a threat to international peace, violations of human rights and questions of self-determination. The range of activities now considered to be within the competence of international law has grown considerably, especially in relation to the latter two categories, as the Republic of South Africa had cause to note over the issues of apartheid and Namibia. Humanitarian intervention (E) Elite A broad-based term used to identify a minority out of a total population. In ordinary usage the term often connotes superiority. Further precision can be obtained by adding the prefixes `political', `economic', `cultural'. Indeed in most social systems found in the First World observers would expect to find a plurality of elites along these bases. In the above sense, an elite is simply a descriptive term for individuals and groups found at the top of a particular hierarchy. The term is also used in a more prescriptive sense. Here the suggestion is that such minorities are a natural and positive outcome. It is possible in this usage to talk of `elitism' having in mind an ideology or value system which assumes that by nature or by nurture the majority in a population are unsuited and unqualified for elite status. However, elitism does recognize that exceptions will occur to this rule and that a `counter-elite' may arise to challenge the existing elite structure. Whatever the outcome, elitists would still want to insist that in the end the system will resume its hierarchical structure. Elite theories and the ideology of elitism originated with political sociology. However, the idea of an elite has been applied with considerable ingenuity to the study of policy-making and the related issue of public opinion on foreign policy issues. The early seminal work in this field was Almond's The American People and Foreign Policy (1966). Without wholly subscribing to the ideology of elitism, he did clearly distinguish a hierarchy based upon a division of labour and a division of influence. This hierarchy depended upon a fourfold division. At the bottom Almond placed the majority, the mass of the population. Distinguished from the mass was the attentive public. Above these two strata Almond locates the policy elites and, finally, at the top what might be termed the formal office holders. Public opinion polling, which has become increasingly accurate over the last half century, provides the empirical confirmation of the view that the mass of the population, in all systems, lacks either the knowledge or the 13 Back to Top
inclination to exert continuing and consistent influence over the policy process. The idea of mood has been developed to identify the manner and content of public attitudes towards foreign policy. Within the fairly permissive parameters set by public moods, the strata above the mass of the population operate. The attentive public then, by default, become the audience in front of which the elites make and justify their policy. The actual foreign policy elite is divided between formal office holders and organized interests (what Almond calls `the policy elites'). The formal office holders will occupy authority positions within the system and will be those persons officially designated to act on behalf of the state. Surrounding them will be a bureaucracy of departments centred around foreign ministries but including a number of other departments of state. The relationship between the formal office holders and their bureaucracies on one hand and organized interests on the other will differ from system to system. In general terms, whereas the formal office holders are by definition members of the elite, in the case of interest groups only the leaders will be classed unambiguously within the elite structure. In systems where the formal office holders, their senior bureaucrats and the interest groups elites are drawn from the same background the term `establishment' is sometimes used to describe this broader arrangement. The growth in the number of state actors in world politics since 1945 has stimulated new interest in elite theories of policy-making. In many respects the structural analysis of Third World states seems to reflect classical elitist characteristics and structures. The actual composition of the elite in Third World states is, of course, a matter for empirical inquiry in particular cases. In all instances, however, a Western education seems a definite advantage - if not prerequisite - for recruitment into the elite. In many areas of the Third World traditional elites have capitalized on these educational opportunities to maintain their influence into the current period of national self-determination. This tendency has been particularly notable in Latin America. In other parts of the Third World, elite recruitment reflects a more heterogeneous catchment area. In all instances, however, the findings confirm the validity of the elite approach to the structure of policy-making. Enclave Territory of one state surrounded by the territory of another. Thus, Walvis Bay in south west Africa was, until 1993, part of the domestic sovereign jurisdiction of the Republic of South Africa despite being surrounded by Namibia. Similarly, West Berlin was an enclave hemmed in by East Germany, as is the thirty-two square mile Republic of San Marino, in this case surrounded by Italy. Enclave English school of international relations This refers to the supposed existence of a distinct academic tradition of writing on international relations, which originated at the London School of Economics and Political Science in the 1950s. According to Roy E. Jones, who first identified the school (in a largely iconoclastic article in the Review of International Studies (1981)) its founder members were C. A. W. Manning and Martin Wight but others associated with it include Hedley Bull, F. S. Northedge, Michael Donelan, Alan James, R. J. Vincent and James Mayall. Although there is some disagreement and confusion surrounding the term, especially concerning the epithet `English', it is now generally accepted that these writers and others constitute a distinct group whose unifying element is the concept of international society. The approach is holistic in the sense that it displays a vision of international society where the whole is greater than the sum of its parts, i.e. the sovereign states that compose it. In this sense, it is sometimes referred to as the `international society approach' and its central thesis is that state behaviour cannot properly be explained without reference to the rules, customs, norms, values and institutions that constitute international society as a whole. International relations is conceived as a distinct and perhaps discrete entity and the principle object of inquiry is to examine the nature of this society and its ability to deliver a measure of orderliness and freedom within a predominantly decentralized and fragmented state-system. The approach can be viewed as a variant of the realist perspective, especially in its rejection of utopian schemes for restructuring the international system and its insistence on the necessary juxtaposition of the concepts of state sovereignty and international society. On the methodological level, it lies firmly in the classical or traditional mode and is dismissive of the behavioural or scientific approach which it sometimes identifies, somewhat pejoratively, as the `American school of scientific politics'. (The epithet `English' is, of course, a misnomer since members of the original LSE grouping included Australian, South African, Scottish and Welsh scholars.) Equality of states One of the primary values of the modern international state-system is the sovereign equality of states. Since the establishment of the Westphalian system the formal recognition of equality was intimately bound up with the notions of sovereignty, independence and reciprocity. It is enshrined in Article 2 of the United Nations Charter which asserts that `the Organization is based on the principle of the sovereign equality of all its Members'. However, despite institutional recognition, the role of equality in international law and politics is not at all clear. There is frequently confusion between its descriptive and normative aspects. This confusion is magnified by the 14 Back to Top
obviously hierarchical nature of the multistate system, which assigns particular status and responsibilities to the great powers. The condition of sovereign equality means that an actor can claim the privileges, opportunities and diplomatic status that derive from statehood. The assertion that all states are equal does not suggest that all states are the same. Indeed, some commentators allege that equality is not a fact but an ideal; that the international community adopted for convenience a Platonic form of equality which, like sovereignty from which it derives, is a matter of degree rather than absolute. E. H. Can (1946) put it this way: `The constant intrusion, or potential intrusion, of power renders meaningless any conception of equality between members of the international community.' This observation still forms the basis of most discussions of equality, or the lack of it, in world politics. Traditional thinking has it that inequality is endemic in a system where differences between actors are more obvious and immediate than similarities. (Compare for example Russia with Lesotho or the United States with Tonga.) Even the formal condition of equality (all states are equally entitled to the rights of sovereignty) is really an expression of inequality in practice, since the right to self-help that this implies will necessarily be dependent on the power that is at the disposal of those who wish to exercise it. Recognition of a formal condition of equality has led inexorably to preserving what were regarded as natural and existing inequalities. Attempts have been made to rationalize the unequal endowments of the states, especially in liberal theories of international relations, but with little practical effect on the process of diplomacy. In fact, until comparatively recently, inequality has been taken for granted in world politics not just as a reflection of how things actually are, but also as a valuable asset in a system which has no overall authority to regulate demands and resolve disputes. Because states are manifestly unequal, some international disputes are that much easier to settle. In this sense the contribution of the great powers to the maintenance of international order can be seen as a direct function of inequality. If all states were equal how could conflicts ever be settled? The institutions of international society, war, balance of power, international law and diplomatic practice, while paying homage to the sovereign equality of states, nevertheless served to encourage and sustain the hierarchical order which allowed equality only between powers which were evenly matched. War, or capacity for waging it, was in this sense the great equalizer. The history of international relations has unfolded largely in these terms and whatever collective procedures for settling disputes existed, they did so because of inequality, not in spite of it. The veto power given to permanent members of the Security Council of the UN is an explicit recognition of this; and this has always been so. What the Athenians said to the Melians -- that the powerful take what they can and the weak grant what they must -- has thus been the starting point for some, and the stumbling block for others, in the quest for a satisfactory relationship between order and justice in international relations. For Thucydides (1959 ed.) this was an enduring (though not perhaps endearing) fact of international life: `This is not a law we made ourselves, nor were we the first to act upon it when it was made. We found it already in existence, and we shall leave it to exist forever among those who come after us.' The question of whether or not this basic condition of equality really is `to exist forever' is precisely the issue that many people think bedevils statecraft in the last part of the twentieth century. The tension between the advanced industrialized states of the North and the developing states of the South, the demand for a redistribution of wealth, power and status within a New International Economic Order (NIEO) which goes far beyond the formal recognition of equality, coupled with the apparent decline in the utility of military power (especially in great and small powers' relations) has led to a re-evaluation of the traditional hierarchical structure of world politics. The expansion of the role of the General Assembly, in particular, has created a demand for a more egalitarian basis for international law and international politics. Though Third World claims for greater equality are unlikely to break the traditional mould of diplomatic practice some commentators have noticed a new political sensibility about the issue. The non-aligned movement and polycentrism are indications of this. However, it is difficult to escape the Orwellian conclusion that in world politics all states are equal but some are more equal than others. Ethnic cleansing A modern euphemism for the systematic, deliberate and often brutal forced removal of members of one or more ethnic groups from territory claimed by another ethnic group. In theory, it can be distinguished from genocide, which is the deliberate and systematic extermination of a national or racial group, but in practice the two are often indistinguishable. Other concepts associated with the term are communal conflict', 'cultural conflict' and 'ethnonational conflict', all of which are said to be variants of a new and virulent form of racism based on the ideology of nationalism. From 1992 to 1996 in the former Yugoslavia, ethnic cleansing was practised by Serbs and Croats against each other, and more especially against Bosnian Muslims. The standard operational procedure was the organized use of intimidation, terror, rape, starvation and murder to effect forced removals. The objective was to alter the map of Bosnia-Herzegovina in favour of the perpetrators. Although this extreme form of human rights abuse has been designated a war crime and apprehended parties have been tried by the International Court of Justice at the Hague, the Dayton Agreement ending the Bosnian War (1 995) is widely regarded as condoning the results of 15 Back to Top
ethnic cleansing through recognition of the new boundaries it created. Ethnic cleansing is regarded as a species of `postmodern war' where conflict between states has been replaced by conflict between rival militias, factions and other informal ethnic groupings. The victims are overwhelmingly civilians who are often slaughtered without mercy by their former neighbours and compatriots. Recent examples besides Bosnia, include Liberia, Rwanda, Sri Lanka, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Sudan, Haiti, Cambodia, Zaire and Afghanistan. According to Robert Kaplan (1994) postmodern war, genocide and ethnic cleansing are products of the post-Cold War phenomenon of failed nation- states which have witnessed 'the withering away of central governments, the rise of tribal and regional domains, the unchecked spread of disease and the growing pervasiveness of war.' In this 'coming anarchy', orthodox political maps are illusory because 'the classificatory grid of nation-state is going to be replaced by a jagged-glass pattern of city-states, shanty states, nebulous and anarchic regionalisms.' The end of the Cold War has exacerbated this process. The removal of superpower competition, and with it economic and military assistance and control, has brought simmering local rivalries and hatreds to the fore in many multi-ethnic states and regions of the world previously under the tutelage of one or other of the superpowers. Ethno-national clashes differ greatly from the anticolomal, secessionist and separatist movements of the past which in the main were conducted within the juridical framework of the persistence of a system of sovereign territorial states. The international community, because of its predilections for the Westphalian presumptions of state sovereignty and its corollary non-intervention, has thus far not been able to develop a coherent response to this phenomenon. Ethnic nationalism; humanitarian intervention; refugees Ethnic nationalism (sometimes rendered as Ethno-nationalism) This refers to the sentiment of belonging to a group identified by ties of ethnicity as well as, or in preference to, those of the nation-state. Most states are in fact multi-national or multi-ethnic and in this way ethnic nationalism may simply be seen as recognizing a fact of political life. On the other hand, it may lead to expressions of irredentism or secession as political goals, in which case it becomes a movement or political tendency. Like any group sentiment, ethnicity is both subjective and objective in its causes and effects. If a people define themselves as different then they will perceive themselves as different, but at the same time this perception will require tangible points of reference such as linguistic, cultural, tribal or religious similarity. This is the in-group/out-group dynamic familiar to sociologists and Social psychologists. Twentieth century international relations has had mixed dealings with ethnic nationalism. The League of Nations was mindful of the problem of ethnic minorities -- particularly in Central and Eastern Europe -- and this otherwise maligned IGO was at least ready to accept the importance of the ethnic dimension in world politics. The United Nations has been less sympathetic. The post-1945 system has witnessed the process of decolonization and the successor states to the colonial regimes have shown a marked reluctance to query the multi-ethnic origins of their territories. As a result secession and irredentism tend to be bitterly resisted by elites and leaders in the Third World. The implosion of the Soviet Union after nineteen eighty-nine and the violent demise of the state of Yugoslavia show how significant the sentiments of ethnicity are in Eastern Europe. Indeed the communal conflict in Northern Ireland and the existence of ethnically based separatist parties in Western Europe suggest that the continent as a whole is susceptible. Giving due regard to ethnicity as a factor in building political communities may simply shift problems of participation on to a new agenda. One of the few ethnically homogeneous states in Africa -- Somalia -- has shown great political instability of late. Whatever the outcome in Somalia the general tendency towards great ethnic awareness noted above has called into question the viability of the concept of the nation-state across global politics. The possibility that dissociative methods of conflict settlement may be more feasible than keeping communities locked into an associative nation-state framework must now be regarded as a viable approach. Ethnocentrism This is the tendency to see one's own group, culture, nation in positive terms and, conversely, other groups in negative terms. The term has sociological origins and, with some important exceptions such as Booth's work on strategy (1979), ethnocentrism continues to be a socio-psychological concept which has important implications for international behaviour. The intensity of the attitudes that ethnocentrism gives rise to will vary between groups and over time. Similarly, the specific contents of the favourable/ unfavourable image will also be time dependent. Ethnocentric attitudes may be passed down from generation to generation via the process of socialization. Much of this transmission will be informal but such biases can also infiltrate into the education system where both the formal and the 'hidden' curriculum can become transmission channels for these attitudes. In modern, large-scale complex societies, the mass media can reinforce and reflect ethnocentric views. Contact with out-groups and foreigners, far from 'broadening the mind', can confirm and strengthen these feelings. Booth has outlined three applications of the term. First, as suggested already, the term is a shorthand means for reference to the near universal tendency of people to perceive others in relation to their own membership groups. Second, he suggests it can be used to refer to a faulty methodology. Booth has suggested, in a highly imaginative text, that strategic studies may be criticized for evidence of ethnocentrism. In particular, the 16 Back to Top
phenomenon of worst-case analysis is at least partially explicable in these terms. Possibly the problem lies in the fact that strategic studies is a 'policy science' and its very proximity to decision- makers leads to these biases. Third, Booth suggests that the term is synonymous with being 'culture bound'. This is the condition where the individual or group becomes locked into its ethnocentrism so that it is unable to empathize with others and, therefore, is unable to see the world from their point of view. Ethnocentrism is a consequence of the fact that politics is a group activity. Political socialization, which begins in the family, inevitably produces a discrete and distorted image of others. In the modern world ethnocentrism is closely related to nationalism in both its statist and its ethnic forms. These attitudes can undoubtedly be manipulated by political leaders and elites for their own purposes. For this reason ethnocentrism, as a tendency, is often found to be contributing to tension and hostilities that occur whenever groups conflict. Although better communication and closer contact will not of themselves reduce ethnocentrism, the reverse does appear to be the case, namely that communication failures and barriers do increase the scope for ethnocentrism to grow and flourish. Deterrence Extraterritoriality A vital aspect of .diplomacy which refers to the exercise of legal jurisdiction by a 'sender' state within a 'received' state's territory. In modern usage it is bound up with diplomatic immunity. However, extraterritoriality has not been mutual or reciprocal. During the period of European imperialism it was common practice for an imperial state to insist that its own expatriates be subject to their home-based legal system and not that of the locale in which they were placed. With the withering away of empires and colonies this unfair practice has all but disappeared. Apart from diplomats, it is common practice in alliance systems for the armed forces of one state which are present in the territory of another to enjoy the privileges of extraterritoriality. Agreements establishing this are referred to as 'status of forces' treaties (e.g. the NATO Status of Force Act, 1951). Immunity from local prosecution can, of course, be waived by agreement. (F) Failed nation-states A term indicating a dangerous new development in the aftermath of the Cold War -- the breakdown of law, order and basic services in a number of multiethnic states, particularly though not exclusively in sub-Saharan Africa. This phenomenon is accompanied by bitter communal conflict, violent ethnic nationalism, militarism and possibly endemic regional conflict. Examples are Haiti, ex-Yugoslavia, Somalia, Sudan, Liberia, Cambodia, Rwanda, Zaire, Sierra Leone and Afghanistan. The end of the Cold War has exacerbated this process since the rival powers no longer extend economic/military assistance to former client regimes which are now unable to survive unaided. According to R. D. Kaplan in a celebrated essay (1994) much of the Third World is experiencing 'the withering away of central government, the rise of tribal and regional domains, the unchecked spread of disease and the growing pervasiveness of war.' As a result, conventional geopolitical maps are highly misleading since 'the classificatory grid of nation- states is going to be replaced by a jagged-glass pattern of city-states, shanty-states, nebulous and anarchic regionalisms.' The increasing incidence of 'failed' states is regarded by many analysts as evidence that the New World Order confidently predicted by optimists after the fall of the Soviet Empire and the unprecedented multilateral cooperation to end the Persian Gulf War, is something to be regretted rather than welcomed (Mearsheimer,1990)Quasi-states Federalism This term is used in two contexts. The first, to describe and explain how legitimate power is shared in constituent political units -- the federation. Second, as an explanation and perhaps prescription of how integration might be achieved between previously separate state actors. Although explanation and prediction are linked, this linkage is not a necessary one. Thus a federation of previously separate states might be achieved via functionalism as much as by federalism. However, both would recognize that the only viable and applicable working model for power-sharing in the newly integrated community was the federal one. As a means of describing and explaining the division of legitimate power or authority in federations, federalism postulates as an initial position a tension or conflict between centripetal and centrifugal forces. This conflict will be settled by the several parties signing a constitutional bargain which will stipulate where the jurisdictions of the centre and the periphery lie. Thus certain issue areas will be reserved for the centre, others retained by the periphery. Normally defence, foreign affairs and macroeconomic policy are handled exclusively at the centre. Conversely, the periphery will retain some revenue raising power, control over social and welfare services and some small discretion regarding penal codes and provisions. Federalism is a favoured system of 17 Back to Top
government in large, culturally diverse states. Most of the largest states in the present system are federations. Federalism as a balance between centripetal and centrifugal forces should be distinguished from decentralization or devolution in unitary systems. In federalism the centrifugal forces are already in place when the initial constitutional divisions of labour are effected. In decentralization the centrifugal forces come to the surface after the initial constitutional arrangement has been made. If these centrifugal tendencies become very strong and effective, decentralization can lead, by design or accident, to federalism. Federalism, as a theory of regional or even global integration, derives its inspiration from seeing the positive benefits of federalism as a system of state government. Its proponents argue that the inherent tension between centre and periphery and the 'unity through diversity' dialectic are appropriate working assumptions for inter-state unification efforts. Federalism, as a system of integration at these levels, has a good deal of ideological and prescriptive leaven therefore. In particular, in comparison with functionalist and neo-functionalist approaches, the federalists claim to be able to tackle the issue of legitimate power- sharing head on by proposing an empirically tested system for dealing with it. The major laboratory testing of federalism in twentieth-century international relations has taken place in the European region. Federalism was espoused as an ideology by politicians and intellectuals who saw 1939 as the nadir of the European state-system and 1945 as an opportunity to replace it. It was necessary to set in train plans to move 'beyond the nation state' in the future. Specifically with the institution building of the European Community (E C) federalists were constantly primed to push for a populist, participatory agenda. The establishment of a directly elected Parliament and moves towards majority voting within the principal organs of the E C were correctly seen as important. The Maastricht Treaty on European Union emboldened federalists to seek to move the Union into the issue-areas noted above as keys to the federal centre. The end of the Cold War era in European relations has presented a window of opportunity for the E U to realize some of the aspirations of an earlier generation of federalist who saw 1939 and the Cold War divisions as such mid-century disasters. Federalism remains the only empirically tested theory of regional integration that combines unity with diversity. Implicitly it is also a theory of limited government as the Founding Fathers of the United States well understood. Whether it should proceed by the elitist or by the populist modes is a point of debate within its adherents. By tackling the issues of high politics directly, the federalist approach to integration is far more ambitious and controversial than functionalism. This is its latent mass appeal. It confronts the key issue areas of state sovereignty and national interest by proposing a power-sharing arrangement which is enshrined in a constitutional bargain. Frontier A zone of contact between two entities or social systems. It should be distinguished from boundary which implies more or less strict territorial limits. Frontier is a much vaguer concept and is projected outwards (`in front') rather than inwards (`within bounds'). A frontier zone therefore refers to an area of delineation between different domains. It is often used in a metaphorical sense (`the frontiers of knowledge') but in international relations it has tended to signify contact zones between one civilization or culture and another. Thus, the history of European imperialism is often presented as a record of pushing forward 'the frontiers of the known world'. Implicit in this notion was the implication that frontiers were not immediately or obviously subject to the post-Westphalian rules of international contact (non-intervention, sovereignty and recognition) that had been established by the boundaryconscious Europeans in their dealings with one another. This double standard has always been a feature of frontier politics especially as practised by, but not in relation to, the European state-system. The phrase 'frontier thesis' refers specifically to the work of American historian Frederick Jackson Turner who in 1893 argued that the closing of the American West as a frontier in the latter part of the nineteenth century would have important consequences for US politics, especially with regard to overseas expansion. Generally in world politics, frontier has been superseded by boundary, which with its connotations of cartographical territoriality has brought into play the political and legal conventions associated with state sovereignty. In geopolitics spatial frontiers have been converted into boundaries when two powers begin to approach each other's peripheral territory. This may lead to the creation of buffer states between the two competing systems as was the case, for example, with Afghanistan which straddled the contact zone between Russia and British India. These regions, as the history of Afghanistan illustrates, are often extremely sensitive to sudden shifts in the overall configuration of world politics. (H) Hegemonial stability theory A theory developed within the International Political Economy (IPE) by US academics in the 1970s and particularly associated with the writings of Kindleberger (1973, 1978), Krasner (1976, 1983), Keohane (1984) and Gilpin (1975). This scholarship has taken the concept of hegemony as the inDependent variable and sought to 18 Back to Top
correlate it with the idea of regime as the dependent variable. The hypothesis is that stable regimes, particularly in international economic relations, depend upon a hegemon establishing norms and rules and then superintending their functioning by enlightened use of its capability to encourage other members to work the regime under its hegemonial power. Enlightened use of power requires the hegemon to use positive sanctions to create a structure of incentives for those further down the hierarchy to benefit and therefore stay in the system. This enlightened hegemony will eventually cause the downfall of the regime because revisionist interests will challenge the position of the hegemon, either explicitly or implicitly, and destabilize the regime. The two examples that, almost without exception, are invariably quoted by hegemonial stability theorists for the purposes of illustration and validation are nineteenth-century Britain and post-1945 United States. In both cases the hegemonial control was short-lived. The UK impact upon the international trade system lasted perhaps through the thirty-year period after the repeal of the Corn Laws in 1846, while US hegemony was seriously starting to wane in the 1970s when the fixed gold-dollar exchange rate system collapsed and OPEC successfully challenged the post-war international petroleum regime. Hegemonial stability theory is firmly placed within the power tradition. Its leading exponents are clearly committed to the view that putative power or capability is an important variable in both international relations. While recognizing the low fungibility of power as a resource, and therefore the highly contingent nature of power relationships, hegemonial stability theorists doggedly persist in their 'resource-power' perception notwithstanding the significant arguments posed by Baldwin (1979) and others against this somewhat static view. Hegemonial stability theory is also exclusively concerned with relations within the advanced industrial countries (AICs) of the First World. No attempt was made to apply it to relations with the centrally planned economies, while in terms of the North--South dichotomy the theoretical market place is already well stocked with economic liberalism and dependency theory. Finally hegemonial stability theory takes a rather truncated view of one of its central concepts -- hegemony. The ideological implications of hegemony, a view stressed within the Marxist tradition, have been largely ignored by hegemonial stability theorists. Hegemony A term which has been used in international relations for some time, although rather intermittently. Its popularity has increased over the last two decades because it is now used by writers on International Political Economy in connection with hegemonial stability theory. Hegemony is a concept meaning primacy or leadership. In an international system this leadership would be exercised by a 'hegemon', a state possessing sufficient capability to fulfil this role. Other states in the system would thereafter have to define their relationship with the hegemon. This they might do by acquiescing, by opposing or by remaining indifferent to its leadership. It is clear that sufficient numbers of states, out of the total system membership, must take the first option in order to establish hegemonial control. This acquiescence can be called 'hegemonic consent'. Since the role of hegemonial actor depends upon capability, the concept of hegemony bears a strong family resemblance to the concept of power. It is important to remember that power has an ideational as well as a materialistic content. Capability analysis of hegemonial actors needs to be constantly vigilant against crude realism which tends to operationalize the concept in strictly economic and military terms. Although these are important, it should be stressed that a hegemon's ability to lead is derived as much from what it stands for as from how it seeks to achieve its goals. Writers are agreed that the United Kingdom in the nineteenth century and the United States in the twentieth constitute examples of hegemons. U K hegemony began after the repeal of the Corn Laws and continued for thirty years until it started to wane in the 1880s, when the United States and Germany challenged its industrial supremacy. U S hegemony began in 1945 and its ending is charted in the declinist thesis including the Vietnam Syndrome. Japan and the E C /E U have emerged as tripolar rivals at least in terms of I P E. Ideationally, both states represent similar world views. They can appropriately be seen as standard bearers for what has come to be called the First World and for the values of economic liberalism. Currently some writers on the subject see possibilities for a reassertion of hegemony taking place via trilateralism. Ideationally there is no particular problem here, because the United States, Japan and the E C /E U all subscribe to the same ideas about the nature of economic and political systems. The main departure from the past would be that the assumption that a hegemon was a single state actor would have to be dropped. Hierarchy A hierarchy is a system of stratification. All social systems show evidence of stratification although the basis of this will differ. In the international system, stratification is based upon power and status. Taking these two dimensions as independent variables, it is possible to stipulate hierarchies based upon models which take power and status to be factors which are distributed unevenly between member states. As a result the relationships which develop within these hierarchies produce unequal outcomes between member states in the system. When the state actor perspective is modified to include mixed actor ideas then both the IG Os and INGOs serve to confuse the 19 Back to Top
picture but not to invalidate totally the idea of hierarchy. Thus when students of the MNC first began to study it as a 'new sovereign' it was commonplace to compare the gross annual sales of the MNC with the GNP of the state thereby suggesting that -- at least in this binary hierarchy -- the MNC was further up the ladder than many states. Recently neorealist writers like Waltz (1979) have sought to contrast the idea of hierarchy with the idea of anarchy. According to this view, because the system is an anarchy it cannot be a hierarchy. As the above discussion shows this neorealist dichotomy depends for its rationale upon a rather different definition of hierarchy than common-sense usage might suggest. It might be thought that by defining hierarchy in this way the school of neorealism has denied itself a potentially powerful instrument of analysis widely used within social theory. Structural power Hobbesian Along with Machiavellian this is probably the most well known and well worn categorization of the realist approach to international relations. It is not difficult to see why. Thomas Hobbes' (1588-1679) account of relations between states is drawn largely from his identification of this with the condition of man in the 'state of nature' before the establishment of Civil Society (Leviathan, ch. xiii). Hobbes' state of nature is anarchic and warlike where the life of man is 'solitary, poore, nasty, brutish and short'. Using this domestic analogy he suggests that states, like individuals, are in a state of nature, which is a state of war: But though there had never been any time wherein particular men were in a condition of warre one against another; yet in all times Kings, and Persons of soveraigne authority, because of their Independency, are in continual jealousies, and in the state and posture of Gladiators; having their weapons pointing, and their eyes fixed on one another; that is their Forts Garrisons and Guns, upon the Frontiers of their Kingdoms; and continual Spyes upon their neighbours; which is a posture of war (p. 65). This account of anarchy and the security dilemma each individual (and therefore each state) faces is the conceptual basis of what might be termed the `pure' realist school. It appears to contain all its essential elements. Man is aggressive and egotistical, the state seeks only its own ends, interest is defined in terms of power, conflict is natural and the social environment is anarchic/ chaotic. There is no law or morality to speak of and actions are limited, if at all, by prudence, which in any case is little more than enlightened self-interest. Following the domestic analogy, the logical way out of this condition is the creation of a 'Leviathan amongst Leviathans', but Hobbes resisted this step towards world empire or world government and most adherents to this view argue that survival ultimately rests on a form of balance of power. Hobbes himself was not concerned with inter-state relations; his observations about them are an offshoot, a subordinate part, of his explanation of domestic politics and his justification for government. It is somewhat surprising therefore that his few and brief references to IR have been so influential. This is partly due to the vivid and forceful style of presentation, partly because it appears in outline to fit the simple realist model, and partly because of the general paucity of philosophical speculation about IR. However, not a little controversy surrounds this orthodox interpretation of the Hobbesian view. It is possible to argue that Hobbes himself was not a `Hobbesian' in the traditional sense. Hobbes describes that state of nature where men live without a common power 'to keep them all in awe' as a war of all against all, and then like Locke after him, forestalling the argument that such a condition never existed, he points to the relations between states as exemplifying it. But he adds this sentence, which makes all the difference to his view of international relations. He says of the state of war between states... 'But because they uphold thereby the industry of their subjects; there does not follow from it that misery which accompanies the liberty of a particular men.' Therefore, although he clearly defines the state of nature with relations between the states, the external conditions of the states are not the same as those of individual men (i.e. they are less miserable). International politics is in a state of nature because there is no government, but this anarchy, this absence of government, does not lead to chaos as it clearly does for individuals. Anarchy in its international context is therefore not as intolerable as in its domestic context. It may in fact be compatible with the idea of an international society of states (the 'anarchical society'). In addition, Hobbes specifically identified the laws of nature -- which dictate that peace should be sought wherever possible -- with the laws of nations. This suggests that far from being a bleak, unrelenting battle for daily survival, inter-state relations are capable of sustaining communal, cooperative endeavours based on reason and mutual respect for law. (See Hedley Bull (1966). (I) Image An image is a subjective assessment made by an individual or a group of its physical and social milieu. An image is a psychological construct that is an amalgam of cognitive and affective processes. For this reason, there will always be a sense in which the image can be distinguished from 'reality'. This discrepancy may be trivial or it may be critical to any subsequent behaviour patterns. An image, moreover, contains elements of past, present and future. 20 Back to Top
The most basic image identifiable in international relations is the image that a people have of themselves expressed through their concept of nationality and the ideas of nationalism. Thus the first tangible images that most people have are of their own national or ethnic reference group. As with so many political attitudes, these selfimages will be the result of upbringing and socialization. In most nation-states these images are reinforced by the mass media and sometimes manipulated for propaganda purposes. As suggested above, images are affective as well as cognitive; they can therefore arouse feelings of amity or enmity. Hostile and/or friendly images of other national and ethnic groups are an important factor in the impact thay can have upon world politics. Indeed, a number of studies have shown the tendency for images to be reciprocated: hostility begets hostility, friendliness begets friendliness. This tendency is referred to as the mirror image. The study of national images has been wholly advanced within the social science approach. K. E. Boulding's 1956 work is widely regarded as the first, and now seminal, contribution to the literature. Subsequently, images have been particularly studied by those favouring a psychologically orientated approach to the subject and by students of public opinion. Imperialism Derived from the Latin word imperium it refers to the relationship of a hegemonic state to subordinate states, nations or peoples under its control. An imperial policy therefore usually means a deliberate projection of a state's power beyond the area of its original jurisdiction with the object of forming one coherent political and administrative unit under the control of the hegemon. This assertion of dominance is associated with, but can be distinguished from, colonialism. An empire can result in full economic and political integration of its subjects in the form of a supranational entity whereas colonies are separate and subordinate by definition. In practice though, the two concepts often overlap. Territorial expansion is an age-old phenomenon but in the modern world it is usual to identify two distinct phases: (a) mercantilist or dynastic imperialism which dates roughly from 1492 to 1763 and which saw the Western hemisphere and much of Asia come under European control and (b) 'new' imperialism 1870-1914, which witnessed the subjugation by Europe of most of Africa and part of the Far East. The period between is dormant in the sense that domestic issues such as balance of power, free trade, nationalism and the industrial revolution were the major preoccupation's of the European states. In the development of theories of imperialism it is the second phase that has attracted the most attention. The first major effort in this direction was J.A. Hobson's Imperialism (1902), which linked the phenomenon with the demands of maturing capitalism for markets, investment opportunities, raw materials and cheap labour. Hobson's thesis was revived by Lenin in Imperialism: The Highest State of Capitalism (1916), which subsequently formed the basis of the communist view of international relations and the causes of war. The competitive urge generated by monopoly capitalism would inevitably result in generalized imperialist world wars which would in turn destroy capitalism itself, thus preparing the way for the establishment of socialism. The equation capitalism imperialism war has had enormous influence in the twentieth-century world, although its explanatory power is rather limited. Many analysts have disputed the necessary connection between capitalism and imperialism and point to the frequency of imperial conquest and war long before the development of modern capitalism (see Schumpeter, 1951). Furthermore, it is difficult to subsume the expansionist record of the former Soviet Union under this formula (i.e. 'socialist imperialism') as it is the apparent lack of imperial drives in advanced capitalist societies such as Switzerland or Sweden. Alternative explanations, casting doubt on the Marxist/Leninist insistence on the link between capitalism and imperialism, abound in the literature on the subject. Thus, the demands of power politics, strategic imperatives, diplomatic manoeuvrings, the search for honour and prestige, the rise of assertive nationalism, changes in military technology, the shift in sea-power from sail to steam, developments in communications, the growth in the power of the media, the extension of the railway system, the invention of the telegraph -- all these have been identified as factors in the rise of modern imperialism, as indeed have humanitarian or missionary impulses and racial ideologies (a phrase which neatly couples the two is 'white man's burden'). Clearly, the phenomenon is not susceptible to a mono-causal or deterministic explanation; it is more likely to result from a combination of a number of often disparate elements which existed in some imperialism, but not in others. Besides the Marxist/Leninist view, another which emphasizes the determinist nature of imperialism is the realist school where imperialism is regarded as a natural, and if not curbed, inevitable consequence of the anarchic, multi-state international system. In contemporary usage the word has become politicized and now denotes any form of sustained dominance by one group over another. 'Cultural', `economic' or 'structural' imperialisms are phrases frequently used to describe more subtle forms of relationship that do not involve overt political control. Notions of neo-imperialism, neocolonialism and dependence have accelerated the process of moving the term away from its traditional meaning, to such an extent that to many the term is now a political slogan so vague and wide-ranging that it is devoid of any practical or theoretical utility in the study of international affairs. Structuralism 21 Back to Top
Insurgency Insurgency is an armed insurrection or rebellion against an established system of government in a state. If the violent challenge by the insurgents is forcefully resisted by the incumbents, and it normally is, a civil or internal war situation will result. Such outcomes lead to protracted violence between the parties. Insurgencies are normally aimed at one of two goals. Centripetal insurgencies seek to replace the incumbent regime with a system of government more conducive to the interests and inclinations of the insurgents. Typical within this category are movements for the independence of colonial peoples and territories which seek via the insurgency to end formal colonial control. Because colonial systems relied upon coercion rather than consent as their principal means of social control, even a fairly low level of insurgent violence will be perceived by the authorities as a threat which has to he resisted. Centripetal insurgency is also a typical form of violent opposition to authoritarian regimes within states that are formally independent. In this sense the term is isomorphic with the idea of revolution -- although not all revolutions take the form of insurgencies, of course. Centrifugal insurgencies, on the other hand, are aimed at secession from the incumbent state and the formation of a new entity. In the present system centrifugal insurgencies are likely to be associated with the expression of ethnic nationalism. Although less common historically than centripetal insurgencies, contemporary instances such as Eritrea and Southern Sudan show the salience of this category. Individuals and groups are recruited into insurgency movements by two principal appeals: (a) to their sense of ethnic identity and (b) to their political allegiance. These two appeals may fuse, as they did in the case of the Malay Communist party after 1948, if affective and cognitive attitudes come together. Social groups that are recruited into insurgency movements include the intelligentsia and the rural peasantry. This fusion was explicitly recognized in the idea of People's War and the Chinese and Vietnamese revolutions which exemplified this model. Insurgencies proceed by using the strategy of unconventional warfare, including guerrilla war, particularly in their earlier stages. Centripetal insurgencies normally move beyond this guerrilla mode in their later stages when it becomes necessary physically to 'liberate' areas of the disputed territory from the control of the incumbents. Eventually the violence may become essentially conventional if there is no short cut available to removing the last vestiges of the status quo. Anti-colonial insurgencies usually succeeded well before this point of finality was reached. In all cases insurgency situations are paradigm instances of the Clausewitzian tradition of viewing the military instrument as the means of achieving political goals. Since insurgencies are protracted conflicts, external or third party intervention is the norm rather than the exception, certainly in the macropolitical system post-1945. Third party intervention tends towards one of three typologies. First, a third party may attempt to mediate between the insurgents and the incumbents. Diplomatically such intervention requires giving at least de facto recognition to the insurgent movement. Second, intervention may occur because the external actor has been drawn into the violence as an ally or protector of one of the parties. If this intervention is made on the side of the insurgents then they will look to the ally to provide them with a sanctuary or base area, safe and secure, from which operations against the status quo regime can be conducted. For the latter, on the other hand, the most important role an ally can play is diplomatic support and economic aid to assist in prosecuting their campaign against the insurgents. During the 1960s this prosecution came to be called counterinsurgency. Third, an outside party can use an insurgency to penetrate the state concerned militarily and/or economically for its own interests. This can occur as a spillover from alliance links or it may be quite independent of the parties. As a result the target state becomes in effect a client or satellite, whatever the outcome of the civil war. Integration Integration is both a process and an end state. The aim of the end state sought when actors integrate is a political community. The process or processes include the means or instruments whereby that political community is achieved. There is an important proviso which must be entered immediately. The process of integration should be voluntary and consensual. Integration which proceeds by force and coercion is imperialism. Although historically empire-building has some of the characteristics currently attributed to integration, modern scholarship has been insistent that the process of integration should be regarded as non-coercive. Taking a historical perspective, the most significant attempts at building political communities in the past have been directed towards the creation of nationstates. Nationalist sentiments have often preferred to describe this as unification rather than integration. Current scholarship, with its emphasis on integration between state actors, can present a truncated view of the process if due regard is not paid to the nation-building purposes of earlier eras. An integrated political community must possess certain structural characteristics. Thus typically among states integration will produce a collective configuration of .decision-making that will be closer to supranational ideal type rather than the international. For instance, collective decisions might be taken by a majority of the membership and the strict unanimity principle would be abandoned. The need for policy integration will be particularly important if the nascent community is responsible for the allocation of goods and services between the constituent units. This will certainly be the case in those instances where political community building is predicted upon economic integration via customs unions and common markets. This aspect of community building has 22 Back to Top
particularly exercised the interest and attention of students of integration in the post-1945 period. At a minimum, integration presupposes the existence of a security community, that is to say a system of relationships which has renounced force and coercion as means of settling differences. Beyond this requirement, economic interdependence will encourage the putative participants to engage in the kinds of collective action referred to above in order to promote mutual interests. Regionalism -- expressed both in terms of similarity and proximity -- will further enhance these tendencies. As integration precedes new tasks, responsibilities and mandates will be taken on by the central institutions. This 'organizational task expansion', as it has been called, will be positively correlated with the integration process. In an integrated community, political processes will take on characteristics often associated with intrastate, rather than interstate, politics. For instance, political parties and interest groups will start to press demands and articulate interests at the centre as well as at the periphery. Indeed, eventually they will prefer to concentrate upon the former locus of power. Groups representing economic, social, environmental and religious interests will develop in addition to more traditional party arrangements. If economic integration has been a key preliminary to political community building then these groups may well be associated with wealth-welfare issues. The 'rules of the game' for these groups will broadly include a willingness to work within the system in order to achieve their goals and specifically a commitment to pluralism as a political style. This pluralist characteristic of the political processes will give rise to transnational politics as an increasingly significant section of the population within the member states perceive that more and more of their expectations and aspirations are being met within the integrated structure. A political community must command the loyalties and affections of the majority of the population of its constituent units. Historically in the formation of nation-states, nationalism provided the ideological and attitudinal infrastructure for this loyalty transfer. Contemporary efforts at building communities `beyond the nation state' have the task of providing a new focus for centripetal growth while confronting the centrifugal tendencies of nationalism. Functionalism and neo-functionalism, federalism and confederalism have all sought to address this crucial aspect of integration in their own ways. Integration is a highly persuasive process in the contemporary world political system. Its development since 1945 has been largely on a regional basis with the greatest advances being made within Western Europe. The development there of a security community following the Second World War was an important prerequisite. Externally the active encouragement of the United States from the Marshall Plan onwards was an important contributory factor in the emergence of new entities in the continent. As the number of actors involved in the European experiment has increased some observers have seen the dynamic being diluted. On the other hand the scope of integration -- as measured by the number of sectors/issues involved in the integration process - has increased. Internal colonialism This term is used in two senses in IR. The first sense is largely economic, the second political. Economically, internal colonialism refers to underdevelopment within a state or region as a result of unequal exchange between the periphery and the core. First employed by Gramsci and Lenin it highlighted the discriminatory economic policies of the central state (Italy and Russia) and the consequence of this for regions within them. Basically this involved a marked contrast between the wealth of urban core areas and the poverty of peripheral rural ones. It is particularly associated with theories of development and was frequently employed by Marxist and neo-Marxist analysts of apartheid in South Africa to explain the wide disparities of wealth and privilege between whites and blacks. In the second sense of the term, it is used to describe cultural and political divisions, rather than purely economic ones (though these are all related). Thus, in the UK for example, internal colonialism refers to the relationship between England (the core) and the Celtic fringes, Scotland, Ireland and Wales. These three countries tended to develop specialized export economies which were directly related to the needs of the core and instead of political assimilation all these maintained separate cultural and political traditions. Politically therefore, the term is closely allied to theories of imperialism, nationalism and secessionism. International System This term, which is derived from systems analysis, is used in two contexts in international relations; first as a description and second as an explanatory level of analysis. As a descriptive idea, international system is another way of referring to the state-system. At the level of the state, groups and interests within it may be regarded as sub-systems.Foreign policy is made against an external environment which is the international system. Because the activity of making and implementing foreign policy will have a significant effect upon the system, the system is sometimes referred to as 'sub-system dominant' (Kaplan 1957). Traditional analysis of the international system has tended to place particular emphasis upon the goals and orientations of great powers as being highly influential upon processes and outcomes. In systemic terms a great power is a state actor of such significance that its removal from the system would change the structure -- e.g. from multipolar to tripolar. 23 Back to Top
Two fundamental systemic processes have usually been identified by scholars looking at international systems, past, present or future. These are the processes of conflict and cooperation. Because these are so pervasive at the system level individual states in effect take them as 'givens' in their policy making and respond accordingly. In an effort to confront these systemic processes states have engaged in .regime creation and institution building. International organizations like the League of Nations and the United Nations and regional counterparts have proliferated in the twentieth-century system. The extent to which these organizations can be regarded as actors has been hotly debated. Certainly their existence has substantially modified the nature of the system and has led some to speak of a mixed actor model. The second sense in which international system is used is to locate the appropriate level of analysis at which explanations should be pitched. Waltz (1979) and Gilpin (1981) are examples of writers who have argued that the international system fundamentally determines the behaviour of individual state actors within its field. The first task of analysis is to discover the law-like characteristics of the system that all individual actors have to take account of. Thus security is often seen as a primordial goal of states because of the anarchic nature of the system Agentstructure Irredentism A term derived from the nineteenth-century Italian movement for national unification. In this context it referred to territories such as Trente, Dalmatia, Trieste and Fiume which had cultural and ethnic ties with Italy but which lay outside the physical control of the new Italian state. They were thus waiting to be 'recovered' or 'redeemed' for the nascent national community. The term has passed into general political discourse in the twentieth century. Mayall (1990) considers irredentism (rendered irridentism, p. 57) to be revisionism of the idea of national self-determination. It is certainly widely used, sometimes pejoratively, to characterize policies which seek to alter the .status quo in a particular territory on the basis of nationalistic or ethnic criteria. Irredentism is particularly likely where state-based frontiers straddle and divide an ethnic group, or where they represent the imposition of external (for example colonialist) control over a previously unified system. The `irridentia' then becomes, as it were, the 'lost' territory. As a result irredentism is a source of potential or actual conflict between international actors. Examples abound in the contemporary macropolitical system. Thus, Argentinian claims to the Malvinas and Spanish claims to Gibraltar represent the anti-colonial version of irredentism. Ethnic irredentism can be identified in the claims by Somalia to incorporate Somali peoples in Ethiopia and Kenya into a Greater Somalia and in the claims for enosis or union with Greece made in the immediate independence era by some Greek Cypriots. (L) Land reform A policy whereby the ownership and use of land is changed. The changes associated with land reform involve the redistribution of land held in large estates -- latifundia -- to small farmers and tenants and/or to landless farm workers. A variation of land reform, particularly favoured in centrally planned economies, was to redistribute land to cooperatives and collectives rather than to individual farmers. Politically, land reform is seen by its proponents as weakening or even destroying the power base of the traditional landed oligarchy or rentier class. As a policy therefore land reform is particularly associated with radical and reformist ideas. Alternatively it may be seen as a means whereby a traditional system can avoid violent upheaval by instituting change in order to mitigate the worst excesses of the system. Such a judgement might appropriately be made of the attempts at land reform in Russia before 1917. In contemporary international relations land reform is certainly seen in reformist if not revolutionary terms. There are many examples from the Third World of land reform programmes being initiated by less developed countries (LD Cs) since 1945. Ideologically, these measures are usually seen in these states as representing the desire to place land ownership in the hands of those who actually work the land. Widespread support for these changes has come from organizations such as the United Nations, particularly in those organs of the UN where Third World concerns are well represented. Economically, land reform can make a great deal of sense. It leads to a redistribution of income in favour of groups who might reasonably be expected to spend their money at home rather than abroad. It can lead to a redirection of land use in favour of producing cash crops for domestic urban markets rather than internationally marketed commodities, which is a feature of the latifundia system. Level of analysis A term that was introduced into the vocabulary of international relations analysis in April 1960 when David 24 Back to Top
Singer reviewed K. N. Waltz's (1959) volume on war. Subsequently Singer elaborated on these ideas in his 1961 article in the same World Politics (Princeton) journal. What Singer was in essence recognizing was that the burgeoning literature in the IR discipline needed to be aware of the units of analysis being studied. In this respect the field showed commonality with other social sciences which had similarly sought to distinguish the wood from the trees and the trees from the forest. In the two references cited Singer varied between a micro/macro dichotomy and the individual /state/system evinced by Waltz. Over subsequent years the value of explicit and prompt recognition of the operational level of analysis was generally recognized by scholars. It was testimony to their efficacy that they became good habits rather than selfconscious decisions. The fields of conflict research and integration studies can be exemplified in this regard. The publication twenty years after the volume on war of a systems analysis of I R by Waltz (1979) resuscitated the issue of levels since the ensuing debate between Waltz and his critics over neorealism implicitly raised these matters. Waltz was seen to have struck out in favour of the macropolitical level in this highly influential study, although his preferences in this regard had been well flagged up two decades earlier. Recently Buzan (1995) has sought to review and reconstitute the discussion on levels by in effect suggesting that the term has two meanings: one is the aforementioned idea of units. Here Buzan suggests five: system, subsystem, unit, bureaucracy, individual. The other meaning is as sources of explanation. Here Buzan suggests three levels: structure, process and interaction capacity. In effect Buzan wants to talk about horizontal and vertical levels corresponding to units of analysis and sources of explanation. Whether Buzan's excursion into what he terms 'intellectual history' has clarified or muddied the waters remains to be seen. As with the original distinction of Singer's custom and practice within the discipline will be the ultimate judge. Agent-structure Liberalism The liberal tradition in international affairs can be traced back at least as far as John Locke (1632-1704) but it is in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries that liberalism has had its most enduring impact. Indeed, the development of modern international relations would be incomprehensible without an appreciation of the part played by the liberal approach. For example, the role of international organizations such as the League of Nations and the United Nations can be directly attributed to the liberal quest for the elimination of the international anarchy and the inauguration of the rule of law. It could be argued that the success of liberalism in the twentieth century is due to the influence in world politics of its most powerful proponent, the United States, but this would be to deny one of the basic tenets of its belief system -- the idea that progress is inevitable and that the realist responses to the question of world order are atavistic and inherently dangerous. The liberal theory of international relations contains a number of propositions, most of which derive from the domestic analogy concerning the relationship between individuals within the state. Among the most important are the following: 1. Peace can best be secured through the spread of democratic institutions on a world-wide basis. Governments, not people, cause wars. Democracy is the highest expression of the will of the people, therefore democracies are inherently more pacific than other political systems. An international system composed of democratic states would, in consequence, lead to a condition of perpetual peace, where conflict and war would disappear. This is self-evident and based on reason. Best known proponents of this view are Kant and Woodrow Wilson, both of whom believed that the solution to the problems of world order and security lay in the spread of the democratic ideal. In this connection 'consent' is the only legitimate grounds for government, therefore imperialism is immoral. Self-determination is a condition of democracy, just as the final bar at the court of world judgment is public opinion which in the last resort is the safeguard of peace. 2 Bound up with this, and underpinning it, is a belief in the 'natural harmony of interests'. If people and states make rational calculations of their interests and act upon them, something akin to Adam Smith's 'invisible hand' would ensure that the national interest and the international interest would be one and the same. The free market and the perfectibility of human nature would encourage interdependence and demonstrate conclusively that 'war does not pay' (Angell, 1910). 3 If disputes continue to occur, these would be settled by established judicial procedures, since the rule of law is just as applicable to states as it is to individuals. An international legal regime based on common voluntary membership of international organizations would begin to fulfil the functions of a legislature, executive and judiciary, while still preserving the freedom and independence of the states. 4 Collective security would replace notions of self-help. The assumption here is that just as it must always be possible to identify an aggressor so also must it be possible to organize a preponderant collective coalition of lawabiding states to oppose it. The League of Nations and the United Nations were founded on this premise; security being conceived of as a collective, communal responsibility rather than an individual one. These are core beliefs of liberalism but liberals themselves often disagree as to the advisability of particular courses of action. In this context, it is instructive to distinguish between interventionist and non-interventionist 25 Back to Top
liberals. The former, among whom Woodrow Wilson figures prominently, believe that although 'progress' is historically inevitable, it is sometimes necessary to help it along. Thus, war on behalf of the liberal ideal may occasionally be required to rid the world of illiberal and persistent opponents. The just war or the crusade are perfectly permissible policies provided the object is to further the cause of democratic liberalism. This attitude to war was put most succinctly by R. H. Tawney: 'Either war is a crusade, or it is a crime. There is no half-way house.' The non-interventionists, on the other hand, believe that a liberal world order is implicit in history and that the virtues of liberalism itself would spread without any active prodding by its adherents. Nineteenth-century American traditions of isolationism were often expressed in these terms; the new politics of the New World would, by dint of its own obvious superiority, sweep all before it. However, the emergence in the twentieth century of two powerful anti-liberal ideologies, fascism and communism have rendered the non-interventionist stance somewhat anachronistic. Since the Second World War and the defeat of fascism, the liberal stand has been taken on the ground of containment which argues that the future of liberal democracy rests on its ability first, to stop the spread of communism and second, to eliminate it altogether. Containment, can thus be seen as a compromise between interventionism and non-interventionism, but it is as well to stress that liberalism, whether active or passive, on the battlefield or in the market place, envisages the eventual defeat of the force of illiberalism in whatever garb it decks itself. It is this self-righteousness and spirit of moral omnipotence that is one of the weaknesses of contemporary liberalism, as it all too easily leads to policies of sustaining the status quo almost at any cost. US foreign policy, in particular, has come under repeated criticism for supporting regimes with appalling records on human rights on the sole grounds that these regimes were anti-communist. Nevertheless, the 'victory' of the liberal democratic ideal in the Cold War has led many to believe that, for the foreseeable future at least, this now is the only game in town. The triumphalism that greeted what Francis Fukuyama called `the end of history' is testimony to this. The dark side of liberalism is its chronic inability to come to terms with the use of force for particular and specific ends. Realists have never been slow to point this out. The brighter side is that it honestly and selfconsciously intends to work for a brave new world where human rights and the well being of individuals are given a higher priority than state's rights and the narrower conceptions of national interest which characterize the more traditional approaches. Whether this is regarded as unduly idealistic and utopian depends upon one's own general, political orientation. Democratic peace theory; economic liberalism; neoliberalism Low-intensity conflict (LIC) A relative term used predominantly by American strategic analysts to identify a class of conflicts where the commitment of capabilities by the United States is finite and limited. The term has always been used with the Third World in mind historically but recently its remit has been expanded to cover a wider range of contingencies including drug control and anti-terrorist measures. Typically the kinds of forces required for intervention in lowintensity conflicts are held to be highly mobile, functionally specific units with perhaps a commitment to selfreliance beyond the conventional norm. The support capabilities required for this kind of force structure again emphasizes flexibility and mobility. The airlift and sealift requirements for this kind of force projection are only really available to a limited number of actors of which the United States is the principal example. There is more than a passing sense of deja vu about recent interest in L I C situations. American interest in counterinsurgency which was the hallmark of the J. F. Kennedy Presidency and British scholarship on the subject (Kitson, 1968) dates back to the Cold War era in international relations. America's involvement in the Vietnam situation can be analysed as a LIC which escalated to a higher level of intensity. Indeed Krepinevich's (1986) critique follows this line of argument. In the interim, the end of the Cold War and the collapse of communism has changed the parameters in which LICs are now perceived particularly in Washington. Avoiding -- rather than confronting -- the Vietnam Syndrome is an additional benefit which conflict intervention at the low- intensity level provides for American leaders. (M) Multipolarity A type of system structure with at least three 'poles' or actors being identified as predominant. This domination is dependent upon the idea of capability or power potential as the essential defining possession of the `poles'. The actors that dominate a multipolar system need not be states; blocs or coalitions may qualify. Historically, the classic example of a multipolar system was the balance of power. As Walt (1987) has shown the act of balancing against a perceived threat in this type of system leads to the formation of alliances. Conversely if states do not balance against a threat, then they may bandwagon behind it. Waltz (1979) has argued that multipolarity increases uncertainties between the polar actors and therefore enhances instability. Polar actors may resolve this uncertainty by committing themselves to another party come what may -- as Germany did to Austria--Hungary before 1914. Alternatively they may 'pass the buck' onto another party -- as Britain and France attempted to embroil 26 Back to Top
the Soviet Union against Germany before 1939. Since both these multipolar systems collapsed into systemic war, the empirical implication is clear-multipolarity is less stable. The end of the Cold War era has provoked some analysts to dust off the multipolar model of international relations. Certainly in the sub-field of international political economy (I PE) multipolarity with admittedly a tripolar hue looks very plausible. The United States, Japan and the European Union being generally seen as the `poles'. In militarysecurity contexts the United States looks more dominant but seemingly lacks the will to prevail, preferring instead multilateralism which allows for 'permissive enforcement' on occasions such as the Persian Gulf War. The attitude of states that are `near-poles' can be crucial. India's position as a 'near-polar' actor in the Asia-Pacific region seems to have influenced its recentnuclear weapons assertiveness. The removal of the Soviet Union from the regional front rank has left India bereft to face a Sino -- Pakistan special relationship that is perceived as threatening within the regional system. Mearsheimer (1990) famously speculated about a similar multipolar system emerging in Europe following the end of the Cold War era. Multipolarity is sometimes loosely used to characterize any system which is diffused and discontinuous. Whilst not exactly a debasement it certainly weakens the ties that bind this structural term to the idea of 'poles' that can be stipulated as the actors that give the system its character. (N) Nation Although probably the most pervasive concept of the contemporary world, this is a vague notion which refers to a social collectivity, the members of which share some or all of the following: a sense of common identity, a history, a language, ethnic or racial origins, religion, a common economic life, a geographical location and a political base. However, these criteria and characteristics are often present in different degrees and combinations. None is either necessary or sufficient for definition. Nations can exist without a distinct political identity (eg the Jewish nation during the Diaspora) and they can exist without common linguistic, cultural, religious or ethnic components (eg the Indian nation). Usually, though, there is a strong sense of common identity and unity. Yet even this apparently most basic requirement may be lacking (hence the emphasis on 'nation-building' which is widely regarded as a vital ingredient in the modernization process and developmental politics relating, in particular, to postcolonial Africa). The difficulty of definition is compounded by common political usage which tends to blur the distinction between the social and legal aspects of the term. Thus, membership of the United Nations refers specifically to political entities defined by spatial territorial boundaries. Those peoples or groupings who fall outside this rubric (eg the Kurds) appear therefore not to possess the relevant criteria. In this connection the term nationstate may be more precise though even here sonic states (eg the United Kingdom) may comprise several nations. In the modern world everyone 'belongs' to a particular nation (the word itself derives from the Latin verb nasci -- to be born) and so ubiquitous is the concept that it is even employed to convey ideas which to some extent run counter to its general meaning (eg international, supranational). Nation-state The nation-state is the dominant political entity of the modern world and as such can be considered to be the primary unit of international relations. However, it is a comparatively recent phenomenon. It developed in Europe between the sixteenth and nineteenth centuries after the collapse of the Holy Roman Empire and the emergence of the centralized state claiming exclusive and monopolistic authority within a defined territorial area. Absolute political power within the community and independence outside it are characteristic features. With the emergence of a number of such political formations the modern framework of international relations began to take shape, that is, separate political units interacting within a context where no final arbiter or authority is recognized or indeed present. Historically, the fusion of 'nation' and 'state' post-dated the process of political centralization and it was the nineteenth century that witnessed the dovetailing of political organizations with a political social grouping which constituted the 'nation'. The people comprising the nation became the ultimate source of the state's legitimacy and the national idea itself became the natural repository of, and focus for, political loyalty. Thus, it was during this period that the coincidence of the boundaries of state jurisdiction and the characteristic elements that made up `nationhood' took place. In the twentieth century this process became a universal one, though it should be noted that nations can exist without states and that states are not always composed of ethnically homogeneous social, cultural or linguistic groups. The nation-state, which is commonly regarded as the `ideal' or `normal' political unit, is in fact a particular form of territorial state -- others are city-states and empires -- and many commentators regard it as a disruptive force in the modern world. In particular, its obsessive emphasis on nationalism, on sovereignty and on raison d'etat has tended to militate against the development of a cohesive and pacific international community. The twentieth century has witnessed what appears to be a growing trend towards supranational forms of political 27 Back to Top
organization, especially on a regional basis, yet the nation-state is still a potent force in international relations. However, its detractors have argued that although it may have been the most effective political formation in terms of providing economic well being, physical security and national identity, there is no guarantee that this will continue. After all, the nation-state is an artificial, not a natural, construct and it may well be that despite its near-universality, it may already be something of an anachronism. However, some post-Cold War developments, especially secessionism and ethnic cleansing, may indicate a resurgence and malign refinement of the idea, as events in Somalia, Rwanda and Bosnia indicate.Nation;ethno nationalism Nationalism This term is used in two related senses, first, to identify an ideology and secondly, to describe a sentiment. In the first usage, nationalism seeks to identify a behavioural entity -- the `nation' -- and thereafter to pursue certain political and cultural goals on behalf of it. Pre-eminent among these will be national self-determination. This may be empirically defined in a number of ways, irredentism, independence,secession are all goals that may be sought under its rubric. In its second usage, nationalism is a sentiment of loyalty towards the nation which is shared by people. Elements of cohesion are provided by such factors as language, religion, shared historical experience, physical contiguity and so on. In the last resort such bonds must be integrated into a perceptual framework which subjectively defines a group of people as different from their neighbours and similar to each other. Empirical instances continually show that it is perfectly possible to create such a sense of national identity in the absence of some of the above factors. In short, it is difficult to stipulate convincingly that there is any cohesive factor that is necessary or sufficient for the creation of such sentiments. The ideological origins of nationalism are to be found in the political history of Western Europe after the collapse of feudalism. It first became manifest during the French Revolution and thereafter the nineteenth century saw it reach its zenith in Europe. The Italian Risorgimento was perhaps the precursor of the twentieth century phenomenon of nationalism as a resistance movement against foreign domination. In general, intellectual opinion in the nineteenth century was inclined towards the view that the nation represented a 'natural' bond amongst humans and that, accordingly, nations should form the basis for states. This fusion of the nation and the state into the nationstate idea became such an influential factor that it gave rise to a whole category of relations -- international relations -- and a complete perspective on activities -- that of state-centrism. Nationalism as an ideology was exported during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries from Europe to the rest of the world. The fact that European imperialism hypocritically failed to extend to others what it was willing to claim for itself -- the right of national self-determination -- meant that the nationalist ideology was turned against European control and used as a weapon of national liberation. In addition to turning against the foreigner, nationalists turned against their own parents and made the issue one between generations as well as between rulers and ruled. This sense of grievance created by Europeans among their subject peoples and the discrepancy between theory and practice produced what historically came to be called the nationalist movement. As a form of protest anti colonial nationalism began as an elite expression of dissatisfaction and spread downwards thereafter to the masses. The immediate demand in all instances was for independence and the turning over of control of the territory to the indigenous elite. In the process of using nationalism to wrest authority away from external control a subtle change in the relationship between the idea of 'nation' and the idea of 'state' occurred. The Third World states that were turned over to their own fates with the ending of formal colonial control were not homogenous nations at all. Most contained at least two ethnic groups -- for example the tribal system in Africa -- and many contained three or more. As a result the fusion of the nation with the state was not carried over into the non-European context. So prevalent is this characteristic in Third World nationalism that most writers on the subject make a clear distinction between state nationalism and ethnic nationalism. The classic European assumption that nations must have states and that, if possible, states must have one homogenous nation, has been completely abandoned in the process of diffusing the nationalist ideology from Europe to the rest of the world. This distinction is often referred to in the literature as the difference between nation-states and state-nations. (Quasi-states) Nationalism in the second sense -- as an attitude or sentiment -- varies between individuals and groups within the extant or putative nation. Elites -- intellectuals, political leaders and the military especially -- are likely to show clear evidence of nationalist attitudes. Among the rest of the population nationalism will vary along a number of dimensions. Recent research by social scientists into extreme forms of nationalism such as fascism seems to show that there is often a positive correlation between certain personality types and extreme nationalist sentiments. Nationalism, like other political ideas, is diffused and spread among a population via the mechanism of socialization. The growth of mass education and the mass media in the twentieth century has created important transmission belts for this process but socialization processes start in the family and it is reasonable to assume that in many instances nationalistic attitudes are transmitted in this primary group setting. Nationalism is often encouraged and enhanced by contact with foreigners. This contact may take place at the personal level or it may be mediated via the media and other channels. It is clearly possible to manipulate these sentiments to create a climate of public opinion favourable to a political leadership, faction or party. Once mobilized 28 Back to Top
these attitudes are often difficult to control and a particular leader or leadership may become permanently invested with a kind of aura as a result. The term 'charismatic' is often used to identify this fusion of a people's aspirations in one individual. Although over-used it can be applied to a number of twentieth-century figures. Many political analysts see nationalism as a divisive force in IR. Indeed, idealists of many sorts have argued that nationalism was a temporary phenomenon and with the imperative of economic interdependence would be replaced by internationalism and cosmopolitanism. In particular, the Marxists argued that nationalism was primarily a bourgeois ideology and that the rise of the nation-state was inseparable from the requirements of early capitalism. As capitalism developed and became more international, nationalism would be replaced by the 'class struggle' which would in turn break down national boundaries. These assumptions were not borne out by political developments and the First World War, in particular, destroyed the idea of class solidarity against the nationalist principle. Thereafter, Marxian analysis of nationalism has associated it with anti-colonialism and the struggle against imperial or foreign domination and exploitation. As such the first major revolution that combined nationalism with revolutionary socialism was the Mexican revolution (1910-17) which subsequently was regarded as the model for the anti-colonial movement. Liberal analysts have warned of the inherent dangers of unrestrained nationalism. Whereas in the first half of the nineteenth century it was associated with democracy and .liberalism it later took on an aggressive, militaristic form and came to be identified with imperialism, fascism and totalitarianism. This form of 'integrative nationalism' according to liberal thought, is a distortion. There is no necessary connection between nationalism, conflict and war. In fact nationalism, properly understood and fostered, is a positive development in world politics leading to the liberation of colonial peoples and subject national minorities. Although there is no general theory, there is a broad consensus that nationalism both as a form of consciousness and as a political ideology has been the single most important factor shaping the structure and the process of the modern world. The ideas of the nation-state and self-determination, from which it is inseparable, have formed the recognized foundation for the practice of international relations and although there are movements towards supranational forms of cooperation and political organization, few doubt that its effects have yet to be fully worked out. Indeed, the end of the Cold War witnessed a revival of nationalism, albeit of a particularly aggressive kind (e.g. Yugoslavian). The process of nation-building and emancipation from the old dynastic, multinational and imperial states has redrawn the world political map, first in Europe and the Americas between 1815 and 1920 and then in Asia and Africa after the Second World War, so that now, with the exception of Antarctica, all the earth's land surface is divided into nation states. Up to 1914 the international system consisted of about fifty sovereign states in all. By the end of the war ten new states emerged. When it was founded in 1920 the League of Nations had forty-two members. The United Nations in 1945 had fifty-one but membership rose to 135 in 1973 and to 159 in 1988 and 185 in 1997. Estimates vary, but such is the continued force of the ideas of nationalism and national self-determination that by the end of this century it is likely that the international system will comprise some 200 sovereign states. Since there are no optimum requirements concerning size or population (most of the new states will in fact be `micro-states') it is impossible to assess what the ultimate number of independent political units will be. Clearly, nationalism is not only the most Potent force in world politics, it is also, judging by mere numbers, the most successful. Neoliberalism Sometimes referred to as `neoliberal institutionalism.' This term distinguishes neoliberalism from earlier varieties of liberalism such as `commercial' liberalism (theories which link free trade with peace), `republican' liberalism (theories linking democracy and peace) and `sociological' liberalism (theories of international integration). Neoliberalism which is inclusive of all the above is generally understood to be the most comprehensive theoretical challenge to the realist/neorealist orthodoxy in mainstream international theory (see Baldwin 1993). The principal charge levelled against political realism is its obsession with the war/peace, and military/diplomatic dimensions of international relations and its fixation on the nation-state as key actor. While not denying the anarchic character of the international system, neoliberals argue that its importance and effect has been exaggerated and moreover that realists/neorealists underestimate the varieties of cooperative behaviour possible within such a decentralized system. Concentration on the security dilemma they argue, severely limits the scope and domain of international relations and renders it anachronistic as a model of global relations. Indeed, neoliberals define 'security' in much broader terms than neorealists: moving away from a geopolitical/ military reading of the term, they emphasize wealth/welfare and environmental issues as equally valid considerations. Thus, they focus on institution-building, regime creation and the search for 'absolute' rather than 'relative' gains as mitigating strategies in a quasi-anarchic arena. Although nation-states continue to be important actors, they have declined in their ability to effect outcomes, particularly on the plethora of issues that transcend political boundaries Instead of a single agency, neoliberals favour a mixed-actor model which includes international organizations, transnational organizations, NGOs, MNCs and other non-state players. The dynamics of international relations arise from a multiple sources involving a mix of interactions not captured by the simplistic (albeit elegant and parsimonious) 29 Back to Top
theories of realism/neorealism. Keohane and Nye (1977) refer to this process as complex interdependence and argue that the exclusiveness of neorealism fails to capture the complexities of international behaviour and in particular distorts reality by ignoring the institutions, processes, rules and norms that provide a measure of governance in a formally anarchic environment. In sum, neoliberals contend that the IR agenda has been greatly expanded in the twentieth century, particularly in the non-military wealth/ welfare/environmental arenas. Therefore theories that concentrate on military/ diplomatic issue areas are bound to be one-dimensional, since they are wedded to the past and incapable of dealing with systemic change. Neorealists for their part argue that neoliberals exaggerate the extent to which institutions are able to mitigate anarchy, and they underestimate the potency of nationalism and the sheer durability of the nation-state. Although they agree that cooperation is possible under anarchy it is much harder to achieve and maintain than neoliberals allege. In this connection, the future of the European Union is regarded as an important test for both theories. For critical theorists and postmodernists, both approaches are faulty, since both are located in the 'anarchy problкmatique'. The much vaunted differences are in fact minimal. Neorealists tend to study security issues; neoliberals tend to focus on economic issues. Both are similarly obsessed with conflict and cooperation within a self-help environment and therefore critically assume that actors behave as egotistic value maximisers. Most importantly neither approach critically addresses the normative presuppositions of the anarchical order they work within. In this sense, both accept the prevailing definition of the situation and both are embedded within a privileged, status quo conception of international relations and eschew explanations of approaches not based on rational choice theory. Neorealism Sometimes called 'new' or structural realism, this theoretical perspective is associated with the writings of K. N. Waltz, especially his influential Theory of International Politics (1979, see especially chs. 5-6). While retaining many of the basic features of 'classical' realism (e.g. states as key rational unitary .actors and power as a central analytical concept), neorealism directs attention to the structural characteristics of an international system of states rather than to its component units. The concept of 'structure' here refers to the 'ordering' or the 'arrangement' of the parts of a system, and in Waltz's formulation it is the structural constraints of the global system itself, rather than the attributions of particular component units, that to a large extent explain state behaviour and affect international outcomes. In Waltz's words: By depicting an international political system as a whole, with structural and unit levels at once distinct and connected, neorealism establishes the autonomy of international politics and thus makes theory about it possible. Neorealism develops the concept of a system's structure which at once bounds the domain that students of international politics deal with and enables them to see how the structure of the system, and variations in it, affect the interacting units and the outcome they produce. International structure emerges from the interaction of states and then constrains them from taking certain actions while propelling them toward others' (Waltz, 1990). In other words, it is 'structure' that shapes and constrains the Political relationships of the component units. The system is still anarchical, and the units are still deemed to be autonomous, but attention to the structural level of analysis enables a more dynamic and less restrictive picture of international political behaviour to emerge. Traditional realism, by concentrating on the units and their functional attributes, is unable to account for changes in behaviour or in the distribution of power which occur independently of fluctuations within the units themselves. Neorealism, on the other hand, explains how structures affect behaviour and outcomes regardless of characteristics attributed to power and status. Waltz argued that the international system functions like a market which is 'interposed between the economic actors and the results they produce. It conditions their calculations, their behaviour and their interactions' (pp. 90 -- 91). Not all neorealists accept his image of the market as the primary force field of international relations, but all accept the basic propositions regarding the centrality of the state as rational, unitary actor and the importance of the distribution of power (i.e. overall systemic structure) in the analysis of inter-state behaviour, outcomes and decision-making perceptions. Waltz's reworking of political realism has attracted much critical attention, especially from neoliberals and, in a more dismissive fashion, from critical theorists and postmodernists, but few would deny that Theory of International Politics is the most sophisticated defence of realism and the theory of balance of power in contemporary international theory. (Agent-structure) Non-intervention A pivotal notion in the Westphalian state-system where rights associated with independence and sovereignty logically implied corresponding duties of non-intervention. Thus, the claim to exclusive domestic jurisdiction represented by the principle of cuius rego eius religio extended to its corollary -- freedom from external interference. Primarily an eighteenth century European idea, the rule of non-intervention in international law and public diplomatic practice is especially associated with the writings of Wolff (1740) and Vattel (1758). Most early writers on the subject tended to regard it in absolute terms, seeing it as an indispensable prop to state sovereignty and therefore an argument for liberty against earlier hegemonic and imperial claims. However, just as the rights of 30 Back to Top
sovereignty are not absolute, so the duty of non-intervention is circumscribed by reservations and qualifications (even Wolff, for example, claimed that it could be compromised by collective action -- the civitas maxima). While non-intervention is now widely regarded as a rule which states ought to adhere to, it is often thought to be more honoured in the breach than in the observance. Indeed, many scholars have noted that in the post-1945 period intervention appears not only to be endemic in international relations (to the extent that it can be regarded as 'structural' in character), but may even be coterminous with it. That is, if all states complied all the time with the requirements of non-intervention, international politics as we know it would disappear. In this way, modern debates centre not around the existence of the rule, but rather the nature and scope of exceptions. The legitimacy of intervention in the internal affairs of another state clearly depends on a number of factors including purpose or cause, means employed and the authority under which intervention takes place. Generally, unilateral intervention is regarded as suspect although intervention by 'invitation' (e.g. the Soviet intervention in .Afghanistan in 1979), or counter-interventions (e.g. Cuban assistance to Angola up to 1989 to counter South African aid to UNITA forces), or even pre-emptive intervention on the ground of self-defence (e.g. the Israeli bombing of a nuclear installation in Baghdad in 1981) are often regarded as more or less justifiable exceptions to the rule. Again, interventions in support of self-determination or wars of national liberation are often advanced as legitimate exceptions, especially from the Third World perspective. In addition, humanitarian intervention either unilaterally or collectively, is a right that is frequently invoked especially by supporters of the emerging law of human rights. To many the doctrine of non-intervention, representing as it does the ultimate expression of states' rights, is not just inimical to the development of international organizations but also to the general acceptance of human rights as an integral feature of international relations. The rigidity of the doctrine, at least in its original form, allows pariah or rogue states such as pre-1994 South Africa to survive behind quasi-legal technicalities associated with the most exclusive versions of sovereignty and domestic jurisdiction. Clearly, non-intervention is bound up with the idea of a decentralized state-system composed of sovereign, independent units who are nominally equal. The survival of the rule is therefore linked to the survival of this particular form of world order. The concentration or centralization of power and authority in one source, or else in a number of regional centres, would severely limit its scope and effectiveness. For the present, despite a number of corrosive forces eating away at its edges, non-intervention is still acknowledged to be a bulwark against unwarranted outside interference. As such, it seeks to define the frontier between internal and external affairs and to express, however hazily, the proper and permissable limits of contact between one state and another. Calvo Doctrine; humanitarian intervention Normative theory Accounts of international theory are generally said to be either 'empirical' or 'normative'. Empirical international relations is taken to be descriptive, explanatory and prescriptive. Normative theory by contrast, is concerned primarily with the moral and ethical dimensions of international affairs. However, this distinction is a very broad one since it is difficult in practice to conceive of accounts of I R that are either non-empirical or nonnormative. In addition, both approaches concern themselves with epistemological/ontological issues which are common to the activity of theorising in the humanities and the social sciences. (see Brown, 1992). Bearing these caveats in mind, normative theory addresses questions relating to standards of behaviour, obligations, responsibilities, rights and duties as they pertain to individuals, states and the international state system. In particular, normative studies focus on such contentious issues as the moral significance of states and borders, the ethics of war and peace, the nature of human rights, the case for intervention and the requirements of international distributive justice. Normative theory then, is about norms, rules, values and standards in world politics and as such ranges over all aspects of the subject area -- including international law, international political economy and diplomacy, where settled, more established procedural norms are more common. These issues have always been of central concern to students of IR. Indeed, the establishment of IR as a specific field of academic inquiry was driven by normative considerations. The subject was first constituted as a quest for `solutions' to the problem of the persistence of war in an anarchic state system. This first phase of normative theory is characterized variously as idealist, liberal or utopian. It consisted of attempts to eradicate war and international violence by means of the domestic analogy -- the 'peace through law' approach. The second phase of theorising was a reaction to this and was more self-consciously empirical, it sought to look at the world 'as it is, not as it ought to be.' Thus, realism was explicitly positivist and empirical, although it did contain normative implications. The intellectual dominance of political realism in I R from the 19405 onwards, led one scholar to characterize this period as a 'bizarre forty year detour' away from normative issues. (Smith, S. 1992). This is not entirely accurate since many self-proclaimed realists, including such luminaries as E. H. Carr, Reinhold Niebuhr, Hans Morgenthau and Arnold Wolfers specifically addressed the moral and ethical implications of the power politics approach. This period also saw the rise of the.English school and normative investigations into the bases of international society and order. However, realism and its variants did succeed in marginalising normative theory and 31 Back to top
this tendency was reinforced by the third identifiable wave of theoretical activity -- the methodological 'debate' between the classicists and the behaviouralists (social science approach). An important dimension of this debate concerned the place of values in social inquiry, but the ideological framework within which the debate was conducted (the Cold War and the perceived need to respond to security issues) meant that conceptions of order, stability and co-existence took precedence in the discipline over considerations of justice or fair play. deterrence occupied central place in I R and theory became obsessed with technical questions relating to .nuclear stability and maintaining the superpower status quo. As an American social science, which I R had now become, perhaps it is not surprising that the discipline came to reflect the concerns, interests and values of the West and its leading actor. The fourth phase of international theory, which began during the final throes of the Cold War and extends to the present, witnessed a revival of normative issues to the extent that they now re-occupy central place in the discipline. This was partly inspired by real-world events, in particular Vietnam and the Persian Gulf War, both of which raised first order normative questions concerning the Just war and the ethics of intervention. The rise ofneoliberalism and in particular critical theory and postmodernism has led to widespread questioning, not merely of the dominant paradigms of I R, but to its very status as a separate, distinct area of inquiry. Connecting I R with parallel debates in social and political theory, this 'new thinking' centres on a concern with `human emancipation' and accordingly relocates human rights, humanitarian intervention, ecological and environmental concerns and distributive justice away from the peripheral terrain they occupied during the period of statecentic dominance. The centrepiece of contemporary normative theory is the dialogue between the `communitarians' and the 'cosmopolitans'. The basic distinction between these positions in the words of one influential theorist, rests on our double existence as 'men' and as 'citizens; as members of particularist communities and/or universalist communities. (Linklater, 1990). More specifically, this involves examining the nature of human obligation to one another and probing the moral significance of the autonomous state. The radical assault on the Enlightenment project that this has involved is an indication that international theory has now come full circle and is in the process of re-thinking the philosophical basis upon which the disciplinary enterprise was founded. (P) Paradigm A term imported into international relations from the philosophy of science, particularly from Kuhn (1962). A paradigm on this view is theoretical framework, a set of hypotheses, or a model that serves as an organizing principle and as a guide for research. According to Kuhn a particular scientific era is characterized by a dominant paradigm: this constitutes 'normal science' within which the majority of scholars work. Thus the chronological development of IR as an academic discipline is often presented as a series of 'paradigm shifts' -- from idealism and realism to behaviouralism and so on -- interspersed by times of 'paradigm crisis' when one dominant approach is challenged by another. These periods are often represented as 'great debates' in the discipline, as in the interparadigm debate occasioned by the challenge that critical theory posed to orthodox accounts of IR. (Hoffman 1987). In contemporary IR, no single paradigm dominates. With the ending of the Cold War (itself a thegemonial paradigm) the field contains a host of competing paradigms which vie to become the accepted general theory of international relations. Neorealism, neoliberalism, critical theory and postmodernism Pax Britannica Literally means peace imposed by British dominance. Used correctly therefore it can only refer to that period in the recent past when Britain was the dominant state in the state system. Most scholars are agreed that this domination began in the wake of the defeat of France in 1815, was at its peak in the middle decades of the nineteenth century and declined thereafter. The decline was disguised for the reason that no other state immediately emerged to replace Britain as the dominant actor. Eventually, the United States did, but this occurred in the 1940s after a long period when the system lacked a dominant state. The bases of Pax Britannica were military, economic, diplomatic and intellectual. Militarily, Britain was a naval power. The possession of huge naval forces and the concomitant insistence upon the 'two-power standard' -- whereby the British navy was able to cope with the combined strength of the next two ranking powers -- were the outcome. As a result of this power base, Britain established a vast global network of naval bases. Particularly important, in addition to the home bases, were those in the Mediterranean, in South Africa and in Singapore. Possession of such a powerful capability was an important deterrent to other European powers to move into areas of perceived British interest. For example, there is no doubt that, without the British navy, the Monroe Doctrine would have been merely a declaratory statement of future intentions. Economically, Pax Britannica was possible because Britain was the first state to adopt modern techniques of INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION. The wealth created by this revolution enabled Britain to establish a commercial system of banking and foreign portfolio investment based upon the capital, London. A system of international trade and 32 Back to Top
payments was thereby created in the nineteenth century, a system based upon interdependence in economic relations. Intellectually this was justified by a belief in free trade and by the advocacy of liberal ideas about individualism and free enterprise. Diplomatically, the Pax Britannica was dependent upon the European).balance of power working to prevent the rise of hegemonial challenges from the continent. To assist this Britain sought to advance and protect its interests either by seeking direct control over territories or through spheres of influence policy. Paradoxically, the European states that sought to challenge this system, France and Russia, became in time Britain's chief allies in European politics. Intellectually this system was an affront to the liberal/individualistic and democratic/nationalistic tendencies in British political life in the nineteenth century. Like any system based upon a single dominant actor, the Pax Britannica was dependent upon Britain maintaining that position. By the end of the nineteenth century Britain's economic domination had been lost, for good, to the United States and Germany. The great financial strains placed upon the British economy by the First World War further exacerbated this decline. Britain's imperial system was challenged by the Boers and the Irish. Finally, the intellectual ideas of individualism and liberalism were contested by collectivist thinking, which in some manifestations manipulated or rejected parliamentary democracy altogether. Hegemonial stability theory; spheres of influence Perception Perception is a basic psychological process whereby individuals relate to their environment. A distinction is usually made in psychology between the perception of things and the perception of people, the latter process being referred to as 'social perception'. It is a fundamental characteristic of the act of perceiving that selection is involved. Certain stimuli are noted and others ignored. A variety of factors will affect this discrimination including the individual's past experiences, his current physical and psychological state and the frequency and familiarity with which cognate experiences have occurred. How people perceive each other clearly has a considerable bearing upon how their behaviour towards each other is determined. Taking account of perceptions in world politics involves the study of behaviour at the individual level of analysis. In particular, the investigation of decision-making and how key 'players' perceive their situation will form a large part of the analysis. As such, perception is the basic psychic process that leads to the definition of the situation. All perceptions in decision-making are conditional assumptions or inferences about another person or persons. These inferences will seek to attribute certain intentions to the other and, upon that basis, certain responses will be made. Perception of another's intentions is a difficult procedure because there are states of mind which can only be inferred by indirect evidence. Psychologists argue that individuals seek to maintain cognitive consistency or balance and that, accordingly, person-perception tends to assimilate new information into existing images. Jervis (1976), in his work on the subject of perception and misperception, argues that this tendency to seek consistency in perceiving is inevitable: 'intelligent decision-making in any sphere is impossible unless significant amounts of information are assimilated to pre-existing beliefs' (p. 145). The policy maker in world politics faces potential inundation by the complexities of the environments in which policy is made if this kind of perceptual screening is not effected. These pre-existing beliefs will be both immediate, contingent concerns (`evoked sets') as well as more deeply held attitudes and images. The study of perceptions in world politics has been wholly advanced under the social science approach in the post-1945 period. As Jervis points out in the opening chapter of his book such approaches depend upon recognition of the decision-making level of analysis as relevant. A complete picture of why particular decisions were taken requires scholarly reconstruction which will necessarily have to take account of how those authoritatively placed to take decisions 'saw' the situation. At the same time a total commitment to subjective phenomenalism should be avoided. As the distinction between psychological and operational environments suggests, there is a world beyond the perceptual horizon. Pluralism This term is used in two senses in nternational relations. First, as a perspective on the structure of the system. Here pluralism may be taken as a portmanteau term covering all those who reject the assumptions of state- centrism in preference for some kind of mixed actor model. Second, pluralism is derived from political sociology where it is used to identify political systems where power is shared among a plurality of competing parties and interest groups. Pluralism is thus a theory both of inter-state and intra-state politics. Pluralism in the first sense argues that the assumptions of the traditional state-centred view of world politics were derived from a period when the level of interconnectedness between states was significantly lower than at present. Pluralists argue that there has been a massive erosion in the impermeability of the state during the twentieth century in a number of directions. This erosion is explained in the pluralist literature by reference to the idea of interdependence, particularly in the issue area of economic relations. Pluralists indeed believe that certain economic goals -- often bundled together as 'wealth/welfare issues' -- can only be realized by states becoming 33 Back to Top
more collaborative with other state and non-state actors. Thus the state is seen as more integrated into the global system by pluralists than by realists. Because the system is one of mixed actors, the defining characteristic of the actor becomes autonomy rather than sovereignty. The pluralists argue that actors such as the IMF or the PLO can be said to enjoy a measure of autonomy and should therefore be included in any model of world politics. For pluralism the concept of actor is relative: it cannot be fixed by some legal principle such as sovereignty; rather, it depends upon the context of the issue area. Pluralists also hold that the billiard ball metaphor gives a distorted picture of intrastate politics. Black-boxing or reifying the state misrepresents the domestic political process. Because pluralism is also a theory of how domestic politics works -- at least in those systems which are pluralist -- then holding to this perspective produces a rather different picture of policy-making as well as macropolitics. In particular, pluralists are far more willing to build the bureaucratic and organizational context of the policy system into their modelling and, conversely, to abandon or modify ideas about rationality. The growth and development of ethnic self-consciousness and the emergence of sub national and transnational interests associated with the same have, according to the pluralists, had important implications for the idea of the nation-state as the typical actor in macropolitics. Any idea that there is a neat and tidy fit between the state and the nation must be revised in the light of widespread evidence of ethnic nationalism as a centrifugal force working in many states against state-centred nationalism. Some conception of the ethnic diversity of many states can be demonstrated by an examination of language as a variable. On this criteria only a small minority of states are ethnically homogeneous. If loyalty to and identify with the state, through the instrument of nationalism, is not guaranteed in the present system then, at minimum, the billiard ball model needs revision, if not abandonment. Pluralists argue that many problems in macropolitics, such as combating pollution or proliferation, cannot be resolved by states taking a narrow, self-centred view. If these problem-solving tasks are so approached the result will be self-defeating. Instead states must recognize a common interest and engage in cooperation, harmonization and even sectoral integration in order to produce positive-sum solutions. States may engage in institution-building which will further erode their autonomy. Liberalism; neoliberalism Polarity A concept used in systems analysis, polarity implies that within a definable system certain actors are so important that they constitute 'poles' against which other actors have to respond (by joining coalitions or remaining non-aligned). Thus a polar actor is one which is so significant that its removal would alter the contours of the system. Conversely a new polar actor would be one which, by entering the system, also altered the contours. In the past entry and exit from polar positions has usually been effected as a result of war. Polarity is a relatively new term in the analysis of IR_ and is often used in conjunction with the term power. Thus a bipolar system would consist of two powers, a tripolar of three, and so on. Use of the concept of polarity can only proceed with confidence if the term is explicated further to uncover the preconditions that appear necessary and/ or sufficient. Traditionally, military power was regarded as a necessary precondition for stipulation as a 'pole'. Although military potential is not easily or cheaply converted into effective instruments of influence, its possession does give the actor considerable negative or veto power. For this reason, no satisfactory discussion of the bases of polarity can avoid taking into account the military factor. Economic potential as a determinant is important, both for its own sake and as a contributory factor in the 'war potential' of actors. Economic power is more malleable than military since it can be used for both positive and negative sanctions. Interdependence, although identifiable in the military security issue area, is far more prevalent and pervasive in economic relations. The determinants of polarity should include an ideational factor. Such factors may be explicit statements akin to ideologies, or they may be implicit and imprecise 'ground rules'. Indeed, the two are different facets of the same thing. Thus in the contemporary system, the Third World states have sought to change the ground rules of the international political economy through such demands as those contained in the call for a New International Economic Order (N I EO ). At the same time, there is a more structured set of ideas about the nature of economic power, institutions and relationships behind these demands. In discussions on polarity in the literature the issue of stability is often raised in order to facilitate comparison between different configurations. Some writers have seen bipolarity as more stable, others argue for multipolarity. In these discussions stability is often defined by the limiting condition of an absence of war between the polar actors. In any event, given that in all systems change is endemic, stability is at best a relative not absolute term.
(Q) Quasi-states 34
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A term used by Bull and Watson in The Expansion of International Society (1984) and later popularized by Robert H. Jackson (1990). It refers to ex-colonial states of Asia, Africa and Oceania, which through the process of decolonization have achieved 'juridical' statehood but lack many of the attributes of 'empirical' statehood. They possess all the trappings and formal qualities of sovereign independent statehood -- in particular the rights and responsibilities stemming from full membership of the international community -- but are deficient in 'the political will, institutional authority and organized power to protect human rights or to provide socio-economic welfare' (p. 2 1, Jackson). In effect, quasi-states are states in name only; they are able to survive despite being inefficient, unstable and illegitimate by operational rules implicit in the new international order established after 1945. They are protected from the traditional fate of weak, fragmented states -- foreign intervention -- by new international norms such as anti-colonialism, the right to ex-colonial self-determination and racial sovereignty; ideas which are underwritten by the spread of egalitarian and democratic values which have their origins in Western social and political movements. In other words they escape the classic security dilemma by virtue of the existence of a 'nanny' international society which fosters a culture of entitlement (to sovereignty and its attendant rights) and a culture of dependence (protection and foreign aid) which enables them to survive despite their malformations. Whereas in the past, such entities if they survived the power struggle at all were subordinated in the international system, today they enjoy equal status with all others. According to Jackson, quasi-states and their external support structures -- which amount to the international communities version of 'affirmative action programmes' -- reflect a new doctrine of 'negative sovereignty' which was created expressly for the independence of the Third World. Thus, post-colonial international society has sheltered these new entities from the harsh balance of power and self-help rules associated with traditional criteria for state-creation and maintenance. The dire consequences of economic inviability, social/ethnic fragmentation and human rights abuses have been highlighted by Robert Kaplan in his influential article 'The Coming Anarchy' (1994). For Kaplan, these quasi-states all too often become failed states. In the postcold war period the pivotal rule which upholds quasi-states, the rule of non-intervention is now under threat. Increased global concern with human rights, the movement towards good governance, the increased popularity of the idea of humanitarian intervention as well as simple donor fatigue may serve to restrict the political space enjoyed by quasi-states. But for so long as the values of ex-colonial selfdetermination and sovereign equality are regarded as `groundnorms' of post-Westphalian international relations, these entities will continue to be a settled feature of the international landscape. (R) Rationality Considerations of rationality frequently arise in the context of the study of international relations, particularly when the decision-making level of analysis is influencing description and explanation. The question 'are decision-makers rational?' is really fundamental to this approach. Indeed, many would argue that this question is one of the fundamental challenges facing any study of human behaviour, whatever approach is being used. Discussions of rationality now usually take as their starting point the view, derived from economics, that rationality can be defined as utility maximization. This is sometimes presented as the way in which 'efficient' decisions should be made. Such stipulations are clearly prescriptive and still leave open the empirical question of whether in actual cases efficient choices are made. Game theory in particular has sought to build upon a series of generalizations based upon this utility maximization approach. Here 'being rational' means following the minimax precept one maximizes gains or minimizes losses. To do anything else would be irrational. When game theoretical approaches are broadened to include mixed-motive games the problem of stipulating rationality becomes more complex. In particular the classic Prisoner's Dilemma game actually involves two concepts of rationality. Individual rationality prescribes to each player the course of action most advantageous to him under the circumstances, while collective rationality prescribes a course of action to both players simultaneously. The 'dilemma' intrinsic in the game is that if both act on the basis of collective rationality, then each is better off than the individual would be if acting on the basis of individual rationality. One of the key variables in resolving the dilemma in this game is the extent to which each player can 'trust' the other, but clearly considerations of trusting and being trustworthy take the analysis beyond the concept of rationality. If efficiency of choice as criteria for evaluating rationality leads to paradoxes such as the Prisoner's Dilemma then this approach to the question of what constitutes rationality may be a mixed blessing. An alternative view is taken by those who look at the way decision-makers reach estimations about the choices they have to make. If these individuals and groups can make an optimum estimation of the outcomes of all available courses of action then they can be said to be acting rationally. This idea of optimum estimation has been attacked by organization theorists such as Herbert Simon (1965). Simon developed the idea of 'bounded rationality' as an alternative to optimum rationality in these situations. He argued that decision-making problems are so complex that only a limited number of aspects of each problem can be attended to at any one time. Indeed, psychologically decision-makers identify and formulate problems within a particular framework so that the perceived solution, if 35 Back to Top
there is one, is built into the framework. Additionally, Simon argued that decision-makers rarely seek optimum solutions. They do not consider all the alternatives and pick the best one; rather, they find a course of action that is good enough for present purposes that satisfies. Simon called this `satisfying' and said that this is more plausible than the idea of maximization. Simon's thinking about rationality implies that terms like 'finding the best possible policy' have little operational meaning because the search for alternatives is always limited and finite. It is impossible to consider all alternatives so policy-makers tend to consider the most obvious, most attainable, most reasonable, etc. Of course, as the actual decision process proceeds other alternatives may occur or originally conceived alternatives may disappear. It would appear that confident stipulations about rationality in the field of study are set about with qualifications. Deductive approaches such as maximizing subjective utilities are flawed by inductive, empirical studies which often show that in the particular event these requirements were not followed. The Prisoner's Dilemma shows that such deductive approaches may not produce stable solutions. Any discussion of rationality has to take account of the factor of subject perception if it is to be empirically relevant and Simon's studies have shown how much this perspective can lead to modifications. Realism Sometimes called the `power-politics' school of thought, political realism in one form or another has dominated both academic thinking on international relations and the conceptions of policy-makers and diplomats, certainly since Machiavelli contemplated the subject. The ideas associated with it can be traced to the ancient Greeks and Thucydides' History of the Peloponnesian War is widely regarded as the first sustained attempt to explain the origins of international conflict in terms of the dynamics of power politics. Machiavelli in The Prince (1513) and .Hobbes in Leviathan (1651) also provided crucial components of this tradition, especially in their conceptions of interest, prudence, and expediency as prime motivators in the essentially anarchic context of international relations. As a theory, or a set of propositions about the individual, the state, and the state-system, it reached the height of its appeal, especially in the AngloAmerican world, in the years after 1940 when it appeared to explain the 'lessons' of appeasement and the inception of the Cold War era. Thereafter it was challenged on essentially methodological grounds by the behavioural or social science approaches but it reappeared in the 198os in the guise of neorealism. Among its most prominent early adherents were: E. H. Carr, R. Neibuhr, J. Herz, H. J. Morgenthau, G. Schwarzenberger, M. Wight, N. Spykman and G. F. Kennan. Despite the basic weakness of some of their methodology, this group spawned a generation of distinguised scholars who continued the power-orientated approach of their predecessors. Among these were: R. Aron, H. Bull, H. Kissinger, R. E. Osgood, R. Rosecrance, K. W. Thompson, R. W. Tucker, K. N. Waltz and Arnold Wolfers. The restatement of its central concepts, albeit in a highly deductive, systemic presentation (Waltz, 1979 and Keohane, 1986), testifies to its enduring appeal both on the campus and in the chancellery. Without doubt, political realism is the most successful and perhaps the most compelling of the classical paradigms that shaped the development of the discipline. The tradition focuses on the nation-state as the principal actor in international relations and its central proposition is that since the purpose of statecraft is national survival in a hostile environment the acquisition of power is the proper, rational and inevitable goal of foreign policy. International politics, indeed, all politics, is thus defined as 'a struggle for power'. 'Power' in this sense is conceptualized as both a means and an end in itself, and although definitions are notoriously loose and slippery its general meaning is the ability to influence or change the behaviour of others in a desired direction, or alternatively the ability to resist such influences one one's own behaviour. In this sense a state's ability to act and react is a function of the power it possesses. The idea of self-help is central as is the notion of sovereignty, which emphasizes the distinction between the domestic and external realms. The addition of an`s' to the word 'state' creates not just a plural, but involves crossing a conceptual boundary. States answer to no higher authority and so must look to themselves to protect their interests and to ensure survival. The national interest therefore is defined in terms of power, to the virtual exclusion of other factors such as the promotion of ideological values or of moral principles. The nature of the anarchic state-system necessitates the acquisition of military capabilities sufficient at least to deter attack, and the best means of self- preservation is a constant awareness and reiteration of the worst-case scenario. Since all states seek to maximize power, the favoured technique for its management is balance of power. Stability and order are the result of skilful manipulations of flexible alliance systems: they do not stem from the authoritative force of international law or organization, which in any case is minimal. The approach is system-dominant in the sense that state behaviour is seen as a derivative of anarchy, but some adherents also claim that since the quest for power and self-interest is inherent in human nature, the statessystem is a logical consequence as well as a reflection of it. The realists emphasize the persistence of conflict and competition in international affairs; cooperation is possible but only when it serves the national interest. The structure of the international system gravitates towards a hierarchy based on power capabilities and the notion of equality is at a discount, except in the formal sense that all states are equal states. Criticisms of the realist paradigm have been legion. It has been attacked for lack of methodological 36 Back to Top
consistency, imprecision on the definition of key terms and for all its ethical implications and overall policy costs. Its obsession with high politics and its presumption about the impermeability and centrality of the state had led to alternative approaches where non-strategic diplomatic issues and non-state actors are highlighted. Critics have also pointed out that political realism did not accurately describe, let alone explain, some of the major developments in the post-Second World War period, in particular the cooperative and integrative movements in Western Europe and elsewhere, as well as the apparent disutility of military force in increasingly larger issue areas of international politics. However, it remains an important theoretical perspective and one which for generations of scholars and practitioners best captures the essence of the international political system. The states-system is still anarchic, states are still the central actors and the great powers are still the most dominant. Recognition of this as well as a keen appreciation of the methodological shortfalls of traditional realism led sonic scholars to re-examine the role of power in the system, in particular its role in achieving cooperation under conditions of anarchy. K. N. Waltz's (1979) influential Theory of International Politics is the most far-reaching theoretical attempt so far to re-establish, albeit in a more rigorous form, the central tenets of realism. For Waltz, the central feature of a theory of international politics is the distribution of power. It is the structural constraints of the global system itself which to a large extent explain state behaviour and dictate outcomes. This 'structural realism' argues that changes in actor behaviour are explained in terms of the system itself rather than in terms of a variation in attributes that actors may display. This concentration on the level of the international political system rather than its component units has become part of the `neo-' or 'structural' realist revival. While concentration on transnational relations and complex interdependence challenges key assumptions of political realism (especially that nation-states are the only important actors) the ideas associated with power and its distribution are still central to any sophisticated understanding of I R. The nature of power may have changed, but not the uses to which it has traditionally been put. Neorealism, neoliberalism Recognition One of the most difficult and complex issues in international law. It is at once a legal and a political condition. The act of recognition or non-recognition of a state or government is clearly a political matter (e.g. for ideological reasons the United States refused to recognize the People's Republic of China, 1949-79), but it also has legal consequences (in this case Taiwan legally became China). Deciding whether to recognize a new state or government involves a pledge to deal with the new entity as a full member of the international diplomatic community and in this sense can mean conferring legitimacy. It does not, though, necessarily convey approval. Thus, Britain recognized the People's Republic of China on the principle that the communist government had effective control over the territory and fulfilled the factual requirements of being a state and a government (the socalled Lauterpacht doctrine), yet this did not mean that Britain approved of the 1949 revolution. Britain has generally been realistic in its approach to the question, whereas the United States has tended to be idealistic; one basing its judgement on an assessment of factual situations, the other on moral or ideological grounds. There are two broad doctrines relating to this issue: the 'constitutive' theory and the 'declaratory' theory. The former maintains that the international community endows a state with legal personality, thus conferring recognition, while the latter believes that it is the factual situation of the existence of the state itself that matters. These two views correspond closely to idealist theories of international relations (which ascribe particular functions to international society as a whole) and realist theories (which concentrate on states and assign a minimal role to the wider community). Modern practice involves an admixture of the two approaches: international law tends to view community acquiescence and empirical reality as proper guidelines for conferring recognition. But it must be emphasized that the whole process is highly political and therefore contingent. Most commentators now regard the 'declaratory' approach as the better since non-recognition for ideological or constitutive reasons could logically infer that the non-recognized state has no obligations at all under international law. For example the refusal of the Arab world to recognize Israel could entail Israel not being bound by international rules covering, say, aggression or the laws of warfare. This has not in fact happened so that even those states which adopt the constitutive view have recognized its limitations. Recognition is bound up with de facto and de jure interpretations. The issue is also an important consideration in relation to territorial claims and recognition of belligerents in a civil war. In these matters, political considerations intrude to such an extent that international law itself can offer no hard and fast rule of procedure (see M. Akehurst 1984). Region This term is used in a number of contexts with a number of meanings in international relations. Sometimes these meanings overlap: sometimes they contradict one another. The primary, common sense usage connotes physical contiguity. Indeed proximity seems to be a necessary, although not sufficient, condition for confident stipulation of a region. Within state actors physical contiguity or proximity seems to be an important prerequisite for creating and maintaining a sense of unity. The example of the failure of the two halves of Pakistan to maintain a united state when separated by the territory of the state of India and its dismemberment into Pakistan and 37 Back to Top
Bangladesh in 1971 is surely instructive here. What is called elsewhere centrifugal insurgency is clearly assisted by geographical isolation and remoteness. Between state actors, contiguity as a variable in delineating regions produces mixed results. For example, there is a core area contained within the concept of 'Europe' which includes the founding six of the European Union. At the periphery things become more confused. Iceland and Ireland presumably mark the western fringes but where is the eastern fringe? The end of the Cold War has altered these parameters it seems. Similarly, with the region of the 'Middle East'. A core area can be identified but is Libya part of it, or North Africa? Is Turkey part of Europe or part of the Middle East? Michael Edwardes (1962) opens his work on Asia with a chapter on the theme 'Asia: Does it exist? Clearly, more is needed than proximity to confidently stipulate the meaning of region. Between state actors, indeed, it is possible to arrive at groupings based upon homogeneity. Social homogeneity may be defined as involving socio-cultural factors such as race, religion, language and history. Factors which, within the state, can contribute to a sense of nationalism, between states can contribute to a sense of regionalism. Economic homogeneity may be defined as involving factors such as level of economic development, evidence of trade blocs and common markets and possibilities of economic .integration. Political homogeneity relies upon one predominant variable: type of political system and its degree of stability. External homogeneity may be defined as the extent to which states in their foreign policy-making seek to cooperate, coordinate and harmonize their goals and the degree to which this leads to institution building, bloc politics and the formation of regional organizations. In this respect homogeneity or similarity, as defined above, may reinforce or revise ideas about region based upon proximity. The variable of social homogeneity is very evident in the Middle Eastern region where Islam and Arabic are powerful factors in the regionalism. At the same time this criterion perforce excludes Israel and makes Turkey and Iran peripheral actors. South America is closer than Europe to the Middle East on these dimensions. In Europe on the other hand these cultural factors are divisive, particularly on language and religion, and Europe scores very high on economic homogeneity throughout the global system. Conversely, this same economic factor which is so unifying in Europe pulls Japan out of its geographical context. Through the OECD and the I M F Japan is economically part of the West. Political homogeneity is also high in Europe. Taking a historical perspective this is not surprising: the strong centralizing tendencies that produced the state and the state-system first occurred in that region. Later, following the French and US revolutions, the expansion of political participation followed the modernization of political structures on both sides of the Atlantic. Thus it is possible to identify European/North Atlantic region of political homogeneity. No other region matches this one on the criteria of politics. In the past South America has evinced a strong tendency towards militarism as a distinctive regional characteristic but this is now weakening. Studies of voting behaviour in the General Assembly of the UN show the extent to which external homogeneity is reflected in the phenomena of the voting bloc. Further evidence for the growth of this variable throughout the global system is produced by the increase in regional organizations since 1945. This growth can be correlated with the idea of regionalism. Europe would seem to head the field although in the issue area of militarysecurity policies in the region is linked via NATO with the United States. Proposals for a European Defence Community failed to gain sufficient support when moved in the 1950s and the West European Union has only very limited military significance without NATO. On the basis of the criteria of proximity and homogeneity discussed here it seems to be valid to conclude that some regions are more 'regional' than others. In all instances, though, it also seems valid to distinguish what have been called `core areas' within the region from peripheral areas. It should be noted that the idea of periphery is not wholly or essentially geographic. Thus the United Kingdom's peripheral role vis-а-vis Europe was more the result of a lack of external homogeneity than anything else. This attitude persisted in the United Kingdom throughout the 1950s and only changed slowly and somewhat hesitantly thereafter. Sub-system Regionalism Regionalism is to region what nationalism is to nation. A complex of attitudes, loyalties and ideas which concentrates the individual and collective minds of people(s) upon what they perceive as 'their' region. Regionalism exists both within states and between states. Within states it can be one manifestation of ethnic nationalism and the political goal of separatism and .independence. On the other hand, regionalism may simply reflect an organizational desire to increase efficiencies and make administration more accountable to the population. Regionalism within states is thus a very broad-based set of ideas and aspirations which may see much or little conflict between the concept of region and the concept of centre. Between states regionalism is positively correlated with the idea of region. It has to be said that, in the conduct of their foreign policy, leaders of states frequently approach their external environment wearing 'regional' lenses. This definition of the situation is widely reflected among mass publics as well; the mass media will reinforce this tendency in reporting and covering foreign news. On the issue areas of military-security policies and wealth/welfare policies, problem solving is often perceived in terms of regional solutions. Thus regional arrangements such as alliances, ententes, common markets, and free trade areas are typical institutional responses. 38 Back to Top
The attempt in the twentieth century to establish global international institutions such as the League of Nations and the United Nations was seen, by some, to be a task that was inhibited by regionalism. This came to a head when the framers of the UN charter found that the primacy of the Security Council in matters involving peace and security might be challenged by regional pacts and arrangements. Chapter VIII of the Charter entitled 'Regional Arrangements' represents a compromise formula between universalism and regionalism. In retrospect this modus vivendi was almost certainly prudent. The UN has failed to substantiate the collective security provisions of the Charter and the post-1945 system saw a renewal of regionalism. The same tendency has been apparent in global economic relations. Regional cooperation and integration via the wealth/welfare dimension has been one of the most distinctive features of macropolitics, and the UN system has been permissive. The General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) has made specific provisions for these trading arrangements to be effected. Western Europe has long gone as far as any region in building economic regionalism into a complex of institutions. The European Union is now a powerful economic actor in its own right and it has certainly functioned as a systemic modifier accordingly. It seems plausible to suppose that these trends will continue into the immediate future and that other actors will seek to improve the prospects for regionalism. (S) Secession Defined by Mayall (1990) as the mirror image of irredentism, the term refers to the political expression of separation by the inhabitants of a region from some pre-existing state structure. Secessionist sentiments may therefore be seen as indicative of the rejection of some of the most basic ground rules of the state-system in favour of nationalism that owes more to ideas about kinship and ethnicity. Modern examples of secessionist movements that challenged existing state structures are Biafra and Bangladesh, while at the time of writing secessionism has produced the complete demise of the state of Yugoslavia. As all three instances quoted above show, secession is rarely attempted or achieved through peaceful change. A more typical outcome is civil war. The association of secessionist politics with violence and communal conflict can be anticipated from the previous discussion. Since secession represents such a powerful centrifugal challenge to state-centrism, secessionist tendencies and factions will be resisted by political authorities at the centre. Security A term which denotes the absence of threats to scarce values. In principle security can be absolute, that is to say freedom from all threat is the equivalent of complete security. Conversely in a totally threatening system of relations, a system of implacable hostility verges into systemic paranoia. Empirically security is a relative term and in international relations scholarship it has been established custom to analyse the concept in terms of more or less rather than all or none (Wolfers 1962, Baldwin 1997). Historically security has been seen as a core value and ultimate goal of state behaviour. This position was often latent and assumed rather than manifest and stated. Recently neorealism has raised the profile of the idea of security to that of a central -- if contested -- concept. Waltz states that, 'in .anarchy security is the highest goal (p. 126). Baldwin in his recently stipulative analysis of the concept (redolent of American social science literature on relational power) rejects this 'prime value approach' to security analysis. Using instead 'marginal value approaches' Baldwin restates the relativist approach referred to above in terms of marginal utility. `How much security is enough?' becomes a relevant question. Since absolute security is not available outcome within any rational cost calculation, there is no point in going for it as a goal. Baldwin suggests a 7-point checklist to break down the analysis of security and to avoid Waltz-type 'simplifications'. Traditionally analyses of security in a foreign policy context concentrated on the military dimension. Here threats implicit in war and near violent conflict situations raised acute national security questions for political leaderships. Strategies of 'balancing' or 'band-waggoning', of ally-seeking and coalition-building, of arms racing and defence spending were the common currency of classical security policy making. The end of the Cold War has allowed for a burgeoning of the security agenda to include ideas about economic and ecological/environmental .security to set alongside the more familiar military. Economic security concerns are implicit in mercantilism. Economic security is essentially a 'supply-side' problem in IR, which is why mercantilism sets so much store by selfsufficiency. If the control of the supply of goods and services falls into hostile hands or if the price for the supply of the same is set by a hostile actor with monopoly control then the economic security of the recipient is potentially under threat. The growth of interdependence and globalization in economic relations enhances the problem in one sense but offers a solution in another if all parties redefine their security in cooperative rather than conflictual terms. Multilateralism is an escape route but the consequence will be the abandonment of mercantilism/neo-mercantilism. There are similarities to note with the conclusion above in respect of ecological or environmental security. As noted elsewhere the environment as an issue area is structurally compatible with a mixed actor view of things. 39 Back to Top
The nuclear winter thesis is an example of how environmental security concerns are truly transnational. Strategies based upon narrow state-centric views are ultimately self-defeating in environmental policy making. Writers like Buzau (1991) recognize the dilemma and in his case modify the concept of anarchy by talking of a 'mature anarchy'. If assumptions can be made about common security as an alternative to state-centric versions of security then it might be possible to go even further and see the security concept becoming part of the agenda for global governance to consider. Security dilemma A central tenet of realism and the realist paradigm, the security dilemma arises for the situation ofanarchy that states find themselves in. By striving to increase their on security - by following policies that enhance their military capabilities - states inadvertently make others feel less secure. As a result of this behaviour a vicious circle or spiral of security-insecurity arises to which there is no permanent and lasting solution. John H. Herz. (1950) was among the first to develop these ideas. Herz rested the dilemma not on any innate anti-social attributes of man per se but rather upon the social nexus - and the idea of anarchy - within which men, and groups, operate. The security dilemma may therefore be regarded as a structural attribute rather than a psychological one. It is to nurture, rather than nature, that one should look for explanations of why the dilemma occurs. Herz returned to the subject in Chapter 10 of his 1959 book. The 'power and security dilemma', as it had now become, is still seen as immutable. Herz argued that the emerging bipolar configuration of the Cold War period had exacerbated the dilemma. Comparing the bipolar system unfavourably with the balance of power, Herz concluded that 'bipolarity has given the security dilemma its utmost poignancy' (p. 241). Buzan (1983) seems to reflect similar views; again in his seventh chapter referring to the power-security dilemma, Buzan argues for what he terms a 'mature anarchy' (p. 208) as the most stable outcome of the constant action-reaction pattern. The most original contribution to the security dilemma idea since its inception has come from Robert Jervis in his book on perception and misperception (1976) and then in his World Politics article (1978). In both publications Jervis analyses the dilemma in terms of game theory, and particularly the variable sum Prisoner's Dilemma - which balances its players between conflict and cooperation strategies. Jervis argues that if war is costly and cooperation beneficial there will be strong incentives to overcome the dilemma by following policies that ameliorate rather than exacerbate relations between putative adversaries. If military technology favours the defence, and if the opportunity costs of defence policy are high, incentives to manage the dilemma will correspondingly be high. Moreover if defensive postures can be easily distinguished form offensive postures - so that the risks of misperception are reduced - the dilemma will be reduced. Like Herz and Buzan, Jervis believes that a status quo orientation by the leading players in the system helps the management process. There is no antidote to the dilemma within realism, of course. Realists are committed to its principles. Regime analysis offers a possible way out analytically. Philosophically the idealists believed that systems such as their collective security idea offered more permanent solutions, but this requires the importation of assumptions which realism cannot tolerate. Security studies A sub-field of international relations which is concerned with the elucidation of the concept of security its implementation in foreign policy making and its consequential effect upon structures and processes in world politics. During the Cold War era security studies was narrowly defined in terms of military-security issue areas. It was heavily policy-orientated and there was a large overlap with strategic studies. The post-Cold War system has changed all of these assumptions and the issue area of political economy and the environment have broadened the agenda of security studies from what traditionalists would have referred to as `high politics' to embrace so-called low politics' of economics and the environment. The distinction has lost much validity in fact because issue of economic or environmental security can be defined in terms which conform to most common-sense ideas of high politics. As a result a security study is one of the most buoyant areas of IR scholarship currently. In shape and substance it is coming to resemble international political economy (I PE) in the sense that it is highly eclectic and shows little signs of reaching a consensus about it operating principles or ideology. Although realist and neorealist scholars have traditionally dominated the field, the opening up of the new economic/environmental agendas is challenging this dominance. In particular the growth of critical security studies (Camnbell 1992) and the idea of common security confirm that various perspectives are evident under the security studies umbrella. In a recent review essay David Baldwin (1995) tentatively argued for a 'reintegration' of security studies into mainstream IR. This is unlikely to happen if only because too many academic careers would be at stake in the demise of the subfield. Self-determination The right or aspiration of a group, which considers itself to have a separate and distinct identity, to govern 40 Back to Top
itself and to determine the political and legal status of the territory it occupies. Thus, in the political sense it refers both to a process and to an idea. Closely identified with nationalism and liberalism it is probably best understood as a theory of the relationship between nation and state which finds its fullest expression in the concept of the democratic nation-state. However, there is nothing in the term itself that indicates preference for a particular form of political organization and it can mean the right of an established state to determine its own form of government free from external interference. In a general sense, then, political self- determination refers to the right of peoples to determine their own destiny in their own way. The concept was implicit in the US Declaration of Independence of 1776 (`the consent of the governed') and in the French revolutionary Declaration of the Rights of Man in 1789 (`the divine right of the people'). Its influence was especially felt in the nineteenth-century European states-system and apart from France, it played an important part in the unification of Germany and of Italy and the independence of Belgium and Greece. Outside Europe it was the prime mover in the process of the liberation of South America from colonial rule. But it was not until the First World War that, under the impact of President Wilson's fourteen points, the idea of national independence came to be known as national selfdetermination. Thereafter it has become one of the `absolutes' of contemporary international thought and it featured prominently in the Covenant of the .League of Nations and in the United Nations Charter. Despite its ubiquity the concept has never carried a clear legal connotation. The problem of determining which groups of people may legitimately claim this right had bedevilled its application in the twentieth-century world. This is further complicated by the legal restrictions against intervention in another state's internal affairs. Consequently, in practice the emphasis has been placed on the notion of 'self' rather than on any external application of a known rule. Even so, the United Nations has attempted on a number of occasions to link the concept to the process of decolonization and thereby make it a positive duty and a legal right rather than an aspiration. The Declaration on the Granting of Independence of Colonial Countries and Peoples in 1960, for example, stated that 'all people have the right to self-determination; by virtue of that right they freely determine their political status and freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development'. The right of self-determination was again reaffirmed in the 1970 Declaration of Principles of international law which further emphasized that all states were under a positive duty to promote it. This all-embracing linkage with anti-colonialism, equal rights, economic, social and cultural development has in effect robbed the term of any practical meaning. Questions of definition remain. Who are the 'peoples' to whom it applies: Does it justify rebellion, revolution or secession? Must it result in full independence or can it be partial or fulfilled by means of association? Answers to these questions are by no means clear-cut and the international community, both inside and outside the General Assembly, has tended to react to them in an ad hoc, interest-based fashion rather than in accordance with the guidelines of the 1970 Declaration, which in any case are much too vague for the practical application. Self-help For the realist the notion of self-help is a logical consequence of the anarchical structure of international states-system. For the idealist it is the cause of it. Either way, self-help is endemic in international relations. Given that states are independent political units that are primarily concerned with their own survival and advancement but are not subordinate to a central authority, the idea of self-reliance is a compelling one. The search for security in a system of politics without government means that self-help is a necessary function of self-preservation. It is a natural response to the security dilemma as traditionally conceived. However, the right to self-help is not an absolute one. States might not be expected to surrender the general right of self-help but the international system does not attempt to restrict its scope. Both international law and the United Nations Charter are founded on the premise that there is no unrestricted right of self-help. Indeed, in this context the primary purpose of law and of supranational institutions is to map out areas of consensus on permissible limits of the private use of force by sovereign states. Thus, self-defence is regarded as the most basic manifestation and requirement of the institution of self-help. Other characteristic forms of it are retortion and reprisals. Historically, states have been reluctant to allow encroachments on the rights of self-preservation but the nineteenth and twentieth centuries in particular have witnessed considerable, though frequently ambiguous, inroads into this entrenched doctrine. To date, there have been no viable or effective replacements, balance of power and collective security are variants of it, not alternatives. Accordingly, to some the persistence of the notion is an impediment to progress towards the establishment of a centralized executive world authority possessing a monopoly of the legitimate use of force. But since self-help is a consequence of political independence, so long as the world is organized on a decentralized multi-state basis, it is unlikely to be replaced. Clearly, the absence of self-help as a fundamental behavioural principle would mean a radical transformation of the system. This eventuality is, at present, extremely unlikely. Social science approach The term 'social science' is here taken to refer to those studies such as sociology, psychology, anthropology and political science. Distinctive in terms of such factors as their level of analysis, they are similar in terms of their 41 Back to Top
most fundamental methodological assumptions. Thus the social science approach to international relations involves applying the same methods, concepts, models and theories from any one or group of the above disciplines to the subject matter at hand. decision-making, game theory and systems analysis are but three examples of the interdisciplinary borrowing. The social science approach is therefore consistently and intentionally eclectic. Historically, this approach to the subject matter has been US -inspired and wholly post-1945 in its development. The ascendancy of the United States as a superpower in the system meant that the intellectual challenges presented by a global foreign policy had a spillover effect upon the colleges and research institutes of the United States. In short, US perception of its new role in macropolitics encouraged a new interest in the subject. In the years after 1945, moreover, funds for basic research were available in the United States. The US Government played an important, if controversial, role in some of this funding but private foundations like Ford, Carnegie and Rockefeller were also important. Political science had already developed some significance before 1945 in the United States. Probably the most famous faculty was that located at the University of Chicago under the leadership of Charles Merriam. After 1945 political scientists such as Lasswell (1948) and Almond, nurtured in the Chicago tradition of social science, began to move into international relations, a field traditionally reserved for historians, lawyers philosophers and strategists: the so-called 'classical' tradition. Publication of the influential journal, World Politics, by Princeton Center for International Studies began in 1948. Thereafter there was a mushrooming of talented scholarship as various campuses in the United States developed an interest in the new field. Publications soon followed. Rosenau's 1961 Reader stands as an exemplification of the contributions made in the previous decade. By the beginning of the 1960s indeed the social science approach was well represented in US colleges and institutes and was beginning to have an impact across the Atlantic. In Europe the classical tradition was more entrenched and less willing to welcome these changes, preferring to see them as challenges instead. Hedley Bull's (1966b) article was typical of the unfavourable reaction from many European-based scholars. Accordingly the impact of the growth of a social science of world politics was delayed and somewhat diffused in Europe. Earlier, Dahl (1961b) labelled `behaviouralism' as a protest movement. Traditional analysis simply left a vacuum which was filled by borrowing the concepts theories and techniques of the mainstream social sciences identified above. Seemingly no sooner was one chapter closed than another opened. In 1969, David Easton, a leading exponent of the deductive mode of systems analysis, proclaimed a 'new revolution' in political science and characterized the epoch as 'post-behavioural'. Attacking what he called the 'empirical conservatism' (p.1052) of the behavioural approach, Easton called for a new emphasis upon the study of values and, conversely, for the abandonment of the value-free approach. In calling for more value-orientated, politically relevant research at the end of the turbulent 1960s, Easton anticipated certain trends that have been evident in the study of IR since. There has been a definite proliferation of broad based perspectives and paradigms of late. Indeed the term 'paradigm proliferation' has been coined to characterize the unruly flock of activities currently ongoing in IR. There seems to have been a conscious shift away from epistemology towards ontology as the substance of inquiry and speculation. Walker's (1993) collection of essays being a case in point. Groom and Light's (1994) trend survey shows neatly the directions in which IR is currently going. Indeed the attempt implicit in the social science approach to locate the study within that broad tradition has been challenged by developments in the last quarter of the century. Many would now concur with Hedley Bull's wistful suggestion that IR's place is forever in the philosophical tool shed and that accordingly IR's genealogy includes philosophy and political theory in the bloodline. Sovereignty Often regarded as the enabling concept of international relations whereby states assert not only ultimate authority within a distinct territorial entity but also assert membership of the international community. The doctrine of sovereignty implies a double claim: autonomy in foreign policy and exclusive competence in internal affairs. Internal sovereignty thus refers to a supreme decision-making and enforcement authority with regard to a particular territory and population. External sovereignty on the other hand refers to its antithesis: the absence of a supreme international authority and hence the independence of sovereign states. Paradoxically, therefore, the doctrine of state sovereignty necessarily leads to the concept of .international anarchy: the idea of a supreme authority within the state logically leads to a denial of the existence of a supra-sovereign above the state. Historically, in the development of the European states-system, it is usually associated with the works of Bodin (1576) and Hobbes (1651) where it appeared to be synonymous with the right to exercise unrestricted power. Thus, the Hobbesian system of International Relations was characterized as a near- permanent state of war where sovereign authorities are not restrained by a common power. On this view, international law, because its provenance must be doubtful, cannot circumscribe or set limits on state behaviour. Sovereign states are judges in their own cause have an absolute right to go to war to pursue their conceived interests and can treat those who fall within their domestic jurisdiction in their own way. However, in practice the denial of a supra-sovereign authority beyond the state has never meant that sovereign states are free to do as they please. The history of the modern states system (which is to say the history of state sovereignty) from the seventeenth century onwards has been a conscious attempt 42 Back to Top
to move away from the apparent rigidity of the early formulation of the doctrine while retaining its more useful characteristics, especially the idea of formal equality which it implies. The notion of absolute unlimited sovereignty, while being a useful and indeed an indispensable instrument to employ against the claims of a pope or emperor. Was never more than a convenient fiction in the development of the modern state-system. Increasing interdependence, the reciprocal nature of international law and membership of international organizations have thus led to the acceptance of the doctrine of 'divided sovereignty' where supremacy is qualified either through consent or autolimitation. The UN Charter, for example, is an implicit recognition of this (Article 2 para. 1 recognizes the `sovereign equality' of member states yet exhorts them to settle their disputes by 'peaceful means'). Many scholars today regard the doctrine of sovereignty not only as inimical to the development of international law, but as inherently misleading since few if any states are impermeable, or as impenetrable as it implies. All states are to a greater or lesser extent penetrated. They argue that integrative developments such as the E C /EU and the whole process associated with complex interdependence have rendered the practice of sovereignty (if not the idea) anachronistic. Sovereignty has been eroded on all fronts, especially with the development of human rights and humanitarian intervention norms. Indeed for sonic writers, the end of the Westphalia system and the beginning of the post-Westphalian or post-modernist age is bound up with the demise of the sovereignty idea. As a legal absolute and a unitary idea, sovereignty has always been suspect; recognizing this one writer has postulated a distinction between `positive' and 'negative' sovereignty (quasi-states). However the continued relevance of the idea of sovereignty in international affairs is testified by the fact that at the political level it remains the primary organizing principle of world politics. Since sovereignty implies constitutional independence from other states a decentralized international system will always have recourse to some such ideas. Even the case of the most ambitious challenge to the sovereign idea is ambiguous. The E C /EU may not generate a real alternative to sovereignty. Many on both sides of the 'Euro-debate' recognize that the E C /E U by creating a new form of political authority would essentially be creating a European super-state. This entity will not transcend sovereignty it will merely enlarge or reinforce it. Spratly Islands A group of over one hundred islets, coral reefs, atolls, shoals, sandbars and sea mounts dispersed over 600 miles (965 k) in the South China Seas. Although the total land area is negligible and they are uninhabited the islands are strategically located near several primary shipping lanes in the central South China Sea, in particular the sea passage from Japan to Singapore. In addition, the Spratlys possess (as yet undermined) oil and natural gas potential. The islands are the subject of an increasingly bitter international sovereignty dispute between China (the Nansha' islands), Vietnam (the `Truong Sa'), the Philippines (`Kalayaan'), Taiwan, Malaysia and Brunei. The islands were occupied and annexed by Japan in 1939 but following defeat in World War II, Japan renounced its claim in the San Francisco peace treaty of 1951. However, this peace treaty did not re-assign ownership. Since 1951, China, Taiwan, Vietnam and the Philippines have each affirmed territorial claims and established military garrisons on the islands. The dispute is a major factor in diplomatic tensions between China and Vietnam and forms an integral part of the on-going China/Taiwan dispute. After the transfer of Hong Kong to China in June 1997. the question of ownership of the Spratlys is likely to precipitate an international crisis since China shows every indication of wishing to establish a military grip on the navigation lanes of the South China Sea. This is bound to lead to a deterioration in Sino-US relations. At present, the contending parties have not agreed to refer the case to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) and given China's persistence over the Taiwan issue, this is unlikely to happen. The Spratlys therefore, represent a dangerous confrontation waiting to happen in the post Cold-War period. State Sometimes called the nation-state, this is the main actor in international relations. It has a legal personality and as such in international law possesses certain rights and duties. According to the Montevideo Convention on Rights and Duties of States (1933), which is widely regarded as the classic legal definition, states must possess the following qualifications: a permanent population, a defined territory and a government capable of maintaining effective control over its territory and of conducting international relations with other states. In respect of the last qualification the role of recognition by other states can often be crucial since it implies acceptance into the international community. These qualifications are not absolute and permit variations. For example there is no necessity in international law for settled boundaries or frontiers. Many international conflicts take the form of boundary disputes but their existence does not rob the disputants of legal personality. Israel, for example, is generally accepted as a state even though the precise demarcation of its boundaries has never been settled. Although there is a general requirement that a state has some form of government or means of exercising control, a state does not cease to exist when this control is in dispute or when it is `temporarily;' deprived of effective control as in wartime, civil wars, or revolutions. Indeed, the attribute of sovereignty itself, which is widely regarded as the defining characteristic of statehood, is by no means absolute. Some states, such as these in post-war Eastern Europe, were regarded as 'penetrated' or `satellite' states, since the control they exercise over their internal and external 43 Back to Top
environments was circumscribed by a powerful neighbour or hegemon. In the real world, as opposed to the world of political or legal theory, sovereignty can differ in degree and intensity among states without deprivation of international personality status. In general the capacity to enter into international relations with others is a necessary requirement but not a sufficient one. Non-state actors, for example the African National Congress (A N C), may have had diplomatic relations with some states, but because they did not possess the other defining qualifications could not be considered states. Regarding secessionary movements or national liberation organization, recognition is generally withheld until victory over the mother state (or occupying power) is secured. Yet even in these cases, recognition as a gesture of support can be given though the legal status may be in abeyance or dispute. Thus, in 1968 some states recognized Biafra even though Nigeria continued to exercise effective control. As with other rights, the right to self-determination depends to a great degree on self-help. In sum, although the state has legal personality and essential defining characteristics, these are not static or absolute. Not only is the state the main agent in international law, politically too it is dominant and has been for over four hundred years. With the exception of Antarctica no significant territorial area is exempt from state control (terra nullis). Recognition of 'new' states therefore is likely to be at the expense of existing ones (Bangladesh in 1971 for example, at the expense of Pakistan, or Namibia in 1990 at the expense of South Africa). To date, there are nearly two hundred states in the international system, an increasing number of them being categorized as microstates. Despite their number and despite the fact that many liberation movements are still actively seeking statehood; some commentators have argued that the state is declining as the primary actor in world politics. Not only is it functionally obsolete (because of its military and economic penetrability) but it is no longer capable of adequately handling global problems. The challenge of interdependence and the proliferation of non-state actors states; have questioned the traditional assumptions concerning the dynamics of world politics. Yet, on the evidence presented so far, it is difficult to escape the conclusion of its death have been greatly exaggerated.) Failed states; quasi-states State-centrism The state-centred or state-centric approach to IR is the traditional view that the most valid perspective that can be taken of the subject matter is based upon the state as dominant actor. This perspective is associated with the realist paradigm which sees world politics in terms of independent states engaged in an endless competitive existence to preserve their security and well being. State-centrism often depicts world politics in terms of the metaphor of the billiard table. In this view states are impermeable, self-contained units which can influence each other by external pressure, as a billiard ball is moved by external and surface contact with other balls on the table. The contact was restricted to this external dimension by the concept of sovereignty. Accordingly there was no authority higher than the state and state-centrism concluded that state interaction was conducted under a system of anarchy. If the first rule of state-centrism was that states must be regarded as cohesive autonomous actors, then the second rule was the territorial basis of the state. Planet Earth is parcelled out among the state units of the system, accordingly. The concept of territorial jurisdiction asserted that rights to control territory and rights to control peoples settled on those territories was a fundamental precept of state-centrism. This approach therefore lays great stress upon the spatial identity of the state and the belief that loyalty to the state and identity with it could be provided through the concept of nationalism. While it was understood that individuals would have other claims on their loyalties -- for example to their tribe -- it was assumed that in the last analysis any conflict of loyalties would be resolved in favour of the state. In the actual conduct of foreign policy, the state-centred view assumed that high politics of militarysecurity issues would prevail over low politics. In the last analysis a state's most vital interests were those derived from conceptions of security and these questions would always predominate. The security dilemma dictated that states must assume responsibility for their own existence. If they could not resolve the dilemma themselves they attempted to do so by forming .alliances. However, ally-seeking can be provocative and force others to seek allies in return. The balance of power which emerges from these collective efforts to achieve security represents one of the most persistent features of world politics. State-centrism sees power as a possession or attribute as the single most important characteristic of world politics. Recognition of this trait in the system leads state-centrism towards the idea of a power .hierarchy headed up by great powers or superpowers. Unfortunately the idea of power hierarchy weakens the billiard ball metaphor because the conclusion is inescapable that the balls on the table are not equal. State-centrism thus had to distinguish between formal legal sovereignty and actual political sovereignty. The one is prescriptive, the other empirical. Clearly a stable hierarchy is not anarchic, in any common sense use of that term. So state-centrism modified the idea of .anarchy towards the idea of an 'anarchical society'. State-system A term used to describe the relationships that were developed after the state became the significant, and 44 Back to Top
then dominant, actor in macro politics. The emergence of states as first order political actors followed the gradual withering away of the political and social nexus that was known in Western Europe as feudalism. Strong, centralizing monarchies emerged in England (the Tudors), in Sweden (the Vasas), in Spain (the Hapsburgs) and in France (the Bourbons) to challenge such transnational institutions as the Catholic Church and the Holy Roman Empire. Absolute monarchy -- as this system was termed -- had become the predominant form of government by the beginning of the sixteenth century and these developments were supported by the new bourgeoisie, in opposition to the feudal nobility. This new class saw the monarchs as natural allies and accordingly they supported the growth of strong central government. The Treaty of Westphalia of 1648 confirmed and consolidated these developments. Interstate politics, as an activity, was a reserved area on the agenda for these monarchs, their personal advisers and ambassadors. The most important activity was associated with the conduct of warfare: the making of alliances, the fighting of campaigns, and the conclusion of settlements and ).peace treaties. Alliances were typically secret and often offensive in character and spirit, in contrast to twentieth century ideas. Apart from the conduct of war, the main activities of the absolute monarchs were the courtly politics associated with arranged marriages and the fostering of economic growth via trading policies which broadly reflected state interests and have come to be known as mercantilism. The state-system underwent a fundamental, once-and-for-all change with the rise of nationalism following the French and US revolutions. The typical unit of the system was now thought to be the nation-state, although multinational states such as the Austro-Hungarian Empire under the Habsburgs continued until 1919. The concept of sovereignty, which was a key characteristic of the state-system from its inception, was carried over from the absolutist state to the nation-state. However, the locus of sovereignty ceased to be the person of the monarch but was instead held to reside in more representative institutions such as assemblies and parliaments. Between themselves, the absolutist monarchs had recognized no superior -- at least no earthly superior -- so the idea of equality had been included in the concept of sovereignty. In substance, therefore, the claim to sovereign equality remained the same between the absolutist state and the nation-state. This inalienable principle of the state-system is reflected in the .United Nations Charter, which states in Article 2: 1 that `The Organization is based upon the principle of the sovereign equality of all its members.' The structural implications of the principle of sovereign equality were profound. In international law all states are formally equal. In the general assembly of the UN all states have formal equality -- one vote. The unanimity rule in international institutions is derived from the same idea. The international system took on a fundamentally decentralized characteristic as a result of these developments. Power and .influence in the system was dispersed among the constituent state units rather than being centralized in some sort of super ordinate structure. International law, therefore, was similarly decentralized. States are traditionally the enforcers of international law as well as the makers. If one party is deemed to have broken the law, then under traditional conceptions, other states may take reprisal action. Law enforcement, in the state-system, was horizontally effected. Any system of relations, even one as decentralized as the state-system, still requires some means of regulation. For long periods, until the rise of international organizations in the twentieth century, the principal means of regulation was the balance of power. This was a very informal arrangement and for a brief period after the Napoleonic Wars an attempt at a .security regime was made under the Concert of Europe. The Concert began to weaken in the 1820s because the principal states managing the security regime could not agree about whether to intervene to prevent the emergence of liberal nationalist systems in Greece and Spain. In retrospect the period 1815-1914 looks to have been the peak of the state-system. Although there has been a massive growth in state numbers in the twentieth century -- particularly following decolonization after 1945 -- at the same time the state is under siege Technology and economics have increased the permeability of the state from within, while the rise in mixed actors from without has complicated the structural simplicity of the classic period. There is now a lively debate between realist state-centrism and pluralism as to how far these trends and tendencies have gone. It should be noted that the rise of the state-system led to the growth of an intellectual tradition of speculation and scholarship about interstate relations. This intellectual analysis, which might be called the 'classical' tradition, stems from four mainsprings: international lawyers contributed ideas about sovereignty, domestic jurisdiction and non-intervention; political philosophers added ideas about international .anarchy; practitioners and diplomats, with ideas about raison d'etat and the national interest and strategists who stressed the importance of war completed the quartet. Structuralism A perspective on international relations which lays great stress upon the importance of social structures as the loci for explanations of the field. Structuralism is not a theory but, as suggested above, a perspective on the subject matter which contains a number of theoretical assumptions. It should not be confused with structural realism in any way. It has affinities with Marxism/Leninism in the sense that it rejects state-centrism in favour of a classbased or interest-based view of world politics. Structuralism thus shares with pluralism an inclination to devalue the 45 Back to Top
state as the basic building block of theories. Unlike the pluralists, structuralists tend to emphasize conflict as a systemic process rather than cooperation, although unlike the structural realists it is conflict between classes and groups that is crucial. Historically structuralism can be positively correlated with the rise of the Third World within world politics. In this sense it may be said to represent an underdog view of reality. For structuralists .hierarchy is more important than anarchy as a key characteristic. The key to this inequality is the unequal division of power within the system -- which structuralists usually refer to as a `world' system rather than an 'international' one. Structuralism, obviously, emphasizes structural power rather than relational power and moreover locates the key capabilities in the economic system. Structuralists see that a particular division of labour has occurred historically in the world system as a result of the growth of capitalism as the dominant form of production. In the structuralist schema production is more important than trade as a determinant of the pecking order in the system. Essentially structuralism is about haves and have-nots and the two main streams within this tradition are dependency theory and world systems theory. Crucial to both streams is the dichotomy/trichotomy between centre and periphery and/or core, periphery and semiperiphery. The centre/ core is located in the AICs of the West and these interests work to manipulate the periphery to sustain their domination over the system. The family resemblance with imperialism is evident. Sub-system A sub-system or subordinate system is a term used in systems analysis. Applied to IR it is virtually coterminous with the idea of region. Binder (1958) and Brecher (1963) are generally credited with early promotion of this approach. In 1969 the International Studies Association advanced the concept further with a special issue of their Quarterly. The more traditional term 'region' and the systemic 'sub-system' are sometimes run together as in `regional sub-system'. As the term implies a sub-system is a means of categorizing a whole (or system) into discrete parts. Systems analysis would expect the sub-system to evince the same characteristics as the system, though at a different level. Thus the basic and essential search for characteristic structures and processes would proceed in sub-system analysis in the same way, although not necessarily with the same results. For example, whereas the structure of a world system may be loose bipolar, the structure of a sub-system might be tripolar. Whereas integration might be a peripheral trend in a world system, it might be a dominant trend in a sub-system. Ideas about hierarchy, which have frequently been applied to the macropolitical system of world politics, can with equal validity be applied to subsystems analysis. In this way a state actor that is only fairly modestly ranked at one level may be a significant actor at another. India is a case in point. Lastly, the two crucial systemic processes of conflict and cooperation can, when manifest at the sub-system level, spill over into the macrosystem. Thus the .Arab-Israeli conflict, one of the most chronic conflicts within the Middle Eastern subordinate system, has spilled into the world political system drawing in the superpowers and the UN. (U) Unipolarity A type of system structure with one 'pole' or a polar actor being identified as predominant. In a unipolar system the dominant actor need not be a state and indeed historically where unipolar systems have existed they have usually been multinational empires. Hypothetically, the limiting case of a unipolar system would be a world government where, by definition, the sub-systems are subordinate to the overall system structure. Unipolar systems are more likely to show stability if the dominant actor can establish ground rules which are widely accepted throughout the system. Even imperial systems cannot live by coercion alone in this respect. In setting and maintaining the ground rules, the dominant actor may have to bear considerable direct and opportunity costs. The dynamics of unipolar .leadership in this context have been well analysed by hegemonial stability theorists. The ending of the Cold War era in world politics has produced some speculation that the United States is now the only superpower and that this primacy implies a 'unipolar moment' for America. Such thinking begs a host of questions about the declinist and renewalist debate and arguments about the ending of pax americana. If the system is unipolar, it is in the realm of ideas that this existseconomic liberalism and to a lesser extent, participatory democracy now hold centre stage. However these ideas can equally underpin multilateralism as they might unipolarity. (W) Westphalia, peace of (1648) A series of treaties (principally Munster and Osnabruck) which collectively ended hositilities in the Thirty 46 Back to Top
Years War (1618-48). It is commonly said to mark the beginning of the modern system ofinternational relations. In relation to seventeenth-century Europe, it marked the culmination of the anti-hegemonic struggle against the Habsburg aspirations for a .supranational empire. It signalled the collapse of Spanish power, the fragmentation of Germany (thus delaying German unity for over two hundred years) and the rise of France as the major European power. A number of important principles, which were subsequently to form the legal and political framework of modern inter-state relations, were established at Westphalia. It explicitly recognized a society of states based on the principle of territorial sovereignty, it established the independence of states and emphasized that each had jural rights which all others were bound to respect. It recognized the legitimacy of all forms of government and established the notion of religious freedom and toleration (cuius regio, eius religio). In sum, it established a secular concept of international relations replacing for ever the medieval idea of a universal religious authority acting as final arbiter of Christendom. By destroying the notion of universalism, the 'Westphalia system' gave impetus to the notions of reason of state and balance of power as key concepts in foreign policy conduct and formulation. From 1648 onwards, the particularist interests of states became paramount both politically and legally. It should be noted, though, that the state-system established at Westphalia was primarily Christian and European. The codification of rules concerning non-intervention did not apply to Islam or to the rest of the world. This double standard persisted in European diplomacy into the nineteenth and twentieth centuries when the Westphalia system gradually and often reluctantly became a global one. It is conventional wisdom in IR that the misnamed 'treaty' of Westphalia was an epoch-making single historic event that 'created' the modern system of sovereign states, each claiming exclusive control over a given territory. Recent scholarship has cast doubt on this cosy view. According to Krasner (1993), the Westphalia settlement was in fact a very conservative arrangement which could be seen as a legitimization of the old Holy Roman imperial order rather than the precursor of the modern one. Sovereignty existed in practice long before the mid-seventeenth century and medieval practices continued long after. The term 'the Westphalian system' is thus a convenient shorthand for systemic changes which took place over a lengthy period of time. res publica christiana World society A challenging, if controversial, body of literature has emerged over the last twenty years under the rubric of the World Society Perspective. The perspective is derived from the writings of the Australian diplomat/scholar John W. Burton. In a series of books and articles of which Systems, States, Diplomacy and Rules (1968) and World Society (1972) are the most important, Burton has sought to advance his ideas about international relations and his criticism of more traditionally conceived approaches. Probably the best single-volume treatment of this perspective is the collection of essays dedicated to Burton, Conflict in World Society (Banks, 1984). With remarkable prescience, Burton arrived at a set of conclusions about the redundancy of the statecentred or .state-centric approach at approximately the same time as US pluralists were beginning to emphasize the significance of transnational and transgovernmental actors and processes. Burton labelled the traditional paradigm the billiard ball model and he contrasted it with a three-dimensional cobweb model which he argued should replace it. By using the analogy of the billiard table Burton emphasized the way in which concepts such as sovereignty seemed to suggest a hard and fast division between domestic politics on the one hand and world politics on the other. The billiard ball also emphasized the idea of territoriality as an attribute of state-centred approaches. Emphasizing the importance of transactions amongst a complex of actors, Burton suggested that traditional 'maps' were irrelevant and that the three-dimensional cobweb idea was more isomorphic with an increasingly complex world politics. These ideas owed a great deal to the pioneering work of Karl Deutsch, although unlike Deutsch, Burton did not immediately seek rigorous empirical testing of his ideas. In earlier works Burton had sought to repudiate the concept of power as a central organizing idea in IR. He subsequently linked the billiard ball model and power together in these later works by suggesting that the latter is an attribute of the former. Moreover, in the view of Burton and many of those who have followed him, over-emphasis upon power leads to what are termed `self-defeating' strategies based upon such coercive instruments as deterrence and ideas about power 'balances'. Burton has for this reason become associated with non-coercive, cooperative approaches to problems of conflict and this has led some of his critics to dub him an idealist or `neo-idealist'. Certainly, by repudiating power so totally Burton and his followers have denied themselves access to a rich vein of modern scholarship which has attempted a new and better understanding of one of the most contested, but important, concepts in IR The world society literature remains a fascinating, if flawed, field of analysis. Burton is without question one of the most challenging social theorists writing in the field. His refusal to be bound by the conventional canons of academic scholarship has left him free to mix analysis and prescription, fact and value, theory and practice in a way that few others would have the inclination or imagination to attempt. (Z) 47 Back to Top
Zero-sum A term derived from game theory. It refers to the fact that the numerical value of the `pay-offs' add up to zero. It is therefore held to represent in mathematical terms a situation of pure conflict where a gain to one party is a loss to the other. The term is also used outside the strict confines of game theory. Students of conflict analysis will often use it to characterize a particular perception held by participants of the nature of their conflict. Conflict resolution may be made more difficult if this type of perception appears to be influential and deeply held. ******************** 48 Back to Top

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