The conflict in Kosovo represents a significant watershed in post-Cold War international security. Interpreting its political and operational significance should reveal important clues for understanding international security in the new millennium. This text analyses the international response to the crisis in Kosovo and its broader implications, by examining its diplomatic, military and humanitarian features. Despite the widely held perception that the conflict in Kosovo has implications for international security, unravelling them can be challenging, as it remains an event replete with paradoxes. There are many such paradoxes. The North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) entered into the conflict ostensibly to head off a humanitarian catastrophe, only to accelerate the catastrophe by engaging in a bombing campaign; the political aims of all the major players contradicted the military means chosen by them in the conflict. The Russian role in the diplomatic efforts demonstrated that NATO did not want Russia to be involved but in the end needed its involvement. Russia opposed the bombing campaign but ultimately did not have enough power or influence to rise above a role as NATO's messenger; the doctrinal hurdles to achieving ‘immaculate coercion’ by use of air power alone seemed to tumble in the face of apparent success; it is ultimately unclear how or why NATO succeeded.
events gave rise to some strong criticisms of
NATO’s apparent lack of collective interest; with arguments being made
that this demonstrated the institution’s unsuitability for dealing
with post-ColdWar security crises in the wider Europe. More specifically,
the limitations of PfP as a promoter of stability amongst the partner states
were criticised. 49
Although by no means all observers took this view, 50 NATO members
In the story of post-Cold War conceptual confusion, the war in and over Kosovo stands out as a particularly interesting episode. This book provides new and stimulating perspectives on how Kosovo has shaped the new Europe. It breaks down traditional assumptions in the field of security studies by sidelining the theoretical worldview that underlies mainstream strategic thinking on recent events in Kosovo. The book offers a conceptual overview of the Kosovo debate, placing these events in the context of globalisation, European integration and the discourse of modernity and its aftermath. It then examines Kosovo's impact on the idea of war. One of the great paradoxes of the war in Kosovo was that it was not just one campaign but two: there was the ethnic cleansing campaign in Kosovo and the allied bombing campaign against targets in Kosovo and all over Serbia. Serbia's killing of Kosovo has set the parameters of the Balkanisation-integration nexus, offering 'Europe' (and the West in general) a unique opportunity to suggest itself as the strong centre that keeps the margins from running away. Next, it investigates 'Kosovo' as a product of the decay of modern institutions and discourses like sovereignty, statehood, the warring state or the United Nations system. 'Kosovo' has introduced new overtones into the European Weltanschauung and the ways in which 'Europe' asserts itself as an independent power discourse in a globalising world: increasingly diffident, looking for firm foundations in the conceptual void of the turn of the century.
Contemporary civilisational analysis has emerged in the post-Cold War period as a forming but already controversial field of scholarship. This book focuses on the scholarship produced in this field since the 1970s. It begins with anthropological axioms posited by Ibn Khaldun, Simon Bolivar and George Pachymeres. Three conceptual images of civilisations are prominent in the field. First, civilisations are conceived as socio-cultural units, entities or blocs in an 'integrationist' image. They emerge out of long-term uneven historical processes. Finally, in a 'relational' image civilisations are believed to gain definition and institute developmental patterns through inter-societal and inter-cultural encounters. The book traces the history of semantic developments of the notions of 'civilisation' and 'civilisations' coextensive with the expansion of Europe's empires and consubstantial with colonialism. Early modernities are more important in the long formation of capitalism. Outlining the conceptual framework of inter-civilisational engagement, the book analytically plots the ties instituted by human imaginaries across four dimensions of inter-civilisational engagement. It also interrogates the relationship between oceans, seas and civilisations. Oceanian civilisation exhibits patterns of deep engagement and connection. Though damaged, Pacific cultures have invoked their own counter-imaginary in closer proximity to past islander experiences. Collective memory provides resources for coping with critical issues. The book also explores Latin American and Japanese experiences that shed light on the engagement of civilisations, applying the model of inter-civilisational engagement to modern perspectives in culture and the arts, politics, theology and political economy.
A Model for Historical Reflection in the Humanitarian Sector
Kevin O’Sullivan and Réiseal Ní Chéilleachair
effectively than attempting to find answers to such far-reaching questions in a
global context. Somalia was selected because of its pivotal role in redefining
humanitarian aid in the post-ColdWar era. The crisis in the region altered
understandings of humanitarian intervention as a tool of international security,
raised questions about NGO engagement with, or disregard for, local politics and
offered massive logistical challenges in the delivery of aid ( Harper, 2012 ). Its legacy still
undermines existing obligations of all parties under international humanitarian law to allow civilians in areas affected by fighting to leave in search of safety and impartial aid to reach those in need. It is on that basis that the concept is not one which the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) wishes to promote, even though it acknowledges its possible necessity for other humanitarian organisations ( ICRC, 2003 ) and has resorted to it on occasions. 1
Numerous examples of failed corridors and safe zones becoming the target of attacks during the post-Cold
Security-risk management has long been a concern at Médecins du Monde (MdM),
as it was for other humanitarian agencies operating at the height of the Cold War.
However, it was in the 1990s that security had to address its own set of issues. The
collapse of the Soviet bloc and the post-ColdWar conflicts created safety issues
for humanitarian agencies: a booming aid sector led to an increase in exposure,
together with a trend for
Uses and Misuses of International Humanitarian Law and Humanitarian
civil wars and concentration camps. If there was ever a time in history where there
was no regard for either the principle of mercy or the value of human life, it was
the ‘short twentieth century’ (1914–91) – far more than
the last thirty years.
The supposed decline in humanitarian norms is assumed to have resulted from the
changing nature of contemporary conflicts, which are now intra-, rather than inter-,
national. It is true that most post-ColdWar conflicts have been
Gender Equality and Culture in Humanitarian Action1
Ricardo Fal-Dutra Santos
Engaging Men in the Fight against Gender Violence: Case Studies from
Africa ( New York :
Palgrave Macmillan ), pp.
69 – 100 .
Tickner , J.
A. ( 2001 ),
Gendering World Politics: Issues and Approaches in the Post-ColdWar
Era ( New York :
Chinese assertiveness. The
blocking of effective action on Syria at the security council, including preventing a referral
of Assad to the ICC, was the result. It is a long time since Kosovo in 1999, the high point of
the post-ColdWar humanitarian international, when the Western-led coalition broke international
law but justified it by retrospectively arguing their actions were ‘illegal but
legitimate’. Imagine China making the same argument about its treatment of the Uighurs,
as many as one million of whom, it is said, now languish in re