In the Middle East, security is strongly influenced by politicized forms of fundamental belief systems. This chapter examines the dual role of political Islam, with specific focus on Palestine and the case of Hamas, the Islamic Resistance Movement, in the West Bank and Gaza. Hamas is gaining in popular support due to renewed violence in the Middle East and the Palestinian population's increased endorsement of suicide or 'martyrdom' operations against Israeli targets. Throughout its short history, Hamas has continued to depict its movement most fundamentally as a clear and viable alternative to the secular forces led by the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO). The uncompromising position assumed by Hamas, toward both Israel and the PLO moderates willing to negotiate with the Israelis, is clearly intended to gain adherents to Hamas' more 'revolutionary' approach to the Palestinian issue.
For over five decades, the Cold War security agenda was distinguished by the principal strategic balance, that of a structure of bipolarity, between the United States (US) and the Soviet Union (USSR). This book seeks to draw from current developments in critical security studies in order to establish a new framework of inquiry for security in the Middle East. It addresses the need to redefine security in the Middle East. The focus is squarely on the Arab-Israeli context in general, and the Palestinian-Israeli context in particular. The character of Arab-Israeli relations are measured by the Israeli foreign policy debate from the 1950s to the 1990s. A dialogue between Islam and Islamism as a means to broaden the terrain on which conflict resolution and post-bipolar security in the Middle East is to be understood is presented. The Middle East peace process (MEPP) was an additional factor in problematizing the military-strategic concept of security in the Middle East. The shift in analysis from national security to human security reflects the transformations of the post-Cold War era by combining military with non-military concerns such as environmental damage, social unrest, economic mismanagement, cultural conflict, gender inequity and radical fundamentalism. By way of contrast to realist international relations (IR) theory, developing-world theorists have proposed a different set of variables to explain the unique challenges facing developing states. Finally, the book examines the significance of ecopolitics in security agendas in the Middle East.
It seems an especially appropriate moment for American scholars to consider the long-term issues of Eurasian security. With the Americans occupying and protecting Japan, East Asia's postwar political climate was set by its own Cold War, by the antipathies between the United States, China and Russia. The United States, the obvious victor of the Cold War, began the new era as the only superpower in an increasingly integrated global system. If the end of the Cold War left America triumphant, Russia's new geopolitical hand seemed a terrible demotion. In the 1990s, only the United States had an active foreign policy beyond its own sphere. US policies that irritated the Europeans in the 1990s infuriated the Russians. American policy in the 1990s had been abrasive not only towards Europe and Russia but also towards China.
This chapter focuses on the normative change in the international peacekeeping operations of the United Nations (UN). It explains that the normative basis of UN peacekeeping in intra-state conflicts has evolved unevenly but appreciably in terms of both objectives and authority from the early 1960s to the early 1990s. It analyses the collective expectations of the international community, focusing specifically on the objectives and authority of the UN in relation to intra-state peacekeeping environments in the two specified time periods.
This chapter discusses the analytical framework used in this study of the United Nations' role in intra-state peacekeeping. The study uses historical structural method to analyse the normative discourses of relevant actors in peacekeeping environments. It establishes whether questions pertaining to objectives, functions and authority are addressed by the relevant actors in any direct or obvious sense and then analyses significant clusters of normative views in relation to peacekeeping environments, focusing on the extent to which differences of opinion and perception between crucial actors have a bearing on the UN's response to intra-state conflicts in the different periods.
Central to post-Soviet Eurasian security calculations and economic stabilisation efforts are Russia's power interests and efforts to reclaim a leadership role in the region. This chapter examines the fledgling organisational arrangements, under the aegis of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), which have been used to channel the transformation of the former Soviet Union (FSU) area and to re-establish a zone of linked FSU states. The desire of anti-Soviet Russian Republic officials to maintain Russia's sphere of influence and to limit full independence for the Soviet republics was communicated during 1990-1991, well before the August coup and subsequent appearance of the CIS. Geographical realities interconnect the security needs of the FSU states, but underlying infrastructural and resource linkages constantly complicate any CIS member's unilateral calculations and behaviour.
State-building is the effort of rulers to institutionalise state structures capable of absorbing expanding political mobilisation and controlling territory corresponding to an identity community. In the Middle East, the flaws built into the process from its origins have afflicted the states with enduring legitimacy deficits. This chapter argues that several aspects of state formation are pivotal in determining the international behaviour of states and explaining variations in their foreign policies. Imperialism literally constructed the system and its state components. Later, two trans-state forces rooted in persisting suprastate identity—first Pan-Arabism and then radical Islam—stimulated the state formation needed to bring their subversive potential under control. Later yet, war motivated and legitimised state-formation advances. Most recently, globalisation is threatening to turn regional states from buffers against external intrusion into transmission belts of it.
Historically water provided a cultural, economic and geographical focus for Central Asia. The khanates' political culture, including deferential collectivism, was associated with water scarcity and the organisational requirements of the construction and maintenance of irrigation systems. Water's security implications principally fall within the wider conceptualisation of security, as an indirect or contributory cause to instability. Poor water management affects diplomatic relations, economic development, public health and access to land. The most fundamental and important function that an international institution can undertake is actually managing and allocating the region's water resources. Regional and international organisations have had mixed success in managing Central Asia's water. Most of the Central Asian leaders lack a genuine commitment to finding a viable solution to the regional water crisis. The lack of commitment is evident in the republics' limited support of the relevant organisations.
This introductory chapter discusses the theme of this volume, which is about the connection between the United Nations' (UN) evolving approach to intra-state conflicts and the value system of the international community. This study takes issue with the relatively reductionist explanations of what the UN is and how it relates to peace and security. It explores the interest-norm complexes within which the cases in the Congo, Cyprus, Angola, and Cambodia were handled by the UN. This volume shows how relevant actors' normative preferences were resolved in specific peacekeeping environments where the UN was especially active in addressing intra-state conflicts.
This chapter examines the second phase of the United Nations' (UN) operation in Angola, the UN Angola Verification Mission (UNAVEM II). It explains that UNAVEM II marked a transition from inter-state peacekeeping to intra-state peacekeeping and that the scope and size of UNAVEM were significantly altered during this transitional period. This chapter investigates whether the tension between the norms of state sovereignty and human rights were resolved in favour of the former.