International Relations

This chapter argues two main themes. The first is that ethnic civil conflicts such as the ones in Bosnia, Macedonia and Mountainous Karabagh are at the same time regional security issues whose trajectory is critically affected as much by external actors as by internal ones. The second theme is that the behaviour of all parties involved, ethnic groups within states, governments of other states, and others, depends on their construction of their interests. In the hot spots of Eurasia, security dilemmas continue to exist within and between states because states and groups define their security in mutually exclusive ways. Scholars, practitioners and journalists have developed a number of different ideas about how to explain the ethnic violence in Eurasia. The chapter presents the internal dynamics of the ethnic conflicts and explores the ethnic myths and symbols at the root of the groups' conflicting identities.

in Limiting institutions?
Open Access (free)
A bounded security role in a greater Europe

The EU has little involvement with 'Eurasia' as compared to the extensive relations it has developed with other parts of the world. A united Europe whose strength would rest ultimately on the joint pillars of its single currency and a common security and defence policy could be viewed either as a counterweight or as a counterpart of American leadership and power. The rise of a strong euro as a global currency could harm a dollar that has provided well for Europe's affluence, and an autonomous Europe could hamper a US leadership that has served well Europe's security. For both North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) and the EU, dual enlargement is a vital dimension of a western strategy for the unfinished security business in and beyond Europe.

in Limiting institutions?

The terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon were not only the most audacious and successful terrorist attacks the world has yet seen, but also marked the maturation of what had been described as the 'new terrorism'. There had been voices in the national security community, including on the National Security Council itself, warning about transnational threats such as terrorism and organised crime. If the potential for Atlantic divisions remained very considerable, however, the common interests of the United States and its European allies in combating the challenge from radical Islamic terrorism are difficult to overestimate. This chapter provides a conceptual analysis and assessment of terrorist threats. It considers the nature of the responses that are required as both the United States and European governments adapt to what is a very different kind of security challenge from that for which they prepared during the Cold War.

in Limiting institutions?
New threats, institutional adaptations

The postwar security system encompassing the Eurasian landmass was governed by the stable crisis produced by the bipolar distribution of power and the alliance system it spawned. Security governance has received increasing attention since 1989. Its rising conceptual salience is derived in large measure from the challenges presented by the 'new' security agenda. A weak system of security governance in Eurasia could be founded upon a system of alliances. Alliance theory has provided the framework for understanding not only the evolution of the postwar European security order, but that of the European state system since 1648. This chapter also presents key concepts discussed in the subsequent chapters of this book. The book investigates the important role played by identity politics in the shaping of the Eurasian security environment.

in Limiting institutions?

It is frequently claimed that foreign policy making in Middle East states is either the idiosyncratic product of personalistic dictators or the irrational outcome of domestic instability. This chapter notes that it can only be adequately understood by analysis of the multiple factors common to all states, namely: foreign policy determinants (interests, challenges) to which decision-makers respond when they shape policies; and foreign policy structures and processes which factor the ‘inputs’ made by various actors into a policy addressing these determinants.

in The international politics of the Middle East

In this chapter, Israel is the immediate context for exploring gender roles ascribed by national security, and the cleavages that result from a society in constant state of war. It explores the gendered aspects of national security in Israel and considers the ways in which women are domesticated within their protection systems. The chapter also considers how current gender boundaries have developed historically and in relation to the political process in Israel. It discusses the politics of women's resistance in order to explore women's alternative understandings of security. Israeli women have organized around two main responses to the gendered structures of war, responses that correspond to the mainstreaming versus independence debate in feminist theory. Israeli women have always had a difficult relationship with the Israeli military-industrial complex. Since the 1990s, significant changes have taken place in the Middle East military-industrial arena because of the evolution of the strategic environment.

in Redefining security in the Middle East
The dynamics of multilateralism in Eurasia

This chapter assesses the relationship between traditional state-based security concerns and the development of multilateral institutions in Eurasia from 1992 to 2002. In Eurasia, the security dilemma drives the nature of state choices for international cooperation. Much strategic analysis of Eurasian geopolitics focuses on access to oil and related transportation routes. Many strategists thus predict increased competition over natural resources in a new 'great game', as historically practised between Great Britain and Russia in the nineteenth century. Russia's residual hegemony in the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) is primarily economic and is exercised through pre-existing, Soviet-era personnel networks and bilateral linkage strategies. The most significant attempt at regional balancing against Russia's residual hegemony is the GUUAM grouping of Georgia, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Azerbaijan and Moldova. The Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) is viewed in western circles as a potential balancing mechanism designed by China and Russia to frustrate American global dominance.

in Limiting institutions?

This chapter assesses the rising geostrategic and geoeconomic importance of Central Asian oil and natural gas for China and the United States, the most transparent source of Sino-American conflict in this region. The oil-rich states of Central Asia have been accorded a privileged place in the American and Chinese foreign policy calculations. As a consequence, these states may become the fodder in any Sino-American competition for geopolitical and geoeconomic predominance in the region. American diplomatic activity in Central Asia prior to September 2001 focused on creating an environment that would privilege American corporations in the exploitation of regional economic and financial opportunities. There has been a progressive realignment of the American military presence in Asia during the past decade. The United States has very slowly crept into the Chinese neighbourhood, from Singapore to Indonesia, from the United Arab Emirates to Oman, and from Uzbekistan and Pakistan to Kazakhstan.

in Limiting institutions?

This chapter notes that the incongruity of identity and territory continues to destabilise the politics of the Middle East and to significantly qualify the Westphalian model. While Arab states have consolidated their sovereignty in the face of supra-state ideology, in the making of foreign policy, legitimacy requires their leaders must still balance between the two. Inter-Arab politics arguably remains qualitatively different from ‘international’ politics. Irredentist conflicts continue to bedevil two near-nation-states, Turkey and Israel. Meanwhile, Iran embraces its communal mosaic and projects its foreign policy under an Islamic banner.

in The international politics of the Middle East

This text aims to fill a gap in the field of Middle Eastern political studies by combining international relations theory with concrete case studies. It begins with an overview of the rules and features of the Middle East regional system—the arena in which the local states, including Egypt, Turkey, Iran, Israel and the Arab states of Syria, Jordan and Iraq, operate. The book goes on to analyse foreign-policy-making in key states, illustrating how systemic determinants constrain this policy-making, and how these constraints are dealt with in distinctive ways depending on the particular domestic features of the individual states. Finally, it goes on to look at the outcomes of state policies by examining several major conflicts including the Arab-Israeli conflict and the Gulf War, and the system of regional alignment. The study assesses the impact of international penetration in the region, including the historic reasons behind the formation of the regional state system. It also analyses the continued role of external great powers, such as the United States and the former Soviet Union, and explains the process by which the region has become incorporated into the global capitalist market.