Liberal peacebuilding has become the target of considerable criticism. Although much of this criticism is warranted, a number of scholars and commentators have come to the opinion that liberal peacebuilding is either fundamentally destructive, or illegitimate, or both. On close analysis, however, many of these critiques appear to be exaggerated or misdirected. At a time when the future of peacebuilding is uncertain, it is important to distinguish between justified and unjustified criticisms, and to promote a more balanced debate on the meaning, shortcomings and prospects of liberal peacebuilding.
Although the concept of regional power is frequently used in International Relations (IR) literature, there is no consensus regarding the defining characteristics of a regional power. The article discusses different theoretical approaches that address the topic of power hierarchies in international politics and make reference to the concept of regional power. Marking differences as well as common ground with the more traditional concept of 'middle powers', the article outlines an analytical concept of regional powers adequate for contemporary IR research. The analytical dimensions of the framework may be employed to differentiate regional powers from other states and to compare regional powers with regard to their power status or relative power. Furthermore, the article investigates the possible repercussions of the rise of regional powers for international politics and discusses the probable importance and functions of regional governance structures for regional powers.
Regional powers are often conceived of as 'regional leading powers', states which adopt a cooperative and benevolent attitude in their international relations with their neighbours. The article argues that regional powers can follow a much wider range of foreign policy strategies in their region. Three ideal-typical regional strategies are identified: empire, hegemony, and leadership. The article is devoted to a theory-led distinction and clarification of these three terms, which are often used interchangeably in the field of International Relations. According to the goals pursued, to the means employed, and to other discriminating features such as the degree of legitimation and the type of selfrepresentation by the dominant state, the article outlines the essential traits of imperial, hegemonic, and leading strategies and identifies sub-types for better classifying hegemony and leadership.
From a critical security studies perspective – and non-traditional security studies more broadly – is the concept of human security something which should be taken seriously? Does human security have anything significant to oner security studies? Both human security and critical security studies challenge the state-centric orthodoxy of conventional international security, based upon military defence of territory against 'external' threats. Both also challenge neorealist scholarship, and involve broadening and deepening the security agenda. Yet critical security studies have not engaged substantively with human security as a distinct approach to non-traditional security. This article explores the relationship between human security and critical security studies and considers why human security arguments – which privilege the individual as the referent of security analysis and seek to directly influence policy in this regard – have not made a significant impact in critical security studies. The article suggests a number of ways in which critical and human security studies might engage. In particular, it suggests that human security scholarship must go beyond its (mostly) uncritical conceptual underpinnings if it is to make a lasting impact upon security studies, and this might be envisioned as Critical Human Security Studies (CHSS).
Regional powers of the Global South are perceived to be agents of change. But what exactly is the nature of the change that they want? This article argues that there is some continuity between the goals of the current generation of regional leaders and that of their predecessors. The current generation tend to have more confidence in their ability to effect the redistribution of wealth, prestige, and power in the global political economy, though, and tend therefore to be more integrationist than the first generation of post-colonial leaders. The goal of redistribution is premised on a more fundamental unfinished struggle of developing countries, one that Brazil, India, and South Africa in particular have taken up. This is the struggle for recognition of developing countries as full and equal partners in the society of states, but also as states with specific development needs that are too easily ploughed-under in the spurious universality promoted by the developed North. The struggle for recognition focuses on inclusive multilateralism and ' nonindifference' towards the development needs of the Global South. Using recent contributions to the theory of recognition, the article interprets these two goals as linked to the unfinished struggle against disrespect and humiliation.
There is virtually no systematic debate on the fundamentals of comparative research in the study of international regionalism. The field of research is very fragmented and there is a lack of interaction between EU studies and regionalism in the rest of the world. There is also a lack of communication between scholars from various theoretical standpoints and research traditions. Related to these two divides is the tension between idiographic and nomothetic methodologies. The purpose of this article is to contribute to the largely neglected debate on how to conduct and address three interrelated problems: a conceptual, a theoretical and a methodological one. Our claim is that the future of comparative regionalism should be one where old divides are bridged. This requires a combination of conceptual rigor, theoretical eclecticism, and sounder empirical research methods.
This article queries the place of autoethnography in the study of International Relations as it relates to questions of truth, power, and ethics. The traditional denial of the authorial presence of the self in IR scholarship has been increasingly challenged in recent years, and autoethnography is perhaps the most obvious example of this. This article utilises autoethnography to explore some of the pitfalls and dilemmas associated with the approach - particularly the dangers surrounding 'standpoint' epistemologies, and the need to continue to distinguish between scholarship and storytelling. The article does not dismiss these concerns, but seeks to illustrate the ways in which the discipline is already engaged in storytelling as it narrates its own history and development. At the same time, the article seeks to'guard against a generation of novelists' whose training would inevitably devolve into a question of crafting the 'prettiest sentence.' Mindful of these concerns, the article nevertheless seeks to demonstrate the ethical value of autoethnography in its exploration of the limitations of academic voice and its impact on those we write, the truths we are able to recognise and transcribe, and the ways in which the academic voice silences the self, who is forced to hide or minimise the often very personal motivations for engaging in IR scholarship. It argues that purposeful autoethnography should have a place among the diverse approaches to IR.
Scholars in international relations have long known that ideas matter in matters of international politics, yet theories of the discipline have failed to capture their impact either in the making of foreign policy or the nature of the international system. Recent reengagement with the insights of classical realists has pointed to the possibility of a neoclassical realist approach that can take into account the impact of ideas. This article will suggest that the study of grand strategy can enlighten the intervening ideational variables between the distribution of power in the international system and the foreign policy behaviour of states, and thus constitute the key element in a neoclassical realist research agenda.
Research is all about a person's engagement with an issue. But most approaches to International Relations actively discourage personal involvement by the researcher. We question the adequacy of this norm and the related scholarly conventions. Instead, we explore how the personal experience of the researcher can be used as a legitimate and potentially important source of insight into politics. But we also note that simply telling the story of the researcher is inadequate. We engage the ensuing dilemmas by discussing how to both appreciate and evaluate autoethnographic insights. Rather than relying on pre-determined criteria, we argue that methodological uses of the self should be judged within knowledge communities and according to their ability to open up new perspectives on political dilemmas. We then advance two related suggestions: one advocates conceptualising research around puzzles; the other explores the methodological implications of recognising that producing knowledge is an inherently relational activity.
For many commentators the lack of success in international statebuilding efforts has been explained through the critical discourse of 'liberal peace', where it is assumed that 'liberal' Western interests and assumptions have influenced policymaking leading to counterproductive results. At the core of the critique is the assumption that the liberal peace approach has sought to reproduce and impose Western models: the reconstruction of 'Westphalian' frameworks of state sovereignty; the liberal framework of individual rights and winner-takes-all elections; and neo-liberal free market economic programmes. This article challenges this view of Western policymaking and suggests that post-Cold War post-conflict intervention and statebuilding can be better understood as a critique of classical liberal assumptions about the autonomous subject - framed in terms of sovereignty, law, democracy and the market. The conflating of discursive forms with their former liberal content creates the danger that critiques of liberal peace can rewrite post-Cold War intervention in ways that exaggerate the liberal nature of the policy frameworks and act as apologia, excusing policy failure on the basis of the self-flattering view of Western policy elites: that non-Western subjects were not ready for 'Western' freedoms. [PUBLICATION ABSTRACT
Autoethnography is a way and method to reflect on the mutual constitution of the self and the social. It allows one to consider how her/his personal and professional subjectivity was constructed and how her/his actions in the world reproduce or change this world. Autoethnography enables one to acquire an agentive role in the world by highlighting one's uniqueness and voice. It also aims to create mutual empowerment among people, ordinary individuals, by means of identification, connectivity, and empathy. In this article I explore some conceptual issues relating to autoethnography and then present my personal account of why I study International Relations (IR) and how I decided to bring myself more openly into my texts and lectures. I conclude by arguing that autoethnography made me more confident in sounding my voice in print and in class, and that, consequently, I became much more aware of the human capacity to make a difference.
Despite its newness, the concept of the responsibility to protect (R2P) looks back at a stellar career. It has been the subject of numerous conferences and academic publications and has been affirmed by the major UN bodies. Indeed, if one were to assess the development of an international norm by the amount of academic attention and general rhetorical support it enjoys, one could be inclined to believe that the responsibility to protect is rapidly evolving into a norm of customary international law. This article subjects the R2P hype to critical scrutiny and asks probing questions about R2P's viability as a norm. Beneath the thin veneer of rhetorical acceptance of R2P lies a range of hotly disputed issues - in particular but not exclusively regarding the concept's implications for the use of force - which are unlikely to be resolved in the near future. In this article I examine R2P's potential to 'ripen' into an international norm. I argue that in the absence of an intersubjective consensus about what R2P actually means, the concept's chances to 'harden' into a norm of customary international law are remote. I posit that R2P cannot be considered a 'new norm' or an 'emerging norm' as it is frequently called, because the vast majority of states simply does not want to be legally bound to save strangers in remote regions of the world. [PUBLICATION ABSTRACT
In this article I discuss some of the connections between gender, gender mainstreaming and feminist theory. As a global initiative, gender mainstreaming is now well established; but the role of feminism and feminists in achieving this success is questionable. Some, including Harvard Law Professor Janet Halley claim that feminists, particularly in the realm of governance feminism, have been extremely successful. Yet despite this success Halley invites us to 'take a break from feminism'. I consider this political and intellectual invitation in this article in order to shed some light on the relationship between gender mainstreaming and feminism but also to probe what Robyn Wiegman refers to as a 'critical incomprehension' around feminism. My discussion includes a brief analysis of the imagery used in documentation relating to the United Kingdom's Gender Equality Duty Legislation; the latter a contemporary example of a legislative attempt to properly mainstream gender. In conclusion I return to the Halley's invitation to 'take a break from feminism' and introduce, by way of contrast, Angela McRobbie's recent discussion of post-feminism ultimately suggesting that we might see Halley's call, as well as the popularity (and 'failures') of gender mainstreaming as examples of post-feminist practice.
Despite the development of an increasingly sophisticated literature on comparative regional integration drawing from a variety of cases, the European experience remains the most often used benchmark against which other integrative processes are judged; there is still an often implicit expectation that 'successful' processes of regionalism will end up looking something like the European Union. While it is correct to move away from such a 'Euro-dominance', the theoretical lessons learned continue to have salience when applied to emerging and competing forms of integrative processes in East Asia. In particular, when economic considerations dominate regional relations - at times of economic crises - then integrative logics and strategies come to the fore. In more 'normal' times when geo-strategic considerations reassert themselves, then the consensus over region building and the very nature of the region itself is weakened and cooperation is replaced by competing visions and the over-supply of region.
The article inquires into the conditions of effective leadership of states in international politics, and develops a framework for the study of so-called (new) regional powers such as Brazil, China, India, and South Africa in processes of regional institutionbuilding. Various theoretical strands will be discussed as to the requirements of effective leadership in international affairs. Most importantly, the relationship between power, leadership and hegemony will be outlined. It is argued that the connection between leadership and hegemony is one of co-constitution. Leadership is necessarily based on hegemony, while hegemony can only be sustained through leadership. Furthermore, it will be shown that both leadership and hegemony are essentially political in character, whereas power has no such insinuation but has to be translated into leadership and hegemony through discursive means. Finally, the analysis asks for the preconditions of leadership in East Asia, using China's and Japan's roles in East Asian regionalism as an illustration.
To date, studies of international politics have little space for time. In this article, I argue that time is constitutive of the international system by offering a genealogical historical sketch of the coeval rise of territorial state sovereignty and Western standard time (consisting of seconds, minutes, and hours). Sovereignty is rightly a foundational concept of both the international system and the field of International Relations (IR), but the emergence of the contemporary method of reckoning time during the Enlightenment also supported the project of political modernity, and is thus critical to IR. The genealogical motive of the sketch is to understand what have become naturalised, global social conventions as historically contingent, cosmopolitical phenomena that resulted from significant socio-political efforts and conflicts. I locate 'sites' where modern sovereignty emerged and explicate contemporaneous processes, factors, and events implicated in the rise of modern time at those sites. In doing so, I outline how particular modes of understanding space and time were bred in Western Europe, spread around the world via colonialism, and embedded during the eras of global war and post-colonialism. I conclude by contrasting current challenges to territorial state sovereignty with Western standard time's untrammelled global hegemony.
'Architecture' has emerged as the new catchphrase in Asian security politics. Despite its growing centrality, insufficient attention has thus far been given to defining the term, often leading to its imprecise usage. This article seeks to redress that shortcoming. It reviews the ways in which various scholars and practitioners have employed the term 'security architecture' and highlights the anomalies that their often differing employment has created. The article proposes a set of guidelines to aid conceptualisation and application of the term. In so doing it establishes criteria to ascertain what 'security architecture' actually exists in the Asian region, and must ultimately exist to assure regional security.
The integration of the global economy through the liberalisation of the trade regime, the deregulation of financial markets and the privatisation of state assets has led to what we now commonly call ' globalisation'. These processes, however, have not been accompanied by a comparable development of the global polity. At the same time, it is increasingly recognised in policy circles that without the development of norms, institutions and processes to manage globalisation many of the advantages it has brought the world could be undone by a failure to mitigate the excesses and negative consequences that emanate from it, especially for large sections of the world's poor. This article addresses two broad questions: what might we understand by global governance in an era of increasingly contested globalisation and what role might international organisations play in making it more (democratically) legitimate? It addresses these questions in three steps. First, it proposes a heuristic definition that identifies two key strands of ' governance' in the contemporary debate. It is argued that global governance understood as effective and efficient collective decision-making and problem solving is insufficient for normative reasons and must, in addition, be complemented by global governance understood as the democratic legitimation of policy-making. In a second step, as an example of this latter type of governance, the article develops a deliberative two-track view of transnational legitimacy. It argues that deliberative democracy offers some fruitful theoretical tools in this context since it is equipped to address some of the qualitative problems of international decision-making as well as accommodate a plausible notion of political agency. Thirdly, from the point of view of this two-track view, the article examines the WTO and discusses its strengths and vulnerabilities, not only as a vehicle for trade liberalisation but also as an instrument of better global governance.
This article introduces a novel way of conceptualising variations of peace in post-war societies. The most common way of defining peace in the academic literature on war termination is to differentiate between those cases where there is a continuation or resumption of large-scale violence and those cases where violence has been terminated and peace, defined by the absence of war, has been established. Yet, a closer look at a number of countries where a peace agreement has been signed and peace is considered to prevail reveals a much more diverse picture. Beyond the absence of war, there are striking differences in terms of the character of peace that has followed. This article revisits the classical debates on peace and the notion of the Conflict Triangle as a useful theoretical construction for the study of armed conflicts. We develop a classification captured in a Peace Triangle, where post-settlement societies are categorised on the basis of three key dimensions: issues, behaviour, and attitudes. On the basis of such a differentiation, we illustrate the great diversity of peace beyond the absence of war in a number of post-settlement societies. Finally, we discuss the relationship between the different elements of the Peace Triangle, and the challenges they pose for establishing a sustainable peace, as well as the implications of this study for policy makers concerned with peacebuilding efforts.