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Chapter

Cover Contemporary Security Studies

14. Military Security  

Sheehan Michael

This chapter examines the continuing importance of military security. It notes that International Relations has historically seen security almost entirely in terms of the military dimension, before going on to review the impact of the broadening of the concept of security on approaches to the study of its military dimension. It then analyses the key aspects of the traditional approach to military security and some of the most common ways in which states have sought to acquire it historically, such as war, alliances, and, more recently, nuclear deterrence. The chapter then reflects on some of the difficulties in acquiring military security, and ways in which its pursuit can sometimes reduce, rather than increase, security, before concluding with a reminder of the continuing centrality of military security, even within a significantly broadened understanding of security as a multifaceted concept.

Chapter

Cover Strategy in the Contemporary World

23. Does Strategic Studies Have a Future?  

Lawrence Freedman

This chapter considers whether the field of strategic studies has a future, beginning by tracing its development in universities and think tanks as traditional military patterns of thought appeared inadequate in the thermonuclear age, and how it evolved into a broad field of enquiry by the end of the cold war. The chapter then describes the ‘golden age’ of strategic studies that created a market for professionally trained civilian strategists, and examines how strategic studies had become more diffuse as the political context of international relations changed. It also explains how the study of strategy posed a particular challenge to the social sciences, and how ethical and practical difficulties created tensions between academics and policymakers. The chapter goes on to discuss elements of realism that are useful in the study of strategy, strategic studies’ focus on the role of armed force both in peacetime and in war, and future prospects for strategic studies.

Chapter

Cover The Globalization of World Politics

14. War and world politics  

Tarak Barkawi

This chapter examines how war fits into the study of international relations and the ways it affects world politics. It begins with an analysis of the work of the leading philosopher of war, Carl von Clausewitz, to highlight the essential nature of war, the main types of war, and the idea of strategy. It then considers some important developments in the history of warfare, both in the West and elsewhere, with particular emphasis on interrelationships between the modern state, armed force, and war in the West and in the global South. Two case studies are presented, one focusing on war and Eurocentrism during the Second World War, and the other on the impact of war on society by looking at France, Vietnam, and the United States. There is also an Opposing Opinions box that asks whether democracy creates peace among states.

Chapter

Cover Rethinking Political Thinkers

37. Dipesh Chakrabarty  

Eva-Maria Nag

This chapter presents an overview of Dipesh Chakrabarty’s contribution to political thinking that is concerned with the human condition in the age of climate change. The chapter examines Chakrabarty’s argument that human-centred ways of thinking about the world and humanity are no longer appropriate. Moreover, Chakrabarty makes the case for bringing together natural and human history; for humans having become a geological force upon the planet; for capitalism having only a limited role in climate change; and for a new focus on planetary history, not merely human history. This chapter presents, Chakrabarty as a postcolonial historian and political thinker and then examines his conceptualization of the Anthropocene as a new historical and planetary era. This chapter further explores the complex connections between freedom, capitalism, and climate change. Chakrabarty insists the era of climate change needs new political perspectives beyond critiques of capitalism, colonialism, and globalization.

Chapter

Cover Contemporary Security Studies

20. Coercive Diplomacy: Countering War-Threatening Crises and Armed Conflicts  

Peter Viggo Jakobsen

Nowadays states rarely resort to war to defeat each other or to address war-threatening crises and armed conflicts. Instead, coercive diplomacy has emerged as their strategy of choice when persuasion and other non-military instruments fall short. Coercive diplomacy involves the use of military threats and/or limited force (sticks) coupled with inducements and assurances (carrots) in order to influence the opponent to do something it would prefer not to. States use coercive diplomacy in the hope of achieving their objectives without having to resort to full-scale war. This chapter presents the strategy of coercive diplomacy and its requirements for success and shows how states have employed it to manage crises and conflicts during the three strategic eras that the world has passed through since the end of the Cold War.

Chapter

Cover Poverty and Development

14. The Power of Colonial States  

David Potter and Alan Thomas

This chapter examines Western European colonial rule. Colonialism and its legacies are enduringly controversial. Whether or not colonial rule had redeeming features, it is useful to recognize its major political features, which include its international dimension, bureaucratic elitism and authoritarianism, use of 'traditional' or 'customary' public authority in colonial society, use of force, technological advantage, statism, and hegemonic ideology. Being cognizant of these features equips us to get at least an initial bearing on the question of how colonial rule was maintained. The same list of aspects of colonial rule can also be used to ask questions about why European rule ended when it did, and to help understand the legacies of colonialism, including cultural dependency, distinctive features of contemporary post-colonial states, and problems of state-led development.

Chapter

Cover Human Rights: Politics and Practice

21. Humanitarian Intervention  

Alan J. Kuperman

This chapter examines humanitarian intervention and its relationship to the promotion of human rights. It first traces the evolution of humanitarian intervention, especially in the wake of the Second World War and the Cold War, to include military force and the violation of traditional norms of neutrality and state sovereignty. It then describes some obstacles to effective intervention, including the speed of violence, logistical hurdles to military deployment, and lack of political will. It also discusses unintended consequences, such as how the ‘moral hazard’ of humanitarian intervention may inadvertently trigger and perpetuate civil conflict, thus exacerbating civilian suffering. Many of these concepts are illustrated with a detailed case study of humanitarian intervention in Bosnia from 1992 to 1995 by the United States, European Community, United Nations, and NATO. The chapter concludes with recommendations to improve humanitarian intervention and to reconcile it with the promotion of human rights.

Chapter

Cover The Politics of International Law

12. War and law in the twenty-first century  

New threats and new approaches

This chapter explicates the various ways in which contemporary warfare challenges post-1945 international law on the use of force and the conduct of war. It begins by exploring the rules governing the use of force against non-state actors. This is one of the most pressing issues of the war on terror, much of which has involved military operations against terrorist groups operating from the territory of states that cannot or will not suppress their activities. In particular, campaigns by the US and several other states against ISIS in Syria have seriously undermined the international law framework governing self-defence and the right of states to have their sovereignty and territorial integrity respected. The chapter then looks at another trademark policy of the war on terror: the use of targeted killings, often carried out by unmanned drones, to eliminate suspected terrorists. It also considers a new type of warfare altogether: the emerging phenomenon of cyber warfare, which, too, has implications for both jus ad bellum and jus in bello.

Chapter

Cover Contemporary Terrorism Studies

21. Responding to Terrorism Nonviolently  

Sondre Lindahl and Richard Jackson

This chapter explores non-violent responses to terrorism. It notes the main failures and limitations of violent or force-based counterterrorism, before examining alternative non-violent approaches used to reduce the incidence of terrorism and transform violent conflict into political conflict. The most common alternative approach in an effort of conflict resolution and promoting a political settlement is the use of dialogue and negotiations. The chapter also discusses the literature on suggestions and guidance for further developing approaches to non-violent counterterrorism such as non-violent resistance, unarmed peacekeeping, non-warring communities, and social defence. Sondre Lindahl's critical theory of counterterrorism is based on principles such as needing to treat terrorism as a political phenomenon and aiming for more than the elimination of terrorists.

Chapter

Cover Strategy in the Contemporary World

7. Law, Politics, and the Use of Force  

Justin Morris

This chapter examines the place of international law in international politics, with particular emphasis on whether legal constraint is effective in averting or limiting the use of force by states. It begins with a discussion of the efficacy of international law in regulating the behaviour of states, focusing on the so-called perception–reality gap in international law. It then considers various reasons why states obey the law, from fear of coercion to self-interest and perceptions of legitimacy. It also explores the role and status of breaches of international law in international politics as well as the functions of the two laws of armed conflict, namely, jus ad bellum and jus in bello. Finally, it analyses the apparent paradox of legal constraint on warfare in relation to power politics and the mitigatory effects of norms governing the conduct of war.

Chapter

Cover The Politics of International Law

10. International law and the use of force  

This chapter explores the justness, legitimacy, and legality of war. While 1945 was a key turning point in the codification of jus ad bellum (i.e. international law on the use of force), that framework did not emerge in a vacuum. Rather, it was the product of historical political contingencies that meant that codification of the laws of war was contemporaneous, both geographically and temporally, with the solidification of the norms of sovereign nation-statehood and territorial integrity. The chapter focuses on the UN Charter regime and how it has shaped the politics of war since 1945. Importantly, the Charter establishes a general prohibition on the use of force in international relations. It also grants two exceptions to the prohibition: actions undertaken with Security Council authorization and actions taken in self-defence. Today, many of the most serious challenges to the Charter regime concern the definition and outer limits of the concept of self-defence. Another set of challenges to the Charter regime concerns the contested concept of ‘humanitarian intervention’. The chapter then looks at the development of the ‘Responsibility to Protect’ doctrine.