This chapter examines the ramifications of genocide for human rights. Genocide is one of the most extreme forms of human rights violations, but its definition has been the subject of considerable debate. In recent years, there have been efforts to develop a better policy on genocide prevention. This chapter evaluates various definitions of genocide as well as some of the weak points of the 1948 United Nations Convention on the Punishment and Prevention of the Crime of Genocide, also known as the Genocide Convention. It also discusses theories of why genocide occurs and concludes with case studies of Rwanda and Darfur, both of which describe the background to the mass violence in both locations, as well as the international responses.
Caroline Kennedy and Sophia Dingli
This chapter examines the relationship between gender and security, distinguishing between ‘practical’ and ‘discursive’ aspects of such relationship and exploring the problematizing of gendered roles through Queer Theory. Practical aspects are exemplified by the concrete role of women in militaries, or as victims, bystanders, or helpers of military conflict or of militarization in general. Discursive aspects are exemplified by the traditional connections made between militarism and masculinity and between nurturing, peace, and femininity. The chapter first explains what gender means and why issues of gender are relevant to understanding security. It shows how understanding and placing notions of gender at the centre of any debate on security can help us comprehend the way men and women relate to insecurity, violence, and war. Theorists have often discussed gender and security by referring to war and peace, but the chapter stresses the need to pay attention to the post-conflict environment.
Consolidating Democracy and Human Rights
This chapter examines the consolidation of democracy and human rights in Nigeria. With regard to the relationship between development and human rights, Nigeria presents an interesting puzzle. It is rich in oil, but has not been able to translate its immense natural resources into sustainable economic development and respect for human rights. Ethnic and religious tensions, a result of colonialism, have been exacerbated by disastrous economic development, which has in turn led to a deteriorating human rights situation and intense violence. The chapter first considers the political economy of Nigerian oil before discussing the country’s political and economic development, with particular emphasis on critical aspects of human security and civil society. It concludes with an assessment of the progress that has been made as well as ongoing development challenges Nigeria faces.
Transition to Civil War Democracy
This chapter examines Mexico’s gradual and largely peaceful transition to democracy, followed by a sudden descent into civil war. In the closing decades of the twentieth century, Mexico’s major challenge was political democratization. Today, it is organized criminal violence. Vicente Fox’s victory in the presidential elections of 2000 ended more than seventy years of hegemonic party rule. However, a civil war soon broke out, sparking a pandemic escalation of violence related to organized crime. The chapter first traces the history of Mexico from its independence in 1821 to the Mexican Revolution of 1910–1920 before discussing the foundations of electoral authoritarianism in the country. It then considers the structural bases of regime change in Mexico, along with the process of democratization by elections. It concludes by analysing why a civil war broke out in Mexico following its transition to democracy.
This chapter examines the early stages of mass mobilization in Syria that sparked the Arab uprisings. Starting from December 2010 in Tunisia, Arabs from various walks of life took to the streets in protest against decades-long authoritarian rule, repression, and corruption in what came to be known as the Arab uprisings, or Arab Spring. These waves of protest reached Syria in March 2011. While Syria’s protests initially were largely peaceful, they soon gave way to violence, which culminated in an armed insurgency by the end of 2011 and, combined with regime brutality, a civil war. Before explaining how, when, and why the uprisings happened, the chapter provides a short history of growing popular discontent that resulted in the onset of the Syrian uprisings. It then analyses the roots of the uprising’s militarization and the ensuing popular mobilization and concludes with an assessment of the Syrian civil war.
James D. Kiras
This chapter examines how globalization has contributed to the growth of terrorism as a global phenomenon. It considers whether global terrorism is the price states pay for entry into and continued access to a globalized system, why violent Islamic extremism continues to be the primary motivator for global terrorist violence, and whether freedoms should be restricted to ensure greater security against the threat of global terrorism. The chapter first looks at the definitions of terrorism before tracing the transformation of terrorism from a transnational to a global phenomenon. It then explores the role of technology in terrorism and ways of combating terrorism. Two case studies are presented, one dealing with three generations of violent Islamic extremists and the other with the 2016 Lahore terrorist attack. There is also an Opposing Opinions box that asks whether states targeted by terrorism should aggressively address the threat beyond their national borders.
This chapter explores contemporary security in the Middle East by highlighting the nexus between the uses and justification of violence. Focusing on the post 9/11 reordering of the Middle East, it shows how state and non-state actors use the rhetoric of the ‘war on terror’ to depoliticize military interventions against political rivals. More specifically, it argues that such actors mobilize the politics of shame to contain and undermine their rivals. Such efforts are met with attempts to counter-shame and re-politicize the use of violence, producing a cycle of action and counter-action that seeks to legitimize and delegitimize competing visions of security and order in the Middle East. In this context, security and insecurity are two sides of the same coin that fluctuate according to the prevailing balance of power.
Gary M. Shiffman
This chapter examines the concept of economic security as a framework for analysing and countering organized violence. It first provides a brief historical overview of the economic science of security and applies economic theory to Security Studies. Through various case studies, this approach allows the reader to understand how states leverage traditional economic tools to influence, alter, and deter another actor’s behaviour. The chapter considers three categories of organized violence: warfare, crime, and insurgency. It shows that the various decision makers involved in combating organized violence have different goals and face different constraints. It also describes five vectors of economic incentives: goals, resource constraints, institutional constraints, information, and time. Finally, it discusses four economic tools of security policy: sanctions, trade, finance, and aid.
A Failing State?
Nadje Al-Ali and Nicola Pratt
This chapter examines whether Iraq is a failed state and how it drew such characterization. It focuses on the period since the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in 2003 that toppled Saddam Hussein. The chapter considers three areas: the reconstruction of Iraq’s political institutions; post-invasion violence and security; and human and economic development. It shows how the failure to reconstruct political institutions capable of reconciling Iraq’s different political groupings has weakened central government, exacerbated corruption within state institutions, and contributed to ethnic/sectarian violence, thereby creating a favourable environment for the emergence of the Islamic State. The chapter argues that the Iraqi state is failing to provide necessary services and infrastructure for economic and human development and even basic security for much of the population.
This chapter examines whether international relations, especially in an era of increasing globalization, are likely to be as violent in the future as they have been in the past. It asks whether globalization increases or decreases international security, which International Relations theories best help to provide an understanding of global security and insecurity, and what are the most important contemporary threats to international security. The chapter first considers existing disagreements about the causes of war and whether violence is always likely to remain with us. It then discusses traditional/classical realist and more contemporary neorealist and neoliberal perspectives on international security, along with a range of alternative approaches. It also explores recent debates about globalization and geopolitics and presents two case studies, one on the conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo and the other on growing tensions in the South and East China Seas.