34 research outputs found

    Early Warning and Conflict Prevention

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    Ce bref article porte un regard critique sur les mécanismes d'alerte préventive en place actuellement et évoque des enjeux similaires à ceux soulevés par l'article de Sharon Rusu. L'auteur tente ici de décrire la nature et le fonctionnement du système existant, les acteurs qui y sont engagés ainsi les imperfections et lacunes de processus dans son état actuel

    The Iraqi Kurdish Peshmerga: military reform and nation-building in a divided polity

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    During the war against Islamic State from 2014 to 2017 the Iraqi Kurdish Peshmerga became important local allies of the United States and its international partners, playing a significant role in the eventual defeat of Islamic State. In 2017, backed by the US and its Western allies, the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) agreed plans to reform and modernize the Peshmerga. This article provides an analysis of this reform process. Reform is severely constrained by two problems. First, the continuing soft civil war between Iraqi Kurdistanâ s two main political parties, the Kurdish Democratic Party (KDP) and the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), within which both parties view their maintenance of independent Peshmerga forces as central to their power and political survival. Second, the heroic-mythic status of the Peshmerga within Iraqi Kurdish society, which makes it difficult to convert the Peshmerga into a â normalâ military force. Reform efforts to date have not addressed these issues. Until such time as the deep political divide between the KDP and the PUK is addressed, Peshmerga reform is unlikely to make significant progressâ the military cart cannot be put before the political horse

    Beyond autonomy: rethinking Europe as a strategic actor

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    Strategic autonomy has become the buzzword of the European policy scene in recent years, with a slew of reports and policy proposals dedicated to the subject, and high-level support among European leaders. But big questions remain about what the concept actually means and what its implications are for Europe and the EU. Drawing on contributions to a recent high-level workshop as well as the five briefings contained in this volume, this report seeks to make the case for moving ‘beyond autonomy’ in five key respects - conceptually, thematically, geographically, temporally, and politically. Only by doing this are we able to move the debate on autonomy forward and highlight a number of key debates and issues on which greater attention from policymakers is needed. This report from LSE IDEAS and the Friedrich Naumann Foundation highlights new directions for policy debate and academic research on the concept of strategic autonomy, all of which take us into new domains

    The Cold Peace: Russo-Western Relations as a Mimetic Cold War

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    In 1989–1991 the geo-ideological contestation between two blocs was swept away, together with the ideology of civil war and its concomitant Cold War played out on the larger stage. Paradoxically, while the domestic sources of Cold War confrontation have been transcended, its external manifestations remain in the form of a ‘legacy’ geopolitical contest between the dominant hegemonic power (the United States) and a number of potential rising great powers, of which Russia is one. The post-revolutionary era is thus one of a ‘cold peace’. A cold peace is a mimetic cold war. In other words, while a cold war accepts the logic of conflict in the international system and between certain protagonists in particular, a cold peace reproduces the behavioural patterns of a cold war but suppresses acceptance of the logic of behaviour. A cold peace is accompanied by a singular stress on notions of victimhood for some and undigested and bitter victory for others. The perceived victim status of one set of actors provides the seedbed for renewed conflict, while the ‘victory’ of the others cannot be consolidated in some sort of relatively unchallenged post-conflict order. The ‘universalism’ of the victors is now challenged by Russia's neo-revisionist policy, including not so much the defence of Westphalian notions of sovereignty but the espousal of an international system with room for multiple systems (the Schmittean pluriverse)

    Sub-regional Cooperation in Europe: An Assessment. Bruges Regional Integration & Global Governance Paper 3/2009

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    Since the 1990s a wide range of new sub-regional groups have emerged in Central and Eastern Europe, the Balkans, the Mediterranean and the former Soviet Union. This paper provides an assessment of the new European sub-regional groups, exploring why and how sub-regionalism has proliferated in Europe since the 1990s, analysing what functions sub-regional groups perform and evaluating their significance. The paper argues that European sub-regional groups have developed in three distinct phases: a formative, post-Cold War phase in the early 1990s when many of these groups were established; a second phase in the late 1990s and early 2000s when the eastward enlargement of the EU and NATO and the ending of the Yugoslav wars reshaped the dynamics of sub-regionalism; and a third post-enlargement phase in the late 2000s where attention has shifted to the role of sub-regionalism in a strategic environment where further enlargement of the EU and NATO (at least beyond the Balkans) appears unlikely and Russo-Western relations are more problematic. Moreover, the paper argues that the European sub-regional groups have four distinct roles: a bridge-building function across the ‘dividing lines’ between EU/NATO and their non-member neighbours and the geo-cultural divide between Europe and North Africa and the Middle East; an integrative function helping some member states to integrate into the EU and/or NATO; a role as frameworks for addressing transnational policy challenges; and a role as facilitators of political, economic and institutional reform in participating states. The paper concludes that although the European sub-regional groups lack the economic, military and institutional power of the EU and NATO, these groups have nevertheless played a positive role in fostering security and cooperation in their respective sub-regions and in the wider Europe as a whole

    Linking academia and the ‘real world’ in International Relations

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    This talk will reflect on the challenges of linking academic programmes and teaching, on the one hand, with the policy-makers and practitioners, on the other, with particular reference to the discipline of international relations (which focuses on relations between states, international organisations and global political and socio-economic dynamics). The talk will draw on experience from University College Cork’s Department of Government and Politics, which has an extensive, market-leading work placement programme, and from UCC’s MSc International Public Policy and Diplomacy, which is a new model of international relations masters seeking to bridge academia and the world of policy. Our experience shows that it is possible to link academia and the world of policy and practitioners, but that it is not easy, even in an apparently very policy-oriented discipline, and that it involves significant challenges. The talk will highlight a number of challenges involved in linking the academic study of international relations with the ‘real world’ of international politics: bridging academia and policy/practitioners is not easy in the disciplines of political science and international relations – the two have different needs and, often, different languages; the development and maintenance of work placements and other elements of engagement with policymakers and practitioners involves very significant workload and needs to be properly supported in terms of staffing and infrastructure; and in politics and international relations, the skill sets which policy-makers and practitioners need often differ from those that universities normally provide. Finding the ‘right’ balance between academic disciplinary requirements/standards and the needs of employers is a difficult task

    Reshaping Defence Diplomacy: New Roles for Military Co-operation and Assistance

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    The following text is taken from the website of the International Institute for Strategic Studies: "Over the last decade there have been major changes in patterns of international defence diplomacy. Defence diplomacy – peacetime military cooperation and assistance – has traditionally been used for realpolitik purposes of strengthening allies against common enemies. Since the early 1990s, however, the Western democracies have increasingly used defence diplomacy for a range of new purposes. These include strategic engagement with former or potential enemies, in particular Russia and China, encouraging multilateral regional cooperation, supporting the democratisation of civil-military relations and assisting states in developing peacekeeping capabilities. This Adelphi Paper analyses the new defence diplomacy and the policy challenges and dilemmas it poses. The new defence diplomacy runs alongside the old and there are tensions between the two, in particular between the new goal of promoting democracy and the old imperative of supporting authoritarian allies. These tensions cannot easily be resolved, but external defence diplomacy assistance is likely to play a continuing role in supporting conflict prevention, the reform and democratisation of armed forces and the development of peacekeeping capabilities.

    Reshaping Defence Diplomacy : New Roles For Military Cooperation And Assistance

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