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Camilla Boisen

The Limits of Ethics in International Relations: Natural Law, Natural Rights and Human Rights in Transition by David Boucher

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Robert A. Denemark

Copeland, Daryl. 2009. Guerrilla Diplomacy: Rethinking International Relations. Boulder, Colo.: Lynne Rienner Publishers.

Mittelman, James. 2010. Hyperconflict: Globalization and Insecurity. Stanford: Stanford University Press.

Thompson, William R., ed. 2009. Systemic Transitions: Past, Present, and Future. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.

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Randall Newnham

How can we understand German-Russian relations since German reunification? Both the geopolitical positions of the two states and the political and economic ties between them have been transformed over the past twentyfive years. This paper will argue, however, that the role of the two countries’ leaders in shaping these relations has been surprisingly important. Building on the tradition of “first image” analysis in international relations, this paper shows that, along with larger political and economic trends, personal relations between these leaders have helped to set the tenor of bilateral ties. When the leaders were able to build trust and personal friendships, relations improved. Yet more recently, since 2012, relations have soured sharply. While there are obviously larger reasons for this, more negative personal ties between leaders have also played an important role. In short, just as issues of trust and friendship matter in personal ties, they also matter in International Relations.

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The Origins of the Stanley Hoffmann We Knew

Some Comparisons on his Vichy Years with My Family Story

Peter Gourevitch

Stanley Hoffmann’s years in France before, during, and after Vichy marked him both intellectually and psychologically. Many of his great works draw on his reflections on how he saw French people responding to this situation. By coincidence, my family was living in France from 1933 to 1940 as refugees from Nazi Berlin, where they had gone in 1923 as Menshevik refugees from the Bolsheviks. This essay explores Hoffmann’s story as a way of framing my own family history, and it reflects on the way those experiences influence our lives and ideas. Hoffmann went on to great prominence writing on international relations and the politics of France. Under his influence, I went on to help erode the academic boundary between domestic affairs and international relations.

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Teaching about Islam and the Muslim World

Textbooks and Real Curriculum

Marie McAndrew, Amina Triki-Yamani and Falk Pingel

Textbooks play a critical role in representing and fixing the desired view of society and of intergroup relations in the minds of future generations. As such, textbooks crystallize and translate into a pedagogical form existing dynamics involving the complexity of knowledge and the dominant ideological representations of ethnic or international relations. Studies of teachers’ use of textbooks show that teachers tend to rely heavily on textbooks when teaching less familiar topics, particularly topics dealing with international aspects and dimensions of education.

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Global Narratives

Globalisation and Literary Studies

Liam Connell

One of post-colonialism’s enduring projects has been the attempt to describe or understand the discursive component of Empire. Founding texts such as Edward Said’s Orientalism, argued that a complementary and necessary culture of imperialism existed alongside the economic and political structures of colonisation. The claim of such work was that this culture discursively produced ideas about difference that justified the European subjugation of other races and made possible the political expansion of the European states. The attempts to extend this analysis to describe a current culture of globalisation have been limited and in some ways unsuccessful. Without repudiating the methods of post-colonialism, it is necessary to recognise that changes to the structures of international relations have seen an attendant shift in the accompanying patterns of discourse. While, undoubtedly, many of the discourses that animated colonisation remain in place, the disavowal of a continuity between globalisation and earlier imperialist or colonising phases of modernity is one of globalisation’s characteristic movements. It is, therefore, insufficient to simply identify the persistence of imperialist discourses, ‘without significant challenge’, in ways that are insensitive to new cultural formulations brought about by structural changes in international relations.

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John Bendix and Niklaus Steiner

Although political asylum has been at the forefront of contemporary

German politics for over two decades, it has not been much discussed

in political science. Studying asylum is important, however,

because it challenges assertions in both comparative politics and

international relations that national interest drives decision-making.

Political parties use national interest arguments to justify claims that

only their agenda is best for the country, and governments argue

similarly when questions about corporatist bargaining practices arise.

More theoretically, realists in international relations have posited

that because some values “are preferable to others … it is possible to

discover, cumulate, and objectify a single national interest.” While

initially associated with Hans Morgenthau’s equating of national

interest to power, particularly in foreign policy, this position has

since been extended to argue that states can be seen as unitary rational

actors who carefully calculate the costs of alternative courses of

action in their efforts to maximize expected utility.

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The uninvited guest

Soviet Russia, the Far Eastern Republic and the Washington Conference, November 1921 to February 1922

Paul Dukes and Cathryn Brennan

This article seeks partly to redress the neglect of international relations, especially concerning the Far East, in recent Western writing on Soviet Russia. It concentrates on the sequel to the Paris Peace Conference, the Washington Conference of 1921-2, suggesting that Soviet Russia played the role of 'Banquo's ghost' at both meetings. Making use for the most part of documents from the US National Archive, the article concentrates on the problem of bringing the Japanese intervention to an end, with special reference to the use made for this purpose by the Soviet government of the Far Eastern Republic or DVR. The DVR enjoyed considerable success as a 'democratic' buffer state, while its Special Trade Delegation acted as unofficial representative for Soviet Russia at the Washington Conference. As the Japanese intervention came to an end, the DVR was dissolved.

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Jean-François Grégoire

In an effort towards developing a normative theory of federalism, this paper offers a critical assessment of the work of Will Kymlicka and Ferran Requejo in order to show the progress and failures of liberal nationalist authors on issues raised by the normative dimensions of federalism in Western multinational contexts. More exactly, the paper argues that both authors fail to give a complete theory of federalism because the liberal conception of self-determination as non-interference can only create superficial unity and contingent trust, especially in multinational contexts, where non-interference is to regulate relations between particular identities and conceptions of citizenship. Drawing on this critical assessment of liberal nationalism, I argue that the neo-republican ideal of non-domination, as developed by Philip Pettit (1997, 2012), provides us not only with the adequate normative heuristics to assess national rights of self-determination, but also international relations and the institutional conditions needed to create binding trust within multinational federal constellations.

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Stephen Thornton

Information literacy, the concept most associated with inculcating the attributes necessary to behave in a strategic, thoughtful and ethical manner in the face of a superfluity of information, has been part of the information specialist scene for many years. As the United Kingdom’s QAA benchmark statements for Politics and International Relations highlight, many of the competences associated with this concept are vital in the honourable struggle to become a successful graduate of those disciplines. This article presents a longitudinal study of a survey used to expose the information literacy levels of two groups of first-year Politics/IR students at a British university and, using the logic of ‘most similar design’, make informed inferences about the level of students’ information literacy on coming into tertiary education.