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Israel's wall and the logic of encystation

Sovereign exception or wild sovereignty?

Glenn Bowman

It seems vital, in the face of escalating Israeli expansionism in the Palestinian Territories and obstructionism in the "Peace Process," to theorize the cultural foundations of a process of containment and dispossession of Palestinians that can no longer convincingly be seen as mere strategy. Symptomatic of the Israeli state program is the "wall" (a.k.a., "the Security Fence" or the "Apartheid Wall") and its radical encroachment into territory designated as the grounds of a future Palestinian state. The following essay attempts an anthropological analysis of the concept of "border" in contemporary Israeli thought and practice, and, in so doing, assesses the impact of a limitless sovereignty on both an encompassed minority population and on international relations more generally.

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Johannes Paulmann

The article investigates an essential characteristic of the Federal Republic of Germany's search for self-assurance in foreign cultural representations after World War II. A normative behavioral pattern, described here as an “attitude of restraint,” emerged during the Adenauer era, resulting in representations without emulation. The article focuses on German participation in world fairs-an example that reveals the multi-layered mechanisms linking diplomacy with culture, political attitudes with individual experiences and memories, and foreign relations with social conditions. The formation of an attitude of restraint constituted part of the long-term process of West German self-education and shaped cultural identities in the Federal Republic. The self-assurance re-found during the Adenauer era is placed in the context of political debates about the break with the Nazi past, defense against communist East Germany, and the selective turn toward an international modernity. Furthermore, the article offers an explanation regarding the diffusion of certain behavioral norms through everyday experience and practice.

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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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America's Quest for Global Hegemony

Offensive Realism, the Bush Doctrine, and the 2003 Iraq War

Carlos L. Yordán

Research in the discipline of international relations finds that the great democratic powers are less likely to pursue revisionist policies. This investigation challenges this argument by showing that the United States' decision to oust Saddam Hussein's regime in March 2003 was consistent with a modified version of John Mearsheimer's theory of offensive realism, which finds that great powers' motivation is global hegemony. This article is divided into three sections. The first section considers the value of Mearsheimer's theory and reworks it by adding domestic variables to explain why states abandon defensive strategies for offensive ones. The second section shows how pre-9/11 American foreign policy strategy was, for the most part, status quo oriented, and section three explains why and how the Bush administration introduced a revisionist foreign policy strategy after the 9/11 attacks. This investigation concludes by showing how the 2003 Iraq War is the first step in the United States' quest for global hegemony.

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Andrew Fiala

What has come to be known as ‘the Bush Doctrine’ is an idealistic approach to international relations that imagines a world transformed by the promise of democracy and that sees military force as an appropriate means to utilize in pursuit of this goal. The Bush Doctrine has been described in various ways. It has been called ‘democratic realism,’ ‘national security liberalism,’ ‘democratic globalism,’ and ‘messianic universalism’.1 Another common claim is that this view is ‘neoconservative’.2 In what follows I will employ the term ‘neoconservative’ as a convenient and commonly accepted name for the ideas that underlie the Bush Doctrine. The Bush Doctrine has been expressed in numerous speeches by President Bush and members of his administration.3 It is stated in the policy of the National Security Strategy of the United States.4 And it was employed in the invasion of Iraq. The hopeful aspiration of the Bush Doctrine is that democratization will result in peace.

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Rory Conces

Political realism remains a powerful theoretical framework for thinking about international relations, including the war on terrorism. For Morgenthau and other realists, foreign policy is a matter of national interest defined in terms of power. Some writers view this tenet as weakening, if not severing, realism's link with morality. I take up the contrary view that morality is embedded in realist thought, as well as the possibility of realism being thinly and thickly moralised depending on the moral psychology of the agents. I argue that a prima facie case can be made within a thinly moralised realism for a relatively weak ally like Bosnia to enter the war on terrorism. An inflationary model of morality, however, explains how the moral horror of genocide in an ally's past may lead to a thickened moralised realism such that allied policy-makers question their country's entry into the war.

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War, Politics and Race

Reflections on Violence in the 'War on Terror'

Saul Newman and Michael P. Levine

The authors argue that the 'war on terror' marks the ultimate convergence of war with politics, and the virtual collapse of any meaningful distinction between them. Not only does it signify the breakdown of international relations norms but also the militarization of internal life and political discourse. They explore the 'genealogy' of this situation firstly through the notion of the 'state of exception'—in which sovereign violence becomes indistinct from the law that is supposed to curtail it—and secondly through Foucault's idea that politics is essentially a form of warfare. They suggest that these two ways of approaching the question of violence can only be understood through a racist dimension, which forms the hidden underside of the 'war on terrorism'. In other words, our contemporary situation is characterized by the mobilization not only of fundamentalist and conservative ideologies, but, increasingly, racial antagonisms and prejudices directed towards the Muslim other.

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Occupation, Race, and Empire

Maxence Van der Meersch's Invasion 14

W. Brian Newsome

In his 1935 novel Invasion 14, Maxence Van der Meersch painted a nuanced picture of the German invasion and occupation of northern France during World War I. Despite local controversy, Invasion 14 won national and international praise, losing the Prix Goncourt by a single vote. Though neglected in the wake of World War II, when the author's treatment of Franco-German relations between 1914 and 1918 ran headlong into evolving myths of widespread resistance between 1940 and 1944, Invasion 14 has garnered renewed attention as a window onto the occupation of World War I. Heretofore unappreciated, however, is Van der Meersch's use of colonial themes of race and empire. Based on research in the Archives Maxence Van der Meersch, this study explores the author's treatment of colonial motifs, demonstrating their centrality to the novel and the debate it generated.

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Danny Burkeman

In 1947, at the Second Conference of the International Council of Christians and Jews, the Christian participants published a document known as ‘The Ten Points of Seelisberg’. This document was addressed to the churches, as a result of having ‘recently witnessed an outburst of antisemitism, which has led to the persecution, and extermination of millions of Jews’ (ICCJ 1947). This can be considered the first Christian statement on Judaism prompted by the Holocaust, and as such one of the triggers in the development of Jewish–Christian relations that has taken place since that tragedy. As David Fox Sandmel has noted, ‘The Shoah…has provided a moral imperative for Jews and Christians to move beyond traditional antagonisms’ (Frymer-Kensky, Novak, Ochs, Sandmel and Signer 2000: 367). Since the Holocaust, there has been increased dialogue between Jews and Christians, as well as increased scholarship in the field, and many statements relating to it.

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Menachem Klein

Shaul Bartal, The Palestinians from the Naqba to Feddayun, 1949–1956 (Jerusalem: Carmel, 2009).

Matti Steinberg, Facing Their Fate: Palestinian National Consciousness, 1967–2007 (Miskal: Yedioth Aharonoth, 2008).

Shaul Arieli and Michael Sfard, The Wall of Folly (Miskal: Yedioth Aharonoth, 2008).

Nava Sonnenschein, Dialogue-Challenging Identity: Jews Constructing Their Identity through Encounter with Palestinians (Haifa: Pardes, 2008).

Sarab Abu Rabia Queder and Naomi Weiner-Levy, eds., Palestinian Women in Israel: Identity Power Relations and Coping Strategies (Jerusalem: Van Leer Jerusalem Institute/Hakibbutz Hameuchad Publishing House, 2010).

Honaida Ghanim, Reinventing the Nation: Palestinian Intellectuals in Israel (Jerusalem: Magnes, 2009).

Ephraim Lavie, ed., Israel and the Arab Peace Initiative (Tel Aviv University: Tami Steinmetz Center for Peace Studies, Moshe Dayan Center for Middle East and Africa Studies and Daniel S. Abraham Center for International and Regional Studies, 2010).

Michael Milstein, Mukawama: The Challenge of Resistance to Israel’s National Security Concept (Tel Aviv University: Institute for National Security Studies, 2010).