Editors desk

By Mitchell Belfer

Understanding Azerbaijan’s Geopolitical Perceptions

IntroductionAzerbaijan’s geopolitical situation largely determines its strategic priorities and presents solutions. This policy analysis suggests that there are three ways for Azerbaijan (and the other Caucasus states) to overcome its geopolitical situation, through: hegemony, neutrality or alliance. However, of the three, only alliance with exogenous powers, such as the GCC and its members, could assist Azerbaijan survive in its own region; by out-flanking its more aggressive rivals and…

Human Rights: An Interdisciplinary Approach

Book review

By Teodora-Maria Daghie, University of Bucharest

Human Rights: An Interdisciplinary Approach

Human rights are considered universal, meaning that they should be applied regardless of any borders, ethnicity, skin colour, sex, language, religion, sexual orientation, political opinion or social status (etc). They also state that all people are born free and equal in dignity and have equal rights. At the global level we have achieved a Universal Declaration of Human Rights and various UN conventions, including those dealing with genocide, discrimination and gender rights. Freeman’s work…

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Issue 9:1

By Erfaun Norooz

Libya, Resolution 1973 and the Responsibility to Protect (R2P)

ABSTRACT: This article sheds light on the intervention in Libya through the lens of the Responsibility to Protect (R2P). This, together with the deployment of Just War theory, will help explain some of the nuances surrounding the legitimacy of the Libyan intervention in 2011. The work is based on providing a suitable context for the rise of an effective opposition in Libya and the brutality of the Gaddafi regime in its bid to quell the unrest. After this is complete, an evaluation of the R2P is…

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Issue 9:1

By Francis M. Kabosha

From Peacekeeping to Peace Enforcement and Back to Peacebuilding Dilemmas: Is there A Growing Insecurity of International Security?

ABSTRACT: Since its creation in 1945, the UN has steadily increased the ambition and the scale of its peace and security agenda in conflict-affected countries. The development of peacekeeping is seen as a global means to achieve its aspirations of international peace and security. Yet, there are problems with the transition from peacekeeping to peacebuilding as local populations’ perceptions of conflicts become an integral part of these interventions. Concerns about the control and protection…

Politics in the Age of Austerity

Book review

By Jan Kovář (The Institute of International Relations Prague)

Politics in the Age of Austerity

  Democratic-capitalist governments are increasingly facing restraints as they endeavour to reconcile the conflicting interests and demands on public policy of two competing constituencies: the people and “markets.” The fiscal crisis and the resulting rise of the austerity state further deepen these dilemmas. But, what is the impact of the rise of the austerity state and deteriorating public finances on democracy and political participation? Will democracy be able to continue to promote…

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Issue 9:1

By Přemysl Rosůlek

The Issue of Madhism within Shia Ideology and Ahmadinejad’s Doctrine

ABSTRACT: I will attempt to argue in this paper that the rise of Mahdism within Shi’a political Islam during Ahmadinejad’s era did not lead to a significant break with previous development. Relevance of Mahdism within Shi’a politicized and ideologized Islam in Iran has been on the rise since the second half of 20th century. The issue occurred in Shi’a political philosophy and theory prior to the Islamic revolution in Iran. In the post-revolutionary period, Mahdism became an inherent part of the…

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Issue 9:1

By Lukasz Wordliczek

Security, Inc.: Privatising Internal Security in Post-Communist Poland

ABSTRACT:The question of how and when authority diminishes in states has been a persistent feature of international relations and the political sciences for several decades. The issue is often referred to as ‘governance without a government’ and tries to understand systems of thick and thin sovereignty. This work adds to the literature – pertaining to Central and Eastern Europe (CEE), and Poland more specifically – by providing some basic definition-rooted problems such as the public-private…

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Issue 9:1

By Karina Moreno Saldivar and Byron E. Price

Private Prisons and the Emerging Immigrant Market: Implications for Security Governance

ABSTRACT: The purpose of this work is to examine the role and involvement of the two largest private prisons corporations in the US, Corrections Corporations of America (CCA) and The GEO Group, Inc., in the immigration policymaking arena. Recent news reported the role of private prison industry in sponsoring and drafting Arizona’s immigration bill, Senate Bill 1070. Following Arizona’s SB 1070, 36 state legislatures proposed copycat bills. This is alarming because immigrants and noncitizens…

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Issue 9:1

By Jason Ireland and Caroline Varin

PMSCs and the Regulatory Environment in Iraq Post-2011

ABSTRACT: This article explores the security demands and regulatory changes in Iraq since 2011 that have required the private security industry to adapt its corporate strategy. Drawing from cutting-edge primary research, including interviews with contractors and with multinational clients in Iraq and the United Kingdom, the article highlights the impact of Western corporate values and government requirements on the operational ability and effectiveness of PMSCs in Iraq. So far, the literature…

European Union Foreign Policy in a Changing World

Book review

By Andriy Tyushka (College of Europe, Natolin Campus)

European Union Foreign Policy in a Changing World

The flurry of changes to the EU’s internal and external environments produced a demand for thorough analytical accounts of the Union’s challenges as an international actor aiming to imprint the world order. Unsurprisingly, a robust scholarship of EU foreign policy analysis has mushroomed in the last decade. Among them, Karen E. Smith’s European Union Foreign Policy in a Changing World stands out for its distinctive focus—searching for the rationale behind the EU’s empowerment and its goal…

Peace operations, 2nd edition

Book review

By Adisa Avdić- Küsmüş (Metropolitan University Prague)

Peace operations, 2nd edition

The advent of peacekeeping in the mid-20th century was a significant shift in strategy for conflict resolution.  The failure of collective security under the League of Nations pushed for finding more effective ways for dealing with conflicts. The idea of deploying forces to war torn areas with the purpose of limiting violence gradually evolved and resulted in the establishment of large, complex and costly missions around the world. But how did such operations evolve? Who organises them and how…

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eContribution

By Abubakar Siddique and Yousaf Zadran for RFE/RL

Islamic State Rears Its Head In Afghan Region Bordering Central Asia

Afghan officials have confirmed the presence of Islamic State (IS) militants in the northeastern province of Kunduz, which borders Tajikistan and is in close proximity to Uzbekistan. Provincial Governor Mohammad Omar Safi told Radio Free Afghanistan on March 3 that Kunduz residents have spotted IS militants in various districts on Afghanistan's border with Tajikistan. "The residents of some parts of Char Dara, Imam Sahib and Archi districts have spotted IS militants," he said. "They have seen…

Politics of Energy and Memory between the Baltic States and Russia

Book review

By Anya Gromilova (Metropolitan University Prague)

Politics of Energy and Memory between the Baltic States and Russia

The bookThe Politics of Energy and Memory between the Baltic States and Russia offers as in-depth and penetrative look into the three former Soviet Baltic Republics’ foreign policy towards Russia from 1994 to present day. Grigas focuses primarily on the domestic variables of policy making in Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania in order to dismantle the conventional approach to studies of the Baltic-Russian relations. The author argues against simplistic narratives such as the common perception that…

2015 - Volume 9, Issue 1