Editors desk

By Mitchell Belfer

Arrested Development: Stonewalling al Wefaq in Bahrain

Introduction On 16 June 2015, Ali Salman, leader of Bahrain’s al Wefaq bloc, was sentenced to four years in prison for inciting violence and encouraging an attempted coup d’état during the 2011 uprising. The verdict brought the Arab Spring in Bahrain to an end; a fact reflected in the muted response on Bahrain’s streets. Yet, many in the international press were swift to pour scorn on Bahrain’s government while glossing over the years of political unrest and the projection of Iranian interests…

Sexual Violence and Armed Conflict

Book review

By Veronika Váchalová (Metropolitan University Prague)

Sexual Violence and Armed Conflict

Sexual violence has a history as long as the practise of war itself. It has been a part of the spoils of war that represent the gravest abuses of human rights. Nowadays, despite enormous humanitarian protests and efforts it is continuously used as a prevalent war tactic and a tool of war. Janie L. Leatherman looks at the causes and consequences of sexual violence in armed conflicts. Her book Sexual Violence in Armed Conflict is timely. She creates a link between global political economic…

Social Movements in Global Politics

Book review

By Aliaksandr Novikau (Northern Arizona University, USA)

Social Movements in Global Politics

The twenty-first century has, so far, been characterised by a crisis of institutional politics. Nation-state governments have become less and less capable of solving long-standing, potentially catastrophic problems such as global climate change, world population growth, global inequality and the loss of local cultures. As a result, many people are dissatisfied with politicians and politics in general. According to West, author of Social Movements in Global Politics, these flaws in policy-making…

Is the EU doomed?

Book review

By Daniela Lenčéš Chalániová (Anglo-American University, Prague)

Is the EU doomed?

n recent years, Polity Press released a number of works which take issue with the current crisis of the EU and the possible futures that might follow from it. Consider, for instance, Simon Hix’s What’s Wrong with the EU & How to Fix It (2008), Jürgen Habermas’ essay collection The Crisis of the European Union: A Response (2012) and Anthony Giddens’ Turbulent and Mighty Continent: What Future for Europe? (2013).  Zielonka’s book-long essay Is the EU Doomed? fits neatly into this body of…

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By Ivan Nagornyak

Would a Summer Offensive Cost Putin Too Much?

Western sanctions against Russia were one of the main topics at the G7 Summit held in Germany on 07–08 June. The leaders there sent Putin and all of Russia’s elite a direct message: if Russia does not follow the Minsk agreements, sanctions will be maintained and intensified. Despite this, the situation in eastern Ukraine is deteriorating as Russia-backed militants continually violate the ceasefire. The last battle in Marinka claimed the lives of 28 people, including nine civilians—and losses…

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By Filippos Proedrou

What is the Turkish Stream and Why Does it Matter?

Turkish Stream, as a labyrinth of energy pipelines heading west, joined the ranks of key priorities over the past months. Previously, the rationale for setting up new pipelines to carry Russian gas to Europe was meant to cover the projected increase in gas demand over future decades. This proved to be a wild assumption and the much anticipated lurch in gas demand in Europe did not materialise—the economic justification for further pipelines is moot. But, there was another reason as well: to…

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By Lazizkhon Omilov

ISing on the Welcome Cake?

According to the Kyrgyz National Security Committee, 33 Kyrgyz nationals have been arrested in connection with having undertaken military training in Syria and fighting for Islamic extremist groups, including IS. Many are also accused of spreading jihadist ideology and planning terrorist attacks inside Kyrgyzstan. The first known cases of Kyrgyz nationals fighting for ISIS emerged in 2013. Then, the number of Central Asian extremists fighting in Syria and Iraq was fairly low. However, over the…

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Issue 9:2

By Michael Becker

Incremental Escalation as a Cost-Avoidance Instrument in International Conflicts

ABSTRACT: How do states involved in international conflict decide on the quality and quantity of force to use? Traditional understandings of military threats and force in international relations emphasise its quality as an instrument for achieving victory in a dyadic dispute. However, changes in the international system in recent decades have attached heavy penalties to overt offensive action, obliging states to disguise their use of force. One common – but understudied – way of doing so is the…

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Issue 9:2

By Iveta Hlouchová

Afghanistan and the Privatisation of Security in the Czech Republic

ABSTRACT: The Czech Republic has its own, specific, experience with the privatisation of security. The Czech private security market and available private security services has typically been limited to domestic sectors. This article explores the potential Czech private security actors have abroad and looks at some of the implications for future developments in terms of the privatisation of security in the Czech Republic. Afghanistan is analysed as an export market place that can assist in…

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Issue 9:2

By Natalia Piskunova

Pirates of Aden: A Threat beyond Somalia’s Shores?

ABSTRACT: This study focuses on trends in maritime piracy in the Aden Gulf in the period 2009-2012. My research examines core actors and their activities and the corresponding responses of local and international authorities. This work is based on analytical monitoring conducted over the same period. Keywords: maritime piracy, the Gulf of Aden, Somalia, international intervention, analytical monitoring

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Issue 9:2

By Dagmar Rychnovská

Transnational Threats and Reformulating Security in the UN

ABSTRACT: Over the past two decades, the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) has increasingly dealt with new thematic issues and, particularly, with so-called “transnational security challenges.” What implications does this trend have? Focusing on conceptual dimensions, this article analyses whether, and how, the inclusion of transnational threats on the UNSC’s agenda affects its understanding of security. This work approaches the dynamics of threat politics in the UNSC from the perspective…

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Issue 9:2

By Jan Prouza and Jakub Horák

Small but Substantial: What Drives Ghana’s Contributions to UN Peacekeeping Missions?

ABSTRACT: Ghana is among the largest military contributors to UN Peacekeeping Missions (PKM). Irrespective of Ghana’s considerably smaller population size, armed forces capabilities and state budget than other contributing states such as India and Nigeria, Ghana has been substantially involved in most of UN PKM from the very beginning of its independent statehood. This article identifies some reasons for this participation. We apply a rational choice theory and public goods approach to frame…

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Issue 9:2

By Traian Urban

Distant Shores? Evaluating Spain’s Immigration Policy

ABSTRACT: Over the past few decades, Spain has transformed from a net emigration country into a hub of international immigrants. Over the past five years, the number of foreigners living in Spain has increased four times implying a flow of some three million new people streaming into Spain at a time of high levels of unemployment and a general economic paralysis.Keywords: Spain, immigration, economic crisis, unemployment, politics

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Issue 9:2

By Jan Kovář

The Europeanisation of Czech Parties’ Election Manifestos Reviewing the 2013 Chamber of Deputies Elections

ABSTRACT: This work contributes to the debate on the Europeanisation of political parties and particularly the Europeanisation of party election manifestos. This contribution investigates the extent of programmatic Europeanisation of relevant political parties before the 2013 Chamber of Deputies elections in the Czech Republic. A content analysis is conducted, within a comparative framework and using a bi-dimensional conceptualisation, of selected relevant Czech political parties’ programmatic…

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Issue 9:2

By Ignatiev Pavlo

Unpacking Bangladesh’s 2014 Elections: A Clash of the “Warring Begums”

ABSTRACT: This work analyses events in the political life of Bangladesh after military rule. It focuses on the rise of the leaders of two influential parties – the Awami League and the Bangladesh Nationalist Party – and the reasons for their animosity towards one another. I argue that both these political forces usually abide by a “winner-takes-all” principle and they are firmly against cooperation for the sake of the country. The polarisation of the political field, combined with natural…

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Issue 9:2

By Šárka Waisová

Environmental Cooperation and Conflict Transformation

ABSTRACT: This work is concerned with the tactic of using environmental cooperation as a conflict transformation instrument. This is an optimistic approach which suggests that environmental cooperation is an independent variable that may positively influence politics due to it retaining strong peacebuilding potentials. This article shows how ideas about the relationship between environment, ecology and conflicts has evolved and changed over time and discusses seven theoretical and…

2015 - Volume 9, Issue 2