Articles

E-IR’s articles offer an accessible route into some of the most interesting ideas, debates and policy issues in international politics. All articles are published under the ISSN 2053-8626. Use the search box on the right with appropriate keywords to enable you to find expert content on the exact subject that you seek.

Why We Need Critical Terrorism Studies

The study of political terrorism is one of the fastest growing areas of academic research in the English-speaking world, producing thousands of publications annually, as well as new study programmes, research projects, PhD theses, research institutes, think-tanks, conferences, seminars, and other academic activities. It was the events of 11 September 2001 that really galvanised the contemporary study of political terrorism and animated a whole new generation of scholars. However, as with any new field of research, it faces a number of problems and challenges.

Water Security in the 21st Century

The total quantity of water in the world is immense, but over 97.5 percent, is either saltwater or locked in ice caps (1.75%). The amount economically available for human use is only 0.007 percent of the total water available on earth, or about 13,500 cubic kilometres. While this seems like a massive amount, it only accounts to about 2300 cubic meters per person per year  a 37 percent drop since 1970. Both water quantity, quality, and distribution have been neglected to the point of nearing a worldwide catastrophe.

Intervention in Burma: Enough Idle Words

My search for truth in Burma began in a sleepy embassy in Vientiane, Laos, where I sat sweating on a patent leather sofa in a crumpled silk shirt and tie, pulling phony business cards from my wallet and lying through my teeth. It was two months after the monk-led anti-government uprisings of last September, and I had already been rejected a tourist visa twice in Hong Kong and Bangkok. I decided to hit the diplomatic backwaters with a different tack.

Britain in Europe: A Response to Anand Menon

I have a point of view about government and regulation which is shared by the majority of my fellow countrymen and women. There is too much government, it is too expensive and too prescriptive, and too much regulation which often achieves the opposite of what it sets out to achieve. The EU is guilty of imposing unnecessary and cumbersome rules and regulations on the UK.

India-Pakistan Relations: The Prospects for Peace

Will the twenty first century see a positive transformation of India-Pakistan relations? Over the past nine years, the question has elicited several optimistic answers. Alas, all but one of them are based on assumptions that are not only defective but downright dangerous.

Assessing the Legality of Kosovo’s Declaration of Independence

On February 17, 2008, the parliament of Kosovo declared Kosovo’s independence from Serbia. This essay considers whether the declaration of independence and the recognition by various states of that declaration can be justified under existing international law.

Will Power? Neoconservative Commentary of the Iraq Crisis

“The neoconservative way . . . is to put an enormous emphasis on the importance of will in confronting and changing the world. America is currently in as unfavorable a position as it is because, more than anything, of a failure of will . . . [I]t can overcome adverse circumstances and prevail again by the mobilization and determined exercise of will.” –Owen Harries

The UK Intelligence Community: Ineffective, Unethical and Unaccountable

The UK intelligence community continues to operate outside meaningful democratic control. Their cultures are self-perpetuating oligarchies, where mistakes are glossed over and repeated, and where questions and independent thought are discouraged. We deserve better.

The Civilian Surge: Liberal Foreign Policy, Intervention and the Internet

British foreign policy under the stewardship of David Miliband has maintained its universalist outlook but shifted its agenda from a distinctly top-down approach to a grassroots drive for what Miliband has called a ‘Civilian Surge’. This subtle shift is in part brought about by Miliband’s progressive liberal ideology but also by his interest in and support for new technology. But for all his enthusiastic rhetoric, is Miliband’s drive for a bottom-up approach to foreign policy the right one?

Shell, Nigeria and the Record Price of Oil

Although all oil companies operating in Nigeria have faced the same basic problems, Shell has acquired far and away the worst reputation, particular in the Niger Delta with minority ethnic groups. This stems from alleged exploitation of oil and gas resources and environmental pollution resulting partly from long term gas flaring. Indeed, the company’s activities have not only become central to the dysfunctional politics of the Niger Delta, but may be fuelling rising global oil prices.

Smile For the Camera: Prince Harry in Afghanistan

I have to wonder why it was so incredibly important that Prince Harry be sent to a war zone in the first place. I have nothing but respect for soldiers who face combat in the front lines of Afghanistan, Harry included. His desire to serve his country and make a difference in the world by putting himself in physical danger is admirably brave, just as it is for any other man or woman who signs up to do the job. However, Harry is not just any other man, no matter how desperately he wants to be considered this way.

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