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.

Africa without Europeans

Africa without Europeans

It is the very nature of ‘otherness’ in the experience of Chinese contact with Africa – the fact that it stands outside the pattern of international relations and historical memory – which forms of one of the key features of this relationship to this day. This notion of ‘difference’ allows us to see in these relations on the periphery, something deeply significant about the broader shape of international relations in the contemporary period

International NGOs in Africa: the politics of democracy without votes

International NGOs in Africa: the politics of democracy without votes

The growing presence of international NGOs (INGOs) in Africa is both a manifestation of, and a major reinforcement for, a political process which is neither democratic in the traditional sense nor authoritarian. Voting takes place, but most governments use the advantages of incumbency to ensure their regular re-election. Opposition parties with little prospect of victory have limited scope for demanding changes in governmental behaviour or policy. NGOs, in contrast, are less easily ignored.

Is Humanitarian Intervention Legal?

Is Humanitarian Intervention Legal?

Where collective security avenues are blocked, could a State, or States acting jointly, lawfully intervene militarily in another State’s territory without the permission of the Government of that State to halt or prevent it from committing atrocities against its own people? What about intervention where the territorial Government is unable or unwilling to provide basic humanitarian assistance to its people in the face of natural or human-made disaster?

Global financial crisis: disaster or opportunity?

Global financial crisis: disaster or opportunity?

The financial and economic events of the last few weeks have shocked many of us. Indeed, they have shocked us out of our complacency and made apparent the urgent need to reform the financial sector. But more than that, there is a sense that it may now be possible to seize this moment as an opportunity to go much further.

Chasing Rainbows and the Paradoxes of the War on Terror

Chasing Rainbows and the Paradoxes of the War on Terror

This essay argues that the war on terror that followed the 9/11 attacks on the United States is fundamentally misconceived and is actually achieving the opposite to what was intended. The architects of the war on terror have been chasing rainbows since 2001 as the harder they have run towards their goal, the further away it has seemed to move.

The many dimensions of ethnic conflict: South Ossetia, Georgia, Russia, and the ‘precedent’ of Kosovo

The many dimensions of ethnic conflict: South Ossetia, Georgia, Russia, and the ‘precedent’ of Kosovo

The recent events in the South Caucasus once again highlight the pervasive and destructive forces inherent in ethnic nationalism. These should not be misunderstood as simply local phenomena for they have wider ramifications and are shaped by factors well beyond their locale.

Counterterrorism: altering international norms in the twenty-first century

Counterterrorism: altering international norms in the twenty-first century

Twenty-first century counterterrorism is affecting key global norms and institutions. It forms part of a trend emerging in the international security agenda that seeks to alter existing structures, norms and institution to favour the objectives of powerful actors in the contemporary security environment.

Why doesn’t Iran back down? Iraq, Oil and Deterrence

Iran is unlikely to give in to US and Israeli threats because the political elite in Tehran have staked their reputation on the nuclear issue and the Iranian’s do not believe that either the United States or Israel has either the ability or the willingness to attack their facilities. If Iran has miscalculated then there is the potential that the Middle East may erupt into an enormously damaging international conflict that will have significant ramifications for the international economic system.

What is this thing called the decline of the West?

In the west, China’s rise and increased attention to fundamentalist Islam have caused many to perceive a global contest in the export of values. At this particular crossroads of history there seem to be several very different maps for the future. In this context, many speak of the ‘decline of the west’, but what is it exactly?

The Politics of Military Technology: War Without (Our) Blood

The conflicts being played out in Iraq and Afghanistan both pit regular armed forces of Coalition nations against irregular insurgent forces. Such conflicts have traditionally required large numbers of ground soldiers. In the twenty-first century though, technology has become more important than the number of boots on the ground because of the West’s low tolerance for casualties in its own armed forces.

Conflict in the Caucasus: Restoring Peace and Principle

Watching for signs of war with Iran, many of us probably took our eyes off other hot spots where President Bush’s imminent departure is a strategic consideration. Georgia’s Saakashvili launched his military action to regain control of South Ossetia, no doubt with the departure in mind and probably thinking America’s pro-war administration would back him. Yet his decision was unlawful and foolhardy.

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