Recent peace research reveals that the quest for peace is being enhanced by increasing tendencies to (1) combine a number of tools into more comprehensive peace strategies, (2) employ multiple peace tracks simultaneously, (3) take a more long term perspective, (4) bridge theory and practice, (5) deepen insight on conflict between ethnic groups, (6) develop strategies for sustaining peace settlements and (7) create conditions for preventing violent and disruptive conflict. These developments suggest that peace building necessarily involves an array of actors who come from many governmental departments, numerous professions and an array of disciplines. Efforts to coordinate the array of required roles, or at least to make their efforts compatible, presents an overwhelming challenge to peace researchers and peace builders. At the same time, it suggests that peace education must become an element in education in a large array of disciplines and professions.
This article critiques regime-centric approaches to the study of the effectiveness of international environmental agreements and illustrates the argument with the example of the Mediterranean Action Plan. Traditional regime theoretic approaches are grounded in what Robert Cox calls problem-solving theory, taking existing analytical frameworks as the boundaries of academic investigation. This article adopts a critical, ecocentric approach that goes beyond conventional institutional approaches and introduces the notion of environmental rather than political benefit. Such analysis demonstrates that the Mediterranean Action Plan may be a political success but that this political achievement is not complemented by environmental improvement.
This article focuses on the prevalence of the concept of identity in International Relations Theory (IRT) and inquires into its ethical effectivity for Critical International Relations Theory (CIRT). Its aim is therefore two-fold. The first section argues that traditional IRT has been based on a particular ‘image of thought’ which has helped define the problems and possibilities of international politics in a very specific manner. Using the work of Deleuze and Guattari, it attempts to problematize and politicize these traditional understandings of theory. The second section examines the use of identity as a concept by CIRT and, in light of the Deleuzian perspective developed in the first, evaluates its effectivity as a critical tool. The paper argues that the concept of identity has become central to a variety of critical approaches to IRT. It seeks to show, however, that critical uses of identity which are not accompanied by a concomitant critique of the presuppositions of our modern image of thought actually run the risk of further naturalizing identity. Considering this question through an examination of the provocative work of David Campbell and Roxanne Lynn Doty, the paper demonstrates that these critical approaches sometimes overlook the complex assemblages of desire and power that underlie identity. The article concludes by suggesting that an ethological interrogation of these complex assemblages (inspired by the work of Deleuze and Guattari) would strengthen CIRT’s project of challenging exclusive identities and nationalist imaginaries.
Discussions of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization’s (NATO) changing role and structure in post-cold war security politics often focus on the adaptive capabilities and strategies involved in the Alliance’s policies. Based on a critical theoretical perspective, this article investigates the performative and constructive role of NATO in the discursive re-presentation of security political ‘realities’. Focusing in particular on the Alliance’s ‘Mediterranean Initiative’, the article demonstrates how NATO re-articulates its Western identity by constructing a Mediterranean Other. Moreover, by analyzing the Initiative in terms of an ‘imperial encounter’, it demonstrates how NATO attempts to make its own definition of identity and difference the exclusive basis for the relationships between the West and the Mediterranean region.
As we begin the new millennium, forecasting is a growth industry as many observers
are speculating about what the future holds for the planet. One can find everything
from extreme pessimism to extreme optimism. Young people, and indeed much of
the American public, tend to have a rather cynical view of the world. Everywhere
there is a negative attitude. I think we are at a crossroads. We do have the
potential for unprecedented conflict and disaster; yet we also have the potential
for unprecedented cooperation and progress. Here is where the United Nations