Some units of post-Soviet Eurasia have avoided or minimized ethnic conflict; others have suffered from internal ethnic strife or ethnically inspired wars with neighboring states; and still others have managed since 1991 to repress ethnic strife. Jack Snyder argues that democratization is the key variable that accounts for these divergent outcomes. But achievements and difficulties on the path from Communist rule to a new way of life are more fully explained by each society's relative "fitness." This term, derived from complexity theory, signifies a society's capacity to cope with complex challenges and opportunities. A fit society can deal constructively with ethnic as well as with other political, economic, and cultural problems. If a society fails on any of these fronts, ethnic grievances are likely to become more acute and may explode in violence. When this happens, the society's ability to cope with other issues also declines. Thus, societal fitness is both cause and effect of overall development. Variations in fitness reflect the strength of what complexity theorist call "self-organization." This quality, in turn, depends heavily upon culture. Cultures long devoted to universal literacy and to independent thinking have a far greater capacity for self-organization than those that resisted universal literacy and free thinking.
In this article, the authors use the consultative intervention model to offer a critique of institutionalized mediation. The three defining features of the consultative intervention model are that it is proactive, unity centered, and educative. Conventional mediation is shown to be insufficiently concerned with these three features and structured in a manner that is antithetical to some aspects of the consultative worldview. If concerns about worldview and unity are to be integrated into our conflict resolution practice and lexicon, the willingness to experiment extensively with new processes and to abandon negative aspects of existing modes is required.
This paper examines points of tension that can arise between civilian relief workers and military personnel in peace operations. Traditionally, interactions between the military and humanitarian workers were characterized by avoidance or antagonism. Each group held (and sometimes continues to hold) stereotypes of the other. However, for security reasons and because of limited resources, the military and Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) must work together in order to accomplish their tasks. In order to promote civil military cooperation, it is important to understand some of the difficulties that can arise in peace operations between the members of these very different communities. We will explore five possible points of tension to be found in peace operations. These points of tension are related to organizational differences in terms of organizational structure and culture, tasks and ways of accomplishing them, definitions of success and time frames, abilities to exert influence and control information, and control of resources.
This article utilizes a neo-Gramscian theoretical framework and interpretation of International Political Economy to argue that globalization as the dominant hegemonic order is generating multilevel (individual, group, and national) human insecurity especially in developing societies. The new processes, structures, discourses, and interaction networks associated with globalization produce (1) a cultural lag between the new values and deeply held traditional attitudes in many developing societies, (2) a lack of “inclusion” especially in the benefits of neoliberal economic expansion, and (3) an increasing “disorganization” of capitalism which spills over into economic, food, or health insecurity, among others. The solution would be to address issues of economic and technological exclusion if the problems of existential insecurity and human poverty are to be resolved.
Since 9/11 public attention has shifted from “globalization” to the war on terrorism. This raises the question what agendas shape the ongoing war on terrorism and how it affects contemporary globalization. This discussion opens with a brief review of current perspectives on globalization to serve as a yardstick to measure ongoing changes. The next section interprets 9/11 as the “globalization of the globalizer”. Turning to the war on terrorism I argue that it should be understood in terms of long-term objectives of the United States and involves underlying contradictions. Further sections consider US foreign policy in conjunction with macroeconomic policy and neoliberalism, and the implications of 9/11 for globalization-from-below movements. The closing section considers the dynamics shaping globalization.