Volume 9 No. 1
Islam and the West: Narratives of Conflict and Conflict Transformation
This article addresses one of the more vexing questions facing analysts of relations between the Islamic world and the West: How can we speak about deeply divisive cultural and political issues in ways that foster conflict transformation rather than an intensification of conflict? Using narrative analysis as an approach, we examine the most common “stories” that actors identifying with Islam and the West use to organize their thinking about conflict: a story of intercultural confrontation and a story of intercultural compatibility. After noting that both Western and Muslim narrators of these stories make a number of strikingly similar claims, we conclude by suggesting that a “new story” emphasizing intercultural complementarity can help agents of conflict transformation reframe differences and advance the cause of peaceful coexistence.
Globalization and the Environment: Moving Beyond Neoliberal Institutionalism
This article deals with the issue of the environment in international politics and makes a case that the environment as a subject matter is fundamentally different from other political issues. To this effect, the concept of eco-holistic analysis is put forward whereby environmental issues are incorporated into the analysis rather than the structural and systemic forces and constraints within which actors operate. The concept of eco-holistic analysis is based on three pillars (the historical dimension of environment-society relations, the concept of consumption, and equity) which offer new dimensions of analysis highlighting why traditional institutionalist approaches to the study of international environmental politics are lacking in offering suggestions for effective environmental improvement.
Globalization and Conflict Resolution
In this article the authors consider the interplay between conflict and globalization, arguing that the interaction between globalization and conflict is complex. While much has been written on how globalization generates or accentuates conflict little has been written on how conflict and globalization interact to produce both positive and negative results.
Constructing ‘The Anti-Globalisation Movement’
This article interrogates the claim that a transnational anti-globalisation social movement has emerged. I draw on constructivist social movement theory, globalisation studies, feminist praxis and activist websites to make two main arguments, mapping on to the two parts of the article. First, a movement has indeed emerged, albeit in a highly contested and complex form with activists, opponents and commentators constructing competing movement identities. This article is itself complicit in such a process – and seeks to further a particular construction of the movement as a site of radical-democratic politics. Second, the movement is not anti-globalisation in any straightforward sense. Focusing their opposition on globalised neoliberalism and corporate power, activists represent their movement either as anti-capitalist or as constructing alternative kinds of globalised relationships. Threading through both my arguments is a normative plea to confront the diverse relations of power involved in both globalisation and movement construction in order that globalised solidarities be truly democratic. This is to challenge hierarchical visions of how best to construct ‘the anti-globalisation movement’.
The Politics of Fear and the Collapse of The Mideast Peace Process
Using the perspective of the role of fear in identity based conflicts, this article investigates the reasons for the collapse of the peace process between Israelis and Palestinians as the process enfolded with the Declaration of Principles (from 1993) and ensuing agreements. The Oslo-process initially succeeded in taking identity aspects and enemy images seriously but failed to sustain this part of the process. Fear of what the other side might be capable of doing and the uncertainty that was the main result of the Camp David negotiations in the summer of 2000 provided a fertile ground for escalating violence. Thus, any conflict resolution process must take identity, fear, and enemy images seriously. However, also existing power asymmetries must be dealt with in negotiation processes.
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