Volume 1 Issue 2 December 2011 - the British International Studies ...

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Volume 1 Issue 2 December 2011 - the British International Studies ...

Volume One • Issue Two • December 2011InternationalStudies TodayInside this issue:WHO and global health politics - Page 3African agency and internationalism- Page 7The Death of Osama bin Laden:Has Anything Changed?Richard JacksonUniversity of AberystwythThe ‘Arab Spring’:reflections onrevolution and theroots of powerSandra HalperinRoyal HollowayThe assassination of Osama bin Ladenin Pakistan by US Special Forces onMay 2, 2011 provoked mixed reactionsaround the world. In the United States,it was greeted in many quarters withspontaneous celebrations and publicrhetoric about justice finally havingbeen seen to be done for the victimsof 9/11. In Pakistan, it was met withsome discomfort that he had lived thereunnoticed and unmolested for so long,and with a sense of genuine concernabout the potential political fall-out ofthe raid for US-Pakistan relations anddomestic stability. In many other worldcapitals, there was a sense of relief thatthe hunt for the elusive leader of al-Qaeda was finally over, but some disquietover the manner in which it had playedout and the joyous reaction it provokedin the American public. In attemptingto assess the real impact and potentiallong-term consequences of bin Laden’sdeath, two key questions are foremost:what does it mean for the future of al-Qaeda as a terrorist organisation; andwhat impact will it have on the war onterror and the broader counter-terrorismapproach of the United States?One of the real difficulties of assessingthe impact of bin Laden’s killing on thefuture of al-Qaeda lies in the contrasting,even contradictory, perspectives byexperts on exactly what al-Qaedarepresents, and therefore what kind ofsecurity threat it continues to pose. Asa recent book by Christina Hellmichdemonstrates, there is no consensus onthese questions among al-Qaeda scholarsand experts. Nevertheless, an assessmentof the various possibilities which takesinto account the divergent perspectiveson the group suggests that the killingof bin Laden means very little in realterms and will not affect al-Qaeda to anysignificant degree in the long run.First, if as some experts like PeterBergen and Fawaz Gerges argue,al-Qaeda was already a spent force,regardless of its real form or actualcapabilities, then his death will onlycontinue to hasten its increasingirrelevance and impotence. Thisviewpoint is based on the observationthat the group has failed to launch anymajor attacks for several years now,and presently appears to rely solely onIn many quarters of the US, the news was greeted with spontaneous celebrationsamateurish plots by lone self-radicaliserssuch as Abdul Farouk Abdulmutallab,the Detroit Christmas Day bomber. It isalso based on the events of the so-calledArab Spring in which al-Qaeda andgroups like it have played no role andhave been politically marginalized. Inother words, from this perspective, thedeath of bin Laden is fairly meaninglessbecause al-Qaeda itself is no longer ameaningful actor.Second, if as experts like JeffreyCozzens, Magnus Ranstorp andXavier Raufer argue, al-Qaeda is not ahierarchically-organised group but rathera diffused and amorphous functionalnetwork with numerous nodal pointsand genuine adaptability, then thedestruction of one nodal point, evenone as important as bin Laden wasperceived to be, will not greatly affect thecontinued viability and operation of thebroader network. In fact, networks likethis are designed to be able to absorbsuch losses and reproduce themselves inthe face of external pressures. Certainly,the death of bin Laden will not have anydirect impact on the al-Qaeda affiliateswhich operate independently in Yemen,Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Maghreb andelsewhere.Third, if as the sections of the USgovernment and experts like RohanGunaratna and Bruce Hoffman argue,al-Qaeda consists of a hierarchicallyorganisedinner core leadership,surrounded by a second level of loyalcadres and a wider network of supportersand links to other groups, then the deathof its leader will be simply followed bya leadership succession – as, in fact, wehave since seen with Ayman al-Zawahiritaking over as leader of the group. Itis possible that the US governmentbelieved that Osama bin Laden was suchan effective and charismatic leader thathis death would sound the death-knell ofthe group, but this seems rather unlikelyand is, in any case, contradicted by avariety of official statements, includingwarnings that bin Laden’s death didnot mean the end of the group and itcontinued to pose a security threat, andthat retaliatory attacks were possible.A fourth perspective shared by a fewexperts like Jason Burke and ChristinaHellmich views al-Qaeda as part of abroader pan-Islamist movement whichit is parasitic upon, and which it triesto inspire and lead, to greater or lessereffect. According to this viewpoint,the killing of bin Laden will haveno significant effect on the broadermovement or the local struggles itencompasses, but may add anothermartyr myth to existing narrativesContinues Page 2Many observers assume (perhapswith growing scepticism) thatprocesses set in motion byrecent events in the Middle Eastwill generate sweeping politicalchange across the Arab world.Several heads of state have beenousted (Tunisia’s Ben Ali, Egypt’sMubarak, Libya’s Gaddafi),others have agreed to step down(Yemen’s Saleh), or are strugglingto retain power (Syria’s al-Assad)or reestablish their authority(Bahrain’s Hamad bin Isa al-Khalifa). Further changes arelikely to follow. Many activistsand observers hope that thesewill, in some fundamental way,alter existing structures, allowinggreater freedom, and producinggovernments willing and able totransform conditions of life for themass of their populations.Whether these changeswill produce such outcomes issomething that has not been fullyexplored. Analysis has generallyfocused on domestic groups, andhow external sanctions or supportmight shift the balance of poweramong them. But whether shiftsin political relations will lead toa fundamental change in existingstructures depends on whethergroups with fundamentallydifferent interests than thoseof previous power-holders takecontrol and are able to utilizenational resources in ways thattransform their societies. It likelywill also depend on whether theregional and extra-regional statesinvolved (politically, diplomatically,militarily) will support such groupsor efforts. Given the close relationsand strategic arrangements thesestates have forged with, e.g. themilitary elite that has ruled Egyptsince the 1950s, and with the BenAlis, the al-Khalifas, Salehs, and(on and off) the Gaddafis andal-Assads, it seems unlikely thatthey would suddenly shift theirsupport to groups and efforts thatContinues Page 4


The Death of Osama bin LadenContinues From Page 1employed in various local struggles tomobilize grassroots activists.In effect, regardless of whichperspective comes closest to the truthof the matter, the killing of bin Laden isunlikely to have any significant impact ofthe future of al-Qaeda or its capabilitiesto launch terrorist attacks, if indeed itstill has any. Importantly, at the sametime, the operation to kill bin Ladencarried a number of obvious potentialrisks, not least to fragile US-Pakistancooperation in the war on terror andpolitical stability within Pakistan itself.It also risked sparking a new wave ofterrorist attacks against US citizensin retaliation from associated jihadistgroups, and undermining efforts toreduce anti-Americanism in parts of theMuslim world. More broadly, it riskeddamage to the international legal order,especially if other states took it as a greenlight to undertake similar operations toassassinate dissidents on foreign soil.Given this analysis, it is difficult toperceive exactly what the US hopedto gain by killing bin Laden. That is,considering the predictable outcome foral-Qaeda itself – any number of expertsand scholars could have predicted thatbin Laden’s death would have littlediscernible impact on the group or itsoperations – and the obvious and quiteserious risks it entailed, it is puzzlingto try and discern what the thinking ofthe Obama administration really wasin giving the order to kill bin Laden,particularly as opposed to the alternativeof capturing and handing him over to aninternational court.An initial possibility is that it wasundertaken simply to fulfill a perceivedpublic demand for justice. In this sense, itwas undertaken in large part for reasonsof restoring national honour and pride.One problem with this analysis is that themanner of bin Laden’s death in whichhe was shot dead and his body throwninto the seas actually circumvented thepossibility of a full accounting and a morethorough justice for the victims of 9/11. Itis undeniable that there are aspects of theattacks which remain unclear, such as al-Qaeda’s real motives and expectations,the assistance they received from othergroups or governments, the choice oftargets, and so on. Taking bin Ladeninto custody, followed by a public trial,might have allowed further informationto emerge and perhaps given the victimsgreater satisfaction, much like the trialand execution of Timothy McVeigh did.On the other hand, the manner of binLaden’s death did fulfill a certain kind ofculturally understood, populist notion ofjustice, in line perhaps with George W.Bush’s initial framing of the task in termsof an old West Most Wanted Poster.In other words, we cannot completelydiscount the cultural dimension of thedecision.A related possibility is that theoperation was authorized largely fordomestic political reasons, not least, reassertingPresident Obama’s credentialsas Commander-in-Chief. It is commonknowledge that Democrat presidentsare often perceived to be soft on issuesof national security, and there hadbeen questions raised about Obama’shandling of both Iraq and Afghanistan.This operation provided the possibilityof laying such negative perception torest. In fact, there is no doubt that thisploy worked extremely well in the shortterm, as all sides of the political spectrumpraised him for his strong leadershipand his status as Commander in Chief.However, whether it will provide thepresident with any long-term politicalcapital is extremely doubtful. Subsequentevents like the budget deficit and theglobal financial crisis appear to havealready superseded the feel-good effectsof the killing of bin Laden.A third possibility is that the killingof bin Laden would provide an openingfor a new public narrative which wouldallow the Obama administration tobegin to disentangle itself from thevarious quagmires of the war on terror,particularly the Vietnamesque disastercurrently unfolding in Afghanistan. Inother words, it may have been thoughtthat the death of bin Laden would allowthe administration to claim that not onlyhad justice finally been done and one ofAmerica’s primary goals in going intoAfghanistan been achieved, but that al-Qaeda was now so weakened that it nolonger posed the kind of threat whichrequired a five-front global war on terror.However, since the killing of bin laden,we have not seen any kind of decisiveintervention from the administrationwhich might alter the overall narrativeof the war on terror and allow fornew initiatives. Instead, we have seena continuation of earlier policies andits supporting rhetoric, including theintensification of drone attacks againstinsurgents in Afghanistan and Pakistan.In the end, it is difficult to draw anyother conclusion other than that thekilling of bin Laden has so far had, andwill continue to have, little discernibleimpact on the war on terror or on UScounter-terrorism policy more broadly.It has turned out to be the proverbialnon-event or simulacrum that is quicklyovertaken by other events like the Osloterrorist attacks, the global economiccrisis and the UK riots.However, more than simply a nonevent,I believe it may have also beena classic missed opportunity. Like the9/11 attacks and other spectacularevents before it, the death of bin Ladenengendered a collective atmosphere– a discursive opening in the dominantparadigm – within which possibilitiesfor significant policy change becameemergent, even if briefly. In other words,the collective sense of relief of finallydealing with bin Laden could have beenthe opportunity for President Obamato end a series of counter-terrorismmeasures and policies that have donelittle but cause human rights abusesand spirals of violence and insecurityWhy risk sparking retaliatory attacks?around the world. It could also haveprovided an opportunity to scale backmilitary involvement overseas, reignin military spending, end support foroppressive regimes, build support forinternational criminal law, and startto address more pressing and seriousissues than terrorism, such as globalrecession, climate change, the Palestine-Israel conflict, famine in Africa, politicaltransition in the Middle East and NorthAfrica, and other pressing issues. Suchmeasures could have been justifiedand ‘sold’ to the American public ina number of different ways, includingon the grounds that bin Laden’s deathsignaled the end of one stage of the fightagainst terrorism and the beginning ofanother, for example.Apart from starting to divert theastronomical financial costs of thepast decade of war on terror, binLaden’s death could also have been theopportunity for sustained and honestreflection on the deeper normative costsof the operation. The fact is that theglobal war on terror was initially launchedin part to bring him to justice, and sincethen, a much greater number of civilianlives have been lost than were lost on9/11 itself. Moreover, the fighting hasspread over five fronts: Iraq, Afghanistan,Pakistan, Yemen, and Somalia. Not onlywas Iraq linked to al-Qaeda and theattacks and then invaded and occupiedat the cost of over a hundred thousandlives, but drone attacks on the Afghan-Pakistan border region where bin Ladenwas believed to have been hiding formany years, continue to kill hundreds ofcivilians every year, on top of the tens ofthousands of civilians killed in the initialinvasion and occupation. These lives haveto be counted as part of the human costof finally bringing bin Laden to justice. Itis also known that hundreds of detaineeshave been rendered and/or tortured andmistreated in the pursuit of intelligenceabout bin Laden’s whereabouts. Theso-called Tipton Three, for example,were tortured into confessing that theyhad met with bin Laden at the same timethat CCTV footage proved that they wereworking in Tipton. For some, the ‘justice’for bin Laden has come at the cost ofmass injustice for others.Related to this, the nature of theoperation has had real normative costsfor the rule of law and the upholdingof established norms in internationalrelations. In the first place, assassinationsof this kind are controversial anddangerous, particularly as the UnitedStates is viewed as an opinion leaderin international affairs. If the world’sremaining superpower and selfappointedguardian of universal valuescan mount operations to kill its dissidentson foreign soil without a trial, not tomention, use torture extensively to tryand get information on the whereaboutsof dissidents, this may encourage othernations to follow suit with potentiallydisastrous consequences. At the veryleast, the operation itself was a missedopportunity to strengthen the place ofinternational criminal law in internationalcounter-terrorism cooperation, andperhaps make it more difficult forterrorists to operate internationallyin future by strengthening universaljurisdiction.Finally, the operation provided amissed opportunity to reflect on theeffectiveness of fighting a ‘war’ onterrorism and the use of force-basedcounter-terrorism approaches morebroadly. Academic research overmany decades clearly demonstrates thefutility and counter-productive nature ofattempting to fight the use of terrorismwith equal or greater violence, as studieson Israeli targeted killing demonstrate.The fact is that terrorism is a tacticemployed by groups in conflict; unlessthe roots of the conflict are addressedin a multi-dimensional programme ofpolitical reform, social justice, dialogue,community policing, and the like, the useof force will most often only entrencha cycle of violence – as the past tenyears of the war on terror have clearlydemonstrated. The real pity of the killingof Osama bin Laden is that it has not leadto any deep or sustained reflection on thepart of policymakers as to what Westerncounter-terrorism has really achieved,and where it needs to go from here.We can only hope that this year’s tenthanniversary of 9/11 may begin to do so insome small measure.Richard Jackson blogs regularly aboutterrorism, war and the war on terror at:http://richardjacksonterrorismblog.wordpress.com/.2


WHO and the Challengeof Global Health PoliticsJeremy YoudeUniversity of Minnesota DeluthMargaret Chan does not have an easyjob. Director-General of the WorldHealth Organization (WHO), Chanleads the organization at a time when itsvery role in global health governance iscoming into question, when new issuesare emerging on the agenda, when donorfunding for global health is stagnating ordeclining, and when a host of new actorsplay an increasingly large role in globalhealth governance outside WHO’soversight. The challenges facing Chanand WHO in the realm of global healthgovernance speak to many of the mostpressing issues in international relationstoday, such as the role of non-stateactors in global governance, the effectsof decreasing budgets, and coordinationamong an increasingly diverse range ofissues.Global health governance and theWorld Health Organization are notsynonymous, but WHO’s challengesillustrate many of the key issues inglobal health politics today. With theconclusion of its annual World HealthAssembly (WHA) in May 2011, Chan’sjob became even more difficult andglobal health governance became evenmore complicated.One of the big questions facingWHO, and global health governance ingeneral, is how to make the organizationrelevant in today’s world. In December2010, a former WHO assistant directorgeneralprovocatively asked whether hisold employer was “becoming irrelevant”and called it “outmoded, underfunded,and overly politicized.” During WHA,many countries levied similar complaints.Some member-states described WHOas too bureaucratic, out-of-date, andtimid to effect significant change. Insteadof pursuing its own agenda, countries likeThailand and Brazil allege, WHO is toobeholden to donor states and carryingout their pet projects—regardless oftheir appropriateness. Instead of beingat the vanguard of global health, thesecriticisms paint WHO as too reactiveand too hamstrung by unnecessaryregulations and the need to appeasedonors. Unfortunately, these criticismshave too rarely come with thoughtfulanalyses of how WHO got into thissituation in the first place or realisticplans to reform it.Despite questions about WHO’srole in global health governance,the range of issues under its purviewcontinues to increase. The internationalcommunity faces challenges from bothnew infectious diseases (like HIV andSARS) and re-emergent problems (liketuberculosis and malaria). Campaigns toeradicate measles and polio have takenfar longer than predicted because of bothmicrobial evolution and opposition towidespread vaccination campaigns. OnChallenges face WHO and Chantop of these issues, non-communicablediseases like cancer and heart disease,which kill the majority of people in bothdeveloped and developing countries,are increasingly prominent. Indeed,the United Nations General Assemblyis convening its first-ever High LevelMeeting on Non-CommunicableDiseases in September 2011. This everexpandingagenda stretches WHO’sexpertise exactly when that very expertiseis coming under question.Further complicating its ability toaddress these issues and take a leadingrole in global health governance, WHOfaces severe budgetary constraints. Theinternational community expects WHOto do more and more, but the resourcesavailable to it have not kept pace. WHOended 2010 US$300 million in the red,and its future does not look better. AtWHA, WHO slashed its budget byUS$1 billion and cut 300 jobs. In herspeech to WHA, Chan described the cutsas “the start of a new and enduring era ofeconomic austerity.” WHO’s biennialbudget increasingly relies on voluntarycontributions from donors—and theseextrabudgetary funds are generallyearmarked for specific programs. Thismeans that WHO has more money inits coffers, but less flexibility over howto spend that money and respond toemergency situations.Finally, WHO is no longer theonly relevant actor in global healthgovernance. Other United Nationsagencies like UNICEF and UNDP havetaken an increasingly important rolein addressing global health concerns.New public-private partnerships likethe Global Fund to Fight AIDS,Tuberculosis, and Malaria and the GlobalAlliance for Vaccines and Immunizationbring together state and private fundingsources and operate outside WHO’sofficial purview. Nongovernmentalorganizations like Doctors WithoutBorders and Partners in Health providehealth services and advise governments.Private organizations like the Bill andMelinda Gates Foundation have becomemajor funders of global health initiativesand have the ability to disperse largeamounts of money in a short period oftime. Since 1994, the Gates Foundationhas given more than US$14 billion toglobal health programs. While its annualglobal health outlays are less than WHO’syearly budget, the Gates Foundation’smassive wealth and prominent staturehave made it a leading element in globalhealth governance. While WHO hasentered into partnership with many ofthese new organizations, its unique rolewithin the global health governancematrix has become less clear and somewonder whether these partnershipswill further reduce WHO’s ability toengage in autonomous action. Brazil’sWHA delegation asked what WHO’s“fundamental multilateral identity” is inthis new era, and that question remainshotly debated.Margaret Chan’s job is unlikely to getany easier in the near future. With globalhealth’s ascendance into the realm of high(or, at least, higher) politics, global healthgovernance itself has come under greaterscrutiny and raised more questionsabout the role of health in internationalpolitics. The issues facing global healthgovernance, though, run through muchof contemporary international relationsand global governance. With new actorsemerging, budgets becoming increasinglysqueezed, and questions emerging aboutthe relevance of organizations createdat the beginning of the Cold War foraddressing the challenges of the 21stCentury, global health governancereflects the larger questions of politicalorganization, management, andleadership in contemporary internationalrelations.The BISA Global Health working groupwas set up in 2011 as a means of bringingtogether scholars working on the politicsof global health. The purpose of the groupis to promote research in this field withinmainstream IR and to provide a forumfor discussion as to how IR can betterengage with global health in questioningits underlying processes, assumptions,actors and power structures. The workinggroup held its inaugural conference GlobalHealth in Crisis: resurgence, neglect oropportunity? at the University of Sussexin June 2011. For further informationabout the working group please visitthe website www.bisaglobalhealth.org orcontact Stefan Elbe s.elbe@sussex.ac.ukor Sophie Harman sophie.harman@city.ac.ukGendering USAID:the internationalpolitical economyof reproductivehealth-careLaura J. ShepherdUniversity of New South WalesOn Thursday 21 July 2011, theUS House of RepresentativesCommittee on Foreign Affairsvoted to overturn the 2009Presidential memorandum that,in turn, repealed a ban on federalfunding flowing to internationalfamily planning institutions thatoffer, among other services, adviceand counselling on abortion. Therelevant section of legislationreads:"None of the funds authorized tobe appropriated by this Act or anyamendment made by this Act maybe made available to any foreignnongovernmental organization thatpromotes or performs abortion,except in cases of rape or incest orwhen the life of the mother wouldbe endangered if the fetus werecarried to term."This policy, widely known as the‘Global Gag Rule’, was introducedunder the Reagan administrationin 1984 and has been repealed andreinstated several times since firstapproval: rescinded by Clinton;reinstated by Bush; knocked backby Obama on his third day inoffice; and now up for discussionagain, in its strongest form yet.According to CongressmanHoward Berman: ‘The languagein the bill not only bars familyplanning assistance to local healthcare providers in poor countries,it bars all assistance to suchorganizations – including HIV/AIDS funding, water and sanitation,child survival, and education’ evenif those organisations use their ownresources to provide informationabout the full range of reproductiveoptions available to women.Under the most recent Bushadministration the gag ruleeffectively curtailed the provisionof reproductive health care in56 countries and ‘shipmentsof U.S.-donated condoms andcontraceptives completely ceasedto 16 developing countries,primarily in Africa. Leading familyplanning agencies in another 16countries—mostly in Africa—havelost access to much-needed U.S.condoms and contraceptives as aresult of their refusal to accept thegag rule restrictions.’In an international climateof reproductive health care thatstill sees approximately onethousand women per day die fromContinues Page 43


The ‘Arab Spring’: reflections onrevolution and the roots of powerContinues From Page 1favour fundamentally different interestsfrom those upon which existing relationswere forged.In her influential analysis ofrevolutionary change, Theda Skocpol(1979) argues that external factors bringabout revolutionary transformation bychanging the balance of power amongdomestic political and social groups andtheir relationship to state institutions.This sequence of events is at the centreof her account of the French Revolution,the breakdown of the ancien regimeand the flight of French elites. But thisleaves a crucial part of the story untold:the restoration of the French regime(though with a somewhat different setof players) by the same internationalforces that Skocpol says contributed toits breakdown. The actual story, then,is one in which existing structures areable to survive regime change (thoughwith different personnel), not necessarilybecause of their durability and resistanceto change, but because they are rootedin a social field that extends beyond theboundaries of the state.While studies often allude to atransnational social field and even invokeit to explain historical and contemporaryevents, they generally do notconceptualise it in terms of relations andstructures that have had a long history anda continuous impact on world politics.Studies of transnational actors andcontemporary globalisation are typical inthis regard: they tend to focus on statesor processes originating within them,and on phenomena that are relativelyrecent, transient, or secondary, ratherthan on the older, more fundamentaland durable social field within whichstates emerged. This field developedas, over centuries, flows of technology,institutions, and cultural ideas and valuesspread ‘horizontally’ among elites indifferent parts of the world (rather than‘vertically’ from upper to lower classesor from more advanced to less-advancedcountries). Over time, and as the worldbecame more interconnected, thesurvival of elites (who are, by definition,few) increasingly came to depend onforging ties of solidarity and identitywith elites based in other countriesand on finding collective solutions totheir common vulnerability. Today,they might be seen as constituting, notseparate-but-similar classes, but a singleinterdependent supra-local elite (thoughhaving within it shifting hierarchies ofpower) with broadly similar interests,capabilities, and policies. What theseinterests, capabilities, and policies areat any point in time are likely to be atleast as determinative of local outcomesas shifts in local power balances or otherfactors specific to any given state.Let’s consider, in this light, the ArabMiddle East.States in the Middle East, like stateseverywhere, emerged from a labyrinth oftransnational political, military, financial,and commercial relations and interests.Though frequently characterised as‘colonial constructs’, they are no moreso than are the states of Europe: as inEurope, some have existed roughlywithin the same borders for a millenniumor more (Egypt, Iran; and, in Europe,Andorra, San Marino, Portugal); somewere formed through local militaryconquests (Saudi Arabia; and, in Europe,e.g., Italy), others through deal-makingamong elites (the central fertile crescentarea of the Middle East; and, in Europe,e.g. Belgium, Baltic and Balkan states,Czschoslovakia, Albania).Like all elites, those in the MiddleEast are connected to elites in otherparts of the world through manyconcrete interests as well as by similarstandards and styles of living and culturalaffinities. Local wealth-owners formedpartnerships with elites in other regionsduring the nineteenth and early twentiethcenturies, gained access to new sourcesand means of producing wealth, andgrew richer and more powerful. Withthe help of other elites, they and theirdescendents survived the transition fromOttoman Empire to successor states,and continued to accumulate wealth andpower throughout the ensuing ninetyyears. Today, they remain in control ofimmense reources, and either controlthe apparatus of the state directly or haveaccess to political leaders and can tradesupport, or withdrawal of opposition, forconcessions from them. Consequently,despite coups, revolutions and otherpolitical changes, social and economicstructures throughout the region haveremained largely the same.Consider the most notable instance of‘revolution’ in the contemporary ArabMiddle East: the Egyptian ‘revolution’ of1952. The Free officers who overthrewthe Egyptian monarchy, far fromopposing existing structures, provided amore effective means of defending them.Despite a rhetoric of social revolutionthey moved immediately to repress allpolitical and trade-union organizationsand suppress communist and otherleftist elements in Egypt. As for externalactors, the British occupation army wasnot ordered to intervene on behalf of theKing; and the US government, which hadalready given the Free Officers assuranceit would not intervene against them(Ismail and Al-Sa’id 1990: 72), helpedthe new regime consolidate its power.Over the subsequent fifty years, the basicstructures of Egyptian society remainedlargely intact. The new regime, like theold one, continued to build up exportindustries within restricted foreignorientedenclaves, enjoyed ‘Western’standards and styles of living, andpurchased massive amounts of weaponsto police their populations and preventchanges to their largely traditional andnon-industrial economies and societies.While it has become common torefer to elites and ruling groups in theMiddle East as Western ‘clients’, and tocharacterise their policies as advancing‘Western’ interests, this is a profoundlyinaccurate and orientalist notion. Elitesin the Middle East were in previouscenturies, and remain today, among thevery wealthiest and most powerful inthe world; and if their policies advanceinterests other than their own, it isthose of a transnational elite to whichthey themselves belong. Any accountof the likely outcome of recent eventswill need to take this social terrain intoaccount, and consider if, and how andwhy, its interests have come to favourrevolutionary change.Gendering USAID: the international politicaleconomy of reproductive health-careContinues From Page 3preventable causes related to pregnancyand childbirth, according to WorldHealth Organisation statistics, unsafeabortions are widely recognized as aleading cause of maternal deaths.A report produced in 2003 by theCentre for Reproductive Rights, Breakingthe Silence, chronicles the harms doneto populations in the majority world asa result of this policy. WHO researchfeatured in the report notes that the ratioof deaths resulting from unsafe abortionsin ‘less developed regions’ versus ‘moredeveloped regions is approximately155:1, while the percentage of maternaldeaths due to unsafe abortions remainsstable at 13% across the world.Feminist International Relationsscholarship seeks to understand the waysin which gender organizes internationalpolitical life, to investigate and illuminatehow ideas about gender and genderedideals are imbricated in the processesand practices of international relations.The gag rule inscribes conservativeinternational policy on the bodiesof women, overwhelmingly affectingwomen in the most deprived areas of themajority world.So what are the gendered idealsand ideas about gender that informthe gag rule? And why is this tabledfor discussion again, at this historicaljuncture? Primarily, the gag ruleperpetuates a notion that a woman’s bodyis not her own, that her subjectivity – andher agency – is limited by the fact that shecannot do as she pleases with her flesh.This has long been the case, of course.The gag rule also speaks of an inherentethnocentrism in international healthpolicy, the reinforcement of the idea thatconservative views from a vocal politicalminority in the United States of Americashould be central to considerations aboutreproductive health care half a worldaway, in a manner reminiscent of theimposition of social norms and practicesduring the colonial era.As to the question of why now, thisis a little more complicated. The billpassed on 21 July to which the gag rulewas attached is an appropriations bill,‘To authorize appropriations for theDepartment of State for fiscal year 2012,and for other purposes.’ It is basicallylegislation that allows the US governmentto spend money, and as everyone in theminority world is aware, this is not a goodtime to be talking about spending money.‘We’ are in ‘financial crisis’ and the USAin particular, where the national debttops $14 trillion, the government recentlycame within a whisker of defaulting on itsloans and the national credit rating wasdowngraded from AAA to AA+, shouldbe frugal.The re-institution of the global gag rulehas been smuggled back on to the USpolitical agenda at a particular politicaland economic juncture. Chair of theForeign Affairs Committee Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, who introduced the bill fordiscussion, made this linkage explicitlyclear in interviews following the debate:‘in light of our fiscal situation, theInternational Affairs budget should alsobe subject to selective freezes or slowerrates of spending in order to assist in thebattle for our nation’s economic future.’It is well documented that economicadjustment policies (‘cultural changes’,if you will) adversely affect poorand marginalized communities indisproportionate numbers. By attachingthe global gag rule to a budget aimedat implementing austerity in USAIDactivities and US foreign affairs morebroadly, those in support of the legislationcreate legitimacy by association that hasprofoundly deleterious consequencesfor millions across the world.4


news2012 Joint International BISA-ISA conferenceEdinburgh 20th to 22nd June 2012‘Diversity in the Discipline: Tension orOpportunity in Responding to GlobalChallenges’Joint programme chairs are ProfessorColin McInnes, Aberystwyth University(BISA) and Professor Karen Rasler,Indiana University (ISA)The global financial crisis, continuedconcerns over terrorism, the projectionof Western power into Iraq andAfghanistan, the growing significanceof China and the emergence of theG20 states as major players, andpolitical revolution in the Middle East,are amongst the challenges shapingcontemporary international relations.Power is changing. Alliances are beingreconfigured, and institutions areevolving. Security challenges are beingarticulated in a variety of areas includingthrough technological change, health,natural disasters, and food scarcity.In addressing these issues,International Studies is characterised bydiversity. This includes differences inhow global challenges are understood.Divergent methodological approachesshape the ways in which the substanceof these global challenges is analysed.In turn, competing understandings leadto academics offering distinct responsesto pressing issues in contemporary globalpolitics.Protecting Human Rights:Duties and Responsibilities ofStates and Non-State ActorsUniversity of Glasgow, 18-19 June2012The Steering Committee of theAmerican Political Science Association(APSA) Human Rights Section, theCouncil of the International PoliticalScience Association (IPSA) HumanRights Research Committee, and theExecutive Council of the InternationalStudies Association (ISA) Human RightsSection announce their second jointinternational conference on the themeEditorial TeamDr Adam QuinnLecturer in InternationalStudiesUniversity of Birminghama.j.quinn@bham.ac.ukDr Oz HassanResearch FellowUniversity of Warwicko.a.hassan@warwick.ac.ukDr Nicholas KitchenFellowIDEASLondon School of Economicsn.j.kitchen@lse.ac.uk“Protecting Human Rights: Duties andResponsibilities of States and Non-State Actors” to take place on 18-19June 2012 at the University of Glasgowin Glasgow, Scotland, hosted by theGlasgow Human Rights Network. Thisconference is timed to coincide with thejoint International Studies Association-British International Studies Associationconference to be held immediately afterin Edinburgh (20-22 June).The conference will examine thefollowing questions and topics, amongothers:•What is the nature of human rightsresponsibilities?•Have these responsibilities translatedinto appropriate action?•How do we define such appropriateaction, and who holds theseresponsibilities?•How does the international communityaddress conflicting responsibilities?•What types of human rightsresponsibilities do non-state actors have?•What is the relationship between rights,duties and responsibilities?•Dealing with past wrongs and failedresponsibilitiesThe conference format will be amixture of small panels (no more than3 papers) with plenary keynote sessions.We hope that small panels will facilitatediscussion and interchange among theparticipants, and the overall conferenceformat will contribute to an intimate andrelaxed two days. Confirmed keynotespeakers to date include:Edward Luck, Special Adviser to the UNSecretary-General on the Responsibilityto ProtectDavid Mepham, UK Director, HumanRights WatchAlan Miller, Chair, Scottish Human RightsCommissionHenry Shue, Professor of Politics andInternational Relations, University ofOxfordMore information can be found atwww.gla.ac.uk/research/az/glasgowhumanrightsnetwork/ghrnconferencejune2012/BISA schools outreachprogrammeBISA is undertaking several strategiesto promote International Studies inschools and colleges throughout the UKas a means of generating more interestin studying the subject at Universitylevel. These strategies currently focus onoutreach activities through Universities,specialist talks in schools, a guide towhere you can study InternationalStudies on our website, teacher supportand a student essay competition. Acore part of this strategy is workingwith members and their Universities topromote International Studies in existingoutreach activities such as student tasterdays. To make this easier and less of astrain on members’ time Sophie Harmanhas put together a set of introductorypresentations on what is internationalpolitics and group activities such asbreak-out sessions on poverty andinequality that members are welcome touse and adapt. Please visit the ‘Schools/Colleges’ tab of the BISA website forfurther details, http://www.bisa.ac.uk/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=214&Itemid=147PublicationTerrorism: A Critical Introduction isthe first textbook on terrorism whichopenly adopts the perspective of criticalterrorism studies (CTS). Written inan accessible style and with a range ofhelpful pedagogical tools, it is uniqueamong terrorism textbooks and is, itsauthors believe, a major step forward inteaching about terrorism.BISA Annual ConferenceThe annual BISA conference took place27-29 April in Manchester, the first timethe event has been held in the spring,moved from its previous December slot.It was also hosted in hotel conferencefacilities rather than a university forthe first time. The keynote address,‘Understanding the 19th Century inInternational Relations’, was deliveredby Prof. Barry Buzan of the LondonSchool of Economics. Attendance at theconference was up on the previous year’sevent, and the new timing and venuewere widely considered a success.BISA US Foreign Policy WorkingGroup Annual conferenceThe USFP working group held itsannual conference at the RothermereAmerican Institute, University of Oxfordon Sep 22-23 2011, with a the keynoteaddress delivered by Dr ChristopherPreble, Vice President for Defenceand Foreign Policy Studies at the CatoInstitute, who addressed the question ‘Isthe United States in Decline, and ShouldWe Care?’. The event was attendedby scholars from universities aroundBritain and the United States, as well asrepresentatives from Chatham House,the Foreign Office and the US Embassy,and supported by funds from BISA,the US Embassy and the RothermereInstitute, which allowed for elevenfully-funded places for graduate studentsdelivering papers.CurrentBISA OfficersChairProf. Inderjeet ParmarUniversity of Manchesterinderjeet.parmar@manchester.ac.ukVice ChairProf. Theo FarrellKings College Londontheo.farrell@gmail.comHon TreasurerDr Hugh DyerUniversity of Leedsh.c.dyer@leeds.ac.ukHon SecretaryProf. Richard JacksonAberystwyth Universityrsj@aber.ac.ukChief Executive OfficerGail Birkettgpb@aber.ac.ukTrusteesDr Lee MarsdenUniversity of East Anglial.marsden@uea.ac.ukDr George LawsonLondon School of Economicsg.lawson@lse.ac.ukDr Adam QuinnUniversity of Birminghama.j.quinn@bham.ac.ukProf. Jason RalphUniversity of Leedsj.g.ralph@leeds.ac.ukDr Ruth BlakeleyUniversity of KentR.J.Blakeley@kent.ac.ukProf. Marie Breen SmythUniversity of SurreyDr Sophie HarmanCity Universitysophie.harman@city.ac.ukDr Bela AroraUniversity of Wales, Newportbela.arora@newport.ac.ukStudent RepresentativeJames MalcolmUniversity of Warwickj.a.malcolm@warwick.ac.ukPast ChairsProf. A Buchan 1974-1975Prof. P Reynolds 1976(Acting Chair)Prof. D Wightman 1977-1979Prof. A James 1980-1983Prof. P Nailor 1984-1985Prof. J Spence 1986-1987Prof. B Buzan 1988-1990Prof. J Groom 1991-1992Prof. T Taylor 1993-1994Prof. K Booth 1995-1996Prof. C Brown 1997-1998Prof. C Hill 1999-2000Prof. R Little 2001-2002Prof. P Rogers 2003-2004Prof. C Kennedy-Pipe2005-2006Prof. C McInnes 2007-2008Prof. S Croft 2009-2010(Current President)5


Building PyramidsPost Conflict Reconstruction in LibyaJeff BridouxAberystwyth UniversityIt is fair to say that the last decade constitutedsome sort of golden age for the analysis ofpost-conflict reconstruction. In the wake ofdeclaring the War on Terror, the United Statesand its allies embarked on comprehensive ongoingreconstruction projects in Afghanistanand Iraq after having ousted the Taliban andthe Ba’ath regimes. Ten years later, the ArabSpring revolutions caused a home-grown andhome-led fall of autocratic regimes in Egypt,Tunisia and very recently, Libya. Yemen,Bahrain and Syria are still in the midst ofpro-democratic, or at least anti-authoritarian,revolts that the regimes in place might findhard to contain on the medium to long-term.It seems that conflict and peace studies will notrun out of case studies any time soon.I recently argued somewhere else thatpost-conflict reconstruction in Libya will notnecessarily resemble the Iraqi quagmire, anopinion, which a few months ago, was notshared by many. Five months later, I stickto my guns. While it will not be a smoothride, I remain convinced that post-conflictreconstruction in Libya will result in themaking of a peaceful, pluralist, and democraticcountry. To drive my point home, it is usefulto conceptualise post-conflict reconstructionas made of four interacting fields: security,the state, civil society and the economy.Consistency of policies in these four fields iscritical for the whole project to progress. Auseful way to illuminate what is meant here isto refer to Susan Strange’s concept of structuralpower: Power consists of four interrelatedstructures – security, production, finance andknowledge, four faces of a pyramid supportingeach other (Strange 1987: 565, 1988: 13 – 4).Similarly, post-conflict reconstruction can beconceptualised as a pyramid. Security, theState, the economy and civil society constitutethe pyramid’s four faces, supporting each other.It is only complete when its summit is put inplace, to solidify the whole in its unity. Finally,pyramid must rest on solid foundations, whichare the successful negotiation of potentiallyharmful preconditions faced by those engagedin post-conflict reconstruction.PreconditionsIn Libya, those initial conditions thatconstitute the basis on which reconstructionpolicies are designed and implementedindicate that post-conflict reconstruction willbenefit from a rather comprehensive support.Firstly, Libya enjoys a high degree ofethnic and religious homogeneity. TheLibyan population is 97 percent Arab andBerber, and 97 percent Sunni, and it seemsthat calls for national reconciliation are beingheard. However, there are four potentialcleavages that could form and drive a wedgebetween Libyans: a pro-anti Gaddafi cleavage,tribalism, Islamism and the fragmented natureof the anti-Gaddafi forces. Secondly, Libyashould benefit from most of its neighbours’‘abstinence’ in mingling in her affairs. Tunisiaand Egypt are busy with their own transitionand hopefully; the new regimes will bereceptive to the future Libyan liberalization.Authoritarian Algeria is probably the mostwary of Libya’s neighbours and relationshave been strained amidst Libyan accusationof Algerian support to Gaddafi’s forces andfor sheltering his family members. DespiteAlgeria’s recognition of Libya’s NationalTransitional Council (NTC), it remains to beseen how an entrenched authoritarian regimewill deal with a liberalizing Libya next door.The one development that could bring them6together is the growing influence, and recentlydocumented activities, of Al-Qaeda in theIslamic Maghreb (AQIM), opposed both toAlgiers’ crackdown on Islamists and to Libya’stransformation into a pluralist democracy.According to Niger’s officials, AQIM has seizedsome of Gaddafi’s arsenal, which threatens toturn the Sahel region into a ‘powder keg’(France 24 2011). Both Algeria and Libya havea common enemy here. Thirdly, national andinternational political legitimacy is key to thesuccess of the NTC in running the transitionperiod. Nationally, the NTC’s legitimacyis unquestioned at the moment. Providingsecurity and stability and restoring essentialservices will be essential to start with. Clearcommunication and justification of futuredecisions to all parties involved in the politicalreconstruction of the country is essential andit seems that the NTC is doing well on bothaccounts. International legitimacy is also in theprocess of being acquired by the NTC, witha growing number of countries recognizingthe Council as the legitimate voice of Libya.Moreover, the NTC’s decision to requestthe United Nations’ support for several postconflicttasks including elections, transitionaljustice and national reconciliation (UN 2011)enhances international legitimacy. This, inturn, will limit critiques of Western powers’interventionism.However, even if preconditions to theliberalization of Libya seem favourable, thefinal outcome of the transition period stillrelies on efficient policy-making in the fourpost-conflict reconstruction fields identifiedhere above.Security and StabilityWith so many civilians in arms whopledge their allegiance to a multitude of rivalfactions within the rebel movement, securityand stability is the main priority faced bythe NTC. A Supreme Security Committeerepresenting several rebel militias (but notall), the police, Interior Ministry officials andarmy officers, has been formed to deal withthe peaceful integration of militias into thefuture security (army and police) forces ofthe new Libya (Nordland 2011). A trackingsystem of individual weapons delivered to, oralready in possession of, rebels is now in place.Any fighter without a weapon registration cardcan see his weapons seized. It is interestingto note that, contrary to the Iraq case, Libyadid not witness looting and rioting followingthe regime’s fall. Local security was quicklyorganized by rebels supported by thosepolicemen who returned to work. It is alsointeresting to note that Libyan citizens quicklyorganized themselves to run and protect theirneigbourhoods. Shops, banks, museums, andministries are open and running. In Tripoli,local councils have been designated andtheir representatives link with the municipalcouncil to voice their needs and concerns,then relayed to the NTC. However, securityand stability in Libya will depend essentiallyon how the NTC deals with four main issues:how to deal with the supporters of Gaddafi’sregime, potential tribal tensions, potentialcalls for an Islamic state, and the fragmentednature of the rebel movement. Regarding thepossibility of revenge and retribution againstGaddafi loyalists, the NTC, acknowledgedas the legitimate voice of Libya by the UN,West in general and a sizeable portion ofthe international community has made theprevention of violent reprisals against loyalistsan immediate priority. The NGOs AmnestyInternational and Human Rights Watch haverecently documented reprisal killings, both by ahard core of Gaddafi supporters and by rebelswho target especially black Gaddafi soldiersor mercenaries. So far, it seems that theseNegotiations between the rebel factions within the NTC are ongoingreprisal killings are restricted to non-civilians,which while unacceptable, limit the impact theyhave on national reconciliation. The challengefor the NTC is to contain those reprisals andstart a process of replacing armed rebels withpolice forces to enforce security. The secondpotential cleavage resides in the risk of seeingindividuals fall back on their tribal identity. Itis indeed common to seek security in thosefamily, clan and tribal ties in a post-conflictsituation. However, it seems that the NTCand Civil Society Organisations (CSO) arealready at work to relocate public dialogue oncivil affairs and national unity rather than ontribal divides. The third source of discord is theimportance given to Islam in the future politicallandscape. Tensions between secular andIslamist forces are inevitable. It will take a lot ofbargaining and political savoir-faire on behalfof Libyan political actors to strike a balancethat will accommodate all on the question ofthe political importance of Islam. So far, thedialogue remains peaceful and it seems that thefuture constitution will seek to accommodateall religious and non-religious parties. Indeed,the NTC’s ‘Draft Constitutional Charter forthe Transitional Stage’ specifies that ‘Islamis the religion of the state and the principalsource of legislation is Islamic Jurisprudence(Sharia)’, and that the State shall guaranteefreedom of religion (NTC 2011). NTC’sleader, Mustafa Abdul Jalil, declared recentlythat the Libyan state will be based on amoderate Islam (BBC 2011). Finally, the samepolitical savoir-faire will be tested again in theimmediate aftermath of Gaddafi’s fall when theNTC will need to stitch together the patchworkof forces constituting the rebel faction: theBenghazi-based middle-class ‘originals’, the‘centrists’ who fought hard battles in theirsurrounded cities, the ‘mountain tribes’ in theWest, returning political exiles, and Islamistfighters vowing to turn Libya into an Islamicstate. This is identified as the main challengeto the NTC, and many doubt that the councilhas the expertise for it. Recent NTC calls forUN support to deal with these issues shouldallow Libya to benefit from the UN extensivepeacemaking and peacekeeping know-how.National Unity as Condition to PoliticalDiversityAs main power broker, the NTC can relyon international support from the UN andWestern allies that militarily supported therebellion to deal with the main threat to apeaceful transition: political fragmentation.It is interesting to note that, in accordancewith the traditional European approach todemocratization, the European Union (EU)and the United Kingdom have both dispatchedstabilization teams and political advisors to theNTC to work on the political institutions of anew democratic Libya; thus insisting on a topbottomapproach to democracy promotion. Incontrast, as the section on civil society shows,the United States dedicates resources to builda Libyan civil society that will play a counterbalancingrole to state power. In the meantime,praised for its inclusive approach, the CyrenaicbornNTC is also gradually building bridgeswith Tripolitana-based factions (includingformer regime supporters) and the Berbers todefine a common future. Indeed, consultationsand negotiations between the rebel factionswithin the NTC are ongoing but they will needto include former Gaddafi supporters clean ofhuman rights violations to participate in thenew political game. This will be essential toachieve national unity; the key to the politicalstability of the country. Looking forwardand not backward will be critical if Libya toachieve political stability. Ironically, Gaddafi’spolitical system, based on an improbableand never fully achieved notion of directdemocracy that he manipulated to his and hiscronies’ own profit, has two consequences thatbenefit the reconstruction of the Libyan state.Firstly, there is no all-pervasive ruling partythat inserted itself in the fabric of the Libyansociety, as is the case in Syria and was in Iraqfor example. This should facilitate the politicaltransition as an extensive purge of partyofficials will not be necessary and there willbe less ground for an organized resistance onbehalf of former regime supporters. Secondly,Libyans are somehow at ease with the practiceof direct democracy. Indeed, following thefall of Tripoli, locals quickly designated civilcommittees organized per urban wards torepresent the population to the city council.Leaders of those committees contact civilservants who live in their neighbourhoods andencourage them to go back to work, run socialassistance offices for the poorest, organize foodand water distribution, collect humanitarian aidamongst other tasks. All meetings are publicand any citizen has the right to contribute tothe discussions (Ayad 2011). The remarkablerestrain, autonomy and resilience displayedby Libyans in absence of formal authority andtheir willingness to get the country back on itsfeet as quickly as possible augurs well for thefuture. However, this restrain will remain thenorm only if the new Libyan institutions delivermechanisms of accountability and the deliveryof public services, both at the heart of citizens’demands. Indeed, as the demands made bythose who revolted against Gaddafi illustrated,socio-political and economic progress will needto be on the agenda of the NTC sooner thanlater. In parallel to political reconstruction,economic reconstruction is essential.Diversifying the EconomyThe future political stability of Libya isalso reliant on the state of the economy.Oil represents 95 percent of Libya’s exportsearnings, 25 percent of her GDP and 80percent of government revenue. To dependon a single source of revenue is a weaknessin terms of development and the perspectivesContinues Page 8


BISA Working GroupAfrican Agency inInternational PoliticsWilliam BrownOpen UniversitySubstantial political gains during a‘golden decade in African diplomacy’are in danger of being lost accordingto Prof. Chris Landsberg (Universityof Johannesburg) as a new generationof African leaders fail to build on thesuccesses of their predecessors. Boththe current extent and past achievementsof African political initiatives ininternational politics have been thecentral focus of a seminar series beingrun throughout 2011 by the BISA Africaand International Studies WorkingGroup.The series on African agency ininternational politics has been fundedby the ESRC and run in partnershipwith Chatham House, City, Birminghamand Kent Universities in the UK andStellenbosch University in South Africa.The series is led by Dr Sophie Harmanof City University and Dr WilliamBrown of The Open University andrepresents the BISA Africa and ISWorking Group’s most extensive projectto date.The working group was set up in 2007and now has over 120 members frommany countries and has been an activeparticipant at BISA and ISA events sincethen. However, it became increasinglyclear that in order to treat the subjectmatter of Africa’s international relationsseriously, so that African political actorswere seen to matter, it was necessaryto change the way we approached thesubject. Rather than the conventionalway of framing our analysis in terms ofasking how powerful external actors wereshaping Africa’s international relations,we wanted therefore to ask how AfricanOn Monday May 2, at approximately 1.00am local time, US Navy Seals stormed afortified compound on the outskirts ofAbbotabad in the North-West FrontierProvince of Pakistan. With PresidentObama sitting with other high-level nationalsecurity officials in the Situation Room,a Navy Seal declared “Geronimo EKIA”[Enemy Killed in Action]. Five hours laterat 23.35 Eastern Standard Time, PresidentObama declared to the world that “theUnited States has conducted an operationthat has killed Osama Bin Laden, theleader of al Qaeda”.The significance of these events has yetto be fully determined. Indeed, PresidentObama has warned that although thepolitical actors interacted with, andimpacted on, the international system ona variety of fronts.In fact, the ‘golden decade’ (1998-2008) suggested that in some areasAfrican agency mattered in internationalpolitics a good deal more than it had.This view was reflected in paperspresented first seminar of the series,focussed on international negotiations.There, Prof. Donna Lee (BirminghamUniversity) argued that African states inthe WTO had ‘learnt to say no’ and wereeffectively pursuing strategies that havefrustrated much more powerful actors.Dr Siphomandla Zondi (Inst. for GlobalDialogue) and Dr Jean-Christohpe Hoste(Egmont Inst.) pointed out the extentand limitations of African activism in theclimate change negotiations, successfullyforming a collective stance prior to theCopenhagen talks in 2009, and playing aleading role in those talks, but fracturingduring the negotiating process itself.With the next round, COP17, in Durbanin November 2011, South Africa’s roleas regional leader and host will againcome to the fore.However, African agency has alsobeen apparent within the continentitself, particularly in ‘new’ and ‘old’security issues dealt with in the secondand third seminars. In processes ofpost-conflict reconstruction, states suchas Rwanda have been able to restrictthe interventions of outside powers anddevelop ‘nationally-owned’ processesof reconciliation. As reported by Dr.Jonathan Fisher (Birmingham University)Uganda has also been successful atdeflecting donor criticism of its domesticpolitical circumstances, by managingdonor perceptions and emphasising thecentral roles it is playing in regional andcontinental peace keeping efforts. Debatedeath of Bin Laden is “the most significantachievement to date in our [the US] effortto defeat al Qaeda … his death does notmark the end of our effort”. Yet, thedeath in many ways, almost 10 years onfrom ‘9/11’, marks a symbolic end to aphase of the West’s “war on terror”, evenif few would really argue that there will bean immediate substantive change. Mostnotably, there is a sense of closure in whichthe war on terror narrative has seeminglyremoved one of the most significant actorsin the plot; as the United States claims that“justice has been done”, a new act in theplay appears to have started. As such, atthis early juncture it is possible to evaluate,albeit tentatively, the implications that thedeath of Bin Laden has for Europe and itsrelationships with the three main actors inthat drama: the United States, Pakistan,and of course, Al Qaeda.With regard to European-US relations,it is clear that there is much discomforthas also continued over Africa’s role inthe creation of new ‘security discourses’around climate change, HIV andmigration as well as the extent to whichAfrican agency can benefit from such‘securitisation’ of these policy areas.In other areas, notably over the crisesin Cote d’Ivoire and Libya, regionalbodies have been less effective. Althoughsticking to its rules governing the nonrecognitionof regimes that come to powerthrough violence, the African Union hasbeen side-lined in Libya and the subregionalbody ECOWAS was limitedin its role in resolving the Cote d’Ivoirecrisis. At the regional and sub-regionallevel a wide gap still exists between theformation of declarations and plans ofaction and their implementation on theground. Nevertheless, the formation ofthe AU has changed the dynamics of theregion’s international relations.All these areas raise key issues forinternational relations scholars: How dowe analyse the actions of ‘weak states’ ininternational politics? How do we handlethe relationship between internationalsystem-level structures and unit-levelagencies? To what extent can we speakof Africa as a single or collective entityin international politics? And how dowe define agency itself in internationalpolitics and the relationship betweenstate and non-state agents? The fourthwith the way in which the US story changedfrom the immediate report. First, we weretold that Bin Laden was armed; then thathe was not. Second, we were told that heused his wife as a human shield; then thatthis was not so. Third, contrary to firstreports, the woman killed was not his wife.Suspicions have been raised that this wasreally a shoot to kill mission. While few inthe United States would be concerned withthat, many Europeans have been worriedabout implications for international lawof this mission. Indeed, this apparentexecution foregrounds serious divisionsthat Europe has had with the US led waron terror. Whilst much of Europe hasregarded the events of September 11 2001as a criminal offence, the US (and the UK,under Tony Blair in particular) militariseda “war” on terror. Consequently, whilstmany in Europe appear to have wanted tocapture a criminal and secure convictionthrough a legal route, the US appears tobe rejoicing in the death of an “enemyseminar in the series began to focus moreon these conceptual and theoreticalissues with both arguments in defence ofthe utility of existing ideas within the IRcanon as well as from those more criticalof existing approaches.Whether African political actorscan continue to make use of thoseopportunities that do open up in whatDr. Stefan Andreasson called the‘emerging markets century’ remains to beseen. The historical inheritances – weakeconomic development and limitedstate capacity – weigh heavily here andfor some analysts the conclusion is thatthe international prominence of Africanactors in the first decade of the 21stCentury was both transient and shallow,failing to alter international structures ofpower. For others, the ‘golden decade’has seen the emergence of Africanactors in international politics no longerprepared to be cast as passive victims.Details of the seminar series includingexecutive summaries and all the papersfor the series are available at:www.open.ac.uk/socialsciences/bisaafrica/african-agencyAnyone interested in joining theBISA Africa and International StudiesWorking Group, contact William Brown(w.brown@open.ac.uk)The Death of Bin Laden: Implications for EuropeStuart CroftUniversity of WarwickOz HassanUniversity of Warwickcommander in the field”. This helpsgenerate a greater understanding of whymany Europeans have baulked at thePresident’s use of the term “justice”. Notonly does such a definition have much incommon with the assertions of PresidentGeorge W. Bush that “dead or alive,justice will be done”, but it conflates justicewith violent retribution and revenge; thatObama, the commander-in-chief, is aformer law professor has only added tothe sense of bemusement over such adefinition. In many ways, this definitionaldisagreement has deeper cultural roots,and plays out between Europe and theUS over issues such as the death penalty.Nonetheless, it is little wonder that whilstthe US has been able to assert that BinLaden’s “demise should be welcome by allthat believe in peace and human dignity”,Europeans have been a little less sure.Given such divisions it is unsurprisingContinues Page 87


The Death of Bin Laden: Implications for EuropeContinues From Page 7that Europe has been similarlydiscomforted about the manner inwhich the Obama administration hasnot significantly reformed US policy.Indeed, in many ways he has enhancedmany aspects of his predecessor’s policywith which many in Europe have beenill at ease. Since becoming President,Barack Obama has massively increasedthe numbers of drone strikes – attacksby unmanned aerial vehicles– and suchattacks had tripled in the first eighteenmonths of his presidency. As a result,drones have killed roughly the equivalentnumber of people who had died in 9/11.Republicans may have sought to presentObama as weak on the use of force; thoseliving in the tribal areas of Pakistan wouldprobably beg to differ. For Europeans,so many of whom were so delighted atthe end of the Bush Administration, itis important to understand the limits tothe change that Obama has brought. Asurge of military forces in Afghanistan,increased and ongoing drone strikes inPakistan, the continuation of GuantanamoBay, while the man suspected of providingWikileaks with their vast amount of USofficial documentation, Bradley Manninghad to endure conditions where he wouldbe stripped naked to wear a smock atnight, had no bedding, was permitted nopersonal items in his cell, and was keptlocked in solitary confinement for 23hours a day in a windowless cell. The deathof Bin Laden seems to show that even anObama led America is uncomfortable formany Europeans.On Pakistan, much has and will be madeof the suspicion that Pakistani authoritiesknew of Bin Laden’s whereabouts, andtherefore in a very real sense that Pakistancolludes with Al Qaeda. ChristopherHitchens has written of ‘… this smokinggunproof of official Pakistani complicitywith al-Qaida’. And if that is so, how canPakistan be a partner for Europe? Thisis another complex set of decisions forEuropean policy makers – how shouldthey react? It is possible that the viewexpressed by Hitchens is correct; or thatsome in Pakistani establishment knew,but that this knowledge was contained toa small minority; or that in some sensesPakistan was colluding with the UnitedStates over the whereabouts of the AlQaeda leader. Which route one takes hasimplications for how to continue to workwith Pakistan. But even with a worst caseanalysis of Pakistan’s role, it is a vitallyimportant country for Europe’s interestsin the South Asian region and beyond.And those who have worked with Pakistanknow that it is a very complex country, andperhaps in some ways, a country with aneven more complex governance structure.Which leaves the final element of thoseinvolved in the violence in Abottabad: alQaeda. No one believes that the deathof Bin Laden will impact on al Qaeda’soperational abilities. In many ways, hisdeath is just another in a line of senioral Qaeda officials that the United Stateshas killed over the past several years.Yet, it is nonetheless possible to arguethat the death of Bin Laden representsan enormous loss of a vital intelligenceresource. The US navy seals may wellhave taken hard drives and flash drivesfrom the Abbotabad compound, butsurely the inspirational leader of theorganisation would have been able toprovide significant information aboutthe organisation’s finance, the locationof other important al Qaeda personnel,information about the elements of thePakistani establishment that may haveaided him, and even perhaps informationthat may well aid in the ongoing war effortin Afghanistan against the Taliban. In theUS rush to eradicate “evil” it may well bethe case that a disservice to counteringterrorism and winning ongoing campaignsmay well have perpetrated, as such wemay have lost an opportunity to gaininsight into what Donald Rumsfeld oncecalled “known unknowns” and “unknownunknowns”. But then again, wouldEuropeans have been prepared to see anincarcerated Bin Laden, subjected to therange and number of tortures inflicted onanother al Qaeda leader, Khalid SheikhMohammed – torture not as defined bythe US government, but by the likes of theRed Cross, and Human Rights Watch.This is not to say, of course, that alQaeda is a centralized machine of violence;rather it has acted as a source of inspirationfor some around the world, and may wellnow be inspiration for those that believeOsama Bin Laden has been ‘murdered’ bythe Americans. For those inspired by alQaeda, there will undoubtedly be a rushto be the group to revenge that death, witha concomitant increase in the dangers ofterrorism globally. What remains to bedetermined of course is will such plotsbe an accelerated enactment of thosealready planned be undertaken, or willnew plots emerge as a result of a new cycleof violence? This means that in the shortterm, the likelihood of terrorist attacksagainst European targets globally, as wellas against targets in European cities, ismuch increased. Of course, it is Americathat will be the primary target; but thereare many American sites in Europe, whilstthe violent supporters of al Qaeda havealready demonstrated for many years awillingness to attack Europeans as well asAmericans.So the death of Bin Laden illustratesthat America is a less comfortable partnerwith Obama than many Europeans hadthought; that really difficult and delicatecalculations have to be made by Europein the relationship with Pakistan; and thatEurope, and Europeans, may possibly facea greater risk of terrorist attack than before.As such, whilst the importance of OsamaBin Laden had clearly been diminishing interms of his role in al Qaeda and globalterrorism whilst he was alive, his death israising serious and fundamental questionsfor both the US and Europe.This research acknowledges the supportof the FP7 large-scale integrated researchproject GR:EEN - Global Re-ordering:Evolution through European NetworksEuropean Commission Project Number:266809.To find out more about the GR:EEN projectplease visit: http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/fac/soc/csgr/green/Building Pyramids: Post Conflict reconstruction in LibyaContinues From Page 6to diversify the Libyan economy on theshort-term are limited. However, oil sales willoffer quick returns and attract much neededforeign direct investments. The challenge willbe to quickly return oil production to prewarlevels (50,000 barrels today against 1,6million before the war broke out). Estimatesvary between one to three years to achieveoil sector reconstruction. The NTC hasencouraged major oil producing companiesto return in Libya and resume work as soonas possible. Further avenues for economicdiversification and foreign investments willneed to be explored to meet the population’sexpectations. However, with unemploymentrates at thirty percent and about one thirdof the population below the national povertyline, social and economic justice and a betterrepartition of riches must be very high on theagenda of the new Libyan regime. The type ofdemocracy that will emerge in Libya will haveto be inclusive of social and economic justiceissues, as these are at the heart of the concernsof the Libyan population, especially the youth.This is an issue Western democracy promotersshould be mindful of.Regarding essential services like water andpower supply, it seems that, even though ina poor state due to years of negligence bythe Gaddafi regime and recent destructioncaused by NATO bombings and retreatingGaddafi loyalists, the infrastructure seems ableto meet the needs of the population. It canbe expected that the population will still haveaccess to essential goods and services, whichwill mitigate popular discontent and contributeto the security and stability of the country,and buttress the legitimacy of the transitionalauthority in charge of the political revampingof Libya.Building Civil SocietyFinally, doted with a young, urban, andhighly literate population, Libya has thepotential to build a strong and buoyant civilsociety, without doubt, with the full backingof Western democracy promotion agencies.This will be essential to the stability of thecountry as those civil society organisations(CSO) offer a constructive way to build trustand transcend family and tribal ties. NEDhas reported that a remarkable 300 CSOshave been registered by the NTC since therevolution started (NED 2011). These CSOs,local councils, and nascent political parties willform the core of a future democratic Libya andprovide the much needed space for healthydiscussion and potential contestation of thenew regime. As expected, civil society andpolitical parties benefit from the support of theAmerican democracy promotion apparatus. Infavour of a bottom-up approach to democracyassistance, the major US democracypromotion actors and the UN are currentlyinvesting in civil society support and politicalparty training to develop the capacities ofLibyan actors to peacefully negotiate and solvepotential conflicts. A look at the job openingson the UN, the National Democratic Institute,the International Republican Institute, USAIDand other NGOs shows that civil society andpolitical party training specialists are in highdemand.Taken together, if the UN and the futureLibyan political class, with the full support ofthe West, manages to work on and secureconsistency of action in policies across thesefour areas of post-conflict reconstructionand successfully negotiate the four potentialcleavages (dealing with Gaddafi supporters,tribalism, Islamism, and the fragmentednature of the rebellion, Libya should manageits political and economic transition towardsa pluralistic democratic regime. At thiscritical moment, when the remnants of theGaddafi regime are bound to disappear, andGaddafi himself close to being neutralized, itis time to make sure that the NTC, backedby the international community, will have theresources it needs to solidify its position andinstall itself firmly at the helm of the transitionto a new democratic Libya. All pyramids needa summit.Jeff Bridoux, Postdoctoral Fellow‘Political Economies of Democratisation’,European Research Council, Departmentof International Politics, AberystwythUniversity. This project is funded bythe European Research Council underthe European Community’s SeventhFramework programme (2007-13)– project grant no. 202596. The viewsexpressed here remain those of theauthor.ReferencesAyad, Christophe (2011) ‘A Tripoli, où leshabitants contrôlent leurs quartiers lavie économique redémarre’, Le Monde,5 September, http://www.lemonde.fr/libye/article/2011/09/05/a-tripoli-ou-leshabitants-controlent-leurs-quartiers-lavie-economique-redemarre_1567740_1496980.htmlBBC (2011), ‘Libya: NTC’s Jalil Vowsa State Based on Moderate Islam’, 13September, http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-14894264France 24 (2011) ‘Libya’s NeighboursFear a Powder Keg Scenario’, http://www.france24.com/en/20110907-libya-sahel-neighbours-fear-powder-kegscenario-algeria-mali-mauritania-al-qaedaNED (2011) ‘The Challenges of a Transitionto Democracy in Libya’, 27 July, http://www.ned.org/events/the-challenges-ofa-transition-to-democracy-in-libyaNordland, Rod (2011) ‘Libya’s InterimLeaders Aim to Harness Rebel Fighters’,The New York Times, 3 September, http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/04/world/middleeast/04libya.htmlNTC (2011) Draft Constitutional Charterfor the Transitional Stage, http://www.constitutionnet.org/files/libya_tnc_deafr_constitutional_charter_2011.pdfStrange, Susan (1987) ‘The PersistentMyth of Lost Hegemony’, InternationalOrganization, 41(4): 551 – 75Strange, Susan (1988) ‘The Future of theAmerican Empire’, Journal of InternationalAffairs, 42(1): 1 – 17UN (2011) ‘New Authorities OutlinePriorities for UN Support to Post-conflictLibya’, http://www.un.org/apps/news/printnews.asp?nid=394638


eview roundtableDr Marco VieiraUniversity Of BirminghamIn Hegemony in International Society,Ian Clark provides an empiricallygrounded, and for the most partpersuasive, theoretical analysis ‘of thepossibility that international society,despite its deep misgivings, might yet seekto ‘institutionalise’ predominance in theform of an acceptable hegemony’ (p.1).Clark applies English School theory toconduct an intriguing examination oflegitimacy in an international contextmarked by concentration of materialpower in a single state or group of statesthat collectively act as an hegemon. Themanuscript is Clark’s latest contributionto his well-established scholarly work oninternational legitimacy.In Part I, Clark develops a refinedtheoretical model based on interactionsbetween two central analyticalcomponents: 1) the composition ofthe hegemon (either collective orindividual); and 2) the scope of theconstituency (either coalitional orinclusive) ‘within which the hegemonseeks legitimation’ (p.9). The modelis then applied to both historical (partII) and contemporary cases (part III).Part II examines three case studies:the Concert of European powers, theperiod of British domination in mostof the 19th and early 20th centuries, andthe post-1945 Pax Americana. Part IIIturns to contemporary examples of US’relationship with the rest of the worldthrough the analysis of three case studies:the reform of the UN Security Council,regional politics in East Asia and climatechange multilateral negotiations.In chapter 1, Clark discusses theconcept of hegemony in IR theory. Hetakes issue with Hegemonic StabilityTheory and neo-Gramscian analysiswhich view hegemony as based onstrategic calculation and instrumentalsocialisation respectively and where‘consent derives purely from self-interestand benefit’ (p.21). In his English Schoolversion, hegemony is an authentic andreciprocal process of norm socialisationbetween the hegemonic leader and thefollowers. According to Clark, this viewof hegemony provides a better accountof the actual ideal conditions whereinthe legitimisation of dominance couldeffectively materialise. Contrary tothe definition of hegemony appliedin the book, which makes referenceto the hegemon’s ‘self-restraint’ andthe followers’ genuine ‘socialisationinto ideas and values rather thanmaterial coercion alone’ (p.22), theneo-Gramscian treatment of theconcept remains, I believe, a moreconvincing representation of howmaterial and ideational instrumentsare combined to legitimise andmaintain domination. Clark’s notionof accepted/institutionalised hegemonyis incomplete if not understood in thecontext of successful (and mostly violent)hegemonic practices of ideologicalIan ClarkHegemony in InternationalSociety(2011, Oxford, Oxford UniversityPress)legitimisation common to imperial andcolonial powers of the past yet alsoadopted by the US during the Cold Warand after.The historical/empirical chapters (4-9)are thoroughly researched and engaging.Yet, they mostly failed to demonstrateevidence of actual consent by lesserpowers of hegemonic authority and,perhaps most importantly, whether thisconsent was socially embedded ratherthan purely instrumental or forcefullyimposed. For example, Clark describesthe Concert of Europe (chapter 4)working through an interlinked systemof horizontal relations between GreatPowers and a vertical dimension whichconnected the former group to thelesser powers. Although the idea ofcollective hegemony, as presented byClark, depends on the well-functioningof the horizontal axis, the centralanalytical dimension rests on the verticalaxis given the author’s premise thatlegitimacy should be predicated in thesocial acceptance of hegemony by thesmaller states. Notably, Clark admitsthat the ‘Concert was more effectiveinstitutionalising the former than it wasthe latter’ (p.96).The chapters on single hegemony (5and 6), covering the period of Britishand US dominance respectively, areanalytically sharp and eloquently written.The primary shortcoming however isagain the unconvincing treatment, andunclear analytical delimitation, of therelationship between the hegemonicpowers and their ‘lesser’ constituencies.The analysis of the British model of‘legitimate’ hegemony is restricted to thecontext of the European powers, whichin the previous chapter was representedby the horizontal axis of hegemony.The unanswered question thereforeconcerns the empirical location of thevertical dimension and how it informsthe analysis of hegemonic legitimisationin this particular historical period. Thisis relevant mainly because the authoromitted colonialism and imperialismas important ordering principles of19th century’s international relations.In this sense, it would be interestingto empirically assess processes ofconsent-building between the Europeancolonial powers and their colonisedconstituencies.In chapter 6, the author developsan interesting argument setting outthe economic, cultural and securitydimensions of US hegemony in thepost-1945 international order. It isfollowed by a cogent discussion ofhow these three types of hegemonywere effectively exercised during theCold War period. Clark accuratelydescribes how US hegemonic leadershipduring the Cold War faced increasingresistance, specially from the 1970s, andthe original liberal bargain was neverfully settled (p.145). Although Clarkacknowledges that his analytical modelis a theoretical representation ratherthan an empirically verifiable reality,the argument would have benefitedfrom a more robust demonstrationof the hegemons’ legitimacy in theproposed case study. In spite of theinternational community’s endorsementof the US-led multilateral system, thepost-1945 period was characterised byintense ideological struggle and extremepolitical volatility in the Third Worldwithout much discernable and genuinesupport by smaller powers of either ofthe superpowers’ competing hegemonicideologies/belief-systems.Part III (chapters 7-9) confirms thatClark’s cleverly devised theoreticalconceptualisation of hegemony, as anaccepted and legitimate institution ofinternational society, requires furtherempirical consolidation. Any seriousempirical examination of contemporaryinternational politics will establish thatthe social acceptance/endorsement ofUS hegemony has only existed in eleganttheories of liberal internationalism andin the minds of some over-enthusiasticpolicy elites in Washington and London.Particularly in recent years, the UShegemonic conduct in internationalaffairs has been hardly a model to beendorsed, let alone followed, by the restof the world. In this sense, Clark’s studyreiterates a common trend in EnglishSchool scholarship; that is, despite itsunique contribution to the understandingof great powers’ social hierarchy, itunderstates the processes by which it isimposed upon materially weaker states.That said, the limitations of Hegemonyin International Society are of lessimportance than Ian Clark’s undeniablecontribution to English Schoolscholarship. In fact, Clark is one of avery few authors who have convincinglymade a theoretical distinction betweenthe social and material elements ofhegemony. His book is an extremelyvaluable resource to advanced studentsof international relations.Dr. Marco Vieira is Lecturer inInternational Relations in the Departmentof Political Science and InternationalStudies (POLSIS) at the University ofBirmingham.Jean-François DroletQueen Mary University of LondonWith Hegemony and InternationalSociety, Ian Clark has given us anotherpiece of high quality scholarshipabundant with both historical andconceptual insights. This is animportant book that breathes fresh airinto stagnant debates about the UnitedStates’ managerial role in a world inwhich its material predominance isbecoming increasingly residual.The book is divided into threedistinct parts that hang together very wellas a whole. The first part offers a seriesof theoretical discussions about theshortcomings of existing scholarship onhegemony, which Clark then sets out toremedy by re-articulating the concept inan English School (ES) framework. Inthe second part of the book, Clark takesus through three historical cases – theConcert of Europe, Pax Britannica, andPax Americana – to demonstrate thatthe institutional forms and legitimatingpractices through which hegemonymanifest itself empirically can vary agreat deal across historical periods.The third part brings the differentthreads of the narrative togetherthrough an analysis of Americanforeign policy towards the UN SecurityCouncil, towards East Asia, andtowards climate change. Through thesethree cases, Clark draws attention to thecomplexity and multifarious characterof the institutional form of hegemonyin contemporary international society.Clark’s case studies are too rich andnumerous to be treated fairly here. SoI will restrict my comments to the coreconceptual-theoretical dimension ofthe book. The book has two mainobjectives in this respect. The first,as Clark suggests in the preface, is to‘reconfigure English School thinkingto make it more relevant to thetheoretical and policy puzzles emergingat the outset of the new century’ (p. v).According to Clark, the absence of acompelling theory of hegemony in ESscholarship undermines the ability ofthe latter to understand, explain andprescribe in situations where one singlestate enjoys a disproportionate amountof power. Traditionally, Clark argues,the ES has assumed that the goodfunctioning of the other institutionsof international society – internationallaw, diplomacy, war and great powerresponsibilities – is predicated on theexistence of a relatively even balanceof power. According to Bull, forexample, it is ‘the possibility that ifContinues Page 109


eview roundtableContinues From Page 9one state violates the rules, others cantake reciprocal action’ which preventsstates from being in a position to‘ignore international law, to disregardthe rules and procedures of diplomaticintercourse, to deprive its adversariesof the possibility of resort to war indefence of their interests and rights, orto ignore the conventions of the comityof great powers, all with impunity’ (citedin Clark, p. 38).Clark scrutinises and repudiatesthis assumption. Drawing on a seriesof unsystematic observations scatteredacross the ES corpus, he demonstratesthe possibility that international societymight proceed to institutionalise thegeopolitical preponderance of a statein the form of a legitimate managerialrole, despite its pluralist disposition.Much in the same way that HerbertButterfield made the distinctionbetween the balance of power as adeliberate practice of statecraft and thebalance of power as a structural selfgeneratingmechanism, Clark makeshis case by distinguishing betweenprimacy as a mere concentrationof power in a dominant state andhegemony as a legitimate politicalprocess acknowledged and acceptedby other actors (p. 241). Accordingto Clark, hegemony rests above all onthe ability of the predominant state – orgroup of states – to ensure that othercompeting powers have enough of astake in the hegemonic order to acceptthe institutionalisation of hierarchy ininternational society. This is Clark’smain contribution to ES scholarship:‘Hegemony is about the constraining ofthe powerful, not just about facilitatingthe domination of the weak. Thisemphasizes the institutional dimension– the empowerment of the institutionof hegemony – rather than simplythe enhancement of the power of thehegemon, and it is this orientationthat draws our attention specificallyto the potential relevance of an ESinterpretation’ (p. 39).Clark’s suggestion that hegemony hasthe potential of being treated as anotherdistinct institution of internationalsociety will no doubt stimulate debatesbetween contemporary ES scholarswho have sought to take the school indifferent directions in the past fifteenyears or so.1 It also moves the focus ofcontemporary debates over the natureand status of American hegemony awayfrom material distributions of power bydrawing attention to the importance oflegitimacy as a ‘constituent power in itsown right’ (p. 235). And this, I believe,is a much welcome development.Let us now move to the othertheoretical-conceptual objective ofthe book, which is to overcome theshortcomings of other theoreticalapproaches to hegemony by repacking10“[For Clark], neo-Gramscian interpretations leave us with a negative account of hegemony...‘characterised by “domination”, despite any “false consciousness” it engenders to conceal it.”the concept in an ES framework. Thetwo main targets of Clark’s endeavourhere are Hegemonic Stability Theory(HST) and the neo-Gramscian ‘school’.Clark has no difficulty in showing howhis legitimacy-based model is superiorto the narrow rationalistic materialismof HST by drawing attention to thenormative dimension of hegemony.Where I think he is less successful,however, is in his engagement with neo-Gramscian scholarship.Clark acknowledges the importantcontribution of neo-Gramscianscholarship for our understanding of theconsensual aspect of the phenomenonof hegemony. However, for him,the problem with neo-Gramscianinterpretations is that they leave uswith a negative account of hegemony‘that continues to be characterisedby “domination”, despite any “falseconsciousness” it engenders to concealit. While the hallmark is that hegemonyis sustained by socialization into ideasand values, rather than by materialcoercion alone, there remains somedegree of seeming deception in therelationship’ (p. 22). In other words,according to Clark, neo-Gramscianaccounts presuppose that actors whoare being socialised in a hegemonicorder give their consent because theyfail to distinguish their ‘real interests’or to imagine other alternatives – as ifthere existed some sort of a priori socialrationality from which willing subjectswere being robbed by the ideologicaldiscourses of the leading social forces.This reading is not completely offthe mark as far as some orthodoxGramscian and neo-Gramscian accountsare concerned – although I believeClark is too selective and economicalin providing textual evidence. But thisis certainly not the case with its mosttheoretically sophisticated variants.Conspicuously absent from Clark’stheoretical discussion, for example, isErnesto Laclau’s and Chantal Mouffe’shugely influential poststructuralistre-articulation of the neo-Gramscianconcept of hegemony in view of preciselythe kind of ‘false consciousness’ issuesthat he raises.2 Here, hegemony isnot simply a matter of duping certainsocial actors into adopting the ideasof the ruling elite against their own‘objective’ interests. Rather, it isabout re-articulating political interestsby constructing new subject positionsthrough discourse from which the ideasof the dominant social forces makeperfect sense to actors in a wide rangeof social positions. As Laclau explains,in this process, ‘[t]he two centralfeatures of a hegemonic interventionare the “contingent” character of thehegemonic articulations and their“constitutive” character, in the sensethat they institute social relations in aprimary sense, not depending on any apriori social rationality’. Since there isno a priori common ground that holdsa social formation together, all identitiesmust be politically articulated. And it isthis contingent and constitutive qualitythat necessarily endows every attemptat creating a hegemonic order withan irreducible political and coercivecharacter.3 The issue, in otherwords, is not that ‘there is no separatelogic of appropriateness extendingbeyond [self] interests’ (p. 21). (For,such a claim rests on a deep Kantianmetaphysical distinction betweenpolitics and morality that most criticaltheorists will reject as a conservativeideological manoeuvre). Rather, it isthat legitimacy and this supposedly‘separate logic of appropriateness’ isinevitably contingent on the identity ofthe participants, and this identity is itselfarticulated through discourse in thecontext of our engagement and conflictswith others. Thus although legitimacyand hegemony always have a latentcoercive dimension, they are not strictlynegative moments of privation. Theyare also productive process throughwhich social reality is constructed,organised and reproduced.My aim here is not to promoteneo-Gramscian scholarship. But sinceClark sets up his concept of hegemonyas a ‘necessary’ ‘re-working’ of the neo-Gramscian scholarship insights (p. 22),I think the book would have benefitedfrom a more precise and compellingdemonstration of the ways in whichthis ES account differs from andimproves upon existing neo-Gramscianscholarship on hegemony. Considerthe main conceptual claims that Clarkadvances in the book:1) Hegemony and legitimacy are notantithetical to one another.2) Hegemony is not antithetical to apluralist understanding of internationalsociety.3) Hegemony can be held collectivelyby a group of states rather than justone state.4) Hegemony is a world order projectthat can confer a leading role to a state,but in which the focus is as much uponthose followers as upon the would-behegemon.5) Hegemony is ‘something expressedthrough a variety of [historicallysituated] forms’, and ‘the attainmentof any ‘pure’ hegemony is extremelyunlikely within the constraints of thecontemporary international system’(p. 9).All of these are perfectly compatiblewith most neo-Gramscian accountsof hegemony. Where Clark’sES re-articulation clearly differsfrom the latter is in its state-centricContinues Page 11


eview roundtableContinues From Page 10character. Unfortunately, Clark doesnot explain why and in what ways astate-centric approach to hegemony ismore appropriate than an historicalsociological account based ontransnational ‘social forces’. Clark’sES account helps us to understandand identify the institutional formsof hegemony. But it has little to sayabout the transnational hegemoniccontests through which norms andconcepts presupposed in his ESaccount – e.g. nationalism, the nationalinterest, sovereignty, anarchy and theideological differentiation between theeconomic and political sphere whichcreates the conditions of possibilityfor the non-territorial, post-colonialand democratic character of USexpansionism – become accepted andperceived as legitimate ‘realities’.Clark is obviously aware that muchof what counts in terms of principles oflegitimacy in world politics is articulatedas much by non-state actors as by states.His previous book, InternationalLegitimacy and World Society (2007)was precisely about that.4 It istherefore even more puzzling that thetransnational historical sociology ofhegemony remains so heavily undertheorisedin this sequel.Hegemony and International Societyis for this reason unlikely to satisfyscholars working outside of the statecentricmainstream. But this shouldnot deter engagement. For this isa thought-provoking book of greaterudition, and from which scholars ofall theoretical persuasions have muchto learn about the practice of hegemonyat the interstate level.Jean-François Drolet is Senior Lecturerin Politics and International Relations,Queen Mary University of LondonFootnotes1 See, for instance, TimothyDunne, The Social Construction ofInternational Society, European Journalof International Relations, vol. 1, no.3, 1995, pp. 376-89; Barry Buzan andRichard Little, International Systems inWorld History (Oxford: OUP, 2000); IanHall, Still the English Patient? Closuresand Inventions in the English School, International Affairs, vol. 77, no. 4,2001, pp. 931-42; Andrew Linklater andHidemi Suganami, The English School ofInternational Relations: A ContemporaryReassessment (Cambridge: CUP, 2006).2 Ernesto Laclau and Chantal Mouffe,Hegemony and Socialist Strategy:Towards a Radical Democratic Politics(London: Verso, 2001 [1986]).3 Ernesto Laclau, Emancipation(s)(London: Verso, 1995), p. 90.4 Ian Clark, International Legitimacy andWorld Society (Oxford: Oxford UniversityPress, 2007).Marco ClementiUniversity of PaviaHegemony is a problem for theEnglish School (ES), since the primaryinstitutions of international societymaking up its distinctive field ofinvestigation – the great powers, thebalance of power, war, and internationallaw – are undermined in their conditionsof possibility and functioning by theconcentration of power. Hegemonyin International Society identifies thisproblem and aims at overcoming it, to filla gap that concerns both the theoreticalcompleteness of the ES and its ability tobe applied to analysing contemporaryinternational society and its institutionaltrajectory.After justifying the study of hierarchyin anarchy, Clark explains why hegemonycan be seen as a primary institutionof international society and proposesa typology of the institutional forms itcan take on, combining two theoreticaldimensions: the composition of thehegemon (singular or collective) and thescope of the social constituency whichlegitimises the hegemonic role (inclusiveor coalitional). The functioning andlegitimisation features of these forms arethen tested against historical cases: theConcert of Europe, 19th-century Britain,and 20th-century US. The last part ofthe book focuses on the contemporarycontext and adopts the above categoriesto understand if – and how – a processof legitimisation of the hegemonic role ofthe US is taking place, concentrating onthe UN Security Council reform, securityrelations in East Asia, and the climatechange regime.Hegemony in International Societyis rich and varied, skilfully mixingtheoretical reflections, historical depth,and an analysis of current processes. Inline with the prevailing literature, thebook distances itself from the idea ofhegemony as mere material superiority.If hegemony has to do with theconcentration of power, the latter doesnot consist in resources but in a socialrelationship of influence. Starting fromthese assumptions, Clark introducessome innovative steps, which makehis book extremely original, and offersnew tools to study both hegemony andinternational society. I cannot go throughthe work’s theoretical frameworkand empirical cases in detail. I willconcentrate on some stimulating pointsfor scholars interested in the dynamicsof power and legitimacy, while alsopresenting some critical suggestions.The first point regards the factors atplay in the political exchange that eachsocial relationship of power implies, as itpresupposes an agreement on the termsof influence among those involved. Thisexchange might result in a consensualrelationship based on the compatibleinterests realised by the agreement, butClark recommends also considering theway in which this exchange is envisagedand the actual form given to it by the"Clark seems to focus more on the interest-based consensus rather than on legitimacy"societal context in which it takes place.Hence, rather than deriving fromconsensus stabilisation based on interests,the legitimacy of the hegemonic powerbecomes a prerequisite so that hegemonycan manifest itself. When he empiricallyanalyses the terms of the agreementsunderlying the actual hegemonic roles heinvestigates, Clark seems to focus moreon the interest-based consensus ratherthan on the legitimacy dynamics whichnurture that consensus. However, hissuggestion appears to me fundamentalto thoroughly understanding thepeculiarities of hegemony.The second issue concerns the actorsinvolved in the political exchange realisedby the social relationship of power. Clarkclaims that hegemony relationshipsmust be investigated both vertically (i.e.between the leader and the secondaryactors) and horizontally (i.e. betweenthe leader and the other great powers).He suggests that the legitimisation ofthe hegemonic role presupposes theproduction of collective goods thatlie where the horizontal and verticalrelationships meet, instead of definingthemselves autonomously along one orboth axes. Thus, to my mind, Clark findsthe exact location of the relationshipbetween hegemony and the internationalorder: the intersection of the collectivegoods which the concentration of powermakes it possible to produce in anarchy,resulting legitimate for those at the top aswell as at the bottom of the internationalhierarchy. Clark sharply implies thathegemony does not alter the oligopolisticnature of international relations.Nevertheless, it appears to me difficult toaccept that hegemony could consequentlyhave a collective institutional form, as thisdoes not seem to correspond to Clark’sidea of hegemony, which is not limitedto primacy but keeps presupposing itas a defining prerequisite. The casestudies on the Concert of Europe andon 19th-century Britain are useful tosupport these doubts. The key questionis whether or not Britain was superior tothe other great powers of the time. Clark’sessentially negative answer is mostly dueto Britain’s limited military resources.Some might object that those resourceswere crucial to defeating Napoleon’simperial bid and that Britain fought todefend Europe’s stability in the 19thcentury much more intensely than Clarkis willing to acknowledge. Yet, withoutdelving into the empirical question, I wishto stress that, lacking Britain (or anotheractor) material primacy in that period,the institution of the Concert of Europewas not hierarchical. Hence, if we canrefer to the hegemonic role played byseveral actors of equal standing, howcan we distinguish collective hegemonyfrom the managerial role of the greatpowers traditionally analysed by the ES?Nevertheless, Clark’s challenge remainscrucial: how can hegemony be studied,while taking into account the distinctionbetween the great and small powers ofthe international system?Another key and original elementis the idea that hegemony is a variablerather than constant institution, since ittakes on different features and forms.If hegemony is influenced by theinternational society which legitimisesit as a primary institution, one mightthink that the variable features ofinternational society itself influence itschange. Besides investigating the socialdimensions of hegemony’s constituencyand composition, we could focus onthe overall societal context influencingthe above dimensions, asking ourselvesif international society has changed inthe transition between the 1800s andthe 1900s, and then the 2000s. If thisis not so, what changes (for instance,concerning the legitimate nature of theinternational actors or the legitimateuse of violence) have been vital toinfluencing the (vertical and horizontal)legitimisation of the hegemonic role insuch different contexts?This question leads to the currentprocesses, complementing Clark’sanalysis with the focus on the extentto which the supposedly hegemonicrole of the US is influenced by theevolution/involution of the features ofcontemporary international society. Inthis regard, the useful analysis of singleissue-areas or specific policy sectorscould be complemented by an attemptat identifying the collective goods that,within a system with heavy concentrationof resources, should cross the twodimensions of social legitimisation ofthe hegemonic role. That is to say: byopening up new lines of research, Clark’sbook also has the merit of raising furtherquestions.11


eview roundtableHegemony in International Society:Review ResponseIan ClarkMy book was born out of twinfrustrations. The first was that most IRtheory (especially in its realist variants)seemed bent on commandeeringthe entire vocabulary about aconcentration of power for its ownpurposes. Not content with alreadyhaving available to it such words asdominance, preponderance, primacyand unipolarity, it has systematicallyadopted hegemony as yet anothersynonym for precisely the samecondition. This seemed superfluous,and left no language for use by thoseinterested in questions of legitimacy.In that sense, my purpose was torescue ‘hegemony’ from the aggressivelinguistic predations of the realists,and to re-articulate its well-establishedsocial scientific meaning as implyinga degree of consent. The second wasthe shortcoming of the English Schoolspecifically: for a theory that placedsuch weight on the role of the greatpowers, it seemed to have virtuallynothing to say about how order is to bemaintained if a concentration of poweremerges (beyond restating the needfor international society to escape thiscondition and return to normalcy).My efforts have been rewardedinsofar as they have provoked the veryrich questions that come out of thesethree commentaries. While gratefulfor their many generous tributes, I willconcentrate instead on four of theircritical reflections: on the problem ofconsent; on the relationship betweenmy English School re-working andextant neo-Gramscian literature;on one possible problem with myinstitutional forms of hegemony;and finally with the nature of thesocial constituency within which thehegemon seeks legitimation.None of the reviewers appearsto express any difficulty with myextension of English School theoryas such, and hence with my suggestionthat hegemony be considered apossible institution of internationalsociety. The problems seem to arisewith respect to the historical cases, andparticularly with regard to the verticalaxis of consent between the hegemonand the smaller states subject to itsmanagement. It is objected that Iprovide insufficient evidence of ‘actualconsent’ (for example, about theConcert of Europe). As a matter ofdegree, this may possibly be so. Thisis, of course, a universal empirical12"What counts as convincing empirical evidence of consent... is the key question thatneeds to be asked about hegemony."problem for all studies of legitimacy,since establishing the precise motivesfor compliance is always vexatious, andthere remains profound disagreementabout what counts as convincingempirical evidence of consent.Hopefully, we can at least agree thatthis is the key question that needs tobe asked about hegemony, even wherewe disagree at the margins about theanswers provided by the cases.One complaint is that mydiscussion of the neo-Gramscianliterature is not comprehensive. Ishould plead guilty as charged, sincethis was never the intention. As thethird volume in a set elaborating adistinctively English School readingof international legitimacy, my booktook Hegemonic Stability Theory andneo-Gramscian accounts as no morethan a theoretical point of departure,seeking merely to show that there areimportant dimensions of legitimacyto be uncovered in the concepts ofhegemony in both those schools, albeitdifferent from the one that I intendedto develop. To have provided a fullerGramscian survey would have beendisproportionate to this purpose.If I tended to stress (misleadingly)the ‘latent coercive dimension’ inGramscian analyses of hegemony, itis probably fair to concede that thesame comment is equally applicableto an English School analysis: thecommon feature of all internationalsociety’s institutions – especially war,balance of power, and the great powerrole – is precisely the continuation of a‘coercive’ dimension, even when it isblended with an admixture of consentin its social institutionalisation. That iswhat makes the analytical teasing outof consent in practices like the Concertso intractable.One intriguing question is about thevalidity of my notion of a collectiveform of hegemony, and how if at allthis might differ from the normal roleof the great powers. I certainly wasn’tthe first to suggest that hegemony mightbe collective, as Adam Watson andGerry Simpson had already done so.The reviewer’s comment hints at mylikely response to the question: whatdistinguishes a collective hegemonyfrom a standard exercise of a greatpower role is not merely the mannerin which the combined great powers(as in the Concert) exercise hegemonyover the rest (vertically), but also theextent to which there is an unequalrelationship horizontally between theprimus and the other great (but lesser)powers. What I was suggesting is thata collective hegemony is a hybrid,combining some features of bothhegemony and a great power role,but that this creates its own distinctiveinstitutional dynamic: it is generallyeasier for a declining hegemon toshare its role collectively with otherpowers, than it is to retain its singularrole and seek to broaden its appealwithin a wider social constituency.This leads in to the final pointabout the scope of the legitimacyconstituency for hegemony, and theobjection that my study is too statecentric, given my previous work on thenormative resources of world society.I do take this point, and was keenlyaware of it. Just as my earlier accountof a state-centric version of legitimacyin international society required afurther balancing volume bringingin world society, a full response tothis point would have entailed anadditional volume on hegemony inworld society. Such a fourth book, Ifear, would have taxed the patienceof my readers, and certainly of mypublishers! But the reviewers areundoubtedly correct to suggest that themost interesting work for the futurewill be exactly on this issue. Howeverglobal governance develops, and towhatever degree any of my forms ofhegemony form some part of it, thedevelopment of its mechanisms oflegitimation, beyond the confines ofthe states system, will be absolutelycritical to its stability and acceptability.This is abundantly clear in the ongoingglobal financial crisis, and will be againin any future measures undertaken tomanage climate change.

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