Cooperation and Conflict

Sage Publications, Inc.
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Latest documents

  • Contestation and norm change in whale and elephant conservation: Non-use or sustainable use?

    Elephants and whales took center stage in the environmental movements of the 1980s. As flagship species, they were the poster children of global initiatives: international ivory trading and commercial whaling were banned in the 1980s in the context of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) and the International Whaling Commission (IWC), respectively. While the conservation of both species is contested, we observe a change of existing norms in one case but not in the other: A moratorium on commercial whaling remains in place. Meanwhile, a limited shift to sustainable use regarding ivory was passed in 1997/2000. We ask why norm change occurred in one case but not the other, given their similarities. We argue that the difference can be explained by the perceived legitimacy of the claims of norm challengers using arguments of “affectedness” and the breadth of issues covered by CITES. In contrast, other factors commonly discussed in norms research do not explain this puzzle: the relative power and strategies of norm advocates and challengers, and the degree of legalization. This shows the interplay of discursive aspects and concrete institutional opportunities for norm change, even in the face of otherwise inopportune conditions.

  • Driving liberal change? Global performance indices as a system of normative stratification in liberal international order

    The existing literature on Global Performance Indices (GPIs) is mostly dominated by unit-level analyses focused on specifying the relevant properties of the GPIs and the motivations of state actors in being influenced by GPIs. This article advances a systemic approach, which conceives of GPIs as collectively constituting a system of normative stratification in International Relations (IR). By bringing together the literature on GPIs with the relevant IR literatures on international hierarchies and status-seeking, we identify the structural attributes of the GPI-based system of stratification, how these structural attributes shape the distribution of normative status positions among states, and how this distribution is likely to condition the pursuit of status by states. In particular, we argue that the disaggregated structure and relative ranking of states, respectively, generate status ambiguity and immobility, which both dissuade states from seeking higher moral status through improving their scores in the existing indices. We illustrate the patterns of status ambiguity and immobility present in the GPI-based system of stratification through an empirical analysis of the scores and rank positions of the United States, European Union (EU) members, and “rising powers” in five different indices in the past decade.

  • “This changes things”: Children, targeting, and the making of precision

    Avoidance of civilian casualties increasingly affects the political calculus of legitimacy in armed conflict. “Collateral damage” is a problem that can be managed through the material production of precision, but it is also the case that precision is a problem managed through the cultural production of collateral damage. Bearing decisively on popular perceptions of ethical conduct in recourse to political violence, childhood is an important site of meaning-making in this process. In pop culture, news dispatches, and social media, children, as quintessential innocents, figure prominently where the dire human consequences of imprecision are depicted. Children thus affect the practical “precision” of even the most advanced weapons, perhaps precluding a strike for their presence, potentially coloring it with their corpses. But who count as children, how, when, where, and why are not at all settled questions. Drawing insights from what the 2015 film, Eye in the Sky, reveals about a key social technology of governance we have already internalized, I explore how childhood is itself a terrain of engagement in the (un)making of precision.

  • Statehood and recognition in world politics: Towards a critical research agenda

    This article offers a critical outlook on existing debates on state recognition and proposes future research directions. It argues that existing knowledge on state recognition and the dominant discourses, norms and practices needs to be problematized and freed from power-driven, conservative, positivist and legal interpretations and reoriented in new directions in order to generate more critical, contextual and emancipatory knowledge. The article proposes two major areas for future research on state recognition, which should: (a) expose the politics of knowledge, and positionality, and seek epistemic justice and decolonization of state recognition studies; and (b) study more thoroughly recognitionality techniques encompassing diplomatic discourses, performances and entangled agencies. Accordingly, this article seeks to promote a long overdue debate on the need for re-visioning state recognition in world politics.

  • The pursuit of inclusion: Conditions for civil society inclusion in peace processes in communal conflicts in Kenya

    Why are some peace processes in communal conflicts more inclusive of civil society actors than others? Inclusion of civil society actors, such as churches and religious leaders, women’s organizations, or youth groups, is seen as important for normative reasons, and studies also suggest that civil society inclusion can improve the prospects for durable peace. Yet, we have a very limited understanding of why we observe inclusion in some communal conflicts but not others. We address this gap by theorizing about various forms of civil society inclusion in local peace processes, and examining to what extent involvement by different types of third-party actors—governments, inter-governmental organizations (IGOs), and non-governmental organizations (NGOs)—may contribute to inclusion. Empirically, we draw on a combination of cross-case and in-depth data covering peace negotiations in communal conflicts in Kenya. The findings show that civil society was less frequently included as facilitators when the government was involved as a third party, while inclusion in the form of direct participation of civil society in negotiations, or via involvement in the implementation phase, was equally common across different types of third-party actors. Our study thus provides important new insights regarding how inclusion plays out in communal conflicts.

  • Temporality and contextualisation in Peace and Conflict Studies: The forgotten value of war memoirs and personal diaries

    This article contributes to debates on appropriate levels of analysis, temporality, and the utility of fieldwork in relation to Peace and Conflict Studies (PCS), and International Relations more generally. It observes a recentism or privileging of the recent past in our studies and a consequent overlooking of the longer term. As a corrective, the article investigates the extent to which wartime memoirs and personal diaries (specifically from World War I and World War II) can help inform the study of contemporary peace and conflict. In essence, the article is a reflection on the epistemologies and methodologies employed by PCS and an investigation of the need for greater contextualisation.

  • Incredibly loud and extremely silent: Feminist foreign policy on Twitter

    In 2014, Sweden’s Feminist Foreign Policy (FFP) was announced with a fanfare. This article critically interrogates how Sweden implements the FFP through digital diplomacy by investigating the extent of Sweden’s gender equality activities on Twitter since the introduction of the FFP and by tracing gendered online abuse in digital diplomacy. I focus on Swedish embassy tweets towards two countries where feminism is highly contested – Poland and Hungary. The theoretical inspiration comes from discursive approaches to the spoken and unspoken, enriched by feminist observations about the non-binary character of voice/silence. The method applied is gender-driven quantitative and qualitative content analysis. The findings demonstrate that the FFP has not set any significant mark on digital diplomacy in the analyzed cases. The launching of the FFP went completely unnoticed and posts related to gender equality have actually decreased since 2014. There are no traces of ambassadors being subjected to gendered online abuse, but heavily xenophobic and paternalistic language is directed at Sweden as a representative of liberal policies. The article contributes to the literature on digital diplomacy by highlighting the (lack of) links between foreign policy and digital diplomacy and it addresses a gap by focusing on gender in digital diplomacy.

  • Best Review Prize 2020 – Cooperation and Conflict
  • Militarization of childhood(s) in Donbas: ‘Growing together with the Republic’

    This essay critically examines how the militarization of childhood(s) takes place in the Luhansk and Donetsk People’s Republics. The intensification of hostilities in Eastern Ukraine in mid-2014 has had a profound impact on local populations, particularly children. While no systematic recruitment and participation of children in conflict has been reported, childhood has become what Agathangelou and Killian would characterize as a ‘site for displacement and maneuvering for militarization.’ Drawing on feminist methodologies, I examine processes of the militarization of children’s everyday lives. This article investigates a range of ways in which authorities of proto-states in the Donbas region address children as participants and potential collaborators in the processes of militarization. In my analysis, I examine how war and preparation for it are simultaneously co-constituted by the geopolitical—legitimation of new proto-states—and everyday practices, such as engaging with school curricula, visiting museums, and (re)inventing historical narratives. Understanding of mechanisms that militarize childhood and how children become subjects and objects of militarization allows for a critical analysis that reveals spaces of everyday violence. This article, therefore, enhances our understanding about the intersections of childhood, militarism, and security.

  • Whither European diplomacy? Long-term trends and the impact of the Lisbon Treaty

    The article analyses the evolution of European diplomacy over two decades, to assess the impact of the European External Action Service (EEAS) creation alongside consecutive waves of enlargement. Data is drawn from two original datasets about European Union (EU) member states’ diplomatic representations within the EU and across the globe. It shows that member states have maintained and strengthened their substantial diplomatic footprint across the EU’s territory, expanding it to include new members and making Brussels a diplomatic hub also for non-member countries. In parallel, and despite the establishment of the EEAS, member states have maintained and even increased their networks of diplomatic representations across the globe, alongside more numerous and more politically active EU Delegations (EUDs). At the same time, member states have been reducing their diplomats’ numbers, as the cases of Austria, France, Germany and Italy show. This delicate balancing act has been made possible not only by contemporary technological developments, but also by European cooperation, as in the case of EUDs hosting member states’ representations in non-member countries, a development referred to as co-location. Therefore, whereas the continued presence of national embassies on the ground could be interpreted as detracting from the EEAS, the existence of EUDs contributes also to other, more indirect but certainly novel, forms of diplomatic cooperation under a single European roof.

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