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Article
Publication date: 1 March 2006

Vessela Misheva

To provide a systems explanation of world wars as civilizational phenomena with a special focus on the cold war defined as an interaction war between two parties which…

Abstract

Purpose

To provide a systems explanation of world wars as civilizational phenomena with a special focus on the cold war defined as an interaction war between two parties which cannot communicate with each other.

Design/methodology/approach

As a theoretical framework for this analysis an elaborated version of Luhmann's systems theory is used which discusses the relationship between systems and media. The method is defined as a third‐order cybernetics which entails first‐order observations, second‐order observation of observers, and finally their mutual observations as being observed.

Findings

Identifies the east‐west ideological conflict as a conflict within the world system of society by which the system is at war with itself. This “self” is considered as comprising two parts: self and other. The one is identified as an autopoietic system and the other as an allopoietic system, each struggling for the status of system and for the transformation of the other into its medium. The traditional understanding of the history of the European civilization as having one single ancestor is challenged.

Research limitations/implications

It is not an exhaustive analysis but rather an outline of a theory whose purpose is to define the source of international and intranational confrontations.

Practical implications

The approach can be developed further and used for the analysis of the war on terrorism and the relationship between political system and social movements.

Originality/value

The paper offers an innovative systems perspective on world wars with a special focus on the cold war which promises to overcome the difficulties which their analysis with traditional sociological theories at present encounters.

Details

Kybernetes, vol. 35 no. 3/4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0368-492X

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Book part
Publication date: 26 May 2015

Choolwe Beyani

This chapter examines US Africa Policy under Obama with a particular focus on the Southern African region. The author examines American policy from a historical…

Abstract

Purpose

This chapter examines US Africa Policy under Obama with a particular focus on the Southern African region. The author examines American policy from a historical perspective to give credence to his view that while certain changes have occurred in American global and Africa Policy in particular, it is the issues that have changed, and the drivers of that policy change but the fundamental basis of the American policy has not changed much. American policy has remained anchored on global hegemony driven by the increasingly frayed Washington consensus as expressed initially in its Cold War rhetoric and stance against the former USSR and its perceived allies and now against terrorism.

Methodology

This work examines the existing literature on Southern African history and politics written by scholars and observers including regional heads of state like Nyerere of Tanzania and Kenneth Kaunda of Zambia. This study also draws from the author’s knowledge and experiences as a citizen and observer over the years of the many facets of vicissitudes of regional politics and is interface with international foreign policy pressures and interests. This work thus, draws from the literature on and about regional politics and international relations over the years coupled by the author’s personal experiences.

Findings

This chapter makes clear link between Cold War politics and current American foreign policy on African and the Southern African region in particular. In fact the US anti-terrorism rhetoric has remained consistent during and after the Cold War. During the Cold War, liberation movements in Southern Africa fighting to end colonial rule and racist apartheid regime were declared terrorist movements and hence the subject of US hostility especially given these movements’ support for arms and materials from the USSR and China. USSR was manufactured as the organizer of international terrorism. Proxy wars were waged to deal with these movements and their supporters such as the war in Angola where the United States supported dubious and questionable characters like Jonas Savimbi of the National Union for the Total Liberation of Angola (UNITA) and Holden Robert of the Front for the National Liberation of Angola (FNLA) and Zairian dictator, Mobutu SeseSeko. While FNLA was widely accepted as a CIA outfit, Mobutu was imposed by US intelligence support (CIA) against a popular leader, Patrice Lumumba, who was assassinated shortly after independence.

At the end of the Cold War a new form of terrorism manifested itself in the form of Muslim Jihadists who on the continent were seen to emerge in East Africa and the Horn of Africa and the American fascination has been to ensure that this terrorism does not afflict the rest of the continent and the Southern African region in particular. Support to African governments has shifted from the initial years of confused neglect complimented with ambivalent engagement and finally, to humanitarianism. This has taken the form of the support to Africa to fight HIV and AIDS so as to harvest a favourable ground among African governments. This was seen as helping to ensconce American support in the region and weaken the ground for the Al Qaeda intrusion, real or imagined. It was also hoped that this might help counter growing Chinese influence. It is not entirely surprising too that the economic and strategic focus has been to sustain a declining hegemonic position especially in a region where Chinese investments and influence have outstripped American and Western influence.

Details

Race in the Age of Obama: Part 2
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78350-982-9

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Book part
Publication date: 19 September 2006

Robert J. Antonio and Alessandro Bonanno

We address here how the U.S. neoliberal policy regime developed and how its reconstructed vision of modernization, which culminated, under the rubric of globalization, was…

Abstract

We address here how the U.S. neoliberal policy regime developed and how its reconstructed vision of modernization, which culminated, under the rubric of globalization, was neutralized by 9/11 and neoconservative geopolitics. We analyze the phases in the rise of neoliberalism, and provide a detailed map of its vision of global modernization at its high tide under Clinton. We also address how the Bush Doctrine's unilateral, preemptive polices and the consequent War on Terror and Iraq War eroded U.S. legitimacy as the globalization system's hegmon and shifted the discourse from globalization to empire. Cold War modernization theorists, neoliberal globalization advocates, and Bush doctrine neoconservatives all drew on an American exceptionalist tradition that portrays the U.S. as modernity's “lead society,” attaches universal significance to its values, policies, and institutions, and urges their worldwide diffusion. All three traditions ignore or diminish the importance of substantive equality and social justice. We suggest that consequent U.S. policy problems might be averted by recovery of a suppressed side of the American tradition that stresses social justice and holds that democracy must start at home and be spread by example rather than by exhortation or force. Overall, we explore the contradictory U.S. role in an emergent post-Cold War world.

Details

Globalization between the Cold War and Neo-Imperialism
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84950-415-7

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Book part
Publication date: 19 September 2006

Larry W. Isaac and Daniel M. Harrison

In recent years, and especially with the war in Iraq, the U.S. military's reliance on private contractors as forces in the theater of war has grown and become increasingly…

Abstract

In recent years, and especially with the war in Iraq, the U.S. military's reliance on private contractors as forces in the theater of war has grown and become increasingly clear. We critically evaluate some of the best literature on the emergence of this phenomenon – especially Ken Silverstein's Private Warriors and P. W. Singer's Corporate Warriors: The Rise of the Privatized Military Industry – and find a neglect of the historical path-dependent character of the rise of the new corporate armed forces. In particular, we concentrate on American experience and two silences that are integral to understanding the path-dependent character of this process: (1) earlier historical reliance on private armed force to suppress the labor movement in America, the template for this new form of irregular armed force and (2) the ghost of Vietnam as a continuing political liability in the mobilization of sufficient troop levels under neo-imperialist aspirations and “the global war on terror,” as the main condition for the rise of the new private military form. Both elements suggest the theoretical importance of state strength/weakness in any explanation of private armed force. We discuss several important political implications of our findings.

Details

Globalization between the Cold War and Neo-Imperialism
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84950-415-7

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Book part
Publication date: 24 June 2014

Ian Roxborough and Zoe Levy

This chapter argues that aspiring hegemons face a wide array of complex and distinct military challenges. Managing scarce military resources requires a subtle and complex…

Abstract

This chapter argues that aspiring hegemons face a wide array of complex and distinct military challenges. Managing scarce military resources requires a subtle and complex global strategy that is likely to generate cognitive overload for the political system. As a result of cognitive overload, aspiring hegemons are likely to flail around, rapidly shifting from one global strategy to another. Such strategic flailing will occur independently of whether or not the economy is in crisis, though clearly economic crisis will exacerbate the tendency towards strategic incoherence. The chapter examines U.S. global strategy since the end of the Cold War, looking at the focus on “rogue regimes,” a growing concern with “global chaos,” worry about the rise of a peer competitor (China), and the debates about the root causes of, and best strategies to mitigate, terrorism. The chapter concludes with a discussion of the role of culture and notions of national identity and their role in the formulation of grand strategy.

Details

The United States in Decline
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78350-829-7

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Article
Publication date: 1 March 1996

Bert Chapman

The conclusion of the Cold War rivalry between the United States and former Soviet Union in the late 1980s and early 1990s created new areas of opportunity and concern for…

Abstract

The conclusion of the Cold War rivalry between the United States and former Soviet Union in the late 1980s and early 1990s created new areas of opportunity and concern for U.S. national security policy. No longer menaced by the threat of nuclear war from Soviet military might, the United States emerged from the Cold War as the world's preeminent military power. Successful developments such as this often produce elation in the pronouncements of U.S. officials as a recent Clinton administration declaration demonstrates:

Details

Reference Services Review, vol. 24 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0090-7324

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Book part
Publication date: 29 November 2019

Richard E. Killblane

Abstract

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Delivering Victory
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78754-603-5

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Book part
Publication date: 24 May 2011

Fanny Coulomb, Liliane Bensahel-Perrin and Jacques Fontanel

The issue of the link between wars and economic cycles and the sense of the causality has given rise to many economic studies. The statistical works of N. D…

Abstract

The issue of the link between wars and economic cycles and the sense of the causality has given rise to many economic studies. The statistical works of N. D. Kondratiev11Kondratiev (1935). This paper is a synthetic presentation of Kondratiev's works during the 1920s. in the 1930s, showing the existence of long economic cycles regulating capitalism, have contributed much to the economic cycles' theory. This analysis based on the observation of long-term economic changes in GDP growth rates and/or price levels shows some rising and declining phases, as well as reversal points of the cycles. Among the most easily identifiable phenomena are the following: the economic crisis of the 1930s, the post–Second World War growth period, and the economic crisis that started in the 1970s. However, as shown by a study of Tylecote, A. (1992). History as a forecasting tool: The future of the European economy in a long-wave/long-cycle perspective. Review of Political Economy, 4(2), 226–248. The long economic cycles are less identifiable for the period 1850–1930, unless the disruptive effects of the American Civil War and First World War are considered: their recessive and then reflationary effects would have disrupted the rising and declining phases. But some analyses present war as being a central factor in long-term economic changes.

Modelski, G. (1987). Long cycles in world politics. London: Macmillan of long cycles had become very famous in the 1980s. It identifies cycles of 100–120 years, starting with an exceptionally long global war (it may also be a more discontinuous phase of war, like the two world wars) and giving rise to a new dominant power. Its technological and commercial domination permits keeping an uncontested supremacy, until some competing powers start to erode it. However, this theory does not focus on the links between major wars and long-term economic changes.

This issue having been largely studied in the past, the first part of the paper will present a review of these analyses. Then in the second part, it will ask if these ideas may help in predicting future major economic crises and related international conflicts. It is a delicate task, as it is as difficult to show subsequently a link between economic cycles and major wars as to predict future cyclical phenomena on the world economic and political scene.

Details

Frontiers of Peace Economics and Peace Science
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-85724-701-8

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Book part
Publication date: 17 August 2011

Ricardo Sousa

The conflict in Angola saw some of its most intense periods after the end of the Cold War, missing a favorable period of conflict resolution in this transition. This…

Abstract

The conflict in Angola saw some of its most intense periods after the end of the Cold War, missing a favorable period of conflict resolution in this transition. This chapter analyzes the reasons that were behind the failure to reach a successful peace process at this specific time when Namibia worked out a peaceful solution but Angola failed with the Gbadolite initiative. The analysis uses a “ripeness” model focusing on agency and processes over the 1989 Gbadolite Accords and its immediate context of the 1988 New York Accords and the aftermath of the 1991 Bicesse Accords. It is proposed that there was a lack of “ripeness” in Angola. On one hand, a resolution of the Angola conflict was not essential to finding a regional solution for Southern Africa, and on the other hand, both parties, the Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA) and National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA), lacked the conditions to effectively engage in a political solution. Namely, the parties were monolithic, the military process had not reached a point of hurting stalemate, and the incentive structures in terms of oil and diamond wealth in the country hindered both party predispositions. It concludes that finding a point of “ripeness” might take time; it is an agency envisioned process and as such can be possible within virtual new solutions that accommodate old power concerns.

Details

Governance, Development and Conflict
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-85724-896-1

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Article
Publication date: 24 October 2008

Robert Westwood and Gavin Jack

This paper seeks to present an analysis of the historical emergence of international business and management studies (IBMS) within the context of the post‐World War II…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper seeks to present an analysis of the historical emergence of international business and management studies (IBMS) within the context of the post‐World War II USA. It seeks to show how certain conditions of this time and place shaped the orientation of foundational IBMS texts and set a course for the subsequent development of the field.

Design/methodology/approach

The approach is primarily conceptual. The paper pursues both a historical analysis and a close reading of foundational texts within IBMS. It first examines the key conditions for the emergence of IBMS including: the internationalization of the US economy and businesses; the Cold War and perceived expansion of Soviet interests; and finally decolonisation processes around the world. These are interrelated aspects of a commercial‐military‐political complex, which simultaneously enabled and constrained the emergence of IBMS scholarship. The paper moves on to link these conditions to two seminal IBMS texts.

Findings

The paper reveals the localised and particular conditions that surrounded the emergence of IBMS and how IBMS was constituted to serve particular and localised interests associated with those conditions.

Originality/value

The paper's originality and value lie in a unique historical and discursive analysis of the conditions for the emergence of IBMS that were, in part, instrumental in the development of the field. It thus responds to calls for a “historical turn” in International Business scholarship.

Details

Critical perspectives on international business, vol. 4 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1742-2043

Keywords

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