This article explores the ways in which hegemony and power impact on the emergence, development and conflict management function of regional organizations. It compares the…
This article explores the ways in which hegemony and power impact on the emergence, development and conflict management function of regional organizations. It compares the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC), both of which include a strong regional power. These powers have contrasting postures: South Africa is a keen regionalist, a reluctant hegemon and a pacific power, whereas India is a keen hegemon, a reluctant regionalist and a militarist power. The presence of the hegemon has stimulated regionalism in Southern Africa but retarded regionalism in South Asia. Despite these differences, SADC and SAARC have similarly failed to manage regional conflict effectively. This has been due in large measure to the conflictual relationship between the hegemon and another powerful state in each region, Zimbabwe in the case of South Africa, and Pakistan in the case of India. Some of these dynamics are well explained by neorealist theory, but other dynamics are best explained by constructivist and liberal positions. This supports the argument by Katzenstein and Okawara (2001–2002) that in the field of international relations an eclectic analytical approach is required to comprehend complex processes that combine material, ideational, international, domestic, contemporary and historical factors.
During the past two decades, both West Africa and Central Africa have suffered a large number of intertwined wars. In both regions, these ‘webs of war’ have included…
During the past two decades, both West Africa and Central Africa have suffered a large number of intertwined wars. In both regions, these ‘webs of war’ have included interstate conflicts and rivalry, as well as wars over the control of many of the involved states. Existing perspectives tend to reduce these intertwined wars to a series of parallel civil wars within each of the various states. They see states as operating at the regional level, whereas the armed opposition to those states operates only at the national level. This chapter argues that many armed, non-state groups in West Africa and Central Africa should be seen as regional actors, and thus that conventional two-level analysis does not catch the complexity of conflict in those regions. Although major violence continues in Central Africa, it has largely been contained in West Africa. This needs to be seen in relation to the level of institutionalization of security and military cooperation in the two regions. In both regions, regional organizations carried out military operations that were highly controversial among their member-states. In West Africa, a series of interventions strengthened both regional cooperation and cooperation with external partners, whereas in Central Africa this was not the case. In West Africa, peace support operations have increasingly been carried out within a regional perspective. Not so in Central Africa. The chapter concludes with an examination of efforts to build a capacity for peace support operations within the African Union, based on subregional organizations but with strong involvement by external actors.
This paper aims to explore to what extent can the Saudi–US alliance endure, given the several challenges it has faced over the past decade. Using a conceptual framework…
This paper aims to explore to what extent can the Saudi–US alliance endure, given the several challenges it has faced over the past decade. Using a conceptual framework from the alliance theory, the paper will trace the historical evolution of the alliance between the two countries, then will identify some of the challenges that have faced the alliance on both the regional and bilateral levels, and finally will assess the impact of these challenges on the resilience of the Saudi–US alliance.
This paper will use the alliance theory literature to analyze the challenges and the resilience of the Saudi–US relations.
The Saudi–US alliance has encountered several challenges in the past decade such as the Arab spring, the Iranian nuclear deal and the Civil War in Syria and Yemen. However, this alliance proved to be resilient, and the strategic partnership between the two countries managed to overcome these challenges.
The importance of this paper stems from the fact that the USA and the Saudi Arabia are two pivotal countries, and their relationship affects regional and international dynamics. The paper contributes to the literature on the Saudi–US bilateral relations as well as their views on recent regional issues such as the Arab Spring, the civil war in Yemen and Syria. Assessing the limits and potentials of the alliance between the two countries could also help us understand the future of regional developments in the Middle East.
This paper aims to understand whether Portugal, being a relatively peripheral country – in political, economic and military terms – of Southwest Europe, was recently a…
This paper aims to understand whether Portugal, being a relatively peripheral country – in political, economic and military terms – of Southwest Europe, was recently a target of hybrid threats. The prevalence of a specific type of threat was found. Thus, this paper analyses the non-kinetic hybrid threats in Portugal, in a temporary hiatus of two years (2017-2018).
This study has two parts: a conceptual analysis of hybrid threats created by us and, based on the typology previously presented, an analysis of the hybrid threats in Portugal between 2017 and 2018. The first part relied on source analysis, as the result of a desk review methodology, supported by monographs, declassified official documents and reports. The second part is also the result of source analysis, but more extensive. In addition to the desk review methodology, the study included semi-structured interviews with different stakeholders from the Portuguese security and armed forces, who asked not to be quoted. Media content analysis was also carried out – for trends and fact-check – mostly for the events related to the “narratives led operations” (for propaganda, misinformation, counter-information and strategic leaks).
To date, Portugal – compared with other European states – has not been a significant target for hybrid threats. It is diluted in the Portuguese geopolitical dimension. Nevertheless, not escaping what is happening in Europe, it has also been the target of non-kinetic hybrid threats, especially in cyberspace. In the field of so-called “narrative-driven operations”, there have been some occurrences – whether related to fake news, far-right movements or strategic leaks. In addition, cyberattacks from foreign groups for information and data gathering have increased in recent years, making governmental and private critical infrastructures more vulnerable.
One of the characteristics of hybrid threats is their difficult identification. Therefore, information is scarce, which has complicated the research, leading us to assume, in many cases, speculation about the threat. It should also be taken into account that, in the case of cyberspace, until 2018, 90% of the occurrences were not reported, and the study has dealt with only official numbers.
It is not a policy paper. Although it neither points out national vulnerabilities to this type of threat nor makes procedural recommendations or considerations, it is fundamental in identifying the peculiarity of hybrid threats in a democratic state.
This will significantly set back the peace process mediated by Uganda, the East African Community and the African Union (AU), with input from the UN, the United States and…