The Big 5: Terrorism, Environment, Gender, Sovereignty, Statehood
Values and theory should both be employed in a good analysis of the issue.
Each of these has consequences for the core problems in IR:
war / peace, conflict / cooperation, wealth / poverty.
TERRORISM (Groups pg. 252)
-The unlawful use of violence or threat of violence against civilians.
Used for political, religious or similar objectives.
Unresolved: If terrorism is different than other political violence
If state-sponsored terrorism within its own territory is
Nature of a 'civilian'… maybe 'non combatant' is better
Used often in weak states, in political transitions like in Colombia,
Nepal, Sri Lanka, and Indonesia. Used very often by and in failed
states, mostly in Africa, in permanent civil war. Used against the
state in the 1st World: USA (NYC) Britain (London), Spain (Madrid),
Japan (Tokyo- a cult bombed the subway there).
1950s – not much terrorism
1960s -1970s – scattered airplane hijackings
1980s – Muslim groups attack American targets in Lebanon, Iran, Somalia…
1990s – today - increase after Cold War
Is Islamic terrorism different? Mafia is organized crime, drug cartels
too, why the focus on radical Islam? Its presentation of an
existential threat is not great, but is there.
- Other belief-systems do not harbor embittered anti-Western focus to
the same degree.
- Complex and open societies are especially vulnerable, lo-tech bombs
can be used
- People with relatively 'normal' backgrounds in the middle class were
responsible in UK
- Recruiting ground for terror using groups is not limited to the poor
or to the Middle East
- US led Iraq War's 'blowback effect' may increase resentment and
- Possibility of terrorists using a WMD on a city or society (pg. 254)
A Realist 911? Was the Realist view (of the Bush Administration in
2000-01) partly responsible for lack of preparation? Ss. C. Rice is
'state-centric' in her IR thinking. "Her preferred means are military
(realist), clear division in her mind about the national and
international realms." Realists tend to focus on state-state activity
and 'territorialize' it.
Liberal view appreciates non-state actors. Emphasize international
cooperation and not unilateralism. "Best weapon against terror is
cooperative government agencies".
ENVIRONMENT (pg. 257)
A growing number of earthlings in the Western world believe that Earth
itself is degrading in its habitability for humanity, and that less
action on the part of earthlings to stop it, could 'runaway' into a
state of unsuitability for all or many inhabitants.
Why now? Global population, food shortages in the 3rd World (which
lead to over-exploitation of land, ie: deforestation,
desertification), pesticides, acid rain and air pollution, water
usage, energy consumption and all that is without global warming
The 'victory' over CFCs is seen by 'modernists' as proof we can 'do
it' through advancing science and technology. (Modernists vs.
Ecoradicals pg. 258).
'Ecoradicals' think the ecosystem of Earth has a limited carrying
capacity, like every other ecosystem ever encountered. Strict controls
on population, changes in modern lifestyles (less consumption,
renewable energy, recycling), are encouraged.
Problem for IR? Environmental troubles = greater international
conflict. Lack of water resources in the Middle East already spells
trouble. Arab-Israeli problem exacerbates it:
----------------------------------------- they all share the Jordan
River. Arab League in 60s
Lebanon Israel tried to divert the water from Israel
cause the 1967 War. 40% of Israel's water today
comes from land won in that war.
Is water going to be an issue in the Middle East peace process? The
IR finds environmental problems to be intrastate as well as
interstate. Intrastate? Stresses lead to migration from rural to
urban, urban chaos and degradation, less social cement, authoritarian
regimes. Do we see this already?
Realist stance lessens the interstate character of the debate. In some
way grounded in the Judeo-Christian view: "And God said… let them have
Liberal stance is for cooperation between states due to the threat to
the 'global commons' by this issue: the seas, the ozone, climate, etc.
Only global cooperation can face down this problem.
IPE says that wealth in the global economy should be more equitable so
that people in stressed areas do not over-stress them further.
Site Design - David Tamm - Fall 2008 - Email