The North Atlantic Treaty Organisation's (NATO) use of military power against the government of Slobodan Milosevic of the former Yugoslavia over Kosovo has been among the most controversial aspects of the Alliance's involvement in South East Europe since the end of the Cold War. The air operations between March and June 1999 have been variously described as war, ‘humanitarian war’, ‘virtual war’, intervention and ‘humanitarian intervention’. Key features of the debates over NATO's employment of military power have been concerned with its legality and legitimacy (that is, the role of the United Nations and international law), its ethical basis, and its impact on the doctrine of non-intervention in the domestic affairs of states. The conceptual debates that have raged over these issues are important not only within the context of European security but more generally for their impact on the international system as a whole. This chapter examines these issues by exploring why NATO undertook military action over Kosovo, the kind of armed conflict that it engaged in, and whether such a resort to force can be justified.
This chapter examines an interpretative freedom, the 'magical' and 'fluid' construction of the Kosovo phenomenon, in both Western and Serbian discourses. It considers how power can be derived from the art of repetition that is how 'security' can be created and maintained by sticking to a single message and spreading it as widely as possible. The chapter argues that this is a quandary inherent to the nature of repetition. The phantasmata were made physical in many ways during the Kosovo war. Language games referring to 'love for one's fatherland', 'honour of the war-dead', 'cruel massacres of innocent civilians' and 'genocide' were at once mysteriously intangible and forcefully concrete. These linkages materialised in the power of weapons on both sides; weapons which, just by themselves and detached from the phantasmal, would have been powerless.
In the Middle East, security is strongly influenced by politicized forms of fundamental belief systems. This chapter examines the dual role of political Islam, with specific focus on Palestine and the case of Hamas, the Islamic Resistance Movement, in the West Bank and Gaza. Hamas is gaining in popular support due to renewed violence in the Middle East and the Palestinian population's increased endorsement of suicide or 'martyrdom' operations against Israeli targets. Throughout its short history, Hamas has continued to depict its movement most fundamentally as a clear and viable alternative to the secular forces led by the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO). The uncompromising position assumed by Hamas, toward both Israel and the PLO moderates willing to negotiate with the Israelis, is clearly intended to gain adherents to Hamas' more 'revolutionary' approach to the Palestinian issue.
This introduction presents an overview of key concepts discussed in the subsequent chapters of this book. The book explores how experiences in Kosovo have changed the discourse of European security. It provides new and stimulating perspectives on how 'Kosovo' has shaped European post-post-Cold War reality. The book aims to contribute to the insecurity of the field of security studies by sidelining the theoretical worldview that underlies mainstream strategic thinking on the Kosovo events. It investigates how 'Kosovo' has developed into this principal paradigmatic sign in the complex text of European security. The book also investigates how its very marginality has emphasised the unravelling fringes and limits of the sovereign presence of what 'Europe' thinks it stands for, and how it affects the discourse on European security.
For over five decades, the Cold War security agenda was distinguished by the principal strategic balance, that of a structure of bipolarity, between the United States (US) and the Soviet Union (USSR). This book seeks to draw from current developments in critical security studies in order to establish a new framework of inquiry for security in the Middle East. It addresses the need to redefine security in the Middle East. The focus is squarely on the Arab-Israeli context in general, and the Palestinian-Israeli context in particular. The character of Arab-Israeli relations are measured by the Israeli foreign policy debate from the 1950s to the 1990s. A dialogue between Islam and Islamism as a means to broaden the terrain on which conflict resolution and post-bipolar security in the Middle East is to be understood is presented. The Middle East peace process (MEPP) was an additional factor in problematizing the military-strategic concept of security in the Middle East. The shift in analysis from national security to human security reflects the transformations of the post-Cold War era by combining military with non-military concerns such as environmental damage, social unrest, economic mismanagement, cultural conflict, gender inequity and radical fundamentalism. By way of contrast to realist international relations (IR) theory, developing-world theorists have proposed a different set of variables to explain the unique challenges facing developing states. Finally, the book examines the significance of ecopolitics in security agendas in the Middle East.
This chapter focuses on the normative change in the international peacekeeping operations of the United Nations (UN). It explains that the normative basis of UN peacekeeping in intra-state conflicts has evolved unevenly but appreciably in terms of both objectives and authority from the early 1960s to the early 1990s. It analyses the collective expectations of the international community, focusing specifically on the objectives and authority of the UN in relation to intra-state peacekeeping environments in the two specified time periods.
This chapter discusses the analytical framework used in this study of the United Nations' role in intra-state peacekeeping. The study uses historical structural method to analyse the normative discourses of relevant actors in peacekeeping environments. It establishes whether questions pertaining to objectives, functions and authority are addressed by the relevant actors in any direct or obvious sense and then analyses significant clusters of normative views in relation to peacekeeping environments, focusing on the extent to which differences of opinion and perception between crucial actors have a bearing on the UN's response to intra-state conflicts in the different periods.
In Europe's security discourse, 'Kosovo' tends to allegorise the Balkanisation of Europe, the ultimate metaphor of chaos and disintegration which supposedly is the antithesis of the real Europe of peace and stability. The challenge for the EU has been to prevent a slow drift from a postmodern politics of family resemblance to a narcissistic policy of passive self-absorption and epistemic closure. The North Atlantic Treaty Organization's (NATO's) air campaign has legitimised not only new European order (NEO) realism: it has made another step in legitimising the structure of meaning that circulates in the very debate on 'European security'. The discourse of 'European security' produces a parallel paradigm of European sovereignty, a paradigm that faces serious challenges of local resistance (of the still-resilient state), as well as external opposition.
Democratisation, nationalism and security in former Yugoslavia
Martin A. Smith
The North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) has taken a prominent security role in international attempts to make work the political settlements in Bosnia, Kosovo and, to a lesser extent, Macedonia. Just as NATO's ‘humanitarian intervention’ over Kosovo highlighted the normative tension between the doctrine of non-intervention in sovereign states versus efforts to promote respect for human rights that transcend state boundaries, the subsequent efforts at peace-building have revealed other normative conundrums. For NATO and other international institutions, this has made South East Europe a normative labyrinth where democracy, ‘stateness’, identity and security are difficult to bring together. This chapter examines the international attempts at peace-building in the former Yugoslavia by focusing on the challenges to efforts to bring lasting stability posed by democratisation, ethnic nationalism and the promotion of security. It also discusses the Dayton agreement and its impact on human rights and multiculturalism in Bosnia, the Stability Pact, and nationalism's relationship to democratic norms.
This introductory chapter discusses the theme of this volume, which is about the connection between the United Nations' (UN) evolving approach to intra-state conflicts and the value system of the international community. This study takes issue with the relatively reductionist explanations of what the UN is and how it relates to peace and security. It explores the interest-norm complexes within which the cases in the Congo, Cyprus, Angola, and Cambodia were handled by the UN. This volume shows how relevant actors' normative preferences were resolved in specific peacekeeping environments where the UN was especially active in addressing intra-state conflicts.