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Politics, violence and resistance
Richard Jackson

This conclusion presents an overview of the key concepts discussed in the preceding chapters of this book. The book details the causes of political violence. Through a careful analysis of the official language of counter-terrorism, it argues that the discursive strategies employed by the American and British administrations to construct the 'war on terrorism' were the same as those used by leaders and political entrepreneurs in these other conflicts. Importantly, the observation that large-scale political violence is a discursive construction is more than simply ontological; if a campaign of violence like the 'war on terrorism' can be socially and politically constructed, it can also be deconstructed. And, the discourse of counter-terrorism is vulnerable and full of instabilities; it contains contradictions, moral hypocrisies, deliberate deceptions, fabrications and misconceptions which can be exploited.

in Writing the war on terrorism
Loch K. Johnson

This chapter examines the erroneous US intelligence prediction regarding the likely presence of weapons of mass destruction (WMDs) in Iraq in 2002. It also examines why lawmakers in Washington, D.C., failed to question these estimates more thoroughly before they led the nation into war in the Persian Gulf the following year. It provides a sense of the many potential pitfalls in the conduct of intelligence that make some degree of failure inevitable. A useful analytic construct for understanding the hazards of intelligence is the so-called intelligence cycle, which traces how America's secret agencies gather, interpret, and disseminate information. The chapter suggests that members of Congress have displayed a range of responses to the call for greater intelligence accountability. One of the main catalysts for motility has been a sense of injured institutional pride, when lawmakers perceive that intelligence officials have failed to treat Congress with appropriate respect.

in Intelligence and national security policymaking on Iraq
Security and insecurity in Indonesian Aceh and Papua
Edward Aspinall and Richard Chauvel

Political liberalization allowed people in Aceh and Papua to express long-suppressed grievances and aspirations. Since the end of the Suharto regime in 1998, the 'outlying' provinces of Aceh and Papua have caused great concern to Indonesia's national security planners. This chapter aims to provide an assessment of the Indonesian state's approach to security in these territories. In the midst of the intensely conflict-ridden and securitized political climates found in these territories, there is space for the imagination of alternative conceptions of human security by local communities, as well as room for their application in practice. The internal separatist threat is invariably linked in the security discourse to external threats to Indonesia's sovereignty and territorial integrity. The authority of the regime depended upon the cultivation of a constant state of anxiety and insecurity that 'penetrated profoundly into the everyday activities of ordinary Indonesians'.

in Critical Security in the Asia-Pacific
Open Access (free)
The international system and the Middle East
Raymond Hinnebusch

The nineteenth-century expansion of capitalism and imperialism into the Arab region reflected a combination of superior Western technological, market and military power which penetrated and eventually reduced the Middle East to an economic periphery of the core and imposed a very flawed Western state system on it. External intervention and its often-damaging consequences stimulated an on-going reaction manifested in nationalist and Islamic movements. To many Arabs and Muslims, the struggle with imperialism, far from being mere history, continues, as imperialism reinvents itself in new forms. The Middle East has become the one world region where anti-imperialist nationalism, obsolete elsewhere, remains alive and where an indigenous ideology, Islam, provides a world view still resistant to West-centric globalisation. This dynamic explains much of the international politics of the region.

in The international politics of the Middle East

This book addresses some of the neglected problems, people and vulnerabilities of the Asia-Pacific region. It talks about emancipation, human security, 'security politics', language and threat-construction. The book is divided into three sections: agents; strategies and contexts; and futures. The first section outlines a range of possible agents or actors potentially capable of redressing individual suffering and vulnerability in the region. It examines East Asian regional institutions and dynamics of regionalism as potential sources of 'progressive' security discourses and practices. There is focus on the progressive security potential of regional institutions and regionalism has become increasingly prominent in literature on security in the Asia-Pacific. Two common interpretations of the role of epistemic communities in the construction of security are contested: that they are either passive sources of governmental legitimacy, or autonomous agents with the capacity of constructing or creating state interests. The second section reviews strategies and contexts, outlining a range of different sites of insecurity in the region, the ways in which dominant security discourses and practices emerge, and the extent to which such discourses are contested in different contexts. Indonesian government's approach to minority groups and separatism, the issue of civil unrest and human rights abuses in Burma, and the Australian government's attitude towards refugees and asylum-seekers are discussed. The third section deals with security futures, specifically discussing the question of what alternative security discourses and practices might look like. Finally, the book outlines a feminist critical security discourse and examines its applicability to the Asia-Pacific region.

Tarja Väyrynen

This chapter discusses the social constructionist view of human being and social world offered by the phenomenologist Alfred Schutz. His view erects nonbiological foundations for human existence and, thereby, challenges the Burtonian biological account. It provides the readers also with conceptual tools which can be employed to give the problem-solving workshop a phenomenological interpretation. The chapter then discusses the cultural dimensions of the social world on the basis of Schutz's views. It is important to see how phenomenology differs from positivist social science and especially from political behaviouralism. It is also vital to understand the points of departure between such phenomenologists as Edmund Husserl and Schutz whose philosophy is inclined towards phenomenological sociology. In order to understand the origins of Schutz's phenomenology and a seminal difference between Schutz and Husserl, one needs to return to the notions of the natural attitude and intersubjectivity.

in Culture and international conflict resolution
A critical analysis of the work of John Burton
Author: Tarja Väyrynen

This book is a critical study of John Burton's work, which outlines an alternative framework for the study of international conflict, and re-examines conflict resolution. It argues that culture has a constitutive role in international conflict and conflict resolution. The book provides an overview of the mediation literature in order to locate problem-solving workshop conflict resolution within the context of peaceful third-party involvement. It analyses human needs thinking and examines the similarities between it and Burton's thinking. The book also examines the logic of Burton's argument by means of metaphor analysis, by analysing the metaphors which can be found in his human needs theory. It studies further Burton's views of action and rationality, and moves into phenomenology and social constructionism. The book takes as its starting-point a totalist theory of international conflict resolution, namely Burton's sociobiologically-oriented conflict theory, and demonstrates the logic of argument and the denial of culture underlying his problem-solving theory. It explains the dimensions of the social world in order to lay a foundation for the study of conflict and conflict resolution from the social constructionist perspective. The book presents a phenomenological understanding of conflict and problem-solving conflict resolution. Finally, it argues that problem-solving workshop conflict resolution can be best understood as an attempt to find a shared reality between the parties in conflict.

Conventional and alternative security scenarios
Roland Bleiker

North Korea's demonstrated nuclear ambition does substantially increase the risk of a nuclear arms race in the region and an escalation of the security situation with possible global consequences. A critical approach to Korean security must challenge the equation of realist ideology with objectivity and commonsense. The confrontational approach is exemplified by US foreign policy towards North Korea. The more tolerant South Korean position of the last few years suggests a willingness to normalize relations with North Korea and integrate it into the world community. But integration and normalization are terms that indicate processes of adjustment to one standard norm; a desire to erase difference in favour of a single identity practice. The immediate objective of engagement, as articulated by the Sunshine Policy, may well be to avoid an open conflict or a sudden collapse of North Korea, but the underlying rationale remains a desire to annihilate the other side.

in Critical Security in the Asia-Pacific
James P. Pfiffner

This chapter begins with an account of the run-up to the war in Iraq. It presents a critique of the national security decisionmaking process that led up to the war. President George H. W. Bush was aware of disagreements with his seeming intention to go to war, but most of these came from outside the administration. The chapter explains the role of intelligence and how it was used before the war. The administration was so convinced that Iraq was an imminent threat to the United States that it attempted to use the intelligence process to bolster its case for war. Intelligence may also have been politicized by pressure placed upon intelligence analysts to arrive at the conclusions favored by political levels of the Bush administration. The chapter also presents some lessons that might be learned about presidential decision making about going to war.

in Intelligence and national security policymaking on Iraq
A Singaporean tale of two ‘essentialisms’
See Seng Tan

The Singaporean state is treated as the agent of security par excellence. The notion of security studies communities based in Singapore as epistemic agents is acknowledged by analysts for their perceived contributions to knowledge constitution in ways positive and negative. The perspective that epistemic agents are instrumental agents in their own right includes affirmative and negative views. Numerous critical analyses emphasize the potential role of non-state actors generally, and epistemic communities specifically, as agents for reorienting security discourses in progressive ways. Inscriptions of epistemic agency in principally instrumental and/or abject terms are insensitive to the alternative readings because of their ultimate recourse to settlements that privilege either intellectuals-as-actors or states without enquiring into their agency. The highly limited agency which the state-centred argument affords Singapore's epistemic communities would give little credence to the aforementioned regional developments where promotion of a holistic, human-centred discourse in Singapore and the region is concerned.

in Critical Security in the Asia-Pacific