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German–Israeli relations, 1949–69
Author: Lorena De Vita

The rapprochement between Germany and Israel in the aftermath of the Holocaust is one of the most striking political developments of the twentieth century. German Chancellor Angela Merkel recently referred to it as a ‘miracle’. But how did this ‘miracle’ come about? Drawing upon sources from both sides of the Iron Curtain and of the Arab–Israeli conflict, Lorena De Vita traces the contradictions and dilemmas that shaped the making of German–Israeli relations at the outset of the global Cold War. Israelpolitik offers new insights not only into the history of German–Israeli relations, but also into the Cold War competition between the two German states, as each attempted to strengthen its position in the Middle East and the international arena while struggling with the legacy of the Nazi past.

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Lorena De Vita

Following months of discussion as to whether the two Germanys should pay reparations to Israel or not, representatives of West Germany and the State of Israel met in the Netherlands to negotiate on the matter, while Arab League members, especially Egypt and Syria, intensified their efforts against the signing and ratification of any such agreement. As these efforts failed, East German envoys concluded the GDR’s biggest trade agreement yet, with Egypt. Chapter 2 supplements the literature on the so-called Luxembourg Agreement (between West Germany and Israel) by providing a detailed account of the international context in which the negotiations took place. This did not just consist of the American, British and French influence on West Germany’s decision, but also included inter-Arab disagreements as to how to face the question of West German reparations to Israel; German–German rivalry; and superpower involvement in each Germany’s dealings with Middle Eastern audiences. This multifaceted international historical angle is used to reinterpret the debates about the significance of the agreement between West Germany and Israel, and to assess how the intensifying German–German rivalry played out in the Middle East in the early 1950s.

in Israelpolitik
Lorena De Vita

In 1962 Gamal Abdel Nasser revealed four Egyptian-made missiles on the occasion of the tenth anniversary parade of the Egyptian revolution. Much of the Israeli foreign intelligence service’s attention started focusing on the German scientists who, by collaborating with Egypt, seemed to have played a crucial role in the development of the missiles. The Israelis thus began pressuring Bonn to remove the scientists from their Egyptian posts. Reviewing the internal discussions within the East and West German governmental and intelligence establishments, the chapter contextualises the episode of the German scientists in Egypt within the broader framework of German–German and Arab–Israeli relations. Instead of giving in to the Israeli requests, many in Bonn emphasised the importance of dealing with the issue of the scientists in a way that would not negatively influence the stance of the Arab states on the German question. The majority of West German policy-makers were wary of losing Egyptian support before the upcoming non-aligned conference in Cairo, scheduled for September 1964. And, paradoxically, GDR representatives began seeing points of overlap between Israeli and East German interests.

in Israelpolitik
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Lorena De Vita

The unexpected capture and trial of Adolf Eichmann drew widespread attention in both East and West Germany and opens the final section of the book. In June 1962, in a meeting with the Israeli Defence Minister Shimon Peres, Chancellor Adenauer expressed his gratitude for the ‘correct and honourable way’ in which the ‘Eichmann problem’ had been dealt with. As Adenauer’s words to Peres indicate, the Eichmann affair had stirred a sense of unease, and worry, in the FRG. Both German states sent officials to Jerusalem tasked with ensuring that the trial would not have negative repercussions on their international image and prestige – or, in the East German case, to actively try and mould the trial into a political tool to wage against their Cold War opponent.

in Israelpolitik
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Lorena De Vita

The Federal Republic of Germany and the State of Israel eventually established official diplomatic relations in 1965. This chapter challenges the familiar definition of 1965 as a moment of unprecedented harmony in West German–Israeli relations (when ‘two dancers finally begin dancing to the same tune’, to use one image employed in the existing historiography). In fact, there were such low expectations about the future of the newly established diplomatic mission in Israel that the initial location where the West German delegation set up its office was the Sheraton Hotel in Tel Aviv – so as to be ready to pack up and leave at any moment. Yet the embassy remained in place and its employees witnessed one of the most significant developments in the history of the modern Middle East: The Six-Day War. As previously neglected primary sources from the East German intelligence services (Stasi) and the Soviet Foreign Ministry show, the war further complicated the debate both on the role of the two Germanys in the Middle East, and in the international arena more broadly. Two years later, in 1969, the GDR and five Arab countries – Egypt, Iraq, Sudan, Syria and South Yemen – established diplomatic relations.

in Israelpolitik
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Charles T. Hunt

This chapter explores the salience of complexity theory, a relative newcomer to International Relations theory, to the study of UN peacekeeping. It demonstrates how the central tenets of complexity theory provide a valuable alternative framework for making sense of the existence as well as the effects of UN peacekeeping. The chapter highlights the importance of studying the UN peacekeeping machine as a complex social system that has idiosyncratic behaviours, some of which are antithetical to understanding through the exclusive application of simple logics and theories underpinned by linear philosophies. It focuses in particular on its value for understanding UN peacekeeping operations that are part of conflict and peacebuilding systems in highly dynamic and nonlinear environments. Drawing on the study of the UN peacekeeping system as a whole, it shows that thinking in terms of complex adaptive systems can provide important insights into the production of UN peacekeeping through global politics as well as their operation in practice. The chapter concludes by pointing to the potential of complexity theory in understanding the ways that the UN can become part of the conflict systems it seeks to manage and transform.

in United Nations peace operations and International Relations theory
International Relations theory and the study of UN peace operations
Mats Berdal

UN peace operations have, since their inception, touched on core issues and concepts at the heart of the study of international relations: conflict and cooperation; sovereignty and intervention; norms and norm diffusion; the use and utility of military force; and the changing character of armed conflict. To study UN peacekeeping, therefore, is also to study international politics and, by extension, to engage in debates about the bases for international order and the prospects for international society. Although the scope and scale of UN peace operations have evolved over time, the study of UN operations needs to factor in not just discontinuities but also important elements of continuity in the history and practice of UN peacekeeping. The experience of UN operations is rich, diverse, and multilayered. The investigation and deeper understanding of that experience are certain to benefit – as the present volume demonstrates – from the application of different theoretical lenses and a range of methodological tools.

in United Nations peace operations and International Relations theory
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Marion Laurence and Emily Paddon Rhoads

This chapter describes constructivism’s distinguishing features and how it has informed existing research on UN peacekeeping. Focusing on core constructivist concepts like norms, culture, and identity, the chapter explains that peacekeeping scholars within this approach tend to focus on ideational influences emanating from outside the UN system or on the role of intersubjective knowledge within the UN. The chapter then draws on evidence from the UN mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO) to identify areas where constructivism can further improve our understanding of UN peace operations. These include the process by which peacekeepers interpret and implement norms at the micro level; the ways in which peace operations reshape local norms, identities, and cultures, and vice versa; and, finally, the relationship between contemporary peacekeeping practices and shifting normative and political dynamics at the macro level.

in United Nations peace operations and International Relations theory
Lucile Maertens

This chapter explores what a critical approach to UN peacekeeping entails and highlights the valuable contributions of Critical Security Studies (CSS) to capture the nature and significance of peace operations in international politics. It shows how CSS questions the values and representations that inform UN peacekeeping and the political order that peacekeeping interventions shape, promote, or sustain. It further discusses how CSS unpacks peacekeeping (often mundane and daily) practices and their political and social implications and takes into account non-traditional security issues. The chapter then relies on CSS theoretical and methodological tools to study the specific case of the rise of environmental practices in UN peacekeeping. Drawing on the concepts of securitisation and environmentalisation, it demonstrates how UN peacekeeping has been framed as relevant to environmental policies, while contributing to a broader process of securitisation of the environment.

in United Nations peace operations and International Relations theory
Georgina Holmes

Feminist institutionalism aims to understand and explain how power is distributed within institutions. As a political project, feminist institutionalism (FI) seeks to disrupt existing power settlements within institutions and facilitate change by identifying and challenging institutional barriers that sustain gender inequalities and other forms of discrimination. This chapter explores how FI contributes to explaining how peacekeeping is a gendered enterprise in the context of the global racialised and classed power relations that underscore the contemporary international security system. The chapter first discusses the key assumptions of FI and considers how the theory can help explain why contemporary peace operations take the shape that they do. Applying an FI approach to the study of institutional change and institutional reproduction, the chapter then examines how the implementation of gender equality initiatives in the Ghana Armed Forces impact on the way in which female military peacekeepers from Ghana are deployed to UN peace operations. Two institutional barriers that are known to prevent women’s meaningful participation in peace operations are examined: recruitment processes and deployment criteria.

in United Nations peace operations and International Relations theory