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The domestic politics of Putin

This book shows the impact of twenty-first-century security concerns on the way Russia is ruled. It demonstrates how President Vladimir Putin has wrestled with terrorism, immigration, media freedom, religious pluralism, and economic globalism, and argues that fears of a return to old-style authoritarianism oversimplify the complex context of contemporary Russia. Since the early 1990s, Russia has been repeatedly analysed in terms of whether it is becoming a democracy or not. This book instead focuses on the internal security issues common to many states in the early twenty-first century, and places them in the particular context of Russia, the world's largest country, still dealing with its legacy of communism and authoritarianism. Detailed analysis of the place of security in Russia's political discourse and policy making reveals nuances often missing from overarching assessments of Russia today. To characterise the Putin regime as the ‘KGB-resurgent’ is to miss vital continuities, contexts, and on-going political conflicts that make up the contemporary Russian scene. The book draws together current debates about whether Russia is a ‘normal’ country developing its own democratic and market structures, or a nascent authoritarian regime returning to the past. Drawing on extensive interviews and Russian source material, it argues that the growing security factor in Russia's domestic politics is neither ubiquitous nor unchallenged. It must be understood in the context of Russia's immediate history and the growing domestic security concerns of many states the world over.

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How listing armed groups as terrorists hurts negotiations

"Proscribing peace is the first book to take a systematic look at the impact of proscription on peace negotiations based on deep empirical research. With rare access to actors during the Colombian negotiations with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia People’s Army (FARC for its Spanish acronym), the book argues that proscription has made pre-negotiations harder and more prolonged.

The book critically revisits and extends central concepts of the pre-negotiation literature: vilification, symmetry and ripeness. It develops a new concept, the ‘linguistic ceasefire’, to understand how negotiations still take place in an age of proscription. The ‘linguistic ceasefire’ has three main components: 1) recognize the conflict, 2) drop the ‘terrorist’ label and 3) uncouple the act and the actor. It removes the symbolic impact of proscription, even if de-listing is not possible ahead of negotiations.

With relevance for more than half of the conflicts around the world in which an armed group is listed as a terrorist organisation, this concept can help explain why certain conflicts remain stuck in the ‘terrorist’ framing while others emerge from it. International proscription regimes criminalise both the actor and the act of terrorism. The book calls for an end to this amalgamation between acts and actors. By focussing on the acts instead, international policy would be better able to consider the violent actions both of armed groups and those of the state. By separating the act and the actor, change -- and thus peace -- become possible.

A history of propaganda from the ancient world to the present era

This book presents a history of propaganda from the ancient world to the present day. The ancient Greeks, best remembered for their enduring contributions to civilization, recognized that propaganda was an essential ingredient of an organized and effective society. The book begins with the suggestion that it is the intention behind propaganda that needs scrutiny, not just the propaganda itself. It is intention that has caused and prolonged wars. Increased use of persuasive techniques intended to benefit humanity as a whole requires some fundamental rethinking about how people popularly regard propaganda. Differences of opinion between people and nations are inevitable, but they can only remain a healthy aspect of civilized society if violence, war and terrorism are avoided. Since 9/11, people need peace propagandists, not war propagandists: people whose job it is to increase communication, understanding and dialogue between different peoples with different perspectives. A gradual process of explanation can only generate greater trust, and therefore a greater willingness to understand our perspective. And if this dialogue is mutual, greater empathy and consensus will emerge. The historical function of propaganda has been to fuel that fear, hypocrisy and ignorance, and it has earned itself a bad reputation for so doing. But propaganda has the potential to serve a constructive, civilized and peaceful purpose if that is the intention behind conducting it.

Author: Sean R. Roberts

This book explores the reasons and justifications for the Chinese state’s campaign to erase Uyghur identity, focusing, in particular, on how China’s manipulation of the US-led Global War on Terror (GWOT) has facilitated this cultural genocide. It is the first book to address this issue in depth, and serves as an important rebuttal to Chinese state claims that this campaign is a benign effort to combat an existential extremist threat. While the book suggests that the motivation for this state-led campaign is primarily China’s gradual settler colonization of the Uyghur homeland, the text focuses on the narrative of the Uyghur terrorist threat that has provided international cover and justification for the campaign and has shaped its ‘biopolitical’ nature. It describes how the People’s Republic of China (PRC) was able to successfully implicate Uyghurs in GWOT and, despite a lack of evidence, brand them internationally as a serious terrorist threat within the first year of the war. In recounting these developments, the book offers a critique of existing literature on the Uyghur terrorist threat and questions the extent of this threat to the PRC. Finding no evidence for the existence of such a threat when the Chinese state first declared its existence in 2001, the book argues that a nominal Uyghur militant threat only emerged after over a decade of PRC suppression of Uyghur dissent in the name of counterterrorism, facilitating a ‘self-fulfilling prophecy’ that has served to justify further state repression and ultimately cultural genocide.

Author: Kerry Longhurst

Mobilising the concept of strategic culture, this study develops a framework for understanding developments in German security policy between 1990 and 2003. Germany's contemporary security policies are characterised by a peculiar mix of continuity and change. From abstention in the first Gulf war, to early peacekeeping missions in Bosnia in the early 1990s and a full combat role in Kosovo in 1999, the pace of change in German security policy since the end of the Cold War has been breathtaking. The extent of this change has recently, however, been questioned, as seen most vividly in Berlin's response to ‘9/11’ and its subsequent stalwart opposition to the US-led war on terrorism in Iraq in 2003. Beginning with a consideration of the notion of strategic culture, the study refines and adapts the concept to the case of Germany through a consideration of aspects of the rearmament of West Germany. It then critically evaluates the transformation of the role of the Bundeswehr up to and including the war on terrorism, together with Germany's troubled efforts to enact defence reforms, as well as the complex politics surrounding the policy of conscription. By focusing on both the ‘domestics’ of security policy decision making as well as the changing and often contradictory expectations of Germany's allies, this book provides a comprehensive analysis of the role played by Germany's particular strategic culture in shaping policy choices. It concludes by pointing to the vibrancy of Germany's strategic culture.

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Author: Dave Rolinson

The British television director Alan Clarke is primarily associated with the visceral social realism of such works as his banned borstal play, Scum, and his study of football hooliganism, The Firm. This book uncovers the full range of his work from the mythic fantasy of Penda's Fen, to the radical short film on terrorism, Elephant. The author uses original research to examine the development of Clarke's career from the theatre and the ‘studio system’ of provocative television play strands of the 1960s and 1970s, to the increasingly personal work of the 1980s, which established him as one of Britain's greatest auteur directors. The book examines techniques of television direction and proposes new methodologies as it questions the critical neglect of directors in what is traditionally seen as a writer's medium. It raises issues in television studies, including aesthetics, authorship, censorship, the convergence of film and television, drama-documentary form, narrative and realism.

The Spanish State’s illicit war with ETA

Until relatively recently, democratic Spain has been plagued with serious campaigns of political violence. Between the end of the Francoist regime in 1975 and the announcement of a ceasefire in 2010, the Basque separatist group ETA (Euskadi (e)Ta Askatasuna, Basque Country and Freedom) unquestionably played a central part in this deadly process. In response to ETA’s increasingly violent actions, Spain adopted a determined counter-terrorist stance, establishing one of the most formidable anti-terrorist arsenals among Western democracies. Less well known were the extra-judicial strategies Spain used to eradicate ETA. In the 1980s, initiatives to reopen channels to ETA by the Spanish government were twinned with an astute strategy of enhanced police and judicial co-operation with France on the one hand and a covert campaign of assassination of ETA members on the other. Between 1983 and 1987, mercenaries adopting the pseudonym GAL (Grupos Antiterroristas de Liberación, Antiterrorist Liberation Groups) paid by the Spanish treasury and relying upon national intelligence support were at war with ETA. This establishment of unofficial counter-terrorist squads in a liberal democracy was a blatant detour from legality. More than thirty years later, the campaign of covered-up assassinations continues to grip Spain. Counter-terror by Proxy assesses the political and institutional context of the inception of Spain’s resort to covert and illegal counter-terrorist strategies, which predate the current global fight against terrorism by decades, going on to examine the wider implications of the use of such strategies in a liberal democracy.

Perceptions, experiences, and consequences

This book explores citizens’ perceptions and experiences of security threats in contemporary Britain, drawing on perspectives from International Security Studies and Political Psychology. The empirical chapters are based on twenty focus groups across six British cities and a large sample survey conducted between April and September 2012. These data are used to investigate the extent to which diverse publics share government framings of certain issues as the most pressing security threats, to assess the origins of perceptions of specific security threats ranging from terrorism to environmental degradation, to investigate what makes some people feel more threatened by these issues than others, to examine the effects of threats on other areas of politics such as harbouring stereotypes of minorities or prioritising public spending on border control over health, and to evaluate the effectiveness of government messages about security threats and attempts to change citizens’ behaviour as part of the risk management cycle. The book demonstrates widespread heterogeneity in perceptions of issues as security threats and in their origins, with implications for the extent to which shared understandings of threats are an attainable goal. The concluding chapter summarises the findings and discusses their implications for government and public opinion in the future. While this study focuses on the British case, its combination of quantitative and qualitative methods seeks to make broader theoretical and methodological contributions to scholarship produced in Political Science, International Relations, Political Psychology, and Security Studies.

Britain’s role in the war on terror
Author: Steven Kettell

The war on terror has shaped and defined the first decade of the twenty-first century, yet analyses of Britain's involvement remain limited and fragmentary. This book provides a comprehensive, detailed and critical analysis of these developments. It argues that New Labour's support for a militaristic campaign was driven by a desire to elevate Britain's influence on the world stage, and to assist the United States in a new imperialist project of global reordering. This included participation in the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq, support for extra-legal measures and a diminution of civil liberties through punitive anti-terror legislation. Ostensibly set within a political framework of promoting humanitarian values, the government's conduct in the war on terror also proved to be largely counter-productive, eroding trust between the citizenry and the state, putting the armed forces under increasing strain, reducing Britain's global position and ultimately exacerbating the threat from radical Islamic terrorism. While new imperialism is typically treated as either an ‘economic’, ‘political’, ‘militaristic’ or ‘humanitarian’ endeavour, this study seeks to enhance current scholarly accounts by setting the events and dynamics of the war on terror within a more holistic and multi-dimensional account of new imperialist forces.

This book is about the transformation of Germany's security and defence policy in the time between the 1991 Gulf War and the 2003 war against Iraq. It traces and explains the reaction of Europe's biggest and potentially most powerful country to the ethnic wars of the 1990s, the emergence of large-scale terrorism, and the new US emphasis on pre-emptive strikes. Based on an analysis of Germany's strategic culture, it portrays Germany as a security actor and indicates the conditions and limits of the new German willingness to participate in international military crisis management that developed over the 1990s. The book debates the implications of Germany's transformation for Germany's partners and neighbours, and explains why Germany said ‘yes’ to the war in Afghanistan, but ‘no’ to the Iraq War. Based on a comprehensive study of the debates of the German Bundestag and actual German policy responses to the international crises between 1991 and 2003, it provides insights into the causes and results of Germany's transformation.