an analysis of Article 2 and Chapters VII and VII of the UN Charter, and the constituent treaties of security and defence organisations. The different military responses undertaken by IGOs, ranging from observation and peacekeeping to enforcement and war-fighting, are discussed in terms of legality and practice. The chapter considers the duties of IGOs as well as their powers; in particular whether there is an emerging duty upon the UN (and possibly other IGOs) to take action in response to the commission of core international crimes (genocide, crimes against
(This article was originally published on ‘Normblog’, 27 August 2013)
The signs are now clear that Washington * and other Western powers, † including Britain, are considering military action against Syria on account of the regime’s apparent use of chemical weapons against Syrian civilians. ‡ Would such action be justified? In the debate about this at least three types of issue are centrally involved: (1) whether there is a basis in international law for military intervention; (2) whether it is likely to do any good; and (3) whether it might be merited in
British defence policy often appears to be a complex construct, surrounded by confusing technicalities. But it is not difficult to understand if the essential anatomy is properly understood. This book distinguishes the six most important elements in British defence policy – its essential anatomy – and outlines each of them using the most up to date information and statistics. It examines the costs of defence policy, the equipment choices, the personnel and human factors that make up military forces, the operational experience of British forces since the Cold War, the strategic policymaking structures for defence and finally the plausible futures it faces. Throughout this anatomy a series of difficult policy questions, as well as a number of broader conceptual challenges, constantly recur and in the final chapter on ‘futures’ these questions are drawn together in a critique of current British defence policy. This book is intended to take the atmosphere of technical obscurity – and much of the jargon – out of a wide range of highly specialised defence studies literature and distil it to give the reader a way of understanding this particular policy sector and the tools with which to make their own judgements about Britain’s defence policy during the current era.
International organisations are a central component of modern international society. This book provides a concise account of the principles and norms of international law applicable to the intergovernmental organisation (IGO). It defines and explains inter-governmentalism and the role of law in its regulation. The book presents case studies that show how the law works within an institutional order dominated by politics. After a note on the key relationship between the IGO and its member states, it examines the basic relationship between the UN and states in terms of membership through admissions, withdrawal, expulsion, suspension, and representation. The debate about the extent of the doctrine of legal powers is addressed through case studies. Institutional lawmaking in the modern era is discussed with particular focus on at the impact of General Assembly Resolutions on outer space and the Health Regulations of the World Health Organization. Non-forcible measures adopted by the UN and similar IGOs in terms of their legality (constitutionality and conformity to international law), legitimacy and effectiveness, is covered next. The different military responses undertaken by IGOs, ranging from observation and peacekeeping, to peace enforcement and war-fighting, are discussed in terms of legality and practice. The book also considers the idea of a Responsibility to Protect and the development of secondary rules of international law to cover the wrongful acts and omissions of IGOs. It ends with a note on how the primary and secondary rules of international law are upheld in different forms and mechanisms of accountability, including courts.
Norman Geras's work on the subject of Karl Marx's antisemitism involved significant dissent from the Marxist tradition in which he located himself, precisely because unvarnished honesty prevented him from glossing over the many troubling ideas and notions that, simply, are there. His Normblog demonstrated how Geras, as a Marxist, took on the shibboleths of the postmodern left, and in particular the relativism whose malign influence he had noted when writing his book on Marx's conception of human nature. 'The principle of self-emancipation', wrote Geras in 1971, 'is central, not incidental, to historical materialism.' This book shows how the materialist usage of 'powers of human nature', 'natural desires', 'natural character' play an important role in the formulation of Marx's theory of history. It explores Richard Rorty's various usages on the question of human nature and the tensions and anomalies as well as then theses on utopia. The book also reviews a fast-growing sector of the current literature on Karl Marx, i.e. whether Marx condemn capitalism in the light of any principle of justice, and the controversy that has fuelled its growth, and distinguishes three meanings (personal, intellectual and socio-political) of 'being a Marxist'. It discusses the significance of the Euston Manifesto, antisemitism on the left anti-Jewish stereotypes, and Marxism before the Holocaust. The book concludes with insights into the 9/11 incident, the principle of humanitarian intervention and international law for military intervention.
quantity and quality of military equipment – ‘the
kit’ in popular military parlance – always commands press
and public attention. The number of ships, tanks and aircraft that
Britain fields seems more noteworthy than the weapons they carry, or the
intelligence and control systems that back them up, still less the
number and quality of the people who operate them. Yet as military
equipment gets ever more expensive, the numbers of ships, tanks and
aircraft that Britain procures has inevitably
The sense of mobilisation and pressure on the system, and thus the attempt to generate grand strategy, is all the more tangible in the security and military realms. Indeed, because of the ‘changing geopolitical situation’ and the ‘spread of instability and conflict’, since 2013 senior officials have spoken of the urgent need for the armed forces to reach a ‘fundamentally new capability level within three to five years’, and of developing measures to prepare Russia’s transition to a war footing. In December 2016, for instance, Putin stated clearly that
create the conditions for a political outcome. ‘Battle’
is traditionally a competition at the extreme ends of human violence and
endurance, and ‘warfare’ is a competition between states
or societies to impose their political will (Keegan 1976 : 295–8).
Those who ‘fight’, in the broadest sense of
the term, are fundamental to a functioning defence policy. Whether or
not they are fighting, the anticipation that they will, if required, go
to war is critical to their ability to do all the other things military
settling an end to the last disputed frontier in 1904 largely removed the need for Brazilian military planners to worry about a landbased armed invasion. Indeed, the logistical difficulties of engaging in combat along Brazil’s Amazonian boundaries have combined with the relatively weak military capacity of most bordering countries to make the risk of war close to zero. Even with respect to Argentina, with whom Brazil had a long-standing strategic contest, distrust was always more a case of rhetorical bluster than concrete action, although it drove significant expenditure
dominated world history … Europe today is … a model of rule-based society. It has woven an intricate set of regulations to govern behaviour among its members … But Europe has not been able to extend its benign influence beyond its territory.’ 2
The ideological contest is reflected in China’s domestic as well as foreign policies. In a new era of Socialism with Chinese Characteristics, the PRC would become more prosperous domestically and engaged internationally. Xi was clear that ‘hard power’ resources, such as military capacity, strong-arm diplomacy and economic