Affordable threats?

On the afternoon of September 11 2001 the Irish Prime Minister (Taoiseach), Bertie Ahern ordered the ‘heads of the security services of key government departments’ to undertake a complete re-evaluation of measures to protect the state from attack. Hence, underway within hours of the 9/11 outrage in the United States was potentially the most far-reaching review of Irish national security in decades. This book, an academic investigation of Irish national security policy as it has operated since 9/11, provides a theoretically informed analysis of that re-evaluation and the decisions that were taken as a consequence of it up until September 2008. In so doing, it draws on unprecedented access to Ireland's police, security and intelligence agencies; over twenty senior personnel agreed to be interviewed. Questions are raised over the effectiveness of the Irish agencies, the relative absence of naval and airborne defence and the impact on national security of the policy imperative to transform the Defence Forces, particularly the army, for more robust missions overseas. The book also considers the securitisation of Irish immigration policy and the apparent absence of a coherent integration policy despite international evidence suggesting the potential for radicalisation in socially marginalised western communities. Theoretically, the book demonstrates the utility to the analysis of national security policy of three conceptual models of historical institutionalism, governmental politics and threat evaluation.

Abstract only
Leadership and foreign policy

Why did Tony Blair take Britain to war with Iraq? Because, this book argues, he was following the core political beliefs and style—the Blair identity—manifest and consistent throughout his decade in power. Kosovo, Sierra Leone, Afghanistan, and finally Iraq were wars to which Blair was drawn due to his black-and-white framing of the world, his overwhelming confidence that he could shape events, and his tightly-held, presidential style of government. This new application of political psychology to the British prime ministership analyses every answer Blair gave to a foreign policy question in the House of Commons during his decade in power in order to develop a portrait of the prime minister as decision maker. Drawing upon original interviews with major political, diplomatic and military figures at the top of British politics, the book reconstructs Blair's wars, tracing his personal influence on British foreign policy and international politics during his tumultuous tenure.

Crisis, reform and recovery

The Asian financial crisis of 1997-98 shook the foundations of the global economy and what began as a localised currency crisis soon engulfed the entire Asian region. This book explores what went wrong and how did the Asian economies long considered 'miracles' respond, among other things. The combined effects of growing unemployment, rising inflation, and the absence of a meaningful social safety-net system, pushed large numbers of displaced workers and their families into poverty. Resolving Thailand's notorious non-performing loans problem will depend on the fortunes of the country's real economy, and on the success of Thai Asset Management Corporation (TAMC). Under International Monetary Fund's (IMF) oversight, the Indonesian government has also taken steps to deal with the massive debt problem. After Indonesian Debt Restructuring Agency's (INDRA) failure, the Indonesian government passed the Company Bankruptcy and Debt Restructuring and/or Rehabilitation Act to facilitate reorganization of illiquid, but financially viable companies. Economic reforms in Korea were started by Kim Dae-Jung. the partial convertibility of the Renminbi (RMB), not being heavy burdened with short-term debt liabilities, and rapid foreign trade explains China's remarkable immunity to the "Asian flu". The proposed sovereign debt restructuring mechanism (SDRM) (modeled on corporate bankruptcy law) would allow countries to seek legal protection from creditors that stand in the way of restructuring, and in exchange debtors would have to negotiate with their creditors in good faith.

Challenges and opportunities

This book explores the evolving African security paradigm in light of the multitude of diverse threats facing the continent and the international community today and in the decades ahead. It challenges current thinking and traditional security constructs as woefully inadequate to meet the real security concerns and needs of African governments in a globalized world. The continent has becoming increasingly integrated into an international security architecture, whereby Africans are just as vulnerable to threats emanating from outside the continent as they are from home-grown ones. Thus, Africa and what happens there, matters more than ever. Through an in-depth examination and analysis of the continent’s most pressing traditional and non-traditional security challenges—from failing states and identity and resource conflict to terrorism, health, and the environment—it provides a solid intellectual foundation, as well as practical examples of the complexities of the modern African security environment. Not only does it assess current progress at the local, regional, and international level in meeting these challenges, it also explores new strategies and tools for more effectively engaging Africans and the global community through the human security approach.

Community engagement and lifelong learning
Author: Peter Mayo

In this broad sweep, Mayo explores dominant European discourses of higher education, in the contexts of different globalisations and neoliberalism, and examines its extension to a specific region. It explores alternatives in thinking and practice including those at the grassroots, also providing a situationally grounded project of university–community engagement. Signposts for further directions for higher education lifelong learning, with a social justice purpose, are provided.

Place, space and discourse
Editors: Christine Agius and Dean Keep

Identity is often regarded as something that is possessed by individuals, states, and other agents. In this edited collection, identity is explored across a range of approaches and under-explored case studies with a view to making visible its fractured, contingent, and dynamic features. The book brings together themes of belonging and exclusion, identity formation and fragmentation. It also examines how identity functions in discourse, and the effects it produces, both materially and in ideational terms. Taking in case studies from Asia-Pacific, Europe, the Middle East and Latin America, the various chapters interrogate identity through formal governing mechanisms, popular culture and place. These studies demonstrate the complex and fluid nature of identity and identity practices, as well as implications for theorising identity.

Open Access (free)
The Algerian war and the ‘emancipation’ of Muslim women, 1954–62
Author: Neil Macmaster

In May 1958, and four years into the Algerian War of Independence, a revolt again appropriated the revolutionary and republican symbolism of the French Revolution by seizing power through a Committee of Public Safety. This book explores why a repressive colonial system that had for over a century maintained the material and intellectual backwardness of Algerian women now turned to an extensive programme of 'emancipation'. After a brief background sketch of the situation of Algerian women during the post-war decade, it discusses the various factors contributed to the emergence of the first significant women's organisations in the main urban centres. It was only after the outbreak of the rebellion in 1954 and the arrival of many hundreds of wives of army officers that the model of female interventionism became dramatically activated. The French military intervention in Algeria during 1954-1962 derived its force from the Orientalist current in European colonialism and also seemed to foreshadow the revival of global Islamophobia after 1979 and the eventual moves to 'liberate' Muslim societies by US-led neo-imperialism in Afghanistan and Iraq. For the women of Bordj Okhriss, as throughout Algeria, the French army represented a dangerous and powerful force associated with mass destruction, brutality and rape. The central contradiction facing the mobile socio-medical teams teams was how to gain the trust of Algerian women and to bring them social progress and emancipation when they themselves were part of an army that had destroyed their villages and driven them into refugee camps.

Ashley Lavelle

sufficient criterion for staying true to radicalism. Moreover, not all renegades are flippers, drifters, and searchers: some depart from radicalism after decades of commitment to leftist causes. But even where this is the case, psychosocial factors are important in their decision to leave behind their former allies and make peace with conservatism. The decision to break with radicalism may be prompted by some external event – such as September 11 in the case of Hitchens – but the seeds for the desertion were probably sown many years earlier. The psychohistorical approach

in The politics of betrayal
Implications for neutrality and sovereignty
Christine Agius

neutrality, the developments in international politics that came after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 have reshaped international relations and with it, added further fuel to the argument that neutrality is now obsolete. Since September 11, there have been additional alterations to the security doctrines of neutral or non-aligned states, and in the case of Sweden, a significant shift occurred in

in The social construction of Swedish neutrality
Abstract only
Mark Brown

what bearing will these events have on his work in the future? The Brooklyn Follies ended with these lines: It was eight o’clock when I stepped out onto the street, eight o’clock on the morning of September 11, 2001 – just forty-six minutes before the first plane crashed into the North Tower of the World Trade Center. Just two hours after that, the smoke of three thousand incinerated bodies would drift toward Brooklyn and come pouring down on us in a white cloud of ashes and death. But for now it was still eight o’clock, and as I walked along the avenues under the

in Paul Auster