Ten theses on culture and international conflict resolution
John Burton's conflict and conflict resolution theories demonstrate the use of human needs theory and medical metaphors in peace and conflict studies. Implicit denial of the importance of culture in human affairs is at the very core of his theory of international conflict resolution. The strong universalising tendencies constitute his theory as a form of totalist theorising in the social sciences. In order for a problem-solving conflict resolution attempt to be successful, a dialogical community is necessary in which the parties can scrutinise each other's views of reality. In such a community the understanding of the uniqueness of the characteristics of the conflict at hand is developed by the facilitator and the parties themselves. The conceptual and theoretical framework suggested in this book can be translated into ten practical non-totalist guidelines for international conflict resolution, and especially for problem-solving conflict resolution. This chapter summarizes these for international problem-solving conflict resolution.
From its inception, European integration has served first and foremost the national interests of its member states. The push for deeper integration also reflected the desire to find an internal solution to the security dilemma vexing Europe since German unification in 1871. The milieu policies of prevention and assurance possess a high degree of publicness; the rationale for the EU as a security actor is compelling; and the Community method prevents free-riding. Institutional innovations in the policies of prevention have primarily assumed the character of instruments managing the preaccession process and implementing the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) and economic development policies. The goals that the Commission and the member states have set for the EU in the security policy arenas serve as the benchmarks for measuring the EU's performance.
This conclusion presents some closing thoughts on concepts discussed in the preceding chapters of this book. The book talks about security and states in the Asia-Pacific, and about human security or insecurity in a diverse region. Because the human security of much of the population of the Korean peninsula is tied into the relic of the Cold War, nuclear bombs and the possibilities of extremely violent combat near population centres remain a substantial risk there. The book considers the dilemmas and difficulties under three loose headings: the geopolitical context and the political economy; identity and security; and the relationships between human security as a political desideratum of emancipation and critical security studies as an intellectual project. Insurgencies, not only in Indonesia but also in Thailand, Burma and the Philippines, suggest the importance of 'domestic' political violence as a cause of numerous insecurities.
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.
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.
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'.
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.
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.
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.