Politics

Egypt’s counter-terrorism policy post-9/ 11 and beyond
Bassant Hassib

The political and security developments of the post-Arab uprisings, specifically in Egypt, lend credence to an “excessive” securitization approach toward the broader civil society, in comparison to the impact of the post-9/11 domestic and foreign context. These developments constituted a web of interrelated external and internal determinants that chiselled away the capacity of Egyptian civil society organizations (CSOs) to survive or adapt as they were stripped of any form of international, state, and societal support. This chapter argues that these determinants are: first, the rise of “populist leadership” after 2011, which gained significance through fostering the dichotomy between the “Egyptian people” and “independent CSOs” by associating CSOs with national security threats, i.e. terrorism. Second, the high incidence of national and regional terrorism post-2011 provided not only national but also international legitimacy to the excessive securitization of civil society. Resultantly, Egypt’s crackdown on CSOs and their exclusion from the governance process was largely ignored in favor of securing Egypt’s continued cooperation. This in turn led to a severe government mass crackdown, thereby shrinking the civic space in Egypt.

in Counter-terrorism and civil society
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State security and its effects on civil society in Uganda
David Andrew Omona and Scott N. Romaniuk

This chapter argues that robust civil society activity in any country forms part of the conscience of the state and creates awareness in the citizenry so to hold their leaders accountable. This is only possible if there is an enabling environment or space for civil society such as free access to information, freedom of expression, opportunity to participate in a political process, freedom of assembly, and right to stage peaceful protests. However, over the years, the sociopolitical developments in Uganda have steadily facilitated the shrinking of space for civil society organizations (CSOs). In the guise of maintaining law and order, laws have been enacted to help monitor, control, and restrict the operations of civil society. The laws so enacted have invariably been used by the security agents to disperse, arrest, and torture whoever is seen going contrary to the established law – thus infringing on the basic democratic rights of citizens and affecting their security. This chapter, therefore, sets out to explore answers to key questions such as: what are the causes of shrinking space for civil society in Uganda; how does such shrinking space to civil society affect security; and what could be done to address this so to create an enabling conditions for the operation of civil society in Uganda?

in Counter-terrorism and civil society
Security politics and British civil society
Joshua Skoczylis and Sam Andrews

This chapter examines the impact of British security policies on civil society and how it has shifted since 9/11. Current security politics are heavily influenced by global threats such as terrorism, organized and transnational crime. British domestic security policy is driven by the Clausewitzian notion that “to secure peace is to prepare for war.” We argue that such thinking, coupled with the politics of fear that has led to the securitization of British society, has far-reaching consequences, such as the erosion of our fundamental rights and liberties in preparation for the ever-evolving security challenges of the future. This securitization has become normalized, allowing the introduction of ever more authoritarian and repressive measures to “tackle” these “new security challenges.” Securitization has become an ideological tool of internal political repression, legitimizing the current neoliberal status quo and depoliticizing the masses. Current measures are undermining open democratic debates, our civil liberties such as the freedom of expression and privacy, and to some extent the freedom of the press. Securitization, we will argue, has increased our sense of insecurity and continues to have a negative effect on civil society. Rather than securitizing issues such as terrorism and organized crime, we should be looking to politicize them in non-security ways. Destroying the spirit of liberty and securitizing society will sow the seeds of despotism at our own door.

in Counter-terrorism and civil society
A short history of international proscription
Sophie Haspeslagh

Chapter 1 argues that 9/11 and the passing of UN Security Resolution 1373 was a turning point that embedded proscription regimes deeply in the international system. The global reframing of a whole range of protracted armed conflicts as wars against terrorists has affected local conflict dynamics and their possible resolution. As the chapter goes on to explain, this shift did not emerge overnight and there were a number of antecedent concepts that laid the ground for it, but it was the first UN Resolution to invoke the right to self-defence (Article 51 of Chapter VII) against a non-state armed group.

in Proscribing peace
Scott N. Romaniuk, Emeka Thaddues Njoku, and Arundhati Bhattacharyya

This chapter first looks at the emergence of civil society in Bangladesh. It then turns to how 9/11 ushered profound changes in the mindset of individuals regarding the capacity building of states for pre-empting terrorist activities and operations. Finally, it addresses the extent to which an increase in state control has affected the functioning of civil society. Hue and cry has come up from different sections of the civil society regarding blanket imposition of restrictions on free civil society operations. The chapter focuses on Bangladesh, which is facing terrorist strikes, particularly since 9/11.

in Counter-terrorism and civil society
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Third World capitalism par excellence
Sam King

Modern growth of Chinese capitalism has acquired an unprecedented economic importance with vast social implications. Its degree of success or failure in bringing social progress to Chinese people is central to assessing the prospects for capitalist development across the Third World more broadly and also for understanding the trajectory of the world economic system. Recent growth of research and development in China appears to indicate a move into higher technology production. However, quantitative growth of research and development does not tell us much about its quality or type. In China there is far more ‘development’ going on than basic research of new productive technologies. Development of existing techniques makes China a competitive place to locate many production processes, but it does not threaten the monopoly of the rich, imperialist countries over high-technology production. China is also commonly viewed as a financial power in part due to the large size of its state-held foreign currency reserves. However, closer examination of Chinese reserves and how these are invested, shows many of the weaknesses not strengths of Chinese capitalism. What explains the long economic boom, lasting several decades, in China is not that China is a rising challenge to the dominance of the rich countries. Rather, China has ascended from the position of one of the poorest Third World countries, at least in terms of dollar income, to a productive and income level comparable to other relatively developed Third World societies such as Mexico and Brazil.

in Imperialism and the development myth
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Sam King

The neoliberal period reconfirmed global polarisation between rich and poor societies. It made the central mechanism of Third World exploitation explicit – unequal exchange in trade. Hence, it has been possible to arrive at a simple and empirically verifiable outline of the economic foundation of contemporary imperialism. Marxists long contended there is no satisfactory application of Marx’s law of value to the international economy, nor a contemporary Marxist theory of imperialism. Few imagined what the neoliberal period proved: the resolution of both theoretical problems lay in the fusion of Marx’s law of value with Lenin’s theory of monopoly finance capital. The resulting concept of non-monopoly capital and elaboration of its role and relationship to monopoly capital flows from Lenin’s work. As capitalist property, monopolies ultimately rely on commodity production for the market and hence can never create a world where all production is monopolised. In the neoliberal period non-monopoly capitalist production was expanded, integrated into the global division of labour and drawn into a world market dominated by the monopolies. Differentiating between monopoly and non-monopoly is superior to other explanations of global polarisation because it simultaneously explains the forms of development of production in the Third World, the different dynamic in the imperialist world and the relationship between the two poles. That is, it characterises Third World and imperialist economies with reference to the inner life of their own societies. At the same time it explains the conditioning of those economies and societies by their situation in imperialist capitalism as whole.

in Imperialism and the development myth
Sam King
in Imperialism and the development myth
Sam King

Influential Marxist work written inside the rich, imperialist countries this century either ignores the enormous and growing global polarisation between rich and poor countries or acknowledges it only weakly and partially. No major work adequately explains how this fundamental global social divide is maintained and reproduced. Harvey’s theoretical framework of ‘accumulation by dispossession’ allowed him to move from The New Imperialism (2003) to arguing by 2014 that there is no imperialism. The Monthly Review tendency, by contrast, argues that imperialism and the global rich–poor divide is a centrally important problem. However, contemporary Monthly Review writers such as Bellamy Foster cannot demonstrate how this situation is maintained – that is, how the imperialist countries maintain their dominance. Researchers influenced by world-systems theory have developed empirical evidence about how contemporary imperialist economic domination works. This contributed to an upturn in new Marxist work from around 2011attempting to explain the global divide. Among the most important, and most ambitious of these works is John Smith’s Imperialism in the Twenty First Century (2016). Smith’s explanation of how surplus value is transferred from poor to rich countries is shown to repeat core arguments of Arghiri Emmanuel’s Unequal Exchange (1972) and Samir Amin. However, Smith’s work does not explain how rich countries reproduce their dominance. The common weakness is that no work explains imperialist domination through analysis of the global labour process itself. That is why none can demonstrate how imperialism can keep dominating.

in Imperialism and the development myth
Sam King

The ‘neoliberal period’ was not the scene of widespread anti-imperialist mass movements like those of the post-Second World War era. One result of this has been a collapse in anti-imperialist writing inside the imperialist countries since around 1980. While Marxist scholars focused on the domestic class struggle or other issues, they mostly did not openly claim imperialism had ended. Rather, they renounced Lenin’s theory of imperialism but did not replace it, and produced few new works. Lenin’s work was rejected mostly without being discussed or even read. Rather, for decades, it was repeatedly dismissed by almost all First World Marxist scholars, usually with simple reference to other contemporary scholars, often using clear caricatures and demonstrable misinterpretation, or was just ignored. Rejecting Lenin was spearheaded by Bill Warren, whose 1980 book Imperialism: Pioneer of Capitalism argued the poor countries were catching up to the rich ones. Warren is the only modern Marxist scholar to elaborate a rejection of Lenin. His analysis also pioneered (among Marxists) the now typically neoliberal idea that expanding capitalist production (GDP growth) leads countries towards breaking the chains of imperialist oppression. Warren was an open supporter of imperialism – arguing it brings development to the Third World – so few contemporary Marxists endorse his work. However, the overwhelming majority (including Harvey and Callinicos) adopt his economic analysis: GDP growth equals development and means poor countries are breaking imperialism’s grip (or becoming imperialist themselves). Warren thought Brazil, Zaire and Colombia were catching up. Today’s Marxists believe it is China.

in Imperialism and the development myth