Lecture 11.docx

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31 Mar 2012
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Lecture 11
Midterm: be aware of location changes, possibly EX200. Check Portal. Three parts: 1)
identify and explain significance of 4 out of 6 terms. 2) two essay questions and we have
to pick one: broad themes we have discussed in lectures and readings. 3) true or false,
six questions and we have to answer two, and we get three points for T or F and seven
points for explanation.
It is one of the new threats that has emerged in the last two decades and has started to
challenge IR theories, and these theories may be poorly placed to answer. The other
problem is Civil War. The latter half of the XX century has been one of relative peace
because of the absence of significant conflicts. However, this does not include intrastate
conflicts (cold war, Rwanda, Yugoslavia, Somalia, Colombia, DR Congo). DR Congo has
been called Africa•fs First World War, because it is a proxy war because everyone around
the world supports a faction in the conflict. Civil wars represent a tale of two worlds. IR
Theory are in many ways poorly structured to deal with civil wars. CW generally are the
result of internal dynamics within states and as much as CW draw in external actors, the
causes tend to be domestic. Why are there more CW in developed than in developing?
Maybe greater levels of inequality, but does not explain the emerge of CW. The Occupy
movement draws awareness to inequalities in the developed world, but the absolute
levels of poverty are lower than developing. Divisions within societies, ethnic, racial,
class divisions are more problematic because they follow a pattern: most political
scientists think they need to cut the cleavage (catholic vs protestant, male vs female),
they need to cut divisions within society, but they don•ft really cause war, but some other
cleavages and divisions in society cut across them (male vs. female doesn•ft really cause
conflict). Religiously divided societies, they don•ft really cause conflict unless they
coincide with other divisions (ethnic, class, etc). Religion + class causes great conflicts
(Ireland) -> the division between catholics and protestants overlaps with class divisions
and created resentments and in some cases spills over into violence. The IR scholars are
not the best to explain intrastate conflict but they are not bad because these do have an
impact in intl society. They draw in neighbours and have other forms of spill-over
(refugees) which can have the impact of destabilizing other countries. Rwanda had a
destabilizing effect in the region (tutsi forces escaped to Congo and caused this CW,
The terrorists attack of Sept. 11 and the war on terror are great examples of terrorism.
Before it, people weren•ft that affected by terrorism and it didn•ft cause an international
politics problem or security of states threat. There has been relatively little written on
the topic because there are other topics that are more important, and for academic
journals to get caught up in current events takes some time. There is also a theoretical
bias that derives from the assumptions that underly the study of IR. The overall
assumptions underly realist theories and say that the only relevant actors are states, and
as such, the inclusion of terrorism and its threat requires a major rethinking of the core
How important is terrorism? The war on terror has had some enormous impacts on the
intl system but the extent of which it is really based on terrorism is doubted
(opportunistic actions by the US to take advantage of conflict in the middle east). Does
terrorism change IR theory and the main actors? Some have argued that it does
(Ikenberry Fukuyama say that someday these capacities and weapons could fall into the
hands of transnational evil groups and therefore we•fd have to change our thinking of IR,
but we are not there yet, probably). As technology proceeds and the ability to develop
WMD we can•ft rule out the possibility that the situation proposed by Fukuyama may
arise in the near future. The words terrorists is thought to be derived from the French
Revolution (Reign of Terror). The Jacobians that earned power during it, used their
power to launch their reign of terror, which Robespierre called this terror as an
emanation of virtue (guillotine). It started out as describing acts by states against
populations. Burke defined it as govt by fear and force. This began to change gradually
in the latter half of the 19th century -> Ireland and rebellion against british rule 1866.
Russia in the 1880•fs: assassination of Alexander II used the term proudly. The Lehi/
Stern Gang used terrorism to describe their tactics with pride. Since then, groups don•ft
want to be referred as terrorists.
Terrorism is a really abused term. It is kind of meaningless. The UN was unable to come
to a conclusion of what it meant or entailed, and it prevented the UN from playing an
important role in fighting terrorism. One man•fs terrorist is another man•fs freedom
fighter. MW Dictionary defines it as a threatened use of force and violence by a group
against people or property to coerce, intimidate societies and govts for ideological or
political reasons. Terrorism is the threat to use violence against civilians to attain
political gains. It does not really exclude acts of govts by these definitions. If we use the
latter definition, one of the chief practitioners of terrorism have been states themselves:
state terrorism. How so? If we define terrorism as violence against civilian targets for
the purpose of creating fear to attain political goals, then most of what was done
throughout XX century wars is terrorism, especially WWII and bombardments. The
overall intention was to break the will of the opponent to continue the war effort: create
an atmosphere of fear for political purposes. State terrorism is a violation of Just War
Theory. State terrorism, however, were the periodic purges of the USSR that wanted to
create fear for political. State terrorism didn•ft disappear with the end of the WWII.
Attacks on civilian targets were prevalent on most conflicts after that time, although