Chapter 10 Reading.docx

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Georgia Institute of Technology
International Affairs
INTA 1110
Tarun Chaudhary

Chapter 10 Reading Key Issues in Contemporary IR 11/6/2012 4:12:00 PM International Terrorism  Terrorism is the unlawful use or threatened use of violence against civilians, often to achieve political, religious or similar objectives  Most terrorism is national, not int'l  1960s, aircraft hijackings increased  1980s, increased incidence of radical Muslim groups attacking American targets in Lebanon, Iran, Somalia,…  Int'l terrorism primarily concerned with radical Muslim groups o Best known: al-Qaeda  How important is int'l terrorism? o Controversial question o Some say int'l terrorism is like crime and crime has been around forever, therefore int'l terrorism is not that important o Magnitude of Sept 11 changed this view. o Organized crime and there is organized terrorism o Before 9-11, very few terrorist attacks ever killed more than 100 people o Int'l Terrorism not significant because:  Very few terrorist groups are int'l, most are national  This kind of int'l terrorism is specifically connected to radical, fundamentalist version of Islam which is not representative of Islam as such  Al-Qaeda is specifically connected to marginalized Muslim groups of Mujahedin who joined together to fight against the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan and were able to use that country as a safe haven. o Int'l terrorism is extremely significant because:  Complex societies are necessarily vulnerable  Limited possibilities for surveillance and control  Suicide terrorists carrying forceful, low tech bombs cannot be easily stopped.  London Bomb attacks (2005) shows that citizens of the country can be recruited  Some argue that US-led war in Iraq leads to “blowback terrorism” meaning that terrorism recruitment increased  There is danger of int'l terrorists gaining access to and using weapons of mass destruction  Nature of Theoretical challenge: does the issue demand new approaches and concepts or can it be covered by traditional approaches? o Realist approach: security issues o Liberals: terrorist groups are a set of non-state actors that influence the int'l agenda o IPE theorists: political economy of int'l terror o Realism  Realism focuses on security between states, non-state actors are often ignored by realists  Colin Gray  Realists translate the terrorist threat into a threat from another state (some state must be backing the t. group)  John Mearsheimer: use of military force in Middle East will and has created resentment by the natives of the US and will cause natives to support and join t. groups. o Liberalism  Appreciate non state actors  Emphasize the need for int'l cooperation in facing the t. threat. Religion in IR: A Clash of Civilizations?  After Peace of Westphalia, religion became a private entity, one separate from politics.  Modernization deeply integrated in secularization o Controversial: Peter Berger claims the world is as religious as it ever was.  Samuel Huntington o Clash of Civilizations thesis  Dominating source of conflict is cultural o Core of a civilization is religion  But is there a common religious cultural pattern across a wide range of societies? o Consistency of civilizations (religions persist)  In order for civilizations to be in opposition of each other, there must be consistent qualities.  However, there is too much diversity and dynamic change within civilizations  Rise in the influence of religion on politics o Religious orgs are growing in their power to shape public debate and the policies of govs. o Religious orgs exercise a transnational influence upon the politics of outside states o Religion shapes policies of states and their constitutions
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