In this essay, the author explores how globalization of Israeli capital has undermined the ideological thrust of Zionism in constructing policies towards Occupied Palestinian Territories.
By Kanchi Gupta, 27th August, 2012
This essay demonstrates that while Zionist ideology is predicated on the expansion and territorial integrity of ‘Eretz Israel’, the nature of its administrative regime was steered by Israel’s internal socioeconomic dynamics. Israel’s sui generis ‘instrumentalization’ for the ingathering of global Jewish diaspora and resulting ethnic make-up, as well as social democratic, secular and religio-national ideological preferences are inclusive of Israeli political structure. However, as Israel’s economy opened to global capital, neoliberal capital interests spilled across borders and determined the construction of Israel’s policies in Occupied Palestinian Territories. Therefore, the essay determines that Israeli policy outlined below must not be viewed solely through the lens of ideologically driven military conflict. Rather, Israel’s military policy is an amalgamation of its economic and political strategies, which have further created transnational neoliberal economic imperatives.
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In this essay, the author attempts to assess whether war assists in constructing or deconstructing state and nation building. An example of constructive war and deconstructive war is given by assessing Afghanistan and Vietnam and the role of the three causal mechanisms‘Capital, Coercion, and Nation building’ . The author concludes by examining Syria and Lebanon as case studies to see if the causal mechanisms could also be extended to explain state and nation formation in the Middle East.
By Abd Al-Aziz Abu Al-Huda, 29th May, 2012
Throughout history, war has often been portrayed and remembered for its capability as a destructive force. Yet looking at the beginning of many states in early modern Europe, we tend to find war as the means by which independence was acquired. Such observations, analysed by Charles Tilly and Brian Taylor and Roxana Botea, has then led to the interpretation that war can also be a constructive force, particularly in aiding the formation of states or nations. The opposite is equally accurate, for war historically has also proven to create conditions for the demise of many states. We can then understand and assume that war is a highly ambiguous instrument requiring specific settings and conditions to promote state and nation formation or lead to state destruction.
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In this essay the author attacks the idea that modern conflicts are more driven by economic motivations than those in the past. Romantic ideals of gentlemanly European conflicts have masked the harsh realities of war. Even in the most egregious cases of greed and ‘warlording’, the political motivations can never be fully amputated from the criminal behaviour.
If modern conflict is to be understood the language of ‘new wars’ must be avoided. In the case of the Lomé Peace Agreement, the concept of economic determinism was taken to the extreme and led to the subsequent collapse of the peace. Future peacemakers must keep this simple message in mind: money is not the only form of power.
By Jack Hamilton, 4th May, 2012
In 2007 the Former U.S. Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers described the links between economics and politics in conflict regions as ‘something out of Dickens: you talk to international relations experts and it’s the worst of times. Then you talk to potential investors and it’s one of the best of all times’ . This idea that modern warfare has evolved into a new era in which economic motivations have overtaken political ambitions has become popularised in the post-Cold War era. The notion has led Carl von Clausewitz’s aphorism to be rephrased to claim that ‘war has increasingly become the continuation of economics by other means’ . This substitution of ‘politics’ in favour of ‘economics’ poses the question: have economic incentives created a situation in which there is now more to war than winning?
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In this essay, the author assess the threat of China’s increasing demand of energy and whether conflict is imminent. The author analyzes the cases of potential conflict, particularly in the East China Sea and the Middle East. The probability of conflict is then assessed in each of these cases in accordance with recent developments.
By Abd Al-Aziz Abu Al-Huda, 20th April, 2012
Access to energy resources is a vital ingredient to the economic and military development of any state in the international system. Yet, within the past two decades, China’s quest for energy resources has particularly generated much debate and criticism. The commonly held opinion is that China’s pursuit for energy resources is a prelude to conflict with the International community because China poses a long term threat on energy supplies. However, such observations have been criticized by scholars such as Kung-wing Au and Hongyi Harry Lai, who emphasize that China’s growing demand for energy has in fact increased its vulnerability resulting in gradual cooperation.
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In this essay, the author critically analyses Mary Kaldor’s new wars theory and challenges views that portray new wars as a continuation of economics by other means. Drawing on the writings of Mats Berdal and Stathis Kalyvas, as well as on theories of peace and conflict, the author dismisses Paul Collier’s greed thesis and concludes that it is necessary to move beyond reductionist theories and adopt holistic approaches to conflict.
By David J. Franco, 17 Nov, 2011
Some scholars claim that war has shifted from a classical model to a new mode of intra-state warfare in which ‘states have given up their the facto monopoly of war’ to groups and actors driven by greed. This, in turn, has led some to propose a reformulation of Clausewitz’ dictum of war by defining the so called new wars a continuation of economics by other means. In this regard, if we accept that new wars are driven only by economic motives then surely these should be seen as the continuation of economics by other means. In other words, defining new wars as wars driven by greed or defining these as the continuation of economics by other means is the same. Therefore, the answer to the actual question lies in the same definition of new wars and, in particular, on whether these can be defined as wars driven only by private, greedy motives or economics. This essay looks into this issue with a critical view. My argument is that the so called new wars are not so new and that, even if we accept some of the alleged new elements of these wars, economics is generally not the only motive driving conflict. Hence, I contend that no general theory of war based on economics can be drawn from these so called new wars and that a holistic approach is always necessary if we want to translate theory into effective policy.