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Open access

Elena Dück and Robin Lucke

Abstract

After the November 2015 terror attacks in Paris, the French government reacted swiftly by declaring a state of emergency. This state of emergency remained in place for over two years before it was ended in November 2017, only after being replaced by the new anti-terror legislation. The attacks as well as the government’s reactions evoked parallels to 9/11 and its aftermath. This is a puzzling observation when taking into consideration that the Bush administration’s reactions have been criticized harshly and that the US ‘War on Terror’ (WoT) was initially considered a serious failure in France. We can assume that this adaption of the discourse and practices stems from a successful establishment of the WoT macro-securitization. By using Securitization Theory, we outline the development of this macro-securitization by comparing its current manifestation in France against the backdrop of its origins in the US after 9/11. We analysed securitizing moves in the discourses, as well as domestic and international emergency measure policies. We find extensive similarities with view of both; yet there are differing degrees of securitizing terrorism and the institutionalisation of the WoT in the two states. This suggests that the WoT narrative is still dominant internationally to frame the risk of terrorism as an existential threat, thus enabling repressive actions and the obstruction of a meaningful debate about the underlying problems causing terrorism in the first place.

Open access

Jared O’Neil Bell

Abstract

The concept and study of transitional justice has grown exponentially over the last decades. Since the Nuremberg and Tokyo trials after the end of the Second World War, there have been a number of attempts made across the globe to achieve justice for human rights violations (International Peace Institute 2013: 10). How these attempts at achieving justice impact whether or not societies reconcile, continues to be one of the key discussions taking place in a transitional justice discourse. One particular context where this debate continues to rage on is in Bosnia and Herzegovina, many scholars argue that the transitional justice process and mechanism employed in Bosnia and Herzegovina have not fostered inter-group reconciliation, but in fact caused more divisions. To this end, this article explores the context of transitional justice in Bosnia and Herzegovina from a unique perspective that focuses on the need for reconciliation and healing after transitional justice processes like war crime prosecutions. This article explores why the prosecuting of war criminals has not fostered reconciliation in Bosnia and Herzegovina and how the processes have divided Bosnian society further. Additionally, this article presents the idea of state-sponsored dialog sessions as a way of dealing with the past and moving beyond the divisions of retributive justice.

Open access

Martin Karas

Abstract

The recent debate over the Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) regimes of international arbitration has resulted in concerted efforts aimed mainly at protecting the rights of states to regulate, improving transparency of proceedings and eliminating inconsistency in decision making of the tribunals. While the existing scholarly work frequently addresses issues of the relationship between the existing investment regimes and good governance in general, increased attention is rarely paid to the effects that investment arbitration has on democratic practice. The article applies an “action-based” approach to democracy, in order to analyse the role that the ISDS regimes play in exacerbating conflicts between the local populations, foreign investors and governments. The analysis leads to a conclusion that the ISDS regimes create incentives for the governments and foreign investors to disregard sound democratic practice. The article represents an attempt to move the discussion about the ISDS regimes away from the question of legitimacy of the regimes to the question of the impacts that the regimes have in practice.

Open access

Mark Voyger

Abstract

The attempts by Russia under President Putin to assert its hegemonic ambitions against Ukraine and the other countries in what Russia perceives as its “Near Abroad”, have posed serious challenges to the security of the region and the entire international order of the 21st century. „Lawfare (legal warfare) is a pivotal element of Russia’s hybrid toolbox that has remained under-studied by the analytical community Given Lawfare’s central role in Russia’s comprehensive strategy, NATO must develop a deeper understanding of this Russian hybrid warfare domain, and design a unified strategy to counter this major challenge to the European security architecture.

Open access

Ieva Berzina

Abstract

Russia’s attempts to influence public opinion outside its borders attracted increased interest in the context of its involvement in the war in Ukraine, Brexit referendum, the elections in the US and other political processes in the West. This article focuses on the assumption that Russian activities in the information environment of NATO and the EU member states among other things are aimed at undermining public trust in democratic governance institutions. Russian state-owned media is one of the tools about how Kremlin disseminates and promotes its worldview within and outside Russia’s borders; therefore, the research questions being addressed in this paper are related to the relationship between political trust and consumption of Russian media. To study this issue, Latvia was chosen as an outstanding case due to the relatively large presence of Russian media content in its information environment. The paper examines the trends of Russian media consumption and political trust in Latvia to assess if this is a fruitful further research area since linking political trust and Russia’s information activities is a new perspective on the issue. The theoretical part of the paper outlines the concept of political trust and the factors affecting it as they are identified in previous research, with a specific focus on the impact of media on political trust. The empirical part of the paper examines the trends in the growth of the audience of the TV channels retranslating Russian media content and political trust in Latvia in the period from 2007 to 2017. Considering that political trust in Latvia is increasing alongside with an increase in Russian media consumption, this paper suggests several further research directions with a focus on political and economic performance indicators and the impact of domestic media.

Open access

Arūnas Molis, Claudia Palazzo and Kaja Ainsalu

Abstract

Meanwhile, energy security is threatened in new domains - maritime and cyber. In the maritime domain, military operations target construction works of the new objects as well as operating interconnectors, cables, LNG terminals, and other strategic assets. Regular situational awareness in the Baltic Sea region is lacking, as is sufficient naval and civilian maritime cooperation. In the cyber realm attacks become more frequent and more complex, critical infrastructure being the main target. As cyber security expertise and exercise are lacking and integration into European natural gas and electricity systems is not completed, blackout scenario in the Baltic States remains possible.

Open access

Viljar Veebel and Illimar Ploom

Abstract

This study aimed to offer an in-depth insight into intellectual dilemmas associated with a comprehensive approach to national defence using Estonia as an example to demonstrate that comprehensive approach in itself may not be enough to feel safe and secure. The authors focused on two specific theoretical questions. First, how security threats are determined in Estonia, including the impact of such a phenomenon as macro-securitization? Second, how various levels of comprehensive approach relate to each other in the way that a shared security culture will be created? In this way, the aim of this article was not only to shake the foundations of national defence in Estonia but also to contribute to the improvement of the current model to ensure that it actually works in practice.

Open access

Asta Maskaliunaite

Abstract

Reviews European Military Culture and Security Governance. Soldiers, scholars and national defence universities by Tamir Libel.

Open access

Nikola Brzica

Abstract

In the 21st century, warfare has evolved into a challenge that many countries are ill prepared to face. In contrast to the warfare of yesterday, victory is not defined by defeating an opposing military force, but rather defeating their ability to pursue political objectives by violent, often unconventional, means. Increasingly, these unconventional means are based on asymmetries between the two opposing forces.

A plethora of definitions for the term ‘asymmetric conflict’ exist, but they can largely be summarized by a general idea that one side in a conflict, due to its own failings or its opponents’ strength, is unable to achieve its political aims through conventional (i.e. symmetric) military means. Because of this, the weaker side uses new ideas, weapons and tactics in a manner that is not expected, exploiting surprise to undermine the relative strength(s) of their opponent (Lele, 2014). The character of contemporary asymmetric threats can be analyzed through a framework of several key characteristics, which will be described in this paper. Understanding this framework, particularly in light of the horizontal transfer of technology, tactics, organization structure and procedures between emerging asymmetric threats may contribute to better understanding of such threats.

Open access

Laura Panades-Estruch

Abstract

Fieldwork is the bridge between academia and practice. Often, this bridge is not crossed due to lack of guidance, time and practical experience. Academics are left on their own to guess what would work best. In facilitating this, this article assesses the methods used in a case study of doctoral fieldwork at the European Parliament within the civil service. Findings include identifying optimum methods to plan, develop and execute doctoral fieldwork.

This research is structured in four parts, which covers a literature review on fieldwork in the social sciences, the case study, the methodologies used, and a problem-solving section giving tips to succeed at fieldwork. Findings include a selection of methodologies which include participant observation and note-taking. These methodologies assist in improving skills such as time management, working under high pressure and delivering quality reports with attention to detail, which are fundamental for a successful academic career.

The experience covered in this article will assist academics in designing their fieldworks at all levels of their careers. The methods described are transferrable to fieldworks across legal, political and policy-making institutions.