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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

Małgorzata Smagorowicz-Chojnowska

Abstract

The chosen currency regime places a state within the international economic order. Therefore, the exchange rate is a key to creating an internal financial system and opening it up to foreign participants. In this paper we would like to show the differences between China and the USA and examine their impact on potential changes on the distribution of power in the international system. We will also try to prove that this field is a missing link in preventing the final launching of a symmetrical bipolar system which will finally force China to accept the rules of a Washington Consensus instead of following its own patterns. The case study method will be used in order to compare market data and assess the role of currencies for the given model.

Open access

Małgorzata Pietrasiak

Abstract

Vietnam tries to respond to changing international situations, while attempting to stay in accordance with its own ambitions. China and the USA, the two superpowers, are the most important partners of Vietnamese strategy, which is determined by these two countries. The most important economic partner and ideological ally is China. But both sides have some serious problems to resolve such as maritime disputes. The situation imposes the need to seek counterbalance, a reliable ally who provides protection for its own interests. So Vietnam looks to balance improved relations with China while seeking deeper and multidimensional relations with the USA. The United States offers many advantages that are attractive to Vietnam. Inevitably, economic ties and new projects e.g. TPP, political, cultural and scientific cooperation make up these advantages. However, the United States can only provide support for the Spratly and Paracel Islands’ dispute and improving cooperative measures in the South China Sea with the presence of U.S. naval vessels and dialogue that assists Vietnam defense. Vietnam has again become an element in the American strategy of pivoting to Asia.

Open access

Lucia Husenicova

Abstract

The U.S. relations to Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) are since the end of the Cold War revolving around achieving a state of nuclear free Korean peninsula. As non-proliferation is a long term of American foreign policy, relations to North Korea could be categorized primarily under this umbrella. However, the issue of North Korean political system also plays role as it belongs to the other important, more normative category of U.S. foreign policy which is the protection of human rights and spreading of democracy and liberal values. In addition, the North Korean issue influences U.S. relations and interests in broader region of Northeast Asia, its bilateral alliances with South Korea (Republic of Korea, ROK) and Japan as well as sensitive and complex relations to People’s Republic of China.

As the current administration of president Donald J. Trump published its National security strategy and was fully occupied with the situation on Korean peninsula in its first year, the aim of the paper is to analyse the changes in evolution of U.S. North Korean policy under last three administrations, look at the different strategies adopted in order to achieve the same aim, the denuclearization. The paper does not provide a thorough analysis, neither looks at all documents adopted and presented in the U.S. or within the U.N. It more focuses on the general principles of particular strategies, most significant events in mutual relations as recorded by involved governmental officials and also weaknesses of these strategies as none has achieved desirable result. In conclusion, several options for current administration are drawn, however all of them require significant compromises and could be accompanied with series of setbacks dangerous for regional stability and U.S. position in the region.

Open access

Robert Łoś

Abstract

The United States, as a leading world power, has to face China – an emerging powerful rival. The potential of both states’ power is measured by universal indicators. On a military level, these indicators are: military expenditure, soldiers/reserve/soldiers abroad, offensive weapons, nuclear warheads.

On an economic level: GDP value, reserve currency/public debt to GNP, direct investment home and abroad. With regard soft power, six categories have been taken into consideration: diplomacy, socio-political, socioeconomic, education, high and popular culture. All of the three researched levels were correlated with both states’ political system specificity and the character of the international arena’s relations. It allowed for the assessment of the current levels of both states’ power as well as their future prospects.

Open access

Marek Górka

Abstract

The Three Seas Initiative (TSI) is an informal association that focuses mainly on the economic integration of EU member states through the cooperation of specific sectors. It is meant to strengthen the single market and bonds among countries in Central and Eastern Europe. It also seeks to reduce developmental differences between these countries and the older EU member states. This study explores the background of the TSI, which was jointly conceived by the presidents of Poland and Croatia with the goal of strengthening ties among countries in the area between the Black, Baltic and Adriatic seas. The association brings together 12 states across Central and Eastern Europe and the Balkans: Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Croatia, Slovenia, Bulgaria, Romania and Austria. As well as enhancing their political ties, it aims to develop cross-border cooperation and implement macro-regional projects. The analysis highlights both the diverging interests of the TSI countries and their common predicament. These states are connected by the fact that they stand to lose the most from the two-speed Europe idea that some Western politicians have imposed. They are also at a clear disadvantage when it comes to infrastructure investments. In the past, the European Union has emphasized East–West cooperation and overlooked the North–South communication and energy corridors. The Three Seas Initiative founders are trying to determine the best form of cooperation for the Central and Eastern Europe region.

Open access

Árpád Ferenc Papp-Váry

Abstract

Estonia held the presidency of the Council of the European Union for six months from 1 July to 31 December 2017. This was a great opportunity to strengthen and shape the country image, also known as the country brand. They do have something to build on: there have been very few countries in recent years and decades where country branding was so conscious. It was a brave choice: in the early 2000s, they decided that they would become E-Estonia. This is not just a means to communicate but also involves policies and tangible developments regarding electronics, IT, and brand new technologies in order to build the most advanced digital society of Europe and the world.

But how did this appear during the EU Presidency and how are Estonian citizens involved in branding? This rather lengthy case study explores the concept as a good practice, also setting an example for other countries.

Open access

Agnieszka Turska-Kawa and Agata Olszanecka-Marmola

Abstract

The aim of this study is to find out whether women in Polish politics are perceived through the prism of gender stereotypes. We conducted a two-stage empirical study (N=447) to investigate the kinds of qualities that young voters attribute to politicians in the context of gender stereotypes. Our findings correlated with a pattern of research that shows that female politicians are typically associated with “female issues” and seen in terms of stereotypically feminine traits. The results of our survey showed gender solidarity, with female and male participants generally responding more positively to politicians of the same gender. There were also significant differences based on respondents’ interest in politics; people interested in politics were, for example, significantly less likely to ascribe qualities related to political ability and self-composure to women. Finally, ideological identifications did not modify perceptions of female politicians but people who identified as right-wing more often viewed male politicians as politically capable, diligent, likeable and go-getters.