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Lithuania's Participation in the Reconstruction Process of Afghanistan: A Case of a Small State's Engagement in the International Arena

Because the international arena is too focused on the interests of big states as structuring international interactions, small states continue to appear merely as objects (versus subjects) in the eyes of a large number of researchers, sometimes unconsciously following the (neo)realist tradition of International Relations (IR). Consequently, small states appear to be devoid of any analytical interest. In fact, such a trend in the field of IR neglects the significance of ever increasing interactions between states. Moreover, these interactions need not reflect incompatible interests of different states. The article argues that the case of the reconstruction process of Afghanistan, implemented by the international community, presents a positive-sum logic. In other words, the efforts of the coalition in the Afghan territory allow the engaged states, be they big or small, to pursue their own interests. The degree of their contributions corresponds to the benefits their engagement might provide. As the analysis of the Lithuanian case demonstrates, a small state need not be a passive object trapped in the interactions of powerful states and can arrange itself in order to proceed with actively pursuing its own foreign policy.

Abstract

The rise of China has aroused heated debates on whether the country would become the “revisionist” power in challenging the supreme position of the “status quo” power, the United States. This paper aims to examine whether the rise of China would, firstly, empower Beijing to solve the long-term crisis in the Korean Peninsula, and secondly, complicates the picture in solving the difficult historical and political issues in Sino-Japanese relations. It is argued that the increasing economic and military capabilities of China are not instrumental in fostering significant changes within North Korea and in monitoring the external behavior of its leaders. A more nationalistic China which lacks soft power also hinders a favorable solution to the challenges of Sino-Japanese relations.

Abstract

The armed conflict in Ukraine raises questions about the typology of armed conflicts and the application of international humanitarian law in modern armed conflicts. Many controversies are found at international level regarding the involvement of other countries in the armed conflict in Ukraine. In this study we intend to analyse facts and international norms regarding the armed conflict in Ukraine and establish the kind of conflict and therefore what the applicable rules of international law are.

Summary

In their contest for domination in cyberspace states engage powers of technology, money, persuasion and norms. Clashes between two competing approaches resulted in the creation of two parallel working groups in the UN that address issues of international cybersecurity, including principles, norms and laws. Although there are very few treaties that deal expressly with cyber activities, normative aspirations and frequent use of imported rules and principles from other realms to cyberspace suggest the emergence of a new cyber normative regime – though, in the short term probably short of a global treaty. The substantive content of existing and potentially applicable norms to cyberspace has been examined to a great extent, but less scholarly attention has been paid to mechanisms that can produce cooperation and compliant behavior with international norms in cyberspace. This study draws inspiration from environmental agreements from procedural aspects and we identified two environmental regimes, which address problems sufficiently similar to the challenges of international cyber security and which have been the most successful in terms of cooperation. Selection of the Montreal Protocol and REDD+ mechanism was based on the following main factors: incentives in terms of game theory, capacities of actors, information and scientific uncertainty, the time of institution creation in normative lifecycle, number of actors, and asymmetry in power and positions taken among actors. Further analysis focuses on institutional design elements in the chosen cases, and examines if or under what conditions could these be used for international normative frameworks on cyberspace.

Abstract

Background: The physical exertion in the game of rugby is intense and depends on the playing position. This study hypothesized that peculiarities of body composition are important and should be properly interpreted in order to improve fitness and particularly in order to reduce the risk of injuries. Purpose: The aim of the present paper is to highlight the importance of body composition evaluation and to underline the usefulness of the data thus obtained for both training individualization and sports injuries risk reduction. Material and Methods: Thirty seven senior male rugby players from the former Romanian national team were assessed on body composition using a segmental multi-frequency bio-impedance analyzer InBody 720 (The Body Composition Analyzer – South Korea). We compared the results from both the preseason and the regular season 2012 with the international norms for elite players and we categorized the data by playing positions. Results: We have analyzed the amount of lean mass on each limb (kg), body water content (l), percentage of body fat, bone mineral and protein content (kg). We observed that the number of injuries is directly correlated to high levels of body fat percentage, low lean mass, and edema scores. Conclusions: The risk of injury can be identified among elite rugby players not only by using fitness tests, but also by using a simple and objective test of body composition. These results show how important it is to monitor the level of body fat, lean muscle mass and muscular development in order to modify nutrition and food habits, individualize trainings and thus reduce the number of injuries.

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