Klep, Christ, Somalië, Rwanda, Srebrenica. De nasleep van drie ontspoorde vredesmissies (Dissertatie Utrecht 2008; Amsterdam: Boom, 2008, 385 blz., ISBN 978 90 8506 668 2)When the Home Front meets Foreign Parts. The Aftermath of Commissions of Inquiry into derailed Peace MissionsPeace Missions take place in difficult and volatile circumstances. It is therefore hardly surprising that some peace missions become ‘derailed’. Christ Klep zooms in on three ‘derailed’ missions in his book and focuses on the value of Commissions of Inquiry which are subsequently set up as a result of public and political pressure. Do they succeed in revealing the ‘how’ and the ‘why’ of such derailments and – above all – identifying those who are responsible? Based on a broad spectrum of questions and extensive source materials, Klep concludes that ‘the number of escape routes from the labyrinth of responsibility is practically infinite’; a clear message for all those taking part in international and domestic politics. It is here that the author skillfully and expertly succeeds: exposing the complex entanglement of domestic and foreign policy, even concerning events that sometimes happen away from the capital city.
J. Galtung's redefinition of the concept of peace is a classic example of an attempt to reorient a discipline by coining a new term; but it should not be the pleasant connotation of the term 'positive peace', but its usefulness in studying factual violence, which should be decisive in determining the merits of the new definition. Three objections to Galtung's definition are raised: (1) It is quite ineffective to criticize the 'minimal' definition of violence, which is meant to refer to observable phenomena, by counterproposing a theoretical construct. Galtung's definition of violence, which, apart from 'direct' violence, includes also 'structural' violence, needs prior operationalization before it can be used in empirical research. (2) Although Galtung's use of the term 'structural violence' suggests otherwise, any indication of the social units to which the 'actual' & 'potential realizations' in his definition of violence refer, is lacking. Most of Galtung's examples are at the individual level. Social interdependencies (eg, those resulting from the DofL) necessitate the introduction of properties of the SE order in Galtung's terminology & require that he make explicit how 'the best attainable realizations' (as the most likely interpretation of 'potential realizations') can be incorporated in his thinking. (3) In drawing a distinction between 'personal violence' & 'structural violence', Galtung mistakes a distinction between theoretical alternatives in the study of violence (ie, the Clausewitzian approach vs the causal-empirical approach) for a distinction between kinds of violent relationships. In emphasizing that the causes of war should also be searched for in periods of peace, Q. Wright has shown that 'positive peace' cannot be considered as an alternative for 'negative peace'. Nevertheless, Galtung's use of the term has induced serious disagreement among peace researchers about the most desirable research strategy in their discipline. 'Critical' peace researchers (Galtung not included) tend to rely on ideological testimony instead of empirical proof for the causes of violence. Research into those causes, including the relationship between social injustice & violence, is regarded a more fruitful approach. 6 Tables. Modified HA.
Klep, Christ, Somalië, Rwanda, Srebrenica. De nasleep van drie ontspoorde vredesmissies (Dissertatie Utrecht 2008; Amsterdam: Boom, 2008, 385 blz., ISBN 978 90 8506 668 2).ResponseThe validity of my comparative approach (Somalia-Rwanda-Srebrenica) still stands, in my opinion. At the level of political responsibility and the process of coming to terms with events, the similarities are stronger than the differences. My estimation that the Inquiry reports were ‘hijacked’ by almost all of the stakeholders involved (especially the Canadian, Belgian and Dutch governments) is more of a matter of fact and a political reality than a reproach that ought to have legal implications. Finally, the question of how far the three governments that were involved learned lessons from the three affairs is difficult to answer. Was it not also the wider developments (for example, the switch from the ‘blue’ missions to the more robust ‘green’ missions) that compelled the lessons to be drawn out?
PO surveys from 1979 to 1981 are analyzed to assess changing Dutch attitudes on foreign & defense policies & the influence of pressure group activism, particularly that of the peace movement. Despite difficulties in data interpretation, findings indicate a greater change in intensity than in content of such attitudes; while there is quasi-unanimity to maintain NATO membership & balance of power, the majority of Rs want no new nuclear arms probably due to the peace movement, & wish to remove existing ones from Dutch territory & cease nuclear activity in the Dutch armed forces. Potential political gains by parties espousing these goals, particularly the Dutch Labor Party, are predicted. Contradictions in the available data are noted, however, & the necessity of more detailed research is emphasized. 35 Tables. Modified HA.