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)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.
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.
An overview of Belgian policy making & implementation targeting countries of the African continent through either bilateral agreements or cooperation in projects launched by international organizations. Belgian African policy is placed in the larger geopolitical context, discussing the legacy of the Cold War, the country's historical ties with the Central African region (Zaire, Burundi, & Rwanda), & current structures & institutions available in the European Union & on the international arena (eg, the World Bank) within which the Belgian government can become effective either bilaterally or multilaterally in this part of Africa. The modernization of the ways & means through which developmental aid is dispensed in Africa is examined, considering Belgian & international initiatives & making comparisons to the traditional foci in Belgium's African policy. Five areas on which the current Belgian government concentrates on Central Africa are identified: (1) humanitarian assistance, (2) support for groups & initiatives targeting a peaceful resolution of conflicts & the enhancement of human rights in this part of the globe, (3) work on the demobilization & reintegration of former military units & ex-soldiers, (4) mobilization of donors & organizations willing to assist in securing peace in Burundi & eastern Congo (Zaire), & (5) actions on behalf of strengthening African "ownership" & diplomatic involvement in local peace initiatives. Z. Dubiel
In the present article the author starts off with a discussion of the Barcelona process and the main reason for its failure: namely the fragility of the Oslo peace process. The second topic focuses on the genesis of the Union for the Mediterranean of July 2008 as a follow-up of the Euromediterranean Partnership dated 1995, and its relevance for both its North African and European shores. Included are the institutional and procedural structures, and an analysis of the place conflict resolution holds within the Union for the Mediterranean, the latter illustrated by the recent Gaza War. O. van Zijl
The political arithmetic of Sir William Petty is explored as a method of investigation, in relation to his political & economic ideas. Elements of the relevant cultural background are exposed. Petty's ideas are shown to exhibit a remarkable degree of interconnectedness: political institutions, economic behavior, & demographic developments are interrelated & influence each other in producing "peace & plenty" for the country. Petty's investigation into the central concept of 'plenty' is an example of the method of political arithmetic; he attempted to express man in terms of number, weight, or measure. Modified HA.
Hans Schippers surveys the position of Hezbollah in Lebanese politics and its relations with Iran and Syria. Hezbollah is an organisation with two faces. Together with Amal it represents the Shia in Lebanon. It participates in elections and the government. However, in the Southern part of the country Hezbollah constitutes a state within a state, with a militia and a social and medical network of its own. Most of the costs of this structure are paid for by Iran. The Shia leadership of Iran also played a vital role in the establishment of the organisation in 1982. Syria acted as the protector of Hezbollah in its agitation against Israel. With the departure of Syrian troops following the Cedar Revolution in the spring of 2005 most non-Shia Lebanese wanted to see the Hezbollah militia, seen as a pro-Syrian force, dissolved. However, this was refused by leader Nasrallah. The militia protected Lebanon against Israeli aggression, he declared. It is unclear what motivated Hezbollah to kidnap the Israeli soldiers. This action seemed to be co-ordinated with Iran and Syria to divert attention from the Iranian troubles with the United Nations about Iran's uranium enrichment programme. However, also solidarity with Hamas and the personality of Nasrallah may have played a role. The War of Summer 2006 made it clear once more that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict maybe exploited by forces not directly involved, like Iran. The strong presence of European soldiers in the new peace force presents an opportunity for the EU to take the initiative for a restart of the peace process in the region. A new Madrid type conference may offer away out of the deadlock.