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Inauspicious Beginnings

Inauspicious Beginnings: Principal Powers and International Security Institutions after the Cold War, 1989-1999

Copyright Date: 2004
Pages: 376
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  • Book Info
    Inauspicious Beginnings
    Book Description:

    The authors detail how the Bush and Clinton administrations relied on catering to allies and building large coalitions to deal with major international security challenges, while other principal powers were either pre-occupied with their domestic problems or deferred to the United States. As a consequence, on the eve of 11 September 2001 the United Nations Security Council remained an older, outmoded power configuration incapable of responding efficiently to the with novel challenges besetting it. Its relevance has been further questioned by the unilateral occupation of Iraq by the United States.

    eISBN: 978-0-7735-7154-9
    Subjects: Political Science
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Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents (pp. v-vi)
  3. Preface (pp. vii-x)
    Alex Macleod
  4. Abbreviations (pp. xi-2)
  5. INTRODUCTION: Security Institutions after the Cold War (pp. 3-22)

    Although the Soviet Union had clearly been disintegrating for some time, no one had anticipated the final collapse on Christmas of 1991. So, too, no one had suspected that on a sunny September morning in 2001 a clandestine Islamist terrorist group would plunge two passenger jets into the twin towers of the World Trade Center in New York and another one into the Pentagon in Washington and thus abruptly change the course of history. Along with the entire world, the United States was shocked to witness the loss of over three thousand of its citizens and to see its overwhelming...

  6. CHAPTER ONE Contradictory or Complementary? Defensive Realism, Structural Liberalism, and American Policy towards International Security Institutions (pp. 23-56)

    More than half a century after the creation of what might be called modern international security institutions, nation-states are more willing than ever to join institutions such as NATO, the United Nations Security Council, the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), and many others. This state of affairs gives rise to many questions. For example, why do nation-states want to join these institutions? What is to be gained? Can they change state behaviour? Are multilateral solutions better suited to solve problems in the current international order? Among all these questions, one strikes us as perhaps the most compelling:...

  7. CHAPTER TWO Failing to Join the West: Russian Institutional Security Strategy during the Yeltsin Years (pp. 57-84)

    The close of the twentieth century was marked by the accelerated fall of the Soviet empire and the end of the struggle between two opposing sociopolitical systems. This bipolar confrontation had reverberated upon the entire world and had warranted the priorities that were accorded to the balance of forces, as well as to the balance of power. Consequently, the shelving of the East-West division put an end to a dynamic that had endured since the end of the First World War.¹ The USSR (and then Russia), as a power now in decline and seeking its own road to democracy, would...

  8. CHAPTER THREE France: International Security Institutions as an Alternative to Power Politics (pp. 85-106)

    In the eyes of many observers France has for long stood out as the quintessential realist state.¹ We argue in this chapter that this traditional view of the country’s international behaviour does not offer a satisfactory explanation of how and why France uses international institutions to resolve international security problems in the post–Cold War era. We also contend that neoliberal institutionalism, which shares so many realist premises, also falls far short of providing a convincing account of the French approach to international security, despite its initial promises. Contructivist approaches offer a more promising way of looking at this question...

  9. CHAPTER FOUR Becoming a “Normal” Actor in World Affairs: German Foreign Policy and International Security Institutions since Unification (pp. 107-130)

    In the days following German unification, some observers predicted that Germany would return to its old ways, with policies defined by terms such asSchaukelpolitik(the policy of fluctuating between the East and the West) andMachtpolitik, and that it would seek to dominate Europe. Others suggested that Germany would follow its traditional policy of restraint, marked by multilateralism and noninterventionism, as it had done since the beginning of the Cold War. Neither of these two predictions was right. Quite to the contrary, in the last decade, Germany has sought to “normalize” its foreign policy, by becoming more involved in...

  10. CHAPTER FIVE Refusing to Play by the Rules? Japan’s “Pacifist” Identity, Alliance Politics, and Security Institutions (pp. 131-164)

    The concept of security has developed in many ways since the collapse of the bipolar international system. The end of the Cold War triggered the acceleration of an expansion of this concept beyond the strictly military realm, orienting it towards issues that encompass human security, the promotion of democracy, human rights, and even sustainable development. Since September 11, 2001, no country has underestimated the pressing need to pay greater importance to terrorism and transnational crime and to protect their computer networks against cyberwar threats. During the 1990s, the great powers more commonly had recourse to international institutions and organizations –...

  11. CHAPTER SIX The Institutional Security Policy Reorientation of China (pp. 165-188)

    The institutional security policy of China is intriguing not only because there is a marked difference between its theoretical policy and its actions but also because the decision-making process remains obscure – due to the secretive nature of China’s regime – even though a certain analytical progress has been made since the Mao period.¹

    In China itself, the question of the country’s security policy is divided between two main schools of thought.² The reformist school believes that the United States is slowly declining and predicts that China may surpass the United States in a few decades. The orthodox school, on...

  12. CHAPTER SEVEN Looking for New Voice Opportunities: Canada and International Security Institutions after the Cold War (pp. 189-216)

    While the preceding chapters have analyzed the institutional strategies of major powers in the area of international security, this chapter examines a middle power: Canada. Why should we be interested in middle powers? Is it because they exercise a real influence on institutionalized forms of collective security? According to some authors, this influence not only exists but sometimes proves to be important.¹ But beyond the question of influence, middle powers deserve attention in the context of this book for one very simple reason: they allow us to say something about the impact of power, or the lack thereof, on the...

  13. CONCLUSION: Minimalism and Self-interest: Comparing Principal-Power Performance in Security Institutions (pp. 217-240)

    All did not bode well for the emerging world political order after the dissolution of the Soviet Union. There was a high demand for security around the world, but the response of the principal powers was far from adequate. As the main providers of security institutions, they were generally responsive to security crashes. However, considering the magnitude of human tragedies and considering that a sizeable majority of countries remained exposed to insecurities, their response was by and large minimalist and mindful first and foremost of their own security. Major Western powers worried about instabilities in their immediate periphery and sought...

  14. Notes (pp. 241-294)
  15. Bibliography (pp. 295-302)
  16. Index (pp. 303-311)