Current Issue

IReflect – Student Journal of International Relations

IReflect Vol. 4, 1 (2017)

Vollständige Ausgabe | Complete Issue (PDF, 3700 kB)

– Articles –

The Democratizing Effects of Democracy Related Sanctions During and After the Cold War | Philip Warncke

The UN Human Rights Council and the Limits of Rational Design Theory: Persistence, Continuity, and Change in the Reform of UN’s principal Human Rights Body | Marcel Gretzschel

Securitization or Risk Management after the Arab Uprisings? The Euro-Mediterranean Mobility Partnerships in the Aftermath of the Arab Uprisings | Prisca Jöst

Dependenz und strukturelle Heterogenität in Peripherien am Beispiel Brasiliens. Ein alternativer Erklärungsansatz zu ‚Warum Nationen scheitern‘ von Acemoglu und Robinson | Jessica Nuske

– I reflect –

When hate trumps reason: A Brexit diary | Sebastian Möller


– Articles –

The Democratizing Effects of Democracy Related Sanctions During and After the Cold War
Philip Warncke (London School of Economics and Political Science)

Artikel | Article (PDF, 1250 kB)

Abstract

Against persistent pessimism surrounding the study of international sanctions, relatively novel scholarship argues that sanctions can positively impact targeted authoritarian regimes’ level of democratic compliance – provided that such sanctions explicitly aim to improve democratic standards (i.e. democracy sanctions). Recent research also assumes that this is a rather new phenomenon as sanctions only became an effective democracy promotion tool after the end of the Cold War. This study relaxes the latter assumption in that it considers similar sanction episodes dating as far back as 1956. Based on panel data on all authoritarian states between 1946 and 2012, the results reaffirm that democracy sanctions lead to increased odds for positive democratic change. Furthermore, the study finds that instead of harming target states’ economies, these sanctions impact key domestic determinants of democratization, namely the occurrence of anti-government protests and incumbent regime crisis. Democracy sanctions also generate interaction effects with these factors as their democratizing impact becomes significantly more pronounced when they concur with protests and regime crisis. The theoretical implications of the findings are discussed alongside possible avenues for future research.

Keywords: democracy, democratization, sanctions, Cold War, authoritarian regimes, protests, regime crisis.


The UN Human Rights Council and the Limits of Rational Design Theory: Persistence, Continuity, and Change in the Reform of UN’s prinicpal Human Rights Body
Marcel Gretzschel (Freie Universität Berlin, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Universität Potsdam)

Artikel | Article (PDF, 1173 kB)

Abstract

The creation of the UN Human Rights Council sought to address the shortcomings of its predecessor. This article uses the theory of Rational Design (RD) to make sense of the motives and the outcome of the reform process that gave birth to the Human Rights Council. RD, however, lacks a theoretical model that links its theory to the effectiveness of institutional reform. This article tries to fill this gap by analyzing the effectiveness of institutional reform using the provided variables in RD conjectures. When considering the workings of the Council during its first five years, stricter membership rules had almost no impact on depoliticizing voting behavior or procedural actions. The North-South divide severely limits the leeway of Council actions. The newly created Universal Periodic Review, however, is able to mitigate cooperation prob- lems in the Council. At the end of its first review cycle, all UN member states participated in the review process and made action-oriented human rights commitments. Despite the influence of regionalism in its process, the input from civil society organizations carries hope that the follow-up of the review will show progress in fostering lasting human rights protection.

Keywords: Human Rights Council, institutional reform, Universal Periodic Review, Rational Design, human rights.


Securitization or Risk Management after the Arab Uprisings? The Euro-Mediterranean Mobility Partnerships in the Aftermath of the Arab Uprisings
Prisca Jöst (Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen)

◊ Artikel | Article (PDF, 767 kB)

Abstract

Different scholars of International Security Studies (ISS) describe the European migration policy as a securitization process. In contrast, this paper argues that the EU-Mediterranean Mobility Partnerships that have been established with Morocco and Tunisia in 2013 and 2014 cannot be understood as an “extraordinary measure” in terms of the Copenhagen School. Instead, these partnerships demonstrate an ordinary European policy-making process dealing with migration to Europe. Following the argumentation of the scholars of the Paris School, the author shows that migration after the Arab uprisings has been interpreted as a risk to the European societies and national welfare systems. Due to this risk perception, the issue was managed by security professionals being responsible for the European Union’s “security management.”

Keywords: Securitization, Paris School, International Security Studies, EU Migration Policy, EU-Mediterranean Mobility Partnerships.


Dependenz und strukturelle Heterogenität in Peripherien am Beispiel Brasiliens. Ein alternativer Erklärungsansatz zu ,Warum Nationen scheitern’ von Acemoglu und Robinson
Jessica Nuske (Universität Bremen)

◊ Artikel | Article (PDF, 318 kB)

Abstract

Dieser Artikel setzt sich kritisch auseinander mit Acemoglu und Robinsons Studie „Warum Nationen scheitern“, welche die politischen Gründe für Unterentwicklung in der institutionellen Landschaft einer Nation verankert. Dazu zählen im Kern Rechtsstaatlichkeit, ein hinreichendes Maß an politischer Zentralisierung und offene, inklusive sowie allgemein zugängliche wirtschaftliche und politische Institutionen. Diesem Theorieansatz werden die Dependenztheorie (Cardoso, Faletto) und die des peripheren Kapitalismus (Amin, Senghaas, Souza) gegenübergestellt, welche die Ent- wicklungstheorie um weitere signifikante Faktoren und strukturell verankerte Mechanismen erweitern, insbesondere Prozesse der selektiven Modernisierung und der strukturellen Heterogenität. Die Erklärungskraft dieses alternativen theoretischen Ansatzes wird am Beispiel Brasiliens veranschaulicht. Während Acemoglu und Robinsons Prognose einer stetig wachsenden und stabileren Demokratie Brasiliens stark mit der evidenten sozialen Ungleichheit, Korruption und Einkommenszentrierung im Land kontrastiert, kann der alternative Ansatz höhere Erklärungskraft für diese Diskrepanzen beanspruchen und schafft so ein umfassenderes Bild der brasilianischen Institutionen.

Keywords: Acemoglu und Robinson, Entwicklungstheorie, Dependenztheorie, peripherer Kapitalismus, Brasilien.

 


 – I reflect –

When hate trumps reason: A Brexit diary
Sebastian Möller

Artikel | Article (PDF, 162 kB)