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S TAGING THE M OTIONS OF ‘RESPONSIBILITY TO PROTECT’ IN SYRIA? BY PROF. ALPASLAN ÖZERDEM


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VOL. 3 - NO. 2 MARCH APRIL MAY

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2012

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WORLD STORIES

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NOTABLE QUOTES

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“ADVANCING DIVERSITY”

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EURASIA REVIEW Perfect Nuclear Storm Waiting to Happen in Russia’s Northwest Region BY ASSOC. PROF. RICHARD ROUSSEAU

BY DR. JEAN-PAUL GAGNON

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MIDDLE EAST REVIEW A “WMD-free” Middle East is a Disarmed Israel even Desirable for the Region? BY EDVIN ARNBY-MACHATA

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FILM REVIEW Once Upon a Time in Anatolia BY ALAADDIN F. PAKSOY

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EURASIA REVIEW Russian Government's "Selective" Anti-corruption Campaign in the Energy Sector BY DR. ZURAB GARAKANIDZE

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GLOBAL CITY ANALYSIS BEIJING “Humanistic city” BY FATİH EREN

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RECENT BOOKS

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BY DIMITRIS RAPIDIS 34

Using the Device of a Treaty to Control Corporations? BY DR. JEAN-PAUL GAGNON

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CAUCASUS REVIEW From “Dublin to Baku”: Future Scenarios on EU’s policies towards Black Sea Region BY ZAUR SHIRIYEV

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Azerbaijan and the Iran Crisis: Stuck in the Middle BY ALEX JACKSON

EUROPE REVIEW Cypriot Natural Gas and the Eastern Mediterranean: Between Crisis and Cooperation BY ZENONAS TZIARRAS

COMMENTARY U.S. Foreign Policy and The Arab Spring BY DR. H. AKIN ÜNVER What is Wrong with Politics of the Irrepresentable?

INTERVIEW An Interview with Dr Nicholas Osbaldiston (Monash University)

MIDDLE EAST REVIEW Staging the Motions of ‘Responsibility to Protect’ in Syria? BY PROF. ALPASLAN ÖZERDEM

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POLITICAL REFLECTION

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WORLD STORIES | BY AKSEL ERSOY

The Egyptian cabinet called an emergency meeting after 74 people were killed and hundreds more injured in clashes between spectators from rival teams at a football match in the Egyptian city of Port Said. There was also violence at a game in Cairo. The police came under sharp criticism for failing to stop the trouble. 02.02.2012 | Egypt

Ma Ying-jeou was re-elected as Taiwan’s president, defeating Tsai Ing-wen, the country’s first female presidential candidate, in a closely fought election. Mr Ma has worked to improve Taiwan’s relationship with China and used his first term to strengthen the countries’ economic ties. His party, the Kuomintang, also retained its control of the legislature. 20.01.2012 | Taiwan

A war of words erupted between David Cameron, the British prime minister, and Alex Salmond, the first minister of Scotland. Mr Cameron said that Mr Salmond’s plan to hold a referendum on Scottish independence should be held sooner rather than later, and that it should contain a simple inor-out question. Mr Salmond told him to butt out. 13.01.2012 | Scotland

Concerns mounted over the state of democracy in Hungary as tens of thousands took to the streets of Budapest to protest against a new constitution. Critics say the document entrenches the power of the ruling Fidesz party at the expense of formerly independent institutions. European officials said that they would not return to Hungary to resume financial-aid talks until the government withdraws a law that increases state influence over the central bank. 05.01.2012 | Hungary

17.12.2011 | North Korea Kim Jong Il, North Korea’s dictator since 1994, died on December 17th of a presumed

heart attack in one of his palaces, though the official version said he died of overwork on a train. The nuclear-tipped regime quickly fell behind Kim’s third son, Kim Jong Un, thought to be in his late 20s. So, too, did China, the North’s crucial ally. Kim Jong Un’s uncle, Jang Song Taek, may prove to be a powerful regent in the hereditary dictatorship. Kim’s funeral was a Communist set piece of loyalty and emotion, though most North Koreans remain wretched. Pakistan rejected the findings of an investigation by the Pentagon into an American air strike on the Afghan border in November that killed 24 Pakistani soldiers. The report blamed “inadequate co-ordination” by American and Pakistani officers for the incident. But in a letter to the American Congress, Pakistan said the episode “has raised suspicions in the rank and file of the Pakistan army that it was a premeditated attack”. A dozen bombs went off across Baghdad on December 22nd, a few days after the last American troops left Iraq. Sectarian animosity rose again, with the prime minister, Nuri al -Maliki, a Shia, saying that the country’s vice-president, Tariq al-Hashemi, a Sunni, had been charged with terrorism. 22.12.2011 | Iraq

Saif al-Islam Qaddafi, the son and heir of Muammar Qaddafi, was caught in southern Libya. So, separately, was the late dictator’s intelligence chief, Abdullah al-Senussi. Both are wanted by the International Criminal Court, which has apparently agreed that they might face trial in Libya. 24.11.2011 | Libya

Spain’s general election was won by the opposition centre-right People’s Party, led by Mariano Rajoy. The ruling Socialists suffered their worst rout at the polls since the return of democracy to Spain in 1975. Mr Rajoy has an absolute majority, but will not take office for a month. Although he promises austerity and reform, nervous markets sent Spanish bond yields higher. 22.11.2011 | Spain

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POLITICAL REFLECTION | MARCH - APRIL - MAY 2012

Compiled by Aksel Ersoy from Different World News Sources

28.12.2011 | Pakistan


Quotes Notable

By Rahman Dağ

Economic Crisis in the member states of EU induced the major power of the Union to take several measurement. In January, 2012, a summit on the new EU treaty was negotiated. The picture at the end of the submit, was best described by French President Nicolas Sarkozy. He told French newspaper Le Monde that he and German Chancellor Angela Merkel 'did everything' to convince Britain to join the new EU treaty, adding that 'there are now clearly two Europes'. In a conference on the anniversary of establishment of Mahabad Kurdish Republic in Iran in 1945, the president of Kurdistan Regional Government, Mesut Barzani states that “Today, realities revealed that solution of Kurdish question has to be in peaceful ways.... Every inch of Kurdistan has its own features and all of them have the right of deciding on their own future.

In Palestinian-Israeli Conflict, both parties have blamed their counterparts for the deadlock in peace talks. These reciprocal accusations were followed by a statement performed by US defence secretary Leon Panetta, in a speech at a Brookings Institution forum in Washington. He first of all called Israel to "reach out and mend fences" with Turkey, Egypt and other security partners in the Middle East by exactly saying that “For example, Israel can reach out and mend fences with those who share an interest in regional stability countries like Turkey and Egypt, as well as Jordan.” In his speech, he also invited Israel to resume the peace negotiations with Palestinians by articulating that “Just get to the damned table”. In the last quarter of 2011, the US president, Barak Obama declared that “after nearly nine years, America’s war in Iraq will be over.” and in December, the US military forces left Iraq. Since three months, unfortunate diplomatic tensions among Iraqi groups and armed attacks in the region directed the arrows towards neighbouring countries. In an interview with Prof. Dr. Ahmet Davutoglu, the Foreign Minister of Turkey replied the question of that “Scenarios stating that there are an alignment of Tehran-Damascus-Baghdad against Turkey are put into words in certain areas. Do you think there is polarizations in the region?. His response was that “no such thing is in question....Unfortunately, there might be groups who want to prepare a suitable ground for either denominational or regional polarizations.... Let me say it clearly, there are some groups who want to launch a cold war in the region. We are determined to prevent a regional cold war. ...”

The Greater Picture of the World Politics On the one hand: Following tightening Western sanctions, Iran threats the western states with the closing down the Strait of Hormuz from which a fifth of the world’s oil supply passes through. Thereupon, the US sent its aircraft carrier, USS John C. Stennis and another carrier, the USS Abraham Lincoln, which were entered the Gulf. Vice Adm. Mark Fox, commander of the 5th Fleet, states that the Navy has “built a wide range of potential options to give the president” and “ready today” to confront any hostile action by Tehran. In addition, The UK Defence Secretary, Philip Hammond has said that an escalation of a dispute with Iran could see Britain sending military reinforcements to the Gulf. Hereby, the UK has sent its HMS Daring Destroyer to the Strait of Hormuz. On the other hand, As a long-planned mission, Moscow is deploying warships at its base in the Syrian port of Tartus, which consists of three vessels led by the heavy aircraft-carrying missile cruiser. Admiral Kravchenko stated that. “But today, no one talks about possible military clashes, since an attack on any Russian ship would be regarded as a declaration of war with all the consequences.” In addition, The destroyer Shahid Qandi and its supply vessel Kharg and one more warship have entered the Mediterranean Sea without clearance of destination. Reuters quoted a source at the Suez Canal authority as saying the vessels might be en route to Syria. Navy chief Admiral Habibollah Sayari stated that the mission was a show of might and a "message of peace and friendship". WWW.CESRAN.ORG/POLITICALREFLECTION

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MIDDLE EAST REVIEW | BY PROF. ALPASLAN ÖZERDEM*

STAGING THE MOTIONS OF ‘RESPONSIBILITY TO PROTECT’ IN SYRIA?

O

rganised by the Arab League and attended by around 70 countries, the Friends of Syria Conference in Tunis on 24 February 2012 was probably one of the last chances for the resolution of the Syrian crisis through diplomatic means or it may also be argued that it was actually staged to appear in that way. Both sides of the argument could come up with strong justifications whether the Tunis conference was a genuine attempt to resolve the conflict in Syria peacefully. In order to look at what is happening from a more objective perspective though, this article will adopt the principles of ‘just war’ theory as well as the criteria for Responsibility to Protect (R2P) in its analysis of how the international response to the Syrian crisis would likely to develop over the next few months. In order to contextualise the Syrian case

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in a wider humanitarian interventions landscape, the analysis will focus on the two previous North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) interventions in Kosovo (1999) and Libya (2011). The political crisis of Syria which started around a year ago is now turning into one of the bloodiest chapters of the so called ‘Arab Spring’ with a death toll of over 8,000 people. After the popular revolts and regime changes in Tunisia and Egypt, the transformation in Libya presented itself as a full blown civil war from March to October 2011. The uprising in Bahrain was crushed violently by the state with the military intervention assistance of the neighbouring Saudi Arabia and the political instability in Yemen still continues. Therefore, since the end of the Libya conflict with the capture of Muammar Gaddafi on

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MIDDLE EAST REVIEW | BY PROF. ALPASLAN ÖZERDEM

20th October, Syria has been dominating the international agenda with an increasing level of pressure from the Western countries and their allies in the region. The Tunis Conference was an important episode in this process, as it clearly indicated that the ‘friends’ of Syria led by the United States (US), United Kingdom (UK), France and Turkey are in fact, no longer prepared to talk to President Bashar al-Assad of Syria and they would prefer to show a clear sign of support to the Syrian opposition. The Foreign Minister of Turkey, Ahmet Davutoğlu, when he was asked the question of why the Syrian government had not been invited to the Tunis Conference, said that it was now time to make a distinction between ‘victims’ and ‘instigators of the violence’. The same sentiment was then echoed by the Foreign Secretary William Hague. In other words, the Tunis conference underlined the gap between ‘friends’ of Syria and ‘supporters’ of the Assad regime such as Russia and China, which also did not take part at the Conference. The ‘supporters’ of Syria have so far managed to block a United Nations Security Council (UNSC) Reso-

Ahmet Davutoğlu

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lution on Syria. This would sound very familiar for the students of international relations, as so many times before the international community has been at such an impasse, i.e. the 1999 Kosovo crisis, in deciding an appropriate response strategy for the protection of fundamental human rights in those countries affected by armed conflict and violence. As a veto by one of UNSC permanent members (China, France, Russia, UK and US) can block the process of passing a resolution, the following stages of international responses to violent political crises often turn into an exercise of circumventing such a diplomatic impasse in the UN system. Consequently, in such contexts the issues of legality and legitimacy often become fiercely debated issues. In the case of Libya for example, the UNSC Resolution 1970 and particularly, Resolution 1973 were pivotal for preparing the ground for the NATO’s military intervention as they asked to ‘establish and enforce a no-fly zone over Libya’ and ‘employ all means to protect civilians’. In other words, the military intervention in Libya was ‘legal’ from an international law perspective, which was not the case for the Kosovo intervention as NATO undertook that intervention without the permission of a UNSC resolution.

William Hague

POLITICAL REFLECTION | MARCH - APRIL - MAY 2012


MIDDLE EAST REVIEW | BY PROF. ALPASLAN ÖZERDEM

However, it was then argued that the military intervention was legitimate, therefore necessary, because of the humanitarian concerns to do with the well being of Albanian Kosovars in the hands of Serbian security forces. However, the legality aspect is only one of the key issues for military humanitarian interventions and for a better understanding of the Tunis Conference within the wider response process, it would be necessary to consider other criteria for revoking R2P. In brief, R2P is structured over the premise that sovereignty is not only a privilege for states but also responsibility that they need to face. For the protection of lives, R2P sets out responsibilities that states have to their own citizens as well as responsibilities that all states and certain international institutions such as UN have as members of the international community. In 2005, the Report by the International Commission on Intervention and State Sovereignty offered a set of six criteria that should be considered for any form of military intervention. First, there should be a ‘just cause’ for the military intervention. In both Kosovo and Libya cases this was a strong justification for the military response. With the worsening humanitarian situation in Syria, particularly in the city of Homs, the ‘friends’ of Syria would likely to argue that even without a UNSC Resolution there is a legitimate ground for a military intervention. In fact, if the humanitarian crisis starts to turn into a major disaster with mass casualties and displacement of civilians, then even Russia and China might start to find it too difficult to justify their position vis a vis their support to the Assad regime. The second criterion, which is the ‘right intention’ for military interventions, may be the most difficult one to justify and validate by the ‘friends’ of Syria. Within the overall political complexities of the Middle East and a number of other pressing security issues and crises in the region such as the Iran’s nuclear capabilities, protracted occupation of Palestine by Israel, Kurdish independence aspirations in Iraq and Turkey, and presence of a wide range of strong non-state armed groups such as the Hezbollah in Lebanon

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would always pose question marks on the issue of intentions for such a military action. Both the ‘friends’ and ‘supporters’ of Syria have their own geo-political and economic interests in the region, which would bring their intentions into question, even if a possible military intervention would have been undertaken purely for humanitarian concerns. For example, in the case of Libya, although the military assistance was requested by the local rebel groups and there were serious humanitarian concerns, there was also a big question mark on whether the intervention was actually for the country’s rich oil and gas reserves. Moreover, for opting to take no action in the case of Bahrain while thousands of Shia civilians were killed and tortured in the hands of security forces, but becoming highly concerned for the well being of civilians in Syria weakens the ‘friends’ of Syria’s argument further that their intentions are purely humani-

In fact, if the humanitarian crisis starts to turn into a major disaster with mass casualties and displacement of civilians, then even Russia and China might start to find it too difficult to justify their position vis a vis their support to the Assad regime. tarian. Even if that is the case then there is an important question to do with double standards to answer. It could also be argued that the third criterion of a military intervention needing to be the ‘final resort’ is perhaps the main driver for diplomatic attempts being undertaken by the ‘friends’ of Syria. In other words, if a military intervention against Syria is undertaken without the permission of UNSC, then there would be a strong argument for claiming that all have been done to resolve the issue peacefully and having exhausted all means of diplomacy, a military intervention was the only option left to protect civilians in Syria. The Tunis Conference demanded an immediate ceasefire and humanitarian assessment, and used the threat of sanctions as a possible lever-

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MIDDLE EAST REVIEW | BY PROF. ALPASLAN ÖZERDEM

age against the Assad regime. The next Friends of Syria Conference will be held in Istanbul in May, and at that conference the tone of the threat is likely to be much stronger. In fact, it would not be completely unimaginable if the Istanbul Conference would also serve the purpose of a final warning before a military intervention. The international community seems to have made a lip service to the ‘final resort’ criterion in both Kosovo and Libya. At the Rambouillet peace talks the demands on the Milosevic’s regime in Serbia were so heavy handed that there were serious question marks over the international community’s sincerity to resolve the Kosovo crisis peacefully. In the Libya case, there was only a month between the two UNSC resolutions and did not seem that the Western powers had much interest in talking to Gaddafi, as they suddenly remembered that he was a dictator and killed his own people for decades! Therefore, it would not be a total surprise if this turns out to be the case with Syria too and what is seen as a quest for finding a diplomatic solution is probably no more than a grand staging exercise for laying grounds for a military intervention. Undertaking a military intervention on the basis of a decision made by a legitimate authority such as UNSC is the fourth criterion. In the case of Kosovo

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such a legal authority was missing, hence the argument of legitimacy formed the backbone of justification for the military intervention. The Libya intervention was based on two UNSC resolutions but the backing of the Arab League was also imperative, especially for having a stronger moral support and justification. If ‘friends’ of Syria fail to pass a UNSC resolution for a military action, which is the most likely scenario, then the Arab League’s blessing and support for such an intervention would become particularly important. At the Tunis Conference, Qatar which has been playing a leading role in the Arab League actions in recent years, particularly in the case of Libya, already suggested that the situation in Syria demands the deployment of military means for the provision of humanitarian assistance. The future developments with the Syrian opposition would also have some critical impacts on the issue of legitimate authority. At the moment it is polarized and fractured. Two of its main actors which are Syrian National Council (led by Burhan Ghalioun) and Free Syrian Army (led by Riyaad al-Assad and primarily supported by Turkey) are calling for a military intervention. Meanwhile, National Coordination Committee which is formed by left wing and Kurdish parties calls for the continuation of dialogue with the Assad regime and did not participate to the Tunis Conference. In fact, it was interesting to note that one of the key

POLITICAL REFLECTION | MARCH - APRIL - MAY 2012


MIDDLE EAST REVIEW | BY PROF. ALPASLAN ÖZERDEM

points made by Burhan Ghalioun was a promise for the recognition of Kurdish identity in the post-Assad era. The remaining two criteria which are the use of ‘proportional means’ and ‘reasonable prospects’ for meeting the humanitarian objectives of the military intervention would likely to be of a less concern for ‘friends’ of Syria for the time being. However, as was the case with Kosovo and Libya, the use of an air campaign, naval blockade and military assistance to rebels are likely to be the main means of a future military intervention in Syria. Therefore, it would be likely that such a military intervention would cause a high level of collateral damage in terms of civilian lives and infrastructure. However, having the support of internal opposition groups would likely to reduce the pressure over this issue. The neighbouring countries such as Turkey would also likely to be generous and open in providing assistance to Syrian refugees as a result of such a military campaign. Whether such a military intervention would bring an end to the humanitarian crisis in Syria is the final question to be considered here. The key issue with this criterion is that the military intervention would need to present a convincing case for achieving its set objectives for the protection of civilians and delivery of humanitarian assistance. In other words, how realistic is it that a military intervention in Syria would bring the fighting to a halt and be able to deal with the humanitarian protection of civilians? The issue here is more than capability as it is important to remember that such military interventions could sometime worsen humanitarian crises further, as was the case in Kosovo. After the NATO’s bombing started in March 1999, hundreds of thousands of civilians from Kosovo fled to the neighbouring countries of Albania and Macedonia. Moreover, such a military intervention could easily be entangled in the complexity of local and regional politics. The regional ‘supporters’ of Syria such as Iran and Lebanon (the Hezbollah) might also get involved in the conflict, which would create huge regional and international ramifications. Finally, how the exit strategy would

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look like is another key consideration to be born in mind by such a military intervention. In the case of Libya, the intervention came to an end with the capture of Gaddafi and control of the country by the uprising leadership. If a similar scenario does not happen in Syria due to the complex ethnic, religious and sectarian structures of the country and the way the Ba’athist regime has kept a tight control over them since 1960s, the post-Assad period could also turn into an Iraq-type civil war. In summary, there would be three possible scenarios based on the assumption that the Syrian crisis could only be resolved through fighting and intervention that would be unfolding over the next few months. First, the Syrian uprising would win the fighting against the Assad regime without needing an external military intervention. Second, ‘friends’ of Syria would manage to convince China and Russia to pass a UNSC resolution to undertake a military intervention (i.e. Libya). Third, the military intervention is undertaken without the permission

The key issue with this criterion is that the military intervention would need to present a convincing case for achieving its set objectives for the protection of civilians and delivery of humanitarian assistance. of UNSC (i.e. Kosovo). As our preceding discussions indicated each of these three scenarios would mean significant differences for the above mentioned R2P criteria. A final possible scenario would obviously be in terms of the Assad regime gaining a full control of the country again and managing to eradicate any justification for a military intervention on humanitarian grounds. However, in relation to the other three scenarios this looks like the least likely one. Note: * Al pasl an Özerd em is Professor of Peacebuilding at Coventry University.

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ISSN: 2041-1944 Editor-in-Chief: Ozgur TUFEKCI King’s College London, UK Managing Editor: Husrev TABAK University of Manchester, UK Book Review Editor: Kadri Kaan RENDA King’s College London, UK Associate Editors: Emel AKCALI, Dr. Central European University, Hungary | Mitat CELIKPALA, Assoc.Prof. Kadir Has University, Turkey Bayram GUNGOR, Prof. Karadeniz Technical University, Turkey Editorial Board: Sener AKTURK, Dr. Harvard University, USA | William BAIN, Dr. Aberystwyth University, UK |Alexander BELLAMY, Prof. University of Queensland, Australia | Richard BELLAMY, Prof. University College London, UK | Andreas BIELER, Prof. University of Nottingham, UK | Pınar BILGIN, Assoc. Prof. Bilkent University, Turkey | Ken BOOTH, Prof. Aberystwyth University, UK | Stephen CHAN, Prof. SOAS, University of London, UK | Nazli CHOUCRI, Prof. Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA | John M. DUNN, Prof. University of Cambridge, UK | Kevin DUNN, Prof. Hobart and William Smith Colleges, USA | Mine EDER, Prof. Bogazici University, Turkey | Ertan EFEGIL, Assoc. Prof. Sakarya University, Turkey | Ayla GOL, Dr. Aberystwyth University, UK | Stefano GUZZINI, Prof. Uppsala Universitet, Sweden | Elif Ince HAFALIR, Assist. Prof. Carnegie Mellon University, USA | David HELD, Prof. London School of Economics, LSE, UK | Raymond HINNEBUSCH, Prof. University of St Andrews, UK | Naim KAPUCU, Assoc. Prof. University of Central Florida, USA | Fahri KARAKAYA, Prof. University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, USA | Abdulhamit KIRMIZI, Dr. SOAS, University of London, UK | Cécile LABORDE, Prof. University College London, UK | Ziya ONIS, Prof. Koc University, Turkey | Alp OZERDEM, Prof. Coventry University, UK | Oliver RICHMOND, Prof. University of St Andrews, UK | Ian TAYLOR, Prof. University of St Andrews, UK | Murat TUMAY, Dr. Selcuk University, Turkey | Talat ULUSSEVER, Assist. Prof. King Fahd University, Saudi Arabia | Ali WATSON, Prof. University of St Andrews, UK | Stefan WOLFF, Prof. University of Birmingham, UK | Hakan YILMAZKUDAY, Assist. Prof. Temple University, USA | International Advisory Board: Yasemin AKBABA, Assist. Prof. Gettysburg College, USA | Mustafa AYDIN, Prof. Kadir Has University, Turkey | Ian BACHE, Prof. University of Sheffield, UK | Mark BASSIN, Prof. University of Birmingham, UK | Mehmet DEMIRBAG, Prof. University of Sheffield, UK | Can ERBIL, Assist. Prof. Brandeis University, USA | Stephen Van EVERA, Prof. Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA | John GLASSFORD, Assoc. Prof. Angelo State University, USA | Bulent GOKAY, Prof. Keele University, UK | Burak GURBUZ, Assoc. Prof. Galatasaray University, Turkey | Tony HERON, Dr. University of Sheffield, UK | John M. HOBSON, Prof. University of Sheffield, UK | Jamal HUSEIN, Assist. Prof. Angelo State University, USA | Murat S. KARA, Assoc. Prof. Angelo State University, USA | Michael KENNY, Prof. University of Sheffield, UK | Gamze G. KONA, Dr. Foreign Policy Analyst, Turkey | Scott LUCAS, Prof. University of Birmingham, UK | Christoph MEYER, Dr. King’s College London, UK | Kalypso NICOLAIDIS, Prof. University of Oxford, UK | Bill PARK, Mr. King’s College London, UK | Jenik RADON, Prof. Columbia University, USA | Ibrahim SIRKECI, Prof. Regent’s College London, UK | Claire THOMAS, Dr. University of Sheffield, UK | Brian WHITE, Prof. University of Sheffield, UK | M. Hakan YAVUZ, Assoc. Prof. University of Utah, USA | Birol YESILADA, Prof. Portland State University, USA |


EURASIA REVIEW | BY ASSOC. PROF. RICHARD ROUSSEAU*

PERFECT NUCLEAR STORM WAITING TO HAPPEN IN RUSSIA’S NORTHWEST REGION

T

he large-scale nuclear disaster at Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant has acted as a wakeup call for the international community, engendering deep reflection on the consequences of using nuclear energy. The maintenance and servicing of nuclear plants either currently in operation or under construction, and the dismantling of those already decommissioned or on their way to being shut down, are issues of heated debate, as are possible future nuclear projects.

dicted that an accident involving nuclear infrastructures in that region could easily be more devastating than that at Chernobyl in Ukraine in April 1986.

A crucial issue for European Union members, the United States, China and the whole world, is how to ensure appropriate maintenance practices and technology of Russia’s nuclear waste disposal sites, particularly those in the north west of the country. It is pre-

Ci vilian Nuclear Energy fleet

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The North West Region, which includes the Murmansk and Archangelsk Oblasts (provinces), the Novaya Zemlya Territory (Okrug) and the White, Barents and Kara Seas, contains the largest concentration of fissile, radioactive and nuclear materials for either military or civilian application found anywhere on the planet.

Polyarny Zori, a city on the outermost western edge of the Murmansk Fjord, is the largest energy producing locality in the Murmansk Oblast. The city is home

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EURASIA REVIEW | BY ASSOC. PROF. RICHARD ROUSSEAU

to the Kola Power Plant (NPP-1), whose 4 PWRs (pressurized water reactors) were built in two phases. Phase 1 went online in 1973-74, with two reactors of the VVER-440/230 type –Russia’s first generation of PWR reactors using LEU (low-enriched uranium), with an enrichment level ranging from 2 to 4.95%. Phase 2 came online in March 1981 and October 1984, with the commissioning of the No. 3 and No. 4 reactors of the improved VVER 440/213 type. Reactors of the previous VVER-440/230 type (phase 1) were designed to have an operational lifespan of 30 years and scheduled to be decommissioned in 2003 and 2004 by the Russian Nuclear Energy State Corporation (Rosatom). However, the Russian government, under a cloud of controversy, extended their operational lifespan for 10 years in 2003, despite the high number of accidents seen around that time1. During the first two weeks of February 2011, for instance, five out of Russia’s 32 operational reactors had to be shut down for emergency repairs and at least a dozen leaks of contaminated material were recorded2.

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These emergency repairs in the month of February, in only eleven days, are sad testimony to the fact that the Russian nuclear energy industry is in dire shape and simply unfit to be operated with any degree of reliability. As reactor equipment gets older its performance is reduced, making it prone to cause more and more incidents, especially given the apparently low standard of maintenance, which is not undertaken regularly anyway. Such a ticking time bomb not only creates additional expenditures and destabilizes supplies of energy but is a public health hazard waiting to happen. If repairs are hastily performed in order to bring power generation back on line, and the quality of this work is substandard as a result of this time pressure, more human errors and “glitches” are likely to occur – and with increased frequency. After each nuclear incident, the Russian nuclear authorities say that nothing of significance transpired. However, in its report on the Most Dangerous Reactors, released in 1995, the U.S. Department of Energy ranked the Kola Nuclear Power Plant as the most dangerous in Russia3.

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EURASIA REVIEW | BY ASSOC. PROF. RICHARD ROUSSEAU

The antiquated technology of the KPP-1 and rising domestic energy demand in the region have prompted the Kremlin to build a new atomic complex, the Kola Power Plant 2 (NPP-2), located eight kilometers from NPP-14. The Ministry of Energy plans to install at NPP-2 four next-generation reactors (VVER620), a cross between the VVER-440 and KLT-40 models. The VVER-620 reactors represent the cutting edge of Russian nuclear engineering. They are a new generation of nuclear reactors designed during a three-year joint project conducted by Russian Ministry of Atomic Energy and the German companies Siemens and Gesellschaft fur Reaktorsicherheit (Association for Plant and Reactor Safety). They operate as pressurized water reactors (PWR), using 90% enriched uranium-235 fuel derived from marine plants. Each of these medium-power reactors will produce approximately 700 MWe of energy. The KPP2 should be operational by 2018\2019, which will allow for the shutdown of the two old reactors of the KPP-1 facility. In addition to grave concerns over the old NPP-1, the Murmansk Oblast is also confronted with the menace of another potential nuclear accident of significant amplitude and enormous environmental cost: The icebreaker fleet stationed in the port of the city of Murmansk. Russia possesses six nuclear-powered civil icebreakers (the “Yamal,” “Russia,” “Arktika,” “Taimyr,” “Vaigach” and “Sovetsky Soyuz”) which are equipped to carry out a range of operations5. Russia’s fleet comprises two types of icebreakers: Sea-going-class icebreakers, which can operate in high waves, and shallow draught icebreakers, which can enter rivers. A third type of icebreaker is basically a nuclearpowered container ship. In total, 14 PWR reactors of the KLT-40 type, loaded with HEU (90%), propel these icebreakers. The Murmansk Shipping Company (MSC) operated all these vessels until August 2008, when the fleet was handed over to the Nuclear Energy State Corporation (Rosatom)6. The federal state-owned unitary enterprise Atomflot, based in Murmansk, has since been authorized to run the nuclear-powered vessels and deal with radio-

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active waste (RW), including its storage and processing. Finally, Rosatom owns five service and storage vessels especially designed for dealing with radioactive waste (RW) and spent nuclear fuel (SNF), and stationed at the Atomflot base, only two kilometers from residential districts. The service ships “Imandra” and “Lotta” are used to store for six months – in dry, water-cooled containers – spent fuel from the Rosatom’s civil ice-breakers. Imandra and Lotta can store 1,530 (i.e. fuel from six reactors) and 4,080 (i.e. fuel from 12 reactors) fuel assemblies respectively. However, since 1992 both service ships have been filled to capacity. Another problem is that just over one third (35%) of the fuel assemblies stored in Imandra and Lotta contain zirconium surrounding

The city of Murmansk is the most important strategic area in Russia’s North West territory. Due to the warm North Atlantic drift, the city’s ports and the southern half of the Barents Sea remain completely ice-free all year round, which makes them more easily navigable. the plutonium fuel. Such fuel assemblies cannot be reprocessed. The vessel “Volodarsky” (1929, 96x15 m, 5,500 t) is used for keeping solid radioactive waste (SRW) and has a storage area of 300 m3. The tanker “Serebryanka” (1975, 102x12 m, 4,000 t) is used for collecting liquid radioactive waste (LRW) and its transmission to Atomflot. Finally, the “Lepse,” a service vessel moored in a dockyard in the Kola Bay near Murmansk, was built more than 70 years ago for the refueling of the first nuclearpowered icebreaker, “Lenin,” and later for “Arktika” and “Sibir,” the next generation of icebreakers. In 1988 it was retired from active use, although it still contains two storage tanks for SNF materials from icebreakers. In July 2011 the Fincantieri shipyard, an Italian firm, handed over to Atomflot the multipurpose con-

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EURASIA REVIEW | BY ASSOC. PROF. RICHARD ROUSSEAU

tainer ship Rossita, intended for shipments of SNF and materials from dismantled nuclear submarines from the Kola Peninsula and the White Sea – former Russian Navy bases in North-West Russia – to Murmansk7. The Andreeva Bay “Cemetery” on the Novaya Zemlya The city of Murmansk is the most important strategic area in Russia’s North West territory. Due to the warm North Atlantic drift, the city’s ports and the southern half of the Barents Sea remain completely ice-free all year round, which makes them more easily navigable. Thanks to the influence of the Gulf Stream, the Barents Sea does not freeze and the majestic fjords at the entrance of the White Sea are also accessible year round without difficulty. For these reasons the Northern Fleet, formerly known as the Soviet Fleet of the Northern Seas, is the largest and most important of the former Soviet fleets, and has ever increasing strategic importance for Russia. Since the 1950s the Kola Peninsula has witnessed a proliferation of shipyards, storage sites, decommissioning complexes, facilities for reprocessing nuclear

materials and secret nuclear submarine bases. In the Former Soviet Union (FSU), Semipalatinsk in Kazakhstan and Novaya Zemlya in the Arctic were the two major fields for nuclear test explosions. Ninety three percent of the total power of these explosions – which were basically nuclear weapons tests – in the FSU was registered on Novaya Zemlya and the Kara Sea. These two areas were called by the Soviet authorities the Northern Nuclear Test Range, an entity established in 1954. In all, 132 nuclear tests – explosions – were conducted on Novaya Zemlya between 1950 and October 24, 1990, including 88 atmospheric (either close to the land or sea surface), 39 underground and 3 underwater in the Kara Sea. The total power of these explosions was 265 Megatons (Mt)8. They included the tests of “Tsar Bomba,” the largest hydrogen bomb ever detonated on October 30, 1961, which had a force of 58 megatons or 58,000,000 tons of TNT. In comparison, the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima had a force of 20,000 tons of TNT. For good measure, the seabed of the Kara Sea is estimated to contain about 11,000 sunken containers of radioactive waste, a dozen dumped nuclear reactors and an unknown number of defective nuclear-propelled submarines. Following the collapse of the Soviet system in December 1991 the Russian Federation inherited a little less than 200 nuclear powered submarines. At that time a significant number of these had been in use for about 30 years. During the first half of the 1990s the Kremlin decided to remove from active service all the older submarines, i.e. about 140 vessels, as part of downsizing the military budget. Over the following decade Russian leaders made great efforts to dismantle these rotting submarines and remove their nuclear fuel. However in the last 20 years the Russian Navy has been able to separate out and store the reactor compartments of only a few dozen submarines. At present all secured reactor compartments, including whole submarines, are stored and tied up in three traditional storage sites: 1) Andreeva Bay in the Zapadnaya Litsa fjord on the Kola Peninsula. Reportedly, the site hosts 21,000 spent fuel rods, equivalent to approximately 90 nu-

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EURASIA REVIEW | BY ASSOC. PROF. RICHARD ROUSSEAU

clear reactors, as well as thousands of tons radioactive liquid waste stored in decrepit stainless-steel containers filled to capacity since the 1990s. Three dozen of these containers are leaking radioactive material. 2) Nerpichya Port, on the Zapadnaya Litsa’s east coast.,The site is home to 6 SSBNs (Ship Submersible Ballistic missile Nuclear [powered] vessels), better known as Typhoon ballistic missile submarines (of 25,000 tons), which still have on board torpedo tubes designed to handle and launch missiles. Each Typhoon has two pressurized water reactors of the OK650b type which use 20-45% enriched uranium-235 fuel. Each vessel’s weapon system is composed of 20 submarine -launched ballistic missiles (SLBM) which can carry 10 Multiple Independently targetable Reentry Vehicles (MIRV), each able to produce a yield of 21 kilotons. 3) Gremikha Base, east of the Kola Peninsula. The second largest onshore storage facility for the Russian Northern Fleet’s spent nuclear fuel, Gremikha contains around 800 spent-fuel assemblies. Reportedly, spent fuel from six liquid metal reactors (LMR), with 90% HEU are stored at this site, the largest for storing decommissioned submarines. The spent fuel comes entirely from the deactivated Alpha class submarines and, apparently, cannot be reprocessed with today’s technology. LMRs have to be treated more carefully because they used higher enrichment levels, probably weaponsgrade uranium. The banks of the Gremikha base serve as a “parking lot” for several old-generation submarines now abandoned and in a dire state of repair:    

4 November class vessels, for a total of 8 VM-1 PWR loaded with 21% HEU; 1 Hotel Class vessel with 2 VM-A PWRs loaded with 21% HEU; 8 Victor I\Victor II class vessels, for a total of 8 OK-300 VM-4 PWR with 21% HEU; 4 Victor III class vessels, for a total of 8 OK300 VM-4 PWR with 21% HEU.

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All the mentioned cities, districts and military bases on the Kola Peninsula and Novaya Zemlya have radioactivity levels a thousand times higher than the normal dose a human being can tolerate. Even three to five kilometers away from these places levels of radiation are hundreds of times above the normal and represent extremely serious risks to human health and the environment. Over the years entire villages have been evacuated and their populations relocated in urban centers nearby. In the 1980s about 30,000 people lived in the Gremikha region; however, since the breakup of the Soviet Union the population has decreased to about 10,000, due to economic hardship and ongoing substantial reductions in the Russian military program9. Some cities have been closed to both foreigners and citizens of the Russian Federation. Access to these is restricted to the military or duly authorized technicians and workers.

...cities, districts and military bases on the Kola Peninsula and Novaya Zemlya have radioactivity levels a thousand times higher than the normal dose a human being can tolerate.

Accident Risks and Conservation Programs The volume of radioactive material on the Kola Peninsula is equivalent to about 150 nuclear reactors and thousands of tons of depleted uranium and plutonium. There are nine radioactive waste (RW) and spent nuclear fuel (SNF) storage facilities. In addition many shipyards, where civilian ships and military submarines are built, assembled and repaired, are located on the Kola Peninsula, particularly in Murmansk, Severodvinsk (“Sevmash” and “Zvezdochka”) and Polyarny. These shipyards are an integral segment of the Russian Military Industrial Complex but also more closely connected to the Northern Fleet. In addition to the threat of radioactive pollution, the level of “conventional” pollution is also very high in that region, principally due to airborne chemical pollution from the mining, steel and metallurgical industries.

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Unfortunately Russia has a historically dismal record of nuclear accidents and has never adequately demonstrated a capacity to cope efficiently and effectively with environmental emergencies. The risks of accidents on the Kola Peninsula are considerable and these could directly affect the Arctic and Scandinavian countries. The next radioactive toxic cloud formed on the Kola Peninsula might easily drift over Central Europe and the northern coast of Canada and even reach the United States. The dreadful consequences of such an accident would be disastrous for Russia’s future economic development. Moreover, it would inflict enormous damage, not only on humans and the environment, but also on the reputation of a country which has made its civilian nuclear power industry the spearhead of its export and technology development. In spite of the many irregularities and deficiencies in the nuclear reactor technology, Russian reactors are still in great demand on the international market. In 2006 Rosatom announced that it wants nuclear produced energy to account for about one forth

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(23%) of the country’s total energy production, and approximately one third (32%) of European Russia, by 202010. To achieve this objective, the focus will be placed on the development of fast neutron reactors (FNRs), the Generation IV component of Rosatom’s future nuclear energy policy. FNRs use uranium 238 (U-238) as fuel instead of the uranium 235 (U-235) commonly used by conventional reactors, such as PWRs. The 880 MWe capacity BN-800, a FNR reactor expected to enter into operation in 2014, offers, according to Rosatom, “natural radiation safety in all credible accidents caused by internal or external impacts, including sabotage, with no need for people evacuation.”11 Conceptually, the refueling process for these reactors is more cost-efficient and simple to operate. They use only about 1 or 2% of the natural or depleted uranium required by a comparable PWR reactor (http:// www.nikiet.ru/eng/structure/mr-innovative/ brest.html). FNRs will permit Russia to produce more civilian energy with less fissile material and this advantage will allow for the further use of the depleted uranium now stockpiled as a result of the dismantling of nuclear submarines and warheads under the “new” START (Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty) agreement between the Russia and the United States. This transformation is part of the Megaton to Megawatts Program as first initiated by the two nuclear superpowers in 1993, which aimed to kill “two birds with one stone,” i.e. to both proceed with disarmament and bring down the consumption and global price of non-renewable uranium, a resource now on the verge of being monopolized by China12. However, the U.S. -Russian agreement will expire in 2013 and will have to be renegotiated.

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EURASIA REVIEW | BY ASSOC. PROF. RICHARD ROUSSEAU

Economies made by introducing FNRs have been earmarked for the military. The plan is to replace Russia’s Soviet-era nuclear submarines (the Typhoon class) with SSN (Ship Submersible Nuclear) Yasenclass attack submarines, also known as the Graney class and Severodvinsk class, by 2014. These new SSNs are also considered as a crucial tool for Russia to capture new arms markets. For instance, Russia is waiting for the Indian Maritime Force (IMF) to exercise its right to enforce the Indo-Russian agreement on the lease of a new Akula II class submarine, the SSN Nerpa. This 2005 deal is worth an estimated $1.8 billion to Russia. After some problems with the reactor cooling system, the Russia international News Agency (RIA Novosti) quoted a Russian Navy Staff admiral as saying, on March 16, 2011, that Russia will deliver the Nerpa to India by the end of this year.13

the one mandated by the Japanese government. The disaster has been recognized as a perfect storm with the meltdown of three Japanese nuclear reactors, each involving approximately 300 tons of uranium. The event came as a surprise to many industry experts since it took place in such a technologically advanced country, especially one that is on the cutting edge in nuclear and earthquake mitigation engineering.

Since the 1990s the Kremlin has not paid much attention to the situation at the Kola Peninsula. The only initiatives of significance taking place are the trilateral agreements with Norway and the United States, known as the “Murmansk Initiatives,” signed in 1996, and still in force. These agreements set up a fund to “improve the capability of the Russian Federation to comply with the requirements of the London Convention that prohibit ocean dumping of low-level liquid radioactive waste (LLRW)” and increase the pace of the construction of centers for the decommissioning of nuclear submarines.14 All in all, the investment of several tens of millions of dollars still has not consistently improved the situation to an acceptable level. In Murmansk, the site for refining and disposal of Liquid Radioactive Waste (LRW) has been working for many years now and it is still involved in cleaning up what remains of the former floating technological base “Lepse.”

...agreements set up a fund to “improve the capability of the Russian Federation to comply with the requirements of the London Convention that prohibit ocean dumping of low-level liquid radioactive waste (LLRW)” and increase the pace of the construction of centers for the decommissioning of nuclear submarines.

The aftermath of the Fukushima nuclear power plant catastrophe in Japan resulted in the evacuation of all residents living within a 20 km radius of the Japanese nuclear plant, which is located in the city of Daichi. In late April 2011, the United States, Australia and South Korea, for their part, urged their citizens to move from areas within 80 km of the crippled plant, an evacuation zone which was substantially larger than

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Considering the huge amount of spent fuel and depleted nuclear materials present on the Kola Peninsula, the poor state of maintenance on land-based storage sites, the decrepit infrastructure for the safe transport of spent fuel from naval bases and the aging technology and increased possibilities for human

errors, the possible occurrence of an accident with even far more negative outcomes than the one that took place in Japan is not a far-fetched scenario. Based on recent problems experienced at the Kola Power Plant (NPP-1), the situation on the ground should be monitored closely by the world’s leading countries and, particularly, by major European energy companies, as the nuclear reactors currently operational in Europe are very similar to those found in the KPP-1 plant and throughout the former USSR. Despite the constant warnings of environmental NGOs and European governments, the Kremlin continues to invest colossal sums in the development of a new generation of nuclear energy production and associated technology – as well as new in drilling and mining projects – thus further aggravating the envi-

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ronmental situation. Consequently, many Russian regions and neighboring countries are exposed to the danger of uncontrolled nuclear energy chain reactions. Finally, in light of the new battle for Arctic oil fields, the Russian government is motivated to rejuvenate its nuclear programs and to rebuild its nuclear icebreaker fleet. When all things are considered, it is clear that the Kola Peninsula – and the world as a whole – will continue to be at high risk for many years to come. Notes: * Dr. Ric hard Rouss eau is Associate Professor and Chairman of the Department of Political Science and International Relations at Khazar University in Baku, Azerbaijan. He teaches on Russian politics, Eurasian geopolitics, international political economy and globalization. 1. Reistad, Ole, (April, 2006). Russian Nuclear Power Plants for Marine Applications. Nordic Nuclear Safety Research. Retrieved from: http://130.226.56.153/rispubl/nks/nks-138.pdf 2. Ozharovsky, Andrei, (February 15, 2011). Alarming Scram Statistics a Recent Plague at Russian Nuclear Power Plants. Bellona. Retrieved from: http://bellona.org/articles/articles_2011/ scram_stats 3. Broad, William J,. (July 23, 1995). U.S. Lists 10 Soviet-Built Nuclear Reactors as High Risks, The New York Times. Retrieved from: http:// www.nytimes.com/1995/07/23/world/us-lists-10soviet-built-nuclear-reactors-as-high-risks.html 4. Next Generation Nuclear Power Plants. (March 21, 2011). Power generation technology blog Russia. Retrieved from: http://www.powertecrussia.com/ blog/rosatom-next-generation-nuclear-powerplants/ 5. Bergman, Ronny; Baklanov, Alexander (July 1998) Radioactive sources of main radiological concern in the Kola-Barents region. Swedish Council for Planning and Coordination of Research, and Defence Research Establishment. Retrieved from: http://www.iaea.org/inis/collection/ NCLCollectionStore/

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_Public/30/018/30018740.pdf 6. Kireeva, Anna; Alimov, Rashid. (August 28, 2008). Rosatom takes over Russia’s nuclear powered icebreaker fleet, Bellona. Retrieved from: http:// www.bellona.org/articles/articles_2008/ atomflot_torosatom 7. Nuclear Icebreakers. (2011). Rosatom. Retrieved from: http://www.rosatom.ru/wps/wcm/connect/ rosatom/rosatomsite.eng/about/activities/ nuclear_icebreakers/ 8. Nuclear Explosions in the USSR: The North Test Site. (December, 2004). Reference Material, Version 4. The Division of Nuclear Safety and Security, International Atomic Energy Agency. Retrieved from: http://www-ns.iaea.org/ downloads/rw/waste-safety/north-test-sitefinal.pdf 9. Bohmer, Nils; Nikitin, Aleksandr; Kudrik, Igor; Nilsen, Thomas; McGovern, Michael H.; Zolotkov, Andrey. (2001). The Arctic Nuclear Challenge. Bellona Report Volume 3. Retrieved from: http:// bellona.org/filearchive/ fil_The_Arctic_Nuclear_Challenge.pdf 10. World Nuclear Association. (February 2012). Nuclear Power in Russia. Retrieved from: http:// www.world-nuclear.org/info/inf45.html 11. See Rosatom website. Retrieved from http:// www.spbaep.ru/wps/wcm/connect/spb_aep/ site/resources/259d3d0047429ed6b0a1b0 86442d90bd/BN-800_2011_EN.pdf 12. Podvig, Pavel. (July 23, 2008). The Fallacy of the Megatons to Megawatts Program. Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists Online. Retrieved from: http:// cisac.stanford.edu/publications/ the_fallacy_of_the_megatons_to_megawatts_p rogram/ 13. Russia to supply nuclear submarine to India-RIA. (July 1, 2011). Reuters http://www.reuters.com/ article/2011/07/01/us-russia-india-submarineidUSTRE76013F20110701 14. Czajkowski, Carl; Wester, Dennis W.; Dyer, Robert S.; Sörlie, Anita A.; Moller, Bredo; Barnes, Ella. (February 24-28, 2002). The Murmansk Initiative – RF: Test Operation. WM’02 Conference, Tucson, AZ. Retrieved from: http://www.wmsym.org/ archives/2002/Proceedings/17/597.pdf

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COMMENTARY | BY DR. H. AKIN ÜNVER*

U.S. FOREIGN POLICY AND THE ARAB SPRING

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s the uncertainty of the Arab Spring continues, the debate on the future of the movement and the U.S. role in it grows into a colorful debate. As a part of this policy debate I was recently asked to review Foreign Policy Association’s Great Decisions episode on the Arab Spring, featuring columnist Mona Eltahawy and Shadi Hamid, director of research at the Brookings Doha Center and also featuring comments from key foreign policy heavyweights like Madeleine Albright, General Michael Hayden, Robert Malley and Carl Gershman.1 The debate in the episode is in many ways a smallscale projection of the overall U.S. policy debate on the current and prospective U.S. role in the Arab Spring. It focused on the issues of U.S. military help, danger of militancy, and the Arab Spring view towards Israel and the United States. This article will focus on three of the most under-studies aspects of the U.S. role in the Arab Spring: American policy and the academic debate, the paradigm of ‘doing’ in U.S. foreign policy and the question of overlap between American domestic and foreign policies. Predicting the Arab Spring: U.S. policy and the ac ademic debate

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The widespread policy and media narrative of the Arab Spring is that the movement has been a surprise; emerging completely out of the blue, catching every political player flatfooted. ‘Even the regimes and administrations that were targeted by the Arab Spring movements couldn’t see it coming’2 – or so it is argued. While this shock is somewhat understandable among the regimes of the Middle East whose administrations never really established rigorous ‘academiawatch’ departments that follow the academic literature and debate, I can’t really contextualize the surprise in the American executive branch circles as almost every branch have one or more academiawatch programs staffed by quite capable analysts. My curiosity grows even further as it was Gary Fuller, a former CIA political analyst who wrote about the danger of the Middle East ‘youth bulge’ back in 1989 and its possible dangers to regime stability, as well as U.S. Middle East policy3. The youth bulge literature grew in the 1990s, highlighting statistical correlations between nations with youth bulge demographics and the likelihood of socio-economic discontent. Further studies by political scientists like Jack Goldstone,4 Gunnar Heinsohn5 and more recently Richard Cincotta – Christian Mesquida6 reinforced

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Fuller’s observations. But the most critical warning was given by perhaps one of the most read books of its genre, Roger Owen and Şevket Pamuk’s work on Middle East economics, whose concluding chapter argued that based on the MENA region population growth statistics in the 1990s, the region had to maintain a minimum of %7 economic growth. Otherwise, authors warned, the region would fall to youth bulge demonstrations by 2010.7 Furthermore, the assumption that the Middle East youth bulge would create such a domino effect was one of the hypotheses behind the 2003 War in Iraq. Bernard Lewis for example8, was aware of the repeated warnings by Middle Eastern demographics experts and argued that it was the duty of the United States to knock the first domino by invading Iraq. In a romanticist Wilsonian spirit, it was argued that the presence of a large U.S. force intended to overthrow perhaps the most hated dictator in the region would inspire the Arabs to rise and overthrow their dictators as well and create a region-wide movement like the

Third Wave democracy movements in Eastern Europe. However, due to the way in which the U.S. entered the war in Iraq and handled the conflict ended up delaying this domino effect, effectively causing people to rally around their dictators against a possible American invasion, strengthening the position of the very dictators the United States sought to remove.9 However, despite the existence of a substantial literature that warned American policy-makers about the Arab Spring as much as two decades ago (including forecasts commissioned by the intelligence service) Washington appeared unable to make sense of what was happening in the region or what to do about it. This raises serious questions over the executive branch’s handling of academic information and forecasts. I recall from the International Studies Association (ISA) annual conference of 2010, that a group of senior analysts from various government agencies were

Lenin

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COMMENTARY | BY DR. H. AKIN ÜNVER boasting how closely foreign policy and intelligence programs were following ‘all that’s going on in the literature’, in response to an inquiry from the audience questioning the government’s rationale of ignoring the academia’s warnings before the war in Iraq. Just about a month after the conference Mohamed Bouazizi’s act of self-immolation started the Arab Spring. Ever since the American administration has been scrambling – with mixed results – to situate itself with regard to the movement, still not convincing those who think the government organs are following the academic literature – at best – preferentially. U.S. forei gn policy and the ‘paradigm of doi ng’ Go to Google and search for the query: ‘What should the United States do?’ – you will end up with thousands of issues and agenda topics on which some expert is ‘urging’ the United States to do something about. Carry on with the search adding a random country each time; you’d probably be surprised to see that American decision-makers are called on to act in some way on almost every country in the world and every global issue. Although many American foreign policy professionals don’t like ‘the E-word’, feeling an urge to act in a large volume of area, including literally the other side of the world, is one of the main characteristics of an imperial consciousness.10 I don’t necessarily say this in a pejorative way: projecting an imperial consciousness is not the same as being an empire. Yet costbenefit calculations don’t travel far with ‘normal’ states; their security concerns are geographically close.11 The ability to make these calculations globally is the mark of imperial ambition and capabilities. Therefore as long as the ‘what should we do?’ paradigm remains integral to American foreign policymaking and ‘not doing’ is often associated with disinterest or isolation, we can’t not talk about U.S. foreign policy form a non-imperial perspective. A hegemon can be benign or malignant and therefore an imperial foreign policy consciousness should not readily be

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understood in terms of global domination, but the hegemon’s perception of itself (and the following policy discourse about its intentions) will usually reflect benignity.12 Furthermore, the hegemon’s foreign policy behavior and how this behavior is perceived by the international system often change over an extended period of time. Therefore, while talking about ‘what the U.S. should do’ about an international event (in our case, the Arab Spring) it would perhaps be a better idea to direct our inquiry not towards what the U.S. should do, but rather towards which U.S. we are talking about. Think about two cases; the Gulf War of 1990-91 and the Iraq War of 2003-11. Both have been important cases of American military action and both instances take place literally on the other side of the world.

A hegemon can be benign or malignant and therefore an imperial foreign policy consciousness should not readily be understood in terms of global domination, but the hegemon’s perception of itself (and the following policy discourse about its intentions) will usually reflect benignity. Although the target of two military interventions is the same, there are in fact two very different kinds of American presence in each instance. The Gulf War coincided with the end of the Cold War whose victor was the West, led by the United States. Having prevailed in this protracted conflict, the United States had managed to force the USSR into bankruptcy, without coming into direct military confrontation and such American leadership – coupled with the fact that the ever-imminent threat of a nuclear war was now over – rendered the benign hegemon image of the United States credible. The size of the U.S. economy, its living standards, democratic credentials, multi-ethnic, religious, linguistic character and its level of social freedoms dwarfed the considerable majority of the world. On top of all this, the United States still refrained from a multilateral intervention

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to attack Iraq and scrambled to build a global coalition, even including its Cold War nemesis: Russia. Furthermore, the move against Iraq was decided institutionally, through consensus reached within NATO and UN. Let’s then consider 2003. In 2003 we have an administration that is still coping with the post-traumatic stress of 9/11. Instead of following a uniting discourse, the administration did not refrain from polarizing the global public opinion by introducing the “with us, or against us” doctrine. Furthermore, in a very clumsy political move, the Bush administration had defined Iran within the ‘axis of evil’ even though U.S.-Iranian relations were going through a delicate process of détente under the Presidencies of Bill Clinton and Mohammad Khatami and the streets of Tehran were filled with mourners who showed support for the U.S. after 9/11. The bullying rhetoric of the Bush administration, not only towards the ‘axis of evil’, but also towards U.S. allies who were unconvinced about the American justifications for a war in Iraq further isolated the administration. Then by using deliberately inaccurate intelligence to make the case for a war and then, deciding to bypass NATO and the UN to launch an attack on Saddam with a poorly assembled coalition that fell apart very soon all added to the process that took the United States

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from a considerably powerful and prestigious position and dragged it into a mud of international isolation and opposition, reversing its image as a benign hegemon. Additionally, as the war went on, growing number of torture cases, frequency of illegal combat methods and mounting civilian deaths, ended up rendering the U.S. flag to represent the exact opposite of what it represented in 1991 in the Middle East. More importantly, 9/11 succeeded perhaps, in the sense that it forced the United States to drift off from its declared core values and what it came to represent. Using the war on terrorism as a pretext for reducing civil liberties, such as media censorship related to Iraq and Afghanistan war, the NSA electronic surveillance program, DARPA’s ‘Total Information Awareness’, lack of judicial oversight concern over the National Security Letters, Section 505 of the USA Patriot Act which enabled FBI to demand records without prior court approval, as well as the Protect America Act of 2007 – all added up to this drift from core values. Perhaps the American public isn’t really aware how closely foreign countries, institutions and organizations follow U.S. politics. This is also true in the Middle East. Even so-called anti-American groups and

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COMMENTARY | BY DR. H. AKIN ÜNVER

organizations follow American media; after all antiAmericanism paradoxically takes its power from its narrative of the United States. Yet, American policymakers must take note of this shift: foundations of American foreign policy and its global influence rests not in what the United States does; it rests in what the United States is. If the United States distances itself from the fundamentals of its social and political identity, a great divergence emerges between its domestic and foreign policies. For a successful foreign policy, all countries – but especially the hegemon – must maintain considerable overlap between its domestic and foreign policy ideals and practice.

what the Arab Spring is about. If anything, it will increase the solidarity between the Arab Spring and Occupy Wall Street movements, but that doesn’t imply anything for U.S. foreign policy. More worrisome, U.S. foreign policy discourse against the violent suppression of the Arab Spring demonstrations simply become invalid when the Arab youth watches the NYPD’s heavy handed tactics of suppression of Occupy Wall Street demonstrators or read the blogs describing in detail, how the UC Davis campus police pepper sprayed the passive demonstrators on campus or go on YouTube and watch videos of police brutality directed towards Occupy Oakland protestors. As Arab feminists and gender equality activists

Domestic-forei gn policy overl ap Therefore, when we return back to the question “what should the U.S. do” with regard to the Arab Spring, the only level-headed answer becomes: it should demonstrate the same domestic political standards that it advocates in its foreign policy. This is even more relevant and important with regard to the Arab Spring, which is essentially a call for democracy, liberties and better economic distribution. There is absolutely nothing the United States can ‘do’ – as in policy – to expedite, ease or form this movement. The best it can do, would be to become the inspiration it used to be for these kinds of movements – and if I were pressed to point to one issue on which the U.S. can become such an inspiration, I would highlight the question of financial recovery. As long as the United States deals with a serious financial crisis, with visible side effects of unemployment and increasing homelessness, its inspiration to the Arab Spring will be limited. While the Obama administration has taken steps towards tackling these issues, we can’t really talk about an American inspiration until the U.S. fully recovers from this recession. On the same note, no amount of policy ‘doing’ will improve the credibility of the United States as a role model as long as movements like Occupy Wall Street attract so much popular support and there is so much anger in the United States towards income inequality and poor redistribution of wealth. After all, this is also

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American policy-makers must take note of this shift: foundations of American foreign policy and its global influence rests not in what the United States does; it rests in what the United States is.

see the Capitol Hill hearing on contraception featuring an all-male panel of experts in which women are deliberately prevented from testifying, as the Arab youth, attracted to the opportunities of the United States read about the austere Arizona law on immigration or the NYPD’s Muslim surveillance program or as the Arab politicians examining the U.S. electoral system read about the Supreme Court rule rejecting a ban on corporate political spending, effectively increasing the penetration of the big oil companies, Wall Street banks and health insurance companies into the electoral system, the question of why the United States has lost so much influence in foreign affairs in the last few years and why it currently is not an inspiration to the Arab Spring become quote obvious. Yes, Twitter, Facebook and YouTube became a part of the Middle Eastern revolutions. Some over-excited Western analysts even dubbed the Arab Spring a ‘Twitter Revolution’ perhaps unaware of the fact that the mobilization of these revolutions took place pri-

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COMMENTARY | BY DR. H. AKIN ÜNVER

marily in the traditional public spaces of the Middle East: the mosque and the coffee house. However, as much as the West reaches out into the Middle East through online media, so can the Middle East reach into the United States and follow its daily workings through these media outlets. Just like the ‘information revolution’ nullified state control on information and propaganda in the Middle East, it also opened up a parallel window for the Middle East, into the everyday life in the United States, independent of the American foreign policy discourse of what the United States is. And as a result, the United States domestic politics have become a function of its foreign policy image perhaps more than ever. Globalization and online media is a double-edged sword – and we all have heard the overused truism ‘U.S. foreign policy begins at home, in domestic politics’. But what is it that we call ‘home’? Is this home the launching pad of a malignant empire, domestically reflecting the same mistrust, greed and fleeting calculations that the same empire pursues in its foreign policy, or, is this home a working example of a human ideal – a new way of life and interacting with the social, political and economic environment? The United States will most probably emerge from its current crisis by re-creating itself along an updated version of its ideals. But how it does so and what this new identity will imply will be the only honest answer one can ever give to any questions arising from the post-Arab Spring U.S. foreign policy. Notes: * Dr. Ünver is the Ertegün Lecturer of Near Eastern Studies at Princeton University. 1. To watch this episode, please refer to the author’s review of the episode on the FPA Blogs: <http://foreignpolicyblogs.com/2012/02/28/ review-fpa-great-decisions-arab-spring/> 2. On this, see ‘The Arab Spring and Why Nobody Saw it Coming?’ Reinsurance Magazine. June 24, 2011. <http:// www.reinsurancemagazine.com/articles/arabspring-and-why-nobody-saw-it-coming> 3. A more accessible 1995 version is: Gary Fuller. "The Demographic Backdrop to Ethnic Conflict:

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A Geographic Overwiew," in: CIA (Ed.): The Challenge of Ethnic Conflict to National and International Order in the 1990s (Washington 1995), p. 151-154 4. Goldstone, Jack A. (1991). Revolution and Rebellion in the Early Modern World. Berkeley: University of California Press. 5. Gunnar Heinsohn. ‘Vielleicht unser ganzes Leben lang: Youth bulges und die Zukunft des Terrorkrieges’, in Die Zeit Online. February 7, 2002 6. Richard P. Cincotta and Christian G. Mesquida. ‘Authoritarianism as a Form of Sustained LowIntensity Civil Conflict: Does Age Structure Provide Insights into the Democratic Transition?’. Paper submitted at the Population Association of America 2007 Annual Meeting, Princeton. 7. Roger Owen and Sevket Pamuk (1999) A History of Middle East Eocnomic in the Twentieth Century. Harvard University Press. pp. 229-35 8. O’Reilly is quoted in Matt Corley. ‘Rove: a win after more years in Iraq will rally the Muslim world to us’. Think Progress. March 21, 2008 <http://thinkprogress.org/ politics/2008/03/21/20720/rove-iraq-oreilly/> 9. On this, see: Marvin Baker Schaffer. ‘The Iraq Experience and Domino Theory Revisited’ Joint Force Quarterly, issue 57, 2nd quarter 2010. National Defense University. <http:// www.ndu.edu/press/lib/images/jfq-57/ schaffer.pdf> 10. On this topic, see: G. John Ikenberry. ‘America’s Imperial Ambition’ Foreign Affairs. September/ October 2002. Council on Foreign Relations. <http://www.foreignaffairs.com/ articles/58245/g-john-ikenberry/americasimperial-ambition> 11. This is the main hypothesis of the regional security complex theory (RSCT); on this, see: Barry Buzan and Ole Wæver, Regions and Powers: The Structure of International Security, Cambridge University Press 2003. 12. For a discussion of benign and malignant hegemony in international relations, see: Benjamin Miller. States, Nations and Great Powers: The sources of regional war and peace. Cambridge University Press.

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ISSN: 2041-1944 ISSN: 2041-1944

CALL FOR CONTRIBUTIONS Joürnal of Global Analysis endeavoürs to become the foremost international forüm for academics, researchers and policy makers to share their knowledge and experience in the disciplines of political science, international relations, economics, sociology, international law, political history, and hüman geography. Joürnal of Global Analysis is an interdisciplinary refereed e-joürnal, edited by a groüp of international scholars indicated in the Editorial Board and International Advisory Board. The joürnal is püblished at its own web site http://www.cesran.org/globalanalysis. Joürnal of Global Analysis welcomes sübmissions of articles from related persons involved in the scope of the joürnal as well as summary reports of conferences and lecture series held in social sciences. Prospective aüthors shoüld sübmit 4.000 - 15.000 articles for consideration in Microsoft Wordcompatible format. For more complete descriptions and sübmission instrüctions, please access the Editorial Güidelines and Style Güidelines pages at the CESRAN website: http:// www.cesran.org/globalanalysis. Contribütors are ürged to read CESRAN’s aüthor güidelines and style güidelines carefülly before sübmitting articles. Articles sübmissions shoüld be sent in electronic format to: Ozgur TUFEKCI - Editor-in-Chief - oztufekci@cesran.org Husrev TABAK - Managing Editor - husrevtabak@cesran.org K. Kaan RENDA - Book Review Editor - kkrenda@cesran.org

Publication Date:

Winter issüe — Janüary 01 Sümmer issüe — Jüly 01


ISSN: 2045-1903

www.cesran.org/jcts 

Peer-reviewed

Academic journal By CESRAN (Centre for Strategic Research and Analysis)

Editor-in-Chief Prof. Alpaslan Özerdem, Coventry University, UK Managing Editor Dr. Rebecca Roberts, Coventry University, UK Assistant Editors Mr. Richard Slade, Coventry University, UK Mr. Hüsrev Tabak, University of Manchester, UK Book Review Editor Dr Sung Yong Lee, Coventry University, UK

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he Journal of Conflict Transformation and Security (JCTS) provides a platform to analyse conflict transformation as the processes for managing change in a non-violent way to produce equitable outcomes for all parties that are sustainable. Security is understood as encapsulating a wide range of human security concerns that can be tackled by both ‘hard’ and ‘soft’ measures. Therefore, the Journal’s scope not only covers such security sector reform issues as restructuring security apparatus, reintegration of ex-combatants, clearance of explosive remnants of war and cross-border management, but also the protection of human rights, justice, rule of law and governance.

Editorial Board Prof. the Baroness Haleh Afshar, University of York, UK | Prof. Bruce Baker, Coventry University, UK | Dr Richard Bowd, UNDP, Nepal | Prof. Ntuda Ebode, University of Yaounde II, Cameroon | Prof. Scott Gates, PRIO, Norway | Dr Antonio Giustozzi, London School of Economics, UK | Dr Cathy Gormley-Heenan, University of Ulster, UK | Prof. Paul Gready, University of York, UK | Prof. Fen Hampson, Carleton University, Canada | Prof. Mohammed Hamza, Lund University, Sweden | Prof. Alice Hills, University of Leeds | Dr Maria Holt, University of Westminster, UK | Prof. Alan Hunter , Coventry University, UK | Dr Tim Jacoby, University of Manchester, UK | Dr Khalid Khoser, Geneva Centre for Security Policy, Switzerland | Dr William Lume, South Bank University, UK | Dr Roger Mac Ginty, St Andrews' University, UK | Mr Rae Mac Grath, Save the Children UK Somalia | Prof. Mansoob Murshed, ISS, The Netherlands | Dr Wale Osofisan, Help Age International, UK | Dr Mark Pelling, King's College, UK | Prof. Mike Pugh, University of Bradford, UK | Mr Gianni Rufini, Freelance Consultant, Italy | Dr Mark Sedra, Centre for Int. Governance Innovation, Canada | Dr Emanuele Sommario, Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna, Italy | Dr Hans Skotte, Trondheim University, Norway | Dr Arne Strand, CMI, Norway | Dr Shahrbanou Tadjbakhsh, University of Po, France | Dr. Mandy Turner, University of Bradford, UK | Prof. Roger Zetter, University of Oxford, UK


COMMENTARY | BY DIMITRIS RAPIDIS*

WHAT IS WRONG WITH POLITICS

OF THE IRREPRESENTABLE?

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t is a common belief in political essays and academic papers that politics have been trapped into a new circle of voting seeking. The well-founded political labels of left-wing and right-wing, as well as the euphemism of the political center are all deeply affected by the lack of a mind-blowing yet active and alive public policy discourse. People are generally dissatisfied by decision-makers all over the world, from the United States to China, and from South Africa to Belgium. The fundamental concern behind this trend is how people can be expressed when it comes to vote in electoral process. Since the worldwide economic crisis was triggered in the United States (US) with the collapse of Lehmann Brothers in 2008, and since then taking a contagious dimension affecting Europe, people have started to ponder upon the political decisions ahead. The growing mass of people having trouble in choosing how political leadership should be reacting for addressing all kinds of social and economic issues is consistently calling for a new model of political action and decision-making that underpins obsolete mechanisms, figures, and politics. The problem here is that though citizens demand a new social contract, political conditions vary from case to case. And the implementa-

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tion of a common model of political representation is hard to be dealing with this. We will briefly compare three completely different case studies to answer our question topic. In authoritarian regimes in the Maghreb region we saw the Arab Spring to rise as a unitary revolutionary model of protest against absolutism and political barbarism. People demonstrated massively, occupying the streets, clashing with riot police and militia, demanding a new constitutional model that would bring democracy and the right to vote freely. The fall of Hosni Mubarak in Egypt was achieved after days of street riots and what was lately achieved was a transitional government run by militants in order to pave new electoral process. A couple of weeks ago Tahrir Square was once again broadcasted in world media as the required revolution and democratic transition was badly processed. Still, Egyptians canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t have what they fought for. In the US, the Occupy Wall Street movement was formed as a reacting response to a new social threat pertaining US economy: excessive unemployment and corporate corruption. Waves of people were gathered all across the American cities to protest against capitalism and its derivatives.

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COMMENTARY | BY DIMITRIS RAPIDIS

The composition of these mass gatherings was widely varied from blue-collar workers to unemployed and from fired professionals to youngsters carrying a bike. Social class biases were omitted and all people manifested against the economic mindset of the US political and economic leadership. Despite the extent of the movement, nothing has been yet achieved but tens of arrests have been registered to police departments. Imagination and ideas are flourishing, but concrete actions are missing. Greece has been constantly covered by world media since 2009 due to its economic turmoil hitting the Eurozone. Bailout plans, loan agreements, firm statements about the sake of the Eurozone and the Greek economy have been extensively articulated two years now from any official mouth. Social rage and unrest are infiltrated in the country, riots and clashes are outnumbered, poverty is exceeding its historical peak since the 1950s, and decision-makers have trouble in dealing with social unrest. Reforms are waved and there is no convincing plan to escape the crisis. Still, people gathered in the streets are prone to organize strikes but less willing and capable to depict how they want to move ahead. These three case studies have been triggered from different departing points having though a common feature: the need of changing the current political conditions and bringing about significant transformations in economic and social policy. This demand is growing irrelevantly this last year comparing to the

reforms undertaken by the governments. Though hard to explain why people cannot pass from the visualization of the reality they want to the reality they face, it is important to underline that this global movement of change is taking a more persistent and mature character and shape. In all three case studies people are not satisfied with the existing spectrum of political parties they can choose amid when it comes to voting. The major issue widening the decision gap is the lack of fresh political leaders and ideas that would inspire people. And history demonstrates that when people do not have an alternative, they resort to violence and outrageous behavior which is often blind and fierce. As political leaderships cannot follow the demands of the electorate what we could expect would be a constant discontent and a collective psychological pessimism that would easily cater the existing system of political decision-making. Here applies the wellfounded notion of recycling voting which is literally the inclination of the public to vote again and again the same representatives and political parties of the establishment they deplore in shortage of any other reliable solution. This socio-psychological trend ends up to the recycling of the same wasted political ideas and figures otherwise considered as failed. Therefore the answer to our question topic would not be that easy as politics of the irrepresentable are formed through different aspects of political and cognitive behavior. As an introductory step people should start thinking collectively and share ideas freely. Both social media and public gatherings can contribute. The next step is the immersion of leaders through massive movements as it was used to be in the 18th and 19th century. Leaders bred inside these movements and outside the mechanisms of political parties. I firmly believe that we are moving to the right direction. Note: * Dimitris Rapidis, MSc., Political Analyst & Associate to the Greek Politics Specialist Group (GPSG) in the UK.

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POLITICAL REFLECTION | MARCH - APRIL - MAY 2012


About the CESRAN | Centre for Strategic Research and Analysis The CENTRE FOR STRATEGIC RESEARCH AND ANALYSIS (CESRAN) is a private, non-political, non-profit, internet-based organization of scholars who are interested in world politics, and enthusiastic about contributing to the field of international relations as not only academics, but also practitioners. The underlying motive behind the foundation of the CESRAN is a need to bridge the gap between the students of international relations and practitioners of international politics. In this regard, the main ideal is gathering people, who come from different backgrounds and have different perspectives, around the CESRAN in order to yield fresh and illuminating insights as to how the international relations is carried out in a globalizing world. To this end, the CESRAN aims at establishing and maintaining close contact with and between politicians, bureaucrats, business people, and academics that would lead to the development of better policies. We invite anyone who shares these interests to become a member and participate in our activities.

Email: info@cesran.org

Members of the Executive Board of CESRAN: Özgür TÜFEKÇİ, Chairman (King’s College London, UK) Alper Tolga BULUT, Vice-Chairman (University of Houston, USA) Kadri Kaan RENDA, Vice-Chairman (King’s College London, UK) Aksel ERSOY, Member (University of Birmingham, UK) Ali Onur ÖZÇELİK, Member (University of Sheffield, UK) Hüsrev TABAK, Member (University of Manchester, UK) Abdullah UZUN, Member (Karadeniz Technical University, Turkey)

Members of the Council of CESRAN: Prof. Mark BASSIN (Södertörn University, Sweden) Prof. Bülent GÖKAY (Keele University, UK) Dr. Ayla Göl (Aberystwyth University, UK) Prof. Bayram GÜNGÖR (Karadeniz Technical University, Turkey) Prof. Alp ÖZERDEM (Coventry University, UK) Mr Bill PARK (King’s College London, UK) Prof. İbrahim SİRKECİ (Regent’s College, UK) Prof. Birol YEŞİLADA (Portland State University, USA)

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COMMENTARY | BY DR. JEAN-PAUL GAGNON*

USING THE DEVICE OF A TREATY TO CONTROL CORPORATIONS?

I

n today's modern democracies, corporations wield significant influence over our lives, as well as over our governments. In the wake of the global financial crisis, it is evident that corporate interests are not always aligned with the public interest. Furthermore, there are few incentives for companies to adhere to this objective. This issue was raised last November in Melbourne at the Democratising Governance symposium organised by the Centre for Citizenship and Globalisation housed by Deakin University. In his presentation, Dr Hans Lofgren brought up the issue of democratising transnational pharmaceutical corporations. That of course relates strongly to the arguments made by Robert Dahl for example over fifty years ago: controlling corporations and ‘giant’ companies (in the words of Hans Blokland) was a striking feature

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of the USA’s New Deal and lead the political landscape as a top issue before and well into the 2nd European War (circa 1930s to 40s). This led me to ask about not only the feasibility of such an endeavour, but also about democratising other corporations, such as banks. To offer one striking example, the Reserve Bank of Australia recently defied market expectations by keeping interest rates on hold, leaving the cash rate unchanged at 4.25%. But there are concerns that the ‘Big Four’ banks will announce an interest rate move independent of the RBA's decision – which most have done. ANZ announced its interest rate decision, and banking analyst Brett Le Mesurier even noted that a rate increase would be a possibility. While banks would justify lifting rates in order to prop up

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COMMENTARY | BY DR. JEAN-PAUL GAGNON

profits amid a slump in loan growth, a rate rise would undoubtedly hit mortgage holders the hardest. The only way for consumers to voice their disapproval is to switch lenders or tell their governments that the citizens will control corporations. In this light, it is easy to see that corporations such as banks are central to "the people". I think that several individuals, if not all those participating at the symposium, would agree that because of their influence on our livelihood, we should bring them under our control. Indeed, I will argue that it is us the people - that must come to decide how much profit a bank for example can make on its services; how much a pharmaceutical corporation can charge for its medicines; how a corporation is to be punished for breaching our laws; and many other pressing questions. As touched upon above, this argument is by no means original: it has been voiced by many thinkers over time and space within Europe, North America, and as we go later into the 20th century, almost all other major regions. This, I think, is be-

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cause what people are seeking is a maximization of the ‘good’ and the minimization of the ‘bad’ as part of a broad normative understanding of the Good Society. In banking corporations, the most numerous workers are typically paid the least with shareholders, board members and other elitist stakeholders earning gigantic salaries. To many, this situation does not ‘seem fair’ – and I would agree. Although it would be hard to take this next point past the realm of personal choice, it would be good to consider. I reason that individuals, like athletes in certain sports, should have a salary cap. Corporations, I think, should too have a salary cap. And, of course, a series of referenda should be the tool used to agree on the level of the cap and what to do with the surplus of capital. I’d like to offer two reasons for this. Firstly, as Professor John Keane argued at the symposium late last year, democracy needs an ethos - a driving character

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COMMENTARY | BY DR. JEAN-PAUL GAGNON

- for it to function. Without knowing the reason, why bother trying to figure out who the citizenry are; what powers we have and how we can use them; what we consider to be equality; how we think laws should be made and enforced; how we want to choose our leaders; and how we want to communicate? This ethos for most democracies is the need and want to keep power to account; to control our destinies and protect ourselves from the violence and damages that emanate from autocratic systems. I think a dramatic economic disparity (especially in societies where market trumps politics – again drawing from Blokland here) between aggregates in the citizenry is a form of autocracy: the haves typically control and the havenots typically abide. And this leads us to the second reason for bringing corporations to account: they can do us great harm. Think of the recent global financial crisis, of Greece’s and possibly Portugal’s damaged economies, or of megaprojects going bad, such as dams and bridges. Corporations have killed people with their follies, mistakes, and disconnect from democracies. They have maimed workers. They make people suffer by offering irresponsible loans, taking away houses built on false promises, forcing poor and sick people to prostitution to pay for their medicines. They humiliate people and debase many of us because of the important services they provide. I’m neither anti-corporatist nor anti-capitalist, and this general argument is certainly not ‘true’ across the board. There is a great deal to admire in these systems such as their innovation, the growth of corporate social responsibility, technological drive, and socio-cultural impacts: think of the loved and hated ‘Apple revolution’ in certain societies around the world. But we need to better monitor these powerful bodies to keep them from stepping on us when trying to get their work done or trying to make their profits. As Calvinist political theorist Johannes Althusius would probably have argued, a corporation that inflicts damage on other citizens - such as having an arm severed in an industrial accident due to poor safety practices or over-work - results in both the literal loss of an arm and also the metaphorical loss

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on one individual's ‘full’ productivity in our body politic. The major question is: how do we do this? If we want corporations held to account and punished for their transgressions; if we want to determine their profit margins; if we want them to bring us the ‘good’ without so much of the ‘bad’; where do we exercise our sovereignty for this to happen? These are tough questions. And these, like others, will come to challenge societies in the future. It is important to view this discussion as not one of nationalising corporations: it is different. Here we are trying to think of monitoring, constraining the ‘bad’, and maximizing the ‘good’ of these bodies – a technique I would say

Corporations … make people suffer by offering irresponsible loans, taking away houses built on false promises, forcing poor and sick people to prostitution to pay for their medicines. They humiliate people and debase many of us because of the important services they provide.

in the same spirit as the New Deal. One easy and often overlooked method is to push for much greater enforcement of existing corporate laws. It won’t do us much good if we continue to create laws if those already existing are not rigorously enforced. A good resource to draw from are existing 'democratic' bank governance structures commonly used by cooperative banking models. These are often labelled credit unions, mutual savings banks, consumers' cooperatives, and labour banks. These institutions often promote an internal voting structure whereby members cast a vote for what is often a volunteer board of directors. Savings and loans rates are typically higher and lower (respectively) for members when compared to rates offered by 'big banks'. Members too are typically the shareholders. A number of these institutions are also purported to have higher

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COMMENTARY | BY DR. JEAN-PAUL GAGNON

customer satisfaction and support local community initiatives. Indeed, this begs the question of why more individuals are not switching to 'democratic' banks which is something that warrants further critical research. Although these institutions are often not perfect and have numerous critiques levelled at them, the fact that members can change the model is nearly miraculous given the weakness of the customer in relation to corporate banks. If joining a co-op is not your "thing", one recommendation is that we seek to make "treaties" with our governments. Like indigenous peoples creating treaties to establish and protect their rights, we, as democratic citizenries, need develop a widely agreed upon document with only a few simple demands, recommendations, criticisms, or policy recommendations for our representatives to take and work on. And this is a key point: we must work with representatives that are elected rather than against them for this project to have any political reality. Just look to the Occupy movements - it is easy to see that the major criticism levelled at them (from both those with hopes for change and those critical of the movement) is the lack of coherent demands. At this stage, Occupy is a protest movement at risk of fizzling out, or going in circles like the revolts that worried parts of Europe in 1848. In that climate, representatives will try to deliver bits and pieces of change to appease rather than make strides towards robust progress in policy. To be clear, such a treaty would not be about “nationalizing” anything. It is just adding another layer of democracy into areas of business that have the capacity to do peoples great harm. Let’s give a treaty a try and honour our indigenous colleagues by borrowing their political method to bring these important but dangerous corporations under democratic control. A key step in this process would be to present to a specific demos a pithy discussion: namely, how are banks for example to behave in our polity? Obviously this would be done best by the current government but the media, non-governmental organizations,

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multinationals, or other civil society movements could present a large enough swathe of opinions to start an albeit skewed discussion. As talk ensues and consensus forms over three to four widely agreedwith demands, the government could take legislative action or a non-governmental body could present a white paper for the government to adopt. That discussion above, one riddled with problems of which the largest is probably the ‘triumph of the will’ (or the actual serious adoption of such a treaty by a government), leads to a different stage of thought. If banks for example are constrained by such a treaty, what in effect could that lead to? Indeed, as mentioned above, even if such a treaty were to exist, without robust enforcement of corporate law it might as well be meaningless. Unfortunately, public law seems to suffer endemically from a lack of enforcement in most polities throughout the globe. But, if corporate law were enforced and a treaty existed, we could expect (depending on what the demands of the treaty are) that banks would give us more interest on savings, less interest on loans, and possibly make it much harder to give us loans. The bulk of bank employees could also gain a greater share of profits boosting their salaries and ‘fat cat’ CEOs could have salary caps. The list of possibilities seems endless. It would be good to end this exploratory discussion with a question: how can a corporation justify an ‘obscene’ profit whilst employees are under-payed, customers are given a ‘raw deal’, and the communities stores are found in gain no palpable benefit? Notes: * Dr. Jean-Paul Gagnon is a social and political theorist with a Ph.D. in political science. He completed his doctorate at the Queensland University of Technology under the aegis of Australia’s prestigious Endeavour Award. ** I would like to especially thank The Conversation’s Gillian Terzis for her generous discussions with me. They were instrumental to the making of this argument.

POLITICAL REFLECTION | MARCH - APRIL - MAY 2012


CAUCASUS REVIEW | BY ZAUR SHIRIYEV*

FROM “DUBLIN TO BAKU”: FUTURE SCENARIOS ON EU’S POLICIES TOWARDS BLACK SEA REGION

T

he Black Sea region (BS) — geographically defined as the land and seascape between the Balkans and the Caucasus and current politically located within the Wider Europe strategy from “Dublin to Baku” — has attained new significance in the wake of the accession of Romania and Bulgaria to the EU in 2007. The Black Sea is now in part an internal sea of the EU. What is remarkable about the Black Sea region1 at present is that despite the numerous territorial disputes and historical mutual distrust, despite the ongoing armed conflict among the regional states, the region has managed to sustain a limbo of war and peace. While the regions surrounding the Black Sea were rapidly integrated into the EU, improvements made within the BS states have lead policy makers to say that it is now time for the EU to engage more deeply with the affairs of the BS area. In less than two decades, the European Union has pushed its eastern frontier from Berlin to the Black

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Sea, and this geopolitical shift opens up new opportunities, as well as new challenges. However, from a current standpoint, it is easy to locate the weak elements of the EU’s policy towards the BS area. The Black Sea countries’ regional cooperation and further engagement was not high on their agenda due to the conflicts between states, especially within and beyond the South Caucasus countries. Interestingly, post-Soviet era transformation of the European Union and the conflicts in the Black Sea countries happened at more or less the same time; however the institutionally weak EU failed to respond to the challenges. During the first decade after the collapse of the Soviet Union, the EU was confronted with very high expectations with regard to its capacities; there was a gap between what these countries were hoping for and what the EU or its member countries were providing. The EU strategy towards the region and the regional states was not based on a unified ap-

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proach agreed amongst member states. One important factor here was the naming of the region. At this point, the countries of the South Caucasus – Azerbaijan, Georgia, and Armenia - saw the “strategic Black Sea region” as the gateway to Europe, but did not consider themselves to be part of it. During this time, despite heightened interest in the area, the region’s real priorities and needs were in fact largely ignored by the EU, owing to its lack of institutional capacity. Thus the region’s security issues and the attendant conflict resolution processes were mainly handled by the OSCE (in the case of the ArmeniaAzerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict) and the United Nation (for the South Ossetia and Abkhazia conflicts). Until 2005, there was no attempt by the EU to address Moldova’s Transnistria conflict.2 The accession of Romania and Bulgaria to the EU in 2007 led to the EU’s increased involvement in the area. This was based on the ENP, the EU’s basic blueprint for its activity in the region, and the Black Sea Synergy document, which in 2007 became the most concrete indicator of the EU’s interest in the area. Slow development by partner states and the failure on the part of some countries to achieve ENP objectives frustrated the EU, and this situation promoted the mistaken notion that EU membership was not something to which the Black Sea states tended to aspire.

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The deep frustration with past EU policies was brought to the fore by the August 2008 war, which also raised exponentially the perceived urgency of the EU’s contribution to conflict resolution in the Eastern Neighborhood. Thus the EU launched the Eastern Partnership in May 2009, and held the Prague Summit. From the outset, several political as well as technical challenges have bedeviled the EaP. The Joint Declaration of the Prague Eastern Partnership Summit is silent on the specifics of conflict resolution. It emphasizes only “the need for their earliest peaceful settlement on the basis of principles and norms of international law”.3 Two years have passed since the Prague Summit, but little tangible progress that has been observed. One area in which it is both possible and plausible to achieve concrete practical result in the short-term is visa facilitation between partner countries. In light of the aforementioned summary of what EU has done in the region, it is possible to imagine both a “pessimistic” and an “optimistic” scenario for near future. A pessimistic or worst -case scenario of the BS region’s political development The worst-case scenario can be defined as “the status quo” scenario, where existing conflicts remain in stasis, and countries are motivated by the logic of zerosum games. This “no war no peace” situation represents additional elements for the transformation of the Eastern borders of the Black Sea area- the South Caucasus in a volatile and unstable region; the 2008 August War, showed once more how the intractable and fragile “status quo” has many friends, in contradiction to sociological “friend-enemy” discourse. In this case, only enemies of the “status quo” situation can be winners of a game which is still being played on the basis of zero-sum principles. This worst case scenario sees external actors increasing their stake in the control of the region. In this scenario, the EU and NATO are losing their appeal for regional countries, especially for young independent countries like Georgia, for whom the post-2008 “not stopping Russia” seriously damaged the standing of EU. As a result,

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the Black Sea area is becoming a playground for Russia; with its illegal recognition of Abkhazia’s independence and the Sevastopol agreement in Ukraine, Moscow sees the BS region as, a post-Soviet, newRussia area. Indeed, in this case the real losers are the societies and countries in the region, which are unable to reap the economic and political benefits that the region holds. At this point, it is important to mention the power dynamic that has developed through regional conflicts. The 2008 Russian-Georgian war showed that “frozen conflicts” have become a clash or power struggle between Moscow and the West, rather than a regional conflict between the countries directly involved. Thus, the struggle to gain control of this strategically important region paved the way the war in South Ossetia by improving Western influence in Georgia, and attempting to counter balance the resurgence of the Russian power. Key issues regarding the Worst Case scenario Threat to democratic political transition process Ukraine and Georgia, countries that changed their autocratic regimes for democratic ones through revolution, are now experiencing a reversal of democratic reforms, along within the entire Post-Soviet area and Black Sea Region. The combination of the “hard power” dynamic, the failure of democracy, increased militarization of states, and disrespect for human rights have served to create an environment conducive to the rise of new conflicts. In conflict zones, hostilities are resumed and develop into ‘hot conflicts’. This also jeopardizes the regional energy infrastructure and the energy security crucial to future EU development plans. The protection of status quo is against EU interests In this region, conflict resolution is troubled by unwillingness to engage constructively in a meaningful peace-building process. While there exist official structures for conflict settlement (OSCE Minsk Group, UN, etc), they remain empty promises in these drawn out and futile negotiating processes. However, in the

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long run, [if] this “no war, no peace” situation in the region is maintained with neither bilateral/ multilateral peace agreements nor a negotiated settlement, [then] the relative stability and the fragile cease-fires between Armenia and Azerbaijan on one hand, and Georgia and Russia on the other, are threatened. These ‘empty structures’ have operated in the South Caucasus up until now. However, as mentioned, in the long-term this pattern may change, were conflicts to arise between big regional powers that would entrap the South Caucasian states, specifically via the confrontations by external actors, or if the existing conflicts between the South Caucasian states were to escalate.

The 2008 Russian-Georgian war showed that “frozen conflicts” have become a clash or power struggle between Moscow and the West, rather than a regional conflict between the countries directly involved.

Russia develops more leverage in the neighbourhood via political and economic mechanisms that have enable it to consolidate control over the region, namely through diplomatic measures (unilateral recognition of self proclaimed states) and military action (Russian-Georgian conflict). The “Reset” policy with the US and the “special relationship” with Germany have been other determining factors. Additionally, the counter ideology of Islamic fundamentalism present in the North Caucasus has spill-over effects across the entire Black Sea Region, contributing to conditions for increased instability and fundamentalism in the South Caucasus. Turkey has become an emerging regional power, but as seen in 90’s, seems more representative of the EU, less so of NATO. Turkey becomes inward-looking and re-orients its national policies, forging partnerships in the East (Russia, Iran). In this respect, in the short term, Turkish accession to EU seems an important factor. Yet in some ways Turkey remains at the mercy

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of other states’ foreign policies, with the EU demanding further reforms, only to continually reject Turkish membership, and Turkey’s dependence on Russian energy limiting its room to maneuver in the Caucasus/Black Sea region. The reluctance of EU leaders to support Turkish accession and the EU’s involvement in regional matters compounds Turkish acrimony toward the West. At the regional level, the increasingly non-democratic attitudes and geopolitical situation create conducive conditions for the development of this worst case scenario. Moreover, countries are locked in zero-sum logic dynamics, preventing regional cooperation and the establishment of a meaningful conflict resolution process. The increased militarization of states contributes to a security dilemma at the regional level, and external actors drastically limit the possibilities of democratic development. Engaging with the Black Sea as a region – as opposed to engaging only with

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specific countries – is nevertheless problematic for the EU, as the soft power tools it favours are ineffective in a region where ‘hard security’ is what works. The EU’s strategic dilemma: Is the South Caucasus part of the Black Sea area, or separate region? Under the EU’s current policy, the Black Sea region includes the South Caucasus. In the South Caucasus, Azerbaijan, Georgia, and Armenia are uncertain about this geographical dimension of EU policy, in the sense that they are not sure whether they consider themselves to be part of the BS region. After 2008, the EU added the South Caucasus countries to its new “Eastern Partnership” initiative. At the same time, the European Parliament resolution of May 20th 2010, “on the need for an EU strategy for the South Caucasus”, stressed that “frozen conflicts are an impediment to the economic and social development

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and hinder the improvement of the standard of living of the South Caucasus region as well as the full development of the Eastern Partnership of the ENP; whereas a peaceful resolution of the conflicts is essential for stability in the EU Neighbourhood”.4 Unfortunately, the South Caucasus countries are still waiting for a significant step in the direction of the resolution of these conflicts; however, interestingly enough, the EU adopted a new resolution on January 20th of this year, called “EU Strategy in the Black Sea Region”5 in terms of strategy, having two resolutions issued by a single body, the EU, creates confusion over the entire Wider Black Sea Region. First of all, is the South Caucasus part of the Black Sea Strategy? If yes, why is the latest resolution limited to cooperation, without looking more deeply into the region’s problems. Secondly, the EU’s Black Sea Strategy stresses the importance of the resolution of regional conflicts and describes the occupation of South Ossetia and Abkhazia as a real threat, but there is no discussion of the other and more important conflict, the NagornoKarabakh conflict. These disparities create uncertainty and diminish faith in the EU and EU institutions.

degree of commonality in its approaches to each of the three enclosed seas of its periphery — the Baltic, the Mediterranean and now the Black Sea. While the political profiles of these maritime regions are of course very different, they give rise to many of the same policy challenges. In this sense, the Black Sea could fit broadly into the pattern of the EU’s regionalism already established in successful cases (Mediterranean, Balkan Stability); however but it still has to be determined whether to play the whole EU initiative through the preexisting BSEC organization, and how agreement might be reached with Russia and Turkey as the major players. In light of the 2011 “Arab Spring”, the strategic importance of the Black

The dimension of the Black Sea region within the EU’s neighborhood policies fills an obvious gap in the EU’s vision for a wider Europe. The EU is moving towards a degree of commonality in its approaches to each of the three enclosed seas of its periphery — the Baltic, the Mediterranean and now the Black Sea.

An optimistic or best-case scenario of political development in the BS region The best case scenario is an integrated Black Sea region with strong and effective linkages with the EU. Key regional actors, like Russia and Turkey (as an EU member - important for this scenario) participate fully and constructively in regional cooperation. A sustainable process for the resolution of conflicts is in place, and monitored and guaranteed by international organizations. These national developments facilitate the gradual integration of the area, and at the same time support its stronger inclusion in the common European space. A key external stabilizing factor is the role of the EU and its ability to take decisive leadership in terms of its foreign policy on the Black Sea Region. EU and NATO memberships, or a clear path leading to future memberships, are offered to interested and qualifying ENP countries in the region. The dimension of the Black Sea region within the EU’s neighborhood policies fills an obvious gap in the EU’s vision for a wider Europe. The EU is moving towards a

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Sea to the U.S. has grown in relation to challenges in the broader Middle East. This could give new impetus to EU-US common polices towards the region. As mentioned before, the reset of US-Russia relations has caused many problems in terms of the US’s narrowing strategic vision for the post-Soviet space as a whole. The developments in the Middle East could drive a new and enhanced US foreign policy for the Black Sea and South Caucasus. This scenario is part of the optimistic vision for 2020. It may be that Turkey’s role will be important in developing the EU’s strategy for the region. Since Turkey is a pivotal actor in the Black Sea region, future relations with Turkey are intimately connected to the region’s future. Ankara’s views on broader regional cooperation will have a powerful impact on EU perspectives, but EU leaders must explain to their countries just how important Turkey’s accession to EU is. Without a clear promise to Ankara, the EU’s game-playing will damage and limit its potential role in the Black Sea region.

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These scenarios leave a lot of room for interpretation and allow for some out-of-the-box thinking. Conclusion/Findings:

According to the findings regarding several of these security interests, the EU is faced with a growing dilemma: how to engage with the region and pursue its security interests without simultaneously challenging those of Russia, especially considering the direction Russia’s policies toward the region have taken over the last few years.

Furthermore, the Eastern Partnership does not promise to alter EU-Russia relations. The EaP was met with relative indifference by Russia, which has been excluded from the initiative, even though the proposal emphasized the potential need for third party involvement, supposedly meaning Russia. However, it is not clear how the EU would envision Russian involvement.

One of the undeniable facts is that the EU’s leverage is limited by the fact that there is no common political view within the organization regarding the South Caucasus and entire Black Sea region’s security problems. Peace processes in the South Caucasus need more active EU engagement. For example, in the Balkans, the peace process and implementation of peace agreements was significantly enhanced by the prospect of EU membership perspective. It is therefore important to develop a similar strategic vision for the Black Sea countries, especially toward the South Caucasus. This would make it easier for their leaders to persuade the public of the need to compromise. These are undoubtedly the key obstacles to the successful implementation of any EU strategy to “assist the transformation of the Black Sea into a region of sustainable peace, stability and prosperity and to fully use its potential to contribute to the peaceful solution of the conflicts in the region by combining its soft power with a firm approach.” Notes:

The EU’s engagement in the Black Sea region with regard to boosting energy security cannot be detached from the resolution of the region’s conflicts, which constitutes a key precondition for the consolidation of stability and sound state building processes in the area. These processes are in turn linked to a further challenge to Russian interests, namely the integration of the Black Sea states within European and Transatlantic institutions.

* Zaur Shiriyev is foreign policy analyst at the Center for Strategic Studies in Baku, Azerbaijan. 1.

The long-term strategy within the European Union’s Black Sea policy is most significant, in the light of the expected expansion of this great northern power towards the south and the east. If the EU is able to tempt Ukraine and neighboring Moldova into its ever-widening maw, then, added to Romania’s and Bulgaria’s existing EU memberships, this would give the EU possession of the whole of the western and much of the northern shores of the Black Sea. Thais would pave the way for further eastward progression into Georgia and Azerbaijan, and from there to the strategic Caspian Sea, bordering oil -rich Iran.

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2.

3. 4.

5.

The Black Sea region is defined as the area covered by the eleven states participating in the Black Sea Economic Cooperation Project (BSEC) – Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Georgia, Greece, Moldova, Romania, the Russian Federation, Turkey and Ukraine. Since October 2005 - talks in the so-called 5+2 format (Moldova, Transnistria, OSCE, Russia, Ukraine plus the EU and the USA as observers) were launched European Council. Joint Declarations of the Prague Eastern Partnership Summit, http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/ LexUriServ.do? uri=OJ:C:2011:161E:0136:0147:EN:PDF http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/ getDoc.do?type=REPORT&reference=A7-2010 -0378&language=EN

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CAUCASUS REVIEW | BY ALEX JACKSON*

AZERBAIJAN AND THE IRAN CRISIS: STUCK IN THE MIDDLE

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he crisis between Iran and the Western powers continues to escalate. Sanctions, wargames, and the ‘covert war’ being conducted against the Iranian nuclear programme has heightened tensions and raised the risk of a regionally destabilising war. Most analysis has focused on the implications of the crisis for the Persian Gulf and the Arab world. Tensions between the US-armed Gulf Arab states and Iran has led to the conflict’s regional dimension being framed in ethnic and religious terms: of Sunni Arabs versus Shi’ite Persians (with a proxy version being fought in Syria). But this is a one-dimensional view, which sees Iran solely as a Middle Eastern power. Iran’s northern neighbours – the Caucasus and Central Asian states – are neglected in most analyses of the current and future dynamics of the crisis. However, these states, particularly Azerbaijan, are a crucial part of Iran’s security landscape and will be increasingly important as the stand-off deepens.

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Iran in the Caucasus In short, Iran’s policy towards the Caucasus is one of realpolitik, overlaying centuries of competition with the Turkish and Russian empires. The Caucasus formed a buffer zone between the three empires, and different parts of the region changed hands many times over the centuries. Today, the relationship with Georgia is the most distant. There are cordial ties between Tbilisi and Tehran, but geography, a lack of shared interests, and broader geopolitical issues (Russian hostility towards Georgia; Western hostility towards Iran) have prevented them from building a deeper relationship. Based on the mischaracterisation that Iran is an irrational theocracy, one would expect poor relations with staunchly Christian Armenia. However the two sides have a strong alliance dominated by economic and strategic considerations. Armenia needs Iran as an outlet to the world, owing to the Turkish and Azeri

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blockades, whilst Iran supports Armenia as a counterweight to Azerbaijan in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. Relations with Azerbaijan are the most complex and contradictory. Although there are religious and ethnic links between the two, Iran’s Azeri population (around one-fifth of its total population) is viewed with some suspicion in Tehran. Calls for greater autonomy have occasionally boiled over into irredentism and demands for unification with Azerbaijan: the border between Iran and then-Soviet Azerbaijan was demarcated for political reasons, dividing the Azeris in two. Aside from concerns about separatism, Iran is wary of Azerbaijan’s secularism, its ties with Israel, and its geopolitical orientation: pro-Turkish and, to a degree, pro-Western. Azerbaijan is seen as a potential fifth column for Western penetration into Iran’s northern borders. Similarly, support for Armenia in NagornoKarabakh (whilst professing a balanced approach) is intended to maintain the status quo in the conflict, reducing the danger of Western meddling as part of a peace settlement. At the root of all Iran’s Caucasus policies is the aim of limiting Western involvement in the region. Azerbaijan – Stuck in the Middle

The most important Caucasus state in Iran’s current stand-off with the West is Azerbaijan. Its proximity and ethno-religious ties to Iran, combined with its good ties with the West, have led Western policymakers to try and enlist Baku as an ally against Tehran. Equally, Iran has grown increasingly hostile towards its northern neighbour and is widely believed to be seeking to undermine it as a warning. Azerbaijan’s approach to the issue is informed by its strategic doctrine, approved in 2007, which emphasises a “multidimensional and balanced foreign policy” and specifically notes that Azerbaijan “attaches great importance to the development of comprehensive relations with neighbouring countries”1. EuroAtlantic integration is listed as a priority, but – critically - not at the expense of relations with other countries. In a pointed reference to Iran, the doctrine also notes that improving relations with neighbours is important “for eliminating threats emanating from separatism, ethnic, political and religious extremism”. Azerbaijan has, by prioritising this ‘multi-vector diplomacy’, sought to avoid becoming caught in the South Caucasus’s complex geopolitical power struggles. The case of Georgia, which antagonised Russia to the point of war, is a salutary lesson for policymakers in Baku. Building good relations with all states will prevent Azerbaijan from becoming a victim of ‘great game’ geopolitics, and enable it to focus on its main foreign-policy aim of restoring its territorial integrity. However despite this commitment to multi-vector diplomacy, relations with Iran have been strained, and have deteriorated recently. This concerning trend has both internal and external causes which often overlap. Internal Pressures Internally, the two states engage in mutual accusations over support for ethnic and religious troublemakers. Tehran often accuses Baku of fomenting secessionists among the huge Iranian Azeri population;

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Azerbaijan, for its part, routinely criticises Iran’s support for hardline Shia movements on Azerbaijani soil – it regularly accuses Tehran of providing financial and ideological support to groups such as the banned Islamic Party of Azerbaijan. These often boil over into tit-for-tat recriminations: for instance, Iranian criticisms of Azerbaijan recently led MPs from Azerbaijan’ ruling party to propose renaming the country ‘North Azerbaijan’, on the basis that the south of Azerbaijan was ‘occupied territory’. An accusation by Iran that Azerbaijan was facilitating Israel’s assassinations of Iranian scientists was angrily denied by Baku, which said that the claim was “slander”. Fundamentally this is a deep-rooted clash between national ideologies – of secularism against theocracy and of ethnic solidarity against national solidarity. The lines are not clear cut: the government in Baku is happy to tolerate Shia Islam, nominally followed by 85% of its population as long as it is governmentauthorised, for instance. And in Iran, most ethnic Azeris are deeply integrated to the extent that the fact that the Supreme Leader is ethnically Azeri is entirely unremarkable. There are two other ‘internal’ drivers of tension: the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict between Azerbaijan and Armenia, and the status of the Caspian Sea. Azerbaijan and Iran dispute the exact boundary line between their respective sectors of the Caspian: although this has not prevented drilling by both sides, it has occasionally led to confrontation.

lifeline, without which it may be forced to withdraw from Nagorno-Karabakh. This could have two effects for Iran: emboldening ethnic Azeri separatists in Iran, and creating instability which would be used as a pretext to deploy European or US peacekeeping forces on Iran’s borders. Although Iran pays lip service to the concept of Azerbaijan’s territorial integrity, Baku is often irritated by its neighbour’s open support for Armenia. Without outside influence, these internal drivers of tension would be manageable – but the intensification of the crisis over the Iranian nuclear programme exerts considerable pressure on the local relationship between Iran and Azerbaijan.

The external pressures on the Iran-Azerbaijan relationship are all based on Western-led attempts to stop Iranian’s alleged nuclear weapons programme, as well as its support for militant groups in the Middle East and elsewhere which work against Western and US interests.

External Pressures

The conflict over Karabakh is an extremely contentious issue. Iran has a close strategic and economic alliance with Armenia, even though on paper Iran’s revolutionary Islamist theocracy and staunchly Christian Armenia have little in common.

The external pressures on the Iran-Azerbaijan relationship are all based on Western-led attempts to stop Iranian’s alleged nuclear weapons programme, as well as its support for militant groups in the Middle East and elsewhere which work against Western and US interests. Iran’s biggest fear is encirclement and invasion. Its northern perimeter is the area with the lightest US military footprint out of all the surrounding regions, and Iran intends to keep it that way.

Iranian support for Armenia has two goals: firstly, it gives Tehran regional influence and essentially turns Iran into a patron of Armenia. Secondly, it helps to preserve the status quo in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict by giving Armenia an economic and political

Since the start of the US-led ‘war on terror’ in 2001, Washington has been actively courting the Caucasus as a bulwark of its global anti-terrorist strategy. The region has hosted some militant groups in its own right (although these have been minor threats) but

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its real significance is geographic: it lies on the approach route to Afghanistan, and is adjacent to Iran. Therefore US efforts to court Azerbaijan in the past decade have been largely based on these considerations (as well as the unrelated issue of energy security). The Bush Administration pushed Azerbaijan hard on basing rights around the middle of the last decade, with then-Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld visiting Baku to discuss the issue. Azerbaijan has staunchly refused to host US forces or bases, and has explicitly said that it would strongly oppose attempts to use its territory to attack Iran. However it does welcome upgrades to its airports and greater military cooperation. In exchange it has become one of the key nodes of the Northern Distribution Network taking supplies to and from Afghanistan.

Cooperation with Israel is even more significant and potentially risky. Azerbaijan has built up warm relations with the Jewish state since independence: it has benefited from extensive military-technical cooperation (including Israeli drones) and technological know-how. To an extent the relationship mirrored Israel-Turkey relations, and indeed Turkey served as a kind of ‘gateway’ to Azerbaijan for Israeli policymakers and businesses in the 1990s. In return Israel has gained a rare commercial and diplomatic foothold in the Muslim world, as well as a vital geostrategic outpost against Iran. There are persistent rumours that Azerbaijan is being used as a base for espionage by Israeli and US (as well as Iranian) intelligence agencies. Israel reportedly operates listening posts near the Iranian border; and according to a report by the Times of London in February 2012, the US has also built surveillance facilities in Azerbaijan. One Azerbaijani analyst compares Azerbaijan to Casablanca in World War Two: “it is at the centre of the spying”. The presence of Western intelligence agencies, and the warm relationship which Baku has with the US and Israel, has led to serious concern in Iran and contributed to a serious deterioration in the relationship between Azerbaijan and Iran. As the crisis escalated in 2011, relations hit a new low. One dominant theme has been Iranian criticism of Azerbaijan’s secular regime and supposedly ‘anti-Islamic’ activities. At the end of 2010 a partial ban on the hijab in Azerbaijan’s public schools provoked anger among Iranian clerics; this sparked the Islamic Party of Azerbaijan, viewed by some as an Iranian proxy, to call for the overthrow of the regime. Notably, the IPA said that the government of Ilham Aliyev would “face even bigger tragedies so long as the government is fully under the control of the Zionists”.

Donald Rumsfeld

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In August the head of Iran’s armed forces echoed this line, linking the ‘meddling of the Zionists’ in Azerbaijan’s policy to a “people’s awakening” which he said would rise up against the government. This came

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during a summer of tension, with ethnic Azeris protesting in northern Iran and a deadly shooting incident on their border. Most dramatically, in January 2012 Azerbaijan announced the arrest of three men on suspicion of planning to assassinate Israeli diplomats and Jewish figures in Baku. The government publicly announced that the Iranian intelligence services were closely involved in the plot, supplying weapons and funding and even choosing the location of the weapons cache. This is not the first time Iranian agents have been accused of plotting terrorism in Azerbaijan: there have been a number of reported plots by Iranian and Hezbollah cells to bomb Western embassies, oil companies, and even the Russian-operated Qabala radar station. These plots are apparently a response to the assassination of Iranian nuclear scientists, allegedly by Israel. And even criticisms of Azerbaijan’s secular system are, to an extent, proxy criticisms of its ‘pro-Israel’ stance. Secularism and ‘support for Zionism’ are almost always linked in semi-official statements. Where will the pressure lead? Mounting pressure between Iran and the West is putting Azerbaijan’s valued multi-vector foreign policy in a difficult position. As Turkey has found, maintaining good ties with all regional players is easy when times are good, but tough when regional geopolitics becomes confrontational. Azerbaijan’s temporary membership of the UN Security Council was a diplomatic victory, but it also puts the country in a difficult position. The situation in Iran is likely to come before the Security Council again within the next two years: Baku will be forced to choose between further alienating Tehran or standing against the wider international community. Iranian claims that Baku is assisting Israel’s Mossad in its campaign against Iran led to bitter public recrimi-

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nations in February 2012, illustrating the tensions which the ‘spy war’ can provoke. Further covert action by Israel or the US inside Iran further damage ties between Baku and Tehran, and could also increase the risks of reprisals from Iranian spies on Azerbaijan’s soil. A dangerous situation could emerge in which Baku became the site of a proxy war, unable – despite public protestations - to prevent Western and Iranian intelligence agencies from working against each other and using Azerbaijan as a battleground. A successful plot by Iranian agents on Azerbaijani soil would force Baku to respond. Lacking the capability or will to actively strike Tehran, this could mean

As Turkey has found, maintaining good ties with all regional players is easy when times are good, but tough when regional geopolitics becomes confrontational.

greater coordination with Israel and the US, although permitting US forces to openly deploy at military facilities would be a step too far. After all, Azerbaijan still has Russia to consider when it makes its geostrategic choices. Moscow has been vocally warning of the regional instability which a war between the West and Iran. To an extent this is intended to frighten regional states into opposing military action, although Russian officials have overstated the danger. For instance, it is by no means clear that targeted airstrikes against Iranian nuclear facilities would create huge refugee flows into Azerbaijan, particularly as few of Iran’s nuclear facilities are located near Azerbaijan. The main risk for Baku from a war between the West and Iran is not refugees, but losing its carefully nurtured multi-dimensional foreign policy. As noted,

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Azerbaijan is cautious about full integration into Euro -Atlantic structures, and has avoided explicit alignment with the West: the Azerbaijani government saw what happened to Georgia in 2008 after it enthusiastically threw its lot in with the West and has no desire to suffer the same fate. Balancing between regional players is the essence of Azerbaijan’s foreign policy. For many years Baku has been able to maintain this balance, working with Iran whilst also cooperating closely with its arch-rivals. But with the crisis coming to a head, it is unclear whether this balance can hold. If a war is launched against Iran and Azerbaijan is seen – rightly or wrongly – as assisting the West, there are a number of concerning developments which could occur: ‘Proxy war’ on Azerbaijani soil. Iran has threatened to retaliate against the West around the globe, and as noted, Azerbaijan would be a likely battleground for Iranian intelligence agents. Bombings and assassinations of key Western targets could be expected. Backing of hardline Shia groups in Azerbaijan. Azerbaijan’s Shia movements are small and have shown no appetite for violence, but they have concerned the government in Baku. Iran would be likely to increase its financial and ideological support for Shia movements which are opposed to the government – this would be facilitated by widespread anger among practicing Muslims over the attack on Iran. Iranian military activity in the Caspian. Although Iran would likely stop short of a direct attack, as this would risk triggering Russian or Turkish intervention, it may use its Caspian fleet to threaten Azerbaijan’s energy facilities and try to scare off investors. Deniable terrorist attacks against energy infrastructure are also possible. Crackdown on Iranian Azeris. In a bid to forestall any separatist movement (autonomous or provoked), Tehran is likely to tighten security in ethnic Azeri areas near the border with Azerbaijan. This could flare

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up into clashes which would provoke a verbal response from Baku, worsening relations further. Increased support for Armenia. Iran would be likely to reinforce its alliance with Armenia as a counterweight to Azerbaijan and as a rare friend in the region. Although in the short term Tehran’s focus would be on countering Israel and the US, in the long -term we could expect a public reorientation away from Iran’s nominally ‘balanced’ attitude towards Nagorno-Karabakh, towards clear favouring of Armenia. Trade and border restrictions. Border security would probably be increased, hampering the ability of traders to cross back and forth; this could cause tensions and clashes. Iran might also take other steps to curb trade with Azerbaijan, although it would be unlikely to suspend gas imports, which are vital for fuelling its northwest. Perceived Azerbaijani complicity in a war against Iran, even if Baku played a passive role, could set off an unpredictable chain of events. Preventing this will require astute statecraft on the part of the Azerbaijani government, including a loud and public commitment to a diplomatic solution, a categorical public refusal to allow Azerbaijan’s soil to be used against Iran, and the enlistment of Russian backing in the event of any Iranian retaliatory action. The coming crisis will put Azerbaijan’s foreign policy through one of its most challenging tests since independence. Notes: * Alex Jackson is a political risk analyst at Menas Associates in London, focusing on the Caspian region. He also writes independently on politics, security and energy in the wider Caspian region. This article does not necessarily reflect the views of his employers. 1. National Security Concept of the Republic of Azerbaijan 23 May 2007. Available at: http:// merln.ndu.edu/whitepapers/ Azerbaijan2007.pdf

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INTERVIEW | BY DR. JEAN-PAUL GAGNON*

AN INTERVIEW WITH DR NICHOLAS OSBALDISTON (MONASH UNIVERSITY)

Jean-Paul Gagnon: What is ‘seachange’ and where in the world is this happening? Nicholas Osbaldiston: This is an important question and one that deserves teasing out. For one, the phenomenon of seachange involves a type of urban and suburban escapism. In particular, it’s the movement of people, across a number of countries in mainly the developed world, who have become disaffected with the environment they live in within the confines of the metropolis into regions traditionally left behind in the progress of modernisation. Now the fundamentals of the movement were once aligned to other collective attempts at alternative styles of consumption and lifestyle, such as voluntary simplicity (Elgin 1981), downshifting (Schor 1998; Hamilton 2003) and some of the slow movements (Parkins and Craig 2006). Seachange was not just a physical shift but also an individual shift in ideas, values and conceptions about the ‘good life’. Often people who underWWW.CESRAN.ORG/POLITICALREFLECTION

took a seachange completely transformed careers, consumption habits and social relations. For instance, I have talked through my years researching the topic to people who were once high flyers (career-wise) in major capital cities that in their new regional location started cafes, restaurants, boutiques, life-coaching and bed and breakfast accommodation. The transformation was very much attuned to this idea of ‘seachanging’ one’s entire life through geographical location. As the movement has grown older however, these foundations have been lost through a process of marketing and mass public interest. Nowadays, at least here in Australia, you often hear of people performing a ‘seachange’ but it is understood as simply a shift towards the coast; hence why researchers and real estate specialists now refer to the movement towards the country/bush as ‘treechange’. The movement was never merely about an escape from the city 50


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to the beach to live the lap of luxury. It was originally designated as a genuine attempt to recover something lost in the messy social world we embrace in urban/suburban social life. Furthermore, it was never something entertained solely by the middle classes. However now, it would seem that seachange is predominantly a middle class phenomenon. This is evident in the work of Michaela Benson (2012) (amongst others) who wrote an exquisite ethnographic account of what the Europeans call ‘lifestyle migration’ in her book The British in rural France: Lifestyle migration and the ongoing search for a better way of life. JPG: What are the major political implications of this shift?

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NO: This is more difficult to answer because there are really in my view two effects of seachange upon the political landscape. Firstly, there is the broader cultural disaffection with consumption from which the movement was first instigated. The ideas here are not too distinct from downshifting, voluntary simplicity, slow food, slow cities and simple living. It is founded upon not just a disdain for city/suburban life (though that is a major component of it), but also a cultural narrative that speaks to a popular rhetoric of ‘there must be something more to life than this’. In particular, there is a narrative that threads through these movements including the first forms of seachanging which makes the argument that a consumption focussed lifestyle is one that does not lead to happiness and success. Rather, consumption practices need to be altered either through food, place, services and travel in order to capture something more meaningful that feeds directly into one’s sense of self. I argue in my forthcoming book Seeking Authenticity in Place, Culture and Self that such transformation is really an exercise in self-authentication; a process by which the individual can remove themselves from those things which he/she deem to be profaning the self to those activities and environments which enhance the self. Politically speaking, when collectives begin to resist the pull of mass consumerism, this creates a potential for a more ethical and environmentally sustainable future. Indeed others have argued this point such as Kate Soper’s (2007) ‘alternative hedonism’ arguments and Wendy Parkins and Geoffrey Craig’s (2006) book Slow Living. In both instances, the theoretical position is that through alternative practices of consumption, individuals themselves can in fact choose lifestyle and consumption options that are more sustainable in the long term while also enhancing their own sense of self. Martin Ryle and Kate Soper for instance discuss this in an upcoming chapter in the edited book The Culture of the Slow (Osbaldiston, in press) whereby they contend that the relatively fresh reuptake of bicycle transportation provides the State with the opportunity to reduce traffic pollution, congestion and other issues while also delivering a pleasurable experience for the individual. The same tenets potentially apply to slow food, slow travel, slow cities and

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even seachange wherein people are able to experience more distinct pleasures than what are found in the general malaise of everyday life. However as I noted earlier, the original motivation of seachange has been lost in part to a relatively subtle commodification. Now what we have across the world is a significant issue at the local political level that was once really unheard of in country and beachside townships. That is the influx of relatively wealthy individuals who have entered and transformed places through development and consumer practices. Across the ‘developed nations’ this has become a real issue in places of high environmental amenity. In particular, the major issue is that of housing. Relatively speaking, those escaping the city are generally on higher incomes and have more substantial wealth to expend on housing within new regions. Subsequently, what you see is townships that become dotted with expensive looking homes coupled with a high price tag. This then has a real impact upon the local market where the demand for more residential property inflates land values and housing costs. Local municipalities and councils across these areas struggle to cope with this at times, for good reason. Increased values means increased capital for these local governments. Politically, it’s a bitter and sweet scenario. On one hand the influx of wealth means more capital for local works and services. But the poisoned chalice is the potential for a more divided community and an emerging gap between the ‘haves’ and the ‘have nots’. This is a very real problem that researchers such as Laurence Moss (2006) continue to grapple with today. So politically, there are two areas of concern within the seachange phenomenon that speak more broadly to the growth of alternative consumptions. We might add also a question of whose authenticity is it anyway? Urban sociologist Sharon Zukin (2010) for instance does a great job in highlighting that in the pursuit of ‘supposed’ authentic practices, other minority and lower class groups and their lifestyle pursuits are overwhelmed by the middle classes. Classic examples of this occur frequently in the metropolises

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where old areas which at times hold cheap housing are gentrified in the name of ‘rejuvenation’ creating chic and fresh housing that is expensive and ends up accommodating only those with significant incomes. Amongst these new communities you start to see things like food and clothing markets emerge as people seek traditional produce and handmade goods. The critique that Zukin (2008) makes in this regard is that these places often then become hives of consumer activity, such as SoHo in New York City which may from the outside appear as ‘authentic’ spaces, but inherently do so by excluding other activities and groups from the place. I would contend that within

Now what we have across the world is a significant issue at the local political level that was once really unheard of in country and beachside townships. seachange we might begin to see such practices emerge within certain communities. Politically, this is class distinction enacted through the notion of ‘authenticity’. JPG: What then of local resistance to seachange and community backlash of what you’ve described here above? Is there evidence of this happening? NO: There are several examples of this occurring throughout the world. I can speak quickly on some of the things we have seen here in Australia though. Firstly, it is quite clear that there is a certain resistance to the seachangers period in many of these towns. Raymond Williams’ (1973) work on the City and the Country here remains a powerful account of the disjuncture between the two regions in my view. While seachangers seek to discover something ‘real’ in regards to community – which is perceived not to exist in the city – they often find that their ‘new’ communities aren’t as welcoming as they hoped. In fact, I have heard stories of people feeling as if they still are not accepted as part of the community years after their move. They remain the ‘stranger’ to use

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that famous Simmelian essay. So there is a real resistance first of all to the cultural narrative, if you like, of a country town that has its arms perpetually open to new visitors and migrants. The second more politically minded sort of resistance emerges in the form of organised collectives against the progress of places. What I mean here is a real disdain for forms of development that for these people appear ‘out of place’. This relates more now to the influx of newer forms of ‘seachange’ rather than the original movers. First generation seachangers for example are often those behind the formation of such resistances towards those developments that are designed to attract the wealthy – potentially even those seeking a nice second home to escape to occasionally for the weekend. Across Australia we have seen this pop-up frequently. Movements like ‘Save Hastings Point’, ‘Save Bells Beach’ and the Kuranda Envirocare group are created with the purpose to protect not just environments but just as importantly, the ‘local feel’ or aesthetic. Quite often these groups use the internet and social networking sites to draw national and international attention to their plight. The resistance is local though, and di-

rected mainly at local councils who are charged with planning responsibility. The third resistance that we at times see is that of a clash of cultures of sorts. In particular, we have seen some instances of where groups founded by seachangers clash with local desires for economic advancement. In one case in Kuranda for instance, a local environmental group that was formed and predominantly run by seachangers clashed openly with local business owners over proposed development of housing in the area. The organised political group wanted to preserve certain sections of the natural surrounds as it fed into their ‘sense of place’ while also being home to certain endangered species. However, local business owners and other residents of the community were concerned that the denial of this development would mean a missed opportunity for local jobs and increased wealth for their area. In this respect, there is a real clash over what intergenerational equity is and how it should be approached. JPG: What of the prospect of re-sacralising urban spaces? Is there a need to do so in your view in relation to what the seachangers are looking for?

World Trade Memorial in New York City

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NO: That’s a good question and one that I think we should be mindful of. Richard Sennett’s work over the years has been cautious in my mind of suggesting that the city will always remain inherently harmful to the human condition. Indeed the city can be the hub of cultural activity and home for the cultural omnivore – though I imagine others might disagree. This might need however significant transformation in the way in which urban planning approaches relatively mundane issues. Sennett thinks we need to be more creative in the ways in which we use our resources in planning cityscapes and surrounding locations. I think we really need to rethink our suburbs as I will get to in a moment. Subsequently, I’m cautious to recount tales of the city as the profane as an absolute. My work into seachange merely states that people within this phenomenon generally view the city as such. Subsequently, I think it is wrong to suggest that urban spaces are inherently not sacred. It is true that most urban spaces are no doubt quite mundane, but within each of our major metropolises across the world, there are those areas that invoke a special type of feeling within people who near them. From the relatively recent World Trade Memorial in New York City to the grand churches of London, there are spaces that hold special narratives in the minds of many. From this viewpoint, we cannot suggest that the city is totally devoid of specialness already. In regards to seachange though, one thing that I have not explored more is the possibility that the rejection of the city for the country is potentially more correctly put as the rejection of the homogenised suburbia for the country. In private communication Charles Lindholm from Boston University suggested that to me and I have since wondered if the urban sprawl into the suburbs has created a feeling of disdain for suburbia. Think about it for a moment: how distinct are the suburbs that surround cities? Not very in my view. Sure we have distinction in style of housing but that often relates more to class than aesthetic distinctiveness. In most suburbs you can almost guarantee that you will have a shopping mall (and they get bigger and bigger as George Ritzer (2010) has described for years in his work into the spectacles of consumption), the obligatory park on the street corner, the

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schools, the video stores, the sport grounds and so on. But what we also see with that is increased local traffic congestion, increased pollution (both noise and physical) and an increased social reservedness to our neighbours and communities in general (something that Simmel (1991[1903]) was acutely aware of over 100 years ago).Whereas while the city also has these issues, it continues, I would imagine, exciting people through the distinct opportunities for divergent cultural activities that can be found therein. I think in some regards it’s not so much the city places that need rejuvenation for seachangers, but it’s the suburban lifestyle. From that perspective, maybe we should be better off talking about a ‘great suburban escape’ rather than a ‘great urban escape’. Politically speaking, this needs to be enacted at the local level from the ‘ground’ up rather than top down from the State. Notes: * Dr. Jean-Paul Gagnon is a social and political theorist with a Ph.D. in political science. He completed his doctorate at the Queensland University of Technology under the aegis of Australia’s prestigious Endeavour Award. ** Dr Nicholas Osbaldiston is a Lecturer of Sociology at Monash University, Australia. He joined the School of Applied Media and Social Sciences in 2012. Prior to this he worked for the University of Melbourne in the School of Resource Management and Geography as a postdoctoral research fellow on an ARC Linkage Project investigating equitable outcomes to climate change adaptation along the Gippsland East coastline. Nick is a co-convenor of the Australian Cultural Sociology Thematic Group and is also a member of The Australian Sociological Association executive. He is currently the co-editor of Nexus (the newsletter of The Australian Sociological Association) and the general article editor of the journal Social Alternatives.

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ISSN: 2045-1903

CALL FOR CONTRIBUTIONS Journal of Conflict Transformation and Security (JCTS) is for academics, policy makers and practitioners to engage in discussions on a wide range of peace, conflict and human security related issues in a multidisciplinary forum with contributions from political science, security studies, international relations, development studies, post-conflict reconstruction studies, economics, sociology, international law, political history, and human geography. As an international refereed e-journal, edited by a group of acclaimed scholars indicated in the Editorial Board, the Journal of Conflict Transformation and Security is published at its own website http://www.cesran.org/jcts. It welcomes submissions of articles from related persons involved in the scope of the journal as well as summary reports of conferences and lecture series held in the social sciences. Submissions in comparative analysis, with case studies and empirical research are particularly encouraged. Prospective authors should submit 5.000 - 10.000 word articles for consideration in Microsoft Word -compatible format. For more complete descriptions and submission instructions, please access the Editorial Guidelines and Style Guidelines pages at the CESRAN website: http://www.cesran.org/jcts. Contributors are urged to read CESRAN’s author guidelines and style guidelines carefully before submitting articles. Articles submissions should be sent in electronic format to:

Prof. Alpaslan ÖZERDEM - Editor-in-Chief - alpozerdem@cesran.org Publication date:

Spring issue — April Autumn issue — October


EUROPE REVIEW | BY ZENONAS TZIARRAS*

CYPRIOT NATURAL GAS AND THE EASTERN MEDITERRANEAN: BETWEEN CRISIS AND COOPERATION

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atural resources have long been the cause of both development and conflict. Of course, in resourceabundant countries natural resources have, more often than not, caused conflict rather than development. However, the same cannot be said for third countries, often colonial powers, which exploited such resources abroad for their own development. This is one of the reasons why natural resources have been often referred to as a “curse”; an additional reason is the implications that the existence of natural resources has for the management of the economy (e.g. high prices, low exports, etc.).1 Cyprus has itself effectively acquired the status of a resource-abundant country when recently, on what was called “an historic” day, the President of the Republic Demetris Christofias announced that the Block 12 of the Cypriot Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) “contained an estimated 5 to 8 trillion cubic feet (tcf) of natural gas”.2 As “the second-largest hydrocarbon discovery in Europe in more than a decade”,3 the Cypriot natural gas paves the way for not only local

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but also regional development and cooperation. However, there is always the flip side of the coin and that is the international rivalry that may be triggered due to the alteration of the regional balance of power as a result of this and other developments. Below I briefly examine the features of the limited crisis surrounding the Cypriot natural gas and the Eastern Mediterranean more generally, as well as the features of a potential international cooperation at the regional and trans-regional level. The goal is to determine whether bilateral disputes could be bridged, given the political and geopolitical realities at hand, to the end of avoiding a crisis escalation in the Eastern Mediterranean. The Features of the Crisis The drillings for the discovery of natural gas by the Republic of Cyprus in late September, 2011, came in the midst of greater regional instability as, for example, the Arab revolts were in progress, the TurkishIsraeli relations were in decline, and the Kurdish attacks in Turkey were increasing. Furthermore, the

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long-standing Cyprus problem is an essential component of this crisis as Turkey, according to its Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, considers the internationally unrecognized (apart from Turkey) “Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus” (TRNC) as “a state of whom..[it] is the protector”, and adds that it “assume [s] an aggressive attitude if a country attempts to unilaterally use…[its] natural resources”.4 It is within this context that Turkey justified its threats for naval action against Cyprus, the initiation of gas explorations close to Cyprus’ drilling area, as well as the delimitation of its continental shelf with TRNC.5 Turkey’s actions had multiple implications. Among other things, the European Union (EU) called Turkey to refrain from threatening Cyprus, Russia sent submarines to patrol Cyprus waters, and Greece and Cyprus signed cooperation agreements with Israel.6 The latter created an axis which deepened the crisis in Turkish-Israeli relations thus also adding to the changes in the regional balance of power.7 Moreover, Cyprus’ natural gas reserves, coupled with Israel’s recently (2010) discovered natural gas,8 could prove a very important alternative for the future energy security of the EU, and Europe more generally. That would in turn mean that Turkey’s long-term geopolitical goal of becoming a regional power and energy hub between production and consumption (East and West) is threatened.9 From that perspective it is no surprise that Turkey attempted to coerce the Republic of Cyprus to keep it from starting the drillings.

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Further, the complexity of the regional geopolitical disputes extends to the matter of the delimitation of the EEZs between the states of the Eastern Mediterranean. Although Cyprus for example delimitated its EEZ with Israel, it has not done so with Turkey or Greece, while Lebanon and Egypt have not yet ratified their bilateral agreements with Cyprus. Greece and Turkey, on the other hand, have been facing a long-standing dispute over the Aegean Sea, while Turkey – unlike other states of the region - has not ratified the Law of the Sea Treaty of 1982. Despite the fact that the question of maritime boarders in the Eastern Mediterranean is not a new one, it acquires new significance due to the newfound energy resources and the ones that are to be found, most probably offshore Egypt, Greece, Lebanon, and Syria. In a sense, the problem has now become much more difficult to solve because the concerned states have much more to loose from any concessions; for example, the delimitation of the EEZs between Greece, Turkey, Cyprus, and Egypt is a particularly sensitive issue which illustrates this point well. In this light, and in light of the general regional instability and changing balance of power, an escalation of the crisis could only be avoided if a middle ground is found, a way of cooperation, which would perhaps have the Cypriot natural gas as its focal point. The Features of Cooperation If the Cypriot natural gas were to play a role in regional cooperation then the first problem that needs to be addressed is the Cyprus problem. A proper solution could of course take time and there are only too many aspects that the two sides need to consider. At the same time the problem is clearly bi-communal as much as it is an international one. Moreover, the Cyprus problem has been a serious obstacle in Turkey’s EU accession process. Therefore, for the sake of the two communities, the two

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countries, and also the greater region, perhaps there are certain mutual concessions that both the Republic of Cyprus and Turkey could make in order to overcome the deadlock, even before a full solution to the problem is reached. In that respect it would be interesting to see for example the Republic of Cyprus accepting a direct trade arrangement between the Turkish-Cypriots and the EU while on the other hand Turkey recognizing the Republic of Cyprus. Such a development would have a chain reaction of positive effects both for the future of the resolution of the Cyprus problem and, of course, for Turkey’s EU accession process. In that case there could also be found a certain model for managing the Cypriot natural gas; one that would be beneficiary for both the communities of Cyprus, and Turkey as well. Nevertheless, such a scenario is rather ambitious and not very likely given the complex political realities in both Turkey and Cyprus. Unsurprisingly, yet unfortunately, any cooperation plans or initiatives, at least for the time being, are primarily shaped by the dynamics of the pre-existing disputes that caused the crisis, and not by the willingness to bridge any differences for common benefit. Indeed, Greece, Israel, and Cyprus seem to be cooperating closely with long-term potentials for the exploitation of their natural resources. On the other hand, Turkey could not afford to remain indifferent. Interestingly, Popovici estimates that due to the increasing energy needs and the broader geopolitical realities Turkey “will be motivated to be involved in these developments, both as a potential customer, and – perhaps – as a transit country”.10 It is maybe true that Turkey’s cooperation with Israel would probably be more feasible than with Cyprus; yet, in order for that to happen there has to be a significant improvement in the relations between Ankara and Tel Aviv. Furthermore, it is worth mentioning that the Turkish Energy Minister Taner Yildiz stated that Turkey “will not allow Israel to export natural gas to Europe through Turkish territory”.11 In terms of Turkey’s stance on Israel, it seems that, at least for now, a rapprochement is rather unlikely firstly because that would upset the Arab world, and secondly because

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the demand for Israel’s apology about the Gaza flotilla insistent has become a matter of principle.12 Looking Ahead: From Crisis to Cooperation? It is evident that the current geopolitical conditions in the Eastern Mediterranean do not favor cooperation among actors with pre-existing differences. To say that the situation will pass from crisis to cooperation is at least naively ambitious. The domestic political particularities and complexities of each country, as well as the rest of their foreign relations, hinder real regional and trans-regional cooperation. What is more, geopolitical rivalries, like the one between Turkey and Greece over the Aegean, have acquired a new dimension due to the possibilities that the natural findings open.

It is maybe true that Turkey’s cooperation with Israel would probably be more feasible than with Cyprus; yet, in order for that to happen there has to be a significant improvement in the relations between Ankara and Tel Aviv. Overall, as seen, it would be very difficult for natural gas to bridge any bilateral disputes in the Eastern Mediterranean. Before something like that could be achieved, other fundamental – mostly long-standing - political problems have to be resolved. Cyprus is a key example to understanding this reality. The island’s geopolitical and geostrategic location has been a subject of interest for decades. Provided a peaceful and crisis-free region, as well as a resolved Cyprus problem, Cyprus could have well been the ideal energy hub, bridging the energy needs of the Middle East, North Africa, and Europe, in cooperation of course with other countries like Turkey, Greece, Israel, and Egypt. Despite all the unfavorable conditions and geopolitical complications, the regional developments are rapid and no one knows what the future holds; after all, the greater region of the Middle East has a long history of unpredictability. Having said that, the

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countries of the Eastern Mediterranean should keep in mind the various benefits that would stem from their cooperation, and that they are there for them to exploit, once they decide that resolving their problems is in everyone’s best interest. Notes: * Zenonas Tziarras is a PhD Candidate in Politics & International Studies at the University of Warwick, UK, and a Junior Research Scholar at Strategy International, Greece. 1. Sachs, D. J. and Warner, M. A., “Natural Resources and Economic Development: The Curse of Natural Resources”, European Economic Review, Vol. 45, 2001, pp.827, 827-838. 2. Tomich, Z. J., “‘An historic day for Cyprus’”, Cyprus Mail, 29 December 2011, at http:// www.cyprus-mail.com/gas/historic-daycyprus/20111229 [Accessed 06/02/2012]. 3. Tomich, Z. J., “Cyprus’ Bright Energy Future”, Cyprus Mail, 28 January 2012, at http:// www.cyprus-mail.com/cyprus/cyprus-brightenergy-future/20120128 [Accessed 06/02/2012]. 4. Editorial, “US supports revenue-sharing agreement in Cyprus for natural gas”, Today’s Zaman, at http://www.todayszaman.com/ newsDetail_getNewsById.action? newsId=258364 [Accessed 06/02/2012]. 5. Barber, C., “Turkey threatens naval action over Cyprus drilling”, Famagusta Gazette, 06 September 2011, at http://famagusta-gazette.com/ turkey-threatens-naval-action-over-cyprusdrilling-p12883-69.htm [Accessed 06/02/2012]; Burch, J., “UPDATE 2-Turkish ship explores near Cypriot gas rig-official “, Reuters, 27 September 2011, at http://www.reuters.com/ article/2011/09/27/turkey-cyprus-explorationidUSL5E7KR2O620110927 [Accessed 07/02/2012]; Editorial, “US supports revenuesharing agreement in Cyprus for natural gas”. 6. Pawlak, J., “EU tells Turkey not to threaten Cyprus”, Reuters, 09 September 2011, at http:// uk.reuters.com/article/2011/09/09/eu-turkeyidUKLDE7880CI20110909 [Accessed 06/02/2011]; Fenwick, S., “Russia sends Nuclear Subs to Patrol Cyprus Waters – Report”, Cy-

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prusNewsReport.Com, 25/08/2011, at http:// www.cyprusnewsreport.com/?q=node/4540 [Accessed 06/02/2012]; Editorial, “Greece, Israel sign pact on security cooperation”, JTA, 05 September 2011, at http://www.jta.org/news/ article/2011/09/05/3089230/greece-israel-signsecurity-cooperation-agreement [Accessed 06/02/2012]; Editorial, “Cyprus and Israel sign agreements and memorandum”, Famagusta Gazette, 03 November 2011, at http://famagusta -gazette.com/cyprus-and-israel-signagreements-and-memorandum-p13401-69.htm [Accessed 06/02/2012]. 7. Apart from the changing Turkish-Israeli relations, the regional balance of power is also affected by the withdrawal of the American troops from Iraq, as well as by domestic changes and developments in post-“Arab Spring” countries like Egypt and Syria. 8. Noble Energy, “Noble Energy Announces Significant Discovery at Leviathan Offshore Israel”, Noble Energy Inc., 29 December 2010, at http:// investors.nobleenergyinc.com/ releasedetail.cfm?ReleaseID=539152 [Accessed 06/02/2012]. 9. Popovici, V., “The Levantine Basin: A Mediterranean Hydrocarbon Saga Begins for Greece, Turkey, Cyprus and Israel”, Balkanalysis.com, 13 January 2012, at http://www.balkanalysis.com/ energy-sector/2012/01/13/the-levantine-basina-mediterranean-hydrocarbon-saga-begins-forgreece-turkey-cyprus-and-israel/ [Accessed 07/02/2012]. 10. Popovici, V., “The Levantine Basin: A Mediterranean Hydrocarbon Saga Begins for Greece, Turkey, Cyprus and Israel”. 11. Editorial, “’Israel needs Turkey for gas transit’”, PressTV, 05 November 2011, at http:// www.presstv.ir/detail/208450.html [Accessed 07/02/2012]. 12. Editorial, “Thousands commemorate anniversary of Gaza flotilla incident”, Today’s Zaman, 31 May 2011, at http://www.todayszaman.com/news245702-thousands-commemorate-anniversaryof-gaza-flotilla-incident.html [Accessed 07/02/2012].

POLITICAL REFLECTION | MARCH - APRIL - MAY 2012


MIDDLE EAST REVIEW | BY EDVIN ARNBY-MACHATA*

A “WMD-FREE” MIDDLE EAST IS A

DISARMED ISRAEL EVEN DESIRABLE FOR THE REGION?

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hile the preparations for next year’s UN conference on a Middle East Nuclear & WMD Free Zone are underway, commentators are already expressing pessimism as to the possibility of such a zone being established. Even those supporting the conference expect no easy gains, and see it as the start of a long and arduous process. This pessimism is unfortunately well founded: the historical record for broad regional co-operation on security is rather bleak and in spite of relatively high levels of economic development, the region has seen several bloody wars. One important argument in favour of a WMD free zone is that these conflicts then would not be capable of escalating into even more disastrous nuclear war. At the centre of Middle Eastern conflicts is that between Palestine and Israel, which feeds into all the others in various ways. The treatment of ordinary Palestinians, the regular assassinations of their leaders and continuing construction of illegal settlements provoke popular resentment throughout the region and the world as a whole. These sentiments are dealt with, and used, by regional powers in various ways. Iran supports and funds Hamas and Hezbollah, while Turkey wins ‘hearts and minds’ by championing the WWW.CESRAN.ORG/POLITICALREFLECTION

Palestinian cause and standing up against Israel, notably through the recent Gaza-convoys. As the decline of secular Arab nationalism centred on the individual states continues and the pan-Islam movement grows, these connections will grow stronger rather than weaker. While Israel has no moral grounds to deny democratic regimes in Egypt, Libya and beyond, it does have legitimate security interests that may appear to be at stake. Israel has been at war with several of its Arab neighbours in the past, and remains immensely unpopular with the region’s populations. Taken together, Egypt, Jordan and Syria have more than 900.000 troops, compared to Israel’s 176.000. Granted that the US is ensuring Israel’s “Qualitative Military Edge” over its neighbours by the nature of its arms deals, this is still a potentially overwhelming imbalance of power, presently moderated by Israel’s monopoly on nuclear weapons. What then would be the likely consequences if Israel were to abolish their WMDs? It is certainly not a given that this disarmament, and populist democratic regimes in the region, would precipitate an invasion or even a limited incursion into Israel or Palestine, but this is nevertheless an eventuality Israeli policy-makers would 60


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do their utmost to prevent. Considering Israel’s increasingly strained relationship with the US, it is unlikely that they could obtain more favourable arms deals than those they already have, so they would be obliged to increase their conventional forces, reversing the current trend to reduce the defence budget.

Is it really realistic to ask a strong, but still militarily vulnerable and isolated state to renounce its possession of nuclear weapons when the central conflict in question remains unresolved, and thus the security of the state is not yet fully consolidated? This a question that applies not only to Israel, but also to Iran (if they are indeed aiming to produce WMDs).

However, as Israel is already one of the most militarized countries in the world (10 per cent of the population are either on active duty or in the reserves, and they spend more than 6 per cent of GDP on their armed forces) there is a limit to how much they can rearm conventionally without doing harm to its economy. Even with a military build-up, Israel’s military position would be severely weakened. To have a chance of winning, or even surviving, they may be forced to strike pre-emptively in the case of a crisis – like in the 6-day war.

A WMD free zone will only be a reality when key stakeholders find that these weapons are superfluous in providing security. Basically, Israel and Iran need to feel safe in the long term. This can only happen if the underlying conflicts are solved. Talking of a Middle East free from WMDs is starting at the wrong end.

Leaving potential risks aside, it is important to consider what exactly is the purpose of a WMD-free zone. The issue of nuclear weapons is not the cause of the region’s conflicts; neither are they serious obstacles to resolving the underlying sources of the conflicts. They are merely symptoms that have gotten a too prominent place in the discourse. The doctrine of Mutually Assured Destruction was not the cause of the Cold War; rather it was the symptom of a great mistrust between two different cultural, political and economic systems that both claimed the virtue of universality. The “great power” rivalry between Iran and the US is similar in some ways to the rivalry between the US and the USSR, with the obvious great difference in balance of power, which Tehran may have an interest in adjusting by acquiring WMDs. The conflict between Israel and Palestine is that of land ownership. Israel’s possession of WMDs has no direct bearing on this conflict, as it could not use them on Palestinian targets without killing as many of its own citizens. Israel’s WMDs has a regional effect, deterring its neighbours from trying to solve the conflict over the land by violent means – which they have attempted to do in the past several times.

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However, it is still of great importance to recognize the importance to preventing nuclear proliferation and to roll back the deployment of WMDs globally. The main point in support of next year’s conference is the same as for non-proliferation or abolition generally: WMDs are inherently indiscriminate in causing destruction, they leave deadly radiation for many years and they may have global climatic consequences. The more there are of them, the likelier it is that some will malfunction or fall into the wrong hands. Nevertheless, establishing a WMD-free zone in the Middle East, however morally desirable, would not stop militants from acquiring weapons from other sources, and it would do little to compel the current nine WMD-states to abolish their arsenals (which by the lowest estimates still outnumber middle eastern stockpiles 25 times). In the move towards a world without nuclear weapons, there are many steps that can and need to be taken on a global level. An obvious one that could be the next step is to designate the use of all types of WMDs as crimes against humanity. Campaigning for something so basic, intuitively foolproof and relatively uncomplicated politically is the right place to start. Note: * Edvin Arnby-Machata is a postgraduate student in Conflict & Development Studies at the School of Oriental & African Studies, University of London, and a fellow of The Student Initiative.

POLITICAL REFLECTION | MARCH - APRIL - MAY 2012


FILM REVIEW | BY ALAADDIN F. PAKSOY*

ONCE UPON

A

TIME

IN

ANATOLIA

Every single frame of this movie can be a picture on your wall if you cannot afford to pay for a Caravaggio or Rembrandt painting.

Once Upon a Time in Anatolia (2011) Original Title: Bir Zamanlar Anadolu’da Director: Nuri Bilge Ceylan Starring: Yılmaz Erdoğan, Taner Birsel, Fırat Köksal, Muhammet Uzuner, Ercan Kesal Language: Turkish

T

urkish auteur Nuri Bilge Ceylan’s last movie Bir Zamanlar Anadolu’da (Once Upon a Time in Anatolia) is a story of a murder and the officers’ efforts to find the place where the victim was buried. The story was based on the 12 hours of the event happened in Keskin, a small town of Kirikkale, in Central Anatolia Region of Turkey. The co-authors of the script were partly inspired by a true story. In an interview conducted with the director, Ceylan said that one of the co-writers had worked as a doctor in the town where the movie took place. So, the story benefited a lot from the doctor’s memoirs concerning the murder while some conversations was built on quotes from Anton Chekhov (Proimakis, 2011). The Turkish-Bosnian production takes 150 minutes and it can be categorised as a thriller. Unlike Ceylan’s general tendency in casting, Turkish celebrities Yılmaz Erdoğan and Taner Birsel play two of the leading roles in the movie. Erdoğan’s skill contributes a lot to the movie as it can be argued that nobody

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could have acted the local commissar of this movie as good as him. Similarly, Taner Birsel gives a perfect performance as usual. Murderer, Fırat Köksal, might be seen as the most arguable character. He confessed that he was the murderer but he played the innocent in the whole story. That is why while watching the movie, you feel a meaningless sympathy for him. Ercan Kesal played a mayor candidate in Ceylan’s previous movie Three Monkeys. This time, Kesal plays the Mukhtar of the village and his speech to the officers can beam you up to the heart of Anatolian villages. Including the Mukhtar’s, several conversations of the movie reveal the hypocrisy and selfishness of Anatolian men. The characters, especially the prosecutor and the commissar do not care about others’ problems as they are only focused on their simple personal life. It can be argued that this is a very realist movie in terms of its characters, script, conversations, and covering a relatively short period of time for a movie. The only surrealist example might be the scene when the

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murderer sees the victim in front of the window in Mukhtar’s house. Concerning this scene, Ceylan’s comments contribute to the movie’s realist character. He said that it was the murderer’s dream and dreams were part of real life (Proimakis, 2011). Yet the movie’s realist spirit does not demolish its visual aesthetic. Although Ceylan’s visual materials are remarkably restricted in the steppe landscape and darkness of the night, he successfully employs the rolling apples, flying leaves, and the light coming from cars and the train in his visual representation of the story. It can even be argued that every single frame of this movie can be a picture on your wall if you cannot afford to pay for a Caravaggio or Rembrandt painting. In particular, the establishing shot in front of the auto-tyre repair shop resembles a painting. This is Ceylan’s creativity of transforming ordinary places into aesthetic frames.

cess at Turkish movie theatres. It is clear that Ceylan puts his art first and is not very interested in what the general audience wants to watch. However, there is an interesting contradiction comes to my mind when I look at Ceylan’s international success and his humble fame in his own country. Although Ceylan’s narratives consist of Anatolian stories, his movies only get attention from a remarkably restricted group of Turkish society. Therefore, the issue should not be related to what his movies tell us but how they tell. At this point, one can argue that an average Turkish audience grows up with the fast cuts of American movies and the banal story telling of Turkish soap operas. Thus, influenced by the famous Russian director Andrei Arsenyevich Tarkovsky, Nuri Bilge Ceylan’s movies’ speed, editing, camera angles, and the visual materials are too unfamiliar for an average audience in Turkey.

The Grand Prix and the inadequate interest in Turkey

All in all, even though the movie is very successful, I still have question marks in my mind. First of all, I wonder how much of the conversations can be fully understood by the non-Turkish audience. The characters are remarkably local as the conversations are so. The second question is Ceylan’s style in producing his movies. We are getting more used to his style in every new movie. Can Ceylan transcend himself in the following projects? Or is he going to continue to be attached to his own tradition. After watching this spectacular film, I started to worry if Bir Zamanlar Anadolu’da is going to be his peak in his career.

The movie won the Grand Prix at the 2011 Cannes Film Festival but Ceylan could not gain the same suc-

Notes: * Alaaddin F. Paksoy is a Doctoral Researcher at the University of Sheffiled. 1.

2.

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Aslanyürek, Semir (2011) “Bir Zamanlar Anadolu’da veya 'Bir Ülkenin Otopsisi'”. Sol Portal. Accessed on: 15-02-12. http:// haber.sol.org.tr/kultur-sanat/bir-zamanlaranadolu-da-veya-bir-ulkenin-otopsisi-haberi46922 Proimakis, Joseph (2011) "Maybe this is a Turkish western". Cineuropa. Accessed on: 1502-12. http://cineuropa.org/2011/it.aspx? t=interview&lang=en&documentID=204434

POLITICAL REFLECTION | MARCH - APRIL - MAY 2012


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CESRAN Papers | No: 6 | November 2011 FREE CORSICA! A Study of Contemporary Chinese Nationalism By James Pearson CESRAN Papers | No: 5 | July 2011 COMPETITIVE REGULATION: Stepping Outside the Public /Private Policy Debate By Dr. Jean-Paul Gagnon CESRAN Papers | No: 4 | May 2011 Turkey: The Elephant in the Room of Europe By Hüseyin Selçuk Dönmez CESRAN Papers | No: 3 | April 2011 "Whither Neoliberalism? Latin American Politics in the Twenty-first Century" By Jewellord (Jojo) Nem Singh CESRAN Papers | No: 2 | March 2011 "Civil-Military Relations in Marcos' Philippines" By Richard Lim CESRAN Papers | No: 1 | March 2011 "The Paradox of Turkish Civil Military Relations" By Richard Lim


EURASIA REVIEW | BY DR. ZURAB GARAKANIDZE*

RUSSIAN GOVERNMENT'S "SELECTIVE" ANTI-CORRUPTION CAMPAIGN IN THE ENERGY SECTOR

B

y the end of 2011 Russian Prime-Minister V. Putin has begun campaign for fight against corruption in the Russian energy sector. Experts underline, that recent anti-corruption “struggle” in Russia will be prolonged for two-three months period, and will probably, "victoriously to be come to the end” just by the Russian presidential election, i.e. by the early March 2012.

At a session of the Russian Governmental Commission on the Electric Energy Development, Putin has attacked upon management of the state-run energy companies, with affiliated private firms, as a rule, which have deduced state assets from the country. However, many experts believe that "small fries" will suffer, and Putin's "elite" remains untouched, i.e. "struggle" isn't directed against powerful elite corruption. In the Russian media this campaign is widely discussed at an average and a lowest level of the energy sector, on the one hand, but with another — there is no information on high level "elite". Statements of officials are considered as an element of the preelection company. The Russian energy market not trusts in a reality of anti-corruption campaign. Managers of state-run

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energy companies try their best to move from the state-run firms to the private companies, established earlier According to many experts, the Russian energymarket also not so trusts in a fight against corruption reality, statements of officials are faster considered as an element of the pre-election company. The sounded data don't make impression of serious investigation. On the other hand, Vladimir Putin has generated new risks in sector — resignations will lead to delay of consideration of fundamental questions, such as updating of investment programs and development of tariff decisions. From the beginning of this year the expert community smartly discussed the information that five key persons in the Russian power have received new positions during the last days of 2011: Sergey Ivanov –

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in the Kremlin, Sergey Naryshkin – in the Duma, Dmitry Rogozin (defense) with Vladyslav Surkov (modernization) – in the government, and Igor Sergun – in the Military Intelligence. But for some reasons all have missed the fact that in a heat of fighting against corruption in the energy sector, initiated by the prime minister on the threshold of March's presidential election in the Russian Federation, changes haven't concerned tops of this most opaque branch of the Russian government. It reminds badly staged pre-election PR... No news good news Despite the sharp criticism of energy sector from V. Putin, the minister S. Shmatko with his "command", and the first "energy" vice-premiers – V. Zubkov and I.Sechin, remained on their own places. Moreover, one of the "energy-heavyweights" of Russian government, - V. Zubkov even "has put on promotion", -

after December 4, 2011 parliamentary elections of the Russian Federation, premier V. Putin has presented him a few new spheres of supervision. The primeminister has charged, apart from his usual functions, also to supervise issues of social security, public health services, culture and building of accessible habitation, in addition. The above-stated proves our assumptions of clan character the relation in the Russian energy sector, stated by us in the summer of last year. Then we wrote, that begun form March of last year president D. Medvedev's order to withdraw of state-officials from boards of directors of the state-run companies had «campainian character» and the Putin's "elite" "was raised" in the state-run companies (see NewsBaseFSUOGM 2011; Issues 638, 639, 640). Igor Sechin, for example, the first vice premier-minister, supervisor the oil-gas extracting industry, long time was the chairman of the board of directors of state-run oil

Vladimir Putin

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EURASIA REVIEW | BY DR. ZURAB GARAKANIDZE

company NK "Rosneft". In the time of Putin's presidential power the state-run energy companies became great strength of economy at expense of oppression of the private business. And it occurs when as in infringement of president D. Medvedev's March 2011 order, about incompatibility of political and economic positions, the first vice premier-minister V. Zubkov continues to remain on a position of the chairman of board of directors of the biggest state-run company in the country, the energy -giant "Gazprom". According to the decree of the President of Russian Federation V. Zubkov, by October, 1st of last year, should leave board of directors. Above mentioned means, that the Putin's “elite” of the Russian energy sector remains untouched...

Mr. A. Illarionov says that after displacement from his positions the then chief of Presidential Administration A. Voloshin, the then prime-minister M. Kasyanov and the JSC "RAO UES” (Russian United Energy Systems) liquidation, Putin's "people in uniforms" have completely replaced Yeltsin's clan. Employees from the KGB (former Soviet Security Service), SVR (Russian Intelligence), GRU (Russian Military Intelligence), the Ministry of Internal Affairs, have been appointed to positions, - they have occupied 42.3% of all staff of the government. Approximately 25,6% of high level decision makers are made by officials and businessmen from St.-Petersburg, Putin's motherland. About 78% of leading political posts in Presidential Administration, both chambers of Parliament and in all law-enforcement authorities

“Closer circle” remains untouched According to the former advisor of Russian primeminister, Mr. A. Illarionov, Putin divides his “closer circle” on two categories: one is the "economic group", with which he discusses economic problems, and the second – "businessmen", with which he carries out control of property and the finances in the country. The unique person entering within both these categories, is Igor Sechin, Putin's irreplaceable adherent. According to experts, Putin's clan supervises an assets in 4,5 trillion Russian Rubles that makes 10-15% of the country GDP. Corruption money turnover equals to three hundred billion dollars that is equal to one quarter of the GDP. Moreover, web-site Wikileaks wrote, that V. Putin also is involved in the corruption schemes himself. For example, American diplomats named the company RosUkrEnergo as a "suspicious" and an "opaque". Ex-Ukrainian president V. Yushchenko "...hasn't excluded that the idea of creation RosUkrEnergo in 2002 could belong to president Kuchma”. V. Yushchenko named co-owners RosUkrEnergo of Putin and the present president of Russia, and then the former head of administration Dmitry Medvedev.

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According to the former advisor of Russian prime-minister, Mr. A. Illarionov, Putin divides his “closer circle” on two categories: one is the "economic group", with which he discusses economic problems, and the second – "businessmen", with which he carries out control of property and the finances in the country. are occupied with the persons connected with Security Services. Putin's close friends, not known before, - G. Timchenko, Y. Kovalchuk and brothers Rotenbergs became billionaires, when Putin was the President of Russia. The main shareholder of bank "Russia" Y. Kovalchuk supervises the largest assets of the country, pension fund GASFUND, insurance company SOGAZ and media holding of Gazprom-media. Now the position of the deputy minister of Internal Affairs is occupied with Oleg Safonov, Valery Golubev is the deputy general director of "Gazprom", and the Department of Economic Security supervises Eugenie Shkolov. All three these men are former officers of the KGB and Putin's old friends. In "heat" of today's anticorruption struggle the Ministry of Energy demands from the energy companies of data on heads and deputies, members of their families and relatives. However the Prime-minister cares

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not only of friends, but also their families and relatives. Borys Kovalchuk, Yury Kovalchuk's son has been appointed as a head of department of national projects of the government at first, and then as a managing director of the state-run INTER RAO (former RAO UES), - certainly nobody will touch him... Just about "practice" of replacement of officials on economic posts by the family members, we specified in aforementioned publications, - in the summer of last year (see NewsBaseFSUOGM 2011; Issues 639). Extreme audit In a consequence of such a clan control, according to reports of the Transparency International (TI), the business climate became less transparent and more corrupted within the Russian energy sector last years. As a result, by estimations of the TI for 2011, in the list of the countries on corruption level, Russia is 143rd among the investigated 183 states in the

world. Also it is the country, where following the results of 2011, the companies of oil and gas sector earned only as a dividends more than 300 bln rubles (10 bln dollars), not including different budgetary and other taxes and payments that almost twice more than year before. But because of the all-round Russian corruption, it is not clear in whose pockets settle these profits. From the above-stated is clear that main anticorruption "struggles" occur at a of average and lowest level of energy sector, where this struggle is in a heat. So, the Prime-minister of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin has held on December 19th, 2011 at a session of the Russian governmental Commission on the Electric Energy Development on which has subjected to criticism work of the companies of sector, having suggested them to prepare personnel decisions. As a result, like in a criminal community, mentioned on a session by the Prime-minister, - Dmitry Ponomarev, the chairman of the board of noncommercial partnership of “Market's Council” and “Administrator of the Electricity Traiding System”, also Yury Zheljabovsky, top-manager of the of Federal Electricity Network's (FEN) branch company “Trunk Electric Networks (TEN) of Urals" have declared about leaving from the position, also Holding MRSK, the "Tjumenenergo", and FEN. The management of "Gazprom" has dismissed three topmanagers: the vice-president of board Alexander Ananenkov, the chiefs of departments - Victor Ilyushin and Olga Pavlova. There is strange, but director of the TEN has declared, that he doesn't want to admit influence of his charges on reputation of the company (?!). The first deputy of board chairman of the FEN Alexander Bobrov has explained the resignation by importance of the nation's decision, because he works in a state-run company (?!)... To the head of “Market Council" Dmitry Ponomarev Putin incriminated being of the head of “Moscow Electricity Stock Exchange" (is engaged in wholesale resale of the electricity) and communication with JSC

Sergey Shmatko

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EURASIA REVIEW | BY DR. ZURAB GARAKANIDZE

"RusPower". In turn, of "market Council" assured that charges don't represent the facts, but the governmental commission has made the decision on Ponomarev's resignation nevertheless. The Minister of Energy of Russia Sergey Shmatko has declared in the end of December that concerning these managers criminal investigation will be made. Moreover, Ministry of Energy of Russian Federation has transferred in law enforcement bodies materials following the results of check of heads of the staterun energy companies, and “... even it is raised a number of criminal cases”, - Vice-premier Igor Sechin has informed on topic literally in a week after meeting with the Prime-minister Vladimir Putin. Sechin has noticed that additional audit, by which results have been dismissed a number of managers, has been conducted. Besides, as he said, audit of data concerning other largest infrastructural companies, such, as "Transneft" are initiated. It is interesting, how the Russian investigators, could for one pre-NewYear's week, have audited and raised “... a number of criminal cases”, on such huge company, for example, as is a holding MRSK, with a total capitalization in 5.96 billion dollars, on the Moscow Interbank Stock Exchange, for December 23rd, 2011? Anti-corruption barometer As a result, securities of FEN and MRSK, whose heads more often than others appeared in performance of the Prime-minister for last weeks of 2011, have fallen in price on 9 and 4%, and their capitalisation has decreased on 36 bln and 4 bln rubles correspondingly. Perhaps, recession directly was not connected with "Putin's campaign”, partly it's depends on a big volatility of all energy-market, - analyst Deutsche Bank Dmitry Bulgakov believes. On the other hand, the steadfast attention of the authorities to sector, frightens investors. «These personnel changes – not a sign of movement towards liberalisation», – were underlined in interview to the Voice of America by Edward Lukas, one of the editors of The Economist, the author of the book "The new “cold war ”.

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As a proof to these words we can add that in «a fight against corruption heat» in the Russian energy sector, in January, 2012 the government of the Russian Federation has made decision to transfer to the largest Russian oil company of JSC NK "Rosneft" (which is considered under control to the state and personally to V. Putin), three fields on an out-of-competition basis. The corresponding order is placed, in the end of December of last year, in a databank of federal standard and administrative documents. According to these official documents, "Rosneft" has received an investigation and extraction exclusive right under the combined license on “Central-barents”, “Perseevsky” and “Fedynsky” fields. This direct infringement of the antimonopoly law of Russia.

“...These personnel changes – not a sign of movement towards liberalization” Edward Lukas From state-run sector to private In the Russian media there were data that the former top-managers of the then Russian JSC RAO UES Andrey Rappoport and Alexander Chistjakov have appeared as a co-owners of oil company Ruspetro. Two businessmen possess 48% of shares in Ruspetro, 29% owns the management, 18% - private investors and 5% - the “Capital Savings Bank". Ruspetro can be estimated in 1-1.2 billion dollars. The basic assets of the Ruspetro - three deposits in Khanty-Mansiysk autonomous region. It possesses East-Inginsky, Pottynsko-Inginsky and Poljanovsky deposits. Cumulative reconnoitered reserves of the Ruspetro are estimated in 2.1 billion barrels of oil. Company extraction makes about 4.5 thousand barrels a day. Half of barrels of oil goes for export. Rappoport and Chistjakov have left state-run energy sector in 2008 after they have provided “warm places” in the Ruspetro. Rappoport began career in Alpha -Bank then in the late nineties worked as the vicepresident of the YUKOS. In the then RAO UES he has passed in 1998 and has held a position of the deputy

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of the head of company - Anatoly Chubays. After beginning of the reforms Rappoport has headed the FEN. From 2002 his deputy was Chistjakov who supervised investment activity of the then RAO UES before. Here is another example. Planned sale of the airport "Domodedovo" – perhaps represents a reaction to the attention of the prime minister of Russia raised recently to a problem of the offshore companies and their owners. It is known that owners of "Domodedovo" (whose persons remain till now a riddle) have charged to investment bank Goldman Sachs search for the Russian airport buyer. That is the reflexion of long opposition of proprietors of the airport and the government. As a result, owners simply want to secure themselves and to deduce from under blow. But on the other hand, V. Putin's interests, for example, to the energy-company "Surgutneftegaz” are well-known. And in whose pocket go billions of "Surgutneftegaz" still is a big question, because the largest shareholders of the company are not known. In the reporting of this company, 8.1% of shares belong to a private pension fund "Surgutneftegaz", and 91.9% - to another shareholders (http://top.rbc.ru/ economics/15/12/2011/629986.shtml). Read - to the Prime minister of the Russian Federation. That is why sale of the airport "Domodedovo" it is actual from a view of transparency, and "Surgutneftegaz" — isn't. To avoid such an unclear situation Russian parliament adopted changes in the Civil Code. According to changes, all companies are obliged to present names of all owners to the contractors. But the way out was found from this situation too. The First Vicepremier I. Sechin has allowed to state-run companies not to learn the information on owners of the clients. Besides, to suppliers and contractors from among the public sector, working with state companies, have allowed not to give the information on shareholders, whose share doesn't exceed five percent. Here is one more example. Igor Sechin has declared that he is ready to work on the project of

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amalgamation of the "Zarubezhnefti" and the "Transneft" for the subsequent privatization of the joined company. Though Sechin, as he said, has specified in some possible obstacles which can arise at merge of the companies. In particular, Sechin has underlined that "Zarubezhneft" has extracting assets, and "Transneft" isn't engaged in extraction. But earlier, in the beginning of January, 2012 the Russian newspaper "Kommersant", referring to unnamed sources in the government wrote, that Sechin has offered the prime minister of Russia V. Putin to postpone privatization of some state companies, including "Transneft" and "Zarubezhnefti". It was informed that Sechin considers sale of assets of "Transneft" economically inefficient, and privatization of "Zarubezhneft" in general suggests to refuse. According to the vicepremier, problem which are carried out by "Zarubezhneft", it will be impossible to transfer to commercial structure. What's happen in two weeks? It's clear, like in the above mentioned case with Rappoport and Chistjakov, - the way out was found,... Undoubtedly, such a "selective" anti-corruption testify to «confused reaction» of V. Putin taken by surprise in the sizes and the nature of national protests. Edward Lukas believes that the Putin's internal circle, actually ... is a command of absolutely unpopular people in Russia, each of them is in own way unloved the people and even the antihero. The Putin's popularity served some kind of indemnification of unpopularity of its environment and was used as very comfortable roof by the whole mode. But suddenly his ratings have started to fall sharply, people support not seems such firm any more, and Putin personally now is in very much difficult situation. Certainly, this is the essence of initiated by Putin anticorruption company in the Russian energy sector. Probably V. Putin entirely won't cut down the "energy-tree" on which himself and his "elite" sit till today. Note: * Dr. Zurab Garakanidze is an author in News Base E-magazine.

POLITICAL REFLECTION | MARCH - APRIL - MAY 2012


GLOBAL CITY ANALYSIS | BY FATIH EREN*

BEIJING “HUMANISTIC CITY”

I

n this volume, Beijing which is the capital city of the most populous country of the world has been examined in detail from a globalisation perspective.

Beijing is located at the north of China. With its 19 million population, it is the second largest city of the country. Beijing is one of the four cities which the national government (Communist Party of China) controls directly in China. It is the political, cultural and educational centre of the country as well as a rich, well-developed and vibrant city. Before focusing on Beijing specifically, let’s first look at the globalisation and liberalisation adventure of China.

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National Emblem of People’s Republic of China

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China, which was involved in the United Nations (UN) in 1971, started its market-based economic reforms in 1978. The national government followed a mixed economy model (i.e. a mixture of the planned economy and the market economy) which was titled â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;market socialismâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;. After this date, economic reforms, capital formation and structural changes were carried on progressively and systematically by the government. Five-year development plans for the country and twenty-year master plans for Chinese cities were prepared; these plans were applied strictly. Particu-

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larly, master plans played a role to promote Chinese cities connecting with the global urban system, and supporting infrastructure for the development of the world's factory (Chaolin, et.al., 2010). China decided to be a member of many formal and informal international associations in this process such as World Trade Organisation (WTO), Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), BRICS, The Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, G-20 and The Chinese-funded Africa Union (AU). As a result of all these efforts, the country became modernized; it has been integrated

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GLOBAL CITY ANALYSIS | BY FATIH EREN

with the world economic system and its economy grew dramatically. China was considered as ‘the factory of the world’ exactly after 1992 by global capitalists. Because of cheap land prices and labor market, open technology and product markets, many global companies established their manufacturing factories at the south-east coastal region of the country. Almost every kind of commodity (for example electronics, textiles, electric equipment, garment, leather products, metal products, transport equipment, chemicals, machinery, plastics) started to be produced for the world in the factories of China in the 1990s and the 2000s. Foreign direct investment inflows increased regularly during the globalisation process in the country. In 2010, $105.7 million foreign direct capital entered in China where it was only $46.4 million in 2004. Global investors especially came from Hong Kong, Thailand,

Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia, Japan and United States to China in the last 30 years (Ali and Guo, 2005). In addition to global investors, foreign tourists have also showed huge attention to the country in recent years. In 2010, China attracted about 56 million tourists and became the world’s third-biggest tourist attraction centre in 2010. Four million of these tourists visited Beijing; the Beijing International Airport became the Asia’s busiest and the world’s secondbusiest airport in use. International sport organisations and trade fairs which China hosted (such as 4th World Conference on Women in 1995, 3rd China International Logistics Expo in 2007, Olympic Games 2008, 16th Asian Games in 2010, 26th World University Games in 2011, Canton Fairs, Chongqing High-Tech Fairs, China International Military-Civilian Scientific Expos and so on) played a key role in the increase of the global concern with the country.

Beijing’s Urban Sprawl

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GLOBAL CITY ANALYSIS | BY FATIH EREN

Most of international articles regarding China mostly talk about possible impacts which ‘Superpower China’ will make to the world’s political and economic system in the near future. Some journalists and scholars assert that China is an uncontrollable power which can be a threat for the world. Well, this issue may be argued but in addition to the impact of Superpower China on the world’s economic and political system, the impact of 30-year globalisation process on China should also be discussed. It could be said that China gained huge economic advantage in its globalisation process but it also gained some disadvantages in social, spatial and environmental terms. Summarizing the negative impacts of the globalisation process on China: Due to the rapid industrialization process, 103 million Chinese migrated from rural areas to urban areas between 1990 and 2005 in China (McKinsey report, March 2009). The number of urbanists, whose counted 172 million in 1978, rose to 577 million in 2005. It is predicted that this number will get over 1 billion in 2025. This means that the 64% of the country’s total population will be living in cities (McKinsey report, March 2009); so the first negative impact is the breakdown of the urban-rural balance in the country. Regarding this issue, dependant on the urban sprawl phenomenon, it is calculated that the size of the arable land will drop the 7% of the country’s total area in 2025 (Wired, 2008). This means that the country can

be dependant to other countries in terms of food production and provision in the future; food prices are increasing rapidly today (the National Statistics Bureau, 2009). The second negative impact is the air and water pollution. China’s air, lakes and rivers were polluted very much as a result of intensive and regular industrial and agricultural wastes in solid, liquid and gas forms. According to World Bank 2007 Report, an estimated 350.000-400.000 people died prematurely from outdoor air pollution in the country up to now. More importantly, the 90% of Chinese cities’ underground water is contaminated today so finding clean drinkable water in the country can be a big problem in the next years (Asia Water Project, 2007). The third negative impact is the spatial inequality. Urbanisation, which was seen the positive factor of economic development in the globalisation process, increased spatial inequalities significantly in the country. On one hand, very rich people who constitute the 10% of the country’s total population are living at the west and south regions of China today. On the other hand, many Chinese are living without benefiting from the economic growth and prosperity of the country at the inner regions (Gajwani, et.al., 2006). It should be stated that the national government is aware of the country’s all problems related to the globalisation and industrialisation processes. In the national development plans which were prepared after the 2000s, it was strongly stressed that the government will attach much more importance to social and environmental development issues together with economic development issues in the country. In this context, the government worked for sustaining the economic growth while recovering ecology, living and production spaces in the last 10 years. Again, the government invested very much in renewable energy technologies. The government also targeted to transform the Chinese industrial society into knowledge society in these plans.

Pollution in Beijing

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GLOBAL CITY ANALYSIS | BY FATIH EREN

The international society offers some criticisms to the national government’s applications in China. Main criticisms are made about democracy, human rights and freedom issues. The government is gradually closing to a more moderate line in many fields but it still carries an authoritarian treatment with heavy restrictions on some issues such as: ‘freedom of speech, freedom of the press, the right to a fair trial, freedom of religion, universal suffrage and property rights’. The impact of global concern for Beijing: Analysis Beijing is going on the way of developing into an international knowledge city in the context of the government’s knowledge society vision. The number of universities, science and technology parks and industrial investment clusters which are mainly focused on aerospace, logistics, air transport, IT, telecommunication, science and high technology, automotive, chemicals, construction, natural resources and mining issues is increasing in the city (For example, Tianzhu Airport Industrial Zone, Beijing Auto Industry Cluster, Beijing Changping Xiaotangshan Industrial Park, Zhongguancun Science and Technology Park, Beijing Fangshan Industrial Park, Beijing University of Chemical Technology, Tongzhou Industry Cluster, Peking University, Tsinghua University, Renmin University and Beijing Normal University and so on). Today, there is more than 80 regular higher education institutions and more than 120 science and technology research parks in Beijing. The Beijing Investment Promotion Bureau is showing huge international efforts to attract foreign investors into these institutions and parks to make them built, developed and managed in the best way. Again, the national government is planning to employ many foreign researchers/experts in these excellence centres.

for living and working purposes. Therefore, the number of foreigners on Beijing streets will increase in the next years. From now on, the Beijing Municipality started to create recreational areas for current and prospective expats with high-life standards ( For example, Dayangshan National Forest Park, Hot Spring recreation centre, Nine-dragon amusement park, Beijing Changping International Exhibition and Conference Centre and so on). Accordingly, in the context of the city’s internationalization vision, living standards and urban infrastructure/ service quality will rise significantly in the near future. A matter should be stressed at this point. Beijing will be a more liveable city in the future; but for whom? The answer of this question is important because most of Beijingers who are living in the city today have no chance to find a position for themselves in the city’s future planned socio-economic structure. Beijing is developing into an inappropriate place for the people (peasants) who are living at suburbs. The question is: ‘Will these people be forced to migrate to another city in the context of ‘the municipality’s internationalisation efforts’ or ‘Will they be employed in a way in city’s suitable sectors such as tourism or agriculture?’ From a point of view, looking at applied strict restriction policies against urban population growth and at governmental efforts to attract new skilled labour into the city, it should be said that Beijingers may be under a gentrification threat in the next The Beijing University of Technology Gymnasium

It should be noted that every year, many international activities (seminars, exhibitions, technology courses, fairs and conferences) in science and technology fields are organized in the city. These universities, parks and clusters will attract many local and foreign highly-skilled and highly-educated people to the city

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years. From another point of view, Beijingers may not be subject to a gentrification threat. First reason, the municipality supports agricultural activities which are conducted at urban suburbs via varied programs such as Cities Farming for the Future Programme (RUAF-CFF). The municipality considers that urban farming can be a good caution against the country’s future food scarcity problem as well as it can be a good way to increase tourism in the city through agro-tourism or recreational agriculture. Second reason, there is also a possibility that the city will not be able to provide enough comfortable and free environment for highly-skilled and highly-educated foreigners to live and work; because some problems, which can not be solved easily in the short-run, exist in Beijing (for example, urban crowds, unfriendly local people against foreigners, poor democracy, human rights and freedom, dust storms coming from the Gobi Desert). These chronic problems may fail the government’s highly-skilled foreign labour attraction policy. In the context of the Greater Beijing Plan 2004-2020, the Beijing Municipality takes some measures to solve urban problems which emerged during the 30year globalisation process. First, industrial areas which are located in inner city areas are moved out of the city. Second, the current "one centre" layout model is changed with a "multi-centre" one. Third, a green belt (western ecological belt) and a development belt (eastern development belt) are designed in

Urban Farming in the Suburbs

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the city to stop urban sprawl. Fourth, with regard to the desertification problem which threats Beijing, deforestation efforts are carried on regularly to keep the city green. Fifth, clean drinkable water is brought from South to the North for Beijingers. Final, to decentralize urban population and to ensure regional spatial development in a balanced way, new satellite towns are developed in the city. These satellite towns are planned and designed as sustainable, liveable and energy-efficient places. Most probably, all these effective initiatives/applications will reduce the city’s current urban problems in the future. The control of Beijing’s property market is shifting from public sector to private sector, today. Property prices and rents are increased regularly by property market players. The municipality is now following strict policies to reduce property prices and rents (e.g. purchase quota, property tax, subsidy housing and financing restriction polices). It should be emphasized here that Beijing’s urban land mostly belong to the municipality as a monopoly. Using this advantage, the municipality brought a limitation to land prices. Thanks to these policies and the municipality’s monopoly power, the prices and rents have been placed partly under control in the city (Beijing Property Market Watch, July 2011). The municipality is forced to open more urban lands for new developments due to the huge need for new residential and commercial units and to the corruption factor in the public sector. Year to year, available urban public land stock is diminishing. Considering that the national government will carry on deregulations and liberal reforms regarding the country’s property market in the next years, it should be said that the monopoly power and authority of the municipality over the urban land will be lost gradually in the future while the power and authority of private sector on the urban land will be increased. Property prices and rents will then not be placed under control easily in the future. All investors are buying the city’s properties and lands for commercial purposes, not to build units for themselves to live and work in. In other words, their

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GLOBAL CITY ANALYSIS | BY FATIH EREN

main purpose is to make profit from the transaction of the city’s commodities in the short or long run. These investors expect always an increase on property prices and rents to gain more profit. It is a possibility that powerful property market actors will connive at speculations to grow the Beijing property market; because they need always commercial actions to survive. Therefore, it is inevitable that property prices and rents will increase gradually in Beijing; so property booms and busts may emerge in the city’s property market in the future. Boom and busts may be seen as a good profit opportunity for global investors however property busts are bad for Beijingers who are not homeowners. In line with this, the municipality should work hard for increasing homeownership in the city before the property market actors was empowered significantly and before they placed the market under their own control. In this way, Beijingers may be affected less seriously from future sectorial crisis. Beijing is opening to the world rapidly and it is developing into an international cultural centre. A beautiful socio-cultural environment is created which will attract global visitors into the city. The number of modern cultural activity areas such as Grand National Theatre, China Central Television Headquarters, Capital Museum, National Museum, National Stadium, National Gymnasium ve National Swimming Centre is increasing. When the city’s historical city centre which includes very valuable world heritages like The Great Wall of China, Forbidden City, Summer Palace and Temple of Heaven has been renovated, the city will be a more attractive place for tourists. Foreign visitors will probably change the socio-cultural structure of the Beijing society. Increasing interactions between local people and foreigners will change the established mind-set of Beijingers, that is ‘us versus them’. This means that Beijingers will start to show more interest, amity and respect to other people who are out of their personal social network.

Beijing’s Rich Culture

Beijing Municipality recently. If the city governors embrace a democracy culture, show more respect to citizens’ human rights and provide freedoms, Beijing can be a good and an inspiring model for the world’s other metropolitan cities. I would like to complete my essay with the words of Confucius: ‘Do not impose on others what you yourself do not desire’. Notes: * Fatih Eren is a Doctoral Researcher at the University of Sheffield. 1.

2.

3. 4. 5. 6. 7.

In conclusion, very successful urban planning policies and practices have been performed in the city by the

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Ali, S. and Guo, W., 2005. Determinants of FDI in China. Journal of Global Business and Technology, 1(2). Gajwani, K., Kanbur, R. and Zhang, X., December 2006. Comparing the evolution of spatial inequality in China and India, DSGD Discussion Paper No.44: International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI). Mag., W., 2008. Climate Change-the Chinese Challenge. Science Journal . McKinsey, March 2009. Preparing for China's urban billion Project, A. W., 2007. In Deep Water: Ecological Destruction of China’s Water Resources Watch, B. P. M., July 2011. China Property Investment Report, s.l.: My Decker Capital. Xiaohui, Y. et al., 2010. China’s master planning system in transition: case study of Beijing, 46th ISOCARP Congress.

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RECENT BOOKS

Bloodlands: Europe Between Hitler and Stalin By Timothy Snyder The first thing that II World War reminds us is the Nazis brutal actions against civilians especially to the Jewish community. But Hitler and his ruthless soldiers were not the only actor that massacred innocent people before and during the II World War. At this time in order to have a rapid industrialization Stalin forced millions of people to leave their homes and starve to death. In his historical book Bloodlands, Timothy Snyder from Yale University evaluates Hitler’s and Stalin’s inhumane actions in Poland, Ukraine, the Baltic region and Belarus in a comparative way. With examining massacres of two leaders together he gives a different view for II World War. By doing that he successfully reminds us many innocent people lost their lives not only by the hand of Nazis but also by the hand of Soviets.

Russia's Cold War: From the October Revolution to the Fall of the Wall By Jonathan Haslam Even though the Cold War was the product of the relations between the two super powers of the time, we generally read this period within a Western perspective. This happens since the Western archives are more robust and open than the Russian sources. Evaluating the Cold War mostly through Western sources gives us only one side of the whole story. With his book Russia’s Cold War, Jonathan Haslam successfully fills this gap and enables us to discover the dark side of the Cold War. In this book he evaluates the Soviets foreign policy from establishment of the communist regime to the end of it. By using not only public records but also the private documents he gives a perfect resource to understand both Soviet foreign policy and decision making.

The Unfinished Revolution: Making Sense of the Communist Past in Central-Eastern Europe By James Mark Historical memory -- both the collective memory of a society and an individual’s memory -- matters everywhere, but never more so than in communities where sorting out the past bears directly on navigating a turbulent present. Such has been the case in the former socialist societies of central and eastern Europe. Mark systematically explores the past as processed in the present in countries from the Baltics to Romania. Not surprisingly, in these places the history of the communist period is mediated by political agendas and individual self-interest. He focuses on both the macro level (competing political parties, history commissions, institutes of national memory, and physical memorials) and the individual level (oral histories reconstructed from personal interviews). Both categories are largely organized around ex-Communists and anticommunists, who, after the early muddled period of transition, have come to hold very different views of the fall of communism in 1989.

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RECENT BOOKS

The UN and the Arab-Israeli Conflict American Hegemony and UN Intervention since 1947 By Danilo Di Mauro As one of the most controversial and long standing issues, the Arab-Israel conflict still has high priority in the international agenda. Danilo Di Mauro, in his book The UN and the Arab-Israel Conflict, evaluates the role of the UN within this important issue. He uses empirical evidences in a historical perspective and shows how the UN has intervened this conflict. He successfully demonstrate that the UN’s role and view had changed in different phases of the conflict. He underlines that the UN was an instrument of the superpowers to prevent the conflict to spread through the world.

The Party: The Secret World of China's Communist Rulers By Richard Mcgregor Even though every day liberal economy expands its borders and weakens state’s power, there are still countries in which a very strong centralized system holds the absolute power. China is one and obviously the strongest of these closed systems. When we consider the economic growth and the political structure of China, we meet a complicated question that how a single party controls this huge economy. In his book The Party, Richard McGregor answers this question by demonstrating that the party has a very strict control over three areas: information, military and the country wide organizations related to the party.

Unders tanding Central Asia Politics and Contested Transformations By Sally N. Cummings Since Soviet collapse, the independent republics of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan have faced tremendous political, economic, and security challenges. Focusing on these five republics, this textbook analyzes the contending understandings of the politics of the past, present and future transformations of Central Asia, including its place in international security and world politics. Analysing the transformation that independence has brought and tracing the geography, history, culture, identity, institutions and economics of Central Asia, it locates ‘the political’ in the region.

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Political Reflection Magazine Vol. 3 | No. 2