Page 1

The State is back, big time. But just what kind of state?


Reinventing narrative, rethinking strategy, and recreating the culture d’État



zero’ push. Tatiana Romanova of St. Petersburg State University shows that Russia and the EU are involved in an undeclared, long-term ‘modernization race’ – or a competition between modernization concepts – that may well lead both sides to a common outcome. Finally, GB’s Associate Editor Michael Barutciski revisits the Yugoslav war – 20 years after Bosnia-Herzegovina’s independence – in order to show how limited knowledge and strategic hubris made for a flawed Western intervention, the consequences of which are still felt in the region, and ought to be understood by today’s analysts and those who champion the Responsibility to Protect (R2P) doctrine. In Tête à Tête, GB speaks with two major past foreign ministers – first with France’s Hubert Védrine about the future of the EU and France’s read of global politics. Lloyd Axworthy, former Canadian foreign minister, demonstrates that military intervention is but the most extreme form of R2P intervention (and that diplomatic and political intervention is often prior and ought to be privileged), and that all forms of intervention carry with them grave duties for intervening parties. In Query, Catherine Fieschi of the UK think-tank Counterpoint assesses the state, legitimacy and need for relegitimation of ‘official’ knowledge, while Laval University’s Gérard Hervouet treats the connections between regional security and domestic politics in East Asia. In Nez à Nez, David Tal of the University of Calgary debates York University’s Saeed Rahnema on whether, on balance, the Arab Spring poses a strategic threat to Israel. In The Definition, we ask whether the future of the states system would be less violent with women in charge: Fatou Bensouda, Prosecutor-Elect of the International Criminal Court, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navanethem Pillay, and Maryna Bilynska of Ukraine’s National Academy of Public Administration weigh in. In Strategic Futures, World Economic Forum Managing Director Robert Greenhill, Edward Waitzer of the Schulich School of Business, and Jack Mintz of the University of Calgary’s School of Public Policy tell us what will be the world’s most important company in 2020. In Situ reports come to us from Irvin Studin in Montreal, where the ‘Strategic Constitution’ is the rage; and from Matthew Light in Tbilisi, Georgia, where the government has tamed that country’s notorious siloviki. GB visits the Cabinet Room of Alexander Lukashenko in Belarus. Douglas Glover sends us into the summer heat in Epigram. Enjoy your Brief. | GB

G LO B A L B R I E F • S P R I N G | S U M M E R 2 0 1 2

he first decade-plus of this new century has seen ample evidence of the return of the State, classical and other. From national security to monetary (Euro) and fiscal (bailout) policy, to the ‘power vertical’ of Asia’s most important country, China, the times will continue to be defined by what happens within states and between them. Within states, this may well mean democracy where possible, but not necessarily democracy (or perfect democracy), while between states, we ought to hope it necessarily means no (or little) war, and peace (or perfect peace) where possible. This is a minimalist’s humble read of what promises to be an increasingly complicated chessboard of state identities, interests and decisions. To be sure, international institutions, NGOs, companies and individuals – ordinary and heroic alike – and various ‘networks’ will continue to influence the course of world affairs, but talk of the demise of the state is, as was mooted in GB’s last issue, cheap. The state lives, and lives well – even if it is undergoing significant changes in constitution, vocation, narrative and capabilities. This is not to undersell the importance of the ‘agents’ of the state – its leaders – who will impose themselves on its future, for better or worse. Indeed, as the state resurges and changes, so too do the characteristics of those who will head it, defend it, cultivate it, and civilize it. And so the story of the 21st century state – and this Spring/Summer 2012 issue of GB – is as much about hyper-modern statesmen and stateswomen (what do they look like, how do they think?) as it is about hyper-modern states and statecraft. Dan Vexler of CARE UK kicks off the issue in the One Pager by explaining the historical shift in focus in the development field from state-wide metrics of material well-being to intra-state metrics that show growing disparities in income levels within states that are otherwise becoming increasingly wealthy. Jeremi Suri of the University of Texas at Austin offers an aggressive defence of the state, its mission and its future (and the need for a new class of heads of states) in our opening Feature. GB’s Editor-in-Chief and Publisher Irvin Studin then argues that Canada’s grand strategy for this century has four key ‘relationship’ vectors, summarized in the acronym ACRE: America, China, Russia and Europe; the rest, strategically speaking, is commentary. The University of Ottawa’s Peter Jones shows that – barring conflict in certain theatres – international political and fiscal winds may be conspiring in favour of a credible, global ‘nuclear


N O .1 0





MANAGING EDITOR Sam Sasan Shoamanesh ART DIRECTION Louis Fishauf Design ASSOCIATE EDITOR Michael Barutciski

EDITORS’ BRIEF. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1



Iulia Hanganu, Milos Jankovic, Avalon Jennings, Jaclyn Volkhammer ASSISTANT PUBLISHER Ernest Chong WEB MANAGER Aladin Alaily VIDEOGRAPHER Duncan Appleton WEB DESIGN Dolce Publishing PRINTING RJM Print Group

Dan Vexler | Many poor people in fewer poor states. . . . . . . . . . . . 5


Kenneth McRoberts (Chair), André Beaulieu, Tim Coates, David Dewitt, Paul Evans, Drew Fagan, Dan Fata, Margaret MacMillan, Maria Panezi, Tom Quiggin Mailing Address Global Brief Magazine Glendon Hall, Room 301 Glendon Campus, York University 2275 Bayview Avenue Toronto, ON M4N 3M6, Canada Tel: 416-736-2100 ext. 88253 Fax: 416-487-6786 General Enquiries, Feedback & Suggestions


Irvin Studin | Le Québec et la Constitution «stratégique». . . . . . . . 6 Matthew Light | Georgia tames its notorious police forces . . . . . 42 TÊTE À TÊTE Hubert Védrine | L’État, l’Europe et l’avenir de l’État européen. . . . . 8 Lloyd Axworthy | The state and international responsibility. . . . . . . 50 QUERY Catherine Fieschi | What is ‘real’ knowledge for the modern state? . . . 18 Gérard Hervouet | Le «nucléaire zéro» moins réaliste en Asie?. . . . . 34 IN THE CABINET ROOM Dusan Petricic | Belarus was right all along . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27




David Tal vs. Saeed Rahnema Is the Arab Spring a major strategic problem for Israel?. . . . . . . . . . . 56

Article Submissions: Global Brief® is published quarterly in Toronto, Canada by the Global Brief Society in partnership with the Glendon School of Public and International Affairs. The contents are copyrighted. Subscription Rates One year (four issues) for CDN $38. Two years (eight issues) for CDN $72. HST or GST applies only to purchases in Canada. Shipping and handling charges apply only to purchases outside of Canada. PM Agreement No. 41914044 ISSN: 1920-6909

THE DEFINITION “The future of violence with more women leaders…”. . . . . . . . . . . 60 STRATEGIC FUTURES “The most important company in 2020 will be…” . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 62 EPIGRAM

Douglas Glover | On stateless people and people-less states. . . 64

G LO B A L B R I E F • S P R I N G | S U M M E R 2 0 1 2

Glendon School of Public and International Affairs The Glendon School is Canada’s first bilingual (English and French) graduate school of public and international affairs. It combines a comprehensive bilingualism with a focus on both public and international affairs. Adopting a global perspective, the School explores the relationship between public institutions and their larger environment. Its purpose is to advance research on public and international affairs; provide a high-quality bilingual master’s programme; and offer innovative professional development programming. L’École de Glendon est la première école bilingue d’affaires publiques et internationales au Canada. Établissement d’études supérieures unique en son genre, l’École est axée sur le bilinguisme anglais-français et spécialisée à la fois dans les affaires publiques et les affaires internationales. On y explore, dans une perspective mondiale, les relations entre les institutions publiques et le contexte général dans lequel elles fonctionnent. Le mandat principal de l’École consiste à faire progresser la recherche sur des questions d’affaires publiques et internationales, à offrir un programme de maîtrise bilingue de grande qualité ainsi qu’un programme de développement professionnel novateur.







WHY THE STATE STILL MATTERS In defence of the State, and why better leaders must again learn to use it for this century’s problems BY JEREMI SURI


CANADA’S FOUR-POINT GAME The strategy for success this century is ACRE: America, China, Russia & Europe BY IRVIN STUDIN


THE LONG ROAD TO NUCLEAR ZERO New doctrines and budgetary pressures may make a non-nuclear world seem irresistible, but regional rivalries persist BY PETER JONES


TWO CONCEPTS OF MODERNIZATION Russia’s emphasis on the economic, and Europe’s


LES LEÇONS BOSNIAQUES NE SONT PAS BONNES À DIRE Le 20e anniversaire d’une crise constitutionnelle ignorée PAR MICHAEL BARUTCISKI

G LO B A L B R I E F • S P R I N G | S U M M E R 2 0 1 2

on the political and moral, may be two paths to the same end point BY TATIANA ROMANOVA


Many Poor People in Fewer Poor States


Selling the rich on the need to help the less rich and more unequal BY DAN VEXLER


the world’s poor would be beyond the reach of aid. This is a viable model if the governments of middleincome countries are themselves able to tackle internal poverty. However, the scale of the challenge in many of these countries is enormous. A 2010 estimate put the number of extreme poor in India at the same level as that in the 26 poorest African countries combined. Moreover, the poverty-fighting commitment of many middle-income governments is questionable at best. There is a distinct risk that if donors withdraw, a global underclass of millions will be left with little prospect of support at home, and ineligible to receive development assistance from abroad. Of course, development aid will only ever be part of the solution: private sector investment, fair trade, and new technologies are all critical. But aid has an indispensable contribution to make. To be most effective, aid to middleincome countries must go beyond traditional forms. Building hospitals and schools will remain essential, but the focus should be on building the supply and demand for social justice.That means working with civil society groups that help the poor to secure a fair share of resources from their government, and helping governments, through ‘rights-based’ development programmes, to implement progressive policies that redistribute wealth. As the problem becomes less about lack of resources, and more about the fair distribution of resources, aid must increasingly be targeted at those organizations and institutions that can demand and deliver this. And as big business plays an ever greater role in developing countries, civil society actors must work with companies to ensure that their operations benefit rather than exploit the poor. In Peru, NGOs, with donor support, have been helping local associations of poor women to lobby district authorities for better maternal healthcare. NGOs are working with the national government to reform its social policies, and bringing mining companies and communities together to strengthen the local population’s say in how mines are run. Such programmes can yield lasting results, but require a long-term commitment, as they involve changing entrenched practices and attitudes. Making the political case for continued aid to middleincome countries will not be easy, but it is crucial that donors stay the course. Despite the progress that is being made, it would be a mistake to think that the growing number of developing countries following the Peruvian path can and should tackle their domestic challenges alone. | GB

Dan Vexler is Head of Program Quality and Impact at CARE UK.

G LO B A L B R I E F • S P R I N G | S U M M E R 2 0 1 2

he development picture for this early new century is one of a world with fewer poor countries, but many poor people. Indeed, as the gap between rich countries and poor countries narrows, inequality within societies is on the rise. This major shift in the global profile of poverty is raising fundamental questions about the future of development aid. While Europe and America struggle to shake themselves out of economic stagnation, many developing economies are expanding rapidly. The growth of the developing world is one of the great news stories of our time. From China to Brazil, hundreds of millions of people have been lifted out of poverty. The official number of poor countries, as defined by the World Bank, is falling steeply, from 63 in 2000 to 35 today. This cut on the figures is belied by a more complex story. As nascent, ‘middle-income’ countries – such as India, Vietnam, Egypt and Nigeria, with per-capita incomes greater than US $1,000 per year – develop, millions of their citizens remain trapped in poverty. Take Peru, which enjoys one of the world’s fastest growing economies, with average incomes equivalent to those of Western Europe in the early 1980s, but where many people in the Andean highlands still live on only a few dollars a day. In short, the locus of global poverty is increasingly found in more prosperous, but often highly unequal societies. Some three-quarters of the world’s poor currently live in middle-income countries, compared with only seven percent in 1990. Meanwhile, the economies of traditional aid donors are in turmoil, and governments are having to work harder to justify aid budgets. In this context, sending aid to middle-income countries is often a difficult sell. Witness the recent clamour in the UK to end aid to India, with one British tabloid declaring it “the country rich enough to have its own space programme.” Not surprisingly, many donors are narrowing their focus to a smaller group of the world’s poorest countries. Already, much of Asia and all of Latin America – except Haiti – is ‘middle-income.’ A few African countries – including Angola, Cameroon and Ghana – are there also, with many more on the threshold. Five to 10 years out, it is not hard to imagine a world in which donors limit their direct support to countries suffering natural disasters and a handful of the most fragile states, such as Somalia, South Sudan and Afghanistan. And this would mean that the vast majority of


Le Québec et la Constitution «stratégique» du Canada


Repositionner le débat et le pays pour s’engager dans un siècle exigeant IRVIN STUDIN depuis Montréal

L Irvin Studin est rédacteur en chef de

G LO B A L B R I E F • S P R I N G | S U M M E R 2 0 1 2

Global Brief.


e Québec, comme le reste du Canada a marqué le 30e anniversaire du rapatriement contesté de la Constitution canadienne avec une série de conférences éparpillées sur le territoire du pays cherchant à établir l’état des lieux sur la «question nationale», les perspectives de réforme constitutionnelle et l’avenir même de la fédération canadienne. Les nationalistes en Écosse, à plusieurs égards conseillés par les intellectuels et stratèges du camp souverainiste au Québec, en prenaient note, comme le faisait Westminster qui, pour sa part, cherchait à tirer des leçons d’Ottawa – colonialisme inversé oblige – sur la gestion à long terme de crises constitutionnelles, voire de mouvements sécessionnistes sophistiqués (voir l’article Feature de Michael Barutciski sur le 20e anniversaire de l’indépendance de la Bosnie-Herzégovine à la page 44). La conclusion générale de ces conférences est que la question du Québec se trouve dans une impasse permanente, et cela surtout sur le plan constitutionnel. Comment composer avec les revendications traditionnelles du Québec pour davantage de reconnaissance, de protection et même de pouvoirs au sein d’une constitution fédérale dont la principale formule d’amendement (l’aval de sept provinces sur 10, représentant au moins 50 pour cent de la population du pays, dans un délai qui n’excède pas trois ans) fait en sorte que les chances de toute réforme dite «multilatérale» soient presque nulles? De surcroît, la conséquence de tout échec public d’une grande tentative de réforme constitutionnelle axée sur le Québec serait probablement la séparation du Québec ou même la dissolution de l’État canadien in toto (quel État peut survivre à la perte d’une composante nucléaire et originelle, à l’énorme discontinuité territoriale que ceci entraînerait, ainsi qu’au scénario d’une capitale nationale à Ottawa qui désire toujours s’imposer sur des régions aussi distinctes que les Maritimes dans l’est du pays, l’Ontario et l’Ouest canadien?) Le récit actuel sur l’enjeu constitutionnel trahit non seulement l’érosion grandissante de la culture de dialogue et d’innovation entre les «nations» constitutives au Canada – érosion dont le résultat est une pénurie d’imagination politique qui servirait à réinventer et réénergiser les termes de coexistence entre les différentes parties de la fédération – mais aussi une mauvaise appréciation des différentes fonctions d’une constitution. Bref, au Canada, sur la question du

Québec, on tente sans cesse de faire entrer une cheville ronde dans un trou carré parce qu’on voit la Constitution comme étant purement un cadre juridique qui prévoit l’ordre intérieur du pays. C’est une vision de la Constitution qui s’avère tout à fait naturelle pour un pays – ancienne colonie – qui est né sans mandat international, qui ne jouit guère de grande tradition de pensée stratégique et pour lequel les seuls mots traitant explicitement de l’ordre international dans sa première loi constitutionnelle, au 19e siècle, déclaraient que l’«union aurait l’effet de développer la prospérité des provinces et de favoriser les intérêts de l’Empire Britannique». Force est de constater, toutefois, qu’une constitution n’est pas seulement un cadre de réglementation interne, mais également un rempart stratégique qui sert, à l’origine, à promouvoir et à défendre certains intérêts ou objectifs dits «stratégiques» d’une entité politique – la sécurité, l’intégrité territoriale, l’unité nationale, la prospérité, le prestige, voire l’influence internationale et, certes, l’indépendance politique – vis-à-vis du reste du monde, des autres États et des tendances globales. La fédération canadienne a été créée (constituée) en 1867 justement pour des raisons hyper-stratégiques, et surtout comme réplique stratégique à la puissance croissante des ÉtatsUnis à la fin de la Guerre de Sécession, assortie du recul géopolitique de la Grande-Bretagne du théâtre nord-américain. Les deux faces de la Constitution canadienne – la face intérieure et la face stratégique – devraient opérer simultanément et se renforcer l’une et l’autre afin de légitimer l’État canadien comme tel – c’està-dire que l’ordre intérieur réagirait à (et devrait anticiper) l’international alors que la face stratégique de la Constitution serait informée par l’ordre intérieur. Plus concrètement, cela veut dire que la capacité du Canada à composer avec divers défis internationaux de taille est intimement liée à la structure constitutionnelle du pays. Ce nouveau paradigme d’analyse de la Constitution – celui de la «constitution stratégique» – ouvre la porte à des possibilités de réforme constitutionnelle à long terme plus exotiques et autrement impensables, car elle suppose que la Constitution canadienne au 21e siècle devrait anticiper et répondre aux grandes questions et dynamiques stratégiques de ce siècle, tel qu’elle l’avait fait lors des 20e et 19e siècles. Sauf qu’il nous incombe à accentuer


«intérieure») de celle-ci s’avèrent peu réalistes, les amendements bilatéraux entre Ottawa et Québec, en vertu de l’article 43 de la Loi constitutionnelle de 1982, sont envisageables – en particulier pour les articles 94 et 133 de la Loi constitutionnelle de 1867 concernant respectivement le droit civil et la langue française dans l’Assemblée nationale du Québec. Mais le jeu essentiel, dans un avenir très prévisible, se déroulera sur le plan stratégique et le récit et discours constitutionnels au Canada, y compris au Québec, risquent de se transformer de manière à débloquer l’impasse actuelle. Les leaderships canadiens et québécois devraient, dans l’intérim, préparer le terrain pour un tel déblocage, tout en sachant que ce siècle hyper-stratégique nécessitera un Canada uni et stratégiquement efficace et cohérent. | GB

Manifestation à Montréal contre la hausse des frais de scolarité en avril 2012. G LO B A L B R I E F • S P R I N G | S U M M E R 2 0 1 2

que, pour le Canada, le 20e siècle était exceptionnellement pacifique, voire astratégique, en raison de l’absence quasi-totale de guerre sur le continent nord-américain (plus précisément, au Canada et aux États-Unis). En fait, parmi tous les continents du monde, seul l’Amérique du Nord n’a aucunement connu de guerre sur son territoire lors du dernier siècle (voir l’article Feature «Canada’s Four-Point Game» à la page 20). Et évidemment, mis à part le 20e, tous les siècles antécédents en Amérique du Nord depuis l’arrivée des Européens ont connu beaucoup de guerres et de turbulences stratégiques plus générales. Au 21e siècle, la combinaison de trois fâcheuses tendances va exercer une pression considérable sur la constitution stratégique du Canada – à savoir, la fonte de la glace arctique qui ouvrira pour la première fois une frontière terrestre boréale au Canada et enclenchera de toute probabilité un «grand jeu» juridico-géopolitique entres plusieurs puissances convoitant les ressources de cette région, le déclin du pouvoir relatif des États-Unis qui fera en sorte que le Canada devra dans un proche avenir développer une capacité militaire crédible de se défendre indépendamment des Américains en cas de conflits sur son territoire ou, plus exactement, à sa frontière arctique et, finalement, l’avènement de nouvelles technologies, militaires et autres, qui rendront le territoire nord-américain – jadis impénétrable par les armes de puissances étrangères – accessible et vulnérable. Le Canada, en tant que collectif politique, va devoir composer avec ces trois tendances afin de défendre ses intérêts stratégiques. Cette anticipation pourrait prendre diverses formes et pourrait bien nécessiter une ou plusieurs réformes constitutionnelles ambitieuses, touchant par exemple la division des pouvoirs entre les gouvernements fédéral et provinciaux, la création de nouvelles provinces (dans un premier temps dans le nord du pays) ou le statut des anciennes provinces, et même la modernisation des institutions nationales. La question du Québec – à savoir, la reconnaissance et la protection continue du fait francophone au Canada – va devoir se repositionner et être interprétée, dans les prochains 15 à 20 ans, dans l’optique de cette mission stratégique de la Constitution du Canada. Dans l’immédiat, quoique les amendements multilatéraux (dans l’optique d’une constitution



L’État, l’Europe et l’avenir de l’État européen GB fait un tour d’horizon géopolitique avec l’ancien ministre français des Affaires étrangères HUBERT VÉDRINE

Hubert Védrine est

GB: Quel avenir projetez-vous d’ici cinq à 10 ans pour l’Union européenne?

ancien ministre des Affaires étrangères de la France (1997 à 2002). Il est président de l’Institut François

G LO B A L B R I E F • S P R I N G | S U M M E R 2 0 1 2

Mitterrand depuis 2003.


HV: Les Européens, entre eux, ne sont pas tout à fait d’accord sur le développement de l’Union européenne. Donc l’avenir de celle-ci dépend d’un certain arbitrage politique qui sera rendu sur des questions telles que le degré d’intégration. On peut dire sans se tromper que l’intégration dans la zone euro est plus forte qu’avant, avec une politique économique bien plus cohérente. Est-ce que cela ira jusqu’à un système vraiment fédéral en Europe? Je ne pense pas. On sera toujours dans une situation intermédiaire, ce que Jacques Delors appelait la fédération européenne d’États-nations. Il y a des Européens qui veulent aller plus loin, d’autres qui veulent rester dans la situation actuelle, d’autres qui trouvent que c’est déjà trop loin. Tout dépend aussi des pays, des différents partis politiques. Mail il y a une première interrogation sur ce point – à savoir, l’intégration. Il y a une deuxième interrogation sur l’extension géographique de l’Europe. On peut dire sans se tromper que, vraisemblablement, dans 10 ans, il y aura deux ou trois membres de plus. Mais il est impossible de dire aujourd’hui s’il y aura la Turquie ou pas. On n’est pas sûr. On ne sait pas si le traité d’adhésion sera finalement conclu. Si le traité est conclu, on ne sait pas s’il va être ratifié par tous les pays. C’est possible, mais on ne peut pas l’assurer à l’heure actuelle. Une troisième incertitude porte sur le comportement de l’Europe dans le monde, son rôle, sa politique. Pour certains Européens, c’est essentiellement une suggestion économique et commerciale, alors que d’autres Européens, notamment les Français, voudraient que l’Europe devienne un vrai pôle de puissance pour défendre les intérêts de l’Europe dans la compétition globale multipolaire. Les opinions publiques sont un peu hésitantes là-dessus, parce qu’en Europe elles sont tentées par quelque chose qu’on pourrait appeler une grande Suisse: un grand espace de prospérité, avec un certain niveau de solidarité, mais sans une intervention forcément trop importante dans les affaires du monde. Donc sur ces différents points, il est difficile de dire à l’avance parce qu’on n’est pas tout à fait sûr de l’articulation qui va fonctionner ou pas entre les

pays membres de la zone euro et les pays membres de l’Union européenne comme la Grande-Bretagne. On va trouver des solutions à tout cela dans les prochains 10 ans, mais il est probable que, dans tous les cas, on se fie à des compromis, et qu’au total l’Union européenne ne sera pas fondamentalement différente de ce qu’elle est aujourd’hui. En matière institutionnelle, par exemple, il y aura toujours un certain équilibre entre le Conseil européen, la Commission et le Parlement. Donc il y aura des inflexions, mais je n’attends pas une révolution majeure. GB: Si l’union monétaire s’écroule, est-ce que l’avenir stratégique pour l’Union européenne va changer dramatiquement? HV: L’hypothèse d’une disparition de l’euro est très faible. On pouvait se poser cette question au début de la crise grecque, quand on a vu que même l’Allemagne ne voulait pas du tout donner de garanties. Elle a posé des conditions très, très compliquées, et il y a eu au bout de cette crise une évolution dans l’opinion publique allemande: les Allemands se sont rendus compte que l’Allemagne a absolument intérêt au maintien de l’euro. Si la zone euro disparaissait, cela veut dire que l’Allemagne renoue avec le deutschemark, qui serait beaucoup plus cher que l’euro actuel; il y aura une surévaluation importante. Cela menacerait directement le modèle économique allemand, qui est axé sur l’exportation, voire sur un excédant commercial avec le reste de l’Europe. Donc, il y a eu un basculement dans la dernière année, et c’est à partir de là que l’Allemagne s’est rendue compte qu’elle ne peut pas prendre ce risque. En échange, elle tenait à poser des conditions très strictes sur la rigueur budgétaire des autres pays membres de la zone euro. Elle a obtenu un traité à la fin de janvier, signature en mars; la ratification – on ne sait pas combien de temps elle va prendre. Les Socialistes en France demandent qu’on renégocie certains points du traité, surtout qu’on associe la rigueur budgétaire à une vraie politique de croissance à l’échelle de l’Europe. C’est une question dominante depuis les élections présidentielles françaises. Et ce sont des problèmes sérieux qui se posent à partir du moment

où les pays membres de la zone euro sont déterminés à continuer avec l’euro. Mais on n’est aucunement dans l’hypothèse de la désintégration. Quant à la dimension purement stratégique de l’Europe, la réalité des choses aujourd’hui, en dehors de la politique commerciale extérieure – qui est déterminée à l’échelle européenne, où la Commission est le seul négociateur – est que ce n’est pas l’Union européenne qui compte. Sur le plan militaire, par exemple, ce sont la France et la GrandeBretagne. Sur certains sujets très importants, comme l’Iran, c’est la France, la Grande-Bretagne et même l’Allemagne. Donc le poids s t ra t ég i q u e d e l ’ E u ro p e n’est pas directement lié à l’état des institutions communautaires. (Voir l’article Feature de Peter Jones à la page 28.) GB: Quel avenir donc pour la stratégie française? Quel est le rôle de la France dans cette Union européenne et dans le monde de l’avenir?

HV: Le rôle de la France est le même que pour n’importe quel autre pays. C’est d’abord de penser à défendre ses intérêts vitaux et ses valeurs fondamentales. On n’a pas besoin d’avoir un rôle spécial pour ce faire. GB: Est-ce que la France est une puissance dans ce siècle?

HV: Certainement. On peut considérer que la puissance numéro un c’est les États-Unis – que j’avais appelés «hyperpuissance» dans les années 1990. C’est un peu moins vrai aujourd’hui parce qu’il y a une sorte de challenge par les pays émergents. Il y a évidemment la Chine qui monte énormément. À vrai dire, on peut considérer que dans le monde il y a une dizaine ou une quinzaine de puissances qui ne sont pas de puissances dominantes, mais qui ont une certaine influence globale – à travers l’économie, ou à travers la langue, ou à travers le Conseil de sécurité,

G LO B A L B R I E F • S P R I N G | S U M M E R 2 0 1 2

L’hypothèse d’une disparition de l’euro est très faible. Si la zone euro disparaissait, cela veut dire que l’Allemagne renoue avec le deutschemark, qui serait beaucoup plus cher que l’euro actuel; il y aura une surévaluation importante.


G LO B A L B R I E F • S P R I N G | S U M M E R 2 0 1 2

Il reste à voir si les Européens sont capables d’une pensée stratégique et de jouer un rôle utile dans des conflits ailleurs – tellement la notion de conflit classique leur est devenue étrangère.


ou à travers le G20, etc. La France fait partie de ce groupe – comme la Grande-Bretagne, l’Allemagne, l’Inde, le Brésil, la Chine, le Japon, la Russie et ainsi de suite. Les puissances dont je vous parle sont des puissances d’influence mondiale, qui peuvent avoir une influence sur des problèmes loin de chez eux, mais qui n’ont pas d’influence complète et totale. Même les États-Unis – la plus grande puissance de tout le temps historiquement – connaissent une limite à la puissance; ils ne peuvent pas complètement imposer leur desiderata. On est dans une époque d’un monde un peu compliqué sur le plan stratégique, où il y a un pays plus fort que les autres, mais où il n’y a pas de monopole de la puissance. Les Occidentaux n’ont plus ce monopole. Quant aux pays émergents, ils sont nombreux, en pleine croissance. Ils sont d’accord entre eux pour revendiquer une position plus importante, mais ils ne sont pas d’accord entre eux sur les détails des problèmes. Nous allons donc vivre 10 à 20 ans de cartel et de confusion stratégique. La France est dans ce contexte un pays qui a évidemment des handicaps et des faiblesses, mais qui a aussi beaucoup d’atouts. GB: Quels sont les atouts ou les instruments de l’influence des États dans ce siècle? HV: Dans la controverse entre les hard powers et les soft powers, il ne faut pas penser qu’il n’y a que le soft. Il est difficile d’avoir une grande influence si on n’a aucun pouvoir en réalité. Mais on peut aussi avoir du pouvoir et pas d’influence. Il faut donc voir dans quel sens les choses se combinent. Il y a toujours la puissance militaire – des armements offensifs, défensifs, dissuasifs; la capacité de projection; la capacité d’invention technologique. J’ajouterais la puissance économique, naturellement, voire le produit intérieur brut, la capacité d’exportation, la capacité à conquérir des marchés – ce sont tous des éléments classiques. Le territoire, bien entendu, joue encore un certain rôle, mais moins qu’avant. La population, oui et non, parce qu’une très, très grande population est peut-être un handicap. Donc, par exemple, on sait que l’Inde un jour sera plus peuplée que la Chine. Est-ce que c’est un avantage pour l’Inde? Ce n’est pas évident. Quant aux éléments de l’influence, il y a la capacité d’influencer la fabrication des normes – des normes techniques, normes juridiques, normes sociales, normes environnementales. Il y a la capacité culturelle, qui est très liée à la capacité linguistique. Aujourd’hui, il y a d’autres phénomènes de soft power. La France, par exemple, a su préserver un vrai soft power grâce à des politiques de la culture particulières. Il y a une politique linguistique, une politique du cinéma, etc. Mais évidemment, cela ne se compare pas à l’influence des États-Unis,

qui ont marqué tout le dernier siècle. En revanche, quand la France soutenait une politique de l’exception culturelle, elle jouissait de peu d’influence sur le reste du monde parce que l’exception culturelle était trop égoïste. C’est une formule qui était tournée vers la France. À partir du moment où la France a essayé d’agir en faveur de la diversité culturelle, et donc de la diversité linguistique aussi, cela a évidemment eu beaucoup plus d’écho. Mais, en gros, il ne suffit pas d’avoir de bons concepts ou de bonnes lois pour avoir une influence. Il faut avoir une capacité créatrice, capable de toucher le grand public mondial, capable de toucher le mainstream. GB: Envisagez-vous, dans les prochains 50 ans, une quelconque guerre même au sein de l’Union européenne? Est-ce possible? HV: C’est complètement exclu. GB: Complètement exclu? HV: Si, c’est complètement exclu. C’est impensable. Mais même pas à cause de la construction européenne – c’est complètement exclu depuis 1945. Les puissances européennes ont été écrasées, qu’elles soient agresseures ou agressées. Elles ont été tenues par des alliances militaires; maintenant tout le monde est dans la même alliance. Évidemment, la compétition économique en Europe se poursuit. Mais il n’y a aucun élément de comparaison sur aucun plan avec les époques de guerre. Les populations de l’Europe sont des populations riches et vieillissantes. Il n’y a aucune revanche à prendre, aucun traité à corriger, aucun pôle de frontière. Bref, il n’y a aucun des éléments qui avaient conduit à des guerres dans le passé en Europe. La question est plutôt de savoir si les Européens sont capables de se rendre compte que dans d’autres endroits du monde, il peut encore y avoir des affrontements. Il reste à voir si les Européens sont capables d’une pensée stratégique et de jouer un rôle utile dans des conflits ailleurs – tellement la notion de conflit classique leur est devenue étrangère. GB: Est-ce que l’évolution stratégique ou politique en Russie vous inquiète (voir l’article Feature par Tatiana Romanova à la page 38)? HV: Non, pas tellement, parce que la Russie est une puissance établie – ce n’est pas une puissance émergente. C’est une puissance qui essaie de subsister, de surnager. Elle avait une certaine capacité militaire qui s’est effondrée, mais elle a préservé une capacité relative d’influencer. Pour l’instant, je n’y vois rien de véritablement inquiétant.

GB: Que faire avec l’Iran? HV: C’est tout à fait un autre sujet. Il nous faut une politique combinée et intelligente. Il faut maintenir la pression des sanctions. Il faut maintenir la main tendue et il faut essayer de parler à une partie de l’opinion publique iranienne qui est plus moderne que le régime, qui souffre d’avoir ce régime, mais qui est quand même nationaliste. Et donc il faudrait avoir une politique occidentale plus sophistiquée et plus intelligente qui n’amène pas les Iraniens à soutenir leur régime. C’est donc une politique qui ressemblerait à ce que voulait faire Obama tout au début, mais qui ne s’est pas tellement concrétisée après. GB: Quelles sont les perspectives pratiques pour les révolutions du Printemps arabe? HV: Je peux simplement dire que les révoltes arabes qui ont commencé vont se développer pendant des années avec des scénarios très différents d’un pays à l’autre. Tout cela peut se passer très bien, bien, moyennement bien, mal, affreusement mal. On ne peut pas faire tableau d’ensemble. En même temps, c’est un mouvement qui ne va pas vraiment s’arrêter, même s’il y a des stagnations à certains moments. Par ailleurs, la question du Proche-Orient, c’est-à-dire l’Israël et la Palestine, est complètement bloquée pour le moment (voir le débat Nez à Nez à la page 56). Les Occidentaux n’ont presque pas d’influence sur ce qui va se passer dans toute cette zone. Ils peuvent préférer un scénario plutôt qu’un autre, mais ils n’ont aucune influence directe. GB: Même pas les États-Unis? HV: Même les États-Unis ont moins d’influence que ce qu’ils croient. Regardez le peu d’influence américaine en Égypte – c’est évident. L’influence américaine sur l’Israël est presque inexistante. L’influence des Européens sur ce qui se passe au Maghreb est très faible. Tout cela est, bien entendu, un peu vexant pour les Occidentaux parce qu’ils vivent dans l’idée que c’est eux qui déterminent la marche du monde. Mais c’est quand même de moins en moins vrai qu’avant.

HV: Pour résumer la question, c’est: comment les États-Unis peuvent-ils exercer un leadership dans le monde quand leur leadership est évidemment devenu un leadership relatif? Cette idée de leadership relatif est insupportable pour une partie des Américains, notamment au sein du parti républicain. Mais c’est une réalité. Les États-Unis ne peuvent

GB: Est-ce que la composition intérieure d’un État au 21e siècle aura une influence particulière sur la performance de cet État-là dans la sphère stratégique (voir l’article Query de Gérard Hervouet à la page 34)? HV: Il y a un certain lien, mais il n’y a pas forcément l’idée que l’Occident met en avant – à savoir qu’un État n’est pas complètement légitime s’il n’est pas une démocratie à l’occidentale. En tout cas, c’est la théorie que les Occidentaux ont inventée à la fin du 20e siècle après avoir exercé un pouvoir énorme sur le monde, même quand ils n’étaient pas démocratiques. Évidemment la force d’un État dans les relations internationales ne sera pas uniquement déterminée par son armée. Il y a aussi un problème de performance économique, ce qui renvoie à une situation intérieure à caractère social. Il faut une légitimé et efficacité du système politique. Mais il peut y avoir des situations très différentes sur ce plan. Les Occidentaux ont perdu le pouvoir de faire la hiérarchie dans ce domaine. Par exemple, pendant très longtemps, les Occidentaux disaient qu’on ne peut se développer que grâce à la démocratie. Ce n’était pas tout à fait vrai car la révolution industrielle a commencé dans les pays qui n’étaient pas démocratiques. Et, bien entendu, ce qui s’est passé en Chine depuis 30 ans contredit complètent cette théorie. Alors on peut penser que la Chine va être obligée d’évoluer. Mais évoluer ne veut pas forcément dire copier le système démocratique américain ou européen. Donc l’histoire de la redistribution des cartes dans le monde concerne aussi les concepts, ce qui complique l’analyse internationale pour les Occidentaux. En fait, les Occidentaux ont besoin de beaucoup d’intelligence analytique, beaucoup de souplesse politique, et en même temps de ne pas être découragés par les situations stratégiques inédites. | GB

Comment gérer de façon très prudente, très tactique, cette redistribution des cartes de la puissance qui a lieu en ce moment et qui ne concerne pas que la Chine, puisqu’il y a des dizaines de pays émergents?

G LO B A L B R I E F • S P R I N G | S U M M E R 2 0 1 2

GB: Quels sont les principaux enjeux stratégiques pour les États-Unis quant aux élections présidentielles de l’automne?

pas imposer tout ce qu’ils veulent aux Chinois, par exemple. Donc comment passer d’une sorte de monopole de la puissance à un leadership relatif? Comment le faire intelligemment? Comment être réaliste par rapport à la montée des pays émergents, sans pour autant faire des concessions inutiles ou prématurées? Comment gérer de façon très prudente, très tactique, cette redistribution des cartes de la puissance qui a lieu en ce moment et qui ne concerne pas que la Chine, puisqu’il y a des dizaines de pays émergents? (Voir l’article Feature d’Irvin Studin à la page 20.) En termes académiques, voilà la question clé de l’élection, même si ce n’est pas comme cela qu’elle se pose dans une campagne électorale. Pour moi, cette question est plus importante que la question iranienne ou ce qui se passe dans le monde arabe.


IN DEFENCE OF THE STATE as the source of nearly all modern public goods, and why better leaders must be brave enough to use it again for this century’s problems

WHY THE STATE STILL MATTERS Jeremi Suri is the Mack Brown Distinguished Professor for Global Leadership, History, and Public Policy at the University of Texas at Austin. His most recent book is Liberty’s Surest Guardian: American Nation Building from

G LO B A L B R I E F • S P R I N G | S U M M E R 2 0 1 2

the Founders to Obama.




he paradox of the American presidential campaign season is that candidates are competing for the most powerful office in the world, just as they assert the limits of state power. Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney criticizes the harmful consequences of government efforts to regulate a global economy. He points to high corporate taxes and excessive federal regulation of innovation as major American problems. Democratic President Barack Obama demands fairness and protection for citizens whom the state cannot promote to full participation in the overall wealth of a rich, but very unequal, society (see the One Pager by Dan Vexler at p. 5). Obama does not defend a more vibrant social welfare state. Instead, he demands that federal and state governments rescind their preferences for wealthy and connected groups through measures like the ‘Buffett Rule’ in order to ensure that millionaires do not exploit tax loopholes. Republicans and Democrats agree on the limits of state power abroad; none of the candidates has articulated a vision of global change led by Washington. Both Romney and Obama are skeptical of big ideas, like ‘democratization’ and ‘development.’ Both also favour a gradual reduction of America’s presence in Iraq and Afghanistan. They are foreign policy realists who affirm American power, but also acknowledge very severe limits on Washington’s global leverage. These candidate positions represent a historical departure from the postWW2 faith in the progressive capabilities of state power – especially when wielded by a strong, centralized government bureaucracy. The focus for both Republicans and Democrats is on the challenges of the moment and the failures of traditional government institutions. The debate centres on pragmatic and ideological responses to political and economic crises that accept the fundamental weakness of government – betraying the fact that we are living in an anti-institutional moment. We are living in a moment that plainly undervalues

G LO B A L B R I E F • S P R I N G | S U M M E R 2 0 1 2



the vital things that states must do. And yet such disparagement of the state and its bureaucratic arms – just as we struggle to address our current problems – will, sadly, constrain the future possibilities for policy improvement. For rhetoric about state failure is, in fact, self-fulfilling. The obsessive popular focus on the image, character and ideology of the American president and his foreign counterparts is a symptom of this phenomenon. Skeptical about the prospects for positive change through established institutions, voters are looking to individuals who promise to transcend their government bureaucracies. They are looking for Max Weber’s charismatic hero. The great German sociologist of the late 19th century defined charisma as the prophetic ‘magic’ of an individual who promises to break through the barriers of institutions and traditions in order to create new solutions to inherited and seemingly intractable problems. In a period when governments have struggled to manage economic turbulence, demographic imbalances and strategic threats,


G LO B A L B R I E F • S P R I N G | S U M M E R 2 0 1 2

is that government is vital to all elements of personal freedom. It is good government that distinguishes free and wealthy societies from countries that appear stuck in poverty, instability and civil war.


charismatic alternatives to traditional patterns of behaviour appear attractive – perhaps necessary. Of course, charismatic figures are set up for failure if they cannot use government institutions in more expansive and creative ways. This was the self-defeating element of charisma that Weber also anticipated – when leaders define themselves against the institutions that support their power. Effective presidents and prime ministers need wellfunctioning and legitimate bureaucracies. Every major leader in North America and Europe, however, blames inherited institutions for present problems. Each one promises to create new solutions through different combinations of the ‘market’ and the ‘people’ – both apparently freed from discredited routines and regulators. This is the image of decentralization and local control that is so popular today in the US – in particular – but also in Canada and the UK. This is also the obvious route to budgetcutting in a time of austerity: slash the bureaucracy and demand that citizens do more for themselves. Instead of rational management of resources

and accountability for actions – the hallmarks of government bureaucracy – we hear only talk of ‘scaling back,’ ‘deregulating’ and ‘competing.’ These are all virtues, but they assume a much more limited horizon for the purposes and aims of the modern social welfare state. These approaches reject the post-war promises of shared economic opportunity, fairness and equality. Even past Republicans like Ronald Reagan and conservatives like Helmut Kohl would be surprised to hear their successors’ skepticism about state investments in economic growth, education and democratization. The Cold War ended, after all, with major American and West German government commitments to space-based security, universal higher education and European unification (see the Tête à Tête interview with Hubert Védrine at p. 8). The collapse of communism marked the success of the post-war welfare state, triumphantly on display in Western Europe. Twenty years later, all of this seems like ancient history – at least judging by the political rhetoric on both sides of the Atlantic. Barack Obama, Stephen Harper, David Cameron and Angela Merkel have all turned away from many inherited government commitments to public welfare, equality and social justice. They have substituted individual rights and national competitiveness for prior attention to the ‘public good.’ Is it not striking how little leaders use that last phrase in today’s world? Public figures frequently invoke the phrase ‘national interest’ in order to promote security and economic growth in the aggregate, but they remain quite silent on questions of distribution and sustainability. This, then, is the curious and contradictory pursuit of national interest without the public good. This is a definition of the national interest that largely leaves out what are arguably the most important functions of the state. Accordingly, leaders have concentrated extraordinary powers in their offices by pledging to do less, not more. Their emphasis is on preventing bad things – terrorist attacks, nuclear proliferation, job losses, and even tax increases – from happening, not on providing a positive, kinetic vision for the future. Presidents and prime ministers are flexing their muscles in order to break through bureaucracy without building much in its place. They promise order and control over those with expansionist agendas for government and society. In this context, they have reduced the portfolios of other governing officials – even within their own parties – and they have acted to subvert what they diagnose as the flawed behaviour of the EU, the US Congress, and especially the agencies of the UN. State leaders are asserting their authority as alternatives to established governmental and intergovernmental bodies. They are strong leaders of states, but they claim to transcend their states.

They are ambitious figures, but their ambitions are individualistic and shallow in vision. This is, in the end, why they fail to inspire. This is why their achievements are so slim. President Obama is one of many figures who can claim, with justification, that he has prevented the economy and the international system from getting much worse. He cannot claim that he has made things much better. Without a positive vision for policy improvement, the powerful rhetoric about national interests in the US and other societies undercuts the investments in state institutions that are necessary in order to make that rhetoric a reality. If we are only cutting and reducing, then we are not building and creating. Of course, the modern state, with its vast bureaucracy and rigid routines, is not just the problem. The state must also be the solution. This is the central lesson from the history of the last century. Every major achievement in economy, society and security involved heavy and direct state investment – along with regulation and management. Take, for instance, the modern consumer market. Citizens began to purchase more disposable items and spend more of their income on non-essential goods in Europe and the US when they received easier access to credit. Personal credit markets were seeded by government loans and investments as early as 1900: they were regulated by government banks, and they were bailed out during their cyclical collapses by government treasuries. Bref: no credit, no consumerism. Without active government intervention, prosperous capitalist economies quickly devolve into corruption, predatory behaviour, and beggar-thy-neighbour policies. This was the story of the Great Depression that slammed societies after a decade of government retreat in the 1920s. The pattern was repeated in the years before 2008. The salvation from crisis in both periods – to be sure – has involved a return to more direct government loans, regulations and guarantees in the US, East Asia, and across the EU. Capitalism needs state intervention as much as it needs money and markets. They are all deeply interdependent phenomena or systems.

G LO B A L B R I E F • S P R I N G | S U M M E R 2 0 1 2


nother example of essential state intervention involves security. Max Weber famously referred to the state as the body that monopolizes sanctioned force. However, in the last century, the instruments of violence – even on a mass scale – have spread well beyond large government institutions. Private armies, insurgencies, paramilitaries and gangs have multiplied in many parts of the world – often because of their growing ability to acquire weapons (guns, bombs, rockets and even more sophisticated technologies)

and to train supporters to use them effectively. In parts of Pakistan and Yemen – to take just two examples – non-state actors dominate local society with impunity by force of arms. Weaponized groups are evident in more stable societies too, including Israel, Italy and the US. And so modern governments do not have anything close to Weber’s monopoly of sanctioned force. These conditions provide one of the most important arguments for continued attention to the legitimate and necessary role of state intervention. Security is not simply a matter of protecting borders and preventing terrorist attacks. It involves creating conditions for the basic functioning of society – from safe and predictable transportation, to access to crucial commercial resources, and assistance in times of disaster and threat. A secure society is safe, predictable and open. The elements of security that include more than brute police power are crucially important in a context in which there are so many groups that can threaten daily livelihoods. Security is an essential state function that requires not only resources, but also effective management, regulation and accountability. Too little security imperils freedom and prosperity. Too much security, of course, has the identical effect. Finding the right balance is the most difficult and important task of every leader. It requires careful and extensive attention to government institutions and their correct functioning. Cutting government is not a solution. Managing government better for the public good is the only appropriate way in which to think about security. In addition, security in one state is dependent on the security in other states. Violent threats cross borders with relative ease. Through modern media, insurgents in one country inspire those in another. Most of all, power vacuums draw troublemakers from other corners of the globe – providing a nesting place for the preparation of major attacks on established states. This was the clear lesson of the 9/11 terrorist strikes – organized in Afghanistan – and subsequent Al Qaeda actions in Spain, Indonesia, the UK, Iraq and other theatres. National security is also global security. For the US, Canada, Western Europe and societies in every other region of the world, one cannot assure stability, safety and openness at home without some efforts to prevent other places from exporting violence. Failed states are indeed a threat to everyone (see the Tête à Tête interview with Lloyd Axworthy at p. 50). This observation does not necessarily justify military interventions and nation-building efforts (say, on the model of recent controversial American actions in Iraq and Afghanistan), but it does place a premium on the strategic uses of state resources in order to build security outside of society, as well as within. Foreign interventions of significant variety are growing in frequency and importance for the sake


of security. Successful NATO efforts to unseat Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi in 2011 are a case in point. Military deployments are, however, only one part of this dynamic. Aid transfers, loans, weapons sales, economic sanctions and concerted exercises in rhetorical pressure are all tools of non-military force – deployed by every large society in different mixes in order to assert influence and prevent potential threats. The speed and range of global change have contributed to this dynamic – encouraging more state intervention abroad, not less. For long-term security, government institutions and effective leadership are more indispensable than ever before. But what should the 21st century state do? The contemporary debate about how much or how little state power we need is misguided. Campaigns for president on platforms of ‘limited government’ are dishonest and demagogical. For the reality of our world is that government is vital to all elements of personal freedom. It is good government that distinguishes free and wealthy societies from countries that appear stuck in poverty, instability and civil war. The man-

G LO B A L B R I E F • S P R I N G | S U M M E R 2 0 1 2

WHAT THE WORLD NEEDS most of all is a new set of creative, cosmopolitan state leaders, willing to redesign the modern machinery of bureaucracy for beneficial ends.


agement of state institutions and their use for citizen empowerment is the crucial variable distinguishing ‘developed’ from ‘developing’ nations. Comparisons between South and North Korea, or between India and Pakistan, make this point very clear. A similar argument applies to our contemporary discussion of foreign policy. Debates about whether or not to intervene abroad, and whether or not to ‘nation-build,’ are unhelpful. Security in a global context invariably requires some efforts at targeted foreign intervention and nation-building. Large states cannot assure their peace, stability and prosperity without reach beyond their borders. The real questions are, of course: where, when and how? Where should large states – like the US – focus their overseas efforts? When is the right time to act against an emerging threat? How should a large state allocate its military and non-military resources for the greatest effect? These are questions that turn on deploying the power of government institutions in the international system – rather than fleeing to simple

condemnations of such power. Although NGOs and inter-governmental organizations (including the UN) help, they do not substitute for the strategic use of state resources for international security. Non-state actors remain deeply constrained in their resources, their influence and, indeed, their legitimacy. The global system of nation-states is alive and well. Contemporary rhetoric is saturated with condemnations of bureaucracy and longings for alternatives on the political left and the political right. These claims are not only premature; they exaggerate. They are also historically narrow-minded. As a constellation of ideas and institutions, the modern nation-state has created numerous wars and other forms of suffering. It has also provided a foundation for the greatest growth in human peace and prosperity. Human beings live in a dynamic, cooperative, orderly and predictable world thanks to the system of nation-states (see the Tête à Tête interview with Steven Pinker in GB’s Fall 2011 issue). They can travel globally and live locally with unprecedented resource access because of trade and security between nation-states. They can think well beyond their own horizons because of nation-state institutions that educate, protect and cure their ills. In short, the nation-state is far from perfect, but it furnishes public goods that no other set of institutions is prepared to provide with comparable consistency. The biggest hindrance to human prosperity in many parts of today’s world is too little government, not too much. The most pressing source of insecurity is too little nation-state-building in violent regions, not too much. The US has tried to address these problems by diminishing its own state power – even as the White House sends more soldiers across the globe. This contradiction has contributed to more frustration at home and abroad. The juxtaposition of the recent war in Iraq and the 2008 economic crash is evidence of this troubling dynamic. Americans, in particular, expect too much with too little collective effort. They demand the benefits of government without the concomitant costs and sacrifices. The solution is not to continue to diminish state power, or to renounce efforts to improve the world. Low expectations only encourage more suffering and decline. The challenge of the times is once again to think big – working to rebuild and reallocate state power for better purposes in backyards and distant neighbourhoods alike. The nation-state is the best hinge for a newcentury community of peaceful and prosperous peoples. What the world needs most of all is a new set of creative, cosmopolitan state leaders, willing to redesign the modern machinery of bureaucracy for beneficial ends. Instead of trashing the state, there ought to be sober thought and talk about how to use it in bolder and better ways. | GB




































G LO B A L B R I E F • S P R I N G | S U M M E R 2 0 1 2




What is ‘real’ knowledge for the 21st century state?


‘Wicked’ modern policy problems and the need to reimagine the role and legitimacy of experts BY CATHERINE FIESCHI

Catherine Fieschi is the director of the UK research and advisory group

G LO B A L B R I E F • S P R I N G | S U M M E R 2 0 1 2




or the modern state – or the ‘rational bureaucratic state,’ to use Max Weber’s terminology – founded on the rule of reason, advancement based on merit, and national decision-making based on specialized advice, expertise has, for at least the past three centuries, been almost coterminous with legitimacy. But this new century is uncontroversially seeing increased pressure on expertise as the dominant currency of legitimacy in states. There are two paradoxes at play here. The first paradox consists in the idea that the modern state was, as an organizing framework, consolidated – capitalism oblige – through early communications technologies. Ideas circulated in print, giving populations – for the first time – the capacity to imagine themselves as national communities of interest and values, and allowing for the elaboration of the modern state through tax-collecting bureaucracies and cadres of experts with mastery of the basic tools of statecraft. Those who could wield these tools, or who otherwise had access to print, to ink or to expert knowledge, would thrive as ruling elites – variously religious, administrative and literary. The paradox lies in the fact that the circulation of ideas – first through print, then through a variety of media, and then in exponentially larger quantities and at blinding speeds through electronic media like the Internet and social networks – carried with it the very seeds of the eventual questioning of expertise and, by implication, of legitimate authority. The second paradox turns on the inverse relationship between trust and legitimacy, on the one hand, and the increasing complexity of the policy and programmatic demands placed on modern states, on the other. This is evidenced by the accelerated and domino-like crises – financial, economic, political and strategic – of the past few years: as state decision-making and the role of the ‘post-Weberian’ state become ever more complex, the very value of the expert and his or her expertise is called into question. Indeed, the traditional expert – the technocrat or professional – may well be perceived as at once the source of all evils and an essential remedy thereto. The reactions – bordering on hysteria – initially provoked in Europe when ‘technocratic’ governments took over in Italy and in Greece are a brilliant illustration of the bind in which experts find themselves: in both countries, experts – perceived

as non-partisan or cross-party – were alternately seen as the saviours of wrecked economies, as the wreckers themselves and, finally, as a potential source of further backlash and resentment given their centrality in the administration of extremely bitter medicine. How to understand and then refashion the relationship between the 21st century state and expertise? The answer lies in tackling some vexing, interconnected issues. First, there is the rise of the ‘amateur expert.’ Over the past couple of decades, it has become commonplace to argue that ‘everyone is an expert.’ Because everyone can have a blog, take part in an online discussion, or ferret away in the darkest reaches of government websites and piece together information, the illusion of public expertise has come easily: more information available to more people – and instantly – has given rise to the claim that knowledge is no longer the privilege of the few, but indeed the birthright of the masses. But rapidity of communication, access to information, open-source code and social networking have together not only given rise to social activism, citizen journalism, as well as demands for transparent decision-making; they have also overwhelmed traditional gatekeepers – good and bad – and processes of quality control – legitimate and illegitimate. The breaking down of the barriers and the ousting of the gatekeepers is a victory for democracy and for access; but it is also – to be sure – a nightmare for those trying to make sense of complex issues. This is because information (often untraceable and ‘sourceless’) is very often not easy to evaluate, and because ‘good’ sources of knowledge have had to scream louder to be heard at all. Second, and relatedly, there is the breakdown in the legitimation of expert knowledge. If modern states have to date been able to use experts and their expertise as the main sources of their legitimacy, then this has had much to do with the status granted to the claims made by such experts. This was not – or perhaps only partly – about the amount of information that these experts had, but rather about the kind of knowledge claims that could be made by experts: claims that were ascribed ‘legitimacy’– as it were – because they were perceived to be rooted in a form of experience, education and specialized tradecraft deemed to be of superior quality, or of

peculiar rarity. Today, the process that legitimates such knowledge is in disrepair. This is sometimes for good reason: publics are less automatically deferential than in the past, and are therefore more likely to hold policy-makers to account. More regrettably, though, the devaluation of experts and their knowledge has roots in another one of the modern state’s great attributes – meritocracy; that is, skeptical publics may be seeing experts as members of privileged elites who do not warrant deference in a world in which the meritocratic spirit is, at least in theory and principle, supposed to predominate. What is to be done? If expertise is to survive as a key regulator of policy, then expertise will arguably have to undergo a fundamental transformation from closed to shared. At present, we are in a transitional period that could be described as the worst of all worlds: expertise is at once increasingly the true preserve of the few, and the illusory preserve of the many. Some of this may quite simply have to do with a complete failure to educate the general public about how the Internet works: for instance, many people still arguably think that Google pages appear in order of accuracy. A complete reliance on such tools, coupled with a complete ignorance of their true structure and their genesis, means that the public is deprived of the capacity to evaluate sources – a key marker of expertise. Expertise will fail or survive depending on whether it is capable of creating its own systems for the sharing of knowledge and information that will renew its claims to legitimacy. We have moved from questions about who the experts are, to where


‘unique selling proposition,’ then that proposition will have to acquire a capacity to connect. (See John McArthur’s classical Feature article “The Great Generalists” in GB’s Fall 2009 issue.) The challenges ahead for the 21st century state are all about ‘wicked’ problems – those that appear intractable because they exist on a colossal scale and are hyper-interrelated: among other things, food distribution, environmental challenges, critical infrastructure and population growth; or, at the national level, the contradictory dynamics between housing shortages, environmental protection and access to services. Because of this combination of scale and connection, the role of policy-makers at both the national and international levels will be about linking experts, brokering expert conversations in the inevitable context of intensifying disagreement, and educated in order to elicit compliance and collaboration. This balancing act between brokering and compliance ought to be the basis of 21st century state expertise. | GB

We have moved from questions about who the experts are, to where expertise comes from, connecting different types of experts.

G LO B A L B R I E F • S P R I N G | S U M M E R 2 0 1 2

different types of experts; that is, those who have a wealth of experience, those who have a wealth of knowledge, and the people – not actual experts – who have the large quantities of on-the-ground information that experts require. Health systems, for example, will need the cooperation of well-informed, collaborative patients in order to tackle the kinds of chronic health problems that modern societies face; or environmental policy will need mass buy-in from the public on a grand collaborative scale in order to become effective. Collaboratively produced knowledge stemming from a range of experts – and including an informed end-user – will be the basis upon which solutions will need to be elaborated. In this respect, the systems that will structure the way in which appropriate types of expertise are wired together will need to become a full part of

what we consider to be expert knowledge. New forms of expertise will need to be valued on the basis of their capacity to bring together disparate but complementary forms of knowledge and information – rather than exist as isolated specialisms. In other words, if expertise is to rediscover its


The strategy for success this century is ACRE: America, China, Russia & Europe



Irvin Studin is Editor-in-Chief and Publisher

G LO B A L B R I E F • S P R I N G | S U M M E R 2 0 1 2

of Global Brief.


n past issues of GB, I have written that Canada should position itself to be, and indeed think of itself as en route to becoming, one of this century’s major powers. A key part of this recasting of the national strategic posture – or strategic imagination – would involve building up the population of the country, by century’s end, to 100 million Canadians (see the Feature article “Canada – Population 100 Million” in GB’s Spring/Summer 2010 issue). This larger demographic weight, supported by extant, uncontroversial factors of Canadian strategic power like geography (the second largest land mass in the world, and good borders to boot), natural resources (top-tier reserve richness in hydrocarbons, minerals, precious metals, food and water) and competent government, would arguably ramify – with great force – through other dependent factors of national power like the economy and, to be sure, the country’s military and diplomatic instruments. Perhaps even more important than the ‘objective’ change in the fin de siècle effective strategic power of Canada at 100 million is the migration in, or transformation of, the national mentality of the land. The ability of Canadians – and, in particular, of Canadian leaders – to viscerally feel, understand and believe in the telos of 100 million by the year 2100 invests the national geist with a kinetic energy that has long been absent from the national condition and discourse. It causes the Canadian, over time, to imagine his or her country differently, and to have a vastly expanded conception of the strategic possibilities and options for this far more ‘macro,’ capacious Canada. The 100 million argument for Canada is a means-

driven argument: it is stubbornly – and perhaps heretically – agnostic on the country’s ends or projects, except to suggest that the ends – both domestically and internationally – availed to the country will be more numerous, more expansive and, to be sure, difficult for the Canadian of the Canada of 34 million, in the year 2012, to comprehend. For the citizens – and, even more importantly, the leaders – of the Canada of 100 million will think differently about their country. In other words, the imagination – or strategic culture, as it were – of the Canadian in respect of the possible morphs as the aggregate population grows, and the country becomes – irresistibly – more powerful. The next chapter in a means-driven argument about Canadian strategy logically centres around the key strategic relationships of the Canada of the 21st century with other important players – usually states or groups of states. (See the Feature article by Jeremi Suri on the continuing centrality of the state in this century at p. 12.) More precisely, it centres around the differentiated relationships of the Canadian state in a century in which, as I have written in the past (see the Feature article “Changing Luck and North American Wars” in GB’s Spring/Summer 2011 issue), the opening up of Canada’s Arctic borders – global warming oblige – to international traffic and competition, the relative decline of US strategic power (see the Tête à Tête interview with Hubert Védrine at p. 8), and revolutions in military and other technologies, will together conspire to substantially diminish (and complicate) the great geopolitical luck that the North American continent enjoyed in the last century. For whereas the 20th century – quite exceptionally – saw zero land warfare on continental North America (core North America – that is, Canada and the US), this century could well see warfare return to the ILLUSTRATION: JEFFREY FISHER

G LO B A L B R I E F • S P R I N G | S U M M E R 2 0 1 2


G LO B A L B R I E F • S P R I N G | S U M M E R 2 0 1 2


continent, in various forms, consistent with all of the prior centuries on the continent following the European landing. Without suggesting that Canada ought not to have important relationships with a large gamut of states and groupings of states, Canada’s key ‘relationships’ strategy for this century can be summarized by the acronym ACRE: America, China, Russia and, finally, Europe. The hierarchy among these key bilateral or ‘dyadic’ partners for Canada is ‘soft’ – America comes first, but not by a long shot; there is rough parity among the remaining three partners. Taken together, the four partners have in common not just geopolitical status or standing in this new century, but also the brute fact that they ramify Canadian geopolitical projects – whatever these may be – or act as ‘multipliers’ therefor. They also, in some cases, have the capability of exercising varying degrees of veto power on Canadian ambitions in different parts of the world. Perhaps most signally, they together cover much of the globe and, as with the 100 million construct, force the Canadian strategic mind to stretch beyond its historical-geographical comfort zones. Without such ‘stretching’ of the Canadian mind, Canadian foreign policy – still colonial by instinct, if not in law – defaults to a largely unimaginative, bilateral Canada-US foreign policy, disrupted only seldom by heroic outbursts from this essential gravity. First, the Canadian strategy for the US (the ‘A’ in ACRE). No other theatre of Canadian foreign policy has attracted as many fine Canadian minds, and yet issued in as many idées fixes. To date, Canada’s strategic community has, since at least WW2, largely been beholden to variations and combinations of three policy paradigms in respect of its much larger southern neighbour: first, that Canadian foreign policy ought to be conspicuously distinct vis-à-vis American foreign policy (or, to a lesser extent, diversified away from the US’s strategic orbit); second, that Canadian foreign policy – as if by identity – ought to be strictly aligned with US foreign policy; and third, that Canadian foreign policy ought to ‘link’ performance by Canada in policy domain x with favours or concessions from the US in domain y. This third paradigm has been peculiarly ascendant since 9/11, with Canadian leaders attempting to maximize economic transit across the Canada-US border in exchange for assuring the US that Canada is neither a source nor base of terrorist or other security threats. Indeed, until the recent forays by the Harper government into China in support of Canadian energy export interests (and in apparent reaction to the US impasse on approval of the Keystone XL pipeline from Canada to the US), the linkage paradigm effectively crowded out the other two paradigms. Even the ever growing body of initiatives favouring de facto perimetric regulatory

arrangements for Canada and the US has been essentially driven by the logic of linkage, in which the price of the prize of Canadian access to US markets is the continued demonstration by Canada of its bona fides on national security. Alas, the linkage paradigm – particularly in its economic manifestation – has paradoxically served the longstanding cause of continentalizing Canadian foreign policy – practically and intellectually – at the very point in history at which the world is not only ever more globalized, but at which the American geopolitical and economic footprints are, at least in relative terms, shrinking. A fourth, counterintuitive Canada-US strategic paradigm suggests itself for this century. That is the paradigm of the US as a power multiplier for Canadian policy outside of continental North America. It posits that many Canadian strategic achievements in the world run through America – in particular, through the use and levering of America’s still-superior global assets and capabilities. This proposition is made in light of two important observations: first, that while the US is, even on its own assessment, a receding strategic power in the world – and one that is highly stretched – it remains and will remain, for the foreseeable future, strategically pivotal to the management of important international problems; second, that while the US has neither the synoptic understanding required to analyze the world’s myriad policy challenges, nor the strategic capabilities and political will to deal with most of these, its interests and aspirations – unlike those of any other state, including China – remain global. However, because of the structural limits on what it can do outside of its borders, the US will, for the most part, be able to articulate these global interests and aspirations only in highly general terms – for all intents and purposes, in the rhetorical integument of ‘motherhood’ terms like freedom, democracy, rights, security and so on. Généralité oblige, Canada could in no sense disagree with any of these characterizations of what is in its very own strategic interest in any corner of the world. Where the US government is more heavily engaged in a given country or region – say, in Afghanistan, Iran, Israel-Palestine, the Koreas and, yes, China – the strategic programme and logic underlying each of the US’s thematic interests or ends will be far more detailed. In this event, Canada will naturally find reasons to support (complement) or oppose the programme in question, depending on its own strategic assessment of the problem at hand and the particular stakes at play. But Canada will not lead or be a major player in these theatres. However, in those theatres wherein the US government is less energetically engaged, it remains generally interested, but in terms so vague that they are highly susceptible to appropriation, modification

and tailoring – in extremis, even manipulation – by other reasonably like-minded countries and allies that do choose to engage intensely. Such intense engagement by these other like-minded states could arguably lever America’s unparalleled assets and capabilities (the means) to achieve ends that these states – by dint of their practical presence and activity on the ground – themselves frame and elaborate. This is the power multiplier for Canada: America’s assets and capabilities, properly used, multiply Canadian capacity to advance around the world objectives that Canada itself can define in substantial detail by virtue of its initiative or first-mover advantage sur le terrain, in situ. These American assets and capabilities include the massive intelligence and information assets of the US, its global relationships at the highest echelons of foreign powers, its military-logistical apparatus and, in many respects, its continued prestige – if not necessarily in moral terms, then still, to be certain, in geopolitical terms.


The four partners have in common not just geopolitical status or standing in this new century, but also the brute fact that they ramify Canadian geopolitical projects – whatever these may be – or act as ‘multipliers’ therefor.

G LO B A L B R I E F • S P R I N G | S U M M E R 2 0 1 2

t is probable that such a Canadian strategy of ‘power multiplication’ would be highly welcome by the US – including by the next US administration, whether led by Barack Obama or Mitt Romney – eager as the country is to be ‘delivered’ by like-minded states in those regions of the world in which it remains interested, but otherwise distracted. And so this is the Canadian multiplier strategy for its engagement with the US: opportunistic alignment on the means, and opportunistic appropriation of the ends, all for Canadian strategic advantage. The Americas region – beginning with Haiti, but quickly moving to the broader Caribbean Basin – may well be the first geographic theatre in which Canada should apply this strategy of conscious power multiplication with the US. This should happen after concerted discussions with the US to signal its seriousness about delivering results. (Note that the last Harper government declared, in 2007, at least in-principle interest in Canada becoming a leader in the Americas region – a region that does not today enjoy the same attention from the US government as other, more troubled ones, but a region in which the US could still wield significant veto power over Canadian ambitions. And US veto power in this region will continue to decisively trump that of Brazil – a rising regional power – for most of this century.) A fifth Canada-US paradigm may also soon become apposite, and should be added to the other four: the necessity of a very sober Canadian selfreliance for the defence of a number of its interests in territorial Canada and, specifically, in the Arctic. Diminishing American relative power should destabilize the long-held, implicit strategic assumption – one never articulated, but always felt in the gut of Canada’s political elites – that the US will almost

certainly defend the northern part of the continent should Canada come under attack. Indeed, this America in relative strategic decline might very well raise the threshold beyond which it would be willing to directly or indirectly defend Canada in the event of Canadian involvement in conflict. The opportunity costs of such American defence of Canada, as well as very real potential differences between the US and Canada in national perceptions of interests and threats, could very well mean that a Canada under attack or in some form of military confrontation on its maritime borders (say, in the High Arctic) or on its own soil – say, in remote parts of Nunavut, the Northwest Territories and the Yukon, or even in the northernmost reaches of Quebec, Ontario or Manitoba – could well be fending for itself. The little studied Turbot ‘War’ of 1995 between Canada and Spain off the coast of Newfoundland may, in this regard, have been portentous of larger things to come: that is, fundamental US neutrality and effective non-interference in a conflict pitting its continental neighbour against another state. The behaviour of the US was doubtless largely due to its perception that critical American interests were not in play in the conflict, and that strategic defeat of Canada – something that would have a terrific destabilizing effect on the entire continent – was not a possibility. For Canada, were the conflict more prolonged and more difficult, such strategic laissez-faire from Washington would have come as a shock; that is, it would not even have figured in the contemporary national strategic imagination. What of Russia (the ‘R’ in ACRE)? If Canadian leadership in the Americas – among other possible theatres – must often pass through Washington, DC, then Canadian success in the Arctic is, first and foremost, a Russian play. For Russia is today, and will be for the foreseeable future, the most powerful, ambitious and serious Arctic player among the world’s principal Arctic states (Russia, Canada, the US, Norway and Denmark). This means that Russia is not to Canada’s east – per the dated logic of the Cold War – but rather to its north. Together, Canada and Russia have ownership over most of the Arctic’s coastline. Canada’s winning play can only be to press this symmetry in order to cooperate and collude with Russia for mutual Arctic advantage. As such, Canada’s two principal interests vis-à-vis Russia this century ought to be as follows: first, to lock Russia into processes or interactions in, or negotiations on, the Arctic that are unlikely to issue in a Russian resort to military force; and second, to, on occasion, opportunistically align itself with Russia in order to advance critical national objectives in the Arctic. A key example of such opportunistic Canada-Russia alignment would be in the service of international recognition of the Northwest Passage – by far the key Arctic enjeu for


G LO B A L B R I E F • S P R I N G | S U M M E R 2 0 1 2

Canada’s two principal interests vis-à-vis Russia are, first, to lock Russia into processes or interactions in the Arctic that are unlikely to issue in a Russian resort to military force; and second, on occasion, to opportunistically align itself with Russia in order to advance its national objectives in the Arctic.


Canada – as part of Canadian internal waters. As Michael Byers argued in his Feature article “Toward a Canada-Russia Axis in the Arctic” in GB’s Winter 2012 issue, Russia’s claim to the Northern Sea Route as part of its internal waters (according to the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea) is, in many respects, a mirror-image of Canada’s Northwest Passage claim. Both claims are also challenged by, first and foremost, the US, which sees both straits as ‘international straits.’ Byers’ counterintuitive policy conjecture is that if Canada were to formally recognize Russia’s claim to the Northern Sea Route, and Russia, at the same time, Canada’s claim to the Northwest Passage, then the legal-cum-symbolic effect would, in the net, be geopolitically significant. Russian recognition could well pave the way for similar recognition of the Canadian claim by a number of other important countries – at least important non-maritime countries, and perhaps even China – just as Canadian recognition would give Western respectability to Russia’s claim. To be sure, such a move would be controversial for Canada’s foreign policy community. On the one hand, it evidently would aim to advance Canada’s clear and major interests in control – under Canadian law – over maritime passage in the Passage. Such control would include the right or prerogative to determine who may enter or cross the Passage, and indeed the terms of such passage. Legal cooperation with Russia could also begin to lay a foundation for a longer-term, mutual Russo-Canadian trust that could yield fruit in the areas of Arctic transportation, energy exploration and production, environmental regulation, domain awareness technology and Arctic science. On the other hand, while Canada does have some tradition of parting company with the US on a number of major issues, it does not have a pronounced tradition of allying with another major power – and certainly not Russia – in stark opposition to, or in order to foil (or appear to foil), American national interests. That such alignment with Russia would be in defence of the very integrity of Canadian waters would not necessarily lighten the psychic shock of such an unusual arrangement. Such shock value ought to be resisted by Canada – even if the Arctic cooperation with Russia might at first appear to militate against the aforementioned Canadian success in using the US as a multiplier in other parts of the world in which there is more ready alignment of Canada-US interests. For, on balance, and in the long-run, the Canadian interests that must be defended against detracting claims are too fundamental. (We have already offered that the US’s calculations in respect of its own critical interests in the Arctic will often differ from those of Canada.) And yet, having said this, it may still be the case that the US might, under combined Canadian and Russian pressure, cede to Canada’s

claim to the Northwest Passage – possibly on the presumption that Canadian control of the Passage will typically be friendly to American transit (and perhaps also because the investment from the US to aggressively oppose this claim may prove prohibitive in practice). This same American presumption is the one that will in all likelihood allow Canada to continue to lever American favour and assets in other parts of the world. Legal alignment with Russia on mutual Arctic claims would give Canada a marked advantage in respect of its paramount goal: locking Russia into a long-term legal logic – rather than military logic – in the Arctic (if not more generally). The aim here would be to promote a general stability in the Arctic theatre this century – on the clear understanding that, if not well managed, power vacuums and major conflicts of interest over significant stakes (such as transit, territory or resources) could result in devastating wars in the Arctic between Russia and other states, large or small.


n Europe (the ‘E’ in ACRE), Canada’s cardinal interest – in concert with other important states – is to keep the continent together, peaceful and prosperous for the entire century. The aforementioned Russia relationship leads Canada inevitably into some increased influence or ‘ins’ in large parts of Eastern Europe (see the In Situ article from Tbilisi, Georgia by Matthew Light at p. 42, and the Cabinet Room vignette about Belarus by Dusan Petricic at p. 27), where Russia still looms very large. (The reverse of the Russian ‘in’ in Eastern Europe is, of course, a de facto Russian veto on Canadian effectiveness in this theatre – or, more precisely, in the former Soviet space.) Canadian brokerage of the peace in any of the ‘frozen’ or future ‘hot’ conflicts in the former Soviet space is, in future, perfectly conceivable. Canada’s interests vis-à-vis Europe at large are twofold: first, to keep the continent strategically united – in the EU or in more loose, post- or extra-EU forms; and second, to help prevent strategic conflict between Europe and Russia. The first object – a united Europe – ensures that Germany, by far Europe’s most powerful state (outside of Russia), stays durably moored inside of a peaceable logic, and that no serious wars erupt between important European states. (Such wars may seem highly improbable and implausible today, but a century is a long time in international strategic life, and Europe has not, in modern history, gone a single century without major, world-changing bloodshed.) The second object must be to keep Russia’s trajectory consistently tied to that of Europe (see the Feature article by Tatiana Romanova on Russia’s and the EU’s diverging views on modernization at p. 38). This does not mean or require proper Russian membership in the EU, or perfect alignment between the EU’s and


master’s in Development practice


Make a Difference in the World The University of Winnipeg invites you to join our Master’s in Development Practice (MDP) program for aspiring students and working professionals committed to charting a new path in development practice. The MDP is an international degree program (with full-time or part-time options) with a focus on indigenous development. It will equip you with the skills and practical, on-the-ground knowledge to make a difference in communities across Canada and around the world. As an MDP student, you will be linked with 23 top universities worldwide and will learn from some of Canada’s most respected scholars and practitioners in indigenous development, including: • ethnographer and filmmaker Dr. Wade Davis • former National Chief Dr. Phil Fontaine • former Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Dr. Lloyd Axworthy • Director, Master’s in Development Practice program and Chair of the Department of Indigenous Studies Dr. Julie Pelletier

For admittance in Fall term, application deadline is February 1. For admittance in Winter term, application deadline is August 1. Comprehensive financial assistance available. 1-204-786-9093

G LO B A L B R I E F • S P R I N G | S U M M E R 2 0 1 2

| Canada


G LO B A L B R I E F • S P R I N G | S U M M E R 2 0 1 2

Canada’s interests vis-à-vis Europe at large are twofold: first, to keep the continent strategically united – in the EU or in more loose, post- or extraEU forms; and second, to help prevent strategic conflict between Europe and Russia.


Russia’s political mores or strategic visions, but rather that Russia not be – or feel – strategically isolated from Europe. Canada will evidently not be the lead non-European player in determining Europe’s political or strategic future (that role surely remains America’s), but it will have to play a meaningful part – through economic exchange, political initiatives, and indeed the sharing of best practices – in encouraging Europe’s major and minor countries – including its closest European allies, the UK and then France – to continue to develop a European strategic imagination. But if it cultivates an Arctic relationship with Russia, it is not implausible that Canada should carve for itself a vocation as the lead non-European player in bridging the strategic dialogue between Europe and Russia.


inally, of course, there is China (the ‘C’ in ACRE), the re-emerging great power of this century. Canada’s China game forces it, for the first time in its history, to develop a concerted capacity to sustainably project influence and policy energy ‘westward’ toward Asia. (China was last a great power before modern Canada was constituted, and Canada’s strategic personality has, as mentioned, instinctually and traditionally focussed on the US at core, and on Europe as a maximum. It has thus never had sufficient seriousness of purpose or strategic extroversion as to allow the country to be a major player on other continents.) As the China proposition is bound to be a longterm one, the starting point for Canada must be the development of a credible, system-wide capacity and culture within the country for deep, clinical (dispassionate, if not amoral) engagement with China’s power structures – for substantial practical effect. There can be nowhere to start but where the Australians did in the early 1990s when future prime minister Kevin Rudd was cabinet secretary in the state government of Queensland – with a national languages strategy, developed with the provinces under strong federal leadership, aimed at developing, within a generation, a cadre of Canadian political, business and intellectual leaders who are fluent in Mandarin, literate on Asian matters more broadly, and armed with experience and contacts in Asia that would allow them to press Canada’s interests in China. Without language, cultural awareness and indeed top-tier analytical and intelligence capabilities on China and Asia – the current condition of Canada’s strategic classes – Canada will continue to play only on the surface of most policy issues in the region, without being able to penetrate the personal-political gate that is the anteroom to larger

discussions about Sino-Canadian economics and geopolitics. (To be sure, the national languages strategy for Canada should aim to create large numbers of not only Mandarin speakers, but also speakers of other key languages for this century, including Russian, Spanish and Arabic. As such, the languages strategy is indispensable to the totality of Canada’s four-point game. And it ought to run, for national unity purposes, through the mandatory mastery by all future Canadians of both English and French.) If Canada is able to engage with sophistication on the political vector, then its primary economicstrategic ‘in’ with China must surely be its remarkable natural resource endowments – from oil and natural gas to coal, uranium, iron ore and copper. In its more classical assessments of Canadian power, China has always seen these endowments as a major factor of Canadian strategic importance. As posited above, Canada must now begin to see itself in the same light, striking large, long-term supply deals with the Chinese government, investing in the development and transportation infrastructure necessary to deliver on these deals, and, more broadly, levering the promise of stable natural resources in order to extract Chinese reaction and favour. What may be levered from China through such political engagement and deep economic interdependence with Canada? For certain, not changes in Chinese governance or internal practices – but rather a soft Chinese undertaking not to exercise any de facto veto over – or not to actively interfere with – Canadian political and economic engagement in other parts of Asia – including in Taiwan, but also in Southeast Asian states like Singapore, Malaysia, Vietnam, Cambodia, Myanmar and Indonesia. (China would have no such veto capability in respect of Canadian engagement in such major Asian states as India, Japan and South Korea.) But, as with Russia, what ought to be avoided more generally is strategic confrontation or the conscious or accidental pressurizing of China in such a way as to isolate it or to incentivize it into defecting from a peaceable rise. The management of Sino-Indian rivalry will be instructive here – and Canada will not likely have a decisive role to play in this regard. Still, with the US and other major states, Canada ought to be privileging a larger strategic framework that seeks to ensure that China’s ever growing power and prestige are parried and channelled by an international system that is open and generous to such a strategic shift. Canada will for the most part wish to avoid pious positions that are adversarial to this shift. For any general war involving China and any other great power this century could well result from such positions, and it stands to reason that such a general war would militate fiercely against Canadian success not only in China, but in its greater four-point game around the globe. | GB


G LO B A L B R I E F • S P R I N G | S U M M E R 2 0 1 2



New doctrines and crushing budgetary pressures may well make a non-nuclear world seem irresistible. But regional rivalries persist, and not everyone may be reading from the same strategic script BY PETER JONES



Peter Jones is an Associate Professor in the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs at the University of Ottawa, and a past senior adviser with Canada’s Privy Council Office and Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade. He is currently a Visiting Scholar at the Hoover Institution

G LO B A L B R I E F • S P R I N G | S U M M E R 2 0 1 2

at Stanford University.



he phrase “Nuclear Posture Review Implementation Study” hardly trips off the tongue. But this obscure internal study underway within the US government could end up being one of the more significant watersheds of the nuclear era. For some of the ideas reportedly under consideration could reduce America’s nuclear arsenal to levels not seen since the 1950s. All of this would be squarely in keeping with President Obama’s 2009 Prague speech, in which he committed the US to lead a step-by-step approach toward the ultimate goal of a nuclear weaponsfree world. And, behind the political impetus to cut the numbers of nuclear weapons, there loom decisions on some huge – and very costly – projects to replace America’s nuclear delivery systems. These financial issues may ultimately prove to be the most significant set of pressures in favour of deep nuclear cuts. The Study is a mandated exercise, following the 2010 release of the Nuclear Posture Review (NPR), a periodic document that provides Presidential guidance to the Pentagon as to how nuclear weapons are to be used. Throughout the Cold War, each US administration’s NPR added new missions and requirements to the nuclear forces of the US. Nuclear weapons had not only to deter the use of such weapons against the American homeland

by the Soviet Union, but also to: ‘extend’ deterrence to US allies; deal with lesser threats from China; permit several ‘tactical’ options to make up for NATO’s perceived conventional inferiority vis-à-vis the USSR (which opened up the thorny box of nuclear ‘war fighting’); and manage a host of other contingencies. Such requirements – and those on the Soviet side – caused the global nuclear arsenal to grow to some 65,000 weapons at the height of the Cold War. America’s strategic arsenal was spread across a ‘triad’ of land-based missiles, submarine-based missiles and manned bomber aircraft, plus thousands more so-called ‘tactical’ nuclear weapons. Since the end of the Cold War, both the US and Russia (which between them possess approximately 95 percent of the world’s nuclear weapons) have significantly reduced their numbers of weapons. Today, there are reportedly some 20,500 nuclear weapons in the world, with the US and Russia having some 19,500 between them. The other 1,000 weapons are spread between the other seven nuclear-armed states (France, the UK, China, Israel, India, Pakistan and North Korea). France and China have some 300 and 240, respectively – although only about 40 of China’s are capable of hitting the US. North Korea has fewer than 10 weapons, of which the reliability is questionable. Israel is widely regarded as having several hundred nuclear weapons, but does not admit to them. As of this year, the US is reported to have close to 5,000 active nuclear weapons in its stockpile, of which 1,737 are counted as deployed strategic ILLUSTRATION: CHRISTIAN NORTHEAST

G LO B A L B R I E F • S P R I N G | S U M M E R 2 0 1 2


G LO B A L B R I E F • S P R I N G | S U M M E R 2 0 1 2

Today, there are reportedly some 20,500 nuclear weapons in the world, with the US and Russia having some 19,500 between them. The other 1,000 weapons are spread between the other seven nuclear-armed states.


nuclear weapons under present arms control treaties. A further 3,500 weapons are retired and awaiting dismantlement. Under the terms of the most recent Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (known as ‘New START’), signed in 2010, the US and Russia have committed to reduce their deployed strategic weapons to 1,550 each – deployed in each case on up to 700 missiles or bombers – by 2018 (though the Treaty mandates no cuts to the reserve stockpiles, and does not mention tactical nuclear weapons). There are, however, hints that Obama’s NPR Implementation Study is considering far more drastic cuts. Speaking at a conference in Virginia in February 2012, Acting Defense Undersecretary for Policy James Miller (who has since been nominated by Obama for the Undersecretary position proper) stated that the US would be able to meet all of its defence needs and commitments with far lower numbers. Shortly thereafter, press leaks indicated that three sets of options are being explored as a possible basis for the next round of nuclear arms control talks with the Russians: 1,000 to 1,100 each; 700 to 800 each; or 300 to 400 strategic nuclear weapons each. Predictably, the political right in the US was outraged when these numbers surfaced and were not disavowed by the administration. Everyone from Rush Limbaugh, to Liz Cheney of the right-wing think-tank Keep America Safe, to various Republican Senators, to commentators at Fox News lined up to condemn the idea as another example of the political left’s misguided commitment to unilateral American disarmament in a dangerous world. But none of the critics addressed the issue that should be at the core of considerations about how many nuclear weapons are required for America’s security needs – to wit, what are these weapons supposed to do? A sensible discussion of numbers should follow from the answer to this pivotal question. The 2010 Nuclear Posture Review was President Obama’s first chance to put his stamp on the US nuclear arsenal. Obama made a significant – if only still incremental – change to the NPR issued by President George W. Bush in 2001. The Bush NPR and other policy statements following 9/11 had stated that US nuclear weapons could be used in response to non-nuclear attacks on the US or its allies – such as attacks with chemical weapons – and also opened the door to pre-emptive strikes against those whom the US believed were planning attacks. But the Obama NPR began a process of limiting US use of nuclear weapons to retaliation for attacks with nuclear weapons against the US and allies – though other uses of nuclear weapons were not completely precluded. This dialling back of the purpose of America’s nuclear arsenal opens the way to the need for far fewer nuclear weapons. If the purpose of America’s nuclear arsenal is increasingly limited to deterring

the use of nuclear weapons by other nuclear-armed states, then one can make do with far fewer of them – if the others agree to cut also. Gone is the need to maintain a vast number of different types of nuclear weapons for such purposes as making America’s commitment to extend deterrence to Europe appear credible – for with the demise of the USSR there is no military threat to Europe. This logic is, of course, not accepted by US neoconservatives. For them, US nuclear superiority is critical to security. The more weapons the US has, the more secure it is. Ideally, on this argument, the US should accept no limitations, but should strive to be ahead of everyone. And yet the logic of this particular assertion has never been clear in strategic terms. It is akin to believing that, if a group of men stands in a puddle of gasoline up to their hips, with each man holding a packet of matches, then the one who has the most matches ought to somehow feel more secure than the others. President Reagan came to accept the futility of this line of thinking when he pushed for the abolition of US and Soviet Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces – the first time that an entire class of nuclear weapons was abolished – and insisted that strategic arms control with the Soviets be focussed on reducing weapons, rather than on capping increases (along the lines of the old Strategic Arms Limitation Treaties, or SALT). Nevertheless, the ‘more is better’ logic is symbolically powerful, and it endures on a political level. Though they today laud Reagan, it is forgotten that many neoconservatives were, at the time, deeply critical of his conversion on these issues.


eagan’s views are today championed by a growing movement in the US that argues that deep cuts in nuclear weapons, and their eventual abolition, are in the US national interest. This argument hinges on the proposition that the continued existence of nuclear weapons means that they will proliferate to others, and that there is, as a consequence, an increasing likelihood that they will be used. This is evidently profoundly not in the US interest, as the country may well be the eventual target. Thus, former statesmen like former Secretaries of State George Shultz and Henry Kissinger, former Defense Secretary William Perry and former Chair of the Senate Armed Services Committee Sam Nunn have together argued that steep nuclear cuts and eventual abolition are very much in the US national security interest – and that Washington should lead the way. These men are hardly pacifists, and the argument that they make is deeply entrenched in a hard-nosed, realist-inspired assessment of longterm US national interests.

Free e-books on international development


Learn about positive changes in developing countries from the people who are making those changes. Canada’s International Development Research Centre supports researchers in developing countries who are finding innovative, lasting solutions to local problems.

To learn about the impacts of this groundbreaking research, download or read our free e-books online. We’ve got more than 300 titles. /e-books

G LO B A L B R I E F • S P R I N G | S U M M E R 2 0 1 2

Whatever the rationale for deep cuts, we can expect a political battle-royal over the levels of cuts that are reportedly under consideration in the Implementation Study – especially the options for very deep cuts down to between 300 and 400 strategic weapons. At the same time, the impetus for deep cuts will be given a boost by the fact that the delivery systems for the US arsenal of strategic nuclear warheads – the missiles, submarines and bombers that carry the weapons – face obsolescence in the coming decades. Literally hundreds of billions of dollars will be required to re-equip these fleets, and such money will be hard to find in an era of fiscal austerity that could well last decades. Each of these basing options for the US’s strategic arsenal – the triad of land-based missiles, submarine-based missiles and bombers – has advantages and disadvantages. By spreading the arsenal across all three platforms, the objectives of survivability (it would be impossible to take out all of these platforms in a single pre-emptive strike) and the preservation of a broad range of war-fighting options could be advanced. Accepting the cost of developing and maintaining a triad of mutually reinforcing nuclear delivery systems may have made sense when the country faced an existential threat from an adversary that could wipe it out. Moreover, with the numbers of weapons in the tens of thousands, economies of scale were achievable across huge fleets of bombers, land-based missiles and submarines. However, if the number of weapons goes down to a few hundred, justifying the development of new, very small fleets of delivery systems will be difficult. The anticipated US budget pressures for the foreseeable future are such that consideration is being given in some quarters to doing away with one leg of the triad altogether, while dramatically reducing the size of the remaining two legs. Already, we are seeing evidence that these pressures are beginning to bite. The latest Pentagon budget has delayed the acquisition of the first of the next generation of ballistic missile-carrying submarines by at least two years in order to save money. The requested fleet of 12 of these submarines is expected to cost US $350 billion to build and operate over its lifetime, though many believe that this figure will rise. Similar delays may soon be announced on work for the next generation of long-range nuclear bombers. This is not the same as outright cancellation of these programmes, but it is a sign that the budget for strategic nuclear weapons and delivery systems is not sacrosanct, and that economies will have to be found. Interestingly, the delay in the submarine programme is having a knock-on effect for another nuclear weapons power – the UK. Although the UK’s nuclear deterrent is supposedly ‘independent,’ the country has long relied on US technology as the basis of its own programme. Simply put, the UK cannot afford to develop entirely indigenous ballistic missile submarine capabilities. As that country’s fleet of Trident-class submarines approaches its own obsolescence in the coming decades, it has been counting on piggy-backing on the US programme in order to keep itself in the nuclear game. And though the UK govern-


G LO B A L B R I E F • S P R I N G | S U M M E R 2 0 1 2

As the US moves to develop and deploy missile defence systems, the Russians worry that a diminished number of weapons will make it more difficult for them to be assured that they can penetrate US defences and deliver a deterrent.


ment has committed itself to replacing Trident, it may find it difficult to do so if the US programme is long-delayed or comes in hugely over cost. Meanwhile, Germany, among other NATO countries, is questioning why it remains necessary for the alliance to maintain tactical nuclear weapons in Europe. It is taking steps to close the bases that house tactical weapons, and is leaning toward not equipping the next generation of its fighters with the ability to drop these weapons. In short, there are growing political and budgetary pressures to re-examine the role of nuclear weapons, and in particular how many such weapons are required to fulfill this role. Still, the US will only be able to make unilateral cuts up to a certain point. For both political and strategic reasons (including the need to avoid first-mover disadvantage), it will need to bring other nuclear powers along with it if really deep cuts are to be approved. First and foremost, this group must include the Russians. But eventually, as numbers of nuclear weapons come closer to zero, even the other nuclear powers must be brought along. How likely is any of this? In Moscow, some quarters are wary of deep cuts for multiple reasons. First, with a declining pool of young men for service in the conventional Russian military, and with a deep desire to be seen as a great power, they are arguing that a certain number of nuclear weapons will assure great power status. Though such logic may be as tenuous as it is in the US, its resonance in today’s Russian strategic thinking is not insignificant. Second, as the US moves to develop and deploy missile defence systems, the Russians worry that a diminished number of weapons will make it more difficult for them to be assured that they can penetrate US defences and deliver a deterrent – in short, go below a certain number of Russian weapons and US missile defences begin to look threatening, even if the US says that such defences are not ‘aimed’ at Russia. Third, and related to missile defence, even as it is talking about cutting nuclear weapons, the US is developing a new generation of conventional systems that are capable of long-range, stealthy, extremely accurate and devastating strikes anywhere in the world. Again, though the US maintains that these are not intended to strike Russia – but rather states like Iran – if Russia reduced its nuclear forces to relatively few weapons, there is a hypothetical fear that the US could stage a surprise attack against many of them with these new conventional systems, leaving Russia with a very small nuclear force – and indeed one that might not be able to penetrate US missile defences. Finally, Russia is not just deterring the US, but also China and potentially others. Moscow will thus need assurances from other capitals that steep reductions in Russian strategic systems will be matched by countries beyond the US.

What of the Chinese? They too must have concerns about the eventual effect that US missile defences and long-range precision conventional weapons could have on their small deterrent force. They must also think of deterring nuclear use by both the US and Russia. In addition, of course, China must consider the potential for conflict with a nucleararmed India – the two countries having fought wars in the past, and still having outstanding border disputes. That said, the Chinese have always had a more limited doctrine of deterrence – one that holds that the only purpose of nuclear weapons is to deter their use by others. The Chinese have never subscribed to concepts like ‘extended deterrence,’ meaning that they have always been satisfied with a relatively small nuclear force. In South Asia, on top of deterring China, the Indians must be concerned about Pakistan, their other nuclear neighbour – and one that is widely regarded as increasingly unstable (see the Feature article by Ramesh Thakur in GB’s Winter 2012 issue). Meanwhile, Pakistan is inferior to India in every military respect, and this inferiority is rapidly increasing. As a result, Pakistan is developing weapons and doctrines designed to introduce the risk of early resort to nuclear weapons in the event of a conventional conflict with India. Its logic – not entirely unlike that of NATO during the Cold War – is that the conventionally inferior party should rely on the threat of early use of nuclear weapons in order to deter the possibility of a conventional conflict that it cannot win. Unlike every other region of the world, the two South Asian nuclear powers are building-up – not shrinking – their stockpiles of nuclear material as a hedge should the other side decide to build more weapons. Pakistan has therefore actively blocked efforts in multilateral disarmament talks aimed at beginning work on a treaty to ban the production of fissile material for nuclear weapons. For its part, India likely agrees with Pakistan’s stand, but Delhi is keeping quiet, preferring instead to let Islamabad play the villain.


n the Middle East, Israel has the region’s only nuclear stockpile. Israel has a subtly different vision of deterrence than that of all of the other nuclear powers. Whereas others justify their weapons on the basis of deterring other nuclear powers, Israel conceives of its deterrent as a shield behind which it can engage in military actions against others whenever it feels it must. Israel’s conception of deterrence therefore requires that it be the region’s sole nuclearcapable state – whereas classical deterrence posits two or more nuclear-armed states deterring each other. It follows that, when Israel argues that it is unwilling to be placed in a situation of having to deter a nuclear-capable Iran, it is – at least to some

Cyberlivres sur le développement international offerts gratuitement


Apprenez-en davantage sur les changements positifs dans les pays en développement des personnes mêmes qui rendent ces changements possibles Organisme canadien, le Centre de recherches pour le développement international appuie des chercheurs de pays en développement qui s’emploient à trouver des solutions novatrices

et durables à des problèmes locaux. Pour en savoir plus sur les retombées de leurs travaux novateurs, téléchargez nos cyberlivres ou lisez-les en ligne, et ce, gratuitement. Nous vous proposons plus de 300 titres. /cyberlivres

G LO B A L B R I E F • S P R I N G | S U M M E R 2 0 1 2

extent – saying that it refuses to accept the reality of an antagonistic regional state over which it does not retain an overwhelming and unilateral advantage. This is not the same thing as deterrence, properly understood. Meanwhile, Iran’s nuclear programme may be aimed at giving it the capability to build nuclear weapons should it ever find itself threatened by weapons of mass destruction, as it was during the Iran-Iraq war, when no one came to its aid. If this interpretation is true, then it suggests that Iran will adopt a minimal deterrent posture with a relatively small arsenal. Some believe, however, that Iran may also seek the ability to coerce others with its nuclear capability, which might require a larger force. In either scenario, if Iran does acquire a nuclear weapons capability, it will significantly complicate efforts to rid the Middle East of weapons of mass destruction. All of this demonstrates that, at some point, US and Russian reductions in nuclear weapons will begin to bump up against a variety of other technical issues – including Russian and Chinese fears over the effectiveness of future US missile defence systems – as well as multiple sets of regional tensions. Actual abolition of nuclear weapons will certainly require solutions to these issues – from the Sino-Russian, Sino-Indian, and India-Pakistan relationships to Israel’s perceived need to maintain a permanent nuclear hedge against all of its regional neighbours, as well as Iran’s perceived need to have at least the capability to build weapons if it is ever threatened with weapons of mass destruction. Furthermore, the regime of safeguards according to which civilian nuclear materials are monitored in order to verify that they are not being diverted for weapons purposes will have to be strengthened significantly as the world moves toward zero. The verification provisions created in existing arms control treaties will also have to be buttressed considerably. The consequences of cheating become more significant as numbers approach zero. Beyond the questions of safeguards and verification, the entire edifice of the global non-proliferation system, which rests on the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT), will likely have to be seriously rethought as and when the world moves toward zero. A much more intrusive but, at the same time, cooperative and collaborative approach to providing the world with civilian nuclear materials – and accounting for them – will be required. The precise point at which, in the course of their nuclear reductions, the US and Russia would begin to bump up against the need to solve these wider problems is unknown. But the Nuclear Posture Review Implementation Study is likely to suggest that they could make nuclear reductions beyond the 19,500 nuclear weapons that they presently have between them before having to worry about these larger problems. Opponents will howl, and skeptics will disbelieve, but as the relentless pressure of the US budget crunch makes itself felt over the coming years, and just as the US begins to calculate the cost of replacing some expensive nuclear kit, deep cuts – and along with these a less nuclear world – may begin to look irresistible. | GB


Le «zéro nucléaire» moins réaliste en Asie orientale?


Les tensions dans la région pourraient-elles faire dévier les trajectoires des changements politiques internes? PAR GÉRARD HERVOUET

Gérard Hervouet est directeur du programme Paix et Sécurité Internationales à l’Institut québécois des hautes études internationales. Il est aussi professeur titulaire au département de science politique de l’Université Laval à Québec.


impact de la convergence des changements politiques internes récents – et surtout à venir – couplé à une configuration stratégique tendue, doit mériter plus d’attention. Sur la toile de fond d’une menace nucléaire régionale, la course aux armements conventionnels – en particulier navals – exacerbe ou aggrave encore plus les conflits. Dans pratiquement tous les États, le changement de partis, de leaders, ou des deux, cherche à se situer – pour un moment – en retrait des turbulences extérieures. En Asie orientale, comme en Occident, les changements politiques internes sont relativement peu touchés par les événements extérieurs. Très rares sont les campagnes électorales où les enjeux de politique étrangère deviennent fondamentaux. Dans les pays à régimes autoritaires, les débats demeurent à huis clos, mais laissent toujours filtrer des confrontations parfois très dures relatives à la meilleure stratégie pour pérenniser la mainmise sur

un pouvoir absolu. Mais là encore, il est peu habituel que la scène internationale devienne l’enjeu des affrontements. Face aux changements majeurs qui vont intervenir en Asie du Nord-Est en 2012 et qui vont affecter l’année 2013, on peut se demander si ces grandes constantes de la science politique pourraient exceptionnellement être contredites. Dans une séquence inédite, à la transition du régime nord-coréen a succédé une campagne électorale pour les élections législatives en Corée du Sud, lesquelles seront suivies par un changement majeur des dirigeants chinois, vraisemblablement au mois d’octobre à l’occasion du 18e Congrès du Parti communiste. Les élections américaines, en novembre, devraient succéder à cette transition en Chine, et l’année se conclura enfin par une élection présidentielle en Corée du Sud. L’enchaînement des changements politiques attendus va s’effectuer dans un climat de tensions qui, au-delà des incertitudes économiques,

L’équipe scientifique qui a mené le tir d’essai du missile Agni V lors d’une conférence de presse à New Delhi le 20 avril 2012.

G LO B A L B R I E F • S P R I N G | S U M M E R 2 0 1 2

L’Inde a testé avec succès ce missile de longue portée à capacité nucléaire pouvant atteindre Beijing, sans réaction excessive des Chinois, et malgré la critique mondiale qui a précédé le lancement (échoué) d’une fusée nordcoréenne quelques jours auparavant.



L’opinion publique, quant à elle, ne retient essentiellement que la concurrence déloyale, la piraterie informatique et l’espionnage industriel. Tant dans le camp du président Obama que dans celui du candidat républicain Mitt Romney, on s’accorde à ne pas modifier, pour l’avenir immédiat, un positionnement américain de fermeté sans entrer dans les scénarios de ce qu’il pourrait advenir si la Corée du Nord accentuait encore les provocations et si, surtout, la Corée du Sud cherchait à y répondre par des moyens militaires. À moins d’imprévus spectaculaires, les irritants de la sécurité en Asie ne feront pas dévier les intentions de vote des électeurs américains. Pour les dirigeants chinois, en particulier pour Xi Xinping qui va succéder au président Hu Jintao, et Li Kejiang qui remplacera le Premier ministre Wen Jiabao, l’ampleur des problèmes internes constitue un enjeu suffisamment conflictuel dans le positionnement des factions à l’intérieur du parti communiste. L’affaire Bo Xilai en est une illustration éloquente. Reconsidérer, par des débats internes difficiles, l’attitude à adopter face aux États-Unis ne pourrait qu’approfondir des différends déjà très vifs. En revanche, les dirigeants chinois sont déjà pris au piège de la fermeté, voire de l’intransigeance, qu’ils ont eux-mêmes exprimée dans les questions de la sécurité régionale face à Washington. Ainsi, dans l’hypothèse d’une nouvelle provocation, cette fois-ci nucléaire, de la Corée du Nord, anciens et surtout nouveaux dirigeants ne pourraient aucunement paraître comme faisant des concessions aux États-Unis. L’antiaméricanisme dans les médias sociaux en Chine, couplé à la dangerosité d’un nationalisme sensible à toute perception d’une reprise de «l’humiliation historique», réduit ainsi les marges de manœuvre pour envisager une conciliation avec Washington. Dans le contexte de 2012, ni la Chine, ni les ÉtatsUnis, ne souhaitent voir les conflits de l’Asie orientale s’inviter dans leurs changements politiques en cours. La Corée du Nord pourrait, toutefois, bousculer les agendas. Déjà lors du Sommet nucléaire de Séoul au mois de mars, le président Obama avait habilement insisté sur la nécessité pour la Chine de prendre ses responsabilités si Pyongyang poursuivait son intention de tester un missile à longue portée. Le missile a, depuis, été tiré, mais son échec accroît maintenant la probabilité d’un nouveau test nucléaire nord-coréen qui place les États-Unis dans une situation extrêmement embarrassante. À quelques mois des élections américaines, et du 18e Congrès en Chine, le président Obama ne peut plus compter – on l’a souligné plus haut – sur l’intervention de Beijing. Les alliés sud-coréens et japonais demeurent à court terme peu contrôlables. Un dispositif en discussion d’une zone de dénucléarisation activée par Tokyo et Séoul demeure une option tangible que pourraient exploiter les États-Unis pour façonner, mais à

Les dirigeants chinois sont déjà pris au piège de la fermeté, voire de l’intransigeance, qu’ils ont eux-mêmes exprimée dans les questions de la sécurité régionale face à Washington.

La fusée nord-coréenne Unha-3 s’est explosée en plein vol quelques secondes après son lancement en avril 2012.

G LO B A L B R I E F • S P R I N G | S U M M E R 2 0 1 2

croise une dynamique stratégique à quatre entre la Chine, les États-Unis, la Corée du Sud et le Japon (voir l’article Feature d’Irvin Studin à la page 20). Dans cette dynamique, le trublion nord-coréen joue, pour assurer sa survie, le provocateur déterminé. La Russie, qui vient elle-même de reporter au pouvoir Vladimir Poutine, doit se contenter dans la région d’une posture distante ou d’un rôle d’appoint lorsqu’il s’agit de s’opposer aux ÉtatsUnis, au Japon et à la Corée du Sud. Depuis 2009, les autorités chinoises ont dévié quelque peu de la voie pacifique empruntée jusque-là pour contrer de façon agressive la flotte américaine, raviver la querelle avec le Japon à propos des îles Diayu/Senkaku ou pour réactualiser avec éclat ses prétentions sur la souveraineté de l’intégralité des «eaux historiques» de la mer de Chine méridionale. En bousculant ainsi de nombreux pays d’Asie du Sud-Est, la Chine a réaffirmé son rôle traditionnel dominant dans un espace trop encombré, selon son analyse, par la présence américaine et les prétentions insistantes de plusieurs pays comme le Vietnam ou encore les Philippines. Alors qu’en 2006, et surtout 2007, Beijing avait joué un rôle exemplaire en parvenant à arracher à la Corée du Nord des concessions marquantes à propos de ses installations nucléaires, la Chine a, depuis, fortement modifié son attitude à l’endroit de Pyongyang en demeurant assez passive face aux provocations nord-coréennes. Beijing n’a pas eu d’autre choix que celui de secourir un régime alors très vulnérable et plombé par une succession héréditaire incertaine. Face au changement de la stratégie régionale chinoise, les États-Unis sont intervenus, surtout à l’automne 2011, en multipliant des séries d’initiatives destinées à rassurer et se rapprocher des alliés et des autres pays de la région. En appuyant l’East Asia Forum, en proposant à l’APEC un Trans-Pacific Partnership, excluant de facto la Chine, et en réaffirmant aussi la présence navale américaine ou encore en dépêchant la Secrétaire d’État Hillary Clinton aux Philippines et en Birmanie, l’administration démocrate n’a jamais exprimé directement une intention de contrer la Chine; mais c’est bien sûr en ce sens que ce déploiement d’engagements a été compris à Beijing. En dépit d’un antagonisme ambiant, les rapports sino-américains sont aussi ponctués de visites présidentielles, de dialogues positifs ou encore de promesses chinoises pour créer 235 000 emplois aux États-Unis en multipliant les importations de produits manufacturés américains. Malgré ces nombreuses avancées, et les rapprochements enregistrés dans certains domaines, la campagne électorale américaine occulte les éléments positifs pour souligner surtout les images et les préjugés. De façon évidente, les démons du protectionnisme ciblant les importations chinoises hantent les Démocrates comme les Républicains.


Building linkages with Chinese academic institutions Conducting research on Canada-China relations, especially in the investment and energy sectors

G LO B A L B R I E F • S P R I N G | S U M M E R 2 0 1 2

Fostering scholarship and joint research on China’s global role


moyen terme, un nouvel environnement nucléaire forçant l’adhésion de la Chine, de la Russie et, par nécessité, de la Corée du Nord. À court terme, cependant, si Pyongyang choisit délibérément l’option d’un nouveau test nucléaire, celui-ci aura de façon inédite un impact sur le vote des électeurs américains. Les élections législatives sud-coréennes se sont déroulées le 11 avril dernier, avec en toile de fond la menace activée par le lancement imminent du missile nord-coréen. Contre toute attente, le parti conservateur en place l’a emporté sur le Parti démocratique uni. La campagne électorale a surtout gravité autour d’enjeux sociaux. Toutefois la mobilisation en dernière minute d’une partie de la jeunesse abstentionniste, soupçonnée de préférer le déni des risques nord-coréens plutôt que celui de la posture de défiance de plus en plus affirmée par le président Lee Myung-bak, a peut-être reporté au pouvoir le parti conservateur. Dans ce nouveau contexte, l’hypothèse d’une nouvelle provocation, cette fois nucléaire, renforce la conviction que Séoul réagira de façon brutale. Même si le Japon échappe à la contrainte de la tenue d’élections dans un avenir proche, certains observateurs estiment que ces dernières pourraient être déclenchées de façon anticipée. Fortement critiqué pour sa mauvaise gestion en mars 2011 de la centrale nucléaire de Fukushima après la tragédie du tsunami, le Parti démocrate est également affaibli par les pressions de l’environnement extérieur auxquelles il ne sait comment répondre. Dans plusieurs litiges récents, la Chine est parvenue à faire plier le Japon et l’opinion publique semble aussi très impatiente devant l’attitude essentiellement réactive de son gouvernement face aux menaces nord-coréennes. Le déploiement spectaculaire des batteries de missiles «Patriot» au Japon a appuyé, avec une grande crédibilité, l’intention du gouvernement de Tokyo d’abattre le missile lanceur du satellite nord-coréen. Cette détermination renforcera éventuellement la crédibilité du parti démocrate jugé trop conciliant face à Beijing et à Pyongyang. À la fin de la recomposition du paysage politique de la région, et de ces moments de recentrage national qu’imposent les élections et les transitions, non seulement de nouveaux leaders apparaîtront, mais avec eux de nouvelles visions et de nouvelles intentions. Les ressentiments accumulés dans les populations des principaux acteurs régionaux vont, inévitablement, se traduire par l’exacerbation de nationalismes entretenus surtout par des élites au pouvoir, mais aussi par les cadres dirigeants des classes moyennes. Face aux dangers appréhendés, tant aux États-Unis qu’en Asie orientale, ce recours à des nationalismes compétitifs est considéré comme le plus en mesure de mobiliser une partie de la population, souvent assez jeune, abstentionniste ou simplement indifférente à des questions fort éloignées des réseaux sociaux et familiaux dans lesquels elle se réfugie. L’hypothèse d’une crise nucléaire dans la région crisperait plus encore ces nationalismes, mais provoquerait, à n’en pas douter, un impact déstabilisant l’instant éphémère du repli des campagnes électorales ou des transitions. | GB

University of Ottawa

Graduate studies in public and international affairs

It starts here.

The Graduate School of Public and International Affairs is one of a kind! • An innovative program where public policy and international affairs come together • Cutting-edge research and high quality teaching by world class scholars and on-site practitioners bringing exceptional experience • The only bilingual program of its kind where you can study in either of Canada’s two official languages • Located in the heart of the national capital, an ideal place for theory and practice to come together in preparation for a career in public and international affairs

Submit your application today:



G LO B A L B R I E F • S P R I N G | S U M M E R 2 0 1 2




Russia emphasizes the economic, Europe the political and moral. An ideological great game by any other name may just be two paths to the same end point BY TATIANA ROMANOVA


in his 2009 Address to the Federal Assembly. Medvedev mentioned both the economic and political tracks of modernization, but elaborated them very differently. For economic modernization, he outlined five priority goals for Russia: energy efficiency; nuclear energy; information technologies; space technology and telecommunications; and medical technology and pharmaceuticals. For political modernization, although Medvedev argued that democracy was essential for prosperity, he stressed that “no one will live our lives for us” – an allusion to the idea of ‘sovereign democracy’ – that is, that although Russia is constructing a democracy, it is for Russia alone, and not outside observers or players, to determine the specific trappings of its democracy, consistent with its history, traditions and realities. He conceded that Russia might need some strengthening of its institutions, but argued that – in principle – all of these were already well-developed. The approach of the EU has always been markedly different. At the November 2009 EU-Russia summit, it stressed the primacy of the political dimension of modernization. This was perhaps to be expected, given that the EU has – almost from its birth – been positioning itself as a normative power that promotes the values of democracy, human rights and the rule of law (see the Tête à Tête interview with Hubert Védrine at p. 8). Brussels’ message and institutional logic have long been that stable and innovative economic development is only possible if democratic institutions are in place. Accordingly, in its discussion with Russia on the intricacies of the future Partnership for Modernization, Brussels emphasized the indispensability of the rule of law and the need for reform of Russia’s judicial bodies. The final EU-Russian Joint Statement on the Partnership for Modernization integrated both visions. It started with the Russian vision of modernization, stating that “in a world in which peoples and economies are ever more closely connected and interdependent, modernizing our economies and societies becomes ever more important and necessary.” But then it went on

Tatiana Romanova is Associate Professor and Jean Monnet Chair in the School of International Relations, St. Petersburg State University.

G LO B A L B R I E F • S P R I N G | S U M M E R 2 0 1 2

ODERNIZATION has only recently emerged as a pivotal theme in Russia’s relations with the EU. It was first set out in the framework of the St. Petersburg dialogue between Russia and Germany in 2008, and has been ever more central in the EU-Russian agenda since 2010. This centrality is perhaps only logical, given that modernization responds to two of the key goals of Russian foreign policy – to lever international economic relations for Russian advantage, and also to promote Russia’s stature as a key player in the global politics of this century. But modernization – as a policy construct – can easily be held to mean different things to different parties. It is difficult to trace the first mention of the word ‘modernization’ in any official post-Soviet document. Some aspects of a proper ‘modernization’ strategy were already set out in Russia’s 2008 foreign policy concept, which identified “favourable external conditions for the modernization of Russia” as one of the country’s strategic objectives. It described modernization as, first and foremost, “transformation of [Russia’s] economy along innovation lines, enhancement of [Russia’s] living standards, consolidation of society,” as well as “ensuring competitiveness of the country in a globalizing world,” and, second, the “strengthening of the foundations of the constitutional system, rule of law and democratic institutions, realization of human rights and freedoms.” Two essential tracks of Russian modernization – one economic, and one political – emerged from this strategic concept. Russia soon began to place peculiar emphasis on the economic aspects of modernization, while neglecting the political ones. The Russian vision was further developed in 2009 – most prominently in then President Dmitry Medvedev’s Rossiya vpered policy statement, and then


G LO B A L B R I E F • S P R I N G | S U M M E R 2 0 1 2

In the aggregate, Russia’s twotrack strategy has – for all practical intents and purposes – proven that the country is able to dictate the terms on which other countries – both within the EU and outside of it – engage in the reform of Russia.


to include the EU’s vision by noting that the EU and Russia will “address common challenges with a balanced and result-oriented approach, based on democracy and the rule of law.” The Statement also fixed priority areas of cooperation. These included investments; trade and other economic relations; support for small- and medium-sized enterprises; approximation of technical regulations and standards; development of transport and of a sustainable, low-carbon economy; energy efficiency; cooperation in research and innovation, as well as in space; addressing the social consequences of the market economy; effective functioning of the judiciary in the fight against corruption; and promoting RussoEuropean people-to-people links and dialogue with civil society groups. In the Statement, Russia’s priorities were closely intertwined with those of the EU: reform of the judiciary; anti-corruption; and dialogue with civil society. However, political aspects of modernization were mentioned only to the extent that they were linked to economic transformation. Ever since, the rivalry between the two conceptions of modernization has manifested itself in procedural debates about how to develop the various priorities of the Partnership, in substantive arguments during regular summits, as well as in different speeches by Russian and EU politicians and decision-makers. A more interesting, covert manifestation of this rivalry has been the increasingly active promotion – by Russia and the EU alike – of their visions of modernization outside of their immediate bilateral relations, paving the way for what may be termed a ‘modernization race.’ Russian strategy in this ‘modernization race’ has followed two tracks. The first track is based on cooperation with EU member states. To date, 23 of the EU’s 27 member states have signed declarations or memoranda on modernization with Russia. (Two more such declarations or memoranda – with Portugal and Greece – are in the pipeline.) The drafts of these declarations and memoranda were prepared and promoted by Russia’s Ministry of Economic Development (MED), which did its level best to promote – to the exclusion of most other considerations – the primacy of economic aspects. All of these documents stress the necessity of facilitating trade and investments, and to support Russia’s accession to the WTO. (Although Russia was invited to join the WTO in December 2011, its accession is still not complete and not a foregone conclusion.) They also deal with cooperation on nuclear energy and space technologies; research and development of innovative technologies; energy efficiency; and, among other things, environmental protection. The second track consists in the signature of modernization partnerships with countries outside of the EU – to wit, non-EU European states (Switzerland, Norway and Iceland), Asian partners (South Korea,

China and Japan) and, most recently, the US. In the discussions with non-EU European countries, political aspects of modernization were – to be sure – evoked but, as with the various EU member states, these were ultimately treated as secondary in importance. The memoranda with Asian partners, signed contemporaneously with the European texts – between October 2010 and November 2011 – were exclusively about economic modernization, and avoided any reference whatever to political reforms. The same applied to the memorandum with the US, which focussed on the commercialization of the results of research in Skolkovo – a controversial Russian techno-park. In the aggregate, Russia’s two-track strategy has – for all practical intents and purposes – proven that the country is able to dictate the terms on which other countries – both within the EU and outside of it – engage in the reform of Russia. For its part, the EU has – until very recently – been considerably more passive than Russia on the ‘modernization’ front. But a new line of action has now clearly emerged. Two developments suggest its logic. First, the EU has begun to increasingly link its technical assistance in neighbouring countries like Moldova to the discourse on (political) modernization – including aid to reform political institutions. Second, the EU has developed a modernization strategy for Belarus, which is the most problematic state in, and for, Europe in terms of democracy, respect for human rights and the rule of law. Initially, at the Eastern Partnership summit in September 2011, Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk mooted the creation of a modernization package for Belarus. The idea was fleshed out by the European Commission, which in March 2012 launched the European Dialogue on Modernization with Belarusian civil society groups. The purpose of the Dialogue is to balance a growing austerity toward official Minsk with the assistance for democratization and the rule of law targetting Belarusian civil society and opposition formations. As if the matter needed clarification, the word ‘democratic’ was effectively equated to ‘modern’ in a speech by European Commissioner Stefan Füle following the launch of the new modernization programme for Belarus. In that speech, Füle emphasized “a multi-stakeholder exchange of views and ideas between the EU and representatives of the Belarusian civil society and political opposition on necessary reforms for the modernization of Belarus and on the related potential development of relations with the EU.” The focus of the Dialogue is to be fourfold: political reform; reform of the judiciary and peopleto-people contacts – both ‘political aspects,’ for all intents and purposes – as well as economic and sector policy issues; and trade and market reform. So the EU, while slow out of the gate, has now, with ever intensifying energy, taken on the challenge of promoting its particular vision of modernization.

state documents. Moscow went along with Brussels in incorporating political aspects of modernization (reform of the judiciary) in the aforementioned first Joint Statement on the Partnership for Modernization. While equality between the EU and Russia is presumptively guaranteed in the economic parts of their Partnership for Modernization, the political parts implicitly recognize that the EU already enjoys benchmark standards, whereas it is for Russia to follow suit in the reform of judicial institutions or in the broader fight against corruption. Furthermore, Russia has been willing to incorporate aspects of a political vision of modernization into its dialogues with individual EU member states. Numerous references in Russia’s bilateral declarations and memoranda with these states suggest that Moscow is open to making concessions – judicial reform; anti-corruption; enhancement of civil society space; rule of law; and broader democratic guarantees – to the particular demands of different national capitals in order to further promote (economic) modernization. But by making such concessions, it implicitly acknowledges – or yields to – the need for, and imperative of, political modernization. Fourth and finally, as a purely logical proposition, it is often argued that economic modernization itself promotes political modernization. Increased economic development eventually requires stability of legislation, predictability of investment climate and the rule of law. Increased affluence in a country also means a growing demand for political freedoms, for democracy and for increased respect for human rights. The numerous demonstrations that took place in the 2011-2012 election period in big cities across Russia are good illustrations of this path dependence. It is a trend that will certainly continue. It may be turning out, then, that instead of competition between the political and economic visions of modernization – championed respectively by the EU and Russia – we are witnessing the unintended convergence of these two approaches to modernization. The EU’s approach is top-down in the sense that it posits political aspects as essential to the creation of the conditions and the environment for economic modernization.The economic modernization favoured by Russia is bottom-up in character: it starts with the creation of basic conditions for the improvement of material standards of life, which then issues in a more general demand for political change – if only in order to stabilize the prior economic transformations. The net outcome, however, is that the EU and Russia may well ultimately meet at some common point in their visions of modernization, which will inevitably consist of a combination of the political and the economic. That will not happen tomorrow, and it will not happen without a fierce race of modernization conceptions to begin with. But the convergence is bound to happen in the next 10 to 15 years. | GB

As the modernization race – or, more precisely, the race between modernization conceptions – gains strength, it also appears to be producing an ironic consequence – namely, a certain convergence of the EU and Russian visions of modernization.

G LO B A L B R I E F • S P R I N G | S U M M E R 2 0 1 2

Curiously, the EU has – at least to date – used the word ‘modernization’ principally in the context of its relations with Eastern Europe – traditionally viewed by European analysts as part of a common neighbourhood with Russia. The result has been a de facto ‘great game’ of contested leadership for Eastern Europe between Europe and Russia: Moscow evidently still aspires to lead in this region. On the other hand, the EU would increasingly like to direct the processes of political and economic reform in Belarus, Moldova and Ukraine. On the whole, therefore, we see that Russia advances its modernization vision bilaterally with EU capitals, as well as through its relations with other powers in the world – all the while positioning itself as an indispensable player in global politics. The EU, meanwhile, advances its vision through its positions in those theatres that it otherwise contests – strategically – with Russia. As the modernization race – or, more precisely, the race between modernization conceptions – gains strength, it also appears to be producing an ironic consequence – namely, a certain convergence of the EU and Russian visions of modernization. This convergence is driven by multiple factors, of which we may identify four – two on the EU side, and two on the Russian side. First, the current economic crisis has raised serious questions about the stability and sustainability of the EU’s economy – and, in particular, about the stability of the euro as a common currency. For now, budgetary austerity has been privileged as regional economic policy. But, as the recent elections on the Continent show, it is increasingly becoming plain to European political leaders that the crisis can only be overcome if growth is relaunched. Given the recent austerity measures, of course, the EU has limited public money with which to play. Official and unofficial talk has therefore turned to how to use global trade in goods and services, as well as global financial flows, in order to promote growth. As a result, the EU has, in practice, increasingly been willing to put aside or suppress bits and pieces of its normative agenda for the sake of economic interests. Second, and also certainly related to the economic crisis, the numerous modernization dialogues between Russia and individual EU member states have shown that these states are, for the most part, very willing to privilege economic modernization over political modernization. Together, these first two dynamics militate against the potency and coherence of the EU’s vision of modernization. They also sap the champions of this particular vision of their will to push their cause. Third, while Russia continues to insist on the primacy of the economic approach to modernization, it is – paradoxically – increasingly willing to incorporate aspects of political modernization in official


Georgia Tames Its Notorious Police Forces


Four years after its war with Russia, the Caucasian micro-state is leading the former Soviet space in the reform of public institutions – starting with its siloviki MATTHEW LIGHT reports from Tbilisi

T Matthew Light is Assistant Professor at the Centre of Criminology and Centre for European, Russian, and Eurasian Studies (CERES), University

G LO B A L B R I E F • S P R I N G | S U M M E R 2 0 1 2

of Toronto.


he post-Soviet Republic of Georgia today mainly occupies the attention of Western analysts and publics because of its tense relations with Russia, which led to a brief war between the two countries in August 2008, as well as the linked conflicts between Georgia and separatist de facto governments in the country’s ethnic minority regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia. More and more tourists are also discovering Georgia’s scenic beauty, distinctive cuisine and wines. However, in policy circles, Georgia is gradually becoming known for something else: innovative administrative reforms in the public sector – starting with the country’s police and security services. Until a few years ago, the few adventurous Westerners who explored Georgia were taken aback by the extent of blatant and frequently severe corruption that they encountered there. From customs officials who sollicited bribes at border crossings, to highway police who routinely stopped and extorted money from motorists on busy stretches of road, to high-ranking officials who were openly in cahoots with organized crime bosses, Georgia was a country in which corruption was ubiquitous and constantly on display. The 2003 Rose Revolution and subsequent election that brought to power the current president, Mikheil Saakashvili, was motivated importantly by popular revulsion at the depths to which the country’s major government institutions had sunk in the post-Soviet period. Upon coming to power, Saakashvili’s first and perhaps most dramatic domestic policy moves in 2003 and 2004 consisted of synchronized attacks on organized crime and on Georgia’s corrupt law enforcement institutions. Georgia has a long history of organized crime activity dating back to the Soviet period and even earlier, and by the early 2000s, the country’s mob bosses were among the leading crime figures in the entire former USSR. Saakashvili used draconian measures to prosecute the mobsters, imprisoning many and driving others into involuntary exile abroad. At the same time, top officials in many security ministries were fired, and in some cases forced – once again through draconian plea-bargaining agreements – to disgorge millions of dollars’ worth of assets believed to have been obtained through illegal activities. The new president also comprehensively reshaped the country’s police forces. Thousands of officers

were fired on the spot, and the most corrupt police service – the highway police – was disbanded altogether. Meanwhile, Saakashvili drastically increased police salaries and instituted stringent new hiring and promotion procedures, thereby recruiting into the force a new cohort of enthusiastic officers eager to earn an honest living by upholding law and order. The former highway police was reconstituted from scratch as a revamped, North American-style ‘Patrol Police’ that provides services to citizens from patrol cars that can be requested by dialling an emergency telephone number. Since 2004, Saakashvili has comprehensively reformed police training by creating a modern police academy that recruits primarily from university graduates. The government has also made substantial investments in modern police equipment, vehicles and station buildings. Starting in 2009, responsibility for primary customs and immigration inspections was transferred to the patrol police, and a simultaneous crackdown on corruption was launched. Large signs in many languages were posted at border stations warning that attempts to bribe any official would result in prosecution. Closed-circuit television systems now monitor all border transactions, demonstrating to travellers that the government is serious about preventing bribes. Other reforms to the public sector focus on improving customer service or reducing restrictions on citizens’ lawful activities. Georgia’s antiquated identification documents and the registration of births, deaths, marriages and other acts of civil status have been combined in a new government body, the Civil Registry Agency. In addition to digitizing thousands of civil status documents, the new agency has created and begun to distribute digital identity cards. Both the police and the Civil Registry Agency have opened up large ‘service centres,’ where the public can transact most kinds of official business in one visit – a huge departure from typical procedures in most post-Soviet countries, which involve citizens often having to visit multiple offices in order to pay a fee or obtain a document. A further step toward reducing red tape came with the government’s comprehensive deregulation of most forms of business. Like the Indian ‘License Raj,’ the scores of licenses required in pre-2003 Georgia and many other post-Soviet countries made doing business frustrating, difficult and, of course,

often corrupt. Since 2003, Georgia has repeatedly reduced the number of licenses needed for most business activities, and made it much simpler to obtain required licenses. A more modern, orderly public sector has begun to emerge in Georgia. Crime has fallen dramatically since the onset of police reform, and the police services have even begun to tackle persistent public order and health problems, such as accidents caused by reckless driving. Citizens have grown used to largely corruption-free interactions with public officials.



Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili and Georgian deputy Interior Minister Shalva Dzhanashvili attend a parade marking Police Day in Tbilisi, Georgia, May 2010.

G LO B A L B R I E F • S P R I N G | S U M M E R 2 0 1 2

hy did this happen in Georgia, how did the government do it, and can these successes be exported to other countries? The reasons for public sector reform in Georgia are complex. While other post-Soviet countries have wrestled with corruption problems, the severity of state dysfunctionality in the Georgia of the early 2000s created a possibly unique public consensus in favour of radical reform. This gave Saakashvili a mandate to pursue this course of reform – even using harsh methods. Georgia’s foreign policy disputes and related internal problems may also have played a part. Saakashvili came to power in part on a promise to reintegrate the separatist-dominated regions into Georgia, and in general to prevent the decay of the Georgian state, which many feared was becoming ungovernable. These considerations dictated the creation of disciplined internal security services that would reliably execute the central government’s instructions. Moreover, because of its conflict with Russia, Georgian elites have developed a highly Westernized orientation, and have been extremely receptive to policy initiatives for public service reform stemming from Western governments and NGOs. A final important point concerns the financing of administrative restructuring. While Georgia received substantial financial aid for its public service reforms in the early years of the new government, Saakashvili has also moved to improve tax collection. Revenue laws have been simplified, and enforcement has, simultaneously, been stepped up. As a consequence, Georgia’s police and other public services are now fully financed by domestic revenue. While Georgia’s reforms are impressive, the picture is – to be sure – not entirely rosy. Administrative reform is not a substitute for political transformation, and indeed reform itself is always embedded in a particular political system. While few doubt the professionalism and devotion to public service of the Georgian police, the reformed force is fiercely loyal to President Saakashvili, while the interior minister, Ivane Merabishvili, is one of Saakashvili’s closest advisers and allies. Since 2003, the police have been repeatedly criticized for harsh treatment of protesters at anti-government demonstrations.

While the police are answerable to the courts and to Georgia’s human rights ombudsman, reform to date has not included the creation of routine civilian oversight of police activities, such that policy continues to be set principally by the ministry in Tbilisi. In addition, because most of the broadcast media – at least outside of Tbilisi – is sympathetic to the government, rumours that high-level corruption still exists go without full investigations. More broadly, some critics of the government argue that, since 2003, there has been too much emphasis on crime-fighting, and that not enough political and policy attention has been given to other social concerns. While few contest the need to subdue Georgia’s pre-2003 organized crime networks, under Saakashvili, draconian penalties have also been instituted for many ordinary criminal offences. The result has been that the country now has among the highest incarceration rates in the world. And while police services are adequately funded and officers themselves earn a decent living, the same cannot be said for all public sector workers – many of whom, like teachers, still barely scrape by on relatively meagre salaries. Nonetheless, Georgia’s successful campaign to attack public sector corruption and improve efficiency in public services has begun to attract attention in other post-Soviet states like Moldova and Kyrgyzstan. It remains to be seen whether the political conditions that made reform possible in Georgia – namely, a combination of determination by a new political elite to root out corruption, and public support for muscular measures – exist elsewhere. Meanwhile, in Georgia itself, administrative reforms continue at a brisk pace. Still, the ultimate deepening and institutionalization of the reform process may actually have to wait for a new government not headed by Saakashvili. Georgia’s reforms were initiated by a revolutionary government that came to power following a wave of street protests, and the course of reform remains tinged with the lingering residue of its origins in a moment of emergency. Only a transition to a new political leadership following free and fair elections can create a public sector that truly belongs to the state and the people of Georgia, and not to a particular governing regime. | GB


Le 20e anniversaire d’une crise constitutionnelle ignorée



LES LEÇONS BOSNIAQUES NE SONT PAS BONNES À DIRE Michael Barutciski est directeur des études supérieures à l’École des affaires publiques et internationales de Glendon, ainsi que membre de la rédaction

G LO B A L B R I E F • S P R I N G | S U M M E R 2 0 1 2

de Global Brief.


es grandes puissances auront à intervenir dans de nombreux conflits internes pendant ce siècle. Il est fort probable que la doctrine de la responsabilité de protéger servira à guider certaines de ces interventions. Dans la mesure où la doctrine privilégie la diplomatie préventive, l’exemple de la Bosnie-Herzégovine, exrépublique yougoslave qui vient de célébrer 20 ans d’indépendance, devrait nous encourager à la prudence et à l’autocritique (voir l’entrevue Tête à Tête avec Lloyd Axworthy à la page 50). Cet exemple qui a tant influencé la conceptualisation des interventions depuis la fin de la guerre froide suggère que les puissances occidentales ont de la difficulté à intervenir de façon constructive. Les intérêts des intervenants étrangers, ainsi qu’un manque de connaissances, viennent souvent obscurcir les problèmes qui sont à l’origine des conflits internes. Si on remonte dans l’histoire récente, on constate que, contrairement aux intentions, la reconnaissance de l’indépendance de la Bosnie-Herzégovine en 1992 n’a pas prévenu une guerre civile. On aurait peut-être poussé les parties vers une situation tendue où le recours à la force devenait une des seules options. Mais avant tout, on a créé un précédent selon lequel des analystes engagés allaient entraîner les Occidentaux dans un conflit où on avait peu d’expérience et très peu de subtilité par rapport à la situation politique locale dans un petit pays lointain. En 2012, de nombreux Canadiens célèbrent le 30e anniversaire du rapatriement de la Constitution canadienne – événement dont l’issue était une fracture importante entre les classes politiques canadienne et québécoise et qui a fait en sorte que la préservation de la fédération n’est aucunement garantie à

long terme (voir l’article In Situ d’Irvin Studin à la page 6). Toutefois, l’idée même que la guerre en Bosnie-Herzégovine serait le résultat d’une crise constitutionnelle compliquée continue à échapper à de nombreux observateurs qui se sont penchés à l’époque sur le drame des Balkans selon un récit hyper-chargé sur le plan émotif et sous un angle motivé par les préoccupations surtout humanitaires et antinationalistes. Ces motivations connaissent des limites importantes: un regard même sommaire de l’impasse constitutionnelle dans l’ex-Yougoslavie à l’aube de la guerre civile aurait suggéré que la voie choisie par certains intervenants étrangers ne pouvait que pousser les parties locales vers des tensions plus graves. Il y avait trois nations constitutives dans la


l’emploi des termes «Musulmans» et «Bosniaques» par les étrangers. Les Musulmans ont été reconnus de facto comme nation distincte lors du recensement de 1971 et de jure dans la Constitution de 1974. Avec leur propre sentiment nationaliste qui s’affirmait, les Musulmans ne voulaient pas être désignés comme des Serbes ou des Croates convertis à l’islam pour bénéficier de privilèges lors du règne ottoman. Bien que les Musulmans soient devenus largement laïques, les origines explicitement religieuses de leur identité compliquaient leur identification nationale. Le terme «Bosniaque» ne pouvait pas être utilisé car il suggérerait qu’ils étaient plus autochtones que la majorité des habitants de la Bosnie-Herzégovine appartenant aux nations serbe ou croate et présentes sur le territoire depuis aussi longtemps que les

Lors du 20e anniversaire de la reconnaissance de l’indépendance de la Bosnie-Herzégovine en avril 2012, plus de 11 mille chaises rouges ont été placées dans l’artère principale de Sarajevo en mémoire des victimes de la guerre.

G LO B A L B R I E F • S P R I N G | S U M M E R 2 0 1 2

Bosnie-Herzégovine créée par les communistes après la Seconde Guerre mondiale: Croates, Serbes et Musulmans. Selon le dernier recensement qui n’a pas été mené dans un contexte de tensions nationalistes et de désintégration étatique (celui de 1981), la population se composait de 20 pour cent de Croates, 32 pour cent de Serbes et 40 pour cent de Musulmans, avec le reste faisant partie de diverses minorités et d’habitants qui s’identifiaient comme «Yougoslaves». Le terme «nation» (narod) est utilisé dans la Constitution de 1974 d’une manière qui rappelle le Volk allemand en ce sens qu’il fait référence à un peuple s’identifiant par des liens culturels et historiques communs. Malgré ce cadre constitutionnel concernant les identités locales, il existe jusqu’à aujourd’hui une confusion dans


G LO B A L B R I E F • S P R I N G | S U M M E R 2 0 1 2

On a créé un précédent selon lequel des analystes engagés allaient entraîner les Occidentaux dans un conflit où on avait peu d’expérience et très peu de subtilité par rapport à la situation politique locale dans un petit pays lointain.


Musulmans. La solution délicate qui a été retenue par les dirigeants locaux: le terme «Musulman» (avec un «M» majuscule) désignait la nation et un «m» minuscule pouvait être utilisé pour identifier un adepte de la foi islamique. C’est ainsi que la Constitution de 1974 a essayé de satisfaire au désir de la part de certains habitants qui voulaient que leur nationalité soit distinguée des autres nations occupant le même territoire. Mais cette solution a été complètement ignorée par les étrangers intervenant dans le conflit, et elle continue après 20 ans d’être mal comprise par ceux qui insistent à identifier uniquement la population musulmane en tant que «Bosniaques». Si le Québec se séparait du Canada, est-ce qu’on accepterait de désigner uniquement les francophones comme des Québécois, excluant les autochtones amérindiens et les Inuit, ainsi que les anglophones présents depuis deux siècles? C’est pourtant le genre de confusion introduite par rapport aux peuples de la Bosnie-Herzégovine, et la dynamique de cette erreur est bien reflétée dans divers aspects des interventions étrangères. Quelles étaient les raisons qui ont poussé le Secrétaire général des Nations Unies, ainsi que l’envoyé diplomatique principal des Européens, Lord Carrington, à nous prévenir contre une reconnaissance d’indépendance prématurée? Les Occidentaux ont plaidé pour une «reconnaissance préventive» en espérant que celle-ci permettrait d’éviter une guerre civile. Contrairement à l’appréciation de nombreux observateurs, ce sont les États-Unis qui ont joué le rôle primordial. L’idée qui continue à être dominante dans les milieux occidentaux suggère que les États-Unis avaient laissé aux Européens la gestion de la crise jusqu’au moment où ces derniers s’étaient montrés incapables d’arrêter cette guerre hautement médiatisée sur le Vieux Continent. Tel qu’expliqué ci-dessous, il s’agit simplement d’une interprétation trompeuse qui convient à ceux qui refusent de remettre en question le bien-fondé de l’intervention diplomatique. Les premières élections libres en Bosnie-Herzégovine ont eu lieu en 1990 et le résultat indiquait que les partis nationalistes des trois nations constitutives ont chassé les communistes en remportant 86 pour cent du scrutin dans des proportions reflétant leur pourcentage de la population totale. (La même dynamique nationaliste a caractérisé quasiment toutes les élections en Bosnie-Herzégovine jusqu’aux dernières il y a un an et demi.) Suite à ces élections historiques, le parlement a été incapable de légiférer et les diverses fonctions exécutives ou administratives ont été divisées selon les appartenances nationales. Les tensions ont finalement éclaté avec les premières démarches en automne 1991 pour établir l’indépendance du pays. Étant donné le caractère non consensuel de ces démarches, les

Serbes ne cachaient pas leurs préparations pour un conflit armé. La Croatie voisine se trouvait effectivement déjà dans un conflit armé avec sa minorité serbe qui était appuyée par la Serbie. C’est alors que les instances européennes se sont impliquées directement dans l’impasse constitutionnelle en Bosnie-Herzégovine. Le président Izetbegovic, leader du parti nationaliste musulman qui se présentait personnellement comme modéré et cosmopolite malgré son passé islamiste, a déposé une demande de reconnaissance d’indépendance auprès de la Commission d’arbitrage établie par les Européens. Cette décision européenne d’offrir la possibilité de reconnaissance dans ces circonstances a été fortement critiquée par l’équipe de diplomates autour de Carrington.


a manière dont les Européens sont arrivés à cette situation est révélatrice des intérêts externes soudainement attachés à la crise yougoslave. Sous la pression de son opinion publique, le gouvernement allemand avait présenté un ultimatum aux partenaires européens lors d’une réunion en décembre 1991: si les Européens ne reconnaissaient pas l’indépendance de la Croatie et de la Slovénie, l’Allemagne procéderait à une reconnaissance unilatérale, malgré les nouveaux engagements du Traité de Maastricht sur la collaboration en politique étrangère. Un compromis diplomatique était intervenu afin de permettre à toute république de l’ancienne Yougoslavie de demander aux Européens la reconnaissance de son indépendance. Un délai d’environ un mois permettrait à la Commission d’arbitrage d’établir si une république demanderesse satisfaisait à certains critères fondamentaux. La contribution de la Commission, présidée par Robert Badinter en tant que président du Conseil constitutionnel français, a été essentiellement écartée quand l’Allemagne a décidé de ne pas attendre et a procédé à une reconnaissance unilatérale avant Noël. En outre, l’avis de la Commission indiquant que la Croatie ne satisfaisait pas complètement aux critères a été ignoré par les Européens qui ont procédé à la reconnaissance de la Croatie et de la Slovénie en janvier 1992. C’est le contexte troublant dans lequel les Européens allaient aborder le dossier particulièrement explosif de la Bosnie-Herzégovine. La demande audacieuse du président Izetbegovic a aussi été examinée en janvier 1992. Peu de commentateurs qui se présentaient comme spécialistes de la crise yougoslave semblaient conscients que la Commission d’arbitrage a rejeté cette demande en notant que «les membres serbes de la présidence ne se sont pas associés aux déclarations et engagements» concernant l’indépendance. En se référant


tonisation» de la Bosnie-Herzégovine. Il ne faut surtout pas croire que les acteurs à ce stade étaient uniquement des anciens Yougoslaves car le conflit, toujours politique étant donné que la guerre civile n’avait pas encore éclatée, avait commencé à s’internationaliser. Bien que les Russes jouaient un rôle négligeable compte tenu de leurs propres problèmes suite à l’effondrement de l’Union soviétique, la solidarité avec les Musulmans manifestée par certains pays à forte population islamique était particulièrement importante. La Turquie, l’Arabie saoudite et l’Iran ont tous joué un rôle clé dans la tentative d’Izetbegovic de gagner une sympathie internationale pour sa cause. Toutefois, ce sont surtout les États-Unis qui ont réussi à influencer les négociations diplomatiques dans le but d’améliorer leurs relations avec le monde islamique. (On a tendance à oublier que leurs relations étaient tendues bien avant les attentats du 11 septembre 2001.) Les leaders américains de l’époque n’ont pas hésité de rappeler leur appui aux Musulmans pendant la guerre en Bosnie-Herzégovine, surtout dans le contexte des discussions sur le Moyen-Orient où leur impartialité était souvent remise en question. L’ambassadeur américain en poste à Belgrade en 1992, Warren Zimmermann, a admis dans une entrevue publiée par le New York Times qu’il avait encouragé Izetbegovic à renoncer l’entente de Lisbonne peu de temps après l’avoir signé. Washington avait donc décidé d’appuyer Izetbegovic dans sa poursuite de l’indépendance même sans accord entre les trois nations constitutives. De retour à Sarajevo, Izetbegovic avait donc déclaré inacceptables les cartes de partition convenues à Lisbonne et il avait indiqué qu’il procéderait avec l’indépendance. Les actes de violence et les premiers combats ont commencé peu après. Agissant en tant que nouvel allié d’Izetbegovic, le gouvernement américain a convaincu les Européens de reconnaître la BosnieHerzégovine le 6 avril 1992 en leur promettant de reconnaître la Croatie et la Slovénie le lendemain. Ainsi les Occidentaux ont procédé à la reconnaissance d’un nouvel État qui avait cessé d’exister à toutes fins pratiques: la crise constitutionnelle avait laissé un parlement qui ne représentait plus les trois nations constitutives, le pouvoir exécutif ne fonctionnait plus de façon légale, l’autorité de la présidence sous contrôle musulman était niée par la majorité des citoyens putatifs et le territoire était en train d’être saisi par les milices violentes des trois factions. Bien que Washington se soit montré beaucoup plus réticent par rapport à l’indépendance de la Croatie quelques mois auparavant, le ton américain a complètement changé dès que l’enjeu impliquait des Musulmans menacés par des Serbes et Croates dans les Balkans. Les États-Unis ont effectivement essayé de forcer les Serbes à accepter un nouvel arrange-

Après 15 ans de cavale, le commandant des forces serbes en Bosnie-Herzégovine, le général Ratko Mladic, a été arrêté en mai 2011. L’ouverture de son procès devant le Tribunal pénal international pour l’ex-Yougoslavie a eu lieu un an plus tard.

G LO B A L B R I E F • S P R I N G | S U M M E R 2 0 1 2

au désir des Serbes de demeurer dans une fédération yougoslave, tel qu’établi par plébiscite et par résolution d’une nouvelle «Assemblée du peuple serbe de Bosnie-Herzégovine», la Commission a déclaré que «l’expression de la volonté des populations de Bosnie-Herzégovine de constituer [le pays] en État souverain et indépendant ne peut être considérée comme pleinement établie». Elle a conclu en indiquant que son «appréciation pourrait être modifiée si des garanties étaient apportées à cet égard par la république ayant formulé la demande de reconnaissance, éventuellement par voie de référendum, auquel seraient appelés à participer tous les citoyens». Les juristes de la Commission avaient raison de souligner le fait qu’Izetbegovic ne représentait pas les intérêts des trois nations constitutives. Ils n’avaient donc pas d’autres choix que d’indiquer qu’il avait excédé ses pouvoirs constitutionnels en cherchant l’indépendance sans l’accord des Serbes. La seule façon que la Commission pouvait changer d’avis était si la nation serbe indiquait qu’elle était favorable à l’indépendance: un référendum a été suggéré, et on pouvait présumer que les Serbes devaient effectivement voter en faveur de l’indépendance pour que le principe de l’égalité entre les trois nations soit respecté. Toute autre interprétation aurait pour conséquence la violation du principe du consensus et permettrait que le sort d’une minorité protégée soit décidé à la majorité. Les parlementaires croates et musulmans avaient décidé de procéder à un référendum même si les Serbes avaient indiqué leur intention de le boycotter. Le parti nationaliste musulman menait une campagne axée sur la vision d’une Bosnie-Herzégovine indépendante, démocratique et unitaire, tandis que le parti nationaliste croate appuyait la séparation de la Yougoslavie tout en demeurant ambigu sur l’unité de la Bosnie-Herzégovine (car il voulait établir des liens plus étroits avec la Croatie voisine). Le résultat au début mars 1992 n’a surpris personne: les Musulmans et les Croates ont voté massivement en faveur de l’indépendance, et les Serbes ont, quant à eux, boycotté le référendum. La politique européenne comportait une autre dimension: la reconnaissance de l’indépendance demeurait une possibilité si une entente pouvait être conclue entre les trois nations constitutives. C’est dans ce contexte que des négociations diplomatiques ont été organisées pour essayer de créer une nouvelle confédération divisée en trois régions ethniques. Il était clair depuis plusieurs mois qu’aucune entente ne pouvait être acceptée par les trois partis nationalistes sans un transfert des pouvoirs centralisés de Sarajevo aux représentants des trois nations constitutives. En fait, une telle entente a été conclue juste avant le référendum au moment où les trois côtés ont signé à Lisbonne un document prévoyant la «can-


G LO B A L B R I E F • S P R I N G | S U M M E R 2 0 1 2

Il faut encourager les analyses qui combinent la rigueur avec l’humilité face aux complexités sur le terrain, et surtout celles qui vont à contrecourant, afin de s’assurer que les situations locales ne soient pas éclipsées par des facteurs externes peu liés aux enjeux locaux.


ment non consenti. Sous le leadership américain, les Occidentaux ont voulu faire peur aux Serbes en poussant les Nations Unies à reconnaître un nouvel État membre qui ne satisfaisait pas aux critères traditionnels du droit international concernant l’existence d’un État indépendant. Ils ont échoué. Les Serbes ne se sont pas pliés et ils ont eu recours au seul moyen qui, à leurs yeux, pouvait faire valoir leurs droits: la force militaire. Leurs représentants ont d’ailleurs rappelé à chaque réunion diplomatique que le changement dans le statut international de la Bosnie-Herzégovine ne bénéficiait pas du consentement d’une nation constitutive ayant un statut constitutionnel protégé. L’analyse ci-dessus concerne évidemment les événements ayant eu cours avant le début des hostilités en Bosnie-Herzégovine. La thèse dominante en Occident, par contre, nous propose que la guerre était le résultat direct de l’agression du président serbe de l’époque, Slobodan Milosevic. Il s’agit d’une imputation catégorique qui sert à étouffer le débat, plutôt que de l’enrichir. Car on peut critiquer l’agressivité des Serbes et condamner leurs abus, tout en demeurant critique envers les positions des autres parties. Malheureusement, les reportages dans les pays occidentaux présentés lors du 20e anniversaire de l’indépendance de la Bosnie-Herzégovine ont quasiment tous ignoré les faits troublants concernant la reconnaissance de l’indépendance. Dans ce contexte où l’autocritique aurait été utile, il convient d’explorer et de souligner ce qu’on a accompli avec cette reconnaissance hâtive. Bien qu’on n’ait pas prévenu une guerre civile, il faut constater plusieurs développements géopolitiques importants qui ont suivi l’intervention diplomatique. Les forces militaires occidentales sont stationnées depuis les années 1990 de manière quasi-permanente dans cette partie de l’Europe qui se rapproche du Moyen-Orient, zone hautement stratégique pour les membres de l’OTAN. L’islam politique est d’ailleurs présent dans les Balkans d’une manière qu’il ne l’était pas depuis l’empire ottoman. De nombreux djihadistes étrangers ont participé à la guerre en Bosnie-Herzégovine et plusieurs se sont retrouvés par la suite devant des juges occidentaux pour des actes terroristes. On peut noter également que les tensions sous-jacentes à la crise constitutionnelle qui a précédé la guerre sont toujours présentes, malgré les efforts et les ressources considérables déployées par les puissances occidentales qui ont essayé de reconstruire le pays. Le problème découle directement du fait que les Occidentaux ont accepté le démembrement de l’exYougoslavie, tout en insistant sur la préservation de la Bosnie-Herzégovine, bien que les mêmes forces nationalistes dominaient la vie politique dans les deux entités. En effet, un retrait aujourd’hui de la présence étrangère en Bosnie-Herzégovine mènerait

vraisemblablement à une réémergence de la crise. Ce constat pessimiste s’impose même après 17 ans d’une implication étrangère impressionnante parfois caractérisée d’antidémocratique dans la mesure où des diktats étaient imposés à l’encontre des décisions prises par les élus locaux. La Bosnie-Herzégovine était clairement dans une situation difficile pendant l’effondrement de l’ancienne Yougoslavie il y a 20 ans: l’idée de rester dans une nouvelle Yougoslavie dominée par la Serbie de Milosevic était inacceptable pour une majorité de ses habitants, mais une séparation sans le consentement de sa population serbe violerait un principe constitutionnel fondamental. Dans ce contexte, une intervention internationale aurait pu jouer un rôle crucial en orchestrant un nouvel arrangement qui tenterait le seul compromis possible: une séparation prudente qui satisferait à l’exigence serbe d’autonomie sur certains territoires du nouveau pays.


i on intervient dans des régions où les gouvernements ne sont pas capables d’assumer les responsabilités liées à leurs pouvoirs souverains, la responsabilité de protéger implique un devoir de bien comprendre les conditions locales. Sinon, cette doctrine importante souffrira d’un manque de crédibilité, voire même de légitimité, et on risque de s’enliser dans de longues missions interminables. C’est vraisemblablement le leitmotiv de plusieurs interventions occidentales depuis le drame yougoslave des années 1990 (on pense, entre autres, à certains aspects des opérations en Afghanistan, en Irak et plus récemment en Libye). Afin de minimiser ce problème, il faut encourager les analyses qui combinent la rigueur avec l’humilité face aux complexités sur le terrain, et surtout celles qui vont à contre-courant, afin de s’assurer que les situations locales ne soient pas éclipsées par des facteurs externes peu liés aux enjeux locaux. Une leçon fondamentale de la reconnaissance prématurée de la Bosnie-Herzégovine s’impose: les puissances occidentales peuvent bien intervenir inopportunément dans certains petits pays sans cette prudence élémentaire. On voit à partir du cas bosniaque comment les intérêts des puissances intervenantes peuvent guider leurs actions d’une manière qui ne contribue pas à la résolution du conflit local. Sous la bannière bien-pensante de coexistence multiethnique, les Occidentaux ont effectivement essayé de forcer la préservation de ce nouvel État même si aucune force politique locale ne reflétait véritablement les valeurs de tolérance démocratique. Pour l’analyste sceptique, il n’est pas étonnant que ce projet d’intervention demeure si fragile après deux décennies. | GB

THE PROGRAM ON NEGOTIATION AT HARVARD LAW SCHOOL offers popular workshops throughout the year to participants from around the world and from a wide variety of professions. Learn from our internationally renowned faculty how to create lasting deals, solve problems, build strong relationships, and improve your negotiation skills. These intensive courses offer a unique opportunity for you to learn negotiation skills and strategies in an enjoyable academic environment.

Register online at For more information, contact us at or +1 (617) 495-1684.


Clarifying the Sphere of State and International Responsibility GB discusses the many-sided condition of the conditional state with former Canadian foreign affairs minister LLOYD AXWORTHY

GB: What is the state of the R2P doctrine today? Lloyd Axworthy is President and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Winnipeg. He was Canada’s Minister of Foreign Affairs from 1995 to 2000.

LA: R2P is in flux, in transition. It is substantially expanding its footprint in global discourses and – as I understand the doctrine – is actually being applied in many more ways and places than I could have possibly imagined. People need to understand that R2P includes preventative measures that are intended to forestall both violations against people and outright conflict or civil war. And yet too many commentators immediately and wrongly assume that R2P means military intervention. Military intervention has always been the last recourse – evidently the most serious one – and is subject to strict conditions. But what must be understood is that there are many other tricks of the trade availed to the international community in order to forestall conflict and to provide protection for people well before there are any boots on the ground.

G LO B A L B R I E F • S P R I N G | S U M M E R 2 0 1 2

GB: Would Kofi Annan’s recent mission in Syria be consistent with R2P?


LA: In many ways, it was a very clear expression of R2P – just as was his mediation mission in Kenya in 2008, when it looked as if the fallout from the election there was going to lead to a form of tribal, regional violence. In Kenya, Annan was able to get some negotiations going, and eventually to come up with a resolution that probably saved lives and arguably helped to keep the country together. His more recent mission in Syria had the backing of the UN – including the Russians and the Chinese – as well as the Arab League. So the criteria for making it a multilateral, internationally-based engagement were clearly met. The mission was clearly an intervention – in the sense that the international community was making every effort to forestall the continued violence. The mission was also accompanied by very tough sanctions – such that, as if one were playing the keyboard, one is touching the various keys in order to ensure that the pressure applied is constant. GB: Are there other theatres, as you navigate the globe, in which you think that R2P principles would readily apply?

LA: The issues related to the increasing human risk being created in the Saharan area of Africa and in the Horn of Africa – to wit, drought and starvation – are, in my view, very clearly R2P-type situations in which there has got to be much stronger international involvement that is not simply a traditional humanitarian food-aid programme. Rather, the international involvement must seriously aim to come to grips with the real issues: the breakdown of governance in the Horn; the ongoing conflict in Ethiopia and Eritrea, which has totally paralyzed any form of economic trade or development; the importation of arms and the build-up of arsenals in that theatre; and the flight of what are effectively climate change refugees, which is destabilizing countries like Kenya. R2P requires that one take a look at the magnitude of the issue. The magnitude for the stated case is certainly there. The risk is also certainly there. The inability of the governments of that theatre to protect their own people is certainly there. This is arguably a very good test-case for R2P. I insist, and have always said, that R2P should not be purely restricted to high-level risk to civilians by force or violence alone. In the end, it does not make much difference whether one is dying at the end of an AK-47 or starving to death. GB: Would you consider the Libyan experience – to the extent that it may have followed certain R2P principles – to have been, on balance, a success or a failure? LA: The Libyan case met the criteria of the first and second pillars of R2P – respectively, placing primary importance on the responsibility of Libya to protect its own population from grave violations of human rights, and then engaging the collective responsibility of the international community to provide assistance to Libya. What still remains to be seen is whether the third pillar, which requires heavy commitment to the rebuilding of the theatre – and this does not simply mean rebuilding the oil pipelines, but rather helping to resuscitate governance and democratic institutions, including in the area of education – is engaged. The jury is still out in this regard – and indeed it may have to PHOTOGRAPHS: COURTESY OF LLOYD AXWORTHY

The advent of information technology gives us significantly more scope to apply pressure, to get information out, to reveal, to name and to shame.

G LO B A L B R I E F • S P R I N G | S U M M E R 2 0 1 2


be for some time. The Balkans theatre (see the Feature article by Michael Barutciski at p. 44) suggested that it sometimes takes as long as 20 years to make a determination in respect of this third pillar. In the meantime, there has been a very significant drop in interest in the Libyan theatre; that is, the CNN effect is at play. However, I do think that, on balance, the military side of the mission in Libya was successful.

G LO B A L B R I E F • S P R I N G | S U M M E R 2 0 1 2

What must be understood is that there are many other tricks of the trade availed to the international community in order to forestall conflict and to provide protection for people well before there are any boots on the ground.


GB: If intervening countries or parties are unwilling, unable or incompetent in respect of the third pillar – rebuilding – are there not situations in which you might say that, whatever the troubles on the ground, you ought not to intervene because you are not prepared to go all of the way? LA: That should be part of the calculus. Each situation has to be judged on its own merits. If you are making a commitment to intervention, then you cannot simply walk away or, as it were, put the plane back in the hangar. The intervention commitment really does involve an ongoing set of responsibilities within the theatre in question. And yet, of course, we spend very little time thinking about how to dispatch these responsibilities – how to do peacebuilding. This involves getting the lions and the tigers and the camels – the different instruments of state power, from the military to the diplomats and the development people – to lie down together. For now, each party, in most states, still likes to do its own thing. GB: In retrospect, how could R2P calculus have been used to prevent, anticipate or stanch the Holocaust of WW2 – particularly given that Germany was then a great power? LA: This is a good question. My answer is influenced quite a bit by the Daniel Jonah Goldhagen book on genocide – Worse Than War – which says that, after all other variables are put into the mix, and while one can ultimately have all kinds of countries or places that are susceptible to genocidal action, political leadership is still decisive. In other words, there has to be someone who calculates that there is something to be gained by getting the population riled up, creating scapegoats, and putting on the yellow armbands. With hindsight, one might say that there could have been much more done to put the restraints on Hitler and the people around him. Hitler had more

or less free rein during the 1930s. In fact, Hitler enjoyed large levels of support in parts of France and the UK in the lead-up to WW2. He was, on this narrative, a leader who was “making the trains run on time.” This support stood in sharp contrast with an R2P-type logic that would have argued in favour of meaningfully targeting and isolating the Nazi regime, and working very hard to make plain to the world its tendencies and intentions toward Jews and gypsies. Evidently, that was not done. The reality is – and this applies particularly to this century – that one needs to start to put the handcuffs on political leaders, expose them, name and shame, and call them for what they are – recognizing that their actions are a prelude or a signal toward a major genocide or holocaust. The world was far removed from this kind of understanding in the interwar period leading up to the Holocaust. GB: If the great powers of this century – say, Russia, China, the US or India – were to commit atrocities against their own people or in theatres outside of their borders, what should the R2P calculus of leaders and countries be in order to prevent or stanch these massacres? LA: One needs to determine the threshold at which one begins to say that – great power or not – something in a given country or theatre is really becoming a major crime against humanity, or indeed genocidal. That aside, however, there are a lot of techniques short of military intervention that may be increasingly available to us this century – and these techniques are becoming more and more sophisticated with the passage of time. The advent of information technology gives us significantly more scope to apply pressure, to get information out, to reveal, to name and to shame. Countries – including great powers – are themselves a lot more vulnerable to such information-war strategies, because most of them are part of a global economy. (See the Feature article “Crisis Mapping Needs an Ethical Compass” in GB’s Winter 2012 issue.) In the end, all of this may well come back to Immanuel Kant’s proposition that the chances of war diminish to the extent that there is trade interdependence among states. (See the Tête à Tête interview with Steven Pinker in GB’s Fall 2011 issue.) Of course, if we incorrectly reduce R2P to military intervention alone, then we lose sight of a number of non-military instruments that may be used by creative players in the 21st century. One of these instruments might be, as my friend Mary Graham of Harvard has written, the use of new-century information sanctions: particularly in the domestic context (but also internationally), rather than issuing big regulations declaring that thou shalt not, we

If you had a friend going through some tough times, how would you help? Last year, we gave our friend Chad

» We’ll call him



12 million dollars.

chad canada Would you just give your friend money or would you be

more creative?

The mainstream discussion about Canada’s relationship to Africa is how much money we should give. Is that creative? Of course we also trade with Chad and other African nations, but:

Creativity requires connections. What if the people, universities, government, and businesses of Canada unleashed not just our money, but also our creativity, for a friend like Chad?

G LO B A L B R I E F • S P R I N G | S U M M E R 2 0 1 2

Canada imports goods worth just $3,000 from Chad each year. How can we be more creative, realizing better trade relationships? Canada’s top export to 12 African countries is used clothing. How can we be more creative to not undermine the local textile industry?


might start saying that thou shalt be exposed. Such sanctions may have a key role to play in influencing political and geopolitical behaviour this century – including, as mentioned, for great powers. GB: In the Arctic theatre, where is the world headed?

G LO B A L B R I E F • S P R I N G | S U M M E R 2 0 1 2

If you are making a commitment to intervention, then you cannot simply walk away or put the plane back in the hangar. The intervention commitment really does involve an ongoing set of responsibilities within the theatre in question.


LA: We will likely get a much clearer answer to this question in about a year and a half, when the decision under the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) comes down in respect of the extended shelf of the Arctic circumpolar countries. Let us see what will be the decision, and then what will be the reactions from the Norwegians, the Russians, the Canadians and the Americans. The Americans are already very concerned – and much more engaged than they were a few years back – about security-related issues in the Arctic because they have realized that, not having signed on to UNCLOS, they are at a distinct disadvantage in respect of the distribution of claims on the continental shelf. The Russians, for their part, clearly think the Arctic is their theatre par excellence, and the investment that they have put into the theatre dwarfs those of all of the other parties. The Norwegians are substantially increasing their defence expenditures, as are the Danes – all for purposes of northern security. There continues to be a crazy tension in Arctic affairs between sovereignty and internationalism. On the one hand, the Arctic Council is slowly emerging and trying to get collaboration going on matters like search and rescue. The Americans have quite an ambitious agenda for the Council, with the aim of increasingly internationalizing it – this in order to get around the weakness of not being a formal player in the UNCLOS regime. So I think that 2013 will be a defining year for the Arctic. GB: What do you think of Canada’s performance to date in the Arctic? LA: On the plus side, the fact that the Conservative government has made it a priority is a good thing. Unfortunately, the government’s position overstresses the military aspect of the Arctic game. Both the Russians and the Norwegians are way ahead of Canada in terms of northern infrastructure, including Arctic ports and icebreakers. They are making Canadians look like cheapskates on this key issue. I am deeply concerned about the apparent bypassing of a lot of the Inuit indigenous communities in the Canadian Arctic as real players. Canada does this at its own risk because, as you know, the UNCLOS decision is going to be based upon the extent to which countries can prove that they have the longest-standing inhabitants of the Arctic region. In fact, I recently read a statement by the head of

the Inuit Circumpolar Council to the effect that, if Canada does not pull up its socks, then the Inuit may just say: “Forget about it, we weren’t inhabiting it for Canada.” Right now, in Canada, there is exceedingly limited discussion about how the country manages and operates passage through the Northwest Passage, for example. What do we do about the sharing, with the local inhabitants, of the fruits of the economic development that comes out of it? I am also concerned about the loosening of environmental impact statements and requirements, including for the Arctic region. In the end, this might well lead to terrible injustices for the people who live up there. Moreover, Canada will be in big trouble if it adopts a ‘gold rush’ mentality vis-à-vis the Arctic – not least because other countries, including the bigger ones, will do the same. No one is saying that Canada ought to push for a moratorium on Arctic development. I think that the cat is well out of the bag. But we have to start putting in some maritime rules about transport, pipelines and exploration. The delicacy of the ocean ecology and the animals and the fish in the Arctic is such that one single spill becomes a disaster not just for the Arctic, but potentially for the global ecology: the currents (the Gulf current on the east side, and the Pacific current on the west side) carry it off throughout the world’s ecosystems. GB: Canada arguably has very few public tragedies, with the great exception of the Aboriginal condition. What are the major policy volleys that Canada can make over the next 10 to 15 years to begin to reverse this condition? LA: Let me just say two things, as this could make for a very long discussion indeed. First, Canada has to fundamentally change its top-down, Ottawadictated approach to Aboriginal development to a much more self-governance-based paradigm of development that is initiated by the Aboriginal communities themselves. This shift is critical in order to erase the last vestiges of paternalism for the indigenous peoples of Canada. And this is a lesson that is being learned around the world. The Canadian government has to be an enabler. There has to be a lot more transfer of power in the area of natural resources. Second, education and training are primordial. There are far too many Aboriginal kids dropping out in grade nine and, as a result, not having any meaningful options for what they wish to do with themselves. Again, the level of investment in these areas is poor, and successive governments have not been clever about where this investment goes, how it is used, and in trying to understand what works and what does not. | GB

Millennium Promise

uses a unique holistic approach to implement proven and practical strategies to support the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals in Africa by 2015. Our work unites science, business, civil society and government in the effort to finally end extreme poverty, hunger and preventable disease.

“The Millennium Villages project has achieved remarkable results and has demonstrated the impact of greater investment in evidence-based, low-cost interventions at the village level to make progress on the Millennium Development Goals.” – Overseas Development Institute Millennium Promise partners with world leading organizations, including Columbia University’s Earth Institute and the United Nations Development Programme. Our flagship initiative, the Millennium Villages project, works in some of the poorest and most remote communities in sub-Saharan Africa to support high impact interventions in agriculture, education, health, infrastructure and business development. Key successes include:

Millennium Promise also supports African governments and other organizations to scale up successful programs. For example, we support the government of Mali as it works to expand Millennium Village interventions to two million people in 166 of its poorest communes.

Join us online to learn more about our work. Sign up for our newsletter at

G LO B A L B R I E F • S P R I N G | S U M M E R 2 0 1 2

• more than doubling average food production • providing over 80,000 children with locally-produced school meals • distributing more than 330,000 bed nets to prevent malaria



How should the Jewish State react to the region’s many revolutions? The Arab Spring is, on balance, a major strategic problem for Israel PROPOSITION:

G LO B A L B R I E F • S P R I N G | S U M M E R 2 0 1 2



Rahnema (against): Whether or not the so-called Arab Spring is a problem for Israel depends on which Israel we are talking about: the Israel of the hawks, settlers and religious fundamentalists, or that of the country’s pro-peace, secular and progressive forces. For the hawkish Israel, the Arab Spring has been, and will continue to be, negative and dangerous. The loss of a friendly dictator in neighbouring Egypt was a terrible blow. Even the destabilization of a hostile dictator in another bordering state – Syria – has been quite unsettling (see the Tête à Tête interview with Lloyd Axworthy at p. 50). Obviously, there is no love lost between Israel and the Assad regime, but Assad’s regime is a known and predictable entity; what might replace it is not, and could be very different. Whether one views the Arab Spring as a strategic

problem also, of course, depends on whose Spring it is and will be: that of the region’s pro-democracy, progressive youth and women’s movements, or that of the Islamists? The former, despite serious grievances in respect of Israel, would nonetheless want to live in peace with the non-hawkish Israel discussed above. But the latter, like its Jewish analogue within Israel, is messianic and regressive, and would ultimately be hostile to the continued existence of Israel. Even though the Islamists seem – at present – to be winning the Arab uprising, the pro-democracy movement is not dead, and the Islamists will not be able to establish a Sharia-based regime à la Iran. Nor will the military establishment that has survived the uprisings be able to return to the days of dictatorial rule. A rational policy for Israel would be to take into consideration the region’s changed realities. I believe that the Arab Spring – which, at its core, is a prodemocracy and progressive movement – not only will not be a problem for Israel, and can potentially move the region toward a genuine peace with Israel. However, this is entirely conditional on the direction of Israeli policy – first and foremost, toward the Palestinians; that is, whether Israel moves toward a genuine peace and final status agreement. The Palestinian issue continues to be one of the thorniPHOTOGRAPH: THE CANADIAN PRESS / AP / KHALIL HAMRA

est issues in the region. To be sure, there are many problems on the Palestinian side (which I take up below), but Israel, as the far more powerful player, can initiate the peace process if it genuinely sets its mind to so doing. It is the case, however, that Netanyahu’s government has moved in the opposite direction – all the while trying to divert attention to Iran and the so-called ‘existential threat’ that it poses to Israel.

SR: I agree that the ‘forces of imperialism’ created most of the countries of the region, but totally disagree that the indigenous people did not act to exercise their rights of self-determination. Actually, the imperialists’ actions occurred despite the struggles of the indigenous people for independence. The history of the region is rampant with examples of such struggles that were suppressed by the colonial and post-colonial powers. And to argue that we cannot expect a Western-style democracy in the

David Tal is the Kahanoff Chair in Israel Studies and a professor of history at the University of Calgary. He is the author of War in Palestine, 1948: Strategy and Diplomacy (2004).

Saeed Rahnema is an award-winning professor of political science at York University. He has served as Director of the York School of Public Policy and Administration, as a member of UN Development Program, and as Director of the Middle East Economic Association. G LO B A L B R I E F • S P R I N G | S U M M E R 2 0 1 2

Tal (for): The events that swept the Arab world over the last couple of years bear a single name –the Arab Spring – but are actually quite varied in nature and meaning. The events in Libya, Tunisia and Syria differ in some important respects from those in Egypt. This is not to say that there are not some common features among all of these events. First, they challenge the existing order set by imperialism at the beginning of the 20th century. Most of the states swept by the Arab Spring were created by imperialist forces, and not by indigenous people who acted to exercise their right of self-determination. Consequently, the social and ethnic structures of those states contain the roots of political and social unrest. More than anything else, Libya is a collection of tribes brought together by imperialism, as is the case – to a lesser degree – in Syria and Tunisia. As a consequence, the events that take place in those states will lead primarily to changes in their social and ethnic organizations and structures, and less to changes in the very essence of their political systems. Second, it is unclear which course will be taken by the states of the Arab Spring. The best that we can hope for is not a European-style democracy – which is based on a strong middle class, the sovereignty of the individual, secularism and industrialization – but rather a Muslim version of democracy that would retain traditional social structures, and would also accommodate democratic features. The worst scenario, evidently, would be disintegration. It is still unclear, for instance, whether Iraq – another by-product of imperialism, and itself largely untouched by the Arab Spring – will end up as a valid republic or will disintegrate into three de facto states. A couple of things seem to be clear right now. For one, the political structures have shifted away from a small elite to the people themselves – even if, in many cases, the elites still retain power, and will probably resurface under a different name or in a different guise. In any event, though, the people will now be a factor with which these elites will have to reckon. Second, a key result of these revolutionary developments is the significant weakening of the power of central governments. (This results not principally from the economic and political discontent that is the Arab Spring, but on account of the power struggles between different ethnic and

religious groups in the context of the Spring.) This weakening of central governments is plain to see in the Sinai desert, in the peripheries of Yemen, and in the villages and towns of Syria: the central government is no longer able to impose its authority, and the region becomes pockmarked by so-called ‘weak states.’ States like Somalia and Afghanistan, in which the central government is no longer able to exercise its power and authority across the national territory, quite often become harbours and safe havens for lawless groups – in some cases, terrorist groups – that further undermine the power of the state. These weak states may then serve as launching pads for activities and attacks beyond the boundaries of the state. This, therefore, is the real challenge that the Arab Spring poses to Israel. Without a doubt, it is always better – at least psychologically, if not in policy – to deal with ‘the devil we know.’ But on a deeper level, the regime changes in the Middle East are not the central problem for Israel – whether on Israel’s ‘right’ or its ‘left.’ Regime change or not, neither flank in Israel’s political spectrum will change its mind regarding the Arab world. But what really preoccupies all Israeli strategic analysts is the inability of the central government in Egypt to impose law and order in the Sinai and, among other failures of governance in the region, the failure of the Yemeni government to stop the Yemen-based activities of groups associated with Al Qaeda. Regarding the Palestinians, while Israel’s actions on the Palestinian front certainly influence the attitude of Arab people and regional states, it would be a mistake to assume that the end of the conflict is in Israel’s hands. The Arab/Palestinian-Israeli conflict precedes and is more deep-seated than what is suggested by the outcome of the Six-Day War. Indeed, for many in the Arab world, the real problem is not post-1967 Israel, but indeed the very existence of Israel. As such, the Arab Spring and its evolution will have a small impact on the Arab/Palestinian-Israeli conflict. Similarly, Israel’s actions vis-à-vis the Palestinians will play a minor role in the region’s developments. Yes, Israel must resolve the conflict with the Palestinians – but not to improve its strategic position in the region; rather, for its own sake, with or without an Arab Spring.


region, and that we can – at best – expect a “Muslim version” of it has a distinct Orientalist undertone. The supposition is based on the perception that these societies are essentially different, and are incapable of following the path taken by European societies. Struggles for democracy in the region have been ongoing for over a century – a century of bloody suppression of efforts favouring modernity, secularism and democracy. Ironically, what we are witnessing today – that is, calls for a return to ‘traditional’ perspectives, and attempts by the fast-rising Islamists to establish Islamic states – are themselves products of imperial policies and Cold War strategies that supported the religious elements of the region in order to weaken the secular left and liberals. We can see how this same perspective ends up undermining – or not appreciating the nature and the roots of – the pro-democracy movement in the Arab world – claiming that these movements are the results of “power struggles between different ethnic and religious groups.”

G LO B A L B R I E F • S P R I N G | S U M M E R 2 0 1 2

Israel is clearly stronger than the states in its region in certain areas – starting with its economy. This, however, is not necessarily an advantage that Israel can use in order to facilitate its integration into the region.


Equally surprising is your suggestion that Israeli society has a fixed mindset, and that, whether there is or is not regime change, neither the right nor the left “will change its mind regarding the Arab world.” This suggests that the Arab/Palestinian-Israeli conflict is eternal, and that Israel has no other choice but to continue the policy of separating itself from its neighbours by multiple walls. If a pro-peace government were to replace the present coalition government in Israel, and move toward a two-state solution peace agreement on the basis of pre-1967 borders – with some possible adjustments along the lines of the Geneva Initiative – and resolve the refugee issues and the question of Jerusalem along the lines of the Taba Agreement, then it would reduce the tension with the Palestinians and gain support among progressive forces in the Arab world; that is, those same progressives who are at the core of the Arab Spring. This is no easy task – for the Palestinian side is still divided between the Islamist zealots of Hamas and the corruption-ridden Fatah; and, naturally, changing Arab opinion toward Israel will take time. But with sincere resolve and a changed policy direction, real peace would be possible.

It is within this context that Israel should embrace and support the Arab Spring. Of course, such support could not and should not be direct. Any direct and publicly expressed support from Israel would paradoxically weaken the pro-democracy movement, and thereby give ammunition to the military and the Islamists in possibly claiming that the movement is an imperialist or Zionist plot. The best indirect support would come through the undertaking of serious and sincere steps toward peace with the Palestinians. Such a peace would, as mentioned, empower the secular, progressive forces in the Arab world in confronting the two antidemocratic forces in their respective countries – the military establishment and the Islamists. If the Arab Spring succeeds, and to the extent that the progressive, pro-democracy movement gains momentum, tensions with Israel would be reduced. Arab countries, as they agreed in the 2002 Beirut Declaration (Arab Peace Initiative), would recognize the state of Israel, end boycotts and develop formal relations. Israel would then be a major beneficiary of improved relations with its neighbours and the broader Arab and Islamic world. Israel is a technological, industrial and agricultural powerhouse. If we look at the import/export data of both Israel and the Arab world, we can see how clearly such improved relations would benefit the economies of both sides. Israel’s enormous achievements in intensive agriculture and agricultural technologies can improve the development process in neighbouring countries. Israeli inward and outward foreign direct investment, which is mediocre – considering the country’s skill level and technological capabilities, but largely due to Israel’s poor and insecure relationships in the region – would increase very rapidly and markedly. Bref: Instead of spending on walls of separation, and building and expanding prisons, Israel would be able to invest in constructive development projects that ultimately improve the lot of all Israelis. There would be many undeniable hurdles along the way – starting with the hawks, settlers and religious fundamentalists on all sides, but also including their many international supporters, who prefer the status quo, and who benefit from conflict and war. Nevertheless, pro-democracy, progressive forces in Israel and the Arab world can succeed. The Arab Spring – and prior to it, the Iranian spring – has irreversibly changed the dynamic and dynamism of the region. DT: Who can argue with the claim that democracy is better than not-democracy? The problem is that democracy is not in and of itself a ‘change-creating’ phenomenon – but rather the result of important changes. Democracy emerged in Europe as a consequence of various major changes – intellectual, economic, social and, finally, political – on that

ently about occupied territories dating back to 1948. Israel is, in many ways, different from the states around it. This does not make it better or worse. And Israel is clearly stronger than the states in its region in certain areas – starting with its economy. This, however, is not necessarily an advantage that Israel can use in order to facilitate its integration into the region. When Shimon Peres, one of the architects of the Oslo Process, coined the term the ‘New Middle East’ – meaning that new horizons were opening to Israel – many Arabs perceived these words as a threat, fearing Israel’s economic imperialism and the introduction of the Western values that Israeli investors and entrepreneurs would invariably bring with them. It is very comforting to assume that a solution is the inevitable companion of a problem (see the classical article “Between War and Peace” by Michael Morgan in GB’s Spring 2009 issue). The history of the Arab/Palestinian-Israeli conflict shows that this is not always the case. Does this mean that what happened is bound to happen again, and to repeat itself ad infinitum? Absolutely not. Does Israel do what

The Arab Spring – which, at its core, is a pro-democracy and progressive movement – not only will not be a problem for Israel, but can potentially move the region toward a genuine peace with Israel. it ought to do to end the conflict with the Palestinians? Absolutely not. Is the matter entirely in Israel’s hands or control? Again, absolutely not. The blame for the stalemate in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is equally shared by Jews and Arabs. As such, as I see it, the Arab Spring should be viewed independently of the Arab/Palestinian-Israeli conflict. The Arab Spring is the result of intrinsic developments and stresses occurring in the various states that are experiencing it, and it will move along its unique path regardless of the way in which the Arab/PalestinianIsraeli conflict develops or even ends. My concern with the Arab Spring has nothing to do with the power and hierarchy of ideas. It has to do with the way in which I understand it as an event in history’s timeline. And its fate will be found in the manner in which the political systems that experience it deal with the turbulence and numerous upheavals that it presents and will continue to present. From that perspective, the light at the end of the tunnel may quite easily be a train. (continued online) To read the rest of this debate,

G LO B A L B R I E F • S P R I N G | S U M M E R 2 0 1 2

continent. Does this mean that a society that did not go through the historical processes of the West is a lesser society? Not at all. Is a sui generis form of democracy worse than one that fits the more conventional definitions of political scientists? I doubt it. The Arab Spring – as a unique, contemporary phenomenon – cannot lead to a European-style democracy not because the Arabs are somehow inferior to the Europeans, but rather because they experienced and are still experiencing a different course of history. The end result of that journey, however, will not necessarily be worse than Westernstyle democracy. I dare say that to assume that the only possible path for the Arab Spring is Western-style democracy is itself a kind of Orientalism. Let us not forget that Hamas – to take but an obvious example – came to power through free and open elections: the Palestinian people brought to power a party committed not to the achievement of a two-state solution, and not to coexistence with Israel, but rather to its very destruction. I do not underestimate and underappreciate the values of the people of the Middle East. I might not like all of these values and ideas, but I do not think that we should prefer to impose Western constructs on non-Western societies. Similarly, Arab nationalism is a contested idea. The nationalist idea emerged in the West, and was a response to the erosion of the structures and institutions that had existed in Europe for generations, and indeed to the emergence of new structures – foremost among them, the declining status of religion, as well as the industrialization and consequent modernization that destroyed the traditional socioeconomic fabric of Central and Western European societies. Nationalism was brought to the Middle East (as to other places) by imperialism. The indigenous people were forced to deal with it – to respond to it. In many ways, that struggle is not yet over, and the Arab Spring is one manifestation of such continued struggle – at least in some of the states that are experiencing it. Israel – and the Zionist movement that created Israel – was and still is perceived by Arabs as an alien force in the region. There is, of course, a growing recognition that Israel is a fact that would be difficult to eliminate. Israel also quite likely enjoys relations with more Middle Eastern states than is officially recognized or even known. Still, while Israel certainly has not done its utmost to be accepted in the region, much of what has happened and is still happening in the region vis-à-vis Israel finds its explanation in the extant perceptions and beliefs of many in the Arab world – including very strong and we might even say ‘elastic,’ irredentist beliefs. We must understand and recognize that the negation of Zionism and Israel began well before the 1967 war, and that there are Arabs talking pres-

visit the GB website at:


THE DEFINITION “The future of violence with more women leaders…

G LO B A L B R I E F • S P R I N G | S U M M E R 2 0 1 2

…depends on empowerment, which


is what the issue of women leaders is really all about. As primary victims of violence within and outside of the home, as well as in the context of political and military conflicts around the world, women have a unique understanding of the psychological and physical impact that violence has on them, their children and society as a whole. Women leaders come with the innate characteristic of being nurturers, which gives a greater voice to another primary vulnerable group of victims of violence – children. Having more women leaders means increasing the representation of important groups of human society that have historically been marginalized and silenced. It means that a group that has rarely made decisions that have led to violence finally has a voice at the negotiating table. As a result of their experiences and qualities, women, as leaders, are uniquely placed to ensure that the thread that keeps the fabric of society together is strongly fastened. Women leaders have a critical and powerful perspective to bring to the table in leading the fight against violence. It should also be said that human beings, regardless of gender, are born free and equal, and have both a great capacity to build peace and, alas, an aptitude to destroy. The litmus test is whether human societies – the world over – finally embrace and cultivate both sexes and afford them equal edification and opportunity. Doing so will create the nurturing environment that inevitably breeds the ‘constructive citizen’ – man and woman alike – who aims to build and positively contribute to the human experiment. More women leaders will precipitate this outcome.” Fatou Bensouda is the Prosecutor-Elect of the International Criminal Court (ICC), and the first woman elected to act in that capacity. Prior to that, she was the Deputy Prosecutor of the ICC, Solicitor-General, Attorney-General and Minister of Justice of Gambia.

…starts with the basic fact that women and men everywhere have challenged discrimination, and will continue to demand equality and human rights for all. We know that through equal

participation and empowerment in all spheres, true transformation can happen. We know that even in times of crisis – or especially in times of crisis – capitalizing on women’s potential bears results. This is why, in echoing the voice from the streets of many cities, towns and villages around the world, we must insist upon structural and institutional changes: changes to ensure that women are recognized as equal citizens and equal partners in nation-building, and that all civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights are guaranteed for men and women everywhere.” Navanethem Pillay is the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, former President of the UN International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda and Judge of the ICC.

…is promising. In principle, we might argue that violence is foreign to the core biology of women. At the level of the individual, the woman as ‘mother’ – or as the chief propagator of the human species – instinctually privileges the safety of the family unit – and children, in particular – and social and environmental stability in general. Inferior testosterone levels and, yes, superior stress tolerance together seem to militate against a woman being naturally inclined to fight wars, spill blood, dominate or kill, and instead make her favour the pursuit of peaceful means to solve disputes. For, in the end, she is always alive to the need for children to be born healthy, families to be fed and cared for, and the household to be protected. Analogously, in high politics, a woman is unlikely to be a pure adventurist. Instead, the protective instinct animates her mentality and decision-making. She will always be open to dialogue both with foreign partners and different parties – friendly and less friendly – within her country. She thinks always of her duties to future generations.” Maryna Bilynska is Vice-President of the National Academy of Public Administration of Ukraine.

…completely depends on who the women in power are. Certainly, women’s underrepresentation in high politics needs repairing. (Women make up less than 10 percent of world leaders. Globally, less than one in five members of parliament is a woman. The 30 percent critical mass mark for women’s representation in parliament has been reached or exceeded in only 28 countries.) However, the trouble with idealizing female leadership is that it fails to recognize the vast differences among women. A female in charge may just as easily embrace right-wing conservatism without any interest in social causes, as she may support a pro-feminist doctrine. On the other hand, a progressive man with a gendered approach to leadership will do more to challenge the established norms of international affairs than a traditionalist


– as opposed to a softer approach, which may be more effective in bringing about, say, negotiated peace settlements through comprehensive multi-party discussions. Rigid gender roles are already being broken down around the world, with some societies slowly accepting men who are taking on traditionally female roles in child-rearing and household work, and at the same time accepting that women can come out of the kitchen and actively participate in public life. This means that, in some corners of the world, male leaders can be more comfortable in exhibiting feminine characteristics, while women are more confidently expressing their masculine sides. The hope is that more of this gender-balancing can help in the reassessment of the qualities that make for a good leader. Such a rethink might then better bring about meaningful change to the traditional conduct and content of international affairs on issues affecting women in politics, economics, war and peace.” Danya Chaikel is Coordinator of the Forum for International

G LO B A L B R I E F • S P R I N G | S U M M E R 2 0 1 2

woman. Women display a range of leadership styles that depend on a multiplicity of characteristics intersecting with their womanhood. What about their religious upbringing, economic status, professional background, political party affiliation and legislative experience – to cite but a few potential explanatory factors? A fresh approach to leadership is needed to address some of the inequalities that underpin today’s international affairs. This new model should first determine some universal international goals – such as the UN Millennium Development Goals – and then assess which leadership qualities can best bring about the objectives. In order for there to be real change in favour of women’s equality, ‘feminine’ qualities should be tested as potential virtues for good leadership. The opposite can be done for ‘masculine’ traits. Perhaps the findings will uncover that unyielding masculine leadership tends to bring on more armed conflicts – exacerbating poverty, violence against women and environmental destruction

Violence is foreign to the core biology of women. At the level of the individual, the woman as ‘mother’ instinctually privileges the safety of the family unit and social and environmental stability in general.

Criminal Justice, International Association of Prosecutors.


STRATEGIC FUTURES “The world’s most important company in 2020 will be… ... harnessing human ingenuity to address humanity’s great challenges. It will not be the best known or richest corporation in the world. It will not be based on social media or the cloud: both of these will have matured by then. It will be pushing the frontiers of life and the enjoyment of life: organ regrowth, cerebral ageing or game-changing approaches to renewable energy. Its importance will be based on what it creates, not what it controls. Its core resource will be talent, not capital. It will be globally networked, linking research institutions, governments and private corporations into a virtual corporate superpower. It will be young and small – global from the get-go. It will be open, fast, and passionate in its ability to change the world.” Robert Greenhill is Managing Director of the World Economic Forum. Previously, he was President of the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) and President of the International Group of Bombardier Inc.

G LO B A L B R I E F • S P R I N G | S U M M E R 2 0 1 2

… a US company – still. US companies


have dominated the past century because of their success internationally. While the US unemployment rate remains relatively high, cash-rich corporate America is recruiting rapidly overseas. And in the search for growth markets, where the demographics of younger, upwardly-mobile consumers are more favourable, US companies are becoming more multinational than ever before. What they bring to the table is an institutional history in which the marketplace of ideas can thrive. I am not thinking of those companies that continue to be rigidly American overseas. That kind of myopia will not work, and the branch plant idiom no longer suffices. Tomorrow’s leading companies are those that are embracing diversity and local initiative. Necessity is the mother of invention, and trying to sell products or services in a different culture requires input from people on the ground. US companies have traditionally been the most successful in this respect – particularly consumer companies like Procter & Gamble and PepsiCo. They have had a long journey of trial and error in various parts of the world, and now local talent is being encouraged to create products that go on to

succeed on a global platform. Tomorrow’s internationally popular soft drinks or soaps are therefore more likely to originate from R&D in Asia or Brazil than from the US or Europe. Regulation also forces companies to think in new ways. Engine-maker Cummins has profited from environmental controls around the world by customizing for different markets – becoming an integral supplier to manufacturers who want to leapfrog years of expensive engineering. But that is only possible because of its established international parts and service support network. Innovation, which enables companies to stay ahead of their competition, can also spring from vision. Successful technology companies like Microsoft and Apple built on ideas from elsewhere – IBM and Xerox, to begin with – but let imagination lead them even further. The best technology is the kind that your grandmother can use with ease. The successful company is the one that makes the most widely acceptable product, delivers it with quality, and also provides backup. There is no monopoly on ideas. Added value can come from the insight of people around the world. And US companies have proved to be the most adept at harnessing this crucial ingredient of companies’ success.” Walid el-Gabry is an international business journalist who has worked for the Financial Times, Thomson, Dow Jones and Bloomberg News.

... a food producer and processor that will benefit from escalating agricultural commodity prices. With arid weather in parts of the world, and growing demand from middle-income and highly populated economies, food shortages and rising prices will be common. At the top is the largest food company in the world – Switzerland’s Nestlé – with a current market capitalization in the area of US $200 billion. With the new technologies for which the company is known, it is well-placed – through organic growth and acquisitions – to be a dominant global corporation.” Jack M. Mintz is the Palmer Chair and Director of the School of Public Policy, University of Calgary. He serves on the Economic Advisory Council of Canada’s Minister of Finance.

It will be globally networked, linking research institutions, governments and private corporations into a virtual corporate superpower. It will be global from the get-go. It will be open, fast, and passionate in its ability to change the world.

… a firm – not necessarily in existence


compete with it when it comes to its willingness to tackle seemingly insoluble challenges with deep pools of capital (defined broadly) and technology. It remains a leader in removing traditional boundaries around the mission of the corporation, and it remains always steadfast in its commitment to change the world.” Edward Waitzer is a senior partner of Stikeman Elliott LLP, a professor and the Jarislowsky Dimma Mooney Chair in Corporate Governance and Director of the Hennick Centre for Business and Law at Osgoode Hall Law School and the Schulich School of Business, York University. He is a former Chair of

G LO B A L B R I E F • S P R I N G | S U M M E R 2 0 1 2

today – that invests, gets to scale, and consolidates in the life sciences technology field: in medical robotics, genetics, stem cell research, custom-made organs, bioinformatics. We are on the cusp of knowledge breakthroughs in a wide range of issues relating to the human condition. Someone will pick up enough of the pieces to become the most important enterprise – and spawn a host of others. Looking at the incumbent players, my standby choice would be Google – simply because of its cultural commitment to data and ambitious ideas. Few

the Ontario Securities Commission.



On Stateless People and People-less States Why the State as organizing framework remains stable, while the people it serves may be (made) vulnerable BY DOUGLAS GLOVER

T Douglas Glover is a Governor-General’s Award-winning novelist and short story writer. His most recent book is a collection of essays, Attack of

G LO B A L B R I E F • S P R I N G | S U M M E R 2 0 1 2

the Copula Spiders.


he media buzzwords, globalization and failed states, capture the obvious trends. The UN, the ICJ, the ICC and corporations with financial resources larger than many states seem to point in the direction of a unified world, the dream of the Catholic Church (also the Communist Party and the End of History fantasists who trumpeted the world-wide hegemony of liberal democracy after the fall of the Soviet Union). The counter-trend is entropic, the Somalia Syndrome, the proliferation of states so enfeebled as to be unable to defend themselves, collect taxes or provide services for their citizens. The state is a way of organizing human behaviour by establishing boundaries, laws and identities. Before states, there were hunting bands with loosely defined territories and ways of interacting with other bands that mostly involved exchanging women and occasionally pitching spears at one another. This stateless state of affairs easily lasted 50,000 years or more; the farthest back that we can find anything resembling a state is the city kingdoms of the Fertile Crescent. It is not clear that states will match the longevity of the hunting band. The modern state is an idea bequeathed to us by the Enlightenment, when we thought that reason was going to make everything better – a view tarnished in the light of a history littered with world wars, genocides and weapons of mass destruction. The state is a word that looks confident in a sentence – flourishing meaning with a sententious ring – but turns spongy when one peers closely and notes the inherent contradictions. The most obvious contradiction is the state’s yearning for order and universality as it strives to accommodate the whims of individuals. Hegel tied himself in knots trying to model this: the state as spirit (like God) and an expression of the universal will to which right-minded, moral people would always bend their individual wills (think: angels in Heaven singing Gregorian chants, difference in harmony). States have nothing to do with particular forms of government.The classical Greeks had city-states: some were quasi-democratic (limited suffrage), some were tyrannical. Iran is a quasi-democratic theocracy. China makes do with an undemocratic oligarchy. The liberal democracies of the West like to see themselves as the true heirs of the Enlightenment, because they are all so reasonable. Rousseau’s ‘social contract’ particularly

commends itself to the liberal imagination, with its genial implication that we all agreed to live the way we live, when in fact membership in a state is seldom a matter of choice – as many Mexicans who try to sign the American social contract find out. The threat of violence is at the heart of every state. States have armies and police departments; civil society does not. We have words for people who cannot function in a state: criminals, psychopaths, lunatics, terrorists, rebels and illegal immigrants. But, by and large, states do a satisfactory job, through education and media indoctrination, of training citizens to behave properly. Citizens are even taught the options and limits of dissent, which gives them a warm feeling of righteous empowerment. States are intimately connected with certain technologies. The rise of Sumer coincided with the invention of writing, which allowed bureaucrats to count people, regulate economies, levy taxes and codify laws – four essential activities of states. The birth of the modern state coincided with the invention of printing and the capacity to store large amounts of data about citizens and money; hence the advent of capitalism – which seems conspicuously symbiotic with the state – and the accelerating convergence of the political class and the business class. A third dark possibility for the future state emerges with the invention of computers and digital storage. We see evidence in advanced states of legislative paralysis, the frenzied churning of virtual money to create wealth for fewer and fewer people, a steady accumulation of computer surveillance coupled with a decrease in privacy and social mobility, and an increase in state-sponsored corruption (as tax, subsidy and campaign finance laws become increasingly complex and phantasmal), coupled with a dwindling tax base. The middle class – the traditional core of the modern state – is under assault, not from economic austerity or investment bubbles, but as a legitimate mode of existence, a way of being, because it (like that other Enlightenment concept, the self) may not be useful to the coming state (think: pilotless drones). The result is cynicism and despair, recession suicides in Europe, desperate acts of internal terrorism, and plummeting birthrates in mature world economies – a trend toward, not stateless people, but people-less states – a ghostly, penumbral future that we might all wish to avoid. | GB

Global Brief #10  

World Affairs in the 21st Century