Flashcards in Case studies Deck (17)
Israel, the US/Israel agenda and Israeli statehood.
The US is the self appointed manager of the middle east.
Israel serves as their 'embassy', it is the embodiment of their presence in the middle east. also must be maintained to appease Jewish citizens of the US.
may also reflect the interest of the US in the oil in the middle east.
Israel's statehood is highly contested, as it was not established of it's own accord, rather constructed by western powers after ww2 to account for the atrocities of Adolf hitler.
Many states, including many member states of the UN do not acknowledge Israel's statehood, and it's repeal has been called for many times (particularly by Palestine, who's sovereignty it totally denies).
However Israel remains, perhaps a reflection of the power the US holds (as a seat-holder on the security council and as a solitary sovereign nation), that multiple nations can call out an injustice and have their calls unanswered because of the power the US holds and it's ability to shape global agendas.
Russia's annexation of Crimea and resulting global pushback.
On 20 February 2014 Russian troops invaded and occupied key Crimean military bases. Half of the Ukrainian military defected to Russia. on Feb 27 a new pro-Russian PM was installed. on March 18 a treaty was signed which initiated Crimea's eventual accession to the Russian federation.
Crimea has always been a contested area, phasing in and out of Russian control throughout history. Russia has frequently viewed it as Russian territory, Whereas Ukraine and other states view Crimea as a part of Ukraine.
As a result of Russia's actions it was suspended from the G8, displaying how global financial super-powers and security council seat-holders are not immune to accountability for their actions.
Punishment not an effective deterrent for Russia, 2022 invasion an war in Ukraine. global pushback with one notable exception, China, which abstained from a UN vote to push back against Russia's invasion.
Chinese 're-education camps'.
In China's xinjiang province there are re-education camps where the government has been detaining, torturing, indoctrinating and enforcing labor on more than a million Uyghur Muslims. The government, as well as the state's UN ambassador Zhang Jun have stated that the move is a part of their counter-terrorism strategy.
Survivors and HR organizations claim that China's goal is cultural erasure and enforcement of Han Chinese superiority.
Public awareness of these camps, and the human rights abuses that they flaunt led to global public outcry in 2020. Many states, IGO's, NGO's and individuals have expressed concern over the Xinjiang re-education camps.
However, no evidence suggests that china has ceased the program. And no punishment has been issued as a direct result. The US was already in a trade war with China, so we cannot assume that any financial contest between the two resulted from anger over these camps.
The UN has not issued a demand, and neither have any of the nations on the security council. This represents china's ability as an economically powerful nation, and also a security council seat-holder to manipulate global governance institutions.
The EU, it's regulations and the Brexit move.
The EU is a political and economic coalition located in Europe and is comprised of 27 member states. It has it's own diplomatic presence at summits like the G8 and G20
As an economic union, the EU has several regulations and laws regarding trade an finance. All member states use the Euro as their primary currency. It has been described as relentlessly bureaucratic, and has the authority through the European Council to settle disputes between member states.
Due to the nature of it's creation (an attempt to prevent Europe from tearing itself apart in another world war) the EU has vested interest in keeping itself together. So when Britain officially left the EU in 2020, the EU did not take that lightly, and were harsh with their new agreement.
New regulations regarding boarder checks will make travel throughout Europe more difficult for British citizens, and they will now have to apply for a visa in order to travel in EU states. The trade regulations that Britain did not enjoy are still imposed on them, and relations between Britain and EU states have become fraught.
The EU has made an example of Britain, a powerful nation that was punished for attempted autonomy (despite being arguably the most autonomous member state regardless).
2013 UN decision that Russia's 'anti-homosexual propaganda' law was discriminatory, Russia's response.
in 2013 Russia passed a series of Homophobic and LGBTQ+-discriminatory laws, including the illegalization of presenting 'homosexual propaganda' to children. This included any media that presents LGBT individuals that was not authorized or created by the government.
Russia was already anti-same sex marriage, and has been introducing discriminatory laws for decades.
The UN declared that the legislation was illegal and discriminatory, essentially demanding Russia to repeal it. The legislation also goes against Atricle 2 of the UDHR, which stipulates that all humans are entitled to equal rights regardless of components of their identity.
However the UN was not able to enforce this decision or hold Russia accountable by any measure. Displays how powerful nations and security council seat-holders can manipulate IGO's.
2016 UN decision that Chinas actions in the SCS went against the UN Convention on the Law Of the Sea, China's dismissal.
For many years there has been conflict in the South China Sea (SCS) over control of the Spratley Islands. The region is valuable for it's oil deposits, shipping route and strategic location security wise.
China is the most powerful actor in the conflicts, repeatedly using it's military and economic power against Vietnam, the Philopenas, Brunei, Japan and other actors who claim some or all of the region.
China has employed it's navy and engaged in naval warfare.
in 2016 the UN declared that China's actions went against the UN Convention on the Law Of the Sea (UNCLOS), and that China was acting illegally in the region.
China claims up to 90% of the SCS, and has made further moves to strengthen it's claim by expressing interest in Taiwan territory as well as the Island of Hong Kong.
China denies this claim, and has continued to act against other claimants in the SCS.
China, as a powerful nation can afford to ignore the UN. also as a security council member it has a certain degree of freedom.
Additionally, ASEAN has repeatedly called for china to cease it's actions in the SCS, to little avail. China is able to avoid accountability in the interest of its sovereignty.
Human rights abuses in Eritrea, NGO and IGO intervention.
In Eritrea, human right have already been shaky. But in 2001 the situation deteriorated, leading to continuous insecurity of human rights in the region.
The government has closed all independent journalism businesses, and arrested many of their employees, as well as government officials who were critical of totalitarian president Isaias Afewerki. Democracy is nowhere to be seen, the country is governed not by rule of law but by the control of Afewerki.
Multiple complaints have raised the issue of abuse of service. Conscripts to the military may be trapped in service for an extended period of time and in some cases forever. Conscripts and civilians alike are subject to degrading and inhumane punishment such as torture.
The nation remains closed to human rights organizations, and all accounts of abuse come from those who have fled.
NGO's can help to collect accounts from Eritrea and present their findings to judicial human rights conditions. In 2018 Human Rights Watch (HRW) sent a letter to the African Commission of Human and People's Rights (ACHPR). After the submission of this letter the ACHPR took a closer interest in Eritrea, demanding a more legal enforcement of human rights in the state.
This displays how NGO's can be beneficial to sovereignty as they can help states to protect and look after their citizens by speaking out against human rights abuses.
The country was divided after a 2004 civil war. Disagreements over the outcome of the 2010 election resulted in conflict which killed 3000 people and made 300,000 more refugees.
The UN intervened as there was a lack of state authority in Cote D'Ivorie. 6000 peacekeepers were deployed over 6 years of intervention.
In that time, 70,000 combatants were disarmed, 250,000 refugees were returned and the human rights commission was strengthened.
The UN left after overseeing two successful and legitimate elections in 2011 and 2016.
Humanitarian intervention by IGO's, and IGO's themselves can strengthen both human rights and sovereignty within a state.
The UDHR v the CDHRI
The UDHR (est. 1948) was the first multi-national human rights doctrine in the world. It was proposed and is enforced by the UN. Because of the individualistic nature and parties responsible for the drafting of the UDHR, the document has been accused of being too westernized, and does not allow for much room for cultural relativism. Key issues: Religion, individualism v collectivism and democracy.
The CDHRI was established as a kind of counter to the UD, and encloses some rights that are specific to Islam culture.
e.g., the UD preaches freedom of religion whereas the CDHRI suggests that any attempt to dissuade someone from Islam is unlawful.
Brief history of US involvement in warfare
Since their first outburst to the global stage in ww2, the US has not remained out of conflict. America has the largest military presence in out-of-state conflicts of any well-developed nation.
The US is currently involved in 3 out-of-state armed conflicts:
Intervention in the Somali civil war
Intervention in Iraq
Intervention in Syria
and has been involved in numerous armed conflicts in recent years, many of which, from both a realist and liberal perspective, they have not been needed in, as their sovereignty was not challenged and these conflicts negatively impacted relationships with other states.
Even despite established immense power it seems that conflict is unavoidable.
NGO imposition on state sovereignty by providing healthcare, Ebola crisis
The 2014 Ebola outbreak troubled the world, but hit Africa hard. In Sierra Leone, healthcare structures were not sufficient to care for the severe influx of virus patients, only providing $14 per person for healthcare in contrast to the UN's suggested $86 per person.
NGO's like redcross and IGOs like the WHO were vital in providing assistance in processes like public education of the disease, vaccinations, healthcare, operations, and other public health procedures.
This was good for the citizens, but it totally undermines Sierra Leone's sovereignty, as they did not have control of their own healthcare systems and required help from outside their boarders to handle the crisis.
Togo & tobacco
in 2014, in response to rising rates of tobacco-related deaths, the Togolese government set out to introduce a plain-packaging law on all tobacco products sold within the country. The original plan was to remove all branding and implement deterring images onto cigarette packaging along with a health warning, a similar move to one employed by Australia in 2011.
However before this could be enacted into law, Phillip Morris International (PMI) sent them a letter which threatened legal action in response to such legislation.
Togo has an average GDP of $4.575 billion, and could not risk persecution from the $80 billion company.
The law was changed so that all tobacco products would contain written health warnings in French, Ewé and Kabiyé, a relatively ineffective measure when the fact that 40% of Togo's adult population cannot read is considered.
MNC's are able to undermine a state's sovereignty through economic manipulation.
LGBTQ+ rights in Uganda
In 2013 Uganda introduced an Anti-Homosexuality Act which placed further restrictions on same-sex relationships and implemented life imprisonment for 'aggravated homosexuality'.
The history of homophobic laws in Uganda has turned public opinion, and there is a heightened safety risk for LGBT individuals in Uganda, more murders and beatings as well as arbitrary arrests.
President Museveni has defended the law by claiming that Uganda should not have to sacrifice it's African values to appease western states.
Cultural relativism can negatively impact demographics and cause harm to vulnerable populations.
in 2011, pro-democracy protests erupted across Syria to demand an end to the authoritarian practices of president Bashar al-Assad's regime. This was an extension of the movements made during the 2011 'Arab Springs', protesting a lack of modernization and unfulfilled promises from Assad, also sparked by the worst drought in the nations modern history.
At multiple protests, security forces conducted mass arrests and open fired on demonstrators. The violence of the regime fueled further protests.
There are religious connotations here. Most protestors belonged to the Sunni muslim denomination while the assad family and security forces are Alawite denomination.
as protests continued, violence grew and the regime began to target Sunni groups. In retaliation, many Sunni groups took up arms against security forces and a civil war broke out. Several agreements were proposed by both the UN and the Arab league, but they were unsucessful (e.g. short ceasefire in 2012 that was broken and violence was much higher than before).
The region of Kashmir has been disputed, claimed by both Pakistan and India for a large part of those nations' independent histories.
a ceasefire was agreed to in 2003, and when India's Narendra Modi was elected in 2014 he promised a tough line on pakistan. in 2018, 500 people were killed in the Kashmir region. in 2019 a suicide attack in india killed more than 40 indian soldiers. Pakistan was blamed.
Summits have been cancelled, and the regioin continues to be disputed for it's resources like mountain water.
2003 peace treaty did not last, no party was happy. Treaties cannot protect vulnerable populations.
Beginning in the 2011 Arab springs protests, the then leader of Libya Muammar Gaddafi was ousted from power by rebels. He tried to re-establish power but was eventually killed by rebel fighters. NATO was involved in airstrikes that targeted his escape convoy. After the first civil war (rebels v. Gaddafi's forces) several militias formed across the nation. They were not initially at odds with each other. The National Transitional Council placed several militias on their payroll, to a degree legitimizing the actions of armed groups. After the US consulate in Benghazi was attacked on September 11 2012, many Islamic militia bases were stormed by protestors. The Libyan army raided now-illegal militia bases and violence eventually escalated into a second civil war.
Despite many peace brokering attempts (particularly by the UN in 2015, establishing a short lived unity government), the state remains unstable, with continued fighting for control and power within the state.