1. Norm Subsidiarity, Contested Appropriateness and Asian Regionalism: A Theoretical and Empirical Investigation on the Norm of Responsibility to Protect
Sandya Nishanthi Gunasekara (University of Griffith, Australia)
– PhD Candidate, School of Government and International Relations
Abstract: This study examines why some states are less likely to be compliant to certain international norms when the punishments associated with their violations are easily predictable. This study addresses this question by focusing on contested norms assuming that contested norms denote contested appropriateness and thus norm takers could easily avoid norm compliance issues and punishments by producing alternative meanings of appropriateness, which this study understands as “contested appropriateness”, i.e. a situation in which appropriateness of established norms are challenged by building alternative, but competing meaning to appropriateness. While the questions such as why norms are contested remain among the most perplexing questions in international relations, Amitav Acharya offers a new reasoning to understand series of normative actions taken by local actors in the Third World that lead them to develop new rules, offer new understandings of global rules or reaffirm global rules in the regional context. This normative action is defined by Acharya as “norm subsidiarity” which denotes a “process whereby local actors create rules with a view to preserve their autonomy from dominance, neglect, violation, or abuse by more powerful central actors”. While Acharya contributes to the field of international relations highlighting the collective practice of norm subsidiarity in a regional perspective during the Cold War, this study offers important insights into norm subsidiarity behaviors of Asia during the 21st century and its impact on individual states, in particular norm-resisting states and on norm itself. To highlight such dynamics in a specific phenomenon, the study refers to the contested norm of Responsibility to Protect (R2P) and the way Asian leaders interpret norm subsidiarity. To be more specific, this study refers to the post-war Sri Lanka (2008-2015) and examines if Asian regional actors challenged and influenced global normative processes as they did during the Cold War.
2. Reciprocity as Motivation for Humanitarian Aid: The Practices of Four African Countries
Oheneba Boateng (Freie Universität, Germany)
– PhD Candidate, Berlin Graduate School for Transnational Studies
Abstract: Since the modern international humanitarian system was built on principles and institutions of Western origin, there has been the tendency to evaluate non-Western acts of charity on these standards. Thus, the humanitarian agency of most countries in the Global South, until recently, was not given much research attention. By prioritising humanitarian activities of new globalist donors, the South-South humanitarianism outlook has started to highlight the importance of non-Western actors in global charity. However, research from this perspective has largely ignored the simple but symbolically valuable humanitarian donations by small donors, the majority of developing countries that do not give but receive development aid from OECD members and new globalist donors. Nevertheless, to understand the different impetuses for humanitarianism, it is important study the actions of all actors, including small donors. In this paper, I present reciprocity as a key reason small donors give humanitarian disasters to other countries. I argue that reciprocity is a policy pursued by small donors that results from an official memory processing exercise that imposes an obligation on them to reciprocate previous gestures. However, small donors cannot practice equivalent reciprocity so they reciprocate according to their limited capacity and sometimes, indirectly.
3. South South Cooperation and Sustainable Development
Savi Badgujar (Jawaharlal Nehru University, India)
– PhD Candidate, Centre for African Studies of the School of International Studies
Abstract: South South Cooperation was emerged post World war II and initially during the Badung conference (1955), the southern countries came together for cooperation. At the same period the Cold War was at its peak and the United States and the Soviet bloc both pushed North South Cooperation. End of Cold War and the traditional donors IMF and World Bank conditionalities forced and reemerged the South South Corporation Post 1990s. The research paper focuses on how does the South South cooperation contribute new ideas in the international relations? Do the Southern countries find similar solutions to similar problems in the field of sustainable development? How does South South Cooperation can contribute to achieve sustainable development?
4. From Traditionalism to New Challenges: Shifts in Turkish Foreign Policy and Future Prospects
Dr. Sule Toktas (Kadir Has University, Turkey)
– Professor of political science and chairperson of the Department of Political Science and Public Administration
Abstract: Turkey has been encountering a dynamic transformation process in its foreign policy in a dynamic international environment. Turkey has been re-adjusting its foreign policy principles and priorities in accordance with its domestic changes and the new demands of the world politics. Especially starting with the 2000s and under the Justice and Development Party ruling era, Turkey’s foreign policy has undergone considerable changes. Turkey tried to adopt a proactive engagement with its neighbourhood and started to revise its past conflicts through a different perspective. Yet, the durability of the new foreign paradigm became to be questioned with the increasing difficulties and the challenges of the post-Arab Spring environment, specifically with the increasing violence in the Syrian civil war. Not only having received around three million Syrian refugees, Turkey’s relations with its neighbours including Russia and Israel got destabilized. The attempt for a military coup added up to the already complex nature of the political grounds in Turkey and its neighbouring regions. Turkey has recently questioned its foreign policy and is preparing for another shift in its foreign policy. This presentation will focus on Turkey’s foreign policy with its historical roots, its changes in the recent decades as well as with its future prospects.
5. Rise of the BRICS: An Alternative to 21st Century Global Governance Paradigm?
Junuguru Srinivas (Jawaharlal Nehru University, India)
– PhD Candidate, Center for Russian and Central Asian Studies of the School of International Studies
Abstract: The disintegration of the Soviet Union in the early 1990’s is a watershed event in contemporary political history. It led to not just major changes in power relations amongst states but also to a paradigm shift in international relations. Because, since then southern world emerged as a important group in world affairs. In this context, the rise of the BRICS as a political clout has made the international community to extend more emphasis and focus towards global south. The BRICS acronym was first used by Jim O Neill to project and said that in the years to come these countries are going to dominate the world in international trade and international politics constructively. At present BRICS sharing almost 43 per cent of the world population, 18 per cent of the world economy aggregately and it also shares 15 per cent of the international trade. International Relations literature has to a great extent analyzed the significance of this emerging phenomenon and has argued that the rise of BRICS has implications of universal, global nature. This trend is a clear indication of rapidly changing structure of international politics, with the southern world realist influence gradually increasing and we are witnessing liberalist approaches more appealing to study global affairs. The recent incidents in world affairs show the declining dominance of the US led Western power discourse in global affairs. In this scenario, the proposed paper analyzes the changing dimensions of world politics and BRICS role in changing world order. At this critical juncture, it is also important to ask whether the rise of the BRICS is inevitable or it’s a myth. Finally, it discusses about how would be the relations between the western world and southern world in this intrinsic period of global politics.
6. Imam Khomeini and the Concept of Mustad’afin: A Postmodernist Reading
Dr. Mansoor L. Limba (University of Tehran, Iran)
– Associate Professor of Political Science, International and Islamic Studies
Abstract: Apart from questioning the West’s claim for meta-narrative and universality, by employing terms entirely stemming from Islamic metaphors and signifiers, Imam Khomeini deconstructs its adoption of the cultural production of voiceless “others” and crafting of the rules of the game – same/other, the West/the Rest, civilization/barbarism. Going against Muslim apologists, eclectics and hybridists’ practice of portraying Islam within the Western logocentric logic, the Imam speaks of an all-encompassing discourse in the idiom of Islamic truth regime with almost no reference at all to Western political dogmas. Specifically, the Founder of the Islamic Republic’s Qur’anic notion of mustad‘afin (downtrodden) vis-à-vis that of mustakbirin (the arrogant) is a discourse outside modernity’s logic of the Westphalian nation-state sovereignty. As guiding principles of its foreign policy, Iran tries “to prepare the way for the formation of a single world community… and to sustain the continuity of the struggle for the liberation of all-deprived and oppressed peoples (mustad‘afin) throughout the world” (Preamble of the Constitution). It considers its ideal “the realization of human felicity throughout human society”, and “independence, freedom and the rule of justice and Truth to be the right of all people of the world” (Article 154 of the Constitution). In sum, the notion of mustad‘afin is a pursuit of what Richard Rorty called ‘final vocabulary’. It is an attempt to reverse the current of “self/other” project. It is an odyssey of both de-centring and re-centring – the de-centring of modernity and re-centring of Islam.
7. Sources of Indian IR Theory
Dr. Amitabh Singh (Jawaharlal Nehru University, India)
– Associate Professor of International Relations Theory, School of International Studies
Abstract: Talking about non-Western International Relations Theory, one is confounded over the fact that Indian traditional knowledge had a large source of literature which could be factored in when developing a non-Western International Relations Theory and Indian International Theory. Apart from the sources that Indian tradition had for example, Kautilya’s Arthashastra, which has existed since centuries and which has also of late been incorporated in many of the Indian universities as a reading in realism, there is little evidence to suggest that other Indian sources have been used in studying International relations. Debate in India also has revolved around whether ancient Indian Hindu or Buddhist texts can be used to study International Relations or not. Many dismiss the idea of using traditional Hindu sources such as smritis or puranas or pitakas can be used to study international relations or not. The proposed paper will try to take look into the Indian sources that can be used to study International relations.
8. An African Way of Thinking International Relations? Theoretical and Practical Contribution of African Scholars in IR
Delmas Tsafack (University of Dschang, Cameroon)
– Researcher, Department of History
Abstract: In international relations theory and history, Africa is often given the role of a negligible periphery, under the influence of political events and decisions taken elsewhere and which it is rarely able to influence, when Africa’s place in international relations is a topic of increasing importance and academic interest. Some western academics remind readers that Africa has conventionally remained absent from theory-making. For them, Africa has been marginalized in terms of political analysis. Contrary to the general belief, Africa may therefore also be seen as an excellent case study in international relations, one that helps us cast a new light on a widely studied international political history. This paper aims at analyzing the contribution of Africa in the field of international Relations. It will explore the role played by African scientists in theorizing International Relations. The paper will be focused on the scientific production of Africans on International Relations theory. What is the particularity of African scientists in the domain of International Relations? Is their way of thinking International Relations different from that of the western scientific community? The paper will also investigate on scientific papers and books of African scholars published in internationally known journals and editing houses on African international Relations. This proposal will provide an analysis of the African continent’s agency and ‘play’ in global politics.
9. Universal Humanism in Indian Thought: An Alternative Template for a Globalizing World
Dr. Pranav Kumar (University of Delhi, India)
– Assistant Professor, Motilal Nehru College
Dr. Namita Kumari (University of Delhi, India)
– Assistant Professor, SPM College
Abstract: We live in a world of growing interaction, interconnectedness ad integration at various levels. This globalizing world is becoming more and more complex to comprehend. Many western theories of international relations are also jostling to interpret the signals of the globalizing world through their own theoretical tools. At the same time the theories are not only interpreting the modern world but they also project a world view which might have an impact on the world itself. The western approach also underlines a set of parameters that make up the template of this globalizing world. This template is based on their common metaphysical foundation. The western theories share a common metaphysical foundation; they see the world in binaries. The linkages created by the spirit of globalizations still retain the binaries. The binaries of self and other, inside and outside, national and international are now getting linked, networked, merged and made interdependent under the phenomena of globalization. And therefore we observe strains at environmental, social, political and economic level. What could be the nature of a world view based on the Indian metaphysical traditions? An alternative Indian approach projects a universe where every being is morally connected. For the purpose of convenience, we can call it Universal Humanism or Moral Universalism. This moral connectedness is derived from the metaphysics of Adavaita Vedanta and Upanishad. Universal humanism emanates from the ancient scriptures of Veda and Upanishads. The celestial song of the Bhagwat Gita also clearly highlights the moral unity of all human beings. In the 20th century the Indian thought is reflected in the works of; Swami Vivekananda, Rabindranath Tagore, Sri Aurobindo, S.Radhakrishnan and M.K.Gandhi. From the time immemorial to the contemporary period, the Indian thinking has not seen within and without as binaries, rather it sees it as continuums. There are three major aims of this paper. First, the proposed paper will explore the common theme of universal humanism in ancient and modern Indian thought. Second, the paper will argue that the Indian world view of universal humanism can be used as an approach to comprehend the globalizing world. Third, the paper will also argue that the IR practioners should not only look towards those concepts of non-western cultures (like Kautilya), which fit in their template, rather there is a need to bring an alternative template itself.
10. Problems of International Studies in India
Md. Abdul Gaffar (Jawaharlal Nehru University, India)
– PhD Candidate, School of International Studies
Abstract: Dominant perception of International Studies in India is of a discipline crawling its way through history in a state of inanition. Most of the experts of International Studies in India agree with such a conclusion. The factors seem to account for this dismal state of the discipline in India is the ‘resistance to theory’ has been identified as one of the most formidable obstacle in the development of International Studies in India. The identity crisis emanates from a conceptual disorientation where a multidisciplinary area study is conflated with the discipline-oriented International Relations (IR). Moreover, the involvement of the state in the academic discourse has provided very little space for independent and critical work to emerge. There exists a close relationship between the International Studies in India and the state resulting from the fact that subject matter of former is ‘state’ itself. When it comes to decision making, practical experience is considered much more helpful to statesman than large volumes of scholarly work. Even if the state wants to engage with the academic community, it only seeks readymade policy capsules, which can be easily gulped rather than the painful internalisation of rigorous theoretical enquiry. Academic enterprise gets particularly inhibited by informational frugality of the Indian state. This dimension also makes academics vulnerable as favours are only granted to those who are willing to participate in the designs of the state. In fact, Indian state has used the informational asset to colonize the discipline. In this sense, the paper will examine the problems confronted by the students of international politics in India. Having related to Indian Universities, which offers International relations, it will address the problematic of lack of theory in IR. The paper also will attempt to locate the debilitated factors to the growth of International Studies in India.
11. A State of Abeyance: The State of International Relations in Nepal
Shishir Ghimire (South Asian University, India)
– Researcher, Department of International Relations
Abstract: International Relations (IR) as a discipline is yet to be freed from Anglo-American dominance though hitherto neglected regions like East Asia get recent attention. With the continuous, though minimal, efforts by the scholars from the global south to make the discipline “international”, research interests have increased in other part of the world as well. Tribhuvan University in Nepal establishing the Department of International Relations in 2013 can be seen as an example of such efforts made even in smaller countries. In this sense, this paper will present a disciplinary history of IR and its current status in Nepal. It will have three sections in dealing with the state of IR in Nepal. First, it will explain the institutional development and contributions made by the Nepalese Scholars in the field of IR to present the Nepalese way of understanding the outer world. Second, the paper will claim that the present state of IR in Nepal is in a state of abeyance. Nepal’s own geographic setting confined the discipline to the study of its relations with the two neighboring countries, China and India. Finally, concluding remarks with the prospects of development of the discipline in the country so as to contribute to the global scholarly world will be assessed.
12. International Relations Theory and the ‘Mandala’ Model: A Southeast Asian Perspective
Dr. Sonu Trivedi (University of Delhi, India)
– Assistant Professor, Department of Political Science
Abstract: Given the predominance of a Eurocentric approach to the existing International Relations theory, the Paper advocates for a Global South Perspective for understanding the political formations of the states in Southeast Asia. This becomes significant in view of the historic evolution of the indigenous states of Southeast Asian States and the alliances that have developed thereafter. In the due course of its evolution, these states have defined national security in terms of their alliances rather than their geographical boundaries. Unlike the European conception of State being ‘legal territorial unit’, the States in Southeast Asia has emerged as political formations based on ‘regional system of alliances’. ‘Mandala’ Model based on this dynamic system of alliances between the centre of authority and the other neighbouring states lies at the core of IR theory in the context of Southeast Asian States. As a result of power being concentrated towards the centre, the ruler possessing the Central authority remains in an advantageous position and exercises his influence over the other neighbouring states. Power is believed to be concentrated with the Central authority thereby allowing the weaker political units to give way to a stronger one. However, these alliances are not fixed and fluctuate with the shifting loyalties of the rulers and the constituent units. With this background, the Paper seeks to highlight the relevance of Kautilya’s ‘Mandala’ model in understanding the international relations of the Southeast Asian states.
13. Exploring Non-Western Perspective in International Relations: Rethinking Nehru’s Alternative Approach
Dr. Md. Aftab Alam (University of Delhi, India)
– Lecturer, Zakir Husain Delhi College
Abstract: Discipline of International Relations is seen as theoretical contribution of Global North. However, there are contributions in the field of IR in Global South as well. World has diverse knowledge systems and different ways of understanding the self and realities around. It is in this background that paper tries to argue; we have our own resource to understand/theorise IR as a discipline in the Global South and it’s time we explore it. Global South needs to critically engage with ‘available’ western knowledge and unravel the possibility of creating new and possibly, alternative knowledge/perspectives in IR. The paper explores alternative methods to understand IR. There is a lack of serious/critical engagement with Nehru’s contribution in IR. It reflects how non-Western perspectives have been marginalized. Nehru’s contribution needs to be revisited and analysed. His worldview represented idealism predominantly, yet realism can also be traced. Nehru linked the domains of policy making as well as intellectual analyses/assessment in IR. Paper explores some of these issues. Constructing conceptual framework of IR, Nehru played significant role in India’s foreign policy. His theoretical formulations included Panchsheel, Non-Alignment, colonialism and racism. He differed with the existing dominant IR paradigm, avoided the power blocs, advocated ‘One World’, and founded NAM. Paper examines how Nehru attempted to democratise IR and has potential of ‘humanizing’ the IR. Critical of power politics, he advocated collective security arrangements and strong international institutions. Paper examines how a critical rethinking of Nehru’s ideas can help in creating alternative imaginations of IR. Overall intellectual contribution of Indian IR to Global IR needs to be foregrounded. The paper is an attempt to interrogate Nehru’s alternative approach to IR. While reexamining our own traditions, there is a need to explore the possibility of a truly inclusive discipline, recognizing its multiple and diverse foundations.
14. “Asian Values” in the Post-Soviet Space: Eurasian Participation in Global South IOs and Shared World Order Preferences
Dr. Jason E. Strakes (OSCE Academy, Kyrgyzstan)
– Associate Fellow and Visiting Lecturer in the Politics and Security Programme
Abstract: During the past decade, non-Western international organizations (IOs) such as the Philippines-based International Conference of Asian Political Parties (ICAPP) founded by former Speaker of House of Representatives Jose de Venecia Jr. have established an intimate relationship with the ruling elites of two prominent authoritarian post-Soviet states: Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan. On one hand, these interactions have performed a series of policy-related functions in both countries, including public diplomacy, election observation, and development planning, while one the other, Azeri and Kazakh representatives serve in administrative positions on the ICAPP Standing Committee as well as its affiliated organizations: Women’s Wing, Youth Wing, Media Forum, Centrist Asia-Pacific Democrats International (CAPDI) and Asian Peace and Reconciliation Council (APRC). In turn, these activities have helped to consolidate bilateral relations between their governments and the Philippines and other ICAPP member states. This evolving post-Soviet/Asia-Pacific linkage presents a challenge to the traditional understanding of these states as perpetually positioned between the Russian “sphere of influence” and the pursuit of Euro-Atlantic integration. Instead, the present study conceptualizes these ties as a reflection of shared experiences of Eurasian and Global South polities with hegemonic imposition of global (neo) liberal norms of democratization and individualistic definitions of human rights, and a preference for international institutions that promote economic development and uphold sovereignty and non-interference in internal affairs, rather than impose requirements for domestic restructuring as criteria for accession. The empirical approach applies a qualitative content analysis of public statements and policy documents of Western and Asia-Pacific governments and institutions regarding Azeri and Kazakh national policies, in order to identify linkages between Eurasian participation in Global South IOs and conflicts and commonalities in world order preferences.
15. Rethinking International Relations Study in Latin America
Dr. Erica Gorbak (Universidad de Buenos Aires, Argentina)
– Professor of Constitutional Law, Administrative Law, and Human Rights
Abstract: It can be said that the study of International Relations (IR) has emerged as a relevant phenomenon in Latin American (LA) in 1970s. Since the 1970s, the concern with autonomy, particularly vis a vis the US, has been at the forefront of the debate on IR in the region, largely understood in terms of the distribution of power. However, since the 1990s, the IR field of studies has grown significantly. Regional integration, the transition to democracy, the end of the Cold War, globalization and transnational political, economic and cultural processes, greater dialogue between the academic community and relevant actors among other factors generated more academic activity in the field. However, theoretical frameworks developed in Europe and the US has guided the study of IR in the region demonstrating a clear tendency to incorporate concepts and theories generated in the Western academic environment. The concern with dependency and the reproduction of power relations that are not favorable to the countries of the region has been a main theme. Dependency theory is considered the major LA theoretical contribution. But after dependency theory, no new theoretical contribution to the study of IR and political economy with significant impact emerged from the LA academic world. Two major concerns have shaped the literature and the teaching on IR in LA: the difficulties regarding political and economic autonomy for LA countries in the international system and the role of international institutions. Additionally, most LA specialists and governments firmly adhere to the principle of nonintervention, fearing a wider control by the US of different aspects of domestic and international politics in the region. With the belief that it is time to rethink the study of IR in LA, in this paper we will analyze the state of the art of the study of IR in the region and we will produce a constructive critic building a theoretical and practical contribution to the study and curricula of the field in the Global South region.
16. The Internationalisation of the Social Sciences: Challenges in Overcoming Westerncentric Ethnocentrism and Introducing Perspectives from the Global South
Dr. Leon Moosavi (University of Liverpool, Singapore)
– Director of the University of Liverpool in Singapore and is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Sociology, Social Policy and Criminology.
Abstract: For several decades, scholars from various social science disciplines have argued that the social sciences are insular and need to be internationalised. The social sciences have been said to be overly reliant upon scholarship produced by Western academics in Western contexts. This is problematic because it means that social science from the Global South is excluded from both teaching and research. This paper explores the evolution of scholarship that has advocated for the internationalisation of the social sciences from the 1970s to the present. In responding to these key concerns, efforts are made to explain some of the notable barriers that have stunted the internationalisation of the social sciences aside from the inherent ethnocentrism that is routinely blamed. In particular, it is argued that the social sciences have not been internationalised because academics are overworked and because non-Western social science is not always identifiable or accessible. In seeking to thoroughly assess the prospects of internationalisation, this paper also considers some unintended and undesirable consequences that may arise from efforts to internationalise the social sciences that should be avoided. Three hazards are identified as dangers of internationalisation which are exploiting, valorising and essentialising non-Western sources. Ultimately, the internationalisation of the social sciences is shown to be a theoretically complex and everlasting project for which progress has been made but which is more complicated than is often recognised.