Making Sense of History? Thinking about International Relations
Human rights advocacy has evolved into a legitimate foreign policy priority of the contemporary United States. The values and beliefs behind this concern are endorsed by a variety of American NGOs. The paper looks at American human rights advocacy and its impact on foreign policy decision-making. Human rights groups constitute a powerful independent lobby sector, whose success must be attributed to the unique nature of the American political culture. The article analyses the industrys specific characteristics and offers a classification of NGOs based on their mission, activities and lobbying profile.
The chapter explores the foreign policy priorities of China and Russia with regard to the following sub-questions: Are China and Russia driven by ideology or by pragmatism? How much weight does ‘hard power’ carry versus ‘soft power’ in the strategic policy formulation of both countries? How do they strive to uphold their insistence on respect for sovereignty while their economic power increasingly relies on international interdependence?
The author addresses the question of the relationship between religious and national identity, in particular to those cases where there is their identifi cation. The author focuses on the Spanish experience of 1930-s, when formed the ideological construction of the so-called national-Catholicism was formed, justifying special spiritual mission of the nation, based on its alleged inherent rejection of democracy. Over the next few decades, the National Catholicism played the role of the offi cial ideology of the Franco regime. The article compares the Spanish experience with the situation in today's Russia, where, according to the author, there is a tendency for "nationalization" of religion, its politicization and indoctrination.
The present book is entitled ‘The Evolution of Statehood. From Early States to Global Society’. Such a combination is not accidental. Without analysis of the statehood development, it is almost impossible to understand the course of human history. That is why it is so important to deduce the correlation of the state development and social evolution (historical process).
The transition to statehood appears to be one of the most crucial changes in the mankind historical development. The state has been the core of the society’s life and, no matter to what extent we amplify our knowledge of the past, history is first of all the history of states and rulers, wars and politics. Most of historians and social scientists deal with state in this or that aspect. It seems that with such an approach everything should be paradigmatically clear. But unfortunately it is just the other way round. Numerous and most serious problems, including the following: How did the state appear and what alternatives did it have? What is the state proper? Which necessary features and attributes it has? Which main evolutionary stages has it passed as a structure? Were Athens and Rome states? What is the direction of the modern state development? – not only remain open to question but in many senses are unsolved. So it is always interesting and useful to consider these subjects.
The Russian agenda for relations with the United States is very modest and largely retrospective. The agenda lacks new possible areas of cooperation (e.g. building closer security cooperation in the Asia-Pacific region), which could make the relations between the two countries more sustainable. The same is true of the joint agenda for the next six months, as reflected in the joint statement made by President Putin and U.S. President Obama following their meeting in Los Cabos on June 18th. The word “partnership,” in view of relations between Russia and the U.S., was not mentioned at all.
In the final chapter of this volume Tatiana Romanova and Elena Pavlova bring a Russian perceptive on neoclassical realism. The country largely missed out on the first five decades of international relations theory due to a doctrinal focus on Marxist explanations. But after the fall of communism Realism has, according to the authors, swiftly acquired a central role in Russian IR studies. The authors argue that neoclassical realism is less used as a theory than as a tool to guide policy - and that, in this sense, neoclassical realism will be strengthening its positions. In what that to many (at least western) readers will be a genuinely new insights the authors point out three issues, which, according to them, shape the realist thinking in Russia: the authority of the state, personified in the strong president ; geopolitical and identity orientation; and the peculiarities of Russian interests articulation. They examine how these three categories manifest themselves in various realist discussions on the three key issues for Russia (polarity, national interests and neighbourhood). Romanova and Pavlova conclude that the popularity of neoclassical realist thinking and its future potential in Russia is provided by foreign-policy practice, not by academic studies.
The article deals with the processes of building the information society and security in the CIS in accordance with modern conditions. The main objective is to review existing mechanisms for the formation of a common information space in the Eurasian region, regarded as one of the essential aspects of international integration. The theoretical significance of the work is to determine the main controls of the regional information infrastructure, improved by the development of communication features in a rapid process.The practical component consists in determining the future policies of the region under consideration in building the information society. The study authors used historical-descriptive approach and factual analysis of events having to do with drawing the contours of today's global information society in the regional refraction.
The main result is the fact that the development of information and communication technologies, and network resources leads to increased threats of destabilization of the socio-political situation in view of the emergence of multiple centers that generate the ideological and psychological background. Keeping focused information policy can not be conceived without the collective participation of States in the first place, members of the group leaders of integration - Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan. Currently, only produced a comprehensive approach to security in the information field in the Eurasian region, but the events in the world, largely thanks to modern technology, make the search for an exit strategy with a much higher speed. The article contributes to the science of international relations, engaging in interdisciplinary thinking that is associated with a transition period in the development of society. A study of current conditions in their relation to the current socio-political patterns of the authors leads to conclusions about the need for cooperation with the network centers of power in the modern information environment, the formation of alternative models of networking, especially in innovation and scientific and technical areas of information policy, and expanding the integration of the field in this region on the information content.